Thoroughbred Racing 2020

sk8pics

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I wonder how the postponement will shake out.

Will the Belmont Stakes and possibly the Preakness take place as scheduled or at least before the Kentucky Derby?

And what happens to the whole Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying system, which is based on a point system that is largely based on races that have already been run?

:watch:

I think it was in a BloodHorse report that I read there will be additional races in the summer to earn Derby points. All futures wagering will also hold. And I think the Preakness is being rescheduled too, but I forget now where I read it.

Since there are some longtime racing fans in here, I thought I'd share the news that we were able to confirm that multiple grade 1 winner Gentlemen died many years ago (likely 2011/2012) in LA. His death was never reported to the Jockey Club and as such no one knew. @sk8pics used some of her connections to find out as I had friends looking for him. Gentlemen deserved better. Not that he wasn't cared for, but a horse that earned 3.6 million on the track, deserved some fanfare. He was one of the best of his generation. And he was more or less forgotten. Rest in peace Gentlemen.
I am glad I could help. Such an odd “coincidence” that that photo card of him popped out from nowhere when my friend was sorting through prior donations to Old Friends. I hope one of the news sites publishes a little remembrance of him.
 

Sarah

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I think I’m going to make a couple small donations in honor of Gentlemen. They won’t be much as I don’t really have anything to spare right now, but it feels right. 1 to MidAtlantic for all their work on making sure the thoroughbreds have peace, homes, or, when not possible, proper ends, and Old Friends because I wish that Gentlemen could have ended up there rather than being sold over down the line. He deserved a tribute so I’ll do my tiny part.
 

sk8pics

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That is awesome @Sarah. I am sure both MidAtlantic and Old Friends will make good use of your donation, and I'm equally sure they both can use it. I don't work for them, but I'll thank you on behalf of Old Friends.
 

aftershocks

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The above SI article is an interesting read. While the level of drugging-related and other abuses in horse racing is alarming and appalling, I'm not sure I agree with the reporter's contention that everyone in any area of athleticism is cheating simply because they suddenly start winning. There are a number of cases of not initially well-regarded horses going on to become great champions (without illegal drugs being a factor). In the case of Maximum Security, he does have champion horses in his pedigree, and he appears to have courageous fight on the racetrack. So we'll hopefully see how Maximum Security will fare throughout the rest of his racing career, under Bob Baffert.

It's a shame that the official story continues to be that Max strayed in front of horses in the KD, without any reference to the fact he was clipped from behind by War of Will, which is what caused Max to change leads and stray out of his lane. Plus, the KD race was full of abuses by War of Will and Country House that have been ignored.
 

aftershocks

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In other news, Maximum Security has undergone a full health check and a report has been released. Below is a link to public comments surrounding Max's situation, which contains a link to the official health report:

One veterinarian comments in this Twitter thread that the indictments indicate EPO was administered to Max, which means he should be made to 'stand down' from racing time for 180 days (which if happens would mean Max might return to racing in September).

Link to the full health report, with copies of x-rays:

"Prognosis: Favorable. I can find nothing seriously wrong with him ... The planned break from continuous training is a good plan to let him reverse the accumulating inflammation/bruising (on all four cannon bones) before he trains on."

ETA:
 
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skipaway

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Dubai’s World Cup Races were canceled today. Some Horses had already shipped over. 😥
 

aftershocks

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So, Max's necessary break from training and racing will probably coincide with the cancellation of any number of races. Probably, Max's next race might be pushed out further than September. Everything is uncertain in all walks of life at this point in time. :(

In most cases, throughout history, horses (and indeed other animals) are way too good for the people who own, train, and handle them. Just sayin'...
 

aftershocks

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Hmmm, the various comments on the above are interesting. Some people obviously are playing favorites in how they view this and suggesting Max wouldn't have won his races without having been 'juiced.' However, what is known so far is that a PED was used on Max by Servis in one race, the Pegasus Cup, in which Max placed second.

