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Friday, April 21, 2006

Time To Reconsider

- I watched the Forerunner Stakes at work on the Keeneland site. The quality wasn’t very good, kinda like the old days of herky-jerky dial up video, so I didn’t really know what was going on when all of a sudden I say a horse and rider lying on the turf. The last shot I saw was of Up An Octave getting up and standing, so I thought perhaps he was OK, but I was wrong. A tragic ending to be sure. But with all the races every day, with horses routinely putting out the kind of gritty effort that Up An Octave did to win the race, it truly is a wonder and a blessing that it doesn’t happen more often. Those who say they oppose Polytrack because it might make it harder for them to profit off track biases might want to reconsider, and think instead of the welfare of the animals that make this all possible.

John Velazquez will be out three to five months with a broken right shoulder blade, bruised sternum and two cracked ribs. [AP] Bloodhorse reports that he is leaking air from a slightly injured right lung.

Willie Martinez, a fellow jockey who visited Velazquez in the hospital, said injuries come with the territory.

"That's the nature of the beast of our job," Martinez said. "How was your day? I won the race, but I broke my shoulder and had to put my horse down."
Perhaps the Kentucky state Senators who let the jockeys’ workers comp bill die should reconsider as well.


Anonymous said...


I agree somewhat with the Polytrack adoption, however, in the case of Up an Octave, he broke down on a grass course.

I noticed Pletcher walking alongside Johnny V. and the horse as they left the paddock to head to the post parade. How often does Pletcher do this? Pletcher seemed to want this win badly.

Alan Mann said...

Yeah, that's a fair point about the accident occuring on a turf course. But the reduction in breakdowns at the Turfway meet seem to apeak for themselves. Still, I think Steve Crist also made a fair point that we should see a bit more evidence before installing it across the board.

I read that Pletcher was the first one out on the track to attend to Johnny V. I've never seen him accompany the horse out from the paddock.