News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Irish Prize Wins Close Call in Fastness

Irish Prize came from off the pace to beat Timboroa by a neck and win the $110,400 Fastness Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park on Sunday. Ridden by Gary Stevens, Irish Prize covered 1 1/8 miles on the turf in 1:50.01 on the firm turf course and paid $5.60, $3.20, and $2.60 as the 9-5 favorite.

Brahms Under Consideration for Met Mile

Elliot Walden-trained Brahms finished third in the 1 1/8-mile Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) in his most recent start and will race next in a one-mile, grade I race. Walden is considering either the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) on the main track at Belmont Park, or the Shoemaker Mile on the Hollywood Park turf course for Brahm's next start. Others under consideration for the Met Mile include Bobby Hurley's 3-year-old Songandaprayer, the Todd Pletcher-trained pair of Trippi and Left Bank, Oaklawn Park Handicap (gr. I) winner Traditionally, and Carter Handicap (gr. I) winner Peeping Tom.

Rose Gypsy Wins French 1000 Guineas

Mrs. John Magnier's Rose Gypsy rebounded from two second-place finishes earlier in the year to win the Dubai Poule d'Essai des Pouliches--French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) on Sunday at Longchamp. Rose Gypsy won by a head over Banks Hill, with Lethals Lady another head back and a half-length ahead of fourth-place Tempting Fate.

Chichicastenango Wins Prix Lupin

Chichicastenango tracked the leaders in third place before launching a bid with two furlongs to run en route to winning the Prix Lupin (Fr-I) by a neck on Sunday at Longchamp. Anabaa Blue finished second in the 1 5/16-mile race, with Milan third and Amiwain fourth.

Additional Information on Zearalenone

In the industry-wide meeting at Keeneland on Thursday, May 10, zearalenone, a kind of mycotoxin, was put forth as a possible cause of the recent rash of late-term stillbirths, critical foals, and early fetal loss. But while experts seem to be in agreement it is a good possibility that zearalenone in particular is indicated, they aren't ruling out other possible causes or saying only that one mycotoxin is the sole instigator of illness. Whatever the cause, the effects are cumulