Breeders’ Cup issued a statement Nov. 11 saying Kentucky regulators have authority in a probe surrounding the performance of Life At Ten in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) and that it won’t decide on future action until the investigation is completed.
The 5-year-old mare finished last in the Ladies' Classic as the second choice in the wagering at 7-2. The usually speedy Life At Ten broke from post one under John Velazquez but had no run; she wasn’t persevered with throughout the 1 1/8-mile race, which was won by Unrivaled Belle.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission said its investigation involved interviews with the parties involved, but no formal statement of resolution has been issued.
“The Breeders' Cup adheres to the highest standards in safety, security, and testing procedures to protect both our athletes and the integrity of our competition,” Breeders’ Cup said in a statement. “The Breeders’ Cup World Championships are conducted under the jurisdiction of our host site and the state of Kentucky has authority in this issue. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has advised Breeders’ Cup that it is conducting an investigation of the pre- and post-race events in this year’s Ladies' Classic.
“The Breeders’ Cup is working with the KHRC in its investigation and awaiting the final report of the KHRC before deciding what steps we will take moving forward in the management and protocols of our Championships.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher said the day after the race Life At Ten may have had a reaction to the bleeder medication Salix, which is administered four hours before a race. The KHRC has said Pletcher nor jockey John Velazquez “ voiced any concerns they may have had regarding Life at Ten to any racing officials, veterinarians, or the outriders prior to the running of the Ladies' Classic.”
Velazquez told ESPN just before the race the filly didn’t seem right. The KHRC hasn’t addressed the comments the jockey made to ESPN.
The incident led bettors to question whether Life At Ten should have been scratched and all wagers on her refunded. More than $300,000 was wagered on her to win; when exotic wagers are factored in, the figure is in the millions of dollars.