The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Location
    In A World Called Catastrophe
    Posts
    1,789

    Default Best news ever!

    Shapiro resigns on the day Pro Ride fails under the down pour of rain..Ironic. Wonder how it feels to be the one person responsible for the demise of California Racing.
    Sad how his term has ended OR NOT!
    http://www.drf.com/news/article/100554.html



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2007
    Location
    Norco, CA
    Posts
    923

    Default

    I have to say - not everyone involved in the CA racing industry and its "fallout" would agree with your assessment of Schapiro's role here, and indeed many are saddened by his standing down. But in any case, here is an article with the horsemens' assessment of Pro Ride under pressure. My SO rides at Santa Anita every morning - he hasn't NOT ridden there for a single morning during these latest rains.

    http://www.drf.com/news/article/100571.html



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Location
    In A World Called Catastrophe
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    As do I. The track was not that good. If one considers the track not draining from the 3/8 to the 1/2 then sure it was super. It stopped raining and it dried ok for the following day. Then the track was decent. The only flaw with this is the fact that they might actually have to try to run a race card DURING days of heavy rain. Gomez, Espinoza, Solis would have been headed home and not ridden the card such as it was.
    They would have been training. Dogs would have been up for joggers only and the training track would have been open. I personally loved the rainy days when the main was open to joggers only. I doesn't hurt any of these horses to have to jog a week or less.
    Eoin said horses worked? Yes, maybe 4. Ohh which silly folk thought they could risk a horse and rider over a surface that isn't draining and has holes in it? Mullins and Doug O Neil worked a total of 2 horses a piece! I bet the clockers missed a bunch!
    I like the pro ride when it's dry, but all of these tracks are more trouble than anticipated, they are continually adding to the surface, so material has to be purchased. They degrade so more wax or polymer has to be added. There is no proof that they aren't carcinogenic. This entire thing is very guinea pig-esque.
    TOC has restricted wagering outside of the state, purses are cut at Hollywood and now at Santa Anita. Horse population has struggled. People have lost too much money every time we can't train because one of these tracks fails under water or high traffic load.
    Dickenson is going to add more wax or polymer to GGF shortly. Horses are getting hurt at an appalling rate.
    But yes the mandate to synthetics was brilliant. Shapiro is lucky that there wasn't a lynching mob long before he resigned.
    I can talk about this for hours!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Posts
    4,637

    Default

    Oops, just realised that Blueshadow had already posted the article.
    What's that they say, two horsemen and three opinions.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2008
    Posts
    1,628

    Default

    I am 3,000 miles away, but in my opinion, I like what Shapiro did. I may be wrong, but he did get tougher with drug testing + he started testing for milkshakes + he was the first to adopt a toe grab ban while other tracks had no clue that front grabs are nothing but a detriment to the horse.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Location
    In A World Called Catastrophe
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    I don't disagree, Dick, but the mandate to synthetics was very premature ans we are reeling from the blow. The hormone thing is ok.. Mandella is having a great meet. That is a guy with good horses that won't hormone up and took a beat for it!
    Toe grabs I hate. A level grip is your friend IMO.
    I don't even know if he started the non competetive testing, but as much as it was a thought it had zero positives. The sodium bi carb thing is interesting
    but not causing breakdowns. The Olympic teams are allowed to use sodium bi carb. There were zero positives for EPO or growth hormone. It might just be harder to detect than anticipated.
    We are experiencing a LARGE # of soft tissue injuries. Which Dr Arthur thinks is a great thing. And it is when Catastrophic injuries as a result of soft tissue don't end up in necropsy on his table at Davis. But when 80 horse barns end up with under 30 head we have a problem.
    Bone is far easier to heal no matter if you are horse or human than soft tissue is.
    We are swimming up stream on so may levels!
    What do we do with two year old with tendons? Who wants them? They aren't useful on these tracks and at the end of the day they still have a tendon.
    There are so many things available for discussion at this point in Cal Racing history.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2007
    Location
    Norco, CA
    Posts
    923

