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HORSEMEN’S THE

JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019


THOROUGHBRED INDUSTRY EMPLOYEE AWARDS PRESENTED BY

USA 2019

Stars behind the scenes

There are outstanding people working at every level in the horseracing and breeding industry. Many of them work behind the scenes and are rarely recognized. The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards reward those incredible people at the heart of our industry. The awards are divided into seven categories, with trophies for the winners and prize money totaling $128,000.

NOMINATIONS OPEN NOW. GO TO WWW.GODOLPHINUSAWARDS.COM FOR ALL THE CATEGORIES AND FULL DETAILS.


THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL CONTENTS | SUMMER 2019 | VOLUME 66/#2

DEPARTMENTS

FEATURES

18

02

Message from the National HBPA

26

A True Feel-Good Story for Racing

Celebrating the Majesty of Majestic Prince

The racing community has stepped up to embrace a young fan’s love of the racetrack

Five decades ago, a record-priced yearling almost made racing history

36 Long, Hot Summer

07

Some equine diseases are associated with hot weather, insects and wildlife

Industry News

42 12

HBPA News

14

Research & Medication Update

51

Affiliate News

The Benefits of Lasix for Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage 50 years of science and clinical experience

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

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MESSAGE FROM

THE CEO NATIONAL HBPA 3380 Paris Pike Lexington, KY 40511 P (859) 259-0451 F (859) 259-0452 racing@hbpa.org www.hbpa.org

A

s CEO of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent

injuries without race-day administration of Lasix; however,

and Protective Association, I—along with

we will also see more horses experience exercise-induced

all NHBPA members—am as concerned

pulmonary hemorrhaging (EIPH), which is systemic not only

as any about the recent events in our

in Thoroughbreds but also in horses in general. Lasix has

industry. I firmly believe in having the highest standards

been proven to be effective at preventing or reducing the

of horsemanship. The NHBPA is continuously working with

severity of EIPH for well over 30 years.

industry stakeholders to improve the care, health and safety of our industry’s equine and human athletes. I have no doubt that everyone in horse racing has a

PRESIDENT/ CHAIRPERSON OF THE BOARD Leroy Gessmann SECRETARY/ TREASURER Lynne Schuller CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Eric J. Hamelback VICE PRESIDENT EASTERN REGION Stephen Screnci VICE PRESIDENT SOUTHERN REGION Rick Hiles VICE PRESIDENT CENTRAL REGION Joe Davis VICE PRESIDENT WESTERN REGION J. Lloyd Yother

2

In all racing jurisdictions, pain relievers, stimulants and performance-enhancing medications and drugs are prohibited for racing, and therapeutic anti-bleeding

shared goal of keeping our human and equine performers

medication is the only treatment that can be given to

safe and healthy. However, I am disturbed and mystified

a horse on race day. Horse racing has one of the most

by the announced initiative by a coalition of racetracks to

stringent post-race drug-testing programs among any

phase out the use of the anti-bleeding medication Lasix

industry. Lasix programs are highly effective, highly

(furosemide) in all 2-year-olds racing at those tracks

regulated and transparent. It also should be pointed out that

in 2020 and all stakes races in 2021. Many of us in the

running a horse on Lasix is and always has been voluntary;

industry strongly believe that it is reckless to unilaterally

nothing is forcing an owner or trainer to run their horses on

suggest a policy change that directly impacts horses’

the medication.

welfare without first consulting veterinary leadership or the horsemen’s representatives. I would hope the industry stakeholders understand

Lasix is the only scientifically proven and approved treatment for a horse with EIPH, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association

that a ban on the use of Lasix will not prevent horses

of Equine Practitioners as well as the North American

from suffering catastrophic injuries—in fact, it could

Association of Racetrack Veterinarians. Current industry

cause further harm—and should not be seen as a safety

policy endorses the use of this medication on race day

reform. Please see pages 14 and 42 of this issue for more

because it is in the best interests of the health and welfare

information on these topics.

of the horse.

Many of the states affected by this possible ban on

The National HBPA, which represents about 30,000

Lasix must consider the constitutional implications that

owners and trainers, is and remains committed to being part

will arise. As we find in Kentucky, this edict flies in the face

of the solution. We are committed to reforms emphasizing

of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Opinion 15-017

transparency that will help address misunderstanding

issued in late 2015 that held that a regulation permitting

and lack of trust by some of the non-racing public. We are

private racetracks to determine whether to hold furosemide-

prepared to make some concessions in areas in which we

free racing was an unconstitutional delegation of the

disagree. But our first order of business is to make sure the

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s authority.

horses themselves are treated with the highest degree of care.

Each catastrophic injury faced at the racetrack is devastating to each and every one of us in the industry. But

SINCERELY,

we also know there are many varied and nuanced conditions

ERIC J. HAMELBACK

and circumstances that cause these tragedies. The research is clear: Lasix is not a factor. Horses will continue to have

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019


CONTRIBUTORS

THE

NATIONAL HBPA

AFFILIATES

WOULD LIKE TO THANK ITS CORPORATE

SPONSORS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS - AFFILIATES Dr. David Harrington, Alabama Norm Castiglione, Alberta Robert Hutton, Arizona Bill Walmsley, Arkansas David Milburn, British Columbia and Canadian National James Miller, Charles Town Kent Bamford, Colorado Chris Vaccaro, Finger Lakes Stephen Screnci, Florida Marta Loveland, Idaho Eddie Essenpreis, Illinois Joe Davis, Indiana David McShane, Iowa Rick Hiles, Kentucky Benard Chatters, Louisiana Blaine McLaren, Manitoba George Kutlenios, Michigan Dr. Scott Rake, Minnesota Jami Poole, Mountaineer Park Barry Lake, Nebraska Anthony Spadea, New England Joe Poole, Ohio David Faulkner, Oklahoma Sue Leslie, Ontario Ron Sutton, Oregon Sandee Martin, Pennsylvania Eddie Esquirol, Saskatchewan Robert Jeffries, Tampa Bay Downs David Ross, Virginia Pat LePley, Washington

Dr. Kimberly Brewer Rick Capone Dr. Clara Fenger Peter Monaco Denise Steffanus Dr. Thomas Tobin

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Ackerley Images Denis Blake Coady Photography Keeneland Library Featherston Collection Keeneland Library Morgan Collection Keeneland Library Thoroughbred Times Collection Mingis – stock.adobe.com Dustin Orona Photography Reed Palmer Photography Cheryl Ann Quigley – stock.adobe.com Alexey Stiop – stock.adobe.com

STAFF Denis Blake Editor P (512) 695-4541 hj@hbpa.org Jennifer Vanier Allen Advertising Director P (716) 650-4011 F (509) 272-1640 jallen@hbpa.org Limb Design www.limbdesign.com Graphic Design THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL 3380 Paris Pike Lexington, KY 40511 P (512) 695-4541 F (859) 259-0452 hj@hbpa.org HBPA WEBSITE: www.hbpa.org COVER PHOTO: ChrisVanLennepPhoto – stock.adobe.com

The opinions, representations and viewpoints expressed by the authors in the articles contained in The Horsemen’s Journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions, representations and viewpoints or the official policies or positions of The Horsemen’s Journal, National Horsemen’s Administration Corporation or National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association Inc. and its affiliates (collectively “HJ”). HJ is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to or reliance on any information contained within this issue. Information in this issue may become outdated due to the rapidly changing nature of the horse industry. The publication of any advertisements or articles should not be construed as an endorsement of any product, service or position unless specifically stated. The Horsemen’s Journal, Volume 66 #2. Postal Information: The Horsemen’s Journal (ISSN 0018-5256) is published quarterly by the National Horsemen’s Administration Corporation, with publishing offices at P.O. Box 8645, Round Rock, TX 78683. Copyright 2019 all rights reserved. The Horsemen’s Journal is the official publication for members of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, a representative association of Thoroughbred owners and

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

trainers. HBPA is a non-profit 501(c)6 Kentucky corporation. Members receive The Horsemen’s Journal as a benefit of membership paid by the national office from affiliate dues. Annual non-member subscriptions are $14. Single-copy back issues, if available, are $7. Canadian subscribers add $6. All other subscriptions outside the U.S. add $20 payable in U.S. funds. To order reprints or subscriptions, call (866) 245-1711. The HBPA National Board of Directors has determined that the publication of this periodical is necessary in the transaction of the public business required of the association. Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and/or advertisers and do not necessarily represent the opinion or policy of the publisher or HBPA board or staff. Query the editor prior to sending any manuscripts. Periodicals Postage Paid at Round Rock, Texas and additional mailing offices. CANADA POST: Publications mail agreement no. 41530527. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: P. O. Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4R6. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Horsemen’s Journal, P.O. Box 911188, Lexington, KY 40591-1188.

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NEWS

INDUSTRY NEWS

Kentucky Derby Sets All-Time Wagering Record, Solid TV Ratings

F

COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

ans at Churchill Downs weathered a steady late-afternoon rain as Country House, after the disqualification of Maximum Security for interference, captured the 145th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve over a sloppy track. Wagering from all sources was the highest of all time on both the Kentucky Derby race and the Derby Day program.

COUNTRY HOUSE (#20) AND MAXIMUM SECURITY (#7)

All-sources wagering on the Kentucky Derby Day program totaled $250.9 million, an 11 percent increase over the 2018 total and previous record of $225.7 million. All-sources wagering on the Kentucky Derby itself increased 10 percent to $165.5 million from the previous record of $149.9 million set last

year. This year’s wagering record includes $4.1 million of handle from Japan as this was the first year wagering on the race was offered in that country. Attendance of 150,729 decreased by 4 percent compared with last year’s numbers, as a rainy forecast kept many fans away. This year’s Derby purse was elevated by $1 million to a guaranteed $3 million, making it the richest in history for the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. All-sources handle for opening night of the meet, Saturday, April 27, through Derby Day, Saturday, May 4, rose to a new record of $343.0 million, up 10 percent from the previous record of $311.2 million set last year. Attendance for those five days was 360,237, down 4 percent from 2018. NBC Sports’ presentation of the Derby on NBC posted multiple viewership increases and milestones, according to fast national data provided by Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics. The Run for the Roses posted a total audience delivery of 16.5 million viewers across NBC and NBC Sports Digital platforms, up 10 percent from last year’s race (15 million) that featured eventual Triple Crown winner Justify. This year’s broadcast also marked television’s largest Saturday audience since the NFL Divisional Playoffs on January 12, 2019. NBC Sports Digital’s presentation of the Derby delivered a record average minute audience of 130,400 viewers via the NBC Sports app and NBCSports.com. NBC averaged 18 million TV-only Kentucky Derby viewers when Maximum Security and Country House crossed the finish line in the 6:45 p.m.-7 p.m. ET quarter hour, before peaking at 18.5 million viewers for the dramatic post-race coverage from 7 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. ET. NBC Sports has averaged at least 15 million viewers for the Kentucky Derby for seven consecutive years, the longest streak for the event in people meter history (since 1988).

Registration for Sixth Thoroughbred Owner Conference Now Open

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

“We appreciate the continued support of Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group in our efforts to educate new, existing and prospective Thoroughbred owners.” Reserved seating for both days of the Breeders’ Cup is included with conference registration, and a limited number of Breeders’ Cup tickets with dining options are available. The host hotel is the Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Pasadena/Monrovia. More information about the conference, registration and hotel accommodations is available at ownerview.com.

DENIS BLAKE

O

wnerView has announced that registration is now open for the sixth Thoroughbred Owner Conference, which will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, from Monday, October 28, through Wednesday, October 30. The conference will once again coincide with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which are scheduled to be held November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park. The goal of the Thoroughbred Owner Conference, which is hosted by OwnerView and BloodHorse and presented by Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group, is to educate, inform and entertain new, prospective and current Thoroughbred owners through a series of panels and social events. At this year’s conference, panels will include discussions pertaining to racing syndicates, aftercare, racing horses at the claiming level, jockeys’ preparations before races and pedigrees. The full schedule of events is available at ownerview.com. In addition to the panels, conference attendees will have the opportunity to attend Breeders’ Cup events such as the Rood & Riddle Post Position Draw and reception on Monday, October 28, and workouts from the Breeders’ Cup Trackside Breakfast Marquee. Attendees also will be able to attend networking lunches and dinners. “The third Thoroughbred Owner Conference was held at Santa Anita Park in 2016 and was met with rave reviews, so we are looking forward to bringing this popular event back to Arcadia,” said Gary Falter, project manager for OwnerView.

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FEATURE

Grant from NTRA Charities to Establish New UK Equine Surfaces and Safety Laboratory

N

ational Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Charities announced a gift of $100,000 in April that will enable the University of Kentucky (UK) to further support equine surfaces and safety research under the direction of Mick Peterson, director of UK Ag Equine Programs. Funds will be used to renovate existing space within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment to create the NTRA Charities Equine Surfaces and Safety Laboratory. The investment will allow UK to make a meaningful impact on the sport of horse racing through surface and safety research conducted by Peterson, a nationally known expert in surface safety and a faculty member in the UK Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. “NTRA Charities is excited to support UK’s new Equine Surfaces and Safety Research Laboratory, which through its important work will absolutely lead to a safer racing environment for our human and equine athletes,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. “This presents a unique opportunity to achieve significant advancements in the science of creating and maintaining safer racetrack surfaces. This lab will also help us train the next generation of track maintenance personnel to analyze the wealth of data that will soon be available to keep racing surfaces as safe as possible.” In 2016 UK acted on the recognized need to expand its research capabilities in the area of safety and recruited Peterson as a faculty member and director of UK Ag Equine Programs. In joining the team, Peterson relocated the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory (RSTL) to Kentucky, and he continues to improve the safety of horses and riders in horse racing and sport horse endeavors. “NTRA has reviewed variations on this proposal for nearly two years, and we are very pleased to see it go forward,” said Steve Koch, executive director of the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance. “The job does not end here. We anticipate continued calls on the industry to fund specific surfaces research projects undertaken in this new laboratory.” “The UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is committed to our signature equine industry in all ways,” said Dean Nancy Cox. “In particular, we are dedicated to all aspects of safety in our sport. This gift allows us to do important research to assist Thoroughbred racing and to create a pipeline of experts to serve racetrack safety.” Under Peterson’s direction, the RSTL has been particularly effective at reinforcing the welfare and safety commitment through its central testing laboratory for dirt, turf and synthetic racing surface materials. To date, testing has included more than 70 different racing and training tracks around the world. Equipment development at the lab includes riding crop design assessment, maintenance equipment tests and performance tests of starting gates and rail padding. The RSTL materials laboratory inspired efforts by the Fédération Équestre Internationale that have now expanded activities to arena surfaces testing, including large-scale sample analysis that is available only in Sweden. “This laboratory will allow us to do racetrack surfaces testing on a larger scale to permit us to replicate surface properties using maintenance equipment on the surfaces, which have been observed on racetracks but are not well understood,” Peterson said. “Understanding racetrack maintenance is key to providing a consistent racing surface regardless of the weather.”

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The new laboratory will work to solve today’s problems associated with surface and safety research. The following projects are currently funded but have to date been space-constrained: • The development of real-time moisture sensors for racing surfaces • Shoeing effects on swing phase joint loading • Real-time sensing of gait parameters • Subsurface design of racetracks • The effect of harrowing on the formation of the racetrack hardpan • New tools to measure cushion depth on dirt racetracks and moisture and penetration resistance on turf tracks The laboratory also has the potential to offer substantial new areas for industry development, including: • The effect of a harrowed racing surface on optimal helmet design • The potential for new horseshoe designs to reduce loading rate for arteriosclerosis risk reduction • The development of new sensors for fan engagement and handicapping data using Internet of Things technologies Additionally, the expanded laboratory would provide space for undergraduate and graduate students to learn from and participate in innovative research and for important entities within the industry, such as track superintendents, to advance their knowledge and skills in a hands-on setting. Renovation is expected to begin by summer with space beginning to be used for research within a few months.

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019


Nominations Open for Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards

N

ominations for the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards (TIEAs) are open and will close on Monday, July 15. The TIEAs were held in America for the first time in 2016. Godolphin, the global racing stable founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the principal sponsor of the awards in association with The Jockey Club, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the Breeders’ Cup. Godolphin also sponsors the equivalent Stud and Stable Staff Awards in Ireland, Australia, Britain and France. A new award category is being added this year in America: the Administrative Award. Said Dan Pride, chief operating officer of Godolphin in America, “As we all know, it really does take a village to care for our equine

athletes whether it’s on a racetrack, on a farm, at a sales company or at a feed supplier. Our administrative colleagues do an incredible job covering a wide array of functions and duties to keep these beautiful animals performing at their best, and we felt it to be very important that we honor and reward this group of people as well.” With the addition of the Administrative Award, seven categories will be presented and will carry total prize money of $128,000. The awards will be held on Friday, October 11, at Keeneland. The Keeneland Association hosted the event the first two years, and it returns to the Lexington, Kentucky, oval after being held during Breeders’ Cup Championship Week last year with Churchill Downs as the host. Dan Metzger, president of TOBA, added, “These awards continue to grow, and it couldn’t be done without the help of a very large and committed group of individuals within the industry. On behalf of our partners, a special thanks to the Keeneland Association for their unwavering support, as well as our industry media partners, BloodHorse Publications, the Daily Racing Form, the Paulick Report, Thoroughbred Daily News, TVG and NBC Sports.” For more information and to nominate online, go to godolphinusawards.com.

International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses Emphasizes the Importance of an Aftercare Plan, Education and the Versatility of Racehorses

T

he third International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR), held in conjunction with the European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation’s General Assembly at Øvrevoll Racecourse in Oslo, Norway, took place May 16 with presentations on topics including the challenges regulators face when it comes to aftercare, the versatility of the Thoroughbred, an aftercare toolkit and case studies of aftercare programs in France and Greece. The IFAR conference was previously held in Washington, D.C., in 2017, and in Seoul, South Korea, in 2018. Andrew Chesser, secretary general of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities and moderator of the conference, focused on the importance of regulatory agencies in aftercare and the need to extend traceability from the racing portion of a racehorse’s career to their lives beyond the racetrack. Using Australia as an example, he noted that Racing Australia receives approximately 7,000 notifications of racehorse retirements each year. Di Arbuthnot, the chair of IFAR and chief executive of Retraining of Racehorses, detailed an “aftercare toolkit,” developed in conjunction with Dr. Eliot Forbes, a member of IFAR’s steering committee, that includes transition strategies from the racetrack to a second career, establishing a safety net to look out for at-risk horses and advocating for the use of Thoroughbreds in a second career. Paul Jepson, a welfare consultant for Retraining of Racehorses, presented on equine welfare issues in the United Kingdom and noted the importance of quickly assessing the potential of racehorses for second careers upon retirement and identifying vulnerable horses before they end up in precarious situations. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

Dr. Niki Markogianni, the founder of Hippolysis, an equine therapy center in Greece, demonstrated how working with former racehorses can have a positive impact on individuals, families, teams and the horses themselves. “Horses connect with humans in the same way that humans connect with our subconscious,” Markogianni said. “When a horse is trained, it is willing to help you and mirror your subconscious, helping you understand yourself and find solutions to your own problems.” Alix Choppin of Au-Delà des Pistes, a French aftercare organization launched in 2016, educated attendees on the charity’s work. In just three years, Au-Delà des Pistes has already made great strides, having accredited 17 aftercare organizations and formalized a partnership with France Galop. Richard Ramsay, a horse show producer and member of the Retraining of Racehorses Showing Committee, was interviewed by Arbuthnot about the potential of Thoroughbreds to excel in other disciplines. Diana Cooper, strategic advisor of charities for Godolphin, concluded the conference by talking about racehorse owners’ responsibility when it comes to Thoroughbred aftercare and how Godolphin cares for and retrains its former racehorses around the world. “The educational presentations from our speakers and engaging conversations among attendees at today’s IFAR conference indicate the significance of Thoroughbred aftercare in the racing industry on a global scale and the need for industry stakeholders to collaborate on best practices in aftercare and educating the public and equestrian world on the capability of a Thoroughbred to have a successful career once it leaves the racetrack,” Arbuthnot said. “We extend our gratitude to the European & Mediterranean Horseracing Federation and Norwegian Jockey Club for hosting us.” For more information, visit internationalracehorseaftercare.com. HJ

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NEWS

HBPA NEWS The National HBPA has recently updated its mission statement and updated or created position statements on the regulation of racing medication, the welfare and safety of the horse and rider, therapeutic medication in racehorses and the stewardship of the horse.

