After two fatal breakdowns, jockeys at Bay Meadows refused to ride following the second race Thursday, citing unsafe conditions caused by steady rainfall at the Bay Area track the past week. "I think they thought the undersurface was too slick," said Jack Liebau, track president. "Well, (Russell) Baze didn't think so, but the others felt there was too much slop."If the jockeys don't feel it's safe to ride, we won't race," he added. "That's my policy and has always been my policy."Liebau said track maintenance personnel immediately went to work scraping the excess moisture off the surface, and he expects racing to resume as normal on Friday.The track was listed as muddy when the first race began. Dancing Rose, a 3-year-old filly who went off as the 7-10 favorite, broke her right front ankle midway through the one-mile claiming race. Although Baze pulled her up successfully and she was vanned off, the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained runner was euthanized.In the next race, the 2-year-old colt Skum, trained by Sergio Ledezma, broke his left front ankle while battling on the front end leaving the quarter pole and also was euthanized. Jockey Chad Schvaneveldt was not seriously injured in the fall, according to the track. A second horse in the claiming race, Island Thunder, was eased after swerving severely to avoid the fallen rider."The top three inches of the track is really saturated," said track superintendent Robert Turman, who consulted with the jockeys following the second race. "I like the riders, and I respect their opinion."(Chart, Equibase)
An apologetic Russell Baze was suspended for 15 days by Bay Meadows stewards and fined $2,500 Aug. 26 for misusing his whip as the result of a complaint arising from an incident at the Bay Area track last week.