    Default

    Listen - I'm the first to criticize the resource allocation aspect of the new tracks, although my perspective probably won't be shared by horsemen. Tens of millions of dollars spent by already financially beleagered racetracks to reduce catastrophic breakdowns - and the result is scores of young horses with expensive and complicated soft tissue injuries. And what happens to them? I see them at auction every month... Just a lovely unintended consequence. Personally, if it's my horse - I prefer instantaneous euthanasia anyday of the week to him being dropped into the southern california slaughter pipeline. And dollars spent by, for example, Santa Anita towards humane racehorse retirement to support the soft tissue victims? Hmm, maybe 5K per year. I'm remembering less by Hollywood Park. Hopefully this aspect is changing under CARMA and the MEC policy, but if those tens of millions had been spent on rehabilitation and retirement? Well - I'd have been a happier racing fan I know that.

    Nonetheless, I'd have to say intentions were good. Shapiro stuck his neck out for integrity and was the first CHRB Chair to take seriously and attempt to address the results of more than a decade of CHRB supported post-mortem studies... At least a little accountability there.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Location
    In A World Called Catastrophe
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    He stuck his neck out, but I am not certain we are farther ahead at this point. It will take some big numbers and tangible evidence in order to do so. At this point, that just isn't available.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2007
    Location
    Norco, CA
    Posts
    923

    Default

    Joe Harper seems very confident of the track improvement for Del Mar. The tracks change however... HP is not what it was a year ago (the relevance of which seems rather limited if today's news is reliable).



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Location
    In A World Called Catastrophe
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    Harper should be happily expectant for Del Mar. That's his job. Obviously a job well done. You buy it.
    Hollywood has had it's short comings. And alot of that has to do with the short "shelf life" of the synthetics. They all require "doctoring."Expense not anticipated. The have to re apply the polymer yearly? Bi yearly?
    Harper is supposed to pump up his product. Rely on the horsemen. Reality lies there.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2007
    Location
    Norco, CA
    Posts
    923

    Default

    Let me ask you something out of curiousity: how do you explain the long shelf life of the training tracks in Newmarket or (and I hate to mention this name, I own a horse that ran there and I feel sorry for him) the track at Lingfield Park? Is the climate at HP so very different? Obviously systematically warmer in the summer, but dampish all year around...

    I'm not naieve, Blinkers On. But I have seen stats from Del Mar... Joe Harper isn't completely out of his mind to suggest their catastrophic breakdown rate is much lower...

    ETA: SO reports tonight that, yes, around the 3/8 pole it was a little puddley,
    but that relative to the amount of rainfall - this track held up way better than a dirt track would have done (he's been galloping at SA since 1976). Noone in the barn complained at any time, all the horses were galloped, not jogged, and that the sealing of a dirt track that would have been needed to protect it from this onslaught would have been way harder on the horses...
    Last edited by Blueshadow; Dec. 18, 2008 at 02:29 AM.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,004

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueshadow View Post
    Let me ask you something out of curiousity: how do you explain the long shelf life of the training tracks in Newmarket or (and I hate to mention this name, I own a horse that ran there and I feel sorry for him) the track at Lingfield Park? Is the climate at HP so very different? Obviously systematically warmer in the summer, but dampish all year around...

    No expert here but if I were guessing it probably has something to do with overuse, climate, UV radiation (we are talking rubber and wax here) and a general disinclination here to do the rocket science it takes to tweak this stuff into shape. Remember that we are in the mess because the dirt tracks weren't maintained and horses were running on the same base that Seabiscuit raced on. So they put in something that even advocates like Dr Arthur admit needs more maintenance and surprise surprise near bankrupt entities like Magna and tracks on life support like Hollywood aren't willing to do it. The result is that Hollywood in particular is a disaster right now.

