|Sunday, April 20||Overnight|
|Race 1||Waiver Maiden Claiming – $7,500||$6,725|
|Race 2||Waiver Claiming – $7,500||$7,450|
|Race 3||Waiver Claiming – $12,500||$9,975|
|Race 4||Claiming – $3,500||$5,700|
|Race 5||Claiming – $12,500||$9,975|
|Race 6||Waiver Claiming – $2,500||$5,300|
|Race 9||Maiden Claiming – $5,000||$5,500|
HASTINGS WORKOUTS FOR WEDNESDAY
Wednesday morning at Hastings Racecourse was wet, cold and miserable but trainers pushed on with just 10 days to opening day.
There was a total of 32 horses that recorded workouts for the morning over a very sloppy track.
There were only two horses that recorded workouts going 3/8ths of mile and two unraced 3 -year-old fillies went in the identical time of .40 seconds flat. They were Blues Be Gone and Splashy Christine. Sorry I couldn’t track down the owner or trainer of record.
Devil in Disguise from the Troy Taylor barn was the better of six horses in total that worked four furlongs. With veteran rider, Frank Fuentes in the tack the he skipped thru the mud in 47 3/5 seconds.
As opening day draws nearer more and more horses are working five furlongs each day as trainers put the final touches on their horses. Twenty four horses on Wednesday morning turned in 5/8ths works.
Bridge Jumper owned by NATHC earned the black letter work as he scampered thru the slop in 59 4/5 seconds.
NOMINATIONS CLOSE TODAY FOR TWO OPENING DAY STAKE RACES
One more reminder to horsemen that nominations close today for the $50,000 George Royal and $50,000 Brighouse Belles to be run on opening day, April 27th.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Progress is great word, But Change is its motivator, and change has its enemies
|April 21 – Turf Paradise|
|Lord Henry||Race 8||Claiming $3,000|
|April 22 – Turf Paradise|
|Texas Buccaneer||Race 8||Claiming $3,200|
|April 19 – Turf Paradise|
|Baloch Or||Race 6||Claiming $3,500|
|April 22 – Turf Paradise|
|Get Up and Try||Race 4||Maiden Optional Claiming $30,000|
|Blaine D. Wright|
|April 18 – Golden Gate|
|Koos Is Loose||Race 2||Maiden Claiming $8,000|
|April 19 – Emerald Downs|
|Sthenios||Race 2||Maiden Claiming $15,000|
Besilu Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Constitution will miss the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the other two Triple Crown races after a hairline fracture in his front right cannon bone was discovered April 14.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the undefeated son of Tapit breezed a half mile in :50 3/5 April 13 at Palm Meadows training track in Boynton Beach, Fla., and the following morning he was discovered to be off in his right front leg.
“This is one of the biggest disappointments of my career,” Pletcher said. “I really feel Constitution was our biggest chance to win the Kentucky Derby since Super Saver . My routine with all my horses is to jog them down the road, and I noticed he was slightly off (Monday). Dr. Yarborough took x-rays that revealed a slight hairline in his shin. Thankfully, it’s nothing very serious, and Constitution will be back to 100% after a little time. The timing is just a real shame for everyone involved, but the Derby doesn’t define a horse’s career.”
Constitution will be shipped to Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky. to rehabilitate, with hopes of returning to training in 60 days and racing again in 2014. The talented bay colt is owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables.
“While we are extremely disappointed to miss the Kentucky Derby, we’re just as excited about the future of Constitution,” said Randy Gullatt, Twin Creeks Racing’s general manager. “We think he’s just scratching the surface of his talent.”
WinStar President Elliott Walden added: “Todd has done a tremendous job with Constitution and I can’t wait to get him back for two reasons: firstly, he has so much to accomplish; and secondly, he is the most exciting stallion prospect of his generation.”
Constitution holds a perfect record of three wins from three starts this winter at Gulfstream Park, including his victory in the March 29 Florida Derby. Out of the Distorted Humor mare Baffled, he has earnings of $649,350 to date. Bred in Kentucky by Grapestock and Fox Hill Farms, he was a $400,000 purchase at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/84413/injury-knocks-constitution-off-derby-trail#ixzz2z7CCgHo6
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/84406/hamilton-joins-darby-dan-farm#ixzz2z7AYN0nc
At least one regulator investigating violations alleged in a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals video posted last month involving the stable of trainer Steve Asmussen expects the inquiry to take at least several months.
