LOUIVILLE, Kentucky — Two days before the Kentucky Derby, a major event in horse racing, on Thursday, Kentucky horse racing officials announced the death of two trainer horses after they collapsed and died without explanation over the past week. A horse has been removed from the race under a cloud of suspicion.
Lord Miles, who was trained by Saffy Joseph Jr., said Thursday night hours after his trainer declared he would scratch all horses racing at Churchill Downs, with the exception of Derby entrants. It was scratched in a very unusual move by the stewards. It prompted an investigation into the cause of all deaths by the Kentucky Racing Commission.
Joseph’s banishment from the Derby, and from all racetracks owned by Churchill Downs, was due to the Bob Baffert-trained foal Medina Spirit failing a drug test after finishing first in the Derby. After that, it will follow the hard line set by the racetrack in 2021. When the result was revealed, Medina Spirit was disqualified and Baffert was banned from the Derby and racecourse owned by Churchill Downs for two years.
Horse racing is fighting for its life as animal rights activists call for its demise and at the same time interest from gambling is waning and it is on the losing side in the battle against sports betting.
Churchill Downs President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Mudd said: “Given the sudden and unexplained death, we have reasonable concerns about the condition of his horse and hope that the details will be analyzed and understood. We have decided to suspend him indefinitely until further notice.The safety of our horses and human athletes is our top priority and the integrity of our sport is our top priority. We feel it is our duty and responsibility to take action.”
The 3-year-old Wild on Ice, who has been at the Derby field with three wins in five career starts, was euthanized last Thursday after injuring his leg while training on a dirt track. was knocked down after being injured during a turf race on Tuesday.
The two horses Joseph trained were Parent’s Pride, who collapsed on Saturday, and Chasing Artie, who collapsed on Tuesday.
Every year, one of the few times the sporting world pays attention to horse racing is a fatal accident. In other words, the Triple Crown season begins in the Derby. Even as the industry battles doping scandals, competition from other forms of betting and declining fan interest, the death could renew long-standing concerns about racehorse safety.
Churchill Downs said in a statement Wednesday: “We have complete confidence in our racing surface and we are confident that our riders and jockeys will too.
At the barn where Sir Miles is in the stable, Joseph said Wednesday he was “devastated” by the death of two horses. I was. “I run about 4,000 horses and I’ve never had that. It doesn’t make sense.”
Lisa Lazarus, newly minted CEO Horse Racing Honesty and Safety Authority, said both the dirt and turf courses had been examined by experts and were deemed safe. I’m here. Joseph scratched the mare on Wednesday as a precaution and said Thursday morning that, with the exception of Sir Miles, the horses scheduled to run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday would also scratch voluntarily. I went down.
Thursday morning Joseph saw Sir Miles walking outside the barn before being taken to the truck for some light exercise. Joseph checked his horse’s legs both in the barn and on the tracks.
When asked afterwards if he would scratch Sir Miles, he replied “no”. When I asked him why he was checking his feet, he said, “I do it all the time.”
Churchill Downs said Wednesday it would “continue to take all steps to provide the safest possible environment for the horses on our property,” but said Joseph was already participating in the Derby horses. I had no authority to scratch the race. That decision had to be made by the Racing Commission.
Originally from Barbados, 36-year-old Joseph is a top Florida-based trainer. His 2022 Derby horse, White his Avario finished in his 16th place.
In 2015, he spent $500 in Gulfstream Park, Florida, for testing positive for the bronchodilator clenbuterol, and in Monmouth Park, New York, for testing positive for aminocaproic acid, which treats bleeding disorders, according to databases that track drug violations. was fined $1,000. He was also sentenced to a 15-day suspension and a 15-day suspension on his Isle of Pennsylvania in 2022 at his Downs on his Isle for testing positive for gabapentin, an anticonvulsant and nerve pain drug. I am appealing the fine. Race.
Horse racing in the United States has long had a culture of drugs and lax regulations, with far higher rates of horses being euthanized due to breakdowns than in most other places in the world.
Trainers have tried chemicals that bulk up pigs and cows before slaughter, cobra venom, Viagra, blood doping agents, stimulants, anti-cancer drugs, and anything else that might give a horse an edge. Detection is difficult because laboratories rush to catch up.
Common medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs pose the greatest risks to horses and riders. At higher levels, pain relievers can mask injuries and make pre-race tests less effective. It may take
This is one of the reasons the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority was established under the supervision of the Federal Trade Commission. Rules and penalties written to eliminate doping and abuse in Thoroughbred racing will come into effect on 22nd May.
In 2021, months after the Medina Spirit were disqualified from winning the Derby, he died while working out. An autopsy by California scientists suggested he may have had a heart attack, but they said they weren’t sure. Citing studies, it was found that in approximately 53% of cases the cause of death was definitively determined, in 25% of cases a probable cause was established, and no specific cause of death could be determined. About 22% of them are determined.
Since 2009, The Jockey Club has maintained an equine injury database to provide a database for tracking fatal injuries on American racetracks and analyzing ways to prevent them. In that first year, the Thoroughbred had two fatal injuries per 1,000 of his starts.
Last year, there were 1.25 fatalities per 1,000 starts, compared to 1.39 fatalities per 1,000 starts in 2021. It’s his fourth year in a row that the percentage has decreased, and the first time he’s had fewer than 1.3 deaths per 1,000 starts.
Tim Parkin, professor of veterinary epidemiology at the University of Bristol in the UK, said: “We can confidently say that the risk of fatal injury has continued to decline overall and in many specific areas.” said. Here are the results for March. He said his six months at the end of 2022 will be his safest six months since the database was created.
Still, there are clusters of fatalities. Last month, Maryland’s Laurel Park was closed for three days after five horses were euthanized after a series of injuries. Trainers and owners there said the track surface was unsafe. rice field. His 1/ST, owner of Laurel Park, disputed this claim.
In 2019, the sport was hit hard after 30 horses died in six months at Santa Anita Racecourse. The news made national headlines and came under scrutiny from California legislators and animal rights activists.
In response, state and horse racing authorities have tightened regulations on the use of riding crops, horse medication, trainer and jockey education, tracking safety and injured horse recovery policies. Twelve of his horses died in Santa Anita last year, a 54% drop in Thoroughbred mortality throughout California from 144 in 2019 to 66 last year.