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View Full Version : Quality Road's major tantrum--no more--- he wins the DONN!



WinterTriangle
Nov. 10, 2009, 03:33 AM
I wanted to get ya'lls opinion on this spectacle.

QR, according to the vet, has had gate issues before.

The meltdown before the Classic seemed of somewhat epic proportions, at least to me. I thought he'd have overcome this with proper gate schooling?

Apparently, the plan still stands to run him in cigar mile.

Most of the trainers I admire, say things after races, where their horse lost, like "Im gonna give my horse a rest, then enter them in some easy races to build their confidence."

And their horses did not have a meltdown, get scraped up in the gate, etc. !!


I also have tapes of QRs post parade in the Florida Derby, and seeing him yesterday.......well.......he didn't look right. Drab.

I'm not a horse whisperer, but maybe he's trying to say something? And nobody listening?

something about him is bothering me, I need to sort it out.

Or do you think it was just the big crowds? Certainly, another thing he needs to be schooled in?

I just feel we are looking at a horse who was a true "champion-in-the-making", who now can't even walk into a gate to race.:confused:

My premise is that, most horses react to being forced to doing things that are uncomfortable for them. If Quality Road is uncomfortable, he has a reason to be uncomfortable....he perceives the event (racing) as threatening or a combination things?

VirginiaBred
Nov. 10, 2009, 08:14 AM
Apparently he threw a huge fit boarding the plane as well.

Barnfairy
Nov. 10, 2009, 08:16 AM
On the other hand, QR just learned that pitching a massive fit gets him out of doing something he doesn't want to do...

I see your point WinterTriangle. Do horses sometimes object to doing things because they hurt? Absolutely. Do some horses object to doing things because they are pigheaded and just don't wanna? Yup.


Are you suggesting QR had a pre-existing condition to make him act that way? His connections are in the best position to judge why this horse behaves as he does. Chances are that pre-existing condition was his stones. I don't know the extent of injuries he incurred from his tantrum --sounds like they were only superficial-- but it doesn't sound like rest is in order here (he hasn't had exactly the most rigororous of campaigns of late -- and he certainly appeared to be able to use his hind end just fine! ;) ) More gate schooling might be in order though. And if he were a regular old TB and not QR, a little snip snip might help too.

Laurierace
Nov. 10, 2009, 09:03 AM
If he was mine I would bring him to my training center and he would eat his meals in the starting gate. I would hang a small feed tub and haynet and leave him there to watch the world go by.

Mara
Nov. 10, 2009, 09:24 AM
On the other hand, QR just learned that pitching a massive fit gets him out of doing something he doesn't want to do...


This. It's not something that can be un-learned in a couple of morning sessions either. They had no choice under the circumstances, of course.

danceronice
Nov. 10, 2009, 09:53 AM
This. It's not something that can be un-learned in a couple of morning sessions either. They had no choice under the circumstances, of course.

Me, three. I had a horse (OTTB, actually), who thanks to piss-poor handling by our h/j trainer, learned this about loading on a trailer--if he threw a massive enough tantrum, he didn't have to do what he didn't want to. But at least in that situation, I can take two hours to put him on a trailer. The AS doesn't have that kind of time with 12 other horses in the gate.

I agree with Laurie--if he were mine he'd be practically living in that gate until his next race, and if I were doing it he'd never know if this were going to be load/eat/hang out, load/back out, load/open front gates/walk out, load/break, load by being backed in from the front, load with a buddy, load alone...not until the day that he loaded when asked with a minimum of fuss.

VirginiaBred
Nov. 10, 2009, 09:05 PM
Apparently he threw a huge fit boarding the plane as well.

Here is the link to that story.

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/53390/traumatized-quality-road-will-van-home

Lauruffian
Nov. 10, 2009, 09:16 PM
I was surprised in reading the article that the farm manager placed partial blame on the gate handlers:

“Initially, the gate crew handled things what I perceived to be very properly, patting him on the head and neck and reassuring him. He already was agitated and hesitant and they tried to do things in a calm way. Then they went right away to the harsh stuff, like the blindfold. It went from not loading to dangerous pretty quickly. The one thing I feel good about is that his behavior didn’t cost anyone else a chance to run a fair race.”

I've been watching horse racing for 25 years, and have seen many an anxious horse be blindfolded and marched right in. I have never, ever seen a horse lose their sh!t in a major stakes event the way this one did. Heck, I've rarely seen anything like this in the smaller races, either. But in a grade 1?? This grade 1? Um...no.

I came here wanting to see what other more experienced horse people thought. I did not blame the crew at all; they were under pressure to load the horse, and they were taking a lot of time as it was. At this level, the expectation is your horse will freakin' load. Hesitate (like Zenyatta)? Okay, sure. Completely come unglued? Um...no.

My limited understanding has given me what is most likely an uninformed opinion/judgement: I lay blame squarely on the trainer. Not the gate crew, not the horse, but the trainer. Not that I don't have sympathy for Todd Pletcher--good heavens, that must have been heart wrenching to watch for him--but it just gave me the impression the horse is not sufficiently gate broke.

I want to clarify: I am admitting an uninformed judgment. I feel I must be missing something, and am here seeking insight. By no means do I think my belief is Absolutely Right--it's just an initial reaction.

That said, Baker has this to say about Quality Road's training:


“Todd did a lot of gate schooling with him, and he’s always good in the mornings. He’s had him to the gate three or four times between the Jockey Club Gold Cup and this race, and the horse is an angel in the morning, You can’t get him to do anything wrong. They tried to get him wound up, bringing in multiple horses and spinning him in circles, anything they can to aggravate him. He’d hesitate and then walk right in. The afternoon is a different story.

Weird, overall. And sad for the horse--the problem is now likely 10x worse than it was before.

Any word on whether this horse gets sanctioned/banned until he shows he will load without incident? I was expecting it, though I don't know what the guidelines are that determine that.

FatPalomino
Nov. 10, 2009, 09:35 PM
I'm good friend with Chris Baker's wife.

I haven't gotten in touch with her since the Classic. I know they have been busy.

All I can say is, I highly recommend they see a veterinary behaviorist. Obviously the "normal" training isn't going so well for QR. He needs to go to the pony shrink (not to be confused with the pony whisperer). I've been told there is a very good one at UC Davis. It's time to up the anty.

CiegoStar
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:08 PM
I am not a racehorse trainer, but I think a horse that throws fits about loading onto a trailer is a similar challenge. I tend to agree with the trainer's comments about the gate loading staff. I was shocked to see the staff first kicking dirt and then popping a whip behind Quality Road to try to get him to go in. The blindfold may have worked, but the handler leading the horse actually walked him in at an sudden angle (from what I could see from the video) and I think the horse's side banged the corner of the gate, which is what set off his panic.

I certainly respect the gate handlers for what is no doubt a dangerous job, and thank God the horse didn't get loose with the blindfold on. But I definitely saw some questionable behavior. I guess it works for most horses - just didn't work at all in this case.

Laurierace
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:12 PM
Horses that don't want to load in the trailer generally don't want to load in the trailer. Horses that don't want to load in the gate don't want to race. You need to make racing and training a reasonably pleasant experience ie get them sound AND take them to the gate repeatedly to fix the problem.

haligator
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:13 PM
Hi All,
I haven't spoken with Diana Baker (she's a dear friend) since what happened Saturday, so I won't even wade into these waters as I don't feel it is appropriate. I do want to say that the whole Quality Road team cares passionately about this horse and you can be darn sure he'll get anything he needs to reverse this behavior.

It isn't like this has never happened before. Quite honestly, there have been a number of grand stakes horses through the years who have been a tad nuts in the starting gate. The horse who comes immediately to mind is Display (sire of the also brilliant Discovery).

If anyone wants, I'll share his race record and history with you. Just post that you are interested and I'll trot out a few quotes about him. To say that starting crews were relieved when he was retired is the ultimate understatement. From my research, I believe he was far, far worse than QR was on Saturday.

Hallie I. McEvoy
Racing Dreams, LLC

red squirrel ridge
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:24 PM
The video is now on you tube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD8NPSb01fY
:eek:

FatDinah
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:28 PM
I remember one of the great mares, either Paseana or Bayakoa, being loaded for the BC Distaff, and she was not happy and was kicing out with one hind at the crew.
I remember thinking: Wow, she is going to nail somebody.
After a moment, the crew backed off and one handler stayed at her head and the jock just tapped her on the butt and she walked right in.
All to say that it is hard to generalize what is the right and wrong thing to do at the gate.

FatPalomino
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:41 PM
I was shocked to see the staff first kicking dirt and then popping a whip behind Quality Road to try to get him to go in. The blindfold may have worked, but the handler leading the horse actually walked him in at an sudden angle

I thought this too. My first reaction was why they couldn't pull that blindfold off sooner. The blindfold was tied. They couldn't get it off. I think we all held our breathe until they could get it off. I was sure the last fellow holding on was going to loose QR and there would be a catastrophe.

I've blindfolded horses loading, and surely never tied a tight note I couldn't rip off. I'd rather reapply the blindfold than not be able to get it off. But, I'm no professional horsewoman.

My last thought on this:
I know from personal experience that the folks in charge of Santa Anita are, how can I put it, not half as responsible or devoted as QR's team. I think that's the politically correct way to say that.

Lots of good jingles to get QR and his team home safe and sound.

ThisTooShallPass
Nov. 10, 2009, 10:57 PM
The video is now on you tube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD8NPSb01fY
:eek:


Wow, just wow. What a temper tantrum. :no:

CiegoStar
Nov. 10, 2009, 11:00 PM
I was amazed at how dangerous it was for the handlers to wrap their arms around the haunches of a double-barrel kicking horse like that. How about getting them a strip of canvas with handles at each end to put around the horse's haunches?

Mara
Nov. 10, 2009, 11:21 PM
I'm just glad he had his "moment" BEFORE getting on the plane rather than in the air. That might not have ended well for him.

WinterTriangle
Nov. 11, 2009, 12:37 AM
ah. never thought about his stones.
well, since Zensational has already been retired as of today (3 years old 8-5-1-0) they are worth too much in the breeding shed which was the reason given for Zensational going bye bye (I was FLOORED by this news).


Are you suggesting QR had a pre-existing condition to make him act that way?

No pre existing condiiton, but more like his gate behavior being cumulative in affect.

Laurierace:
I was reading in bloodhorse right after his Travers:
"Before anyone gets down on Quality Road, he took all the worst of it in the Travers, having only one 6 1/2-furlong race in five months, stretching out to 1 1/4 miles, acting up in the gate, and breaking a step slowly and getting bounced around like a three-cushion billiard shot at the start. He was then forced to race bottled up for most of the way, getting mud kicked in his face, and when he finally found some running room he did kick into gear after changing leads late, moving into second at the eighth pole. But it was too much to ask of him under the circumstances....."