Racing regulators in New York and Kentucky have launched investigations related to the PETA video that was collected by one of its members while she worked last year for Asmussen. Involved parties say videos were shot at both Churchill Downs and Saratoga Race Course over a period of at least four months.
Following PETA’s release of some video footage last month, the New York State Gaming Commission announced it would investigate allegations of abuse and mistreatment of horses by Asmussen and his then-assistant trainer, Scott Blasi. The NYSGC also said it would look into PETA allegations against jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. and track veterinarians Joseph Migliacci and James Hunt.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission also has launched an investigation related to the video. KHRC executive director John Ward said PETA has sent the commission a short video that includes only a few minutes of footage shot in Kentucky. He said the KHRC has requested all of the video compiled by PETA but has yet to receive it from the animal rights group.
“It’s a slow process. We are moving at a fast snail’s pace dictated by the PETA organization,” said Ward, noting that the animal rights organization may have more videos it plans to release. “We have already done all of our due diligence as far as what we have seen. Our scenario now is to find out what other information they have. That’s kind of the same way New York is.”
NYGSC spokesman Lee Park said the regulator is declining to comment because of the investigation.
Asmussen’s attorney Clark Brewster said PETA has been uncooperative in supplying them with all of the available video.
“PETA has never supplied us with any video or even their complaints. We’ve either had to get them from (Freedom of Information Act) requests or the media,” Brewster said. “We’re pursuing all the video available.”
Brewster said he and his client have been in contact with regulators from New York and Kentucky.
“We’ve reached out to both New York and Kentucky to let them know that any materials they need, any documents we have; we’re completely open,” Brewster said. “Steve told me to be transparent in every respect. We’re supplying any documentation requested and Steve is available to speak with them at any time. I’ve been in contact with representatives from both of those states.”
In a March 20 release, the NYSGC said it would investigate allegations of abuse and mistreatment of horses in the Asmussen barn.
New York keeps one of the most transparent databases on equine injuries and deaths in the country, searchable by trainer. According to the database, Asmussen has not had a single horse in his care die during a race since the database was launched before racing shifted to the main oval at Aqueduct in the spring of 2009 through its most recent update of April 10 this year.
Looking at stats for the full years available, 2010-2013, Asmussen started 847 horses at New York tracks without a single fatality. During those years, horses suffered fatal breakdowns (as listed in the database) in New York races at a rate of 1 every 438 starts.
The state also keeps track of equine fatalities during training. Using starts to help define a rate for this statistic, horses in New York from 2010-2013 broke down at a rate of once every 260 “starts.” (for these purposes “starts” count race starts but include fatalities suffered while racing or training for those starts.)
Asmussen had five horses die during training from the time the database was launched in 2009 through 2014: Timberah, Edwards, Kensei, Liston, and Whistleblower. In looking at statistics from the full years available for the trainer (2010-2013), Asmussen horses died in racing or training for those races once every 212 “starts,” a rate that is 18% higher than the state average.
In New York, PETA filed complaints with the NYSGC alleging veterinarians administered furosemide to horses who did not qualify for the drug, a fact they say Blasi knew.
Like all racing jurisdictions in the U.S., New York allows race-day furosemide (Salix, commonly called Lasix) as a medication to prevent or reduce the severity of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. In the video, it is unclear what horse is receiving the Salix administration or when it was received.
In New York it is not a high hurdle for a horse to be allowed to receive Salix. The state’s racing regulations allow it to be administered to any horse that has bled visibly during a race or workout as determined by a regulatory veterinarian or attending veterinarian, which may or may not include an endoscopic exam after a race or workout. Horses who were eligible for Salix in another state also are eligible in New York, horses who race on furosemide in their previous start are eligible, and a horse placed on a list for furosemide is eligible. According to the regulation, a horse who qualifies in any of the above categories is eligible for Salix.
Since 2010, Asmussen twice has been sanctioned for Salix violations. In January 2010, Asmussen paid a fine of $500 after pleading “no contest” to charges of a Salix overage at Remington Park in Oklahoma. In July of that year, he was fined $100 for giving Salix too close to the race.
