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Concerned About Preakness Gate/Start 'Incident'

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  • Concerned About Preakness Gate/Start 'Incident'

    Any Ideas? Thoughts/ etc.

  • #2
    The horse was acting up, and the gate man had hold of him trying to straighten him out. Improbable, closer inside, was also throwing what's becoming his habitual gate fit, and I think the starter was paying more attention to his antics and hit the button when Improbable got still for a microsecond and didn't realize that BE wasn't ready. When the door opened right then, BE reared up and then buck/hopped because the gate man still had a hold of him and he's trained to light out of there when the gate opened. Poor Johnny V never got close to 8 seconds. Don't think any of us could have sat that one out.

    Just a failure of communication. Starter didn't realize they weren't ready. Gate man was doing his job trying to straighten the horse. The gate just opened at the wrong moment, IMHO because Improbable had even more ants under his saddle and was still for a split second, and the starter was trying to catch a good moment with him before he did something else.

    Now available in Kindle as well as print: C-Sharp Minor: My Mother's Seventeen-Year Journey through Dementia. 10% of my proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association.


    • #3
      What dressagetraks said


      • #4
        Nice explanation, dressagetraks
        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


        • #5
          Good to see War Of Will show he's still got what it takes!

          And kudos to the outrider who tried to catch BE. He/she was really gettin' it to try to prevent what could have been another pileup.
          The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
          Winston Churchill


          • #6
            Wondering if MD will have a new starter shortly. You can’t mess up like that.
            "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


            • #7
              Given that Bodexpress was not declared a non-starter, I am thinking the assistant started was not "blamed" for the incident and no reason to replace him. I also felt he though he may have had some influence but with the start official, not that much influence. Johnny V said post race he had his feet out of the irons as Bodexpress was acing up a bit in the gate as well..

              Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge


              • #8
                The outrider certainly tried to stop Bodexpress, but made a good decision to stop trying too. I was so afraid Bodexpress was going to trip up another horse.

                I think the assistant starter in the gate was blameless, and doing his best to help the situation, but the starter was probably watching the known problem horse, and didn't see the wrestling going on with BE. I just hope Johnny V is OK, and hope BE enjoyed his extra exercise. I wonder if they'll do more gate training with BE?
                Last edited by JanM; May. 19, 2019, 03:47 PM.
                You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                • #9
                  NBC finally did get around to interviewing Johnny V who is where I hear the issues with Bodexpress leaning on his side in the gate and Johnny having his feet out of the stirrups. JV said he was fine, wasn't even going to see the Dr.

                  I'm wondering from that head-on shot if the buck coming out of the gate hit JV in a "delicate" place which may be contributed to him not just bouncing up when he landed. He knew he didn't have long before he needed to get out of the way at the very least
                  Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge


                  • #10
                    Here's a great article on the "victorious" outrider who caught him.

                    Now available in Kindle as well as print: C-Sharp Minor: My Mother's Seventeen-Year Journey through Dementia. 10% of my proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association.


                    • #11
                      That's a super article. I wondered if it was the same outrider that chased him down both times.
                      You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post
                        Here's a great article on the "victorious" outrider who caught him.

                        She is one awesome woman.
                        "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


                        • #13
                          Man! Is Drake running around on race day wearing shirts with the race names on it??! Certainly seems like this year’s triple crown races are cursed so far!
                          Talking to some people is like folding a fitted sheet.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post
                            Here's a great article on the "victorious" outrider who caught him.

                            That was a great read!!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JanM View Post
                              I wonder if they'll do more gate training with BE?
                              Or Improbable?

                              Serious Q as I don't really know racing - if a horse is a habitual gate problem, does it ever get banned until it can borderline behave? Or does it not matter?
                              Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


                              • #16
                                Yes, it matters. Owners and trainers want the horse run well and if it is spazzing out in the gate it is less likely to win and may well hurt itself and/or the people on and around it. There are requirements for a horse to be allowed to continue if it has had habitual gate problems, however it is in the interest of the owners and trainers to school the horse.

                                No matter what some some folks have been led to believe, owners and trainers really don't want their horses to die, or to be injured, or to kill anyone or any thing...


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by JanM View Post
                                  I wonder if they'll do more gate training with BE?
                                  The horse can also be placed on the starters list, meaning it has to do mandatory gate training until the starter is satisfied the horse will stand and break clean. Usually gate crews become familiar with a difficult horse because the horse schools with them, unfortunately, at this level, the horse travels and the gate crew has never worked with the horse before. Starts can, and do, consult with the trainer as well as with the starter from the horse's home track if the horse really has a reputation or issue.
                                  "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


                                  • #18
                                    I'm sort of surprised. Aren't Baffert horses generally pretty good in the gate? Would never think that his horses would be much of a problem. Also, so glad that Bode stayed mostly to the outside and didn't cause too much trouble.

                                    Two TC races, two "almost" incidents.


                                    • #19
                                      betonbill As I'm sure you realize, horses are individuals. Baffert has gadzooks of horses under the supervision on multiple assistant trainers. You're bound to get a nutter at some point. I would not consider Improbable's behavior a reflection on any of his people. Who knows why he is the way he is. I'm sure the team has taken action to address the behavior, as noted above, he could be placed on the starter's list and even be banned from racing if his behavior becomes too dangerous.
                                      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                                      • #20
                                        I don't remember where I read this old expression about a horse who "runs his race in the starting gate" -- he gets so wrought up that he uses up all his energy before the break.

                                        I've never read it about horses starting from behind a barrier.

                                        I guess Bodexpress's people aren't talking about complaining or filing suit because their horse was interfered with?

                                        Man o' War's people didn't lodge a complaint or file a suit when Johnny Loftus had the sometimes-fractious colt turned sideways behind the barrier at the start of the Hopeful and was left napping when the barrier went up. Man o' War's only loss but I've never heard of anyone complaining about it. And this year is the centennial of that loss.
                                        Rack on!