all that heat


ARCADIA, Calif. (April 7, 2017)–A joint fourth while attentive to the pace going into the Club House turn, Al and Sandee Kirkwood’s All That Heat scraped paint at the rail turning for home and kicked clear en route to an impressive 2 ¼ length win in Friday’s $56,000 Santa Anita allowance feature.  Ridden by Flavien Prat and trained by Mark Glatt, the 4-year-old Unusual Heat filly got a flat mile on turf in 1:34.97.

Favored at 2-1 in a field of nine California-bred or sired fillies and mares three and up, she paid $6.80, $3.40 and $2.60.

“She really kicked away nice today,” said Glatt, who notched his second win on the day and also,  along with the owners, won his second consecutive weekday feature.  “One of these times, I’d like to get her in a race going a mile and one eighth on turf.  I think she’ll get that distance.  She’s a very nice filly.  We’ve had a couple setbacks.  Maybe she can develop into a Cal-bred stakes winner.”

With the win, All That Heat is now 11-2-1-4, and with the winner’s check of $33,600, she increased her earnings to $111,691.

The second choice in the wagering at 5-2, Golden Light followed the winner around the far turn and bested pacesetter Sea Smoke by one length for second.  Ridden by Santiago Gonzalez, Golden Light paid $4.40 and $3.20.

Overtaken by the winner turning for home, Sea Smoke, who was ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was off at 7-2 and paid $3.40 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.20, 47.24, 1:11.63 and 1:23.57.

Emerald Downs Daily Results and Activity

Early Entries

Sunday, April 9 Overnight
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $7,500 $8,600
Race 2 Claiming – $7,500 $9,000
Race 3 Waiver Claiming – $25,000 $15,000
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $8,000 $7,800
Race 5 Waiver Claiming – $15,000 $11,000
Race 6 Allowance $21,500
Race 7 Waiver Claiming – $15,000 $13,600
Race 8 Waiver Claiming – $2,500 $6,400

Final Entries

Sunday, April 9
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $7,500 $8,600
Race 2 Claiming – $7,500 $9,000
Race 3 Waiver Claiming – $25,000 $15,000
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $8,000 $7,800
Race 5 Waiver Claiming – $15,000 $11,000
Race 6 Allowance $21,500
Race 7 Waiver Claiming – $15,000 $13,600
Race 8 Waiver Claiming – $2,500 $6,400

Santa Anita Daily Results and Activity


Friday, April 7
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Claiming – $50,000 $43,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 2 Claiming – $6,250 $14,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $54,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 4 Maiden Claiming – $50,000 $29,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 5 Maiden Special Weight $54,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 6 Claiming – $25,000 $23,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $20,000 $56,000 Overnight Overnight
Race 8 Maiden Claiming – $20,000 $18,000 Overnight Overnight

Final Entries

Saturday, April 8
Race# Race Type Purse
Race 1 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $56,000
Race 2 Maiden Special Weight $54,000
Race 3 Maiden Special Weight $54,000
Race 4 Evening Jewel S. $200,000
Race 5 Royal Heroine S. $200,000
Race 6 Santa Anita Oaks $400,000
Race 7 Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000 $56,000
Race 8 Santa Anita Derby $1,000,000
Race 9 Providencia S. $150,000
Race 10 Echo Eddie S. $200,000
Race 11 Maiden Claiming – $75,000 $33,000

Fixing Treatment Aversion in Horses

Fixing Treatment Aversion in Horses 

If a horse is uncomfortable in a confined space, try taking him outside for injections or administering them in a spacious stall.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Remember when you got a lollipop at the doctor’s office right after you got a shot? Using the same idea of creating positive experiences makes handling horses for veterinary procedures easier and safer for everyone, including the horse.

That’s not just someone’s opinion. There’s sufficient science to substantiate that positive-reinforcement-based, nonconfrontational handling of animals reduces stress, increases safety, and makes the workplace much more comfortable.

Sue McDonnell, PhD, Cert. AAB, founding head of the equine behavior program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, has extensive experience retraining horses—including “problem” horses—and in teaching others the best ways to deliver veterinary care.

At the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida, McDonnell told veterinarians during a Sunrise Session, hosted by Merck Animal Health, to “make the procedure as painless as possible, work in the environment most comfortable to the horse, and learn to fill your toolbox with positive-only methods.”

Of course, that can be easier said than done, especially if increased restraint is your go-to tool for when things don’t go in the direction you want. Here’s a look at why McDonnell advocates for a more positive approach.

As a grazing prey species native to open plains, horses are almost single-trial learners, especially with negative experiences. They learn to avoid procedures that have been unpleasant, stressful, or painful, but they can accept one bad experience in an otherwise positive situation.

The good news is that behavior is learned, and, as such, it can be unlearned. It’s a matter of rebalancing so the positive outweighs the negative, she said. Even the horse with a background of negative experiences can change, given a positive environment and handling.

