The chairman of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission said Dec. 13 that any action stemming from the investigation into the Life At Ten case would be brought before the entire commission upon completion of a thorough review.
“If any action is to be taken, it will come before this commission,” said chairman Robert Beck, reiterating that there will be a full report and recommendations stemming from a probe surrounding Life At Ten’s performance in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Nov. 5.
The 5-year-old mare owned by Candy DeBartolo and trained by Todd Pletcher finished last in the Ladies Classic at second choice odds of 7-2. With jockey John Velazquez aboard, Life At Ten had no run when the field left the gate, and she was not persevered with throughout the 1 1/8-mile race.
Before the race, Velazquez told ESPN announcers that the filly did not look right, but apparently did not relay those concerns to the stewards or any KHRC veterinarians.
During the commission’s regular monthly meeting, Beck reiterated previous statements from commission staff that no timetable had been placed on completion of the investigation into the poor performance by Life At Ten in the Breeders’ Cup.
Beck, obviously bristling at criticism directed at the commission following the Breeders' Cup, opined that “some will think it will be too fast and some will think it will be too slow” in reference to the investigation.
Because of the potential for possible disciplinary action and a hearing before the commission, Beck could not provide any details of what the investigation by the KHRC staff had uncovered so far.
Following the Ladies’ Classic, John Veitch, the chief steward for the KHRC, said the proper protocol is for a jockey or trainer who has concerns about a horse prior to the start of a race to report those issues to the stewards. He said neither Velazquez nor Pletcher contacted the stewards, veterinarians, or outriders, who are also involved in the reporting process.
“The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission firmly believes its veterinarians and racing stewards acted properly in all instances regarding this race,” Veitch said in a statement shortly after the Breeders’ Cup.
The KHRC subsequently decided to launch a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding Life At Ten and the Ladies’ Classic.