    There were 3 breakdowns in one hour last Saturday on the California synthetics and at least one was fatal. It wasn't reported anywhere I can see and if this happened on dirt people would be howling. But these were bet the track kind of moves and the PR machine is cranked up. Speaking as someone in the trenches of ownership though, I am troubled by what I am hearing off the record and I wonder about the future of racing in this state. When you do away with the little guys and the little stables, the pyramid topples and that's what happening when few horses stay sound.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Location
    In A World Called Catastrophe
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueshadow View Post
    Let me ask you something out of curiosity: how do you explain the long shelf life of the training tracks in Newmarket or (and I hate to mention this name, I own a horse that ran there and I feel sorry for him) the track at Lingfield Park? Is the climate at HP so very different? Obviously systematically warmer in the summer, but dampish all year around...

    I'm not naive, Blinkers On. But I have seen stats from Del Mar... Joe Harper isn't completely out of his mind to suggest their catastrophic breakdown rate is much lower...

    ETA: SO reports tonight that, yes, around the 3/8 pole it was a little puddley,
    but that relative to the amount of rainfall - this track held up way better than a dirt track would have done (he's been galloping at SA since 1976). No One in the barn complained at any time, all the horses were galloped, not jogged, and that the sealing of a dirt track that would have been needed to protect it from this onslaught would have been way harder on the horses...

    Again I don't disagree with the post above this one, but I thought quoting both was a bit much.
    I too would much rather euthanasia over slaughter any day. Too may horses get run through the auction yard cast off when we are "done" with them. There in lies some of my issue with synthetics.
    Soft tissue is our reality. You end up with a year off and are always fighting against the former injury. And these are the horses we will See trickle down the claiming ranks... to what end?
    Fracture and chips are easier repaired and that is far more useful to us. Sure chip horses always had a chip and they will likely carry more fluid or even have yet another chip down the road, but we can get into a joint remove the chip, clean up the joint and time off. But half of the time required by soft tissue.
    As I had stated formerly I DO think that all tracks should place a rule on the number of surgeries one individual has been subject to and it's "usefulness" as a race horse. At some point those horses do become a ticking time bomb. I fully am an advocate that a massive majority if catastrophic injuries were a pre-existing condition. What went into the "condition?" what factors played a part? What was the key player? Trainer? Owner pressing to run? Surface?
    I personally think if we clean up the human end of things we will see a dramatic reduction in injury. And that is what we want at the end of the day!

    Owners should maybe have 10% of the purse pulled from account when there are monies won. That 10% should be then shifted to rescues or an equine retirement fund. Where someone rehabs what is rehab able, re schools, and finds new lives for horses. The horses that are done with a career other than pasture puff are allowed to live out their lives OR are euthanized. I think if owners were actually accountable for their equine commodity, then maybe care would elevate also. As their responsibility doesn't end at gate 9. IS this reasonable? I think so. It is a small price to pay for what the horse gives us.
    I don't think donation to a retirement fund in any jurisdiction should be voluntary it should be mandatory.

    Comparing synthetics in Europe to how synthetics in California is somewhat useful and yet is it? I am sure they must get hot weather, but for some reason I see a lot of rain. I really am not familliar with their climate. I am familliar with ours.
    I would wonder how often their synthetic courses are maintained. I don't know that we have that down yet.
    Add in how often maintenance includes adding the polymer or wax.We seem to be doing that for every meet. Aside from Del mar, BUT that surface only has horses on it for MAYBE 8 weeks of the year. As opposed to Hollywood and Santa Anita that are open year round for training and have meets 2x a year. The "big" meet at Santa Anita is just around the corner.
    What type of heat is ever applied to the tracks in Europe vs the heat applied in CA, Woodbine, Arlington heck even Keeneland in hot weather. And for how many weeks? Months? at a time? What is surface heat at the height of good weather?
    Those factors have played a huge role in the failure of these tracks. First year at Del Mar we had a ridiculous # of soft tissue injuries. My frustrated mantra was "a round of high suspensories for all!" Horses we had in the barn, horses we claimed.. Fighting suspensories, tendon's, curbs, check's... you name it it was happening. It was tediously slow.. the surface. No problem train a little harder into a race and get them to sit off of it, swing wide and you had a shot to win. Which we were fortunate to do 12 times in 6 weeks. We aren't Mitchell or Sadler, but we had a good meet.
    It's not that we haven't had success on synthetics, it's the rate of injury. And it is high. One thing that I will always do is err on the side of caution. If that's my short coming, then so be it.