The larger issue is that other horses are routinely provided aids for recovery, but it's Max whose been caught in the hot spotlight, under the circumstances of his owners still pursuing the KD lawsuit. A sampling of commentary:

"There is confusion about this medication. In it's original form its not a true drug, but we don't know what it may have become or specifically what version [Servis was] using and more importantly was Max given anything at all. People are making all kinds of conclusions based on assumptions. Also, it's not that it couldn't be tested. It's that they haven't been testing for it because they said it wasn't a PED. It's not that they couldn't detect a positive on the latest version, they don't specifically test for it as in ovine placenta derived amino acids. If the version he was using contains other drugs then a positive would have come up on those drugs. So it's strange that they now will go to great lengths to prove [Servis] used sgf 1000 [on Max] and people will want [Max] hung out to dry when the use of it is rather widespread but [they] will not have tested a single other trainer's horses."

"Funny that the FBI doesn't knock on so many other doors or walk into so many other barns that we know are doing same or worse. And they won't. Notice the Baffert back-pedaling lately. [He's] trying to line up on the side that he knows is coming."

"I believe Navarro was the man the [FBI was] looking at. He seemed to carry himself with a mobster-like 'you can't touch me' attitude. Servis doesn't seem to me to be on Navarro's level of disgust. But [if] you play with fire... Others played it smart. Became big time, so now [they] can be advocates for reform. Not everyone deserving of justice receives justice in this system. [It's] a flawed system. That's just how it goes."

"SGF 1000 was widely used back in 2014 when it was studied by Dr Scollay and the RMTC and found it wasn't a PED and no testing required. In the years that followed it's use increased so much they banned it because it wasn't FDA approved... I don't like the lack of logic that if the FBI files a charge it's somehow the worst thing anyone ever heard and they should all hang. We have to use our heads, punish for sure, how bad we don't know yet and time will tell as more information comes out. But one thing is for sure, far worse has been done by trainers and very little if any action was taken because it wasn't the FBI that got involved."

"Racing is trying to push the Narrative that this is some Unprecedented Crime in this Sport...Total Nonsense...Only reason why this Story is so Big is because the FBI got involved...Only reason FBI got involved is because This Sport has not been Cracking down on this sort of Behavior...Many Many Many Horses and Good Horses have taken this 'Drug' before… This stuff has been going on since the Beginning of this Sport."


"... If one compromised runner beat 10 other compromised runners, how do you apply the asterisk?"

"[Maximum Security] ... is a hard trying, talented horse, and this is NO reflection on him! Max is an awesome horse."


ETA:
Apparently, what is alleged to have been used by Servis on Max (so far in one race in which Max placed second), is a blood builder that previously was not considered a banned substance. There's no indication that Max was given any drugs that masked pain, which could result in injury or death. And which did happen to a number of race horses.

I can't help but think in part there may be some effort to try and get West to drop the KD lawsuit, because if West wins the suit, some powers-that-be in the horse industry will be out of a lot of money. The KD stewards made a rushed decision without adequately analyzing all of the race footage. Everyone knows that Max is a brave, game horse and he was not going to be beat in the KD. Not many horses would have come through being clipped from behind, straying and then getting gamely back into the race and handily winning!

At the same time, there's an argument that Country House was only in a good position after fouling other horses earlier in the race and squeezing Bodexpress late in the race. War of Will also fouled other horses and was squeezing Long Range Toddy prior to clipping Max. That's why WoW jockey, Tyler Gafflione, did not claim he was fouled by Max after the race. Country House's jockey, Flavien Prat, called foul and he was not in Max's vicinity. Plus Prat on CH managed to come in second after fouling and squeezing other horses to be in good position for the stretch run.
 
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aftershocks

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Interesting flashback. A race handicapper discusses Maximum Security's chances of winning the 2019 Kentucky Derby:



Same handicapper on current 3-year-old contender, Wells Bayou:

The 2020 Louisiana Derby:

Wells Bayou is still learning, but he won handily. Down the stretch, Ny Traffic seemed to get distracted and strayed out of his lane a bit before digging in and catching back up with WB, but WB still won by over a length.


A breakdown on the current 2020 KD hopefuls:

 
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sk8pics

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I think they need to verify whether Max was drugged for the Saudi Cup or not. IF not, the prize money should be paid out.

I have a hard time thinking the owners didn’t know, in general, about the doping. But Max is the one I feel sorriest for in this whole thing. Not that he has any idea of what’s going on, but it will affect his life post-racing.
 

