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What is going on with the vet inspections / track maintenance over there? They are only 1/2 way thru the meet, and they have almost passed the # of fatalities of last year's entire meet, in just 4 weeks?
John Pricci: "At last year’s Saratoga race meet, 14 horses suffered catastrophic injuries resulting in euthanasia Sadly, in 2017, the number of fatalities current stands at 11 and counting.
The skinny is there’s something demonstrably wrong with main track surface....."
Obviously, while this is fatal for the horses, it's also fatal for the pocketbook of the bettors....if the track is wonky, and the horses are not properly inspected pre-race, then you lose $$$
On Aug. 3rd, they had 7 fatalities. 2 were on the Okla. Training Track. 3 others were in the morning & 2 during racing. One on turf & one horse dropped dead from a heart attack after the race.
That type of spread does not point to the track, as Pricci claims.
On the same day, they added clay & silt to the main track in an attempt to add to the cushion. Since then, at least 4 more deaths. I would say the track itself is only a small part of it.
My own belief is that many of the horses are simply unsound & have pre-existing conditions in the bone such as micro-fracturing that cannot be picked up without a radiograph. Pre-race vet exams will not pick that up. In other words, so many horses are accidents waiting to happen.
Now, toss in the drug cocktails the horses are subjected to between races, inject some lasix before the race, engage in some good ol' American style dirt racing in which the horses are torquing around tight turns & we get horses dying.
Of course, NYRA is paying lip service to safety & horse welfare but that is a load of crap. All they care about is spinning the turnstiles at the spa & loading the coffers, gouging customers for food & drink and making sure the windows are manned & the betting machines are operating correctly.
I posted this at a few other places........and crickets. I mean, NO REPLIES at all.
That says a lot.
The fatality count is up to 18.
Here's open data from NYS:
When you see the data you realize that's an awful lot of carnage just for our amusement.
Of course, (radical) changes could me implemented to save equine lives & reduce injuries but there's no will in the powers-that-be to do so.
Thanks for the update, Steve.
You would think that radiograph should be routine but unfortunately it's not.I spoke to an owner last year and he told me of an instance where a vet told him a radiograph wasn't necessary for one of his horses.Luckily,he got a second opinion where a radiograph was performed and a micro fracture discovered.
Won't happen - makes too much sense.
If it were a mandated practice, I wonder how many horses would be sidelined (and saved from injury or death)? More than the racing industry want to know.
There's already a serious problem of many short, unappetizing fields. Believe me, when push comes to shove in regard to money the horses get the short end of the stick.
I won't have to repeat it, but you all know how I feel about this.
What's happening here is akin to NASCAR taking out the SAFER barriers and HANS devices because certain outspoken drivers and fans don't like them for any number of bogus reasons.
(there have been no fatalities in NASCAR since Dale Earnhardt -- because of those safety features)
I agree with you.
Here's an interesting view (from the J.Club Fact Book) that correlates the advent of the pharmaceutical era (let's say, roughly, the 1970s) & a precipitous decline in starts per year. If pharma was so good for otherwise healthy horses one would think they should be starting more, no?
I would venture an educated guess that over-use of medications is a direct contributing factor to fatalities, as well.