Thoroughbred Racing 2020

aftershocks

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^^ Won't it be a question of how or if spectators will be allowed?

The Triple Crown will obviously not have the same feel, resonance or impact with the races necessarily now spaced so far apart. Last year's asterisk in the KD certainly boded worst things to come, beyond anyone's wildest imagination.

About all the news of Jason Servis and the doping issue, from what I've read, the substance that was allegedly given to Maximum Security, SGF-1000, has been widely used in horse racing. It is described as a 'blood builder,' intended to aid horses in quick recovery from races. It doesn't help them win races. Horses have to have the talent, luck and a good jockey and trainer in order to win races. Or else call foul and cross your fingers, when you come in second in a major race, after squeezing other horses for good position in the stretch run. ;)

SGF-1000, interestingly was banned late last year. So if Max was given that substance before he raced in the KD last year, it was not illegal at that time. If there's suspicion surrounding Max, all of his contemporaries deserve the same scrutiny.

The fact is that horse-racing has always had a dirty underside, and it's always the horses who suffer the most.

The sport's honchos have since forever turned a blind eye to the dirty undersides of the sport. Some of the worst drug offenses are those in which horses are given painkillers and then raced, which can lead to them overexerting themselves, breaking legs and having to be put down, etc. That's behind many of the deaths at the Santa Anita track. These are the kinds of major abuses that need to be ferreted out, fully investigated and punished. The fact is that Jorge Navarro (implicated with Servis) is known to be one of the more aggressive and dangerous drug operators/ trainers in horse racing. It is Navarro who the sport's honchos turned to the FBI to have investigated. It was Servis' distinct misfortune that he had gotten too close to Navarro at the wrong time, and thus he's been implicated too. But we do not know the full extent or detailed specificity of Servis' purported malfeasance. Servis has been highly regarded in the industry, and sadly he may not be the only trainer of high standing to have ever had dealings with the nefarious Navarro, apparently chiefly in regard to lower level horses.

Again, from what I've read, the substance that Servis allegedly gave to Maximum Security (and some other horses in his care) is SGF-1000, which was banned at the end of 2019. Prior to being banned, it's use was not illegal.

There are some mainstream articles describing SGF-1000 that appear slanted negatively against its use and against Servis, so as to build the case against him, I suppose:

Unfortunately, this is not the entire story, as once again, the substance has been widely and openly used, and was not considered illegal until it was banned at the end of 2019. Whether or not it should have been widely used before being tested is a different story. But it's not like plenty of other trainers haven't been using SGF-1000 before it was banned. Servis and Maximum Security are obviously being singled out, and what's going on is deeper than it appears. As I said, it was Navarro who has been the FBI's principal target. The FBI has been investigating for about two years, from the reports I've read. And once again, the investigation got underway only when the sport's honchos decided the sport was receiving way too much negative publicity with the huge number of horse deaths at tracks around the country, especially at Santa Anita.

I'm not saying that Servis does not deserve to be indicted. I just believe that his connection to Navarro turned out to be fortuitous in the sense that the sport has a lot of egg on it's face for how Max was disqualified at the 2019 KD, and has since then continued to win. I won't relitigate, as I've made the case in plenty of posts here, but the West family (Max's owner) would not have brought a suit and continued it if they didn't feel they have a case. Had the KD stewards actually examined the entire race, spoke to all of the jockeys and looked at crucial footage frame-by-frame it would have been clear that Max was clipped from behind by WoW, which caused Max to immediatley change leads and drift out of his lane. If Max was not a horse who possesses great courage and who had a top-notch jockey guiding him, he could have given up. How quickly Max got back to moving forward and won handily, proves that he would have won by a larger margin had he not been unfortunately and detrimentally to his reputation, bothered from behind.

I believe Churchill Downs and other top interests in the sport would like for the Wests to drop the suit. The fact they haven't dropped it hasn't boded well for how Max is being perceived and portrayed, despite the fact he's done nothing but continue to win, after placing a close second in his first race after recuperating from the KD injuries to his hind legs. I haven't heard recent updates regarding the investigation of Max's win in the Saudi Cup. But after the Servis indictments, withholding of the Saudi Cup winnings was expected, pending investigation. The fact is that all horses in every major race should also be investigated, not just Max. And again, the SGF-1000 was not illegal prior to when it was later banned.