Sounds pretty bad go of it! He's not an old warrior and although 3, he didn't race most of the year, inexperienced. Maybe he really didn't want to race?


The Cigar Mile is only 18-19 days from today. :eek: I just think that this horse has tons of potential and some turning-around time is in order. JMHO

thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. :)

Equilibrium
Nov. 11, 2009, 01:05 AM
I agree with Laurie and that's a throw back to old school horseman. I know a few people that have done just that -leave them in the gate with food hay and water. Of course in this day and age trainer would be attacked for being inhumane.

Quite frankly, I don't think he has anything physically wrong. He has just figured out how not to do something. He refused to go on the plane too. And I'm guessing that had to be very scary for all involved, especially if this was all taking place on the ramp up to the plane.

Anyway, a cross country van ride shall not be pleasant for the horse.

Wonder what kind of gelding QR would make? Yes, he's too valuable, but brain surgery would go an awful long way to sort these problems.

Terri

VirginiaBred
Nov. 11, 2009, 07:47 AM
I'm just glad he had his "moment" BEFORE getting on the plane rather than in the air. That might not have ended well for him.

He never got on the plane.

ASB Stars
Nov. 11, 2009, 08:44 AM
Apparently, it is much more complicated than that:

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/53390/traumatized-quality-road-will-van-home

The horse loads in morning-but NOT in the afternoon. I think that it is wonderful that they are trying to be so kind and proactive about his issues. I also agree completely with the comment in the article, about the blindfold- that absolutely had potential for disaster all over it.

Mara
Nov. 11, 2009, 09:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mara
I'm just glad he had his "moment" BEFORE getting on the plane rather than in the air. That might not have ended well for him.



He never got on the plane.


Right, I knew that but my post doesn't make that clear. At least there was good judgment used in not forcing him to load.

He's quite banged up now, apparently, with a big laceration over one eye and a hematoma on a leg. Couple that with the upcoming cross-country van ride and no way is he starting in the Cigar Mile. He'll be put away for the winter, allowed to mature mentally. Maybe we'll see a different QR next year.

How do those of you who work in racing feel about the practice of "earing"???

Sing Mia Song
Nov. 11, 2009, 09:50 AM
I dunno, I think it's very easy to look back and say that they never should have blindfolded him, or that they should have been able to get the blindfold off sooner. Like Laurie, I've seen many a horse go "oh, OKAY, fine" once the blindfold goes on. And once the horse came out of the front of the gate, he was spinning so fast that the handler was just trying to hold on--getting the blindfold off was a secondary priority to making sure he didn't get loose.

I give the gatemen props for doing a very dangerous job, day in and day out, and under immense pressure to boot. I think they did the best with what they had at the time, which was a very upset and unnerved horse.

Because the horse does fine in the mornings, it's going to be very hard to recreate the situation that sets him off. If he were mine (which, of course, he isn't) I'd hang it up and send him to the breeding shed.

NancyM
Nov. 11, 2009, 10:04 AM
Some horses respond well to earing, some do not. It seemed that this one did start to walk forward towards loading when the gate crew had his ear, then refused again.

I do not blame ANYONE for how this horse behaved. It is the horse who did it, not a lack of trying or training from any human involved. It must have been devastating for his owners/trainer/staff for him to do that. I think that gelding may help, they just have to decide if they want a racehorse, or a sire prospect. He did not appear to be afraid, he appeared to be angry.

There are some who simply can't be sorted out about loading into the starting gate. It is something that they MUST agree to do, and they must agree to do it under racing situations not just in training, and they must agree to load fairly quickly, if they are to race successfully. And you can't force them to accept and agree to this, because they always have the option to do exactly what this horse did... rebel and refuse and throw a wreck. And in doing so, they get what they want... to go back to the barn without racing. I hope that someone can get into this horse's head and change his mind about what he does and does not want to do.

I was surprised that they got the buggy whip out with him, it's been a while since I've seen a gate crew do that. It used to be the automatic go-to tool for this sort of thing, but no more around here. Again, it works well with some horses, not with others. And presumabley this gate crew had some idea what they thought might work with this horse from working with him in training in the morning. Years ago, when I had a stake horse running locally, a gate crew did take a buggy whip to him once, which I felt was odd considering what he had done (simply turned away and walked in a different direction from loading, pulling the lead strap from the hand of the crewman- no kicking, rearing or leaping around). With the crewman paying more attention with the next attempt, he walked right in but was buggy whipped anyways. He broke as sharply (or perhaps more so) than he did normally, and won the race.

frugalannie
Nov. 11, 2009, 10:06 AM
I'm old and my brain is mushy, but I seem to remember that horses used to be blindfolded by tucking a handtowel under the cheekpieces of the bridle. That way it could be snatched off quickly and easily and if, God forbid, the horse got away, it would come loose on it's own. Nonetheless, I was always told that this was a last-ditch, emergency tool to use, as the risk of injury to the horse was so great.

FWIW, my take originally and after seeing the Youtube clip was that QR started to double barrel and rear almost as soon as he was asked to go to the gate. He made clear that he wasn't going to co-operate,and I'm just thankful that no one was badly injured.

5
Nov. 11, 2009, 11:47 AM
I heard a snippet from a clip that he was a large horse and the starting gates are made for 15-16hh horses.

Perhaps they could make every fourth gate ajusable to warmblood size?

Zenyatta doesn't like the gates much either and she is very large for a racehorse.

FatDinah
Nov. 11, 2009, 01:26 PM
Yes, I saw that too that QR is about 17 hands and very long and so the gate is very tight on him.
That was also an issue with Rock Hard Ten, another ginormous horse. I remember his jockey Gary Stevens saying the horse did not like the gate and was uncomfortable so they tried to load him last to shorten the time he was in there.

I do not think the horse has reasoned he can get out of racing, they don't think like that. For whatever reason, he is afraid of going in the gate for races and obviously this experience will just heighten that.

Plus, what jockey is going to risk going into the gate with him now? Or his jockey will surely be apprehensive and QR will sense that.

This is simply an awful situation for QR's connections and my sympathies are with them.

Rubyfree
Nov. 11, 2009, 02:25 PM
I'm also sort of surprised that the owners are unhappy with how he was handled- I thought the gate crew did OK. Maybe not how you or I would have handled it, but racing is a different animal then, say, hauling issues for a pleasure horse, as has been stated.

I was very, very impressed with the guys who hung onto him as he was flailing in the gate and after he came out. Thank god for that small blessing.

Hope he works through his issues and comes back next year a different animal. He's a very nice horse and has had such rotten luck- I'm looking forward to seeing him run to his potential.

WinterTriangle
Nov. 11, 2009, 02:51 PM
My entire reason for bring up the topic was knowing that QR had a bad time in the Travers, then had a melt-down in the gate for BC.


IN the back of my mind, all this was against the backdrop that they had plans to reel him back for the Cigar Mile, which I believed was a huge mistake.

Now that he's banged himself up further (emotionally and otherwise) with the plane incident, it's become a foregone conclusion for me.

I had no complaints about gate crew, etc.

Like everyone else, I *do* have my preferences for trainers and conditioners, some have infinite patience and smaller barns, and I guess I can indulge those opinions when I buy a racehorse and hire one. :)

Hope QR gets some time off, works with a behavioralist, and comes back in 2010 to be the champion he has shown the potential to be. :)

Horseforthecourse
Nov. 11, 2009, 03:00 PM
QR worked horribly all week. He was so lame at the jog that his head was bobbing. I was praying that they would scratch him. He has always been bad at the gate, but he wasn't going in the gate that day for a reason...thank God. I can't believe that they were even running him. I've lost what little respect that I had for Pletcher after QR. I'm not saying that he definitely would have broke down, but I'm glad that I didn't have to find out.

Let's just say that I'm in the camp that believes that QR never should have left Jerkins barn. Ever since Pletcher had that positive, his numbers have been down anyway.

danceronice
Nov. 11, 2009, 04:24 PM
Quite frankly, I don't think he has anything physically wrong. He has just figured out how not to do something. He refused to go on the plane too. And I'm guessing that had to be very scary for all involved, especially if this was all taking place on the ramp up to the plane.

Anyway, a cross country van ride shall not be pleasant for the horse.

Wonder what kind of gelding QR would make? Yes, he's too valuable, but brain surgery would go an awful long way to sort these problems.

Terri

Yep, yep, agree with all of this, and talking about it on another board I looked up his pedigree--he's another one with serious Raise A Native inbreeding. I don't see anything on there rare or notably known for soundness, meaning if he keeps up the Epic Hissy Fits, I think he's got two body parts too many and that might go a ways to getting his head on straight.

mroades
Nov. 11, 2009, 05:00 PM
QR worked horribly all week. He was so lame at the jog that his head was bobbing. I was praying that they would scratch him. He has always been bad at the gate, but he wasn't going in the gate that day for a reason...thank God. I can't believe that they were even running him. I've lost what little respect that I had for Pletcher after QR. I'm not saying that he definitely would have broke down, but I'm glad that I didn't have to find out.


Let's just say that I'm in the camp that believes that QR never should have left Jerkins barn. Ever since Pletcher had that positive, his numbers have been down anyway.


I am so glad I am not the only one that saw that...that thing was limping all week! Even the guys on TVG or HRTV (cant remember which one I was watching) said the horse looked like crap. He was LAME

LaBonnieBon
Nov. 11, 2009, 06:12 PM
Any word on whether this horse gets sanctioned/banned until he shows he will load without incident? I was expecting it, though I don't know what the guidelines are that determine that.

Wow, I think this is a bit harsh.

In hunter/jumper land this would mean that if my horse refused a jump or threw me into a jump while in a class, she'd be banned until I could prove she could jump without a problem??!!

I think everyone knows there is a lot of "armchair quarterbacking" going on as people continue to speculate about what really happened and what the horse has really been going through.

foundationmare
Nov. 11, 2009, 06:46 PM
I am of the opinion that a horse that behaves in that fashion, demonstrated many times over, is indicating that it's not happy about something that is being demanded of it. Yes, QR may be a spoiled brat. If a TB doesn't want to run....and he has given ample evidence that he doesn't....they are going to communicate that in the only way they can.

TBs are as diverse and unique as humans are. One of my favorite racers was a true warrior, had bad wheels and would be down in his stall for a couple days after each race. However, when he broke from the gate, he was on the lead and tried his damndest to win every single race he was entered in. He had problems, for sure, but was doing the best job he could, even if it meant he was going to pay the ultimate price.

Others I've worked with will pitch a fit going to the paddock, in the paddock, in the gate. They're not necessarily brats: they know it will hurt to run and they don't want to die. Too many times, nobody listened and the price they paid was death.

