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Improvements you have see in TB racing

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  • Improvements you have see in TB racing

    Since the topic of GeorgeWashington's accident came up, I'd love to hear from those who work at the track to let us all know of the improvements you have seen over the years.

    We've seen so much advancement to all other equine sports--better protective gear for both horses and riders---I'd love to get your input on the changes for the better for the horses(and jockey's)

    Let's start a positive thread that people can learn from and realize TB racing isn't terrible---don't let a few bad apples spoil the orchard(and a few bad posters for that matter )

  • #2
    All I can say is -

    ERIN HELP!!!! She/he's starting another one...


    • #3
      What is wrong with her question?


      • #4
        Lora, taken in context with what he/she has written so far about GW, it is clearly just another vehicle to allow him/her to point out how evil racing is and dispute anyone who tries to disagree.

        If the objective of this thread was truly to seek out ways to improve racing I'd be all for it, but the odds of that being the case are to me nil to nada.



        • #5
          Well he/she seems to be banned (at least for a while).

          So does anyone have any idea on how to improve racing?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Lora View Post
            Well he/she seems to be banned (at least for a while).

            So does anyone have any idea on how to improve racing?
            What I would personally find helpful would be if the people jumping up and down screaming and saying this and that need to be changed would actually take some time to actually learn about racing first.

            It really hard to take anyone seriously if they have no involvement or interest in the sport, yet get on their soapbox and pontificate to the world how it should be.

            As uneducated as LE is about racing, s/he is in no position to be making suggestions.


            • #7
              I would like to see all drugs banned - including lasix.


              • #8
                And all toe grabs.
                * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                • #9
                  Lora- you want to back up your contention of why you want all drugs, including lasix, banned?

                  Being a racing buff myself, and although I consider myself fairly well informed, I had never thought much about toe grabs, etc, until it was mentioned a TON at the BC this weekend. I had seen them on shoes of horses I have gotten from the track, but never paid a whole lot of attention.

                  I know that in 'chasing toe grabs, studs, etc are NOT allowed.


                  • #10
                    I know the jury is still out, but I feel the synthetic surface is an improvement.
                    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SteeleRdr View Post
                      I know that in 'chasing toe grabs, studs, etc are NOT allowed.
                      Actually, I believe that toe grabs are banned in all racing venues in Virginia. And apparently, the racing officials are serious about enforcing it.

                      Go Virginia.
                      * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                      • #12
                        Thank you for that tidbit Madeline. I was unaware it applied to all of VA.


                        • #13
                          I do not see anything in regards to the OP trying to critisize racing. I think this is a positive thread---HAVE any of you seen changes to make it safer for horses?

                          People here seem to have a problem with others outside of what is being posted here. That is a shame. I have been a long time lurker and now am nervous in posting questions.


                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=SteeleRdr;2771167]Lora- you want to back up your contention of why you want all drugs, including lasix, banned?

                            If the horse is healthy why would he/she need any drugs in his system to race? In my opinion, any type of drugs even legal ones are masking problems.


                            • #15
                              I can just speak for the one trainer I've worked for in 'chasing, but most every horse we had ran on Lasix. Minus one who did not because he ran better when he wasn't one it.

                              It was mostly used as a preventative measure. Not really to mask any problems. Only had one horse that did bleed, and he ran on more than just Lasix, again as a preventative measure. The horse was retired after 2 seasons of 'chasing and became a foxhunter.

                              Maybe one of the trainer's on here (Laurierace?) can chime in on the use.


                              • #16
                                Improvements I can think of, with documentation

                                Well things at Suffolk have been a lot more on the up & up since Whitey Bulger skipped town, and purses there were a little higher this season than the last few...but I guess those aren't the kinds of improvements you're asking about.

                                There have been many improvements from a horse welfare perspective. Understand, however, that horse sports, racing especially, are steeped in tradition so change is slooow. Nobody wants to be the one who shows up to the funeral in red. Sometimes awareness is a big step forward.

                                Drugs in themselves aren't bad, it is the people who misuse them who must be held accountable. Biancone's relative slap on the wrist was a joke IMO, but at least we are seeing "tighter regulations" on cobra venom as a result.

                                There has been a crack down on milkshakes.

