Thoroughbred Racing 2023

skipaway

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Kentucky Oaks/Derby this weekend.
Three of the original 20 entrants have been scratched out of the field and the 3 alternates drew into the field. Now one of the alternates (Skinner) has scratched Making a field of 19 going to post.

My picks are the 2 Japanese entrants (Derma Sotogake and Mandarin Hero). I think the Japanese have really made an impact in racing and I wouldn’t be surprised with a good showing here. I also think Forte has an excellent chance, though he had a hard Florida Derby.

Found this on Paulick Report The Haiku Handicapper
 

sk8pics

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Just to clarify, the Derby is tomorrow and is the one with the scratches.

Fillies ran today in the Oaks, a good race.

Rich Strike, last year’s Derby winner, finished 5th in a field of 6 earlier in the day. I am so sad for him. He just doesn’t run well in spite of how they keep saying he looks good in the morning workouts. Wondering what they will try next. He’s lost now a couple of times at Churchill Downs, where he saw such good early results, including the derby win. Maybe he stopped progressing, maybe the others caught up, maybe he doesn’t feel like running anymore. I was hoping he ends up at stud in Kentucky so I could see him from time to time. Well, maybe he’ll be like California Chrome who came back strong as a 5-year-old. And yes, I know his 4-year-old year is young, but he just doesn’t look good.
 

sk8pics

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I heard about Forte and am so sad for his connections, but glad they are not taking any chances. It’s not totally clear to me if he hurt it on May 3 or if he was having some discomfort that led to the stumble. But good for the vet scratching him if he’s not 100%.

ETA: It’s sad when the favorite doesn’t get to run. But then, Flightline didn’t get to run in the Derby 2 years ago. I’m sure that would have been a sight to behold.

I also just heard a horse that ran today was injured and had to be euthanized, but I didn’t catch the name. :wuzrobbed
 
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Sarah

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Sad day for the sport with 2 horses euthanized. But, I’m happy to see horses scratch if they’re nqr.

I hope everyone comes home safe!
 

sk8pics

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There have been like 7 equine deaths in this past week or so. Not all as a result of injuries on the track at Churchill but still concerning. I agree, I’m glad the vets are scrutinizing the horses and disqualifying those who should not complete. Sad as I am about Forte, he did wince when the vet pushed on that one spot, and at least he’ll live to run another day.

Meanwhile, on a happier note, Go Cody’s Wish! I love hearing that story and was trying not to cry when they stopped by Cody and his family on their way to the paddock. That horse knew something was different about that kid, and it’s sweet the way he reacted. He certainly has done a lot for Cody and his family. And it was great to see him dominate today in his race.

On a similar note, we were told when I was last at Coolmore that they’d had a make-a-wish kid visit who wanted to see Pharoah. Kid was in a wheelchair and a bit shy about going right up to Pharoah. Someone wheeled him right up alongside, and Pharoah wrapped his neck around the kid. Very sweet.
 

Vagabond

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Tyler Gaffalione, Verifying's jockey, is being quoted as saying, "We might have just gone a little too fast." Ya think? An opening half mile in 45.73 seconds is not going to get the job done unless it's setting the pace for another horse.
 

Sarah

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Ok I’ll say it. So happy Two Phil’s didn’t pull off the win. I couldn’t stand the thought that the misuse of an apostrophe would be memorialized in Derby history forever. No, I’m not a big enough person to overlook it. Yes, I know Pharoah is misspelled. Somehow that bothers me less.

Good for Mage! Was he the best horse in the race? Maybe not. Was he helped out by the pace? Probably. But he ran a good race in the Florida Derby and ran a good race here and I’m THRILLED for his connections. And he was the best at the wire which is what counts! And I don’t think this will be his last win/time in the money though I can’t say he’ll win another TC race and that’s perfectly OK.
 

Vagabond

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I was at a beach picnic with my family on Belmont Day in 1973. My cousin and I went back to my father's car and listened on the radio. Our eyes widened as we heard the caller say, "Secretariat is blazing along" and give the sectional time of 1:09 4/5. And then, "Secretariat is moving like a tremendous machine," the immortal words of race calling.

"Secretariat by twelve! Secretariat by fifteen!"

Afterwards, my cousin and I walked back to the picnic in amazement.

 Not seeing the race until sometime after the fact made that afternoon special for me.
 
