HOME > HORSE RACING RADAR
The Week in Review: November 7, 2019
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2019
by: Valerie Mellema
Now that we've had a few days to recover from Breeders' Cup weekend, the horse racing world prepares for next season. Here's your weekly news update!
Mongolian Groom Euthanized after Classic Breakdown
It was smooth sailing for the Breeders' Cup races until the last race, the Classic. A race where the creme de la creme of racing meets was unfortunately marred with MONGOLIAN GROOM breaking his left hind leg in the stretch run. The gelding ran a great race, staying in contention most of the way until the 3/8ths pole when he was pulled up. WAR OF WILL appears to squeeze by him on the rail just as he's being pulled up, leaving some wondering if the pair clipped heels. The horse ambulance was brought out and he was vanned off the track. The gelding was attended to by the on-call veterinarian for the American Association of Equine Practitioners who reported that he suffered a "serious injury to his left-hind ankle." The Breeders' Cup put out a statement that MONGOLIAN GROOM had received a fracture to his left hind limb and given the extent of the injury, humane euthanasia was recommended.
The event was nothing short of heartbreaking and surprising for race fans. Santa Anita had multiple vets working all weekend examining horses and scratching those they felt should not race. Some of those scratches left the trainers in head-scratching situations, such as Chad Brown's horse, THAIS. The horse had worked well all weekend and Brown was unsure as to why he was scratched, but Brown said they respect the decision and they'll move on.
Of course, it didn't take long for videos of MONGOLIAN GROOM's workouts to surface on social media, which has many thinking the horse was unsound to start with and should have been scratched earlier. The short clip posted to Twitter by Bloodhorse Associate Editor, Meredith Daugherty shows the gelding jogging down the track in an awkward gait that many horse trainers refer to as "trantering." It's the odd combination of trotting with the front legs, while trying to canter behind. It's a difficult gait to recognize lameness, but it does appear he is favoring that left hind. Due to working on the muscle and being excited, it's definitely not a conclusive video that he was indeed lame.
In an interview with the Paulick Report, CHRB equine medical directory Dr. Rick Author, declined to say whether the veterinarians were concerned about the horse's soundness in the days leading up to the Classic. He simply stated, "All horses at Santa Anita were under veterinary observation during training. There were three to four vets on track every day, in addition to those conducting examinations in the stables." The death will be investigated by CHRB enforcement officers.
While awaiting the results of that investigation, California horse racing will also be dealing with the political side of the issue. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had made a statement prior to the Breeders' Cup that she wrote the CHRB that the weekend of the BC would be a "critical test for the future of horse racing." In her latest statement after the Breeders' Cup she stated, "Despite increased scrutiny and additional measures that have been put in place, the horse racing industry was unable to make it through a single weekend without a critical injury and euthanized a horse. In the past, I've called for horse racing to be suspended at Santa Anita until it could safely ensure the safety of the horses would be protected. With continued racetrack deaths, it's clear that not enough has changed, so I renew that call."
Breeders' Cup Weekend Boosts Keeneland Sales
The winner of the Distaff, BLUE PRIZE, topped the sale at $5 million from Larry Best of OXO Equine. Having just won the Distaff, she was one of the most desired mares for sale at Keeneland. The most expensive weanling was a filly by GUN RUNNER, who brought $750,000. The 9-year-old dam of SWEET MELANIA was solid in foal to LIAM'S MAP for $1.6 million.
Texas Voters Approve First Step Towards New Racetrack
The residents of Jefferson County (Beaumont area) approved two ballot measures. The two propositions asked voters to legalize on pari-mutual wagering on horse racing as well as on simulcasts. The state of Texas is now officially able to open the process, which takes four to six months. They hope that by June of next year, everything will be in place. Texas horseman across the state question the location of the track as it will sit on I-10 between Sam Houston Racepark and Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana. However, they all see it as a positive first step in reviving Texas racing along with the purse increases coming to Sam Houston.
Have a great week!
<< RETURN TO GUARANTEED TIP SHEET HOMEPAGE