According to the industry website ownerview.com, since 2009 Asmussen has had two other drug positives for which he was penalized. Both were for therapeutic medications allowed in the sport that have to be out of a horse’s system on race day or at a race-day level that does not affect performance. In March 2011 the Maryland Racing Commission fined Asmussen $500 when pyrimethamine, a medication used to treat the equine neurological disease equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, was found in a horse’s system on race day; and in June of that year Kentucky stewards fined Asmussen $250 for an overage of the anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone.
Asmussen has had no sanctions for medication violations since that June 2011 fine, a period of nearly three years. Brewster believes it’s telling that PETA has made no allegations involving illegal drugs.
“One thing that PETA’s not saying is that there was any illegal medication. One thing that they’re not saying is that either of these guys or their employees gave any kind of shots, or anything that was wrong in regard to medication,” Brewster said. “I think that is important to note.
“There’s a lot of innuendo, belief among some people who saw the video that something terrible had gone wrong. As a matter of fact, there’s no substance to that and not even an accusation of that.”
PETA also alleged that jockey Santana used an electrical device, or “machine,” to shock horses while riding them for Asmussen. New York regulators will have a short list of races to review. Last year at Saratoga, Santana rode horses trained by Asmussen just three times, including a runner-up finish aboard Mico Margarita in the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II). He did not have a win in those three starts.
New York investigators will examine those races as well as any alleged incidents during training as state regulations forbid the possession of such electrical or mechanical devices on or near a racetrack.
Brewster said the video conversation of use of electrical devices was just horsemen relaying tall tales. He said it was telling that there was no video of such a device.
“Do you think that if there was a ‘machine’ being used that this girl, who was in and out of the barn for five months—in their tack room, and with the riders most of the time when they saddled in the morning and afternoons—don’t you think we’d have a candid conversation or a picture or something like that in five months?” Brewster questioned. “I think the fact that that did not occur over a five-month period suggests that was loose talk at a party.”
In Kentucky, PETA alleges a non-veterinarian employed by Asmussen administered a drug to one of his horses and Blasi maintained horses “who were apparently in poor physical condition, in apparent violation of Kentucky’s Thoroughbred racing regulations.” Ward said Kentucky would examine those allegations as well as any others that come up after watching the available video and meeting with PETA representatives.
Ward said the KHRC will follow rules of due process, which could require months of work.
“It’s advancing but not at the rate that the racing public would like to see it advance,” Ward said.
KHRC general counsel Susan Speckert is in charge of the investigation and she will be assisted by director of racing Marc Guilfoil and director of enforcement Chris Clark, a former detective with the Kentucky State Police.
“They’re used to doing these kinds of investigations,” Ward said. “They’ll be looking at all of the information as they get it.”
Ward added that the actions of the PETA member who gathered the video also could be examined because Kentucky racing regulations require license holders to report any potential animal abuse as soon as they become aware of it.
Brewster said Asmussen is looking forward to addressing PETA’s allegations.
“This is an attack on racing. Does racing have some issues it needs to resolve? Absolutely, and I think Steve would be at the first seat at the table,” Brewster said. “I think that needs to be done somewhere along the way. I think all of us in the business know that there are things that can be done better and more transparently for the public. I think that needs to be done.
“This is just an attack on the industry. Those people who join this or somehow revel in this attack on Steve Asmussen aren’t doing the industry any favors. If anything, they’re contributing to an organization whose dedicated purpose is to destroy racing.”
PETA also said it filed a complaint with the New York State Education Department, which oversees professional licenses. PETA alleges veterinarians “may have excessively administered unwarranted treatment to horses” in Asmussen’s barn. NYSED said it does not comment on any investigations until the results are complete and would not comment if it is undertaking such an investigation.
Such an investigation, if it takes place, could be ground-breaking for the industry. In recent years some leading racing regulators have suggested that veterinary boards should examine the practices of racetrack veterinarians.
PETA also alleged in its complaint to NYSED that a track veterinarian allegedly practiced veterinary medicine in New York for 10 years without a license. The PETA complaint does not list the name of the vet. The NYSGC said it would look into the actions of veterinarians James Hunt and Joseph Migliacci. According to NYSED records, Hunt has had a license since 1981 and Migliacci since 1992.
PETA also lodged complaints with Louisville Metro Animal Services. It alleged Asmussen and Blasi “subjected horses to cruel or injurious mistreatment by forcing injured and/or suffering horses to train and/or race, and mutilated horses’ legs by ‘blistering’ the legs with a caustic chemical. PETA also alleged that Santana used a device to shock horses.