NATIONAL HBPA MISSION STATEMENT Founded in 1940, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) and its Affiliates operate on behalf of Thoroughbred racehorse owners, trainers and backstretch personnel throughout the United States and Canada. 1. Providing a representative voice for all Thoroughbred horsemen on matters integral to the advancement of Thoroughbred racing in the United States and Canada and at the state/province level. 2. Encouraging the highest standards of horsemanship to continuously improve the care, health and safety of the horse. 3. Facilitating guidelines to ensure the safety of the jockeys, trainers, grooms, exercise riders, hot walkers, farriers, veterinarians and all others who regularly come in contact with racehorses. 4. Supporting the development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of nationwide uniform rules that promote safety and integrity in racing.

5. Disseminating information on critical issues facing our industry to HBPA Affiliates, members and the general public as appropriate. 6. Supporting and promoting programs and entities that provide general benevolence and other beneficial programs for Affiliates and members. 7. Assisting in the development of programs at affiliated tracks providing for the aftercare of our horses when their racing careers are over. 8. Promoting the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.

NHBPA POSITION STATEMENT REGARDING THE REGULATION OF RACING MEDICATION 1. The National HBPA’s focus has always been, and remains, the health and safety of the horse, the safety of the jockey and the safety of all individuals coming into contact with the horse, including grooms, hot walkers, trainers and veterinarians. 2. The National HBPA believes a truly independent and transparent Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) composed of industry stakeholders (including the NHBPA, The Jockey Club, U.S. Trotting Association and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, among others) and not dominated by an individual organization, with input from appropriate medical and veterinary professional bodies such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners, must be the final evaluator of relevant medical and veterinary science. 3. The National HBPA believes that RMTC-approved medication rules should

be reviewed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International on behalf of state racing commissions, and following an evaluation based on science and medical research with all industry stakeholders being heard, the rules should be adopted or rejected by a majority vote. 4. The National HBPA contends that uniform medication rules must be based solely on published, scientifically determined regulatory thresholds, with published, scientifically determined withdrawal time guidelines, all based on and supported by data published in the scientific literature. 5. The National HBPA believes that RMTC and ISO-17025 accredited laboratories should perform all medication testing. 6. The National HBPA supports rules wherein repeat offenders of medication rules are cited in conjunction with the Association of Racing Commissioners International Multiple Medication Violation Rules.

NHBPA POSITION STATEMENT ON THE WELFARE AND SAFETY OF THE HORSE AND RIDER The National HBPA has always been focused on working on ways to best turn solid industry safety and welfare recommendations into uniform national rules and standards for all horsemen to follow. The NHBPA Model Rules Working Group has a mission to: 1. Gather and analyze all proposed recommendations and national model rules aimed to improve the welfare and safety of the horse. 2. Collect input from HBPA horsemen on ways these rules can be improved or modified if needed. 3. Engage in direct dialogue with the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) Model Rules Committee on how best to design specific rules that would represent proposed industry welfare and safety recommendations. 4. Help guide any such proposed rules through the RCI Model Rules approval process.

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5. Support at the state and/or local regulatory level any welfare and safetyrelated model rules that have been approved by the RCI Model Rules Committee after the appropriate interaction with the NHBPA Model Rules Working Group. The National HBPA Board believes that the racing industry is still the best source for finding ways to improve and regulate welfare and safety in racing, and our challenge will be to shepherd all sensible proposals from the recommendation phase to the rule adoption phase. It is this role the National HBPA intends to undertake in order for our industry to better safeguard our horses and riders.

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019


NHBPA POSITION STATEMENT ON THERAPEUTIC MEDICATIONS IN RACEHORSES The National HBPA encourages the highest standards of horsemanship to continuously improve the care, health and safety of the horse. The NHBPA and its members aim to provide the best health care possible for competing racehorses while ensuring the integrity of the sport. The NHBPA position is that all therapeutic medications should be administered to racehorses by or under the direction of a licensed veterinarian. Health care decisions on individual horses

should involve a veterinarian, the trainer and the owner, with the best interests of the horse as the primary objective. The NHBPA also strongly encourages continued peer-reviewed research in determining regulatory threshold levels and appropriate withdrawal times that represent responsible use of therapeutic medications in the racehorse.

NHBPA POSITION STATEMENT ON THE STEWARDSHIP OF THE HORSE The National HBPA advocates respect for the dignity and the welfare of horses of all breeds. The NHBPA encourages the highest standards of horsemanship to continuously improve the care, health and safety of our racehorses. The NHBPA advocates for research toward understanding and reducing injuries and illnesses and for education to inform and support owners, trainers and veterinarians regarding preventive medicine, responsible training and the humane treatment of our racehorses. The NHBPA approves of euthanasia when deemed necessary via thorough and expedient diagnostic procedures to end inhumane suffering. The NHBPA emboldens, fosters and provides education regarding responsible ownership and management that will reduce the number of

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unwanted racehorses. The NHBPA passionately supports the development and enhancement of off-the-track-Thoroughbred (OTTB) retirement facilities and adoption groups along with programs at affiliated racetracks providing for the aftercare of our horses when their racing careers are over. The NHBPA also supports the humane and ethical use of horses in spectator events, competitions, exhibitions and entertainment in accordance with existing federal, state and local animal protection laws. The NHBPA encourages all equine organizations and individuals involved in such events to develop and abide by stringent standardized rules, policies and procedures to ensure horses shall be treated humanely at all times and with dignity, respect and compassion. HJ

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NEWS

RESEARCH AND MEDICATION UPDATE

Official Testing Results Show Substantial Rule Compliance in Racing, Claims of Rampant Pain-Masking Not Substantiated The 2018 Anti-Doping and Drug Testing Program conducted by U.S. racing regulatory bodies found continued substantial compliance with racing’s medication and anti-doping rules and little support for claims that the use of drugs to mask pain when horses race is rampant. As it does each year, the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) released a summary of the collective results of the individual state programs conducted in 2018. Last year, horses competing in 95,618 individual races were tested, with 43,574 flat races (American Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred combined) and 52,044 Standardbred races. This represents a reduction from 2017 when horses from 98,883 races were tested. On average, 3.2 horses were tested in each flat race and 2.26 horses in each Standardbred contest. In 2018, there were 1,561 violations of the medication rules out of 258,920 samples tested, meaning that 99.4 percent of all tests found the horse to be compliant with the rules. It also means that the facts do not support claims that a substantial number of horses are racing under the influence of pain-masking medications, as all testing labs routinely screen for the presence of such drugs. Such instances do occasionally occur and are reflected in the violations that are found and prosecuted. The RCI has described violations involving Class 1 or Class 2 substances as instances of “doping.” Violations involving substances of a lesser class often involve overages of medications deemed therapeutic or authorized by U.S. federal law for veterinary use. A dramatic drop in doping instances was seen from 2017 to 2018. In 2017, 11 percent of all violations found were for Class 1 or 2 substances— those deemed to have the greatest effect on performance. That number dropped in 2018 to 6.8 percent of all violations. In 2017, there were 169 positive findings out of 293,704 samples tested, or 0.06 percent. Again, the numbers dropped in 2018, with 107 positive findings out of 258,920 samples tested, or 0.04 percent.

Violations involving Class 3 substances were 26.2 percent of all adverse analytical findings in 2018, a slight increase over the 24.5 percent detected in 2017. There were 409 Class 3 adverse analytical findings in 2018 (0.16 percent of all tested), compared to 376 in 2017 (0.13 percent tested). Violations involving substances deemed least likely to affect performance—Class 4 and 5 substances—accounted for 66.9 percent of the adverse analytical findings in 2018, slightly up from 64.5 percent in 2017. In 2018, 99.4 percent of all samples tested were determined to be clear of any substance that would trigger an adverse analytical finding, just down from 99.5 percent in 2017. For Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races, the clear rate in 2018 was 99.13 percent, and the rate for Standardbred races that year was 99.71 percent. By comparison, the 2017 annual report of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency indicates that its clear rate for human sport was 99.12 percent for Olympic, Paralympic and Global Service Testing. The 2019 World Anti-Doping Agency’s testing report shows that its clear rate is 98.57 percent. “Horse racing and human sport share the same challenges in combating those who cheat,” said RCI President Ed Martin. “While the overall clear rate is comparable, I do not believe anyone is under the illusion in either human sport or horse racing that we are catching everyone who will attempt to cheat. “Industry investments in anti-doping research and a greater emphasis on expanded investigatory staff at the regulatory agencies and racetracks are essential if we are to effectively combat this threat,” he added.

Scientists Report No Link Between Lasix Treatments and Musculoskeletal Issues That May Contribute to Breakdowns

The Scientific Advisory Group of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) has reported that the current science shows no links between Lasix (furosemide) treatments and musculoskeletal issues that may be a contributing cause of equine breakdowns in racing. The group reported to the RCI’s Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee that they discussed the issue at their meeting on April 2 and were not aware of any published studies or papers providing any evidence of such a link. The Scientific Advisory Group members participating in the meeting were Dr. Scot Stanley, Dr. Heather Kynch, Dr. George Maylin, Dr. Ken McKeever, Dr. Cynthia Cole, Dr. Mary Robinson, Dr. Rick Sams and Dr. Thomas Tobin. “There remains an attempt on the part of some organizations and individuals to leave the impression that the current equine welfare policy of permitting the voluntary race-day use of furosemide under controlled and transparent circumstances is somehow tied to the tragic equine deaths that

14

have occurred at Santa Anita and elsewhere,” said RCI President Ed Martin in a statement. “The ARCI is never averse to examining an existing policy, and we were concerned that such statements might be based upon solid scientific information we have yet been able to analyze,” Martin added. “Apparently, they are not. Our science advisors were asked to review this matter and make us aware of any new information that might be relevant to the equine tragedies that have occurred.” In 2011, after two RCI officers called for the phase out of race-day Lasix treatments, an industry debate on the issue was reignited. The Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee conducted a review of the existing policy

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SUMMER 2019


NEWS

RESEARCH AND MEDICATION UPDATE

and held a public hearing during the Saratoga meet. Input was received from a variety of experts, including Dr. N. Edward Robinson from the Center for Integrative Toxicology at the Michigan State University Veterinary Medical Center. Robinson is a recognized expert in the study of animal lung dysfunction, particularly equine airway disease. He directs MSU’s Equine Pulmonary Research Laboratory, which is dedicated to studying the pathogenesis and treatment of diseases of the airways of the horse.

After completion of that review, the committee decided that there was insufficient science to justify change to the current policy. The rationale for current Lasix policy was strengthened by a 2014 consensus statement from the independent American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine titled, “Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage in Horses,” and published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Launches Professionals’ Circle and Rider Ambassador Programs, Announces More Than $1 Million in Research Funding

The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has announced the creation of a Professionals’ Circle Program and a Rider Ambassador Program, both of which are sponsored by sport horse enthusiast Jacqueline B. Mars. The foundation also announced more than $1.3 million in funding for research projects. Through the Professionals’ Circle Program, members can offer monetary contributions as well as their time toward supporting the foundation’s work and research. Stakeholders and fans from all aspects of the equestrian industry are welcome to join. As part of the Rider Ambassador Program, equestrians representing all disciplines, from Thoroughbred racing to show jumping to driving, are invited to promote the foundation’s mission through social media as well as at events and horse shows. Ambassadors will educate their respective equestrian communities about the foundation’s efforts and how the research supported by the foundation benefits all horses. “We are grateful to Ms. Mars for sponsoring this program, which will allow individuals to spread awareness about Grayson’s work to improve the lives of horses of all breeds and disciplines, including the sport horse community,” said Jamie Haydon, president of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “The launch of these programs coincided with the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington and reflects how Grayson-funded research has a wide-ranging impact on the equine community.” Mars has been involved with sport horses and the equestrian world for more than four decades. She has been associated with top sport horses including Giltedge, Prince Panache and Harbour Pilot. Her grandmother Ethel Veronica Mars owned Gallahadion, the 1940 Kentucky Derby winner. Those who are interested in participating in the Professionals’ Circle Program or Rider Ambassador Program should contact Holly White at hwhite@jockeyclub.com or (859) 224-2842. The foundation’s board of directors announced that it has authorized an expenditure of $1,338,858 to fund eight new projects at seven universities, nine continuing projects and three career development awards in support of veterinary research to benefit all horses. This is the fifth straight year that more than $1 million has been approved.

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“We thank our generous donors who recognize the value of veterinary research for enhancing equine health and wellness,” Haydon said. “From studying a racehorse’s stride to predict injury to testing an intrauterine antibiotic treatment, we are excited to see the results of these studies and how they may help horses of all breeds in the future.” The 2019 slate of research brings Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s totals since 1983 to more than $27.5 million to underwrite 366 projects at 44 universities. “Grayson’s goal has always been to support the most relevant and impactful research on behalf of the horse, and the past year has seen an increased focus on the musculoskeletal system of the racehorse,” said Dr. Larry Bramlage, partner at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and a member of the foundation’s Research Advisory Committee. “We are very happy to have three quality musculoskeletal projects focused on better understanding why injuries occur and how to detect and prevent them before they manifest themselves as injuries to the bones and joints of the racehorse.” Additionally, Oaklawn Park and WinStar Farm will each be donating $50,000 in 2019 to sponsor research projects pertaining to health in racehorses, and Churchill Downs and Keeneland have each committed $100,000. They are participants in the foundation’s new corporate membership program, whereby organizations can contribute to Grayson-funded projects. Those interested in the program should contact the foundation. More information about the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and the individual research projects is available at grayson-jockeyclub.org. HJ

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A DV E RT I S E ME N T

RACETRACKS TO BAN LASIX Best Natural Solution when Lasix is Banned By Mark Hansen

While bleeding from the nose in racehorses is uncommon, it is accepted that most every horse will experience some level of bleeding in their lungs. Even though this may only cause slight discomfort for the equine athlete, it is a trainer’s worst nightmare because it can lead to poor performance, lost training days, costly treatments, or worse — a very sick horse that’s banned from racing for life. For one trainer, this is exactly the nightmare that happened to him. Suddenly not just one, but two of his best horses were bleeding from EIPH (Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage). They were in danger of being banned from racing, even though they were still in their prime. Lasix (Salix) was not an option. The trainer was at a loss. What can be done? Facing these concerns for two of his

horses, the trainer (who asked us to withhold his name for competitive reasons) was willing to try anything. So, he searched for another option. He gave his horses an alternative to bleeder drugs and treatments; something he had read about called BleederShield. This natural respiratory horse supplement helps control bleeding. It is just as effective in improving the health and performance of bleeders but without any of those “drug issues” that come with most race-day bleeder medications. “I used BleederShield paste on two horses that had been bleeding. Now, neither horse has bled. This is a great product; it saved the careers of two very good horses.”

THE SCIENCE BEHIND BLEEDERSHIELD

To understand how BleederShield works, we looked at a controlled study

run by veterinarians at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. They investigated the effects of the active ingredient in BleederShield, yunnan baiyao, which has been shown to help reduce bleeding in people and animals. The veterinary team wanted to see how this active ingredient specifically affected bleeding in horses. They measured template bleeding times in horses before and after receiving a supplement with the active ingredient. The researchers reported that the supplement significantly reduced bleeding time. They concluded that the active ingredient in BleederShield was effective at minimizing blood loss in horses.1 What surprised us the most about BleederShield is its effectiveness without the use of drugs. Having a drug-free option is critical in countries that ban most raceday EIPH medications. And even though Lasix/Salix isn’t banned in the USA yet, its day may be coming. There’s a serious need NOW for a natural solution that can help control bleeding in performance horses. Trainers and owners alike are impressed with the results they are seeing from BleederShield. One winning trainer told us: “I have horses that bleed and when I use this product I have no problems. I’m sure there are a lot of products on the market but I stand behind this one all the way.” Now you can improve the health of your horses while protecting the investment in their racing careers. With the results from the scientific studies, you can expect BleederShield to reduce bleeding events in horses during intense exercise… repair damaged blood vessels … and provide support for normal lung function and normal blood flow.2 Best of all, BleederShield is easy AND affordable. It could be the smartest investment you make to avoid pricey problems related to EIPH. It’s well worth the small price to avoid a banning risk or losing a great horse. A company spokesperson confirmed an exclusive offer for Horsemen’s Journal readers: if you order BleederShield this month, you’ll receive 10% off your first order by using promo code HJ10 at checkout. You can order BleederShield today at www.BleederShield.com. 1. Graham L. et al. J Vet Emerg Crit Care. 12:4 (2002) 279-282. 2. Graham L. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2006.


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COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

FEATURE

SUPERFAN DYLAN KERKHOFF TRYING ON SOME SILKS WITH LINDEY WADE

A True

feel-good Story for Racing The racing community has stepped up to embrace a young fan’s love of the racetrack By Peter Monaco 18

There’s no official award for “horse racing’s biggest fan,” but if there were, it could certainly go to a 14-year-old kid named Dylan Kerkhoff with a strong honorable mention to his parents, Mendi and Vaughn. A year or so ago, Dylan started popping up on social media in pictures at different racetracks. He was in photos with jockeys; he was in the winner’s circle; he was in the paddock; he was even in the announcer’s booth. The kid was just about everywhere, and he always seemed to have the same Woody (from the movie Toy Story) T-shirt on. Who was this kid, and why did he love horse racing? With this writer’s curiosity piqued, I started asking some of my jockey friends about this young man, and they put me in touch with his mom, Mendi. It turned out to be a great story about a beautiful family and brought to light some real stars in our racing community. Some might say this is a dark and cloudy time in our sport, but this story is a beam of sunshine that just might brighten your day. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019


COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

WITH ALEX BIRZER, ONE OF DYLAN’S FAVORITE RIDERS

COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

TAKING A SELFIE WITH TRIPLE CROWN WINNER AMERICAN PHAROAH

GETTING SOME FACE TIME WITH CALIFORNIA CHROME

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

WITH JEANETTE MILLIGAN, WIFE OF TRAINER ALLEN MILLIGAN AND RECENTLY NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ARKANSAS HBPA

19


FEATURE

“After he was born, we would take him to Santa Anita for the morning workouts and stay for the afternoon races.” —Mendi Kerkhoff 20

POSING WITH TRIPLE CROWN-WINNING JOCKEY MIKE SMITH

COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

Dylan and his family are originally from California, and at one time, they lived only a few blocks from Santa Anita Park. “My husband and I have always enjoyed going to the racetrack, pre-Dylan,” Mendi said. “But after he was born, we would take him to Santa Anita for the morning workouts and stay for the afternoon races.” The family moved to Oklahoma when Dylan was about 2 years old to be near Mendi’s parents, and they would attend Will Rogers Downs regularly and Oaklawn and Remington Park a few times a year. The family also would go back to California to visit their old haunts, and while there, they would hit Santa Anita, Los Alamitos, Del Mar, Fairplex and just about any other place that looked anything like a racetrack or had horses. Mendi and Vaughn have taken Dylan to nearly two dozen tracks in the U.S. and have spent most of their adult lives driving around in a car to put a smile on their boy’s face. Dylan is a little person who has a common form of dwarfism called achondroplasia. He’s also borderline autistic with sensory issues and is mostly nonverbal. He’s uncomfortable around crowds, and his social skills are limited. But his parents discovered that when Dylan entered the racetrack and came eye-to-eye with the horses and noticed other “little fellows” riding these beautiful creatures, he was perfectly in his element. He became a social butterfly of sorts, often presenting a huge smile and a big thumbs-up while allowing jockeys to put an arm around his shoulder or even give him a hug. His social skills improved tremendously, and he started to mimic track announcers and pronounce jockey’s names. The racetrack has turned out to be Dylan’s happy place, and one can only imagine the immense joy felt by his parents at their discovery. The track is the only place where he is more outgoing and seeks out interaction from others. “He has always loved watching the horses, but I think the frequent trips started in 2015 at Remington Park,” Mendi said. “We would spend the day at Will Rogers Downs and head to Remington at night. Some special people—Walter Orona, Nikki Fopp and Jeanette Milligan—were among the first to notice Dylan’s love of racing and gave him the opportunity to visit the barns and jockeys’ room. They suited him up with silks, goggles and a whip, and he was also invited into the winner’s circle. That was the start of the unbelievable friendships.”

COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

An Early Love of Racing

MEETING TRIPLE CROWN-WINNING JOCKEY VICTOR ESPINOZA

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SUMMER 2019


DUSTIN ORONA PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

GETTING A SPECIAL SIGNED PHOTO IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE AT REMINGTON PARK

COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

CHECKING OUT SOME HARNESS RACING AND MEETING THE DRIVERS AT HOOSIER PARK

A RARE RACETRACK APPEARANCE SANS HIS TRADEMARK WOODY T-SHIRT, WITH REMINGTON PARK TRACK ANNOUNCER DALE DAY (LEFT) AND FORMER TELEVISION ANALYST AND NOW FONNER PARK COO CHRIS KOTULAK

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SUMMER 2019

When Dylan entered the racetrack and came eyeto-eye with the horses and noticed other “little fellows” riding these beautiful creatures, he was perfectly in his element. 21


All Access to a Wealth of Track Experiences

At the conclusion of Remington’s meet last December, the jockeys and racetrack staff presented Dylan with an award of sorts. It was a large picture of the starting gate with a full field breaking, and it was signed by about 30 riders and track staff. The presentation was given by jockey Alex Birzer, who had to hold back tears through the ceremony and begged Mendi not to cry either during the speech. But Birzer’s efforts to bypass the tears were unsuccessful. “We had no idea all the jockeys and most of the staff were going to come down and do a presentation,” she said. “It made us all cry. For them to take the time out of the races, to get the picture together and sign it, it just meant the world to all of us, and we can’t thank everyone enough.” There are many people at so many tracks who have acknowledged this great racing family and gone out of their way to make Dylan feel like a star. Here are just a few quotes from some friends in Dylan’s racing world:

COURTESY MENDI KERKHOFF

FEATURE

“Dylan is an amazing racing fan and a great

person to boot. It’s the highlight of my day when I

get to say ‘hi’ and take a quick picture between races. It’s a real honor to be one of his favorite jockeys.”

—jockey David Cohen

“This little guy and his family are just special and amazing people. They’re here in the bad weather, and they’re here on the nice days. They always

support the riders and the staff, and Dylan puts a smile on the face of everyone he comes in contact with. He’s a real treasure.”

—jockey Alex Birzer

“ Years ago, I nicknamed Dylan ‘All Access.’ Not only for the places he gets into but also for the countless

hearts he wiggles into. I’m equally impressed with the boundless dedication his parents provide him. Dylan tends to bring out the best in everyone he

meets. We’re all blessed to have him in our lives.”

—Fonner Park COO and former

Remington Park TV analyst Chris Kotulak

Besides Dylan’s buddies at Remington and Oaklawn, he’s also met Mike Smith and Johnny Velazquez and spent time with Victor Espinoza. He’s ridden in the starting gate vehicle for a Standardbred race at Hoosier Park, met American Pharoah and fed cookies to California Chrome. Dylan had a race at Churchill Downs named for him in honor of his 13th birthday, and he’s spent time in the announcer’s booth with Dale Day, Ed Burgart, John G. Dooley, Vic Stauffer and Pete Aiello. He’s been in the winner’s circle at most tracks, and it’s hard to imagine that there’s a jockey who has ever turned him down for a picture. People from all segments of the horse racing industry have taken the time to brighten Dylan’s day at the track. This gift of human compassion has shown no boundaries in spanning the spectrum from racetrack management, announcers, owners, trainers and jockeys to hot walkers, parking attendants and vendors. The unselfish acts of the racing community shine like a bright light during a cloudy time in our sport and get far less publicity and attention than they should. “There are many times my husband and I say how we can’t believe some of the things Dylan has gotten to do and how overwhelming it is for us to see the love and support Dylan gets from the entire racing community,” Mendi said. The Kerkhoffs have gone above and beyond to provide a fun and loving world for their son, and they have no problem with the time and expense of their never-ending road trips because Dylan loves them. “Some people take their kids to Disney World, but our family would much rather spend the day at the racetrack,” Mendi said. You could say that Dylan and his parents, thanks in part to social media, have become ambassadors for horse racing and helped showcase the kindness of its many participants. The people involved in making a day at the track a special one for Dylan certainly merit the industry’s respect and admiration, as good deeds always seem to have a way of being contagious. The giving spirit is alive and well in the horse racing world, and Dylan’s story is just one of many that prove that. You can follow Dylan’s adventures on Twitter @woody_tshirt or search #wheresthewoodytshirt. HJ

Peter Monaco is a longtime turf writer who tackles everything from historical pieces to current events and news. He is a contributor to Past the Wire, where you’ll find more of his features along with others from their team and the latest in racing news. Past the Wire is online at pastthewire.com or on Twitter @PasttheWire or Facebook at facebook.com/pastthewire. 22

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019


Congrat ulat ions!

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The Money Dance

2018 Indiana Horse of the Year Photo by Dean Gillette

THE MONEY DANCE: (Jimmy Creed – Whistlin Jean – Pure Prize) Breeder/Owner: Michael and Penny Lauer • Trainer: Michael Lauer 2018 Earnings: $279,453 ($38,486 ITBDP Incentives) Lifetime earnings: $283,025 Multiple Black Type Stakes Winner 2018 Record: 15 3-2-3

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FEATURE

CELEBRATING the Majesty of Majestic Prince FIVE DECADES AGO, A RECORD-PRICED YEARLING ALMOST MADE RACING HISTORY By Rick Capone

MAJESTIC PRINCE, SHOWN WITH BILL HARTACK UP AFTER WINNING THE 1969 PREAKNESS STAKES

26

KEENELAND LIBRARY MORGAN COLLECTION

T

his year marks the 50th anniversary of Majestic Prince’s attempt to win the Triple Crown and become the first to win it while undefeated. Majestic Prince engaged in two epic battles with Arts and Letters in winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, but he came up short in the Belmont Stakes in what turned out to be the final race of his career. Since that 1969 season, the undefeated Triple Crown has been accomplished by Seattle Slew and Justify, and the memories of Majestic Prince have started to fade. But those who remember seeing him run or who have studied the sport’s history still rank the son of Raise a Native as one of horse racing’s best.

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SUMMER 2019


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SUMMER 2019

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FEATURE

A GLIMPSE OF GREATNESS

KEENELAND LIBRARY THOROUGHBRED TIMES COLLECTION

Majestic Prince was foaled on March 19, 1966, at Leslie Combs II’s Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. The chestnut colt was purchased for a thenrecord $250,000 at the 1967 Keeneland July yearling sale by Frank M. McMahon, a Calgary, Alberta, oilman. Interestingly, according to the entry for Majestic Prince in BloodHorse’s Thoroughbred Champions: Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century, it was later learned that McMahon owned Majestic Prince’s dam, Gay Hostess, in partnership with Combs, which made him co-breeder of the horse. Majestic Prince was sent to trainer Johnny Longden, a former jockey who won the Triple Crown in 1943 on Count Fleet and retired from riding in 1966 as the winningest jockey ever at the time. In 1968, as a 2-year-old under MAJESTIC PRINCE AT THE 1967 KEENELAND JULY YEARLING SALE, WHERE HE SOLD FOR A THEN-RECORD PRICE OF $250,000 Longden’s care and based in California, Majestic Prince opened his racing career by winning two races, one at Bay Meadows and the other at Santa Anita, in strong fashion. But those races were just a glimpse of what was to come. Majestic Prince picked up where he left off for his 3-year-old campaign. Ridden by Bill Hartack, Majestic Prince won his first race, the Los Feliz Stakes at One person who began to follow Majestic Prince closely at the time was Santa Anita on January 7, and then followed that with three more stakes wins at Edward Bowen. Although he would later serve as editor of BloodHorse magazine the same track: the San Vicente Stakes on February 6, the San Jacinto Stakes on and president of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Bowen that year February 27 and the biggest West Coast Kentucky Derby prep, the Santa Anita was covering his first full Triple Crown season in person as editor of Canadian Derby, on March 29. Horse magazine. With those wins, Longden’s next-planned race for Majestic Prince was When Bowen saw Majestic Prince at Churchill Downs the week leading up at Churchill Downs, where he gave his horse a “tune-up” for the Kentucky to the Kentucky Derby, the horse captured his attention and, ultimately, became Derby in the seven-furlong Stepping Stone allowance race on Churchill’s opening one of his all-time favorites. He described what he saw that day during a recent day. With an easy six-length win, Majestic Prince was ready for the Run for interview at the Keeneland Library. the Roses. “I hadn’t seen Majestic Prince up close since he was a yearling,” he said. “I While Majestic Prince remained undefeated coming from the West Coast, saw him walk around and I was standing by the rail, and I just was absolutely on the East Coast, Arts and Letters also was having a strong start to the 1969 thunderstruck by how beautiful this horse was. Over the years, my favorite season. The chestnut son of Ribot was bred by Paul Mellon and raced in the Thoroughbred—the sort of typical Thoroughbred in my mind—is a bay with name of Mellon’s Rokeby Stable. Trained by Elliott Burch, Arts and Letters black legs and mane and so forth. But through the years, chestnuts have won emerged as one of Florida’s top 3-year-olds with a victory in Hialeah Park’s me over too. Obviously, historically, Man o’ War was a chestnut. Then just four Everglades Stakes in February and then consecutive runner-up finishes in the years after Majestic Prince, Secretariat came along as a chestnut. And then, Flamingo Stakes at Hialeah and the Fountain of Youth Stakes and Florida Derby Alydar and Affirmed were both chestnuts. at Gulfstream Park. With Bill Shoemaker aboard, he earned his starting spot in “So, while in general I love a bay Thoroughbred above all others, I’ve also the Kentucky Derby with an emphatic 15-length win in the Blue Grass Stakes at been wooed by a lot of beautiful chestnuts.” Keeneland on April 24. According to Bowen, Majestic Prince’s name was a perfect match for Two other horses in the Derby conversation that year were Dike, winner of his looks. the Wood Memorial in New York, and Top Knight, the 1968 champion 2-year-old “He just was so glamorous,” he said. “He had just a little of the dished male. Still, most horse racing fans awaited the meeting between Majestic Prince face that you associate with the Arab breed. I don’t think that an Arab horse is and Arts and Letters—West Coast vs. East Coast—in the Kentucky Derby. more elegant than a Thoroughbred. But that head is just so beautiful, and he had a bit of that.

A MAJESTIC-LOOKING HORSE

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SUMMER 2019


KEENELAND LIBRARY FEATHERSTON COLLECTION

MAJESTIC PRINCE HOLDS OFF ARTS AND LETTERS TO WIN THE KENTUCKY DERBY BY A NECK.

“Oddly, he didn’t go on to be as great a looking stallion as I expected,” he continued. “But I just was struck by his beauty, the elegance, the sense of power and the sheen of his coat. To this day, 50 years later, I’ve never seen a horse quite like him. “Four years later, when Secretariat was, deservedly, all in people’s minds, [Pimlico general manager] Chick Lang said, ‘It’s as if God decided to create the perfect horse.’ And, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to argue with God, but I don’t mind arguing with Chick Lang. I don’t think that this horse [Secretariat] was quite as beautiful, as a sculpted Adonis, as Majestic Prince.’ ”

jockey Braulio Baeza riding after Shoemaker was injured, gave the crowd a Derby to remember. In the race, Majestic Prince ran third down the backstretch and then began to make his move coming around the final turn. Then, in an exciting stretch

Kentucky Derby Day began just like any other training day for Majestic Prince. In his May 10, 1969, article titled, “A $250,000 Yearling and a Bargain at the Price,” BloodHorse editor Kent Hollingsworth elegantly described the horse’s race-day preparations: “Early on [Saturday] May 3, a full moon and a naked light bulb lit the shedrow of Barn 39 at Churchill Downs when Valentino Szlot began rubbing Majestic Prince. At 5:30 a.m., Szlot saddled the colt, added a running martingale and slipped on a Sure-Win with a rubber strap to hold the bit high. Assistant trainer Mike Bao produced a tongue-tie and this—suspenders and a belt—assured that Majestic Prince would not get his tongue over the bit. Exercise boy Johnny Longden got a leg up from Bao, gave his mount a turn around the shed. Bao mounted a white lead pony and the two headed toward the track at the break of dawn. Longden galloped Majestic Prince once around the track and returned. His training job was over.” Later that sunny afternoon in front of about 90,000 people, and with President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon in attendance, 7-5 favorite Majestic Prince, with Hartack riding, and Arts and Letters, with

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

KEENELAND LIBRARY MORGAN COLLECTION

A WEST VS..EAST SHOWDOWN

OWNER FRANK MCMAHON LEADS MAJESTIC PRINCE AND BILL HARTACK TO THE WINNER’S CIRCLE FOLLOWING HIS WIN IN THE DERBY.

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KEENELAND LIBRARY MORGAN COLLECTION

FEATURE

AFTER MAJESTIC PRINCE WON THE PREAKNESS STAKES (PICTURED ABOVE) BY A HEAD OVER ARTS AND LETTERS, IT SET UP A CHANCE FOR THE TRIPLE CROWN IN THE BELMONT STAKES.

duel, Majestic Prince took a small lead, but Arts and Letters fought back. When he saw his rival coming on, Majestic Prince dug in and went on to win by just a neck. Dike finished a half-length back in third, while Top Knight ended up fifth. Majestic Prince’s time for the 1 ¼-mile race was 2:01 4/5. “There was no way we could finish second or third,” said Hartack in a May 10, 1969, BloodHorse article. “I thought he might be a fighter, but I never knew until he tied into a good one like Arts and Letters. We ran by him, but then he wanted to relax and I had to keep into him all the way.” Said Burch of his horse, Arts and Letters: “He couldn’t have run a better race and not won. The best horse won.” With the win, Longden became the only person to win the Kentucky Derby as both a rider and a trainer. Two weeks later on May 17, on another sunny day in front of more than 43,000 people at Pimlico, the two horses met up again in the Preakness and put on another memorable performance. Once again, the favored Majestic Prince beat his rival in the race, this time by a head. He ran the 1 3/16 miles in 1:55 3/5; however, it took a while for the race to be ruled official. According to a long-form article titled, “The Story of Majestic Prince,” which appears on twinspires.com (and in an earlier version on kentuckyderby.com), Majestic Prince broke inside of Arts and Letters and brushed against him. Then, when passing the finish line the first time, Majestic Prince came out slightly and squeezed Arts and Letters toward another horse on the outside. As a result, Baeza was forced to hold up his horse, and it took a few steps to regain his speed. “I was not bumped, just crowded,” Baeza said, according to the article. “I thought if I did not pull up, I am going to hit one of their [another horse’s] heels.” About the inquiry, Bowen recalled, “There was an incident at the first turn, and Baeza claimed foul. I remember it was a long time, 26 minutes,

30

before a decision was made. It’s obvious … the longer it lived, the more you thought, ‘Gosh, they may take this horse down. Wouldn’t that be a shame? He’s undefeated. He’s going for the Triple Crown. What if he gets disqualified?’ But, he didn’t.”

THE RACE FOR IMMORTALITY So, the stage was set. Majestic Prince was headed to the Belmont Stakes and a chance to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Citation in 1948. Said McMahon in a May 24, 1969, BloodHorse article, “There is nothing I want more than to win the Triple Crown. We better wait and see, however, how he comes out of this race [the Preakness]. He hasn’t had a break since he won his first race last November 28, and these last two have been hard races. Isn’t he a game horse, though?” Following the Preakness, some controversy did arise over whether Majestic Prince should run in the Belmont, as Longden believed it was time to take Majestic Prince back to California for a rest. “This horse is not a machine,” Longden said in that BloodHorse article. “You just can’t go out and buy another bolt and put it on him.” Even so, the trainer assured everyone that his horse was OK and that they weren’t afraid of running a mile and a half, losing the race or anything of the sort. “He’s tired, and I am tired,” he said. “He needs a little rest.” Longden also was considering his horse’s health, as Majestic Prince had lost weight after the Derby and the Preakness. “I checked back on it and I found that horses that had tough races in the Derby and the Preakness were never worth a damn after the Belmont,” he said.

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KEENELAND LIBRARY MORGAN COLLECTION

TRAINER JOHNNY LONGDEN, LEFT, AND OWNERS BETTY AND FRANK MCMAHON GIVE MAJESTIC PRINCE A TREAT AFTER HE WON THE PREAKNESS.

According to the BloodHorse article, Longden was possibly thinking about Count Fleet, whom he rode to a 25-length victory in the 1943 Belmont. Count Fleet suffered an injury in that race and ultimately was retired without racing again. Also weighing on his mind could have been Tim Tam, who won the 1958 Derby and Preakness only to finish second in the Belmont with an injury. Just three years earlier, Kauai King won the Derby and Preakness and then got hurt one start after running fourth in the Belmont. However, what Longden thought didn’t matter in the end. While McMahon at first agreed with his trainer to send his horse back to California for a rest, he soon changed his mind, and Majestic Prince was sent to New York for the final leg of the Triple Crown. “We had a pow-wow, Johnny and I, and we agreed that the horse would go if he is in top physical condition,” said McMahon in that BloodHorse article. “If he is not, he will not run in the Belmont.” While all of that was going on, Arts and Letters was sent to Aqueduct, where he defeated older horses in the Metropolitan Handicap on May 30. With that win, just two weeks after the Preakness and one week prior to the Belmont, Arts and Letters was ready for another date with Majestic Prince. In the twinspires.com article, Burch explained his reasoning for running his horse in the Metropolitan Handicap: “I wanted to give him confidence. He has run second twice [to Majestic Prince], and I wanted to restore his confidence.” It worked. On a sunny June 7 afternoon in front of 66,115 fans, Majestic Prince’s undefeated record ended, as Arts and Letters romped to a 5 ½-length victory in a time of 2:28 4/5 for 1 ½ miles. Following the race, Longden took Majestic Prince home to the West Coast for some much deserved rest and recuperation. However, it turned out the colt had incurred an injury and was retired. Majestic Prince ended his racing career with nine wins and one second in 10 starts and $414,200 in earnings.

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FINDING HIS PLACE IN HISTORY As a stallion, Majestic Prince had a modest stud career with 33 stakes winners to his credit. An interesting side story, according to Bowen, involved one of his top progeny, Coastal, the winner of the 1979 Belmont Stakes. “It was neat that he sired the Belmont winner Coastal,” Bowen said, “and that Coastal [denied] another horse a Triple Crown.” That horse was Spectacular Bid, who finished third in the Belmont. And while Majestic Prince went home to California after the Belmont, Arts and Letters, following some rest, continued racing and won four consecutive stakes—the Jim Dandy, Travers, Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup—to end his 1969 season. The last two starts were against older horses. In those races, according to an article by Charles Hatton in the 1970 American Racing Manual, “he virtually annihilated older rivals in each of these rich weight-for-age tests. His lone appearance in a handicap—the Metropolitan—also saw him outrunning older horses.” With those victories, Arts and Letters earned 1969 Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male honors over Majestic Prince. In addition, with his win in the Metropolitan Handicap between the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, he shared champion handicap horse with the older Nodouble. No question, those honors were well deserved. But the “what ifs” concerning Majestic Prince remained unanswered. What if he had continued to race? What if he was 100 percent for the Belmont and so on? With the passage of time, horse racing experts and fans are still debating just how good Majestic Prince was. So, how does his career stack up? To start, he “beat” his old rival in two important post-career honors: In BloodHorse’s list of the Top 100 racehorses of the 20th century, Majestic Prince came in at No. 46 to Arts and Letters at No. 67. And Majestic Prince was 31


KEENELAND LIBRARY FEATHERSTON COLLECTION

FEATURE FEATURE

MAJESTIC PRINCE BEING WALKED AT SPENDTHRIFT FARM IN LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, WHERE HE STOOD HIS STUD CAREER

inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1988, while Arts and Letters had to wait until 1994. Two writers on the BloodHorse panel that helped create the Top 100 list were Jay Hovdey, a five-time Eclipse Award winner, a member of the Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame since 2012 and currently an executive columnist at Daily Racing Form; and Jennie Rees, also a five-time Eclipse Award winner and Hall of Famer who was a longtime racing writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal and currently the lead public relations person for a number of tracks and organizations, such as Kentucky Downs and the National HBPA. In recent email interviews, the two accomplished turf writers could not recall the specific discussions that led to the placement of the two horses on the list, but they did have some thoughts about the careers of both. “As to why Majestic Prince ended up ranked higher on the Top 100, I would need to review the methodology,” Hovdey noted. “However, despite what Arts and Letters did the rest of 1969 to earn Horse of the Year, he did lose two of his three races against the Prince. And it was widely accepted that Majestic Prince was far from at his best for the Belmont.” According to Rees, “That [list creation] was almost 20 years ago and one of the most difficult assignments I’ve ever encountered, ranking all those horses from different eras. With Majestic Prince, I think it was not just the brilliance he’d shown but the fact that he lost the 1 ½-mile Belmont with a tendon injury for his only career defeat. It’s documented that trainer Johnny Longden did not want to run in the Belmont because Majestic Prince came out of the Preakness tired and having lost weight but that Longden was overruled by owner Frank

McMahon. More telling are reports that the tendon injury happened in the Preakness and that Majestic Prince had minimal training heading into the Belmont Stakes.” Rees went on to add: “Majestic Prince is the ultimate ‘what if?’ horse. He’s been described as a bit heavy-bodied, and I suspect he was a difficult horse to keep sound. He has to be one of the best horses ever not to win a championship, if not the best. But that’s a debate for another day.” Let’s give the last word on this Majestic Prince discussion to Hovdey. At the end of his article, “Majestic Prince came close to perfection,” which was published in Daily Racing Form on May 19, 2016, he wrote about how people had always tried to get Hartack to name the best horse he had ever ridden, but the jockey would never say. Then, one day, while sitting in a boat fishing with a good friend, he finally gave the answer. Here’s what Hovdey wrote: Hartack, a five-time Derby winner, three-time Preakness winner and sixtime national champion … spent most of his later years dodging the question of the best horse he ever rode. “He’d always give some smart-aleck answer like, ‘You only rode one horse if it’s the best one you ever rode,’ ” said retired trainer Gary Palmisano, the jockey’s close friend. Hartack died in 2007. “But, when we were out fishing one day, I nailed him down,” Palmisano said. “ ‘Come on,’ I said. ‘In the deepest part of your mind, which horse was the best?’ ” Out in the middle of the lake, Hartack couldn’t get away, so he decided to come clean. “Absolutely,” he said. “It was Majestic Prince.” HJ

Rick Capone is a freelance writer living in Versailles, Kentucky, just down the road from Keeneland. He is also a volunteer at Old Friends, where he is part owner, with friends Michael Blowen and Tim Ford, of Miss Hooligan, a lovable retired mare at the farm. 32

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ALEXEY STIOP – STOCK.ADOBE.COM

FEATURE

LONG, HOT SUMMER SOME EQUINE DISEASES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH HOT WEATHER, INSECTS AND WILDLIFE BY DENISE STEFFANUS

W

HEN SPRING TURNS TO SUMMER, INSECTS AND WILDLIFE EMERGE ALONG WITH THE DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. WINTER IN NORTHERN CLIMATES KILLS HARMFUL ORGANISMS WHEN THE TEMPERATURE PLUNGES, BUT THESE PATHOGENS MAKE THEIR RETURN WHEN THE MERCURY RISES AND THE SPRING RAINS COME. MOSQUITOES AND OTHER FLYING INSECTS SPREAD POTOMAC HORSE FEVER AND SEVERAL KINDS OF EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS, AND WILDLIFE CAUSES LEPTOSPIROSIS TO FLOURISH, ESPECIALLY IN WET WEATHER. IN MODERATE CLIMATES, THESE PROBLEMS MAY OCCUR YEAR-ROUND. SO WHILE THERE’S NEVER A BAD TIME TO PLAN AHEAD AND WORK TO PREVENT HEALTH ISSUES FOR YOUR HORSES, THAT’S ESPECIALLY TRUE AS SUMMER HEATS UP. 36

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

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POTOMAC HORSE FEVER

If you have natural water sources near your barn or in your pasture or lighting where your horse eats, beware of Potomac horse fever, a potentially fatal illness that causes a high fever (102 degrees to 107 degrees) and acute diarrhea. Lights attract mayflies and caddisflies—two of about 17 species of insects that carry the organism that causes Potomac horse fever. Mayflies resemble large mosquitoes, and caddisflies are small, moth-like insects with long antennae and wings that they hold in a tent formation over their backs when at rest. Potomac horse fever is caused by the parasite Neorickettsia risticii, which infects the larvae of insects living in and around fresh water, including dragonflies. When these insects take flight, they can carry the disease to your horse. “When there is a blow [hatching] of these flies, they can be carried a long way on the wind,” said John Madigan, DVM, MS, who studies the disease at the University of California at Davis. “Then, if they fall into a feed tub, especially if they are gathering around a light at night, the horse can ingest them and become infected.” Horses more commonly become infected while grazing near water sources when they ingest insects carrying the parasites. Before researchers pinpointed THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

insects as the means of transmission, horses were thought to acquire the disease by ingesting snails or by drinking contaminated water, but this has been disproven. The first symptoms of Potomac horse fever may be as subtle as depression and not eating. Severe diarrhea and damage to the intestines follow, with endotoxins invading the bloodstream through the damaged gut. Once in the bloodstream, endotoxins damage the capillaries, whose job it is to carry blood and oxygen to tissues and to carry away toxins. With the capillaries unable to function properly, toxic fluids settle in the legs, which cause them to swell. Laminitis often follows. If the horse is treated quickly after the first symptoms are noticed, prognosis for recovery is good. Veterinarians support the horse during treatment with intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Initially, most veterinarians will use trimethoprim and sulfadiazine (sulfamethoxazole or Tribrissen) until laboratory results confirm Potomac horse fever. Then they will use intravenous tetracycline, which is highly effective against the disease. In 2008, researchers at the University of Tennessee discovered that Potomac horse fever may infect the fetus and cause delayed abortion in pregnant mares that recover from the disease. An American Quarter Horse mare they 37


FEATURE treated that contracted the disease in her third month of gestation aborted more than three months after recovery. Laboratory tests on the fetus were positive for N. risticii. The disease’s diverse number of strains makes development of an effective vaccine challenging. While a commercially available vaccine is on the market, many researchers question its efficacy because it is effective against only one strain. Madigan advocates use of the vaccine only when a horse is presumed to be at risk for contracting Potomac horse fever. On farms where the disease has occurred, horsemen should fill in ditches and other areas of standing water where possible. Fencing off ponds and streams that may be sources of infection and turning off lights at night also reduce exposure.

EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS

WEST NILE VIRUS

Two decades ago, West Nile virus invaded this country on Long Island and then crept to the West Coast, infecting more than 25,000 horses and leaving a third of them dead in its wake. When the disease struck in 1999, it attacked a naïve population of horses; before then, West Nile virus was a foreign animal disease never seen on this soil. Because our horses had never been exposed to West Nile virus, their

ALEXEY STIOP – STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Despite the existence of an inexpensive, highly effective and safe vaccine against Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), many horses die needlessly every year from the disease. EEE has a mortality rate of 75 percent to 90 percent, and some clinicians believe it may be even higher. EEE is a neurological disease spread by mosquitoes. Once a horse begins to exhibit clinical signs, the disease progresses rapidly over the next three to five days, at which point the horse either succumbs to the virus or must be euthanized. Initial signs of EEE are similar to several other diseases. Horses may appear lethargic and depressed with a fever of 102 degrees to 104 degrees and a reluctance to eat. Weakness follows, along with muscle twitching, incoordination and other neurological changes in the hind end. These symptoms typically are followed by pronounced signs of brain inflammation, such as head-pressing on the poles in the stall, aimless wandering and stupor. Some horses develop seizures. In the final stages, horses will lie down and be unable to rise. Death typically follows within a few days, or it may occur within hours. “Probably the most important therapy is giving them steroids to try to decrease the inflammation in the brain,” said Dana Zimmel, DVM, a clinical professor at the University of Florida. “There really is nothing new that people

have come up with to treat these horses other than anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids and Banamine, anticonvulsants, supportive care and fluid therapy. There is no miracle cure.” Every horse with EEE that arrives at the University of Florida hospital is put in a padded stall and has a bumper placed on its head to prevent it from injuring itself. “If they do start seizing, usually we call it quits at that point because it is pretty much a hopeless cause,” Zimmel said. “Occasionally, we will have someone who wants to just try through the night and see if the horse gets better, so we give anticonvulsants. But, in our experience, they never have. Even when the owner says, ‘Money’s no object; do whatever you can,’ we can’t save them. It is too deadly a virus.” Western equine encephalitis is a similar disease, also spread by mosquitoes. Both diseases typically are addressed by one combination vaccine, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis is included for horses in the Southwest, if needed. Horses should be inoculated against these diseases in the spring to give ample time for the vaccine to take effect before mosquitoes emerge. In areas where mosquitoes are present year-round, horses need more frequent vaccination—two or three times a year—depending on the recommendation of local animal-health officials. In addition to diligent vaccination, mosquito control is a must to reduce the viral load to which horses are exposed. Horse owners should be proactive and not rely on government-operated mosquito-control measures. People need to take responsibility and not let their own premises become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. That means dumping water out of flower pots and old tires and draining standing water.

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immune systems were not fortified against it. This contributed to its rapid spread and the severity of cases. Since then, growing resistance to the disease in North American horses, along with the availability of several effective vaccines against West Nile virus, has all but extinguished the disease here. In 2018, only 384 cases of West Nile virus were reported nationwide—a triumph for researchers, clinicians and the pharmaceutical companies that rushed to develop a vaccine to save America’s horses. Like EEE, West Nile virus is a neurological disease spread by mosquitoes. The transmission cycle for West Nile virus also includes birds. Infected mosquitoes transmit the disease between birds, and mosquitoes can become infected by biting a bird with West Nile virus. Horses acquire the disease when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Horses are a dead-end host for West Nile virus, so they cannot transmit the disease by mosquito or any other means. Symptoms of West Nile virus are similar to the other equine encephalitis diseases with one exception—these horses may not exhibit fever. A horse with West Nile virus may have a change in personality because of the disease’s effect on the brain, or the horse may be hyperreactive to sound or touch. Muscle tremors and twitching, especially of the lower lip, are followed by stumbling, falling or circling. In the end stages of the disease, the horse will go down and be unable to rise, sometimes experiencing seizures. Most horses are euthanized before death occurs. As standard treatment, clinicians continue to rely on nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (phenylbutazone, Banamine) and supportive care, such as keeping the horse well-hydrated, providing intravenous nutrition, if necessary, and protecting a wobbly horse from injuring itself. In addition, some clinicians rely on interferon-alpha ( ), a naturally occurring protein that in low doses enhances the immune system’s ability to fight disease. In high doses, it acts as an antiviral. Interferon- also has anti-inflammatory properties. Other clinicians employ hyperimmune plasma containing a high content of antibodies to West Nile virus to enhance the horse’s natural immune response to fight off the disease. Horses that recover from West Nile virus may have residual, sometimes permanent, neurological problems. A rehabilitation program of strengthening

and conditioning can bring the horse back to its previous athletic condition if neurological damage is not permanent. With the disease nearly wiped out, owners must not become complacent about vaccinating their horses against it, warned Maureen Long, DVM, PhD, a professor of large animal medicine at the University of Florida. Vaccines on the market require an annual booster after the primary dose, given in ample time to be effective before mosquito season begins. But in areas where mosquitoes are present year-round, Long recommended booster shots every three to four months for optimum protection. In moderate climates, this would be in March or April and again in August or September.

LEPTOSPIROSIS

Horses that experience periodic episodes of swollen, painful eyes may be infected with leptospirosis, a disease spread by wildlife that can cause abortion and in some cases liver and kidney damage. The disease, which is caused by bacteria called spirochetes, is shed in the urine of infected animals. Raccoons, skunks, rats and opossums are the most common hosts for leptospirosis, but the disease also can infect horses, cattle, dogs and humans. Spirochetes invade mucous membranes or damaged skin and then migrate to organs in the body. Most commonly, they are spread by direct contact with urine or by exposure to infected water. Thirty percent of raccoons are thought to shed leptospirosis. The disease thrives in wet, warm weather, so an abundance of rain may trigger more cases of leptospirosis. Typically, the first sign of infection is a fever, after which the horse may become lethargic and reluctant to eat. Its eyes may become cloudy, with tearing and swelling. Horses will squint, blink and resist having their eyes examined. At the end stage of the disease, the horse may develop jaundice and kidney failure. Pregnant mares that contract leptospirosis usually will abort in late gestation. No equine vaccine against leptospirosis exists, so prevention is the only option. Leptospirosis infections in horses commonly have been associated with animals that drink from ponds or streams, but the organisms can live up to 100 days in the damp, warm soil around water troughs and waterers. Prevention includes trapping and removing wildlife that can be potential carriers and providing horses with access to water sources that are not easily contaminated by the urine of infected animals. HJ

Denise Steffanus, a freelance writer and editor in Cynthiana, Kentucky, earned the 2017 Eclipse Award for News/Enterprise Writing, the prestigious Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award and the USA Equestrian (now the U.S. Equestrian Federation) Award for Media Excellence. She is a former licensed Thoroughbred racehorse trainer and a member of American Mensa.

SUMMER DISEASES DISEASE

CARRIER

POTOMAC HORSE FEVER

Aquatic insects

Depression, anorexia, followed by severe diarrhea, swollen legs and sometimes laminitis; in mares, delayed abortion. Vaccine available but efficacy questionable.

EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS

Mosquitoes

Lethargy, depression, high fever, anorexia, weakness, muscle twitching, incoordination, head-pressing, stupor, aimless wandering, seizures and usually death. Highly effective vaccine available.

WEST NILE VIRUS

Mosquitoes

Personality changes; hyperreactivity to sound and touch; muscle tremors; twitching, especially of the lower lip, followed by stumbling, falling or circling; inability to stand; sometimes seizures. Highly effective vaccine available.

LEPTOSPIROSIS

Wildlife

Fever; lethargy; anorexia; painful, swollen, cloudy eyes, with blinking and squinting; kidney and liver damage; in mares, abortion. No vaccine available.

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

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FEATURE

ome stakeholders in the horse racing industry claim medication is responsible for every problem, every tragic event and every downturn in the sport’s popularity, rather than choosing to undertake a good faith investigation of the root causes of the issues at hand. In fact, therapeutic medication for racehorses is more rigorously regulated than medications of human athletes—or even bus drivers and airline pilots. No medication other than Lasix (Salix, or furosemide) is permitted on race day, and the use of Lasix is highly regulated. Standard drug testing for horse racing includes screening for more than 2,500 substances, including both performance-enhancing substances and run-of-the-mill therapeutic medications, similar to the sorts of medications you find over the counter in pharmacies. With this extensive testing program, only 0.6 percent of horses show overages for legitimate therapeutic medications, with only 0.04 percent of these samples actually 42

positive for illegal substances that have no place in racehorses. Despite this highly rigorous testing, some industry individuals and groups are working to further restrict therapeutic medications—those that treat medical conditions—from our equine athletes, targeting the people who are most concerned with the health and welfare of the horses. This movement is simply not in the best interest of our equine athletes—just as it would not be in the best interest of human athletes or even any human being. Many therapeutic medications are not only beneficial but also essential for the health and welfare of the equine athlete. Lasix is one of them. The in-depth sections that follow explain why. For additional information and references, we suggest reading the white paper, “The Lasix Question,” which was produced by the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. You can view it online at tharacing.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Complete-Lasix-package.pdf. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

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THE BENEFITS OF

FOR EXERCISEINDUCED PULMONARY HEMORRHAGE: 50 YEARS OF SCIENCE AND CLINICAL EXPERIENCE BY KIMBERLY BREWER, DVM, MSC; CLARA FENGER, DVM, PHD, DACVIM; AND THOMAS TOBIN, MRCVS, PHD, DABT

EXERCISE-INDUCED PULMONARY HEMORRHAGE The first record of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) or bleeding is by the Elizabethan author and horse breeder Gervase Markham, who notes in one of his books on horsemanship in the late 1500s, in good Elizabethan English, that: ​“Many horfes [efpecially young horfes] are often fubject to this Bleeding at the Nofe, which I imagine proceedeth either from the much abundance of Blood, or that the Vein, which endeth in that Place is either broken, fretted or opened.” Markham was describing the post-exercise presentation of blood at the nostrils, the obvious presentation of what we now know as EIPH. Horsemen had long suspected that horses also bled into their lungs during vigorous exercise,

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

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but visualization of such internal bleeding required development of the fiberoptic endoscope. As long ago as the early 1700s, when the foundation sires of the Thoroughbred breed were racing and breeding, EIPH was recognized as epistaxis, or bleeding from the nose. One of the most prolific sires was Bartlett’s Childers, also known as Bleeding Childers for his propensity to bleed from the nose. Bartlett’s Childers was unraced but distinguished himself as the great-greatgrandsire of Eclipse, who is represented in the pedigree of every modern-day Thoroughbred. The flexible fiberoptic endoscope that came into use in the 1970s led to the discovery that a high percentage of exercised horses showed varying degrees of bleeding in their windpipes following strenuous exercise. What had been observed for centuries—post-race bleeding from the nose—had only been the tip of the iceberg, accounting for about 4 percent of EIPH cases. 43


FEATURE EIPH is a hemorrhage that occurs in the lungs of animals, including horses, camels and greyhounds, and even in elite human athletes during strenuous exercise. In horses, this hemorrhage occurs in polo horses, show and event horses, barrel racing horses and any other equine athletes participating in any endeavor in which strenuous exercise is required. Airway examination suggests that almost all racehorses experience some degree of EIPH—50 percent to 95 percent with well over 90 percent of horses showing blood in their tracheas at some time in their careers. This hemorrhage occurs when the thin membrane between the capillaries and alveolar air sacs fails due to the pressure within the pulmonary capillaries of the lung. The blood in the lungs, along with the damage from the ruptured capillaries, results in inflammation that heals with scarring, and the damaged lung tissue loses its natural ability to expand and contract. The disease is progressive and cumulative, with the scientifically demonstrated result of permanent lesions in the lungs. In most initial cases, the hemorrhage is slight, but as more capillaries fail, the bleeding can be marked, even resulting at times in acute fatal hemorrhage. In extreme cases, the bleeding from the lungs can result in blood coming out of the nostrils as the horse runs. In this situation, the horse is in danger of faltering, thus endangering itself, its rider and the other horses and riders. In the past, before Lasix was approved for use, horses died acutely on the racetrack from EIPH. With the advent of using Lasix in horse racing, the incidence of these catastrophic events has been significantly reduced.

CAUSES OF EIPH EIPH is caused by stress failure or the rupture of pulmonary capillaries because of the high pulmonary capillary pressures that occur during strenuous exercise. It remains one of the most researched conditions of the racehorse, and the preponderance of the scientific literature has revealed the following: 1. When EIPH is not controlled, a cycle of hemorrhage, inflammatory reaction and more hemorrhage occurs. 2. EIPH may occur at any age. 3. EIPH has not been established to be an inherited trait. 4. EIPH occurs with high frequency in both sexes.

DIAGNOSIS OF EIPH EIPH presents in a number of ways, including the following: Bleeding from the nose (epistaxis): Readily obvious and recognized historically, even before the inception of the Thoroughbred breed in the 1700s. May be observable in up to 4 percent of horses post-exercise. Blood in the trachea: Readily observed by post-race endoscopic examination of the trachea. The flexible fiberoptic endoscope permits visual examination of the respiratory tract down into the major bronchi to each lung. All racetrack veterinarians carry a flexible endoscope, and this is the most common means of evaluation of both the upper airway and lungs of the horse. Microscopic evidence of hemorrhage: Broncho alveolar lavage fluid (BAL) collection involves injecting sterile fluid into the bronchi followed by collecting this fluid to be examined microscopically. This procedure detects the subtlest form of EIPH: minimal bleeding not observable by endoscopic examination. Essentially 100 percent of horses in training test BAL positive for EIPH. Post-mortem examination: In a small fraction of cases, horses bleed acutely into their lungs and die on the racetrack, sometimes with no obvious evidence of blood at the nostrils. EIPH has been reported as being the cause of between 50 percent and 80 percent of acute non-musculoskeletal injury-driven deaths in racehorses. Because blood may not be apparent at the nostrils, a full necropsy is required to definitively identify cases of acute death caused by EIPH. 44

CONTROL AND TREATMENT OF EIPH Control is by far the best approach to EIPH, and the best method of EIPH control is pre-exercise administration of the diuretic Lasix. Administration of Lasix pre-exercise has been definitively shown to decrease the incidence and severity of EIPH. In 2009 gold standard-quality research by Australian professor Ken W. Hinchcliff and colleagues showed that Lasix decreases the incidence and severity of EIPH, findings the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine concurred with. No control measure for EIPH has been studied to the same extent as Lasix. Many others have been tried, including medications that enhance clotting, improve capillary stability or decrease blood clot reduction. Of those medications, most have failed to demonstrate effectiveness. Once it was discovered that Lasix helps to prevent EIPH, some horsemen began to withhold water for up to 24 hours before racing or strenuous training. There is no scientific evidence that this practice is effective, and it could be considered inhumane. Concern also remains that this practice may be used in countries where race-day Lasix is not permitted and may be a significant part of plan B approaches to EIPH in jurisdictions that choose to ban Lasix. Once EIPH has occurred, treatment is directed at controlling the inflammation and clearing the blood and inflammatory debris from the lungs. Some veterinarians prescribe antibiotics to prevent bacterial colonization of the blood, bronchodilators to aid in removal of the blood and even hyperbaric oxygen therapy to accelerate healing. If severe enough, lung rest, such as restricting fast exercise, is required during the healing process.

WHAT IS LASIX? Lasix is a short-acting diuretic, or “water pill,” patented in 1959 and approved for use in 1964. It is used most commonly for swelling or edema resulting from heart failure or liver or kidney disease, as well as high blood pressure. It is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines as one of the most effective and safe medications needed in a health system. Tens of millions of people take this medication daily. Lasix has also been used to prevent EIPH in horses for more than 40 years, and approximately 90 percent of horses running in North America are administered this preventative medication before racing. Lasix is recommended by every major U.S. veterinary organization to protect the health and welfare of the racehorse. The effect of Lasix when administered intravenously peaks at 30 minutes, with return of the urine to pre-Lasix concentrations within about 2 ½ hours. Lasix reduces right atrial blood pressure for up to three hours postadministration and lowers pulmonary capillary blood pressure for up to four hours post-administration. For its protective effect, Lasix must be administered on race day and no more than four hours before the race. Dehydration due to Lasix is minimal, and return to normal values occurs even before the strenuous exercise or race occurs.

THE HISTORY OF LASIX USE IN AMERICAN HORSE RACING It has long been rumored that the then-recently FDA-approved diuretic Lasix was used to control EIPH in Northern Dancer’s victory in the 1964 Kentucky Derby. A decade later, in 1974, the use of Lasix was legalized on race day in Maryland. Two years later, a committee led by Dr. Al Gabel of the American Association of Equine Practitioners reported to the National Association of THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

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authority rather than by private practitioners. In addition to the four-hour rule, drug testing in horses has moved away from urine-based testing to blood testing, which also helps since Lasix has no significant effect on the detection of substances in blood.

State Racing Commissioners that Lasix “helped prevent epistaxis” and that “in many cases it restores normal performance of horses which bleed.” With strong support from the veterinary and racing community, all U.S. racing jurisdictions, except for New York, rapidly adopted a three- to four-hour prerace Lasix rule. As the last holdout state, New York finally adopted the rule in 1995 and immediately saw a nearly 80 percent decrease in the incidence of post-race epistaxis (See chart below).

IS LASIX PERFORMANCEENHANCING?

LASIX’S EFFECT ON THE ABILITY TO DETECT DRUGS

Some have claimed that Lasix is performance-enhancing, so let’s review a few things: • EIPH has clearly been shown to negatively affect the performance of a horse, a fact that is not hard to understand given that blood in the lungs can dramatically interfere with a horse’s ability to use oxygen. • Numerous scientific studies have shown that Lasix decreases the severity of EIPH. • The majority of horses performing at maximal exertion will experience EIPH at some time or another. • It is therefore not surprising that when studies have looked specifically at the performance of horses racing with Lasix, the medication was associated with better performance.

MINGIS – STOCK.ADOBE.COM

In human drug testing, diuretics present a significant concern as masking or diluting agents. This is because most drug testing in humans is performed on urine samples, and anything that dilutes the urine may well dilute prohibited substances to the point of making them undetectable. Horse racing shared this concern when Lasix use was being adopted many decades ago, but the racing industry addressed the issue by establishing the four-hour rule, whereby Lasix was administered intravenously at four hours before a race. As stated earlier, the diuretic effect abates about 2 ½ hours after administration, leaving a full 1 ½ hours before the horse goes to post. Most states now regulate that Lasix must be administered by veterinarians employed by a regulatory

Figure 1 Effect of Furosemide on Epistaxis Cases/Year in New York Racing

EPISTAXIS CASES IN NEW YORK PRE- AND POST-LASIX APPROVAL 70

Number of Epistaxis Cases

60 59 50

57

58

WITHOUT LASIX

40

WITH LASIX

(approved Sept. 1, 1995)

30

25 Sept. 1

20 13

16 12

9

10

12 8

4

0 1992

(4 months)

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

Year SUMMER of 2019 being used in the prevention epistaxis.

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2002 publication of this book. Reviewing

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FEATURE Does Lasix improve performance if there is no EIPH? Only a few studies have been designed to answer this question. A study using tracheobronchoscopy found that male and female horses that did not bleed with or without Lasix had no performance enhancement from the administration of the medication, but geldings (castrated males) did. However, in that study, horses were raced first without Lasix, raced next with Lasix and then raced again without Lasix. Out of the 665 horses initially examined, only 79 exhibited no EIPH over the three races. Of those, only a group of 18 geldings demonstrated improved performance when Lasix was added. Curiously, in the third race, when the same geldings raced without Lasix, their form did not return to the original no-Lasix performance, indicating that the improvement in the second race was unlikely to be related to the administration of Lasix. Another study was performed on a treadmill using oxygen consumption as a measure of performance. Because oxygen is used to generate energy, this is commonly equated to performance. This study found that Lasix made the horses lose weight and that the oxygen consumption per pound improved—but not the overall oxygen consumption per horse! Since races are run by whole horses, and not by the pound, this is further evidence that Lasix does not enhance performance, aside from its effect on reducing EIPH.

WHY DOES THE “NEW WORLD” ALLOW THE USE OF LASIX ON RACE DAY? In countries where EIPH is often identified only through nasal bleeding, only 4 percent of actual EIPH cases are identified. Fortunately for the horse, the trainers in those countries do realize the benefits of using Lasix in training their horses. However, they are not allowed to use Lasix on race day—when the horse is going to have to give maximum effort. International markets for prospective racehorses often claim that their horses are superior because they race free of Lasix and EIPH, but despite this claim, American Thoroughbred bloodlines continue to dominate throughout the world. Further, many of the most prominent buyers of American horses are people that race outside this country. Not recognizing the proven high incidence of EIPH is one thing, but to also ignore the mounting evidence that, uncontrolled, EIPH can lead to chronic, progressive lung pathology appears hypocritical and is largely unacceptable to the trainers, veterinarians and most of the owners in North America. This statement is backed by a National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association poll in which more than 90 percent of the owners and trainers were in favor of the use of Lasix on the day of the race. The North American racing industry is the largest racing industry in the world by far. To capitulate to the balance of the “Old World” is a little like the tail wagging the dog, especially in light of the substantial scientific evidence supporting the benefits of Lasix to the equine athlete.

WHY SHOULD HORSE RACING AND OTHER USES OF THE HORSE IN WHICH STRENUOUS EXERCISE IS REQUIRED REMAIN A VIABLE COMPONENT OF OUR SOCIETY? According to the 2017 Economic Impact Study of the American Horse Council, in the United States, more than $50 billion is directly attributable to horses, and including indirect effects, the contribution is more than $122 billion. Direct employment in the horse industry is almost 500,000 full-time jobs, and the indirect impact contributes more than 1.7 million jobs. Green space preservation 46

provided by the horse industry totals 81 million acres, including 32 million acres of deeded land and 49 million acres of land leased for horse-related activities. Therefore, despite the average American having minimal direct interaction with horses, these animals continue to significantly impact the lives of us all. Those directly involved in the horse racing industry are in awe of these magnificent athletes. Through gambling, entertainment and the sheer enjoyment of watching the most elite of athletes perform, all while preserving green space, often in metropolitan areas where such space is limited, horse racing provides all Americans with valuable benefits.

THE PROBLEM, IN OUR OPINION Modern medicine has greatly benefited mankind. In human medicine, infant mortality has fallen by 60 percent since the time Lasix was introduced in horse racing, and human life expectancy has increased from 55 to 75 years during that time. These improvements in human health are due, in part, to modern medicine and health care. Advances in veterinary medicine, such as the introduction of the flexible fiberoptic endoscope, have paralleled the advances in human health. Advocates for severe restrictions on medications for racehorses would have medical decisions for our cherished athletes made not by the animal’s own veterinarian in consultation with the owner and trainer but by administrators in a corner office, guided by perceptions and traditions of the Old World. This would be absurd and cruel, just as it would be to deprive any animal or human of the benefits that modern medicine makes possible. Modern therapeutic medications do not enhance performance, nor do they contribute in any way to adverse events occurring at the racetrack. Therapeutic medications improve horses’ quality of life, and arguments to restrict such medications direct precious resources away from investigation of the true causes of some of our industry’s problems. The medication of racehorses is more strictly regulated than medications for human athletes or for those entrusted with our safety such as airline pilots, ship captains and bus drivers. And yet some unreasonable individuals and organizations attempt to restrict medication even further. They seem to forget or do not recognize that a racehorse is an athlete. An example of this “blame the medication” mentality is the recent response to the injuries at Santa Anita Park in California. It is disingenuous and misleading to suggest that the use of race-day Lasix was in any way associated with these injuries; in fact, if anything, Lasix decreases the likelihood of injury to both the racehorse and the jockey. Santa Anita did not have the increase in injuries in the past, and the trainers, veterinarians and apparently some other racetrack personnel were the same. If the weather was a factor, it was more likely related to how the track was maintained during the rainy weather and not the weather itself since Los Alamitos (less than 30 miles away) and Golden Gate, located in the same state and receiving about the same rainfall, did not experience similar increases in injuries. If a stretch of highway is associated with excessive fatalities, we send out a team of engineers to determine how that stretch differs from other, safer roads. Then the road is modified in response to the investigation. This cannot guarantee that no fatalities will ever occur there, but it does return the safety to the same level as any other stretch of highway. The same type of investigation needs to be conducted every time there is any spike in severe injuries on a racetrack. The racing surface, the track base, the cushion and how it is managed in the face of weather all require careful evaluation. Such investigation should include all facets of the industry: horsemen, jockeys, racehorse veterinarians and track managers. One thing is certain—Lasix, in use for 40 years at every racetrack in California, had no role in that two-month spike in injuries at Santa Anita. For more information on the facts concerning Lasix and EIPH, visit lasixeiphfacts.com. HJ THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

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AFFILIATE NEWS ALABAMA HBPA Another New Stallion in Alabama In the last issue we profiled new Alabama stallion Chamois, a multiple graded stakes-placed stakes winner of more than $350,000 standing at Flying P Ranch, and this issue, we have another addition to the state’s stallion ranks in Mosquito, by multiple graded stakes winner Yes It’s True out of Fleuron, by Distant View. Mosquito stands at H and H Thoroughbreds in Andalusia and has already been represented by his first starter, Foolish Steve, who broke his maiden last November at Delta Downs for owner-breeder Jerry Hughes. A dark bay 3-year-old colt out of Shirley’s Brittney, by Sea of Secrets, Foolish Steve has three wins and a third in five starts with earnings of $52,340. For more information, contact Rhett Harrelson at (205) 563-5473.

member of the Canterbury Hall of Fame and has won more than 4,800 races. His brother Gary won the Woolf Award in 1996. A date has not been set for the start of the 2019–20 meet as of press time. Your Arizona HBPA board members are going through an arbitration process with Turf Paradise and will be working with management on next season’s details after the arbitration process. As soon as details become available, we will have them on the Arizona HBPA website.

Arizona Breeders’ Fund

ARIZONA HBPA

The Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders Association and the Arizona HBPA worked together this winter in getting a breeders’ bill passed in the legislature that will give 1 percent of all handle in the state to a breeders’ fund. The fund will be paid out to Arizona-breds running first, second and third at Arizona tracks as purse supplements and to the owners of mares and stallions whose progeny run first, second or third at Arizona tracks. This fund will be phased in over a three-year period with an estimated total of $1.3 million when the program is fully in place.

Turf Paradise Update

Arizona-Bred Champions

Another season of racing at Turf Paradise wound down the day after the Kentucky Derby, which was simulcast as part of an exciting weekend at the Phoenix track as well as at the state’s two other tracks with great crowds and handle. May 5, Turf Paradise’s closing day, featured the annual running of the Hasta La Vista Handicap, the final race of the season at 1 7/8 miles on the turf. Congratulations to the connections of winner Spooky Channel: owner Terry Hamilton, trainer Clay Brinson and jockey Francisco Arrieta. With another season in the books, congrats go to all of the award winners for the meet: 4-Year-Old Colt/Gelding, Turf Horse and Horse of the Meet— Spooky Channel • Owner: Terry Hamilton • Trainer: Clay Brinson 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding—Senor Friday • Owner: Charlie Garvey • Trainer: Robertino Diodoro 3-Year-Old Filly—Senoradiablo • Owner: Tim Bankers • Trainer: Manny Ortiz 4-Year-Old Filly—Medaglia Gold • Owner: Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams • Trainer: Shawn Davis Older Mare—Fight to Glory • Owner: Charlie Garvey • Trainer: Robertino Diodoro Arizona-bred—Fortified Effort • Owner: Kevin Eikleberry, William Matthews, J. Lloyd Yother and Marvin Fleming • Trainer: Kevin Eikleberry Sprinter—Minister of Soul • Owner/Trainer: Esteban Martinez Claimer—Tiger by His Tail • Owner: Rick Nunley • Trainer: Dan McFarlane Leading Owner and Walter Cluer Award—Charlie Garvey Leading Trainer—Robertino Diodoro Leading Jockey—Francisco Arrieta Leading Apprentice Jockey—Jose Leon Leading Quarter Horse Jockey—Mark Jasso Quarter Horse Trainer of the Meet—Matt Fales Quarter Horse Owner—Ralph and Carolyn Fales Quarter Horse—Jus Cuz • Owner: Osvaldo Venegas and David Guzman • Trainer: Matt Fales Whinny Award—Barb Green Congratulations also go out to jockey Scott Stevens, winner of the 2019 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. Scott has been riding for 43 years since winning his first race at Les Bois Park in Idaho at the age of 15. Scott is a

The Arizona Thoroughbred Breeders Association held their annual award banquet on April 19. The event was well attended and emcee Marv Fleming told plenty of jokes to entertain the crowd. Congratulations to the following Arizona-bred award winners for 2018: 2-Year-Old Filly and ATBA Sale Arizona-Bred Leading Filly Earner—Let Me Fly • Breeder: Fleming Thoroughbred Farm LLC • Owner: Kevin Eikleberry, William Matthews, J. Lloyd Yother and Marvin Fleming • Trainer: Kevin Eikleberry 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding and ATBA Sale Arizona-bred Leading Colt/Gelding Earner—Loud N Proud • Breeder: Fleming Thoroughbred Farm LLC • Owner: Kevin Eikleberry, Leroy Gessmann, J. Lloyd Yother and Marvin Fleming • Trainer: Kevin Eikleberry 3-Year-Old Filly—Myrcella • Breeder: Fleming Thoroughbred Farm LLC • Owner: Rosemary and Brian Trela • Trainer: Rosemary Trela 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding—Fortified Effort • Breeder: Fleming Thoroughbred Farm LLC • Owner: Kevin Eikleberry, William Matthews, J. Lloyd Yother and Marvin Fleming • Trainer: Kevin Eikleberry Older Female—Sierrita • Breeder: Triple AAA Ranch • Owner: Seven Arms Stable • Trainer: David Van Winkle Older Male—Bushrod • Breeder: Roger P. Downes • Owner: Tim W. Rosin • Trainer: Kathy P. Mongeon Stallion—Rocky Bar • Owner: Triple AAA Ranch Broodmare—Shaky Canyon • Owner: Fleming Thoroughbred Farm LLC Breeder—Fleming Thoroughbred Farm LLC

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

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Arizona Downs Update Opening day at Arizona Downs was set for May 24, just after this update was submitted. Everyone has been busy getting the backside ready. Electricians have rewired all of the barns, and the restrooms have been completely gutted and updated. Walkers have been installed, and the racetrack, under the supervision of racetrack consultant Dennis Moore, has been totally rebuilt with a new surface added. The clubhouse was updated in time for a huge crowd for Derby Day, and the Sunday brunches there have become very popular in Prescott Valley. The upstairs bar and dining room are spectacular and make a great place for viewing races and sporting events. 51


NEWS

ARKANSAS HBPA Oaklawn Meet Champions Familiar names topped the standings during the 57-day Oaklawn meet that ended May 4. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen captured his fourth consecutive title and 10th since 2007, with 64 victories. Only Hall of Famer Henry Forrest has won more training titles (11) at Oaklawn. With $5,644,609 in earnings, Asmussen shattered his previous singleseason Oaklawn earnings record and won a meet-high eight stakes races. Asmussen set the previous single-season earnings record ($3,448,729) in 2016. M and M Racing (Mike and Mickala Sisk) set a single-season Oaklawn record for owners with 61 victories and $1,775,651 in earnings. Dan Lasater set the previous record of 48 victories during the 50-day meeting in 1974. M and M’s primary jockey, David Cohen, won 75 races to capture his first Oaklawn riding title. He won 37 races in his Oaklawn debut in 2018 to finish third in the standings. Ricardo Santana, Oaklawn’s leading rider the previous six years, finished second with 73 victories. Santana’s mounts earned a single-season Oaklawn record of $4,317,757—he set the previous mark ($4,240,304) last year—and he led all jockeys in stakes victories with seven.

CHARLES TOWN HBPA West Virginia-Bred Runnin’toluvya Races to History Runnin’toluvya’s wins in the 2018 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic and A Huevo Stakes led trainer Tim Grams to a spot in the starting gate for the $1 million Charles Town Classic (G2) on April 20 in his home state. Though the field of 10 featured four horses with earnings of at least $1.4 million, the major share of the seven-figure purse was taken home by Charles Town natives. And foremost among the “little guys” was the gelding who faced open stakes rivals for the first time on March 29 in the $35,000 Russell Road Overnight Prep Stakes. Midway on the final turn of Charles Town’s premier race, Runnin’toluvya edged to a short lead, and he and Diamond King drew away from the rest of the field. Entering the stretch, it was clear it would be a two-horse race to the wire between a journeyman and a Hall of Famer rider—and it went to the journeyman with Oscar Flores prevailing over Javier Castellano. For Runnin’toluvya’s trainer, Tim Grams, notching his first graded stakes win in a $1 million race was a dream come true.

52

COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

Severe weather in the Prescott area delayed opening the track for training for a couple of days, but training started after the short delay. General Manager Ann McGovern and Racing Secretary Randy Wehrman have been busy getting everything ready for the meet. Arizona Downs is scheduled to run Saturdays and Sundays except for three holiday weekends, which will be three- or four-day race weekends. Average daily purses will be $70,000 a day. There will be races for both American Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds daily. Closing weekend will be Labor Day. We would like to thank the JACOR Partners and Ann McGovern for making this track a possibility. Having year-round racing in Arizona again along with the new breeders’ fund gives Arizona racing life again. The Arizona HBPA will have an office in the grandstand on the ground floor. Please stop by and see us when you are at the track.

WEST VIRGINIA-BRED RUNNIN’TOLUVYA, WITH JOCKEY OSCAR FLORES ABOARD AND TRAINER TIM GRAMS ON THE PONY HORSE

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, to be truthful with you,” said Grams, who also owns the Fiber Sonde gelding as Grams Racing Stable LLC. “I’m just lucky to own a horse like this who steps up and seems to always do what we ask him to. We’ve put a lot of challenges on him, but he’s stepped up and really surprised us. I know this sounds corny, but this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me besides me meeting my wife 18 years ago. This is just unbelievable. Especially for a country boy that didn’t have anything. It means anybody who walks through this gate here has a chance, and that’s why this business is so great.” Runnin’toluvya was bred by Leslie G. Cromer.

Charles Town Logs Its Best Month Anchored by the Charles Town Classic card, which produced a single-day wagering mark for Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, the track was able to set a new monthly record as handle per race for April checked in at $203,681—the first time more than $200,000 has been bet per race over a given month in the track’s history. The $20,775,500 in all-sources handle for April over the course of 102 races allowed the track to easily break the prior high of $176,366 put through the windows for each race held in April 2018. Prior to April 2015, Charles Town had yet to record a month where north of $150,000 in wagering was generated per race, but it has now seen eight such months in the past four years. Much like the month of April, the Charles Town Classic day easily surpassed the prior record for the largest single-card handle as players wagered $5,720,374 over the 13-race program, which outpaced Charles Town Classic day in 2015 by more than $870,000. Additionally, the $277,107 bet on-site was the largest on-track handle in three years. The last 10 Charles Town Classic cards now represent the 10 highest single-day handles in track history.

Charles Town HBPA General Membership Meeting The next general membership meeting for the Charles Town HBPA will be held on Tuesday, June 18, at 6 p.m. at the Charles Town HBPA office.

Annual Chaplaincy BBQ Join us for fun and fellowship on Monday, June 17, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Moose Grounds for the chaplaincy barbecue.

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019


AFFILIATE NEWS Congratulations to West Virginia-Bred Graded Stakes Winners

COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

In addition to Runnin’toluvya’s big victory in the Charles Town Classic, congratulations go out to two other West Virginia-bred graded stakes winners. Late Night Pow Wow, who last year won the Charles Town Oaks (G3), took the $250,000 Barbara Fritchie Stakes (G3) in February at Laurel Park and then finished third in the $300,000 Madison Stakes (G1) in April at Keeneland Race Course. The 4-year-old filly was bred by John McKee and is owned by Breeze Easy LLC and trained by Javier Contreras. Like Runnin’toluvya, she is by Fiber Sonde. Ruby Notion, owned by Silverton Hill LLC and bred by Silverton Hill Farm LLC, took last year’s $450,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes (G3). The now 6-year-old Great Notion mare also finished a good fourth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) for trainer Darrin Miller.

expected losses to Thoroughbred purses. Newly elected Gov. Ron DeSantis called a meeting of all pari-mutuel stakeholders in the state on April 26 to discuss the pending bill that was presented to him. After listening to the positions of most in attendance, including the Florida HBPA, the governor stated that he would have been derelict in his duty not to hear from this group before moving forward and that it was clear that more work on the bill needed to be done. The bill also purportedly included sports betting at all pari-mutuels and sports arenas with the Seminole casino acting as the hub. There was no indication that horsemen would have received anything from sports betting other than what we might receive contractually with our tracks. Needless to say, these issues remain on our radar for the coming year. Calder is not waiting for legislative relief to decouple from horse racing as it has received authority from the state to build a jai alai fronton and use that pari-mutuel activity as its basis to continue its gaming operation. The jai alai fronton appeared to be completely built in May, and an opening may occur this spring or summer. Calder/Churchill Downs Inc. constructed the fronton in the face of still-pending lawsuits brought by the FHBPA regarding the issuance of the jai alai permit and the destruction of the former grandstand pari-mutuel facility. The jai alai lawsuit questions the legitimacy and propriety of the state’s actions, and as of early May, the judge in that case allowed the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company and the breeders’ association to intervene in the FHBPA case over the objection of Calder. The FHBPA and Gulfstream Park have contracts with Calder to have Thoroughbred racing there through 2020.

FHBPA Election The FHBPA holds annual elections for five of its 15 director positions, which have three-year terms. In this year’s election, owners Tom Cannell and Herb Oster, along with trainer David Fawkes, won re-election to three-year terms. Trainer Carlo Vaccarezza, who had been a one-year alternate last year, also was elected to a three-year term. New to the FHBPA board is trainer Patrick Biancone, who was elected to a three-year term. One-year alternate positions went to trainer Marcus Vitale and 19-year-old owner Nicholas Vaccarezza. Attorney and owner Stephen Screnci was unanimously re-elected by the board to be president of the FHBPA for 2019–20. Screnci also serves as regional vice president of the National HBPA. The executive board for this year consists of owner Chester Bishop as first vice president, trainer Joe Orseno as second vice president, owner Herb Oster as third vice president, owner Tom Cannell as treasurer and trainer Chuck Simon as secretary.

REED PALMER PHOTOGRAPHY

LATE NIGHT POW WOW

Void Claim Rule

RUBY NOTION (#5)

FLORIDA HBPA Legislative/Legal Update Thoroughbred racing appears to have dodged the decoupling bullet for another year in the state legislature. The once-yearly session ended on May 4 with no gaming bill being filed. But one bill in the hopper apparently included total decoupling of the requirement of facilities to offer a minimum number of pari-mutuel days at pari-mutuel facilities that offer gaming. The bill apparently also included no purse pool for Thoroughbreds to make up for THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

Working with the FHBPA board, Gulfstream Park expanded its void claim rule this spring. In December 2017, a void claim rule was enacted that covered horses who suffered a fatality or who were euthanized on the track and also allowed claimants to request to void a claim within one hour if the horse was vanned off the track as a result of lameness. The new rule allows the claimant to make a request of the stewards within 24 hours of the off time of the subject race to void a claim if the horse is found to have a significant or career-ending injury as a result of the race it was claimed from. A panel of three veterinarians, including the track veterinarian and the attending veterinarian, will determine if the claim shall be voided.

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NEWS

INDIANA HBPA

HART Silent Auction Set for Festival of Racing

Legislative Update

On Friday, July 5, during Prairie Meadows’ Festival of Racing, the local horse rehabilitation/retraining program Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds (HART) will be holding a silent auction in the fourth-floor clubhouse. All proceeds will benefit HART by aiding in the retraining and placing of Thoroughbreds after their racing careers come to an end. Among the highlighted items for this year’s auction are a voucher for a local Lasik eye correction surgery valued at more than $4,500 through Wolfe Eye Clinic and a signed and framed print by Mark King titled “Morning Hunt” with a retail value of more than $2,500. If you would like to donate an item or items to the silent auction or want to make a monetary donation to HART, please contact the IA HBPA office at (515) 967-4804. Also, follow us on Facebook!

The Indiana legislature moved up the date of live table games at the racinos to an effective date of January 1, 2020, instead of July 2021. The additional monies will increase purses and the Thoroughbred breed development programs beginning with the 2020 race season.

IOWA HBPA Sport Wagering Bill Passes Iowa Legislature, Awaits Governor’s Signature On April 22, Iowa lawmakers finalized legislation with a 67-31 vote in the House that would legalize sports wagering and placing bets on fantasy sports websites and apps like DraftKings and FanDuel. The legislation follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that struck down a federal ban on sports wagering. Since then, lawmakers around the country have taken steps to regulate an industry that involves at least $150 billion in annual illegal wagers, the American Gaming Association estimates. “This just brings people out of the shadows and gives them a regulated environment,” said Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport. “It gives people the freedom to choose to do sports wagering legally.” The bill now sits before Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who was expected to sign the bill prior to this article going to press. If the governor signed the bill as expected, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission would start to develop rules for casinos to implement. The commission would aim for rules to be adopted in July or August, commission administrator Brian Ohorilko said, to give casinos some time in the summer to adjust before college sports and NFL games start up. The commission is required under the bill to use emergency rule-making procedures, which means the rules would be adopted more quickly than usual. But it also would mean that the Administrative Rules Review Committee could alter them later. Until January 2021, Iowans would be able to wager on sporting events at any of Iowa’s 19 casinos and online if they visit a casino in person to prove they are at least 21 years old. After that time, Iowans of age will be able to sign up from anywhere in the state. The bill comes after months of arguing about who should be able to conduct sports wagering. At least four versions of the sports betting bill were proposed that gave power to the Iowa Lottery, professional sports leagues and the horse racing industry via the IA HBPA before the final version, which gave casinos the ability to do wagering in person and online. Ultimately, the legislature acknowledged the importance of horse racing in the state. This was accomplished as the legislation calls for horse racing purses to receive 4 percent of sports wagering net receipts from Prairie Meadows’ sports wagering activities. Sports wagering net receipts are the gross receipts less winnings paid to bettors on sports wagering. How much this amount will increase Thoroughbred purses is at best a guess until some data begins to accumulate and assumptions can be made. Rough estimates range from $50,000 to $400,000 a year as an increase to purses.

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KENTUCKY HBPA President’s Message The Kentucky Derby proved to be eventful on many levels. I suspect that when the dust settles, there will be worthwhile discussions on a host of issues that surfaced. One point regarding transparency can be easily rectified. Turfway Park began a program that has been well received. The program includes having the chief steward explain, in detail, the reasons why the stewards decided to disqualify a horse due to an infraction in the running of a race and pointing out in slow motion where the incident occurred. Initially, I believe this was started in California a few years ago. It does not mean everyone will be satisfied with the results, but it may provide a better understanding of why the stewards reached their decision. Included in our news is the Kentucky HBPA’s opinion on the announcement by several North American tracks, including Keeneland and Churchill Downs, to run 2-year-old races without the anti-bleeding medication Lasix in 2020 and extending this to all stakes races in 2021. As we state in our letter to the membership, the KHBPA is unalterably opposed to the proposal presented by the tracks to eliminate Lasix on race day. I have personally witnessed a horse returning to the unsaddling area after running with hemorrhaging from the nostrils to the extent even the jockey’s pants were crimson. To think the racetracks would consider something as radical as eliminating Lasix on race day is beyond comprehension. In fact, the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) in a recent press release stated that the decision of the racetracks to ban race-day Lasix “encourages a return to practices deemed cruel, inhumane or potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of a horse.” The RCI also advised commissions that it is anticipated that some horsemen will return to a practice known as “drawing and muzzling.” This practice, which is common in Europe where race-day Lasix treatments are not permitted, denies a horse food and water for 24 to 36 hours prior to a race. KHBPA Executive Director Marty Maline and I had the opportunity to visit with the new owners of Ellis Park. Horsemen will be happy with the improvements both on the front side and the backstretch. Board members Mike Bruder and John Hancock and Marty did a fine job of negotiating a new agreement with Ellis Park, which was approved by the KHBPA board of directors. Enhanced security is especially important. Also, 300 truckloads of river-bottom sand, which has been double sifted to remove rocks, will be added to the track to enhance the crown of the track and improve drainage. The KHBPA also has approved moving $3 million in association purse money to Ellis Park from Kentucky Downs. Good luck in your racing endeavors, Rick Hiles, KHBPA President THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019


AFFILIATE NEWS Statement from the Kentucky HBPA on Proposed Partial Ban of Race-Day Lasix

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019

Locals Win Big During Kentucky Derby Week Kentucky Derby Week, with Churchill Downs offering its highest purses in track history, attracted stables from all across the country. But the locals more than held their own, with Kentucky-based trainers winning four of six graded stakes on Oaks Day and four of seven on Derby Day. Leading the way was the Joel Politi-owned and Tom Amoss-trained Serengeti Empress, the front-running winner of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) at 13-1 odds. Serengeti Empress, stabled much of the year at Churchill Downs, also won the Ellis Park Debutante by 13 ½ lengths last summer and Churchill’s Pocahontas (G2) by 19 ½ lengths. In fact, the top four Oaks finishers were all Churchill Downs-based horses, with runner-up Liora (trained by Wayne Catalano), third-place Lady Apple (Steve Asmussen) and fourth-place Champagne Anyone (Ian Wilkes) triggering a $1 superfecta that returned a $67,087 payoff. Ten of the 14 Oaks starters were Kentucky-trained fillies, a large percentage that can’t be simply attributed to being the home team because every horse had to earn her way in through Churchill Downs’ qualifying races and tiered points system. Serengeti Empress’ Oaks victory was a testament to Amoss and his crew’s confidence in and diligent care for the filly, who had faded to last in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) while experiencing a bleeding episode. She had been the heavy favorite after winning Fair Grounds’ Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) in February. After initially all but ruling out the Kentucky Oaks, Amoss and Politi were so pleased with how the filly was responding, including two powerful workouts in which endoscopic exams revealed she had not bled. Another 3-year-old filly on Oaks Day, Break Even, ran her record to fourfor-four in taking the $250,000 Eight Belles Stakes (G2) at seven furlongs by 5 ½ lengths for owner-breeder Richard Klein of Louisville and trainer Brad Cox. Carroll Castille’s She’s a Julie became one of Steve Asmussen’s trio of new Grade 1 winners that weekend in taking the La Troienne at 1 1/16 miles. Ashbrook Farm COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

The Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (KHBPA) unalterably opposes the recently announced plan of several North American tracks, including Keeneland and Churchill Downs, to run 2-year-old races without the anti-bleeding medication Lasix in 2020 and all stakes races in 2021. The KHBPA is the recognized representative at all five Thoroughbred tracks in the commonwealth. It is untenable that the majority of horsemen’s organizations and equine medical professionals were not consulted before a fundamental policy change—banning Lasix on race day—was unilaterally made by the racetracks. That would have provided the opportunity to stress the efficacy of Lasix in treating exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in racehorses. Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery, in a meeting with horsemen, did indicate a willingness to discuss the issue following the running of the Kentucky Derby. “Frankly, it is inconceivable to many horsemen and racetrack practitioners that I have talked with that based on the credible evidence of the importance of Lasix in preventing exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage that this is even being contemplated,” said KHBPA President Rick Hiles. “We applaud the actions of both Woodbine Entertainment Group CEO Jim Lawson and Dennis Drazin, the chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, which operates Monmouth Park, for basically taking a wait-and-see approach and communicating with horsemen prior to instituting such drastic measures.” The perception that race-day Lasix is implicated in the issues at Santa Anita or any racetrack is misguided. In fact, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, along with other credible scientists, have determined that Lasix provides the most effective treatment and prevention to controlling and/or mitigating the possible disastrous impact of EIPH in racehorses. In the definitive South African study, commissioned by The Jockey Club and authored by Paul Morley, Kenneth Hinchcliff and Alan Guthrie, three scientists with impeccable credentials, it was concluded that “pre-race administration of furosemide (Lasix) markedly decreased both the incidence and severity of EIPH in Thoroughbred racehorses.” Interestingly, the study also points out that “the challenge will be for countries such as Australia, England, Hong Kong and South Africa that do not currently permit race-day use of furosemide to balance the animal welfare aspect of being able to prevent or reduce the condition, i.e., EIPH, against the imperatives for drug-free racing.” The racetracks are quick to point out that any medication policy must place the health and welfare of the equine athletes first. Yet, when proposals are presented contrary to their proclamation, one is left to question the reasoning behind the decision. Bettors are another group that should have been consulted prior to taking such a drastic measure as eliminating race-day Lasix. Some would have you believe that this will inspire more confidence from the betting public in the sport. In reality, the reverse is true. Stephen Crist, longtime Daily Racing Form executive and advocate for the betting public, has said, “Over the past decade, I have conducted over 100 question-and-answer seminars with tens of thousands of fans and players at tracks and betting parlors across the country. The next player I meet who thinks Lasix is a major issue, or a reason not to play the races, will be the very first. Customers are not shy about voicing numerous complaints about the game, but in my experience, Lasix is not even on their radar.” Thoro-Graph President Jerry Brown said, “My handle is seven figures a year. I’ve found that people bet when they have an opinion. The stronger the opinion, the more likely they are to bet, and the more money they will bet. There is not a single horseplayer I have talked with who will bet more if Lasix is banned.

Things that create uncertainty hinder investment in business, and the same applies here as well—not knowing whether the reason a horse stopped last time was because he bled and whether the problem has been resolved creates uncertainty.” The KHBPA looks forward to meaningful discussions with racetracks on behalf of the owners and trainers that we represent, along with the members of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and representatives of the wagering public.

KENTUCKY OAKS WINNER SERENGETI EMPRESS HIGHLIGHTED A STRONG SHOWING FOR KENTUCKY-BASED TRAINERS AT CHURCHILL DOWNS DURING KENTUCKY DERBY WEEK.

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H-2B Worker Visa Update The long-awaited one-time increase of 30,000 H-2B visas has finally been issued along with a new U.S. Department of Labor Attestation for Employers Seeking to Employ H-2B Nonimmigrant Workers form (ETA-9142-B-CAA-3). This is a one-time increase for fiscal year 2019 only, and it was issued with the stipulation that only returning workers would qualify, so any worker who has had an H-2B visa from 2016 to the present qualifies. Now our members will have the opportunity to finally get their much-needed workforce. For those of you interested in applying for H-2B visas for the winter, now is the time to start. We highly recommend it if you don’t want to be short-staffed. Call Julio Rubio at (502) 645-7215 for more information.

The HBPA Is You The HBPA, established in 1940, is an organization of owners and trainers numbering approximately 30,000 nationally in 23 states and Canada and more than 6,000 in Kentucky. The association is governed by a board of directors consisting of owners and trainers volunteering their time and elected by the membership every three years. The HBPA is committed to working for the betterment of racing on all levels. The HBPA represents owners and trainers on several fronts: • The HBPA is present in negotiating sessions with each racetrack regarding purse structure, equitable share of simulcast revenues, overall track safety, sanitation and security. • The HBPA provides benevolence to horsemen in need, education and recreation programs to the backstretch, and various insurance packages that include—free of charge to members—fire and disaster insurance and claiming coverage. Visit one of the fully staffed HBPA offices at the currently running racetrack in Kentucky for details. • The HBPA works in conjunction with the chaplaincy program and the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund to provide support and benefits for horsemen. • The HBPA supports scientific research and marketing initiatives on a regional and national level to help promote interest in Thoroughbred racing. • The HBPA is at the forefront in litigation and legislation on issues involving horsemen’s rights in regard to interstate simulcasting, proprietary rights, casino gambling, therapeutic medication, sports betting and many other areas of concern to horsemen. How can I join? You are invited to drop by the HBPA office to meet the staff and learn more about current projects and how you can get involved in helping to improve the industry. There are no membership fees. Remember, this is your organization. Become an active participant and one of the horsemen helping horsemen. To join, all you need to do is fill out our membership card and fax, mail or email it back to us. For more information, please visit our website at kyhbpa.org and click on “How to Join.” DENIS BLAKE

and BBN Racing’s Concrete Rose, trained by Rusty Arnold, upset Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) heroine Newspaperofrecord in the $250,000 Edgewood (G3). Asmussen hit the ground running on what proved to be a four-win Derby Day at Churchill Downs with 11-1 Mia Mischief handling odds-on favorite Marley’s Freedom in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff, followed by the brilliant sprinter Mitole taking the Grade 1 Churchill Downs Stakes, both at seven furlongs. Both horses are owned by Asmussen’s longtime clients, Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt. Two-time Ellis Park champion owner Chester Thomas earned his second career graded stakes victory as Mr. Money delivered the money at 7-1 with authority in the $400,000 Pat Day Mile (G3). Thomas’ Allied Racing Stable had its first graded winner when By My Standards won the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) six weeks earlier. By My Standards gave Thomas and trainer Bret Calhoun their first Kentucky Derby starter, with both proving popular media interview subjects. Unfortunately, By My Standards was squeezed back at the start after breaking from post 3, taking him out of his up-close running style, and he could do no better than 12th (placed 11th with Maximum Security’s disqualification). Brad Cox earned another stakes victory with 10-1 shot Beau Recall taking the $400,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) for Slam Dunk Racing and Medallion Racing. We’ll leave it to others to discuss the controversy over Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security being disqualified to 17th for sparking the chain reaction that impeded several horses at the five-sixteenths pole. But we do congratulate longtime Kentucky HBPA member Bill Mott—who reigned as Churchill Downs’ winningest trainer for 31 years until passed a year and a half ago by Dale Romans—on winning the Derby for the first time. We just wish Bill, his owners and jockey Flavien Prat were able to experience the full joy of winning America’s biggest race. At the same time, we can’t fathom the dichotomy of emotions experienced by Maximum Security’s connections. The KHBPA, in conjunction with the Churchill Downs Backstretch Committee, again provided horsemen and media with shuttles between the backstretch and the front side on Derby weekend—a free service that took on added importance with early rain on Oaks Day and a late deluge on Derby Day. KHBPA Treasurer John Griffith and Paige Faris, the Churchill Downs Backstretch Committee’s recreation director, coordinated the program, which featured four rented minivans and the KHBPA’s two extended vans making continuous loops from mid-morning to well into the evening both days. The KHBPA’s YouTube Channel exploded from about 220 subscribers (YouTube’s free sign-up service that sends videos from subscribed channels to viewers’ accounts) to almost 800 in less than three weeks. The videos also are sent to the media by KHBPA Communications Specialist Jennie Rees for their use without charge in this era of declining resources by both mainstream and industry journalism outlets. The videos’ mission is to promote Kentucky horses and horsemen and racing in general, to help fill a void in the media and to raise awareness of the KHBPA in a proactive and cost-effective way. A video with Mark Casse, trainer of War of Will, speaking the morning after the Kentucky Derby has received 23,000 views and counting—our highest ever— while a video of jockey Mike Smith after the Kentucky Derby draw attracted more than 20,000 views. Where 500 had been a great number for views before, the norm has become well over 1,000, and many of the 58 videos created and posted between April 21 and May 5 received between 3,000 and 10,000 views. The emphasis on video did come at the expense of our #KyDerbyKids social media initiative, through which, for the previous three years, we had millennial-aged children of Derby trainers and owners post on Twitter and Instagram about their experiences. We continue to believe in #KyDerbyKids but lacked the time this year once the videos began doing so well. Not only were the videos well received on YouTube, but the media outlets taking advantage of them as a content resource has also really exploded.

THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

SUMMER 2019


AFFILIATE NEWS

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs 2019 Race Meets

Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino 2019-2020 Race Meets

8000 Hwy 80 East, PO Box 5519, Bossier City, LA 71171 318-742-5555 * www.ladowns.com

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LOUISIANA HBPA Evangeline Downs The Racing Employees Assistance Program (REAP) supports the good work of our Chaplain Dwight Brown and provides financial assistance to horsemen in need. REAP will hold its annual fundraiser this summer. We would like to thank everyone who supports the event each year. For more information regarding this year’s event, call Chaplain Brown at (337) 308-0960. The 2019 Thoroughbred meet at Evangeline Downs began April 3 and ends August 24. The meet features the Spotted Horse for fillies and mares going a mile on the dirt for a purse of $75,000 guaranteed. The Evangeline Mile will be conducted on Saturday, June 22, for $100,000 guaranteed. For additional information, contact the Evangeline Downs racing office at (866) 349-0687.

Louisiana Downs The Backside Benevolence Fund will hold its annual Chaplain’s Awards Banquet on Friday, September 13, at the Horseshoe River Dome in Bossier City. The evening will include a live auction, a raffle drawing and basket raffles. Proceeds from the event help the fund continue its support of the Louisiana Downs Chaplaincy, thrift store and laundromat. Tickets are available at the Winner’s Circle Church and at the LTBA office. If you would like to help the fund, please contact Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk at (318) 560-7466. The 2019 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet began May 4 and concludes September 25. The meet features Louisiana Cup Day on August 3 for Louisiana-breds and the Super Derby (G3) on September 7.

Delta Downs The 2019 American Quarter Horse meet at Delta Downs began April 19 and ends July 6. The meet features the $200,000-added (historical total for this race is more than $500,000 each year) Lee Berwick Futurity for 2-year-olds to be contested on the final day of the meet. The Firecracker Futurity will be contested July 4 with a $100,000-added (historical total more than $250,000) purse. Delta estimates stakes for the 46-day meet will exceed $2.8 million and total purses will be approximately $10 million. For additional information, contact the Delta Downs racing office at (888) 589-7223.

Fair Grounds The Fair Grounds 2019 Quarter Horse meet begins August 16 and concludes September 7. The meet will average more than $200,000 per day in purses and will feature the LQHBA Sales Futurity on September 7 with the trials conducted August 17.

Come 2020, the first stage of the Canterbury Commons development, which includes both retail and residential, will have been completed. What separates this development from others is its singularity, as it speaks to the diverse tastes in one of the most vibrant, fastest-growing markets in the country—the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area—a market having just hosted the Super Bowl and the Final Four this year. Best of all, Canterbury Park is the centerpiece of Canterbury Commons. When fully completed, the idyllic surroundings will circle the footprint of Canterbury Park and its adjacent grounds, including a pedestrian-friendly boulevard bordered by a wide variety of dining and shopping venues. Canterbury Commons will draw visitors from the four million people in the 15-mile radius of the Twin Cities metro, but it also will draw from literally next door due to two rental residence complexes and townhomes as well as a hotel. All in all, Canterbury Commons is projected to be home for up to 1,500 people. And Canterbury Park management wants to capitalize on this proximity by providing as many horse-related themes and aesthetics as possible. Canterbury Park has always been a leader in terms of devoting time and resources to customer service and attracting new and younger audiences to experience the fun and excitement of horse racing. Nowhere will this be better evidenced than with the opening of Canterbury Commons in 2020.

MOUNTAINEER PARK HBPA Mountaineer Park 2019 Season Underway The 2019 racing season began April 28 and will continue through December 4 with the 50th running of the West Virginia Derby taking place on Saturday, August 3. Overnight purses have been increased by 10 percent as a result of legislation that returned to the four racetrack purse accounts the $11 million that was previously directed to pay the state’s worker’s compensation liability.

West Virginia Racing Commission Retirement Plan for Backstretch Workers The enrollment period for the 2018 plan year for the West Virginia Racing Commission Retirement Plan for Backstretch Workers ended May 15. To qualify, participants must sign up each year at their home track by that date.

New Racing Rules Go into Effect on August 1 The recently approved Rules of Thoroughbred Racing go into effect August 1 and include the adoption of the Jockey Concussion Protocol. Please visit the Mountaineer Park HBPA office for a complete list of the rules.

Rule Proposed for the 2020 Legislative Session

MINNESOTA HBPA Another Great Year at Canterbury

The proposed changes and updates to the Rules of Thoroughbred Racing for the 2020 legislative session should be posted on the West Virginia Racing Commission’s website for public comment in the near future.

As Canterbury Park opened its meet May 3, a great deal of expectation was placed on the meet itself, as purse money has reached record levels and a totally refurbished racetrack has received positive reviews. But another part of that expectation is focused on next year and beyond. 58

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AFFILIATE NEWS NEBRASKA HBPA Horsemen’s Park 2019 Live Meet Horsemen’s Park started its 2019 meet May 11 and featured the full team of the Budweiser Clydesdales. They did a performance exhibition on the racetrack, followed by a photo opportunity for the fans. The meet continued on May 17-18, May 25-26 and May 31-June 1, and concluded June 7-8. Nine live days were offered this year at the Omaha facility. The highlights of the meet included ostrich and camel races and Family Day. Once again, a jumbotron was placed on the infield, and numerous other improvements were made at the facility. Live music and other popular attractions were also showcased during the meet. Any questions regarding the meet should be referred to the main office at (402) 731-2900.

NEW ENGLAND HBPA Suffolk Downs’ Final Season Underway as NEHBPA Looks to the Future By Lynne Snierson Racing fans and horsemen alike turned out in full force for the May opening of the 2019 live meet at Suffolk Downs to kick off what will be a season-long, fond and final farewell to the historic East Boston oval. Built by 3,000 workers in just 62 days at a cost of $2 million once pari-mutuel wagering was allowed by the state of Massachusetts in 1935, New England’s last surviving track has been a showcase for some of the most famous names in Thoroughbred racing history, including Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, John Henry, Cigar and Skip Away. Whirlaway, the 1941 Triple Crown winner affectionately known as “Mr. Longtail,” won the Massachusetts Handicap in 1942 to follow Seabiscuit’s 1937 victory. Cigar (1995–96) and Skip Away (1997–98) would later add their names to the roster of the illustrious winners of the track’s most important graded stakes event contested over the past century. The 2019 six-day season of racing festival held on the weekends of May 1819, June 8-9 and June 29-30 marks the culmination of an era at Suffolk, which also played host to a Beatles concert on August 18, 1966, and to a myriad of celebrities and luminaries from the worlds of entertainment, politics and sports over the decades. The Boston development company HYM, which purchased the property from Sterling Suffolk Racecourse LLC (SSR) in 2017 for $155 million, is slated to begin demolition as of July 1, and the first part of the track to come down will be the backside. Nonetheless, the end of Suffolk Downs won’t necessarily mark the end of live Thoroughbred racing in New England. SSR has been leasing the racing and simulcasting business since the sale and is working on a plan to refurbish and return live racing to the Great Barrington Fairgrounds in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and to continue simulcasting operations in Boston. Earlier this year, SSR renewed its option on the 55-acre Great Barrington property and is currently pursuing enabling legislation during the ongoing Massachusetts session. “As one door closes, we remain optimistic that another door will open to continue racing in the commonwealth and preserve all the farms and open green space, protect the industry-wide jobs and support our breeding industry,” said Anthony Spadea Jr., president of the NEHBPA. “We support all racing.” THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

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An independent study submitted by Christiansen Capital Advisers in 2013 found that the Massachusetts Thoroughbred racing industry provides about 1,500 direct and ancillary jobs and has a net positive annual economic impact of $116.25 million. Moreover, there are close to 70 farms where Thoroughbreds are bred or domiciled statewide. Meanwhile, the final six live racing days will be special. This meet offers the highest purses in state history after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved a $3.8 million distribution from the state’s Racehorse Development Fund. That brings the average daily purse distribution for each festival weekend, including participation incentives to encourage horsemen to ship in from other circuits, to more than $600,000 per day. The 2019 purse allotment is $100,000 per day more than the amount paid in 2018, when the track conducted four weekends of live racing with an average daily purse distribution in excess of $500,000, including incentives. The popular incentive program is back this year to help horsemen offset shipping and travel costs for the festival weekends, and it is similar to the one of the last several years. In addition to customary purse distribution, owners receive an additional $500 for horses finishing first through fifth while owners of horses finishing sixth through last get a payment of $1,200 for races with a purse up to $30,000 and $1,500 for races with a purse greater than $30,000. There is also a trainer’s participation award of $400 per starter. Moreover, there are competitive opportunities for horsemen in all divisions on each card. For 2019, first-level allowance/optional claiming races offer purses of $55,000, maiden special weight races have purses of $50,000, $12,500 claiming races carry a purse of $32,500, $8,000 claiming races are run for $27,500 and bottom-level claiming races offer $20,000 each. The meet also showcases the state’s breeding program. Each weekend includes stakes races restricted to either horses foaled in Massachusetts or sired by a Massachusetts-based stallion. Each carries a purse of $50,000. “We’re off to a fantastic final season at Suffolk Downs and are looking ahead to a bright future for our horsemen and our fans,” Spadea said. In addition to live racing, each weekend’s racing festival features food trucks from a variety of local vendors, craft beer, live music and family fun activities.

OHIO HBPA VLT Results Up Significantly at Ohio Tracks Video lottery terminal (VLT) results at Ohio’s seven commercial racetracks (three Thoroughbred and four Standardbred) have defied conventional patterns seen in other states in a number of ways. The VLT results were under initial projections at most of the state’s tracks and well under initial projections at Belterra Park. However, unlike many other states that saw strong initial results from gaming at their tracks followed by declining numbers in subsequent years, the opposite has been the case with VLT results at Ohio’s tracks. In March 2019, the net VLT win at Ohio’s seven tracks topped the $100 million mark for the first time. All seven tracks have been operating VLTs since at least September 2014. Fiscal year 2019 is also set to become the first fiscal year that the net win from VLTs exceeds $1 billion when it wraps up at the end of June. Net VLT win in Ohio came in at $987,297,088 in FY 2018 and at $926,646,264 in FY 2017. For FY 2016, the net VLT win figure was $868,914,542, and in FY 2015, it was $772,956,258. The upward trend is clearly very healthy and continuing. Ohio horsemen receive between 9.95 percent and 10.64 percent of VLT net win depending on the track, with Belterra Park at 9.95 percent as mandated 59


NEWS by the Ohio State Racing Commission, Thistledown at 10.6 percent by contract between the track and the Ohio HBPA, and Mahoning Valley at 10.64 percent, again by contract between the track and the Ohio HBPA.

85th Ohio Derby Set for June 22 Thistledown’s 100-day live meeting is well underway with the highlight of the meeting, the Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby, set for Saturday, June 22, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles. The Ohio Derby is the only graded stakes in the state and confirmed that status with a strong field in 2018 with both winner Core Beliefs and runner-up Lone Sailor subsequently winning graded events. Core Beliefs captured the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap in his first start this year, and Lone Sailor sailed to victory in last fall’s Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby. Third-place finisher Trigger Warning subsequently finished second, beaten a head, in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby and third in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby.

Belterra Park Season Off to Strong Start Belterra Park kicked off its 93-day live meet with strong wagering results for the opening three-day weekend of April 26-28. All-sources handle for the three days came in at nearly $2 million, up more than 60 percent from the 2018 opening weekend. Post time at Belterra Park has been moved up to 12:30 p.m. this season with racing being conducted on a Thursday through Sunday schedule through September 29.

THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA (OKLAHOMA HBPA) Remington Park Announces 2019 Stakes Schedule The 2019 Remington Park Thoroughbred season will begin August 23 and continue through December 15, and the 67-date meeting includes a stakes schedule of 32 races boasting purses of more than $3.7 million. The marquee races for the 2019 season include the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, both to be contested on Sunday, September 27. The $400,000 Springboard Mile will headline closing day on Sunday, December 15. Last year’s winners of all three races have gone on to prove their mettle on the national scene. Oklahoma Derby winner Lone Sailor followed up his win with a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. His second-place effort in the Grade 2, $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap in April made him a millionaire in career earnings. She’s a Julie, winner of the 2018 Remington Park Oaks, has been spectacular in her races this spring, winning the Grade 1, $500,000 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 3 and the Grade 3, $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April. Long Range Toddy, winner of the 2018 Springboard Mile, elevated his game after winning Remington Park’s top event for 2-year-olds. He spent his 3-yearold spring at Oaklawn Park, where he won a division of the Grade 2, $750,000 Rebel Stakes in March. Advancing to the Kentucky Derby, Long Range Toddy was forwardly placed as the field turned for home before encountering contact in the historic traffic incident that led to the disqualification of Maximum Security. The Remington Park stakes schedule begins on opening night, Friday, August 23, with the $175,000 Governor’s Cup leading that program. Moved 60

back to the opening weekend after serving on the Oklahoma Derby undercard in recent years, the Governor’s Cup is for 3-year-olds and older at 1 1/8 miles. The Oklahoma Derby and Remington Park Oaks lead the derby day program on September 29. That afternoon boasts eight stakes races with purses worth $1.1 million. As part of the card, the $75,000 Kip Deville begins the opencompany stakes races for 2-year-olds. It’s followed by the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes (also won by Long Range Toddy in 2018) at seven furlongs on Friday, November 1, and then closing day’s Springboard Mile. Sixteen stakes are slated for eligible Oklahoma-breds, led by the annual Oklahoma Classics program on Friday, October 18, featuring eight divisional stakes races worth more than $1 million. The Jeffrey Hawk Memorial Stakes, for 3-year-olds and older going 1 mile and 70 yards on December 15, has been increased to $100,000 for 2019, up from $75,000 last year. Remington Park will feature seven turf stakes in 2019 with the $100,000 Remington Green on Sunday, September 29, serving as the richest opencompany event over the lawn. The turf stakes schedule will begin on opening night with the $70,000 Remington Park Turf Sprint for Oklahoma-breds at five furlongs.

Welder Adds to His Win Total at Will Rogers Downs Oklahoma-bred Welder likes to win races as his 17 victories in 26 starts prove, but he seems to have a special affinity for the winner’s circle at Will Rogers Downs. In 10 trips to the post in Claremore, the gray gelding has recorded nine wins, with his latest two coming during the 2019 meet in the $55,000 Highland Ice Stakes on April 2 and $55,000 TRAO Classic Sprint Stakes on April 30, both at six furlongs. Prior to those efforts, he ran a solid third behind Whitmore in the $150,000 Hot Springs Stakes at Oaklawn. Whitmore, a Grade 1-winning earner of more than $2.5 million, came into that race after a 2018 campaign that ended with a runner-up finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). All told, Welder has banked $716,151 while successfully competing against both Oklahoma-bred and open company. He was bred by Center Hills Farms, which owns Welder’s sire, The Visualiser, and stands him at their Mighty Acres in Pryor.

Fair Meadows Opens with Major Renovations, Increased Purses Fair Meadows in Tulsa opened for 34 days of live racing on June 6 and will run through July 27. Both horsemen and racing fans will notice some significant upgrades with approximately $17.5 million in improvements to the facilities at Expo Square. Among the improvements are 384 new stalls and a 100-foot by 200-foot arena that during racing will be split in half for the paddock and testing area. There also will be a new event space for private rentals, a new plaza from which to watch the races and upgrades to the electrical and ventilation systems in the barns. The track has announced a 10 percent Thoroughbred purse increase in advance of the meet, with live racing to be conducted mostly on a Thursday through Sunday basis with the addition of Wednesday racing on June 19, July 10 and July 24. Post time will be 5 p.m. each day. The meet will offer a total of 19 stakes for Thoroughbreds, American Quarter Horses and Paints and Appaloosas. For more information, go to exposquare.com or call the racing office at (918) 744-6999.

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AFFILIATE NEWS Oklahoma’s Horse and Hound Awarded Toro Mower for 2019 Season The Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma has designated the Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation in Guthrie for the use of a Toro commercial mower for the 2019 mowing season. This donation from Equine Equipment and Toro marks one of many this year designed to benefit Thoroughbred aftercare facilities across the country as a way to show appreciation for the industry and its horses. “With the great work Nelda and Larry Kettles do, we wanted to help them with a mower donation” said Steve Andersen, founder of Equine Equipment. Danielle Barber, executive director of the TRAO, knows Horse and Hound to be a well-run and devoted organization, so helping them made sense. “We urge the Oklahoma horse industry to support facilities like Horse and Hound,” Barber said. “They repurpose our industry’s athletes and provide care for every resident at Horse and Hound. Getting this worthy facility a premium mower from Toro is the least we can do.” “I am still amazed at the giving spirit people show to Horse and Hound, and when Dani Barber told us about the use of this mower, especially a Toro mower, we were amazed that such a big company could care so much to help a facility like ours,” said Nelda Kettles, who with her husband, Larry, helps find new homes for off-track Thoroughbreds as well as dogs. “We are touched and thank everyone involved. The local dealer will help us with some service appointments, and Equine Equipment is donating things like filters and oil we need for routine maintenance. This is amazing, and we are so delighted. Larry knows his equipment and is excited as well.” Horse and Hound operates on property owned by the Kettles, who have been breeding and raising Thoroughbreds for more than 30 years. The couple’s love for animals really shows as you pull through their gate, and they donate their time, land, barn, facilities and even house to the rescue of these animals. Go to horseandhoundrescue.com to learn more about the organization.

OREGON HBPA Summer Fair Schedule Preparations for the fun summer meets are in full swing. Our first meet is in Union, Oregon, on June 7, 8 and 9. Last year we had a little trouble with the weather, so we are hoping for an improvement. After Union, the horsemen and horsewomen will travel to Grants Pass for the meet running June 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 and July 4, 6 and 7. From there, they are off to the always fun meet in Prineville with racing on July 10, 11, 12 and 13. There is a little break until the Tillamook meet with racing on August 7, 8, 9 and 10. Our final meet is in Burns with racing on September 6, 7 and 8. We always enjoy their cookouts with plenty of yummy food.

PENNSYLVANIA HBPA 30-Day Work Rule Amended to 45 Days At its April 30 meeting, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission voted unanimously to amend the rule requiring a horse to have a published workout if the horse has not raced within 30 days. The new rule, which amends the number of days to 45, went into effect May 16. THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

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The next amendment to the rules of racing the PA HBPA would like to accomplish is to allow same owner entries to be entered and run uncoupled. We believe this will help aid entries in this era of horse shortages.

Presque Isle Downs Backside Equi-ciser in Operation The newly installed Equi-ciser jogger at Presque Isle Downs has been in operation since the opening of the backside on April 13. Use by the membership has exceeded expectations with as many as 50 horses per morning utilizing the training aid. The cost for a 20-minute session is $5 and has been a welcome training tool used by many in the first month of operation.

PA HBPA Board of Directors Supports Use of Lasix The recent events at Santa Anita Park have caused racetracks to develop positions that are contrary to the health and welfare of the equine athlete. These actions are not based on science and are being directed by social media users who lack the necessary knowledge to formulate a position in the best interest of the horse. It is tragic that The Jockey Club has used the tragedies at Santa Anita to fuel its propaganda machine and press its agenda of prohibiting the administration of Lasix on race day. Horsemen must not give in to this position and jeopardize the health and welfare of horses and jockeys. The PA HBPA board of directors is committed to preserving the use of race-day Lasix in Pennsylvania.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS HBPA First Leg of Meet Recap The first leg of the 2018–19 Tampa Bay Downs meet concluded on Sunday, May 5, with Gerald Bennett capturing the title of leading trainer with 69 wins and Sammy Camacho running away with leading jockey honors with 123 wins. Congratulations also go out to Juan C. Rodriguez as leading apprentice jockey. The Summer Festival of Racing will be held on Sunday, June 30, and Monday, July 1. The 17th annual Florida Cup Day was held on Sunday, March 31, and showcased registered Florida-breds in six $115,000 stakes. An impressive handle of $6,853,237 was an increase of 6.7 percent over last year. The annual Florida Cup Day Groom Awards were among the festivities. Sponsored by the TBD HBPA and Tampa Bay Downs, the awards go to the grooms with the best turned-out horses with each winning groom receiving $100. Congratulations to the following: Ian Hughes, trainer Bill Sienkewicz; Kingsley Beckford, trainer Jason DaCosta; Mason Jaas, trainer Teresa Connelly; Paul Cudworth, trainer John Pimental; Hesibesto Rivera, trainer Brad Cox; Alfonso Perez, trainer Mike Dini; Juan Cano, trainer Jason Servis; Alejandro Catarino, trainer Mark Casse; Milber Martinez, trainer Brendan Walsh; Exadibal Orantes, trainer Scott Becker; Luis Cacho, trainer Gerald Bennett; Travis Smith, trainer Lisa Allen. Brenda McCarthy and Lonnie Aterburn were the lucky recipients of AAA Feed and Tack’s Barn of the Month award for April and May. Many thanks to the Porellos for continuing to award a $200 gift certificate each month. The following were the TBD HBPA Groom of the Week winners for March and April: Hector Gutierrez, trainer A. Delacour; Reynold Da Costa, trainer P. Wasiluk; Sal Romero, trainer, J. Tsirigotis, Jr.; Juan Brito, trainer G. Bennett; Jose Hurtado, trainer J. Mazza; Roberto Medera, trainer R. O’Connor; Ashley Dinanathsingh, trainer P. Chain; Jose Jimenez, trainer J. Scott. 61


NEWS Our annual Backside Barbecue under the tent was held April 16 with more than 300 in attendance. As usual, Sonny’s Real Pit Barbecue in Palm Harbor did a fantastic job catering to the hungry crowd. A big thank you to all who found it in their hearts to adopt Thoroughbreds retiring from our track this year. Good luck with their transition from racing to new occupations. Best wishes for a great summer, and we’ll see you in the fall.

VIRGINIA HBPA Racing Returns to Colonial Downs

WASHINGTON HBPA Dr. Claude Ragle Appointed to WHRC On April 12, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Claude Ragle, DVM, to replace outgoing commissioner Jeff Colliton on the Washington Horse Racing 62

COURTESY DR. CLAUDE RAGLE

After a five-year hiatus, Thoroughbred racing resumes this summer at Colonial Downs, Virginia’s only track with pari-mutuel wagering. Located in New Kent, Virginia, between Richmond and Williamsburg, the track was shut down after the 2013 race meet because of a dispute between track ownership and the Virginia HBPA. Colonial Downs will reopen under new ownership on August 8 for a five-week meet ending September 7. Racing will be on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with a 5 p.m. post, except for Labor Day, September 2, which will have a special 1 p.m. start. Colonial’s new owners have completely renovated the grandstand to accommodate installation of 600 historical horse racing machines and a horsemen’s turf club for wagering and simulcasting. Trackside, a new high-definition tote board is under construction in the infield. And both the 1 ¼-mile main track and the 1 1/8-mile turf course are being rejuvenated to return those surfaces to their previous high-quality level. Purses for the 15-day meet will average $500,000 daily, with most of the races being run on Colonial’s 180-foot-wide turf course. Stakes races are scheduled for each Saturday, with the Virginia Derby (G3) and the Virginia Oaks set for August 31. The Kitten’s Joy Stakes and the Rosie’s Stakes, for 2-year-olds going long and short, respectively, on the turf for $100,000 purses, are likewise on August 31. Nine Virginia-bred/sired/certified turf stakes with $100,000 purses are set for August 10 and September 7. The horsemen and track management devised various incentive programs to attract entries in the highly competitive Mid-Atlantic region. All owners in each race will receive a minimum $1,000 share of the purse regardless of placing. Owners of Virginia-bred/sired/certified winners in non-state restricted races are awarded a 25 percent bonus. And every trainer receives $300 for each race in which they have a runner. Colonial will also run a daily horse shuttle between the track and Maryland and Delaware. Colonial opens for training July 25 and closes one week after the meet ends on September 7. The backside has 15 barns that can accommodate 1,000 horses. There also are six modern dormitories for 240 backstretch personnel. During the meet, the Virginia HBPA will offer its usual services including a Groom Elite training program, medical and dental care, chaplaincy, counseling, meal vouchers and regular shuttle service to stores and recreational areas. Next year, with the help of projected revenue from historical horse racing machines, Colonial expects to expand to 30 race days over a 10-week period.

Commission. Colliton had served on the commission since July 2006. Before leaving the commission, he was appointed to an Association of Racing Commissioners International Rule Committee chair position and fulfilled his mission to add Washington to the RCI Model Rules (“almost”) fully compliant national medication standards list. Ironically, Colliton, after leaving the commission, joined the Emerald Racing Club as an owner and is now a member of the Washington HBPA. Ragle is a board-certified equine surgeon and has been the faculty surgeon at Washington State University since 1992. He brings a valuable vault of relevant knowledge to the commission with clinical expertise in the field of advanced equine surgery (soft tissue and orthopedic), minimal invasive surgery (laparoscopy, arthroscopy), respiratory surgery and gastrointestinal surgery, advanced lameness diagnostics (nuclear scintigraphy, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging) and veterinary applied laparoscopic training. He also has published several papers on various equine health and diagnostic issues. A graduate of Michigan State University, Ragle served his internship in Scottsdale, Arizona, and practiced at both the University of California, Davis and Pioneer Equine Hospital in Oakdale, California, before assuming his duties at WSU. With an increasing regulatory emphasis on public perception and proposed rules that yield to public misconception rather than the safety and welfare of the horse, the WHBPA is pleased with the governor’s timely appointment of a second equine veterinarian to the racing commission. The staff and board of directors look forward to working with and learning from Dr. Ragle.

DR. CLAUDE RAGLE

Chaplain Aguilar Is Off and Running June marked the beginning of the Emerald Downs Backstretch Chapel’s annual fundraising campaign. It is your opportunity to support the work of the racetrack’s ministry, which serves those in the horse racing industry. With an annual budget of $20,000, the chaplaincy is a faith-based 501(c)3 organization funded through the generosity of those who care about its mission and those it serves. The current budget allows for a chaplain to be on-site 20 hours per week, a weekly dinner/service plus various holiday events and recreational THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL

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AFFILIATE NEWS • Clothing closet totally remodeled and rearranged • Women’s fellowship, crafts and ministry every other Monday • AA meetings on-site two nights weekly (English and Spanish) Please watch for opportunities to give or serve the Backstretch Chapel. It is the chaplaincy’s objective to help create a better working environment by enhancing the quality of life on the racetrack. Your support of the ministry and the work of Chaplain Aguilar is much appreciated. For more information, contact the WHBPA office or Chaplain Aguilar at trackchaplain@gmail.com or at Backstretch Chapel, P.O. Box 617, Auburn, WA 98071.

Annual Meeting Notice

CHAPLAIN AGUILAR OFFERS A VARIETY OF CLASSES AND MEETINGS FOR BACKSTRETCH WORKERS.

ACKERLEY IMAGES

activities. As funds are available, the chaplaincy envisions expanding chaplain hours and adding more recreational, educational and spiritual opportunities for our community. Last June, Chaplain Gilbert Aguilar was hired by the Backstretch Chapel and joined the Emerald Downs community. What he has accomplished in such a short time leads one to believe he is in the midst of angels as he has taken the initiative to go beyond the board’s expectations at his hiring. In his May report to the Backstretch Chapel’s board of directors, Chaplain Aguilar reported that the following goals have been put into action: • ESL classes two nights per week • Bicycle giveaway (registration in process) • Bible study/chapel service with dinner/mass with Father Gallagher (Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays)

The Washington HBPA annual membership meeting will be held Saturday, June 29, at 1 p.m. at the WTBOA Sales Pavilion. Please RSVP by Tuesday, June 25, at (253) 804-6822 or contactus@whbpa.com. The annual meeting is open to all WHBPA members and their guests. You are a member of the WHBPA if you were licensed as an owner or trainer at Emerald Downs in 2018 or 2019. Racing is currently facing pivotal issues both locally and across the United States. In many jurisdictions, the gap between stakeholders is widening. At a local level, the future of Washington horse racing depends on the ability and willingness to narrow the margin by working cooperatively to sustain our industry. The agenda will address and include discussion on various local and national racing issues with reports by representatives from the WHBPA, WHRC and Emerald Downs management and the Washington State Legislature. The meeting will conclude after participants have had a chance to ask questions or provide feedback on a variety of topics that relate to racing in the state. HJ

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SUMMER 2019


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Profile for The Horsemen's Journal

The Horsemen's Journal - Summer 2019  

The official publication of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, this issue of The Horsemen's Journal features artic...

The Horsemen's Journal - Summer 2019  

The official publication of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, this issue of The Horsemen's Journal features artic...