I'm not suggesting that I have any information about QR or can surmise about his situation, but he's not a happy horse. Happy horses who like their jobs want to run. I have a great deal of respect for Todd and Johnny and Angel, but there is something that QR is trying to convey.

Lauruffian
Nov. 11, 2009, 06:47 PM
LaBonnieBon, I appreciate your perspective--and, well, that's why I was asking. I don't know what the guidelines are, but my understanding is this horse has a history of gate trouble, and it seems to have climaxed with the tantrum in the BC Classic gate. I've never seen a horse lose it quite like that, so my admittedly limited understanding made me assume there would be some sort of official consequence. In my post, I specifically said I am admittedly uninformed, but I still had formed opinions--but I also want to be educated and corrected if I'm missing something.

This entire incident aside, I'm curious what the actual rules are for when a horse gets--I think this is the term--their "gate card pulled."

Does it vary from state to state? Track to track? Is an offending horse, in essence, banned for a period until they demonstrate to some overseeing power that they will load into the gate? What behaviors necessitate discipline, and what are the varying degrees of discpline?

Calamber
Nov. 11, 2009, 07:38 PM
I do not mean to start a hysterical, out in the stratosphere reaction but here is my take on this situation. Any horse who loads dangerously is a menace to himself, the handlers, the jockeys, the other horses and potentially any number of people in and around the track. This is not comparable to a horse refusing a jump. This is the most dangerous situation anyone can get into with a horse, imho. They are trained to the nines, fit as a fiddle (one hopes) and ready to leap into a fray of running horses at the clang of the bell. Only to be compared I suppose, to a bucking bronc coming out of the chute.

Okay, first thing is that I do not sanction the use of earing horses, ever, never. If the horse is having difficulty loading, it needs to be reschooled, period. Tonging makes me crazy and if I owned a horse that would not load (I know this may sound like armchair criticism but I will take the risk), and, if someone decided they had the right to tong my horse they better have a good set of eardrums in their head, better they had ear protection that the jet ground crews use. I groomed a big hearted mare named Alot of Mary, she did not load once because her tongue tie was too tight (not my fault, thank the trainer who just had to adjust it), she flipped her head in the gate, bashed the hell out of her mouth and of course did not run. She always loaded and started beautifully prior, so what should that tell someone?

That all being said, horses will balk, I have no problem with pushing them in the gate but applied whips, tongs, blindfolds, just plain crazy to me and shows how much we will tolerate in the name of the so-called game to push the horses in that manner.

Say what you will about Monty Roberts (and horse whispering it is not), he fashioned a blanket to protect the hips of some claustrophobic horses and saved at least one who had been labeled a rogue and banned from the tracks in Europe. I am sure many more were helped. Why are these not allowed or considered on US tracks?

As far as a horse that gets to the level of competition of Quality Road with that kind of ill behavior, and then they were "thinking" of running him if he had not been injured? What? I recall watching the Preakness with Barbaro with great dread. He was nervous and washing out in the post parade, he BROKE THROUGH THE GATE, in a Grade I race. Nearly completely unheard of and we all know how that ended. And all people can talk about is Gretchen Jackson's "the price for love", nonsense and how wonderful they were to spend so much to save the horse. Perhaps they should have said something about running the horse when he was saying prior to the start, "PLEASE DON"T". They have also repeated the same breeding 4 Times, maybe they might get some nice turf horses out of it but I digress.

In short, we can do better schooling, there can be better ideas about how to get a horse through it's fear at the gate, but it is just poor horsemanship, and judgement to just shove them in and damn the torpedoes.

It amazes me that things that I have seen tolerated in the gates at some of the graded races would have the horse sent back to the proverbial starting gate (school) at Charles Town! Now that's a laugh!

judybigredpony
Nov. 11, 2009, 08:17 PM
Scared, stupid, smart, afraid of pain and for me...I have had a few who were bonified clausterphobic. They were fine until confined and flat out paniced.........

Kenike
Nov. 12, 2009, 12:23 AM
I don't think you can compare this to Barbaro's situation. Many horses that are usually behaved in the parade and gate sometimes get silly and break through. The results are fine. Barbaro's case was obvious nerves, but he could easily have picked it up from one of his ground people. A lot was expected of that horse from an entire nation.

This situation? My own take was the horse was more than definitely saying he doesn't want to run. If he was noticeably lame, then shame on all of his people, the vet, and the stewards for allowing him to continue. Yes, he was angry, but when that blindfold went on, he went scared. Visibly scared. You can see it before he screams through the gate and starts flailing about.

Valuable as he may be, it's time for a new career. As it is, I have my doubts that the van loading will go well. History of bad behavior, or not, I feel for the horse right now.

kcmel
Nov. 12, 2009, 09:42 AM
Say what you will about Monty Roberts (and horse whispering it is not), he fashioned a blanket to protect the hips of some claustrophobic horses and saved at least one who had been labeled a rogue and banned from the tracks in Europe. I am sure many more were helped. Why are these not allowed or considered on US tracks?


They are, or at least they were as of a few years ago. There was a mare that Monty Roberts had worked with that used one of these (a turf mare, I think, but I can't remember her name). And I've seen them used a few other times as well.

RedEqHunter
Nov. 12, 2009, 09:56 AM
I was glad they scratched Quality Road. I think any horse that comes through/breaks through the front should be scratched.

Yes, his gate issues were bad to begin with - but just like getting into the scary cave of a trailer, loading into the gate is against their nature. Most horses are schooled in the morning to work out any issues. I know here in NY according to NYRA guidelines any that "misbehave" on race day must school and reschool with the gate crew in the morning until they prove they are well behaved in the gate.

As far as going back to the farm and getting his breakfast at the gate, well, Quality Road is trained by Todd Pletcher. Pletcher trains hundreds of horses. There's no way this animal will get that kind of individualized attention unless his owners make that decision for him.

Blacklabs
Nov. 13, 2009, 08:15 AM
any news on how he did yesterday loading in the van?

KnKShowmom
Nov. 13, 2009, 09:50 AM
They are, or at least they were as of a few years ago. There was a mare that Monty Roberts had worked with that used one of these (a turf mare, I think, but I can't remember her name). And I've seen them used a few other times as well.

I remember that - it was a European turf horse, I want to say her name began with "L".... Her owners had just about given up on her since she was such a terror in the gate.

I thought it was a great rig, kind of a new zealand weight quarter sheet that stayed in the gate when they broke. They said she liked it because she couldn't feel the gate on her sides.

InWhyCee Redux
Nov. 13, 2009, 12:00 PM
Monty Roberts worked with Lomitas, a German colt, for a month.... poor QR needs at least that much time, IMHO.

Yes, feeding a horse out of the gate (or the trailer) can work — but, again, in my experience it can takes weeks or months.

Alagirl
Nov. 13, 2009, 12:13 PM
Monty Roberts worked with Lomitas, a German colt, for a month.... poor QR needs at least that much time, IMHO.

Yes, feeding a horse out of the gate (or the trailer) can work — but, again, in my experience it can takes weeks or months.



LOL, I was thinking the same thing.

Maybe put the binky on him in the gate....:cool:

FatPalomino
Nov. 13, 2009, 03:24 PM
They are, or at least they were as of a few years ago. There was a mare that Monty Roberts had worked with that used one of these (a turf mare, I think, but I can't remember her name). And I've seen them used a few other times as well.

I saw one of the horses Monty put on his TB and videos as the worst loader ever. Monty got him loaded.

Afterwards, I saw him at a lay up barn with a fracture.

After I met Monty in person, I was not impressed.

kookicat
Nov. 13, 2009, 03:42 PM
I've not read all of the replies yet, but I have watched the video. Why on earth didn't they just give him a moment to settle instead of fussing at him like that?

Alagirl
Nov. 13, 2009, 06:05 PM
I saw one of the horses Monty put on his TB and videos as the worst loader ever. Monty got him loaded.

Afterwards, I saw him at a lay up barn with a fracture.

After I met Monty in person, I was not impressed.


LOL, maybe without the hype the meeting would be different. I read the book and found it interesting and a few questions were answered (as in you can't fix every horse) but not ground breaking. The Lomitas story I remembered vaguely as 'they brought in that American guy' to get him to load.

I suppose the atmosphere is so charged, some horses don't settle down. And even with my very limited experience in terms of gate problems, there is no telling what sets them off.

i heard one owner blame the crisp new paint job (white vs green), my own paniked at one start, leaving his rider hanging in the gate busting out the front, and my Cousin's super star horse having a romp around the track resulting in a scratch (at that time I observed it with glee and HUGE amounts of Schadenfreude) especially since that horse was a seasoned campaigner, just very large...

(and a site note, I'd prefer a German style blind fold, shaped more like a blinker hood, black felt and no straps and a bit longer....but that's just me, newb that I am)


The of course, if he jumps, he can go that route, last time I checked (20 years ago) they had no machines to stard chases.

Kyzteke
Nov. 13, 2009, 06:21 PM
On the other hand, QR just learned that pitching a massive fit gets him out of doing something he doesn't want to do...

And if he really hates doing it so bad he "pitches a fit" over and over again to get out of it....hmmm....maybe he shouldn't be made to do it?

Race horses are suppose to race because they WANT to. That's why hotshots are illegal.

Horses don't throw this kind of fit because they are "pigheaded" -- they throw them because they are frigging terrified of being forced to do what they are being forced to do.

If the trainer can't step back and retrain this horse to accept the gate and LIKE running, he shouldn't be a racehorse....or they need to find a different trainer.

foundationmare
Nov. 13, 2009, 07:12 PM
Kookicat,

I agree that there are situations when the asst. starters exacerbate a bad situation, usually by not being patient and "working with" the horse. My son is an asst. starter, a good one, but even he gets prickly when I express my displeasure with how some of the horses are handled in the gate.

IMHO, the gate experience has to be a pleasant one, or at least not a terrifying one, to have an easy loader. Not all horses are going to be happy about the starting gate and it is up to the asst. starters to groom them in the mornings to accept the myriad wonky issues that can be their undoing. It's literally a do or die situation. I prefer that the starters are compassionate and patient with horses who have issues and the good ones WILL do that, but, more often than not, I'm viewed like I have two heads!. (Hint: there's a whole lot of testosterone that permeates the gate crew. Some of them can't wait to use tongs. You get the picture.)

blue&blond
Nov. 13, 2009, 07:38 PM
I've not read all of the replies yet, but I have watched the video. Why on earth didn't they just give him a moment to settle instead of fussing at him like that?

I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the fact that all but one horse other then QR had already been loaded and were already standing in the gate.

I watched it live and I don't think the video starts as far back as when they started to try to load him. My point is, the others were standing in the gate a lot longer then maybe it seemed.

