Track Safety

Second Stab At Synthetics In California? The Trainers' View

Under the toughest of spotlights, the industry's collective eyes often turn to the stuff under foot. At least, that's what trainer Mark Casse did in a widely-shared TDN Q&A. "I think we really, seriously, need to look at more synthetic tracks," Casse said, triggering yet another cavalcade of commentary on the conceived benefits and blights of synthetic surfaces. "I believe in them. I believe they've got plenty of data to back that up." Former TDN writer Lucas Marquardt followed it up with an analysis of race-day fatality data through The...

[ Read More ]
HISA Announces New Track Surface Advisory Group

Edited Press Release A new Track Surface Advisory Group, comprised of members who will be deployed by HISA to analyze dirt, turf and synthetic surface consistency at Thoroughbred racetracks across the U.S., was formed Thursday. "This Group is crucial to ensuring that HISA can support local experts working to make the surfaces on which Thoroughbreds compete as safe as possible," said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. "HISA is committed to using all resources at its disposal to help tracks under our jurisdiction meet our Racetrack Safety standards. This group of track...

[ Read More ]
NYRA Forces Scratch Of Two Other Robert Dick Runners

NYRA officials scratched a pair of horses from the third race at Saratoga Friday because their last start, the GIII Robert G. Dick Memorial S. at Delaware, has seen four horses encounter problems in their next starts back. The Daily Racing Form was the first to report the story. Both of the top two finishers, winner Sopran Basilea (Night of Thunder {Ire}) and runner up Ever Summer (Summer Front) suffered fatal injuries over the Saratoga turf in the last week. Sopran Basilea finished fourth in the GII Glens Falls S. Aug. 3...

[ Read More ]
Letter to the Editor: Armen Antonian

The "Quick Fix" of Synthetics is Not the Answer Horse racing has been down the path of synthetics before at Santa Anita, Del Mar, Keeneland, etc. Much time was lost, approximately a decade ago, with a focus on changing surfaces as a panacea for horse racing breakdowns. We now know there are other causes for horse breakdowns that are more prevailing. The greatest single cause of racing deaths has to do with pre-existing conditions of the horse, and only in particular instances is the surface itself the primary reason for...

[ Read More ]
Churchill Downs Issues Statement On Equine Fatalities

Edited Press Release Churchill Downs Incorporated released the following statement Saturday in response to questions about track safety during the meet: In today's first race, Kimberley Dream (Colonel John) sustained a significant injury--a distal sesamodean ligament rupture--to her left front leg. A similar injury occurred to Lost in Limbo (Into Mischief) during Friday's seventh race. Unfortunately, in both scenarios, attending veterinarians determined that the injuries were inoperable and unrecoverable and made the difficult but most humane decision to euthanize. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to the connections...

[ Read More ]
Progress At Laurel: Horsemen, Management Nearing Deal To Allow Passero To Examine Track

The impasse between Maryland horsemen and the Stronach Group regarding the condition of the main track at Laurel could be nearing a resolution as the two sides are close to an agreement to let John Passero examine the racetrack. Passero is the former track superintendent at Laurel and Pimlico and the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (MTHA) has been insistent on letting him examine the track and have the final say regarding whether or not it was safe and, if not, what fixes were in order. The Stronach Group had brought...

[ Read More ]
With No Main Track Musculoskeletal Racing Fatalities in '22, Santa Anita Continues to Make Strides on Safety

It's been some four years since Santa Anita suffered through some of the worst times in its long and otherwise glorious history, a prolonged period where horses were breaking down and dying at an alarming rate. Aidan Butler, the chief executive officer at The Stronach Group 1/ST Racing and Gaming, the corporation that owns Santa Anita, is still haunted by that period, so much so that he says he has nightmares about horses breaking down. "It was horrific," Butler said. "Can you imagine having bloody helicopters from the news stations...

[ Read More ]
Breeders' Cup Outlines Championships Protocols

The Breeders' Cup outlines health and safety protocols for the 2021 World Championships, which take place Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar. EQUINE SAFETY, TESTING AND SECURITY All Breeders' Cup runners are subject to: Randomized out-of-competition (OOC) testing (beginning internationally in June and concluded Nov. 1, resulting in the collection of over 300 blood and hair samples Expanded veterinary scrutiny in-stall and during training at Del Mar, Santa Anita and San Luis Rey Training Center Mandatory trot up observations of every horse prior to being permitted to enter a racing surface...

[ Read More ]
Data the Focus of Peterson Surfaces Presentation

Dr. Mick Peterson, Executive Director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory and Professor, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky gave a presentation entitled "Track Surfaces: International standards for racing surfaces and the expansion of the Maintenance Quality System"  Tuesday as part of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation's weekly webinar series. The series was developed to make up for the cancellation of the ninth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Peterson's presentation was divided into three parts--"current best practices for testing and documentation of...

[ Read More ]

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.