This is kind of interesting.
Those of you who have been reading this posting for the last few years know that I am big on treating horses with respect and care.
Hell yeah, I love to bet on horses…but I am big on humane treatment.
Well, here in the States last week, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission recommended sanctions for jockey John Velazquez and one of its stewards, John Veitch, for not scratching Life at Ten before the Breeder’s Cup Ladies Classic. That was back on Nov. 5 of last year.
Life at Ten, as yhou might recall, was the second choice in the betting. She was sluggish in the paddock at Churchill Downs and showed enough signs of distress that Velazquez told a TV audience that she was not warming up as she normally did.
Life at Ten broke slowly from the gate, then was nursed around the track by Velazquez safely.
But finished last.
The incident prompted debate over whether it was safe to let Life at Ten run, as well as whether bettors were protected when the filly was not scratched.
Kentucky’s racing commission conducted a four-month investigation and released a 161-page report last week. I read it.
The inquiry found no “nefarious or fraudulent activity” but outlined a communication breakdown among various veterinarians employed by the state and the Breeders’ Cup as well as Life at Ten’s connections.
“In some instances there was not a specific rules violation but, rather, a failure of common sense to prevail,” the report said.
Velazquez and Veitch, a steward at Turfway Park, are entitled to a hearing before any punishments are handed down.
Todd Pletcher, who trained Life At Ten, was not found to be remiss in his responsibilities.
“We were all disappointed by her performance in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic,” Pletcher said in a statement. “As I’ve stated publicly, while she was quieter than usual before the race in the paddock, there was nothing else that I observed that concerned me whatsoever.
“We know that she trained brilliantly up to the race. We know she was examined on a regular basis by her primary care veterinarian. We know she was scrutinized by numerous state and Breeders’ Cup veterinarians the week leading up to her race, and again on race day.”
We’ll follow this one.