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Judy

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I was at a beach picnic with my fanily on Belmont Day in 1973. My cousin and I went back to my father's car and listened on the radio. Our eyes widened as we heard the caller say "Secretariat is blazing along" and give the sectional time of 1:09 4/5. And then, "Secretariat is moving like a tremendous machine," the immortal words of race calling.

"Secretariat by twelve! Secretariat by fifteen!"

Afterwards, my cousin and I walked back to the picnic in amazement.

 Not seeing the race until sometime after the fact made that afternoon special for me.
All 3 races I think it turned out to be 31 lengths. He just going faster, faster and faster. His record has never been beaten.

 

sk8pics

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All 3 races I think it turned out to be 31 lengths. He just going faster, faster and faster. His record has never been beaten.

No. The Belmont by itself had a margin of 31 lengths. The Derby and the Preakness were both by about 2 1/2 lengths.

Only in the Derby was he still accelerating at the end of the race, running each quarter mile faster than the preceding one. In the Belmont his speed varied but he was running a steady beat of 12 or so seconds for each furlong, plus or minus depending on the stage of the race. The Belmont is the most amazing athletic performance I have ever seen.

All 3 records still stand. You could imagine the Derby or Preakness being broken some day, though it's unlikely. But no way is any other thoroughbred going to beat his Belmont time, which broke the previous record by more than 2 seconds. Crazy.
 

Judy

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No. The Belmont by itself had a margin of 31 lengths. The Derby and the Preakness were both by about 2 1/2 lengths.

Only in the Derby was he still accelerating at the end of the race, running each quarter mile faster than the preceding one. In the Belmont his speed varied but he was running a steady beat of 12 or so seconds for each furlong, plus or minus depending on the stage of the race. The Belmont is the most amazing athletic performance I have ever seen.

All 3 records still stand. You could imagine the Derby or Preakness being broken some day, though it's unlikely. But no way is any other thoroughbred going to beat his Belmont time, which broke the previous record by more than 2 seconds. Crazy.
Yes I meant the Belmont 31 lengths.. I didn’t remember the speed times exactly.

It is an incredibly dangerous sport both for jockeys and the horses. Ron Turcotte was paralyzed on a different horse after Secretariat. I believe he still lives in Nova Scotia and isn’t bitter or anything. It was always a big risk that jockeys are aware of.

Heartbreaking when you lose the horse 😔.
 
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sk8pics

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Seven horses in a week makes me weep. Such magnificent animals, what went wrong?
Yes, it is sad and tragic. I am sure there will be investigations. Not all died on the track; I believe two died from medical events. Two died on the track on Derby day, a couple died on Oaks day. I could tell you sad stories, but I won’t. I remember my very first day volunteering with CANTER we saw a cute 2-year-old filly who’d broken her ankle in a workout. It was not displaced and she was in her stall, waiting for the vet to come, but you could tell she was not comfortable. I don’t know what happened to her, but I don’t think she was at risk of being put down, but who knows if she could run again and if not, if she found another home.

The track in California that had a higher than expected fatality rate did a lot of work to improve the track, and it seemed to work. I’m sure Churchill will look at it too.

The other thing is that thoroughbreds are such fragile animals, it’s mind boggling. They find ways to hurt themselves, and they die on tracks, in their stalls, and in their paddocks. Zenyatta’s beautiful filly Z’Princess died from a paddock accident as a weanling; I really cried over her. She and her buddies were playing, and one crashed into her and broke her back. One of my favorite Old Friends retirees, Marquetry, fatally injured himself in his stall. This doesn’t make it easier, knowing how fragile they are and how they can get hurt. And it doesn’t absolve trainers and owners from taking care of their horses the best way they can; it’s really unacceptable that Pletcher, Forte’s trainer, seemed to say he didn’t think Forte should have been scratched from the Derby. No, your horse is not 100% you don’t get to run him. There is another horse at OF who has basically no cartilage in his ankles because his owner ran him SO MUCH. And he tried. That said, he seems to be doing well and is happy and cute and sweet.

Sigh. And then there are those moments that live in the memory forever… like Secretariat’s Belmont or Pharoah‘s Belmont and Classic or Flightline’s Pacific Cup (where he looked like Secretariat reincarnated). The sight of a thoroughbred running a hole in the wind…. unfailingly beautiful and awe-inspiring.
 

sk8pics

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I was alive but not yet sentient. But I loooooove watching Secretariat's TC. I watched it yesterday. I might go watch it again right now.
If you love his Belmont, go watch Flightline’s Pacific cup (I think that’s the name of the race). It was his penultimate race and he looked for all the world like he was channeling Secretariat.
 