McDonnell said many experienced horse people must unlearn being punitive (inflicting punishment) and learn to adopt a positive-only approach. One way McDonnell helps horses is by helping horse people change their behavior.

Applying science-based learning principles for any horse training scenario requires that you stop thinking about what you don’t want. Focus instead on what you want, and reinforce that. Rather than punishing the undesirable behavior, think of something you can teach the horse to do on the fly—in five or 10 seconds—that’s counter to the undesirable reaction.

McDonnell said it’s common for equestrians to inadvertently train avoidance responses using pressure and release. “We put pressure, the horses react, we back off because we have to because they’re big or we weren’t prepared, and the horse almost immediately gets into an avoidance cycle,” she said. “Recognize when something is not working, and change your approach before the horse becomes conditioned to avoid.”

She reviewed how to prevent or overcome that avoidance pattern in five common stressful situations:

Injections or Blood Collection

Make them as painless as possible. Go with the finest gauge needle practical. Get in a comfortable setting. If you know the horse is uncomfortable in a confined clinic space, step outside or do it in a stall. Use as loose a restraint as is possible and a quiet manner. Use soothing, reinforcing, distracting scratching of the withers or food distractions.

McDonnell said the biggest mistake she sees with injections or blood draws is people not stabilizing their hand on the horse before the needle touches him. “Stabilizing the hand seems to convey security to the horse, and if the horse should move, you’re much less likely to have to do multiple sticks,” she said.

She says you can—and should—teach an old pony new tricks. She illustrated with photos of a pony that responded with dangerously energetic avoidance behaviors of rearing and longeing at personnel. He needed “counterconditioning.”

McDonnell said she put a pan of grain on the ground at the same time she brought the needle out of her pocket. He couldn’t go for the grain and rear at the same time. “It doesn’t make sense that it works with these cases of dangerously avoiding behaviors, but it does,” she said. “You could also do ‘target’ and ‘clicker’ training, where you teach a horse to hold his nose to a target. They learn quickly.”

Oral Treatments

Again, choose a comfortable environment with minimal restraint. McDonnell said it’s a bit of an art to learn to confine the horse without him feeling trapped, yet not able to back away from you completely. Survey the situation so you don’t accidentally punish the horse, for instance, by leaving a water bucket on the wall he might back up into.

Mary Poppins said a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and McDonnel said that, actually, a sweet syrup loaded into the syringe ahead of and behind the medication is a good idea. And dip the tip of the syringe into something sweet, like light corn syrup, as an extra incentive for the horse to behave. Ideally, you want the horse’s head at your waist level to administer oral medications (entice him to lower his head using food).

Stabilize the syringe against the side of the horse’s face, and keep the tip pointed down to the corners of his lips. As you get near the crease, the horse will sense the sweet, and open his mouth as if to ask for it. Rotate the syringe gently onto the tongue, avoiding the gums, teeth and palate while administering the treatment. You can condition the horse to eagerly take his medicine by giving him a syringe of sweet syrup once a day for 10 days.

Ophthalmic Treatments

Horses learn quickly how to avoid eye treatments, but they can unlearn the avoidance behavior just as quickly. You need a safe, comfortable environment with minimal restraint and a food treat to maintain their positive, motivational interest.

Food helps encourage the horse to lower his head and helps him stay in a forward focus. Most horses will want to get to the food more than they want to avoid the treatment. Direct the focus by moving the food so the horse’s head is at a level comfortable for you to treat his eye.

Again, stabilize your hand against the face so that if the horse moves, you can maintain contact and be less likely to poke the eye. Deposit the treatment at the inside corner of the eye. It will migrate on its own. Don’t “paint” the eye. Give a treat before and after administering the ointment.

The Lip Twitch

While often misused, said McDonnell, twitches can be helpful when applied appropriately. She said the important thing is to reach for a twitch right away, rather than in response to a situation already gone bad. Like tranquilizers, twitches are more challenging to apply and less effective once the animal is agitated.

In a calm, quiet, confident, unhurried, and efficient manner, give a treat, and then put the twitch on. Don’t put it on too tight or lead the horse by it.

For the first 3 to 5 minutes, the twitch is annoying, which can distract the horse from a procedure, but there’s no analgesic (pain-relieving) benefit to the horse. After that, endorphin levels reach an effective level. You’ll see the horse relax or have a glazed look in his eye as he experiences about 10 minutes of analgesia.

It’s important to remove the twitch when you see the horse first begin to be restless. He’s approaching “blow” stage, where the endorphins will have worn off, she said. Procedures will be more painful than normal. The horse will eventually be able to run you over or “explode” off the twitch and will be left with a bad impression.

Just as the you remove the twitch, offer the horse a treat and rub his nose.

If you aren’t finished with the procedure, allow the horse to rest a few minutes, and repeat the twitching, making sure to keep it all a positive experience.

