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Friday, June 27, 2008

News and Notes and Pigeon Poop

- No reaction from PETA on the Jeremy Rose incident. Guess they're involved in more important things.

- Bruce Levine told Bloodhorse that he stopped giving his horses steroids on Jan 1 so that he could ship into Philly Park and Delaware, where the drugs are now limited to therapeutic uses. “And I have to tell you, basically there is no difference in the performance of the horses after taking them off steroids.”

However, it's interesting to read that along with this item from Tim Wilkin's blog in the Albany Times Union. In it, Levine says that his undefeated Bustin Stones hadn't been doing well following his win in the Carter, and missed three weeks of training as well as the Met Mile. "He stopped eating and he lost some color." Sounds like the horse could have used those steroids, since appetite and coat color are two of its benefits that I've read horsemen cite.

Bustin Stones worked a bullet half this week and is being pointed to the Win And You're In Vanderbilt at Saratoga on July 26.

Levine's entire Monmouth contingent was surprise-out-of-competition tested for EPO's; the trainer has won with 27 out of 56 starters there, for a percentage of 48%. Not quite Wayne Catalano material (27 of 48 at Arlington, or 56%), but pretty amazing nonetheless. The test comes as the World Anti-Doping Agency is questioning the effectiveness of EPO tests on humans after a study revealed serious flaws in existing urine tests.

“I have never seen such a drastic situation as the one reported in this article,” said Dr. Rabin, who questioned whether it reflected the true state of EPO testing.

The findings in the latest study should be no surprise, said Charles E. Yesalis, a professor of sports science at Pennsylvania State University. For decades, he said, anti-doping authorities have claimed they have tests that work and for decades athletes have been taking drugs without getting caught.

The anti-doping authorities, he said, “remind me of little boys whistling in the graveyard.” [NY Times]

9 Comments:

DC said...

Horse to Watch:

Cognito ran lights-out in defeat today (Churchill, Race 1). In addition to being checked slightly on the backstretch, and steadied behind horses in the stretch, i think the assistant starter had a hold of his bridle when the gates opened. When viewing the head-on, you can see his head get yanked to the side as he attempted to break, and as a result he then swerved inward pretty badly. I believe that's why he wasn't on the lead. Looks double-tough next time out with a clean break, but i highly doubt we'll see 3/1 next time. Looks like a stakes horse to me.

Anonymous said...

PETA has been notified, and is well aware of the situation.Keep up the good work,I enjoy the blog.

dc said...

Hollywood - Race 8

#12 Secret Shuttle (9/2 ml)

We've been on this horse in each of his last two starts, and there's no reason to jump ship now. He did take a bit longer than usual to get going last time, but he really smoked home the last sixteenth of a mile, making up 4 lengths to just miss at the wire vs. the then-undefeated Tall Texan (who came back to run a good second in his two-turn debut on Thursday). Secret Shuttle got that final sixteenth in almost unheard-of 5.2, which bodes extremely well for his chances here as he gets an extra sixteenth to run today. Also note this marks his second start off the layoff, and he improved dramatically in his second start of the form cycle last time (despite the lower Beyer), showing an incredible turn of foot in the final sixteenth of that race. Should be quite comfortable here with the outside post and the long run into the turn, which should keep him in the clear and allow him to do his thing late. Still think this colt is one of the very top sprint prospects on the circuit; looking for a big effort today.

I also need to mention #1 Forest Phantom (5/1 ml). He's shown a remarkable late burst of speed and a giant, reaching stride in each of his last two starts, the last one coming at this same 7-furlong distance. I'm a little concerned about traffic issues given his rail draw and the large field, but if he can get into the clear he figures to be smoking home late, much like i'm expecting Secret Shuttle to do. I'll definitely be hooking these two up in an exacta, and a secondary win bet isn't out of the question either. Should be somewhat overlooked coming out of the claiming ranks.

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Richie said...

Does any horseman really believe that Levine's horses, especially those running at Monmouth, are running on hay and oats?
Does anyone reading here realize just how hard it is to win a horse race?
He wins 2 a day by open lengths - the horses run all out from gate to wire (most with blinkers on and in fours) or until they are pulled op or eased.
Its mind boggling -have not seen anything like it since the 70s and sublimase.

Thomas said...

They will never find him in violation of any drug rules.
What his horses get Is given in the feed the night before race day and there is currently no test.
It will come to a stop in due time.

DC said...

Secret Shuttle came running late, but by the time he did, the race was over. Just not enough early speed to keep contact with the leaders this time.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you make your picks before you know there is a speed bias. Your 2 horses had virtually no shot today on a severly biased surface.

alan said...

>>This is what happens when you make your picks before you know there is a speed bias. Your 2 horses had virtually no shot today on a severly biased surface.

That's part of the whole problem with public handicapping. The bias, track conditions, toteboard - all things you have to guess about.

DC said...

That's 100% true. Even more than a potential speed bias, you must consider post-time odds before placing any wagers. I do my best to estimate whether a horse will be worth a play or not (based on odds), but sometimes the value simply won't be there.

TRack bias is something i try not to get too caught up in, because it's subjective by nature, and it's not one of my strong points anyway. There certainly did appear to be a strong speed bias at Hollywood yesterday, however.