Vagabond

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I think they need to verify whether Max was drugged for the Saudi Cup or not. IF not, the prize money should be paid out.
Should it? What if the evidence is inconclusive? I think it is a tough call.

The trainer has been indicted for using a supposedly undetectable drug based on witness statements. Such statements may not be available with respect to the Saudi Cup, but I doubt that the Saudi Arabia Jockey Club would have accepted the nomination and entry fee had the allegations been made public beforehand.
 

sk8pics

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Well, people are still innocent until proven guilty. So the Saudi Cup people should investigate for sure. If they have a second sample, which they should, and knowing what the drug is, they should be able to tell if it’s present. I don’t think it will be inconclusive. It’s not like the drug test that Justify failed, where the chemical was a known contaminant in some of the hay that was being used. This will not be present just as a contaminant.
 

Vagabond

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Well, people are still innocent until proven guilty.
This isn't a criminal matter; it's a civil one.

Principals are not allowed to benefit from their agents' fraud. In this instance, the trainer may be proved to have engaged in conduct that would have prevented him from being Maximum Security's trainer of record in the Saudi Cup. Even if it can be conclusively established that the horse was clean when he ran in Riyadh, his entry may still have been gained by fraud.
 

sk8pics

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I meant the indictment, when I said people are innocent until proven guilty. Of course the Saudi Cup is a civil matter. I will wait and see what they decide.
 

skipaway

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Secretariat won a ”virtual” Kentucky Derby among all 13 Triple Crown winners today. :lol: I was ridiculously happy about it.:rofl:
Wouldn’t it have been a given as he was the record holder? I saw it too, a nod given to MS as they had a bumping incident with American Pharoah. 😀
 

Vagabond

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Wouldn’t it have been a given as he was the record holder?
The track conditions and the pace setup are not the same from one year to the next. I am confident that whoever created the algorithms took those factors, among others, into consideration.

The fact that the computer-generated video showed Secretariat running without blinkers, however, made me :rolleyes: :duh: and :giggle:, all at the same time.
 

sk8pics

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Wouldn’t it have been a given as he was the record holder? I saw it too, a nod given to MS as they had a bumping incident with American Pharoah. 😀
I thought so, too, but @Vagabond's comments are probably correct. I saw the bumping, too! Anyway, I was thinking Secretariat should win but you never know with these things. Secretariat's time was fastest, but I think Pharoah ran a faster final quarter (I think I read that) so you could imagine a scenario in which Secretariat ran into traffic problems and could not close fast enough.

But he won, so all's right with the world. :lol:
 

skipaway

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The fact that the computer-generated video showed Secretariat running without blinkers, however, made me :rolleyes: :duh: and :giggle:, all at the same time.
From a Bloodhorse article on the race...
Secretariat, who stalked the pace for much of the race, proved best in the stretch, clearly in no need of his customary blinkers in the virtual world. Churchill Downs said a limited time frame for production didn't allow the graphics to incorporate equipment such as blinkers.
 

sk8pics

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@skipaway Steve Haskin had a funny blog post on BloodHorse which specifically mentioned the lack of blinkers. I actually had trouble finding him in the field at first, because I was looking for the blinkers. :lol:
 

skipaway

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Churchill Downs, Santa Anita, and Golden Gate Fields are opening to spectatorless racing this weekend.
Churchill has added KY Derby points to some of its 3 year old stakes as they head towards Sept.
 

sk8pics

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I just watched the repeat of American Pharoah’s Preakness win; good Lord, that was a lot of rain.

I’m surprised there’s such a big gap between the Derby and the Preakness. Will be interesting to see when the Belmont will be.
 

sk8pics

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The new baby Z is awfully cute. I only thought the loss of ZPrincess was tragic; it was the death of a future now not to be. The colt who died after birth, yes that was sad, but not as bad as ZPrincess, I thought, because we didn't get a chance to be really invested in him and get to know him. Fortunately, Zenyatta has no idea her baby girl died. I have a framed picture of them in my living room.

Forty Niner lived to an amazingly ripe old age!
 

skipaway

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sk8pics

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I am wondering about the Breeders Cup this year. I have tickets, but haven’t decided if I’m going or not.
 

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