Intranasal Vaccines

Merck Animal Health arranged for McDonnell to help develop the least upsetting way of delivering an intranasal vaccine. If you’ve ever seen a horse get an “up the nose” vaccine, you know they only have to receive it once to avoid it in the future.

At the New Bolton lab, they worked from the behavioral aspects, but also with the actual applicator. Merck came up with a short, easy-to-use applicator that sprays a fine mist into the horse’s nose and doesn’t require reaching the applicator up into the nostrils.

Of course, the same rules of handling apply—minimal restraint, nonconfrontational manner, and don’t forget a treat before and after vaccination.

Take-Home Message

You don’t have to be confrontational to teach your horse to behave for veterinary procedures. Research has shown that positive-reinforcement-based handling and training can produce positive results and a happy horse.

About the Author

Maureen Gallatin

Maureen Gallatin is a freelance writer, founder of Horses on a Mission, and author of the inspirational devotional, An Extra Flake.

EMERALD DOWNS 2017 Live Racing Season


Auburn, Wash. (April 5) – Emerald Downs Racetrack & Casino begins a new era Saturday when live racing begins with a seven-race program followed by an opening night fireworks show. First post is 5 p.m.

The 70-day season features 32 stakes worth an aggregate $1.7 million including the 82nd running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on Sunday, August 13.

The 2017 season also marks the opening of a completely remodeled 5th floor that includes 15 card tables, sports bar, deluxe simulcast area and café. The Clubhouse Casino is open 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week, including late night racing from Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Los Alamitos and Cal Expo Harness.

“In addition to playing their favorite table games, guests can wager on horse racing from around the world,” said Emerald downs Racetrack & Casino President Phil Ziegler. “The entire 5th floor is amazing.”

On the racetrack, jockey Rocco Bowen is back to defend his 2016 riding title. A 27-year-old native of Barbados, Bowen won 110 races here in 2016—40 better than runner-up Leslie Mawing—but said he takes nothing for granted in 2017.

“It’s great to be the defending champion, but we’re all starting off level,” Bowen said. “We all have zero wins on opening day.”

Rocco Bowen

Bowen, who said his goal is to be a top rider in Southern California, enjoyed a successful stint this winter at Golden Gate Fields, cracking the top five with 23 wins before heading north to prepare for Emerald Downs.

Blaine Wright, who posted an exceptional 28.6 win percentage in 2016, is back to defend his training title. Wright won 39 races last year to dethrone three-time defending champion Jeff Metz and five-time Emerald Downs champion Frank Lucarelli, who tied for second at 37 wins each.

Blaine Wright

Tim McCanna, No. 1 all-time with 920 wins at Emerald Downs, also has a string of runners here, as do Lucarelli (No. 2 all-time with 874), Howard Belvoir (No. 3, 717), Doris Harwood (No. 5, 525), Roy Lumm (No. 6, 418), Dan Markle (No. 8, 351) and Tom Wenzel (No. 10, 349).

Top returning horses include 2016 triple stakes winners Barkley and So Lucky, the former a top contender for this year’s Longacres Mile and the latter a prime candidate in the 3-year-old stakes series.

Other returnees include Blazinbeauty, a 3-year-old filly who defeated males while knocking So Lucky from the undefeated ranks in the Gottstein Futurity, and He’s Cagey, a 7-year-old that led the meet with six wins and was voted Top Claimer.

The $50,000 Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs is the meet’s first stakes on Sunday, May 7.

Regular first post is 2 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and 6:30 p.m. on Fridays (beginning April 21). Saturday night racing returns in July with 6:30 p.m. posts on July 8, 15, 22 and 29. And the annual Fireworks Spectacular features a 5 p.m. post on Monday, July 3.


Mario Gutierrez
April 7 – Santa Anita

Ocean Dream Wgt-120 Race 5 Maiden Special Weight
April 8Santa Anita

Doc Curlin Wgt-120 Race 1 Allowance Optional Claiming $40,000
Dog Gone Lenny Wgt-123 Race 3 Maiden Special Weight
Radish Wgt-120 Race 4 Evening Jewel S.
Mopotism Wgt-121 Race 6 Santa Anita Oaks (Gr 1)
So Conflated Wgt-124 Race 8 Santa Anita Derby (Gr 1)
You Missed It Wgt-120 Race 9 Providencia S. (Gr 3)
Green With Eddie Wgt-124 Race 10 Echo Eddie S.
April 9Santa Anita

Blabimir Wgt-122 Race 3 Claiming $25,000

April 6 – Santa Anita
Road Test finished 1st by 1/2 length Race 1 Chart
Tizcool finished 8th beaten 8 1/2 lengths Race 2 Chart
Farley finished 6th beaten 8 1/4 lengths Race 7 Chart
Trevino finished 8th beaten 13 lengths Race 8 Chart