It was horrible and so ugly to see him so terrified and in such a panic. I wish there could have been another way.

Having said that, I just don't think there was anything anyone could have done differently. The blindfold was the last ditch effort. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the worst thing they could have done.

Edited to add: I am not faulting the starters at ALL. They did what they thought was the best thing to do. I may have done the same thing in their position. It's just sad for QR.

danceronice
Nov. 13, 2009, 07:56 PM
And if he really hates doing it so bad he "pitches a fit" over and over again to get out of it....hmmm....maybe he shouldn't be made to do it?
.

Should he also not be made to get in a trailer, on a plane, in a standing stall, walk through a narrow barn door, in a wash stall, etc...? His next freakout was getting on a plane, which means he'll now have a long, uncomfortable van ride across the country. He obviously learned if he doesn't want to do something and fights hard enough, he wont' have to and he's done it twice now. That makes him not only unusable as a racehorse but worthless for anything else, too, if it can't be fixed.

Kyzteke
Nov. 13, 2009, 08:35 PM
Should he also not be made to get in a trailer, on a plane, in a standing stall, walk through a narrow barn door, in a wash stall, etc...? His next freakout was getting on a plane, which means he'll now have a long, uncomfortable van ride across the country. He obviously learned if he doesn't want to do something and fights hard enough, he wont' have to and he's done it twice now. That makes him not only unusable as a racehorse but worthless for anything else, too, if it can't be fixed.

Well, apparently he DOES go in a washrack, a trailer, a standing stall, etc. so those aren't a problem. And please note that the problem is getting worse, not better.

Unless there is other info, I believe this is the first time he has refused to load on a plane.

This is obviously a young horse that is being WAY overfaced. And as long as people keep making these experiences bad for him, he will keep reacting this way.

The way you re-train bad loaders (and I've re-trained plenty of them) is to make the experience better for them...to make it so the trailer is actually a quiet, peaceful place to be -- a "safe" place.

I don't think you can do that with a starting gate....

But forcing him, manhandling him, terrorizing him, isn't going to change the behavior. Hasn't yet, has it?

Blacklabs
Nov. 13, 2009, 10:26 PM
More about his ride home and training next week.

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/news/story?id=4647908


"He was a little hesitant to load. They got a little nervous that if they got him on there he might get upset," Pletcher said Wednesday. "I think it probably would have worked out. But they decided to take the cautious route."

Quality Road is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Saturday after leaving Southern California on Thursday night. After a few days at Churchill, Quality Road will then van to Belmont Park.



training


Bob Duncan, the former starter at the New York Racing Association, will begin doing some gate work with Quality Road next Wednesday at Belmont, Pletcher said. Pletcher also hopes to do some afternoon gate work at Aqueduct with Quality Road.

"We've all got a lot of confidence in Bob Duncan and his ability to work with horses that have had difficulty in this way," said Chris Baker, the farm and racing manager for Ed Evans, owner of Quality Road. "Hopefully, we can take a bad memory and replace it with a good one."




More

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/53440/quality-road-vanning-back-to-belmont


Pletcher doesn’t know exactly what caused Quality Road to act up before the Classic, but says the horse has never had any problems around the starting gate while schooling in the mornings.
“The horse is not a problematic horse,” he said. “He got upset the other day and things went the wrong way. He hasn’t been a problem in the morning. If he continues to do well, we’ll probably have some sort of afternoon schooling session at Aqueduct before we make any decisions.”

chism
Nov. 14, 2009, 08:50 AM
Wow, I think this is a bit harsh.

In hunter/jumper land this would mean that if my horse refused a jump or threw me into a jump while in a class, she'd be banned until I could prove she could jump without a problem??!!

I think everyone knows there is a lot of "armchair quarterbacking" going on as people continue to speculate about what really happened and what the horse has really been going through.

If your horse refuses a jump, the odds are extremely high that you'll walk away with nary a scratch. Conversely..the odds are quite high that someone can get seriously injured or killed with a problem loader. They couldn't be more different.
I got one of my TB's free because he was such a shit in the gate he was banned. I'd be happy to take QR off the Pletcher's hands. ;)

kookicat
Nov. 14, 2009, 12:39 PM
I understand the time thing. Just thinking out loud, really. There seemed to be a moment early in the video where he was going to go, then something upset him. I wonder if the helicopter was upsetting him? (At least, that's what I think I'm hearing in the background.)

I do think that they maybe escalated the situation a little too sharply, but again, that's easy to say sitting at home watching the video! ;)

Oh, and I've very glad that the other horses next to him stayed so calm! I wonder if the chestnut right gets nervous in the gate after having that happen right next door?

LauraKY
Nov. 14, 2009, 12:46 PM
Send the poor guy to Monty Roberts!

LauraKY
Nov. 14, 2009, 12:50 PM
As far as going back to the farm and getting his breakfast at the gate, well, Quality Road is trained by Todd Pletcher. Pletcher trains hundreds of horses. There's no way this animal will get that kind of individualized attention unless his owners make that decision for him.

The horses know if it's schooling in the morning or time to race. The routine is different, the jocks are wearing silks, there are people in the stands. So, if he only freaks in the gate at a race, feeding him in the starting gate will be no help. Pretty hard to recreate race conditions.

LauraKY
Nov. 14, 2009, 12:54 PM
I do not think the horse has reasoned he can get out of racing, they don't think like that. For whatever reason, he is afraid of going in the gate for races and obviously this experience will just heighten that.

Actually, they do just that, which is why if you're bucked off you need to get right back on, otherwise they learn that it works. Unfortunately, QR learned that it works! No way around it though, but it will make it harder the next time. Got to wonder what's upsetting him...if he just doesn't want to race or if it's something else. Too bad horses can't talk.

AppJumpr08
Nov. 14, 2009, 12:56 PM
Scared, stupid, smart, afraid of pain and for me...I have had a few who were bonified clausterphobic. They were fine until confined and flat out paniced.........

This. I was wondering if that was his problem also.

Blacklabs
Nov. 19, 2009, 11:00 PM
any news on how he's doing since back home?

Glimmerglass
Nov. 19, 2009, 11:15 PM
any news on how he's doing since back home?

He's done repeated gate work without incident.

NY Daily New 11-19-09 (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2009/11/19/2009-11-19_the_day_at_the_races.html)


Quality Road behaved himself yesterday morning.

The 3-year-old colt, who was ordered a late scratch in the gate for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, behaved himself while being schooled at Belmont Park.

"He went very well," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "He went through repeatedly without incident."

The Florida Derby winner arrived at Pletcher's barn at Belmont on Tuesday morning after refusing to board the plane to take him back to New York and was vanned the whole way home from Santa Anita.

Quality Road was tranquilized during the van trip home, but it was done as a precaution. "I was frustrated that it happened," Pletcher said of the scratch.

The trainer thinks having a blindfold put on his horse for the first time really spooked Quality Road. "He never had one put on before," the 42-year-old trainer said.

Pletcher reported that aside from a few scratches and scrapes, Quality Road suffered nothing too severe and after a workout this Sunday, could be entered in the Nov. 28 Cigar Mile, the final Grade I race of the New York racing season. "It's possible if everything goes smoothly," he said.

Quality Road set the track record when winning the Florida Derby in March and also set the track record when capturing the Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga this summer.

nightmoves
Nov. 20, 2009, 08:02 AM
Horses that don't want to load in the trailer generally don't want to load in the trailer. Horses that don't want to load in the gate don't want to race. You need to make racing and training a reasonably pleasant experience ie get them sound AND take them to the gate repeatedly to fix the problem.

I agree 100%

pinkdiamondracing
Nov. 20, 2009, 08:39 AM
I hope they are going to go ahead and make arrangements to school him in the afternoon like they discussed earlier-- there is no way to re-create the atmosphere of afternoon racing.
I think that will be the best way to gauge whether or not QR is ready to run again.

Florida Fan
Nov. 20, 2009, 11:25 AM
I hope they are going to go ahead and make arrangements to school him in the afternoon like they discussed earlier-- there is no way to re-create the atmosphere of afternoon racing.
I think that will be the best way to gauge whether or not QR is ready to run again.

Absolutely right, his connections already have said that previous to the Breeders Cup he had schooled at the gate in the morning and had no problems.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 20, 2009, 04:49 PM
Next steps per Todd aren't 100% clear: DRF 11-20-09 "Quality Road iffy for Cigar Mile" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/109056.html)


"He will go to Aqueduct Saturday to school in the paddock around 11 a.m., and he'll go in the starting gate around 11:15. He'll probably breeze on Sunday, and we'll see how that goes."

That is about as late in the day as one can go with schooling at the gate of a live track.


Pletcher said Quality Road has been "perfect" since returning to Belmont, patiently enduring gate schooling supervised by Bob Duncan, the former starter for the New York Racing Association, and current members of the gate crew.

I'm rehashing what I stated before but its been my observation that most NYRA crews would front load (back in a horse) well before blindfolding one and with good reason.

Barnfairy
Nov. 20, 2009, 04:53 PM
I think it's safe to say Quality Road won't be blindfolded again. Not after that performance.

dressagetraks
Nov. 20, 2009, 05:54 PM
Do trainers ever practice blindfolding a horse? I'd think especially with one who had had some gate trouble before, they might figure it could come up eventually. I've known some barns, not racing but just regular barns, who held "fire drills" at times, including blindfolding the horses and leading them out, to try to better prepare them for a "just in case" eventuality.

Just wondering. I agree that the blindfold spooked him, but I also think his body language was pretty clear well before that. He had firmly decided he did not want to go in that day.

Andrew
Nov. 21, 2009, 08:20 AM
If he was mine I would bring him to my training center and he would eat his meals in the starting gate. I would hang a small feed tub and haynet and leave him there to watch the world go by.

AWSOME IDEA!

Lady Counselor
Nov. 21, 2009, 09:27 AM
That was one major panic attack on his part. I'm guessing the adreneline was sky high at the gate and he fed on it big time.
On a side note, about putting them in the gate to hang out, while that may get them past panicing over it, how do you then transition back to loading and breaking out? Seems like that would put them right back where they were mentally before. It's different from a trailer where you want them relaxed. In the gate, you want them ready to break.

pinkdiamondracing
Nov. 21, 2009, 09:48 AM
Do trainers ever practice blindfolding a horse? I'd think especially with one who had had some gate trouble before, they might figure it could come up eventually. I've known some barns, not racing but just regular barns, who held "fire drills" at times, including blindfolding the horses and leading them out, to try to better prepare them for a "just in case" eventuality.

Just wondering. I agree that the blindfold spooked him, but I also think his body language was pretty clear well before that. He had firmly decided he did not want to go in that day.

When I was an assistant trainer back a couple years ago, we have a Graded Stakes filly in the barn who hated to load in the trailer.
We had a set of blinkers that had blind cups (as in a blindfold) on both eyes that had come with the high powered therapy laser we used, and every afternoon I would put the blindfold on her and lead her around and around the shedrow with her listening to the sound of my voice, until she relaxed and would follow me without fear.
Then we started leading her into the trailer blindfolded and once inside, we removed the blindfold. This was done every day, without fail, right up until the day it was time to leave to go to the races.
I put her blindfold on, led her around the shedrow until she relaxed, then led her onto the trailer. No muss, no fuss!!!
She went on to win that day and retired the next day, was sold to Adena Springs and bred to Ghostzapper. What a special filly she was, I can't wait to see her baby!!!

Alagirl
Nov. 21, 2009, 11:03 AM
That was one major panic attack on his part. I'm guessing the adreneline was sky high at the gate and he fed on it big time.
On a side note, about putting them in the gate to hang out, while that may get them past panicing over it, how do you then transition back to loading and breaking out? Seems like that would put them right back where they were mentally before. It's different from a trailer where you want them relaxed. In the gate, you want them ready to break.

I am sure having a guy on his back and 12 nervous horses beside him helps out a lot.

trailering and loading in the gate (can) have a lot in common. growing up around a lot of amateur owner/trainers who all trained on the farm hauling with Brenderup style trailers, there were hardly any loading issues (the one that gave me such glee was a, above average sized gelding with little room in the stall)

caryledee
Nov. 21, 2009, 01:18 PM
According to the Blood Horse, he schooled well at Aqueduct today. I can't help but think he really doesn't have a "gate issue." Combine the gate with 12 horses ready to explode, about 10 asst starters who had to all be on edge, nerves from the jockey, cameras, thousands of screaming fans in the distance and a helicopter overhead, and there's the issue. Unfortunately, it will be a little tough to find out if he is over it until he is back in another big race.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 21, 2009, 06:08 PM
Saturday's (11/21) schooling (as cited above by Caryledee) reaffirmed he's doing just fine going through the drills over and over.

Quality Road schools 'perfectly' at Big A (http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/editorial/news/article.cgi?id=16964)


Shortly before 11 a.m., Quality Road was led to the Aqueduct paddock in company with stablemates Nite Light (Thunder Gulch) and Storm Play (Smart Strike), both of whom are also owned by Evans and trained by Pletcher.

The colt stood quietly in the saddling enclosure while being tacked up and, after regular jockey John Velazquez was given a leg up by Pletcher, made several circuits of the paddock before being handed off to a NYRA lead pony and taken to the track for a simulated pre-race warm-up with the two other horses. The group worked its way toward the gate, which was positioned at the back of the mile chute on Aqueduct's main track.

As he has done all week at Belmont under the supervision of former NYRA starter Bob Duncan, Quality Road loaded into the gate about 10 times without incident, both with and without Velazquez aboard, and led by both Duncan and assistant NYRA starter Guido Rouse. The colt stood in the gate for varying lengths of time before being backed out, and never balked or fussed.

"We wanted to come as close as we could to simulating a race without actually doing so," Pletcher said.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 22, 2009, 06:28 PM
Roll tape ... video from NYRA of Saturday (11/21) schooling work:

youtube: 3 min video of Quality Road at the Big A (http://www.youtube.com/user/NYRAvideo#p/a/u/0/JEXeFAyQMYg)

As cited before but worth mentioning again - QR is a big boy.

peggy1955
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:39 PM
I own and raced TB racehorses for some years. After reviewing and replaying that incident of loading QR there seems to be some very important points missing. Now we know that QR has issues with the gate before. There is a helicopter hovering over the gate, you can hear it. Instead of taking their time just a slight slower, they have 4 guys hanging over him, pushing him in, with one man snapping the whip behind him. Now it gets interesting, not only is the snapping the whip but he starts to poke him with the end of the whip up his rear, now he is pissed. So, what we do next is lets hurry up and put the blindfold on (I am sure there is talk being said that you don't hear because of the helicopter) let just turn him one time and pull him in at a fast rate so he hits the gate, then that guy with the whip pokes him again up his rear AGAIN for what reason just to piss him off, yep he is pissed off so he start to buck, rear and the rest is history. None of my horses would like a whip poked up their rear.

Dispatcher
Nov. 24, 2009, 07:56 AM
I own and raced TB racehorses for some years. After reviewing and replaying that incident of loading QR there seems to be some very important points missing. Now we know that QR has issues with the gate before. There is a helicopter hovering over the gate, you can hear it. Instead of taking their time just a slight slower, they have 4 guys hanging over him, pushing him in, with one man snapping the whip behind him. Now it gets interesting, not only is the snapping the whip but he starts to poke him with the end of the whip up his rear, now he is pissed. So, what we do next is lets hurry up and put the blindfold on (I am sure there is talk being said that you don't hear because of the helicopter) let just turn him one time and pull him in at a fast rate so he hits the gate, then that guy with the whip pokes him again up his rear AGAIN for what reason just to piss him off, yep he is pissed off so he start to buck, rear and the rest is history. None of my horses would like a whip poked up their rear.

Huh? Poked up the rear? I didn't see that. Can you post the video where you saw that?

Mara
Nov. 24, 2009, 09:48 AM
An editorial in the Blood-Horse mentions how the Breeders' Cup incident has resulted in Quality Road getting unfairly labeled "rogue". According to the people around him he's actually quite friendly and easy to work with.

And as far as the gate crew - they can't just take all day to try to load a horse, even if it is the last race on the card. There's a starting gate full of other horses who have to be considered.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 24, 2009, 10:44 AM
An editorial in the Blood-Horse mentions how the Breeders' Cup incident has resulted in Quality Road getting unfairly labeled "rogue". According to the people around him he's actually quite friendly and easy to work with.

I think if anyone watches the video of his recent schooling can see the guy is pretty easy in a relative term. With QR his biggest issue has been his feet not his attitude.

Too many folks (and I'm not saying that about those who've posted here) in general know so little about him but watched the gate incident and are giving an opinion about him.

I don't know one horseman who wouldn't be utterly thrilled to have a horse of his capabilities and accomplishments in their barn. Even if he's had some loading complications before that is meaningless in the sands of time.

FatDinah
Nov. 24, 2009, 10:56 AM
Kudos to Johnny V to working with him.

I hope they can get him in a race quickly and supplant that BC memory with a good experience.

Wonder if he could have an assigned starter/gate handler that could load him in schooling and then be the one to handle him at the race? I mean, QR is really a baby still at 3, at least mentally. Certainly when my gelding was 3, if I had vanished and some stranger had tried to load him into a strange trailer, he would have been on edge.

luvs2ridewbs
Nov. 24, 2009, 01:19 PM
I don't know racing but I know that sometimes with horses, if you are quick about something that you know they might have some trouble with, it can work better. Not letting the horse have time to think about whether he wants to go in or not. Of course its all monday morning quarter backing- too fast, too slow, etc

peggy1955
Nov. 24, 2009, 03:25 PM
here is a video on you tube, you will see the guy come after many attempts to load (QR is realy being a jerk) snap the whip at him then you will see them put the blindfold on then as they load you can see off to your left the whip come in and his poking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD8NPSb01fY

danceronice
Nov. 24, 2009, 03:54 PM
It may be the very poor video quality, but I see an AS snapping a lead behind QR, not anywhere near contact. And I see them trying to get a strap over his rump to push. If you're talking about the AS to the left of the screen and behind, who appears (again, crap video for me) to maybe have a lunge whip I don't see him hitting QR, just popping the whip. Nothing unreasonable, given they did not have all day. There are twelve other horses standing around, eleven in the gate and one unable to load until they get QR in. And I've seen lots of loads watching racing over the last twenty-odd years, I've seen the blindfold go on, I have not seen a horse go that ape$#! from being blindfolded.

The helicopter might be a factor--also, if QR was in fact as lame as people on this thread have said he was all week, he may have been sore and cranky and hates loading anyway and just decided he was NOT going today. It'll be interesting to see how he does loading for a race after schooling.

I also think luvstoridewbs may have a point as well--with my old OTTB (the bad trailer loader--ironically he never had a problem loading in the gate when he was racing) we had our biggest trouble with him if we gave him too much time to think about a situation and decide he was going to react.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 24, 2009, 09:48 PM
Still no guarantees with Quality Road (http://drf.com/news/article/109117.html) running in the Saturday's Grade 1 $300,000 Hill 'n' Dale Cigar Mile:


Pletcher said he wanted to wait until after Quality Road returned to the track on Wednesday and had another gate-schooling session at Belmont before discussing Quality Road's status with owner Ed Evans and farm manager Chris Baker.

"I haven't seen anything since this horse came back that would say we can't run," Pletcher said Tuesday. "But I've never been in position where I've had to factor in a 3,000-mile van ride either."

His stitched up leg, by the way, is all good.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:10 PM
Connections have nixed racing in the Cigar Mile (http://drf.com/news/article/109132.html)


And though his training and gate-schooling sessions went well in New York, the prospect of an off track Saturday was one of several factors that led owner Ed Evans and his farm manager, Chris Baker, to pull the plug.

"The bottom line is we felt maybe it was a little bit of a push for the horse given everything that transpired between Santa Anita and now," Baker said. "We're focusing now on what we hope to be a very productive 2010 campaign that puts him in position to be champion older horse and Horse of the Year. With that in mind we're giving him a little bit more time."

Baker said that Quality Road would be shipped to south Florida next week and likely begin his 4-year-old campaign in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope at Gulfstream Park on Jan.3.

So it will be time off until 2010 when he comes to a gate near you :D

WinterTriangle
Nov. 25, 2009, 06:22 PM
Poor horse, lost a lot of time as 3 year old with feet, but hopefully he'll get his head on straight and his feet straight and come back to be the champion he was meant to be at 4.

I think this all worked out for the best, most of us had doubts about him running in the cigar

Glimmerglass
Dec. 31, 2009, 07:01 PM
His return to racing is sooner then expected with a start this Sunday (January 3rd) at Gulfstream Park: the $100,000 Hal's Hope Stakes (Grade 3) (http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/editorial/journal/article.cgi?id=17240) at 1-mile.


In the aftermath of his Breeders' Cup debacle, Quality Road has professionally handled schooling at the gate. If that gives any indication, the four-year-old promises to be on his best behavior as he goes into post 2 with regular rider John Velazquez.

foundationmare
Dec. 31, 2009, 07:26 PM
Just want to post to get a Jan. 1, 2010 date! Funny how that works! I'll be sawing logs when the New Year is ushered in. And, please racing gods, make this a good one for me and mine.....

Barnfairy
Jan. 3, 2010, 12:49 AM
Mike Welsch for the DRF:

Season of change begins at Gulfstream (http://www.drf.com/news/article/109852.html)

excerpted from above

Quality Road will carry high weight of 122 pounds and go postward as the heavy favorite in the one-mile Hal's Hope.

"He couldn't be doing any better in the morning, including his sessions at the starting gate," Pletcher said. "He's stood at the gate several times a week with both the regular gate crew and Bob Duncan and has been perfect. He seems to be handling everything very well, and a one-turn mile is something he's done before. Hopefully, he'll run well on Sunday but not run the race of the year because it's a race we're looking to build on for the Donn."

To win the Hal's Hope, Quality Road will likely have to beat his uncoupled stablemate Harlem Rocker, who makes just his second start since being disqualified from an apparent victory in the 2008 Cigar Mile more than 13 months earlier. Harlem Rocker launched his comeback by finishing second going seven furlongs under allowance conditions Nov. 14 at Churchill Downs.
Wishing a safe load & safe trip for all.

rcloisonne
Jan. 3, 2010, 07:17 AM
"He couldn't be doing any better in the morning, including his sessions at the starting gate," Pletcher said.
From all reports, he's always done well at the gate in the morning. It's racetime that's been the problem. :rolleyes:

ravenclaw
Jan. 3, 2010, 12:57 PM
From all reports, he's always done well at the gate in the morning. It's racetime that's been the problem.

Yes, I have heard he's a smart horse so I'm sure he knows the difference between morning schooling and an actual race. Would it be possible to warm him up with a race field in the afternoon and load him in the gate, but just do it as schooling and not actually run him in the race? This probably wouldn't be allowed, but it would be better practice than schooling him in the morning.

I hope all goes well today. Quality Road was my Derby pick last year (before he got sidelined) and I still like him. :yes:

Glimmerglass
Jan. 3, 2010, 04:47 PM
No load problems, no gate break issues, decent challenge by You and I Forever but he wins it with the style expected ....

cloudyandcallie
Jan. 3, 2010, 04:50 PM
Good. I hope it's posted on youtube.

Muleskick
Jan. 3, 2010, 05:06 PM
8th race - Gulfstream Park - January 03, 2010
Video Race Replay

Pgm Horse Win Place Show
2 Quality Road 2.80 2.20 2.10
1 You and I Forever 6.80 3.80
9 Congressional Page 5.20


$2 Daily Double 4-2 7.80
$2 Exacta 2-1 20.00
$1 Superfecta 2-1-9-7 305.40
$1 Trifecta 2-1-9 70.20
$1 Pick 3 13-4-2 (3 correct) 294.00

Obviously no issues gate, soundness or otherwise....

ejm
Jan. 3, 2010, 06:15 PM
He set all the fractions, pulled away and won under a hand ride.

Link to DRF chart: http://www.drf.com/drfPDFChartRacesIndexAction.do?TRK=GP&CTY=USA&DATE=20100103&RN=8

Barnfairy
Jan. 3, 2010, 06:58 PM
Replay: Hal's Hope Stakes (http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/utils/flash_pop.aspx?vp=Web&vc=1&vid1=mp4:2010/771/201001031641GPM8_771.f4v)

Child's play. He was toying with You and I Forever in the stretch.

midnightride
Jan. 3, 2010, 08:56 PM
I was listening to an interview on HRTV with the jock.....and if what he said is true about Quality Road I can TOTALLY share sympathies with all the connections..... i have a filly that is the same way- give her time to think it over and she is a DREAM but push her into something that she hasn't fully agreed to and OMG look the F out!!!!! she will kill!! and this is a great filly most all of the time..... I have to think that Q.R. was maybe a victim of "bad post position" in the BC and maybe if he had been an earlier load they would have given more time..... maybe..... :confused:
not that he would have beaten the Queen!!!!:)

FatDinah
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:24 AM
Glad to see QR came back with no problems. Look forward to him having a strong 4 yr old season and we get to see his potential realized.
Just chalk it up to a bad day at Breeders Cup.

Equinoxfox
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:46 AM
:mad: I may be wrong with what I am about to say. BUT here goes :
After watching that video it is obvious THAT horse is either hurting or does NOT want to race.
Then, why do some trainers insist on making them suffer like that .?
Also , is it really necessary for all those grounds people to be fussing and trying to make this animal do something he does not want to do ?
Looking at him in the gate it is clear he was Upset and all they did was aggrivate him on and create a horrible experience for him.
Give the horse a break. Take him back home. Reschool him in the gate. OR better yet . Have a good vet go over the horse to see what is causing this pain.

" Is it always going to be about the money and NOT the well being of the horse " ..

IF there is any of you " Pros" out there that would like to give me your input then please do so .

I would just like to see . understand. or even comprehend why or how any trainer/ owner can be so blind to the pain this horse " seems" to be in. :confused:

Alagirl
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:55 PM
:mad: I may be wrong with what I am about to say. BUT here goes :
After watching that video it is obvious THAT horse is either hurting or does NOT want to race.
Then, why do some trainers insist on making them suffer like that .?
Also , is it really necessary for all those grounds people to be fussing and trying to make this animal do something he does not want to do ?
Looking at him in the gate it is clear he was Upset and all they did was aggrivate him on and create a horrible experience for him.
Give the horse a break. Take him back home. Reschool him in the gate. OR better yet . Have a good vet go over the horse to see what is causing this pain.

" Is it always going to be about the money and NOT the well being of the horse " ..

IF there is any of you " Pros" out there that would like to give me your input then please do so .

I would just like to see . understand. or even comprehend why or how any trainer/ owner can be so blind to the pain this horse " seems" to be in. :confused:


You don't do racing, do you.

granted, my experience on small tracks does not qualify me one bit to comment on the mishap on a track with 30 to 60 THOUSAND people in the stands.

The gate is a difficult place on the track when it's a regular day at the races, small crowds and little money on the line.

Excited horses (they know they get to run in a little), high adrenaline people, after all they have a tight schedule to keep and small things can flip the switch from normal to melt down.

Add an excited crows, TV cameras and a HELICOPTER I think conventional wisdom is pretty much out the window.

And I am sure that the connections of a horse of that quality already entertained the notion of chiro and dentist and massage. I am sure they read his hooves and tealeaves as well...

many horses do want to race, but could care less about the gate or was that could not care less...

Glimmerglass
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:06 PM
Why the in world is this whole gate episode being rehashed is beyond me.

He's moved past it so let's all do the same.

Quality Road is by many accounts a good contender to achieve Horse of the Year for 2010 if his promising form holds up along with his body.

Blindfolding and somewhat rushing him in the gate was IMHO the product of the crew feeling rushed with live tv, tens of millions of dollars if not a hundred million plus in wagers waiting on the release and the tension of the crowd there. The Virginia-bred and owned (E. Evans) horse has got gobs of talent and wouldn't be the first horse to not overly love the gate.

He wasn't hurting going to the gate, was only marginally cut from it and the episode didn't end his career.

lizathenag
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:20 PM
Quality Road is . . . Horse of the Year for 2010.

You heard it here first folks!!!!! future book here I come!

Happy New Year everyone.

Equinoxfox
Jan. 4, 2010, 02:22 PM
hey Alagirl.

NO I do not do racing. Do not agree with the treatment of horses. Do not like the standards of most of the trainers. Do not agree with the way the business is ran or how they try to make so much money from the sport.
I do however.
Love the back side of the track. The history of the sport.
it just baffle's me in so many ways.

Grataan
Jan. 4, 2010, 02:49 PM
If you don't "do" racing, then how the hell do you know 1)how the horses are treated and 2) what the standards are of "most" trainers?

Alagirl
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:38 PM
hey Alagirl.

NO I do not do racing. Do not agree with the treatment of horses. Do not like the standards of most of the trainers. Do not agree with the way the business is ran or how they try to make so much money from the sport.
I do however.
Love the back side of the track. The history of the sport.
it just baffle's me in so many ways.

frankly, you know squat then.

Grab the lead rope of a horse, trained and primped to race. Go to a small track, take him from the barn to the paddock. Feel the atmosphere. It is NOTHING like a horse show. I promise you that.

Armchair trainers have a solution to everything - I don't exclude myself either, I am small town of small town - but unless you actually have been there, you don't know.

I doubt I will ever saddle anything that would qualify for the Breeders cup card, but I have had my share of magical transformation with a horse you could originally tie to the starting gate who then decided he would rather not keep his hooves on the turf...it's not even apples to oranges.

That horse was not treated wrong. he had a brain fart and mental overload. [Stuff] happens.
Could it been handled differently? Probably. Does that automatically mean the horse does not like to race or it hurts? BS.

Equinoxfox
Jan. 5, 2010, 02:38 PM
I SAID I DO NOT DO RACING .FIRST AND FOREMOST.:mad:
[edit]

Alagirl" I have done and had horses probably longer than you have lived. ( over 40 yrs ) ;)
SO BEFORE YOU SPEAK MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS IN ORDER.
I HAVE BEEN TO MANY. AND I MEAN MANY TRACKS AND MOST .
I SAY MOST . OF THE TRAINERS DO HAVE POOR TREATMENT.
SO PLEASE.... IF YOU HAVE SUCH A HOSTILE OPINION
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

I was simply making a statement like everyone else. and WHY YOU have to get so defensive. ?;)
makes me wonder.
You know . you get more honey with sugar than salt . sweety ..

justdandy
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:00 PM
....I HAVE BEEN TO MANY. AND I MEAN MANY TRACKS AND MOST .
I SAY MOST . OF THE TRAINERS DO HAVE POOR TREATMENT....

Some can say the same for h/j trainers, dressage trainers, WP trainers, etc. And I'm a h/j rider/owner. I also grew up on the track. "Most" trainers do not treat their horses poorly. "Most" trainers on the track treat their horses very well as do "most" h/j, dressage, WP, etc. trainers. There are a few trainers in all disciplines who don't treat their horses very well and they give the rest a bad name.

Dispatcher
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:20 PM
I SAID I DO NOT DO RACING .FIRST AND FOREMOST.:mad:
[edit] Alagirl" I have done and had horses probably longer than you have lived. ( over 40 yrs ) ;)
SO BEFORE YOU SPEAK MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS IN ORDER.
I HAVE BEEN TO MANY. AND I MEAN MANY TRACKS AND MOST .
I SAY MOST . OF THE TRAINERS DO HAVE POOR TREATMENT.
SO PLEASE.... IF YOU HAVE SUCH A HOSTILE OPINION
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

I was simply making a statement like everyone else. and WHY YOU have to get so defensive. ?;)
makes me wonder.
You know . you get more honey with sugar than salt . sweety ..

Uh-Oh. This looks like the kind of post you see on the Hunter/Jumper forum. They are very defensive over there!

So far, I haven't noted any hostility--execpt this post.....

Sing Mia Song
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:24 PM
I SAID I DO NOT DO RACING .FIRST AND FOREMOST.:mad:
[edit] " Alagirl" I have done and had horses probably longer than you have lived. ( over 40 yrs ) ;)
SO BEFORE YOU SPEAK MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS IN ORDER.
I HAVE BEEN TO MANY. AND I MEAN MANY TRACKS AND MOST .
I SAY MOST . OF THE TRAINERS DO HAVE POOR TREATMENT.
SO PLEASE.... IF YOU HAVE SUCH A HOSTILE OPINION
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

I was simply making a statement like everyone else. and WHY YOU have to get so defensive. ?;)
makes me wonder.
You know . you get more honey with sugar than salt . sweety ..

Wow. Back off the bold and the cap lock and take a deep breath. :rolleyes:

You asked for input and you got it:


The gate is a difficult place on the track when it's a regular day at the races, small crowds and little money on the line.

Excited horses (they know they get to run in a little), high adrenaline people, after all they have a tight schedule to keep and small things can flip the switch from normal to melt down.

Add an excited crows, TV cameras and a HELICOPTER I think conventional wisdom is pretty much out the window.

There's your answer: the horse had a meltdown due to the pressure of the crowd, the noise and the helicopter. The gate men might have pushed him a bit too hard. He said "Nope, ain't playin'" and he got his way--scratched at the gate.

His trainer gave him a couple months to regroup and schooled him extensively. In his first start back, he was well-mannered at the gate and he won pretty handily.

How is that not a success? Personally, I expected him to always be bad at the gate, but he was absolutely fine in his comeback.

Alagirl
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:36 PM
I SAID I DO NOT DO RACING .FIRST AND FOREMOST.:mad:
[edit] " Alagirl" I have done and had horses probably longer than you have lived. ( over 40 yrs ) ;)
SO BEFORE YOU SPEAK MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS IN ORDER.
I HAVE BEEN TO MANY. AND I MEAN MANY TRACKS AND MOST .
I SAY MOST . OF THE TRAINERS DO HAVE POOR TREATMENT.
SO PLEASE.... IF YOU HAVE SUCH A HOSTILE OPINION
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

I was simply making a statement like everyone else. and WHY YOU have to get so defensive. ?;)
makes me wonder.
You know . you get more honey with sugar than salt . sweety ..



Since I got a similar PM yelling at me.

I have to apologize I took a few minutes to eat lunch, I was not here to directly answer.

I said what I said, meant it, still do, and I don't care how old one is, it has in many cases not a heckuva lot to do with what people know. I have met a lot of young people who can run circles around me in some subjects.

So, as it stands, horse had brainfart, recovered and overcame.

So in essence what a bunch of armchair trainers think is irrelevant.

haligator
Jan. 5, 2010, 03:57 PM
Hello Equinoxfox,
The below is something I posted on May 24, 2002. It still holds true today. Of course I'm now 49 years-old and if anything I feel more strongly than I did back them.

From 5/24/02 <<<Hi All,
I feel a need to wade into this fray. I've been around all kinds of horses my whole life - hunters and jumpers, polo ponies, foxhunters, western pleasure horses, dressage horses, event horses, gaited horses, and racehorses.

I'm now 41 (*now 49), and have seen more sadness than anyone should have to deal with. I was there the day Ruffian broke down, and I was there when poor Exogenous flipped at the Breeder's Cup. These are well-known examples of things that happened on the racetrack - everyone is aware of them because racing is in the news more than any other horse sport. Both of these horses had brilliant trainers who loved these mares with all their heart. Accidents happen - it is a part of any horse sport.

However, I've also seen hunters headed to be cripples by the age of 8 because of being lunged for hours and then jumped over a 100 'warm-up' fences before their first class; I've seen unfit polo ponies pass out on the polo field; I've seen foxhunters fall down because the novice on their back didn't know what a two-point position was; I've seen western pleasure 'trainers' deprive their horse of water for hours so that it went 'dog quiet'; I've seen event horses die by breaking legs and necks; I've seen dressage horses with blood running from their mouths because the 'trainer' had such rough hands; and I've seen gaited horses have their brains fried by people setting off fireworks to get the horses upheaded and bright-eyed.

There is abuse and stupidity in every horse discipline. Don't point fingers just at horse racing! That's a slippery slope for all horse sports if you start down that hill. There are bad apples in every barrel.

The real issue should be humane education across the board for all horseman. That being said, 99% of the horsemen I meet love their horses and will feed their horses before they buy their own breakfast.

I'll be honest, if there were a poll, I'll bet racetrackers donate more money to horse rescues and equine scientific research like the Grayson Jockey Club Foundation (that benefits all horses) than any other group of horseman. I have no statistics on this, but I run with a lot of different 'crowds' and I know how generous racetrackers are - from the hotwalkers up to the millionaire owners.

You can argue with me all you want - I've been there, done that, and I know what I've seen.

Hallie McEvoy
Racing Dreams, LLC>>>

Continuing these thoughts - I have to ask - do you think Rodney Jenkins and Michael Matz are poor horsemen? Why would they switch from the top of the show jumping world to become racehorse trainers?

As far as Quality Road goes, I'm good friends with Diana Baker, the wife of Chris Baker, the manager of Ned Evans farm. Do you have any idea how much they love and adore this horse?

As I mentioned in another thread, some top horses through the years have been touchy in the gate. A good example of this is Display, the fierce handicap horse.

Of all the trainers I've seen and worked with, the best, by far, have been racehorse conditioners. Some of the worst I have seen are hunter/jumper 'trainers.' And, if you need a review of my credentials, here is a brief list:

* Former USEF Recorded Judge in Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation.

* Author of three books about riding (and more on the way) along with thousands of articles and photographs in everything from Chronicle of the Horse to The Paint Horse Journal to L' Annee Hippique.

* Former Media Chief or Assistant Media Chief at such events as the National Horse Show, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the USET Festival of Champions, the Lake Placid Horse Shows, and the NAYRC.

* Was also licensed as a mule and donkey judge (yes, licensed to judge asses :) - a handy trait!).

* A polo player back in the late 1970s and early 1980s making me one of the first female players in this country.

* A side-saddle rider (in Practical Horsemen George Morris called me 'a very good side-saddle rider).

* Have shown H/J, Western Pleasure, gaited horses, driving, etc.

* A frequent volunteer through the years for 4-H and Pony Club.

* I was lucky enough to work under the legendary Dr. Arthur Fredericks, DVM in the early 1980s exercising foxhunters and getting them out to hunt.

* I was taught a lot of stable skills by Ted Landers, one of the most brilliant horsemen to ever hold a bridle (he is the author of several books about racing including 'The Professional Care and Grooming of the Racehorse.').

* Have managed stables of up to 75 horses.

* Have bred some wonderful winners on the track who then went on to great second careers.

* Was the Chairman of the USEF Breeders Committee.

* And so on.....

Yeah, there are some bad horseracing trainers out there, but you have NO IDEA what I've seen at horse shows, etc. One of my biggest peeves is that a lot of horse show trainers only know how to ride and teach - they don't even know how to wrap (much less be able to tell you what a 'spider wrap' is.....).

My suggestion Equinoxfox is to take a chill pill and (literally) get off your high horse. If you dislike racing go post elsewhere.

Hallie
Hallie I. McEvoy
Racing Dreams, LLC

Rubyfree
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:13 PM
SO BEFORE YOU SPEAK MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS IN ORDER.
I HAVE BEEN TO MANY. AND I MEAN MANY TRACKS AND MOST .
I SAY MOST . OF THE TRAINERS DO HAVE POOR TREATMENT.
SO PLEASE.... IF YOU HAVE SUCH A HOSTILE OPINION
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

I was simply making a statement like everyone else. and WHY YOU have to get so defensive. ?;)
makes me wonder.
You know . you get more honey with sugar than salt . sweety ..


Marching into the racing forum, populated by many passionate and caring racetrackers, and declaring that 'most trainers have poor treatment' is a pretty darn hostile opinion.

It would appear that QR has overcome his issues. I look forward to seeing him demonstrate his talents uninhibited by mental hiccups this year.

Barnfairy
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:00 PM
* Was also licensed as a mule and donkey judge (yes, licensed to judge asses :) - a handy trait!).

...

* A side-saddle rider (in Practical Horsemen George Morris called me 'a very good side-saddle rider).
Controversy aside, and not at all to slight any of your other accomplishments or experience, but this simply must be made into a business card:

Hallie McEvoy,
Ass Judge and
Very Good Side-Saddle Rider

You rock Hallie. You rock.

Frog
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:56 PM
Horse of the Year 2010? I see your "Horse of the Year," and raise you one "Injured and Retired."

Any case, he looked good the other day!

Glimmerglass
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:15 PM
Horse of the Year 2010? I see your "Horse of the Year," and raise you one "Injured and Retired."

To be clear as I cited there is talk of him being aimed for that as the goal along with the Breeders Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. If I was putting down money I'd move it to Rachel Alexandra provided she resumes her training in [Feb] with the same form she had in 2009.

It is rather bold however to aim for HOY 5 days into the new year :) Baby steps like focusing on winning the Donn Handicap and then maybe the Pimlico Special (if Maryland will even had that again) are far better goals.

Alagirl
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:55 PM
To be clear as I cited there is talk of him being aimed for that as the goal along with the Breeders Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. If I was putting down money I'd move it to Rachel Alexandra provided she resumes her training in [Feb] with the same form she had in 2009.

It is rather bold however to aim for HOY 5 days into the new year :) Baby steps like focusing on winning the Donn Handicap and then maybe the Pimlico Special (if Maryland will even had that again) are far better goals.


I am sure in Vegas the board was up the second HOY 09 was announced! :lol:

Grataan
Jan. 6, 2010, 12:48 AM
I SAID I DO NOT DO RACING .FIRST AND FOREMOST So, what are you basing your pronouncements on? Obviously not fact [edit]




SO BEFORE YOU SPEAK MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS IN ORDER. Sounds like you should take your own advice.

I HAVE BEEN TO MANY. AND I MEAN MANY TRACKS AND MOST .
I SAY MOST . OF THE TRAINERS DO HAVE POOR TREATMENT.When and where? What trainers? Why didn't you report them to the stewards? What were the exact occurances that you saw?

SO PLEASE.... IF YOU HAVE SUCH A HOSTILE OPINION
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. You're the one being hostile.


I was simply making a statement like everyone else. and WHY YOU have to get so defensive. ?;)Asking you to back up your fallacious statements with facts is not being defensive. Posting the bold wall of text with extra emoticons is. Making a statement would have been "I saw X happen at Y venue on Z day and now I personally believe that ABC discipline is 123"

makes me wonder. That makes two of us

You know . you get more honey with sugar than saltLol.I think you meant to say "You get more bees with honey than with vinegar"
. sweety ..Bless your little heart, I'm not your sweety.