Cachoo

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I was a tween when he ran....it's like the jockey was an afterthought. Secretariat just decided to GO....amazing horse.
 

sk8pics

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I was a tween when he ran....it's like the jockey was an afterthought. Secretariat just decided to GO....amazing horse.
Especially in the Preakness, where he decided to run all on his own around the first turn. Pimlico’s turns are kind of tight and so it was not at all what anyone would have expected. But Secretariat was a lefty, he liked to lead with his left, and that’s the lead he would be on around turns. Still it was crazy.

Derby he also decided how to run for most of the race. Belmont, I think he felt so good he just took off from the very beginning —very unusual for him— and it was game over right then. I remember reading in Bill Nack’s book that it was like Secretariat was on coils that day, the energy bursting out of him. BTW, I met Bill Nack in the airport in Louisville once, and we had a nice chat.
 

sk8pics

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NYT had an interesting article today about thoroughbred racing vs. breeding. It focused heavily on Flightline. I was surprised the article said he's only being bred twice a day; it's more common to breed 3 times or occasionally, with young in-demand stallions, even 4 times a day.

The part that had me :lol: was when it talked about how when he was racing, they had to take him for workouts at 3 am because about at that time he would try to break down his stall door to get out and run. They had to put heavy padding. So when he went to Lanes End farm, they put the same heavy padding. It's untouched. Why? Because he LOVES his new job apparently; the first month or so, he did not want to leave the breeding shed after the deed was done, apparently hoping for more:grope:.:rofl: I suspect it's also because he is out overnight running around to his heart's content.
 

skipaway

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Preakness Day at Pimlico and a tragic breakdown of Baffert’s horse Havnameltdown in the Chick Lang Stakes. He was euthanized for a severe ankle fracture. Luis Saez ambulanced off to local hospital. 😥
 

sk8pics

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Did you see the race @skipaway? I turned the broadcast on about an hour before the Preakness. So sad. Baffert seemed quite upset about it, as he should be. I always feel especially sad for the groom when a horse does not come back.

I was sad for Mage not winning, but I suppose I didn’t really expect him to. The fact that he really needs a strong pace to close into is somewhat of a weakness, but he’s still inexperienced so maybe he’ll develop more versatility.
 

VALuvsMKwan

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Preakness Day at Pimlico and a tragic breakdown of Baffert’s horse Havnameltdown in the Chick Lang Stakes. He was euthanized for a severe ankle fracture. Luis Saez ambulanced off to local hospital. 😥
I can't in good conscience follow this "sport" and its pattern of animal abuse, intentional or not, any longer.
 

skipaway

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Did you see the race @skipaway? I turned the broadcast on about an hour before the Preakness. So sad. Baffert seemed quite upset about it, as he should be. I always feel especially sad for the groom when a horse does not come back.

I was sad for Mage not winning, but I suppose I didn’t really expect him to. The fact that he really needs a strong pace to close into is somewhat of a weakness, but he’s still inexperienced so maybe he’ll develop more versatility.
Yes, I watched the race. He got bumped hard two places during the early part of the race. I can’t believe that was at all good for him. It was incredibly sad for all. I haven’t heard any updates on Luis Saez. He was taken to a local hospital.
 

Sarah

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I’m really struggling with the breakdowns in recent years and suspect a lot of it is breeding and build. “Older” thoroughbreds used to be much thicker boned while thoroughbreds of recent years (last decade or 2) are much lighter. This has to play a roll, right? Add in the lines that are prone to breakdowns/injuries to the more delicate thoroughbred to overbreeding certain lines and we’re exacerbating the problem.

The difference in bone in my late horse Subliminal to my Nay Nay is insane. Subi was very thick boned. Very reminiscent of the old school thoroughbred. Nay is tiny, but also delicate. He had track injuries, but he’s small boned (he fits in pony sized boots due to how small and narrow his legs are). You can’t tell me this doesn’t play a role…

Just some musings. The Preakness had no pace and set up perfectly for the winner (no more comments as I won’t talk about Baffert). Happy for Johnny V though. Blazing Sevens fought hard too. Mage needed more pace to have a shot or he needed to be closer. But, he actually broke well for him.
 

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