Even Bob Baffert has been accused of having some of his horses 'on something,' which again is the nature of the sport. It is the sport's responsibility to clean up the sport from top-to-bottom, while actually protecting the horses, which clearly has never been the main motivation for far too many trainers and owners. The motivation for far too many people in the racing industry is money and fast, winning horses. Those who control the sport have turned a blind eye to all kinds of questionable activities, until the negative publicity got too bad. Plus the KD stewards' decision in 2019 was made too quickly and for the wrong reasons. I truly hope that Maximum Security's reputation and his career are not completely scarred by the misdeeds and dirty history of the industry as a whole, because seriously, it's not just Servis who has used SGF-1000 on his horses. Scapegoats are always convenient.
 

skipaway

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Charlatan and Gamine, 2 of Baffert’s horses tested positive for Lidocaine, a banned medication, in Arkansas. Charlatan won one of the Arkansas Derby divisions. Baffert has asked for a second sample to be retested.

Positive Drug Test
 

Aceon6

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If there’s $$$, there’s cheating. And it’s worse if betting is part of the infrastructure.
 

skipaway

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Baffert’s 3 yr old, undefeated Nadal was retired today after fracturing his leg at Santa Anita. He underwent successful surgery today.
 

sk8pics

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Charlatan and Gamine, 2 of Baffert’s horses tested positive for Lidocaine, a banned medication, in Arkansas. Charlatan won one of the Arkansas Derby divisions. Baffert has asked for a second sample to be retested.

Positive Drug Test
Did this get confirmed by a non-anonymous source?

I know Baffert was pissed off it was leaked, but I think that is part of the transparency that's needed, especially in light of other drug incidents. It's perfectly legitimate to ask for the second sample. I'll be curious to see what it says. I also had not heard the identity of the medication. That's not a performance enhancing drug, is it? At least I had heard originally that the particular drug was not performance enhancing though it was banned.
 

Vagabond

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Lidocaine is used

to numb tissue in a specific area (local anesthetic). It is also used to treat ventricular tachycardia and to perform nerve blocks. Lidocaine mixed with a small amount of adrenaline (epinephrine) is available to allow larger doses for numbing, to decrease bleeding, and to make the numbing effect last longer. When used as an injectable, lidocaine typically begins working within four minutes and lasts for half an hour to three hours.
That sounds to me like it could enhance a racehorse's performance.

Now, if only Lasix were banned too!
 

skipaway

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Did this get confirmed by a non-anonymous source?

I know Baffert was pissed off it was leaked, but I think that is part of the transparency that's needed, especially in light of other drug incidents. It's perfectly legitimate to ask for the second sample. I'll be curious to see what it says. I also had not heard the identity of the medication. That's not a performance enhancing drug, is it? At least I had heard originally that the particular drug was not performance enhancing though it was banned.
Not sure if confirmed, and I totally agree it’s legitimate to request 2nd sample be tested. He has every right.
Lidocaine is not performance enhancing in and by itself, but if a horse can’t feel pain at an injury site, I expect the horse would run normally ie...not favoring said injury.
 

Aceon6

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Lidocaine is not performance enhancing in and by itself, but if a horse can’t feel pain at an injury site, I expect the horse would run normally ie...not favoring said injury.
Not racing per se, but lidocaine is used on some show horses to make it more comfortable for them to rest, especially if they’ve picked up bruises during a comp. I’ve never seen anyone use it before a competition, but that doesn’t mean it never happens.
 

aftershocks

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Baffert’s 3 yr old, undefeated Nadal was retired today after fracturing his leg at Santa Anita. He underwent successful surgery today.
It's funny how tennis fans got the 'Nadal' retirement news mixed up with the original, one-and-only Rafa Nadal. :lol: Lots of people on Twitter were in a panic, and then they gave a huge sigh of relief. :D

I'm sorry the horse named Nadal was injured, but I'm glad they caught it in time for him to be able to live a full life at stud.

ETA:
I agree that Lidocaine as described would not 'enhance' a horse's performance. But they definitely need to be careful with numbing at a pain site, and then racing the horse before the numbing wears off, so the horse won't over-exert itself and break a leg. As I already said in my earlier post, and as people in the horse industry and fans know, there have been numerous substances used over the years in different ways, some allowed, some not allowed, with a lot of 'looking the other way' by authorities in the industry. Proper guidelines and testing of substances that may be needed to safely treat horses' injuries is a necessity long overdue in this sport. There are no set-in-stone guidelines, nor any transparency either.