LMAS said April 16 that it is not pursuing the investigation and has turned over the complaints to the KHRC.
PETA also has filed complaints with the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, and the New York Department of Labor alleging violations of minimum wage laws, undocumented workers, false identification, and other related labor law violations.
In 2010 in Texas and in 2011 in Oklahoma, Asmussen was fined for employing an unlicensed groom.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/84427/regulators-begin-asmussen-investigations#ixzz2z79x8FqW
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/84407/game-on-dude-arrives-for-charles-town-classic#ixzz2z79ZaZX4
Industry leader Frank Stronach has taken a stand on integrity reforms and his racetracks will take the lead in implementing measures aimed at eliminating drug abuse and the mistreatment of horses, it was announced April 16.
The Stronach Group owns Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Pimlico Race Course, Golden Gate Fields, Laurel Park, and Portland Meadows. Its outspoken founder and chairman is one of North America’s top Thoroughbred breeders, represented by his Adena Springs operations in Florida, Canada, and Lexington.
“The Stronach Group has always been committed to ensuring that our horse racing businesses operate with integrity and concern for the health and safety of the horses and the people who work with them,” Stronach said in a release. “Now, more than ever, we as track operators, horsemen and regulators must come together to do everything we can to prevent any abuse of our Thoroughbred athletes.
“We must also work diligently to ban any individuals engaged in fraudulent or harmful activities from participating in our sport. The goal of these efforts is to achieve the highest standards with respect to the integrity of our sport and the safety of our athletes, both equine and human.
“The Stronach Group is supportive of all initiatives that help achieve the goal of horses competing free from the influence of medication, and therefore fully supports the horse racing industry’s first ever National Uniform Medication Program,” the release said.
“The program seeks to limit the number of therapeutic medications that are needed for the routine treatment of horses and sets medication thresholds and withdrawal time guidelines. The program also provides penalty recommendations that specifically address repeat medication offenders.
“In order to be effective, these reforms must be adopted and implemented by all racing states no later than September 1, 2014,” the release read. “If this deadline is not met, The Stronach Group will work together with other concerned industry stakeholders to begin aggressively lobbying for federal legislation containing the same reforms outlined in the proposed National Uniform Medication Program.”
In addition to supporting the key principles of the National Uniform Medication Program, The Stronach Group said it is committed to implementing several key measures aimed at eliminating drug abuse and the mistreatment of horses at all of its racetracks.
The Stronach Group will create a strictly regulated pharmacy to dispense all medications prescribed and administered on association property, prohibit anyone from having any medications in their possession unless those medications have been properly prescribed for a therapeutic treatment program. It will institute random spot checks of veterinarians and all personnel that have access to the horse.
Automatic drug testing for all horses that ship in to race will be enacted, and The Stronach Group will establish a program of random drug testing that can be administered at any time for all horses.
The racetracks will reserve the right to ban individuals found guilty of animal abuse from competing.
Other initiatives mentioned in the release include the tracks establishing a right to request all veterinarian records and have them examined by an independent team of veterinarians, creating a shared database of all racing and training fatalities, and prohibiting the use of buzzers or other devices designed to manipulate or abuse horses.
The final initiative listed in the release was a plan to provide horse ambulances and stalls fitted with special equipment to ensure the safe and humane movement of an injured horse in order to provide immediate care with the ultimate goal of rehabilitation.
“We at The Stronach Group are committed to undertaking all necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of the horses and jockeys,” the release said. “I hope that these proposals will be endorsed by owners, trainers, and veterinarians.”
To assist with the implementation of the new proposals, The Stronach Group is searching for an equine health and safety director who will report to a newly established equine health and safety board. The members of this new board will include owners, trainers, and veterinarians.
“We owe it to the horses and the public, as well as to all of the hard-working and honest horsemen in our industry, to implement these measures,” Stronach said. “As racetrack owners, we must continuously implement procedures that will enhance the integrity of this great sport, and look forward to working with all industry stakeholders to help fine-tune these proposals in order to bring about much-needed reform.”
In addition to racetrack holdings and the Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida, The Stronach Group also owns the HRTV cable network, the wagering technology company AmTote, the internet and telephone acount wagering company XpressBet, and the simulcast purchase group Monarch Content Management, which supplies racing content to multiple North American tracks and betting facilities.
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/84429/stronach-takes-stand-on-integrity-reforms#ixzz2z79AR6C1