                                U Penn has developed a test to detect the presence of EPO in horses, but to be effective in preventing blood doping, it would require out-of-competition testing.

                                The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is helping to fund a research project planned in November to study the effectiveness of furosemide (lasix).

                                Earlier this year the California Horse Racing Board made a move to ban long toe grabs, but it was voted down. Keeping in mind that awareness is a step towards change, the Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation's September 07 newsletter featured hoof care and discussed how toe grabs present a greater risk of musculoskeletal injuries. Hopefully this planted a seed or two.

                                Let us not forget the advent of Fontana Safety Rail, designed with a slant to help prevent or lessen the injuries suffered by horse or jockey in a spill like the one Angel Cordero had in 1992.

                                Improvements I have seen locally: I was not sad to see Northhampton close. The intimate atmosphere was fun for bettors, but that bullring was murder on horses already too sore to be competitive elsewhere.

                                Thanks to the efforts of groups like CANTER, more owners and trainers are receptive to the idea of letting bottom level horses move on to second careers rather than "disposing" of them otherwise.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Barnfairy View Post
                                  Well things at Suffolk have been a lot more on the up & up since Whitey Bulger skipped town ...
                                  Not to hijack, but the good thing is that after all of the (private) investigating I did Whitey didn't have a hand in the Isabella Stewart Gardner. Now you never can be sure if Myles Connor doesn't know where the Vermeer, Rembrandt, et al are today .... I mean the guy filtched THE royal wax seal from the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter!

                                  Back to your regularly scheduled discussion on the improvements to racing ....


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Barnfairy View Post
                                    Thanks to the efforts of groups like CANTER, more owners and trainers are receptive to the idea of letting bottom level horses move on to second careers rather than "disposing" of them otherwise.
                                    Ditto everything Barnfairy said in an excellent post, and emphasis in particular on the last point. I also like CDI (Churchill Downs Inc.) fledgling "Greener Pastures" program that encourages trainers to retire horses sound.

                                    Elevating the value of the OTTB above meat price to give trainers real incentive to retire them sound is one of Wood End's key missions. We'll let you know how it goes ... (we're pushing a lot of water up hill right now.)
                                    Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

                                    Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Madeline View Post
                                      And all toe grabs.
                                      I've heard of the toe grab issue, but I'm not familiar with the grabs themselves. Could someone give me a quick explanation of what they're used for in the first place?

                                      "The present tense of regret is indecision."
                                      - Welcome to Night Vale


                                      • #20
                                        We want our horses off Lasix. It's a PITA and I fully agree with my husbands assessment that it does very little for the vast majority of horses. In fact, those of ours on it know it's "race day" when the needles come around and that can hype them up.

                                        As for toe grabs, I hate them personally, but I do prefer rims. To have neither on a dirt surface is like asking an olympic runner to wear sandals instead of athletic shoes. Good luck getting most trainers to go with that concept. I fully understand the added strain a toe grab puts on the tendon. The rim gives an equal pull across the entire surface of the hoof. My horses are shod with a no-vibe (greatly reduces the concussion of the ground on the structure of the hoof and leg) low toe grab or a rim. Much preferred is the rim, but the farriers do not always have them up here for some reason. Of course, grass up here does not allow any grabbing surface and rightly so. I also think the way a horse grabs the synthetic surfaces should be studied in terms of shoeing. I've yet to hear any such studies being performed though.

                                        As many have mentioned, it is an industry of old traditions and slow changes, but there are changes. Portions of purses and special track fundraisers for both thoroughbred and standardbred retirement organizations are held at a large majority of tracks. Owners are becoming aware of the options beyond the auction houses for their horses after their racing careers. Stringent drug testing and vet inspection pre and post racing are occuring regularly, commission vets are eyeing non-performers and singling out trainers for it, some breeders are following their horses through their careers and will offer homes for the ones in danger, and with the modern age of technology I'd dare say racing is even more under the public eye then ever before. Lots of cameras, lots of coverage, lots of eyes on the horses, and no sweeping trajedy under the rug.

                                        Next year we are seriously considering training on our farm and shipping in for the races. It's certainly not that common, but the horses are more relaxed at home and in the fields, and we have the property to train them here, so it might work for us. Many standardbreds have that luxury, and I think it's part of why many of that breed shift gears to non-racing homes easier then TBs.