    Del Mar is always going to be a successful meet. It's the summer party zone. Everyone wants to be their. It's fantastic! A change is as good as a rest.

    This year at Del Mar. x ray and nuc scan were utilized again for, I think I recall, something like just under 400 head. Add in how many horses were scanned... wait do we have a record of how many horses were scanned for soft tissue? We do not. Error or oversight?
    How many horses dropped dead on track in 6 weeks. That number is higher. Two horses that I am aware of died of apparent heart attack on track in the morning. Although it is only 2, that is a significant number as it is fairly rare. One pony horse died in it's stall of what could be described at heart attack behaviour. 3 horses, maybe, in 6 weeks. That's high!
    What factor played a role? Do inhalent properties from these tracks add in to the equation? Sadly, I think they do.
    Although they are keeping record of catastrophes, there are horses falling through the cracks. They need to implement and maybe publish a record of who was scanned, who had a nuc scan, MRI.. etc. Then their numbers will be more complete. Add in the necropsy report on horses that drop dead and we are moving forward.
    Mr Harper is not wrong, nor is Dr Arthur. BUT they are only projecting a fraction of what is real. The rate of injury resulting in death are down, but the rate of injury isn't.
    The rate of injury needs to be included.


    The thing with the puddling at the 3/8 pole is that there was a problem at that spot BEFORE we went to Del Mar. Horses that worked would have to work off the fence in the turn to not hit the soft spots. Down the lane even today, there is a light spot let's say 4 wide at the 1/8 pole. Add in the bog at the 1/4 pole and 3/4 chute and we are racing on a bog....in spots... Not good for the safety of the horse.
    Pro Ride IS an improvement! BUT there are some serious common trends with the surface now and last year. The "spots of interest" Are showing up to be the same. They aren't all there yet, but they are becoming more and more evident as weather happens.
    If you can't work on it, why should they be galloped over it? For many a gallop is the better part of a very open gallop... When something is questionable for safety at a rate of speed, then a gallop other than a hobby horse should be a part of the equation. They will get torn up! Add that to the list of injury down the line. What were the factors that resulted in "x" injury?

    Pronzi, thanks. You are dead on. It is the "off the record" stuff that I am increasingly frustrated by as well. Also the numbers at Del Mar the inaugural year were off. People in the employ of DM, Magna, Lord have mercy, Bay Meadows need to pimp their product. Frankly we are always going to Del Mar. Horses were snapping legs left and right and they still had a full barn area.
    This year people couldn't get out of there fast enough and they shy of shudder when the meet is brought up. The rate of attrition is massive.

    If you read through this you are a saint.. sorry .



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 1999
    Posts
    17,599

    Default

    All tracks are different due to climate so each needs to be examined by itself. I am surprise by the number of workout injuries from So. Cal tracks on synthetics vs. the relatively non-existant ones at dirt tracks like Saratoga, for example. (None of the more than 3,000 horses that raced during the 36-day meet in 2008 sustained injuries that required them to be euthanized.)

    Just recently was Kentucky Bear, a Preakness also-ran, who "suffering an undisclosed injury during a workout" on the synthetic Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita Park on December 7.

    Yes injuries happen during workouts everywhere but there just seems to be a disproportionate fair share in this whole equation.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 1999
    Posts
    17,599

    Default

    Add another workout injury at Santa Anita: Canada's HOY - DRF 12-19-08 "Fatal Bullet hurt, .."