Moderator 1
Jan. 6, 2010, 08:00 AM
Excellent restraint overall thus far in response to a provacative post. Please keep it that way and we'll address things further privately.

Thanks!
Mod 1

farmgirl88
Jan. 6, 2010, 08:41 AM
I SAID I DO NOT DO RACING .FIRST AND FOREMOST.:mad:
[edit]

Alagirl" I have done and had horses probably longer than you have lived. ( over 40 yrs ) ;)
SO BEFORE YOU SPEAK MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS IN ORDER.
I HAVE BEEN TO MANY. AND I MEAN MANY TRACKS AND MOST .
I SAY MOST . OF THE TRAINERS DO HAVE POOR TREATMENT.
SO PLEASE.... IF YOU HAVE SUCH A HOSTILE OPINION
KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

I was simply making a statement like everyone else. and WHY YOU have to get so defensive. ?;)
makes me wonder.
You know . you get more honey with sugar than salt . sweety ..

And I've also been to many tracks and walked around the back side looking at horses for sale. While i will say that i think there are quite a few trainers who i personally think are unqualified horse owners who just got into the business with little knowledge about horses, especially racehorses, because they wanted to win money in the game. But the MAJORITY of all trainers i have met on the track understand that caring for their horses properly, giving them good treatment, good feed, and taking care of their legs pays off in the end.

bottom line is if you don't take care of your horses health and soundness, they are not going to win for you and as a trainer in this type of industry, your livlihood depends on that winning paycheck. if you take good care of your horse, the horse is healthy, with legs that have been looked after daily with proper precautions, that horse is going to perform the best that it can. I've walked around with CANTER volunteers, etc and met all sorts of trainers and seen many horses and visited many, many barns. I've been to the farms in KY and talked with all sorts of people, trainers, managers, specialists, etc. Beautiful horses who are groomed, and gleaming in good health at no matter what track you go to. Horses who have the best grain and hay, and have free choice hay, horse's who's stalls are picked out routinely throughout the day, and also grooms who take great pride in the steeds within their barns.

Sure there are trainers out there who dont hand out the best care, theres people like that in all aspects in any area of the horse industry. Trainers provide the care that they can afford. while most trainers at the lower level tracks cant afford the million dollar treatments for horses in say pletcher or zito's barns, but they do the best they can for their horses and they will do what they can to help make their horses perform their best. Saying that the majority of all trainers dont care for their horses properly is insulting to all involved in racing, one way or the other. Its well known that the majority of all trainers in these barns take great pride in their horses and it shows when you walk through the barns to look at horses.

I have a 9 yr old OTTB who retired SOUND at 8 years old. there is not a single bump, bow, NOTHING on his legs...anywhere. he ran in the big trainers barns as a 3 and 4 yr old before taking a yr off due to a minor injury. when he return he very successfuly raced in lower level tracks but he still continued to campaign and win for his trainers. Why? because they took excellent care of him and his needs, and when you stand and look at him-it clearly shows. this horse wouldnt have raced for that long, won as much money as he did, and wouldnt have a clean bill of health if it wasnt for the excellent care and love given to him throughout his career. And yes; his trainer still emails regularly to check up on him and to see how he is doing.

haligator
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:16 AM
Controversy aside, and not at all to slight any of your other accomplishments or experience, but this simply must be made into a business card:

Hallie McEvoy,
Ass Judge and
Very Good Side-Saddle Rider

You rock Hallie. You rock.

Ahhhh Barnfairy!
Thank you so much (Hallie takes a small curtsey while wearing fuzzy pink slippers). I have often thought of having 'Ass Judge' put on a button, but a business card with both sentiments would truly be ideal.

As you'll see, I do have a button on my Belmont hat that I wear to every racetrack unless it is freezing cold (of course no buttons on Belmont day - just white carnations) that says 'Places to Go, People to Annoy.' I believe in wholeheartedly striving to make that happen :)

I think you all should know that I am being distracted by Bubba the Jack Russell humping Maynard Krebs, the formerly feral feline (FFF) who has not only extra toes but an extra foot on each front leg. I've chosen to live in the strangest world!

Blessings,
Hallie

PS - Grataan - great comeback! I laughed so hard when I read "Bless your little heart, I'm not your sweety" I thought I was going to pass out.

TimelyImpulse
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:46 AM
I think you all should know that I am being distracted by Bubba the Jack Russell humping Maynard Krebs, the formerly feral feline (FFF) who has not only extra toes but an extra foot on each front leg. I've chosen to live in the strangest world!


*Super Snort!* And I thought I was the only one lucky enough to have a Jack Russell who has a cat humping fetish! It *is* his birthday today, so if the cat doesn't mind.... :)

And, I'd like to say I very much agreed with and enjoyed reading your comments on this thread.

justdandy
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:47 AM
....I think you all should know that I am being distracted by Bubba the Jack Russell humping Maynard Krebs, the formerly feral feline (FFF) who has not only extra toes but an extra foot on each front leg. I've chosen to live in the strangest world!
....

ROFLMfAO!!!!:lol::lol: Now THAT's a visual!:lol::lol:

Grataan
Jan. 6, 2010, 11:42 AM
Ahhhh Barnfairy!
Thank you so much (Hallie takes a small curtsey while wearing fuzzy pink slippers). I have often thought of having 'Ass Judge' put on a button, but a business card with both sentiments would truly be ideal.

As you'll see, I do have a button on my Belmont hat that I wear to every racetrack unless it is freezing cold (of course no buttons on Belmont day - just white carnations) that says 'Places to Go, People to Annoy.' I believe in wholeheartedly striving to make that happen :)

I think you all should know that I am being distracted by Bubba the Jack Russell humping Maynard Krebs, the formerly feral feline (FFF) who has not only extra toes but an extra foot on each front leg. I've chosen to live in the strangest world!

Blessings,
Hallie

PS - Grataan - great comeback! I laughed so hard when I read "Bless your little heart, I'm not your sweety" I thought I was going to pass out.
Oh Hallie, I can only hope to one day be Dr Grataan, Ass Judge.


Although, I do spend quite a lot of time through the spring with my arm up that end of mares and cows. Hmmm...

Barnfairy
Jan. 6, 2010, 11:47 AM
Ahhhh Barnfairy!
Thank you so much (Hallie takes a small curtsey while wearing fuzzy pink slippers). I have often thought of having 'Ass Judge' put on a button, but a business card with both sentiments would truly be ideal.

As you'll see, I do have a button on my Belmont hat that I wear to every racetrack unless it is freezing cold (of course no buttons on Belmont day - just white carnations) that says 'Places to Go, People to Annoy.' I believe in wholeheartedly striving to make that happen :)

I think you all should know that I am being distracted by Bubba the Jack Russell humping Maynard Krebs, the formerly feral feline (FFF) who has not only extra toes but an extra foot on each front leg. I've chosen to live in the strangest world!

Blessings,
Hallie

Ooh. I like it. Maybe I should have "animal excrement removal technician" put on a button, or perhaps "certified bovine artificial inseminator", both of which I am.

Poor Maynard Krebs. As if it's not enough that his lot in life was to be a parasitic-limbed polydactyl, now he must cope with interspecies relatial confusion.

At least he doesn't have to work for his food anymore.

FairWeather
Jan. 10, 2010, 09:36 AM
seems to be a theme here.
http://www.youtube.com/user/allieconrad#p/a/u/2/PJglLbFVdiE

Sing Mia Song
Jan. 11, 2010, 02:13 PM
That poor, poor cat! :lol::lol::lol:

Glimmerglass
Feb. 6, 2010, 04:41 PM
Racing today (Sat Feb 6) in the 10th at Gulfstream - the Grade 1 Donn Handicap (http://equibase.com/static/entry/GP020610USA-EQB.html#RACE10) I expect Quality Road to once again demonstrate his significant talent over the 8 contenders lined up against him.

Glimmerglass
Feb. 6, 2010, 05:41 PM
Whoa!

Quality Road not only crushed the field, not only set the Grade 1 Donn Handicap stakes record but set the track record

That was the horse so many thought would've been a major contender in the BCC.

Loaded like an angel and broke perfectly .... he just put all older horses on notice.

Drvmb1ggl3
Feb. 6, 2010, 05:41 PM
Don't know whether to be impressed with QR's track record breaking performance or depressed that the quality of the rest of the older male horse division is that bad that he won by half the stretch.

cottagefarm
Feb. 6, 2010, 06:06 PM
Kudos to the GSP gate crew. Great job loading QR. Non of the forcing,blind folding crap they did at SA.
My 2 fav greys Dry Martini and my neighbors Delightful Kiss 2nd and 3rd.

QR was heaviest weighted horse of today (anywhere) as far as I can see and he made it look ridiculously easy !

Glimmerglass
Feb. 7, 2010, 12:25 AM
Set aside the 12 3/4-length victory (largest in the 52-years of the Donn) if the perception the field is weak. (Helsinki, for example, was carrying 10-lbs less)

Focusing on the final time for the mile and one-eighth in a track-record 1:47.49 sans getting pressed and its hard not to say that he's highly talented. The divisional leader as expected. Even if the division had stronger runners they still would've been trounced by that performance.

FatDinah
Feb. 7, 2010, 01:01 AM
Very impressive.
I'd say it's time to start a new thread: Quality Road lives up to his talent

Horseforthecourse
Feb. 7, 2010, 04:25 PM
Set aside the 12 3/4-length victory (largest in the 52-years of the Donn) if the perception the field is weak. (Helsinki, for example, was carrying 10-lbs less)

Focusing on the final time for the mile and one-eighth in a track-record 1:47.49 sans getting pressed and its hard not to say that he's highly talented. The divisional leader as expected. Even if the division had stronger runners they still would've been trounced by that performance.

Ditto this. Rach and Zenny have some competition and better be looking over their shoulders. I believe that it is safe to say at this point that QR is as freaky as the Zapper.

Glimmerglass
Feb. 7, 2010, 04:45 PM
The video replay of the Grade 1 $500,000 Donn Handicap from Gulfstream Park (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxfpmHO2_Hc&feature=sub) Feb 6, 2010.

foundationmare
Feb. 7, 2010, 08:22 PM
That. is. impressive!! Splits at 3/4 were good enough, but they just kept getting better!

midnightride
Feb. 7, 2010, 10:03 PM
The video replay of the Grade 1 $500,000 Donn Handicap from Gulfstream Park (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxfpmHO2_Hc&feature=sub) Feb 6, 2010.

WOW!!! thanks for posting link....my TV is out due to weather ( the dish fell off of roof :no: ).
that was AMAZING!!!!!

Hummmmm makes ya think;)

Need to get a mare that crosses well with him!!!!