Remember that SGF-1000 was prior to Fall 2019, not a banned substance and lots of trainers used it prior to the ban, but there had apparently been no guidelines nor testing of this substance. Still, the sudden ban against SGF-1000 at the end of 2019 begs questioning, in light of the revelations that Servis was caught on tape saying he used it on Max. If there were no guidelines, nor specific bans against using SGF-1000 prior to the ban, then it was not illegal for it to be given to horses. More details are needed about how it was used on Max and the purposes of its use. It is not designated as performance-enhancing.
 
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skipaway

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It's funny how tennis fans got the 'Nadal' retirement news mixed up with the original, one-and-only Rafa Nadal. :lol: Lots of people on Twitter were in a panic, and then they gave a huge sigh of relief. :D

I'm sorry the horse named Nadal was injured, but I'm glad they caught it in time for him to be able to live a full life at stud.
Yes, I saw people made that mistake. 😀
 

sk8pics

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I was just coming here to post about Arrogate @skipaway. I am just in shock. Such a big strong stallion, and he is dead at 7? I am so lucky that I went to see him last year with several friends. We just called and asked if we could see him. They would pretty much let anyone who wanted to see him come at 3 pm on certain days. He was magnificent, and totally unconcerned about us. I got to pet him on the shoulder and stand next to him.

What an enigma he was. To go from being an unstoppable force to one who lost his last 3 races and didn’t even seem to be trying. His Dubai World Cup was otherworldly.

Rest in peace, champ.
 

aftershocks

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Thanks for sharing your memories of visiting Arrogate @sk8pics. How sad for him to die so young with a promising season at stud behind him. The article indicates they did everything they could to save him, but it wasn't to be. May he rest in peace. ♥

I hope they are able to find out from the autopsy what happened to cause Arrogate's neurological-related illness.
 

aftershocks

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Belmont Preview "Peter Pan on Steroids"



Another preview with a clip of Tiz the Law (the favorite), winning the Florida Derby:



It's hard to figure how everything will shake out with the horses coming back from long layoffs...
 
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aftershocks

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Who's watching Belmont Day?

Bob Baffert-traiined Gamine just won Belmont's Acorn Stakes by 15 lengths! The fastest run in history for this race. She looks beautiful! ♥


ETA:
And Tiz the Law lays down the law! He wins the Belmont in this strange season, not just for horse racing. Tiz the Law had an easy ride with Manny Franco aboard! :cheer2:

Manny Franco is describing how relaxed his horse was throughout the race. Everything worked out well. It's too bad Nadal and other contenders got sick or otherwise had bad luck and couldn't compete. Kudos to Barclay Tagg!

I wonder how this season will shake out and be written about in the history books. The strange Kentucky Derby outcome last season apparently was a foreshadowing of stranger, even more unexpected things to come.
 
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sk8pics

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Tiz the Law did great, and congrats to his connections. I was a bit :rolleyes: that not one of the outriders I saw was wearing his mask properly. Perhaps in the post parade it wouldn't be as big a deal (and I couldn't see if they were wearing them then) but when the outrider caught up with the winner and jogged alongside, with his nose sticking out, and with the jockey huffing and puffing and also not wearing his mask properly, that was pretty bad. I almost wish they would not wear masks at all if they're not going to wear them properly.
 

skipaway

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Was a good day of racing starting with Graham Motion’s filly Sharing placing 2nd at Ascot in the Coronation Cup. Sharing is the daughter of Motion’s mare, Shared Account. She won BC Filly and Mare turf.

Tiz the Law looked sublime, but will be an interesting KY Derby with Baffert runners.
Barclay Tagg said they’re aiming for the Travers on Aug 8.
 

aftershocks

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There should probably be training surrounding the proper use of precautionary masks. One of the jockeys during the program's lead-in was discussed as having gone through the illness, but he apparently did not experience harsh symptoms. He recovered well, rehabbed and was able to get fit and come back to the sport.

It was weird seeing nobody in the stands. But NBC did a good job with their pre-show reports, featuring spots about how the New York area has suffered. The analysts were in different locales, and the horse owners were celebrating with family and friends in their hometowns. The pictures of an empty Times Square are surreal. I have a friend who posted Instagram pictures of herself in an empty subway car during rush hour. A strange time for all of us, but optimism and moving forward is the only viable option. (y)

It was great to see this race run safely, and I hope the sport of horse racing can make the sport safer and better for all the horses.
 

aftershocks

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Tiz the Law trainer, Barclay Tagg, 82, who trained 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Funny Cide (also a New York bred who came in third at that season's Belmont) said: "I'm just glad that I lived long enough that I got another horse like this." :)

Tagg also admitted he "wasn't sure if Tiz the Law would pull it off until the final 100 yards."

Per jockey, Manny Franco: "This means a lot to me. This is my home track... One leg of the Triple Crown is the dream of any jockey. I'm just happy with the opportunity I have right now."

An article on Dr Post who ran second in the Belmont:

Some racing observers had put their bets on Tap It to Win, but it looks like TITW over-exerted himself and had nothing left for the stretch run. Surely Charlatan and the now retired Nadal might have made the Belmont a more interesting challenge for Tiz the Law. Anything can happen over the next two-and-a-half months till the Kentucky Derby, scheduled for September 5, and the Preakness slated for October 3.

The latest from Bob Baffert is that Charlatan may make the Preakness, but not the KD. Authentic is scheduled to run in the Haskell at Monmouth Park in July:

ETA:
I noticed how Tiz the Law had his head turned toward the stands even as he was racing forward. I wonder why he does that? Someone joked on social media that Tiz the Law was looking and wondering why the stands were so empty. :p
 
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sk8pics

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ETA:
I noticed how Tiz the Law had his head turned toward the stands even as he was racing forward. I wonder why he does that? Someone joked on social media that Tiz the Law was looking and wondering why the stands were so empty. :p
It’s not that uncommon for a horse to run with his/her head turned one way or another. Curlin used to always have his head turned to the right, so looking at the stands too. Didn’t hurt him too much, LOL.
 

sk8pics

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The truly remarkable performance on Saturday was Gamine's victory in the Acorn Stakes. :wideeyes: Shades of Rachel Alexandra. And she might run in the Preakness too.
Yes, a 110 Beyer! Baffert said she’s running in the Oaks, after speculation that she would run in the Derby.

Tiz The Law did a great job, his Beyer was 100.

I am only hoping Gamine’s second drug test sample from a previous race does not come up positive. It was for lidocaine, I believe, and I wouldn’t expect lidocaine to make her able to run the way she did on Saturday, but I hate to see her record tarnished in any way.
 

aftershocks

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It’s not that uncommon for a horse to run with his/her head turned one way or another. Curlin used to always have his head turned to the right, so looking at the stands too. Didn’t hurt him too much, LOL.
That's pretty funny and interesting, especially when they are galloping forward at such high speeds. I suppose it shows that race horses have the capacity and intelligence to stay focused on the main goal even while not looking where they're headed. (Reminiscent of patting one's head while rubbing one's stomach at the same time). LOL! Certainly having the jockey aboard giving them guidance is an important key to a race horse's success. :D

Gamine's performance in the Acorn was amazing, as I mentioned in real time on Belmont Day!


Here's an interesting view of the Belmont race with announcer Larry Collins doing his thing in the booth. :)


A feature on Tiz the Law in January. He's come along well since then:
 
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aftershocks

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Queen Elizabeth's horse, Tactical (whom she personally bred), won the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. She was surely watching the race back at Windsor Castle, coincidentally. ;)

It's too bad no crowds and no usual royal parade could take place at Ascot this year. The Queen does know and love her horses and horse racing:


Another horse owned by Queen Elizabeth, First Receiver, placed second in a different race just missing out on a double win for the Queen on the day.


 

sk8pics

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Cool compilation. Besides the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Zenyatta had one other race that did not make this compilation, either win 17, 18, or 19, I forget which. But she won by a nose and it was amazing.

Good to see Mine That Bird’s Kentucky Derby win; I met him last October in New Mexico and he looked great and was pretty friendly. I scratched his back for him, LOL.

And sad to see Game On Dude fall short. Dude is one of the very sweetest horses I’ve ever met. You have to love a horse that answers to DUDE! He regularly gets smooches from fans and caretakers and I’ve kissed him on the nose myself.
 

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