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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On Vacation Thru March 20

- Left at the Gate will be closed through March 20 as the Head Chef and I go on our honeymoon. We're a sorry pair right now, with my cold and her back, but off we go. For me, though there's a lot to talk about with this weekend's appearance by War Pass and, of course, the shocking fall from grace of Eliot Spitzer, it's a much, much needed break from writing, and a chance to recharge and refresh and forge on to the Triple Crown (and, hopefully, a long playoff run for the Rangers).

Please visit the other bloggers of the TBA for the latest news and opinion in the thoroughbred world; and may I recommend the Daily Politics blog for all the latest from Albany. So until next week, good luck and, as Harvey Pack used to say, may the horse be with you!


Anonymous said...

Enjoy the honeymoon!

Like Motel 6 "we'll leave the light on for you" when you get back on the 20th.

Anonymous said...

On behalf of the entire Ranger organ-i-zation, thanks for the parenthetical afterthought.

Anonymous said...

oh no we won't have any hunch bets till you come back.

Anonymous said...

For future discussion.

Data collected over the last six months of 2007 through a uniform injury reporting system has not shown any significant difference in the rates of fatal injuries sustained by horses running on synthetic or dirt surfaces, according to the veterinarian who has compiled the reports.

During a presentation at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit on Monday at Keeneland, Dr. Mary Scollay, the Florida state veterinarian, cautioned that the data did not represent a statistically significant set, and it did not include data from the four synthetic tracks in California. Other racing officials said Monday that fatal injuries have declined markedly after the installation of synthetic surfaces at many tracks. But Scollay’s data at least introduces questions regarding the validity of the claim that synthetic surfaces are safer than traditional dirt tracks. Scollay said she was “floored” by the similarity between the numbers of fatalities on dirt and synthetic surfaces.

The data was collected by Scollay from 42 racetracks that agreed last year to use a standardized reporting form for racetrack injuries, including Arlington Park, Keeneland, and Turfway, all of which race on a synthetic track. The form is being used to gather information on the types of injuries horses suffer while racing in order to identify potential problems or areas of research.

The data began to be collected on June 1, Scollay said, and no meaningful difference between injury rates on the two types of surfaces could be discerned. According to Scollay, the data showed 244 fatalities from 123,890 starters on dirt, for a ratio of 1.96 fatalities per 1,000 starts. For synthetic surfaces the ratio was 1.95, with 58 fatalities from 29,744 starts.

The study did not include data from racetracks in California, which has the largest concentration of tracks with synthetic surfaces. The California tracks declined to participate, state officials there said, because they have their own statewide system of reporting injuries. The California data has shown a marked decline in fatal racing injuries, according to that state’s racing and veterinary officials, with 3.18 fatalities per 1,000 starts on dirt surfaces in 2004-07 and 1.24 fatalities per 1,000 starts on synthetic surfaces in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Future discussion as well with ESPN not delivering sports as promised: see

Sports Biz Journal- 3/17 'Taking aim at Bristol'

Anonymous said...

Alan, missing you bro. Get back from your carousing and start blogging again. It's derby season.

forego is my witness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
forego is my witness said...

Does anyone know what happened to The Chalk blog?

steve in nc said...

Donde estas, hombre? Hope you're not in the hospital, and instead, the honeymoon was just too much fun to stop.

I've been married 11 years but still haven't gotten to take a honeymoon. I guess we'll get to do it when both kids are old enough to be in sleep-away camp.

You are missed.