    Fatal Bullet, who earlier this month was voted Canada's Horse of the Year, suffered a knee injury this past week at Santa Anita while training for the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes and will be sidelined for at least three months, trainer Reade Baker said Friday.

    "I had three horses out there, those two and a maiden," Baker said Friday morning. "They didn't like that surface, that's for sure. I'm taking the maiden to Palm Meadows. I've got 20 horses there."
    We're not talking cheap claimers here, these are top-level Grade 1 runners getting injured. Doesn't that raise some questions?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Location
    In A World Called Catastrophe
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    And we hoon the merry go round again.. What's the over under on racing halted due to surface failure before the first of the year?



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2007
    Location
    Norco, CA
    Posts
    923

    Default

    I did read it all! But very definitly, I'm not a saint

    I don't have any answers, but it does appear that two things are true of Pro-Ride 1) it holds up a damn sight better under rain than last year's track 2) it is fast, very fast, and therefore it kills at a regular rate. Breeders Cup weekend on Pro-Ride, I have to say, was the most enjoyable couple of days of racing I've attended in a long, long time.

    I agree with you 100% on one thing and I'l restate it in my own words: at the end of the day, it is the quality of the human factor of production in racing that matters most for the safety of these horses ... both on the track, and when they leave it.

    Happy holidays Blinkers On - hopefully we'll both enjoy Opening Day



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2007
    Location
    Norco, CA
    Posts
    923

    Default And by the way...

    Owners should maybe have 10% of the purse pulled from account when there are monies won. That 10% should be then shifted to rescues or an equine retirement fund. Where someone rehabs what is rehab able, re schools, and finds new lives for horses. The horses that are done with a career other than pasture puff are allowed to live out their lives OR are euthanized. I think if owners were actually accountable for their equine commodity, then maybe care would elevate also. As their responsibility doesn't end at gate 9. IS this reasonable? I think so. It is a small price to pay for what the horse gives us. I don't think donation to a retirement fund in any jurisdiction should be voluntary it should be mandatory.

    Blinkers On, this is exactly my view. I wish that the CARMA owners tax were mandatory, or better that it were unnecessary to "tax" owners at all because they would automatically support their horses through rehab, rehoming, and/or retirement. I have thought that CARMA might offer a "carrot" incentive for owners also: offering to subsidize the cost to owners of humane retirement.

    I should say that Ron Charles as COO of MEC stepped up for a young horse I found at auction a couple of weeks ago in southern California - and in Mary Forney's TOC blog on that event, Auerbach stated that an emergency fund would be created to help rescue horses dumped at auction in the future. I've been impressed by Charles's commitment to the new MEC policy - and not only in the case that I have direct experience with. But if we are to rescue these horses - funds are desperately needed to help rehab, transition and in some cases permanently retire them as "pasture puffs"... All those tens of millions on new tracks... well, I won't repeat myself on that.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Location
    In A World Called Catastrophe
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    Agreed on all accounts Blueshadow. And have a merry Christmas!

    And for the above post.. what and how do we do something about it?



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2008
    Posts
    1,628

    Default

    10% is too much. When a horse at a mid-level track wins a $8k winners share of the purse, they'll pay $2,400 to the trainer, retirement fund and jockey plus another $1,500 for monthly bills which leaves very little and owners would flock away from the sport. I'd rather see a per start fee that isn't as much.



Similar Threads

  1. Breeches good news, bad news, question
    By staceyk in forum Dressage
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Dec. 25, 2010, 10:17 PM
  2. Replies: 21
    Last Post: Dec. 15, 2009, 12:51 PM
  3. Hand In Glove mare: Good News, Bad News!
    By flashykatt in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Sep. 11, 2009, 06:21 PM
  4. Replies: 5
    Last Post: Aug. 28, 2009, 03:53 PM
  5. Replies: 132
    Last Post: Sep. 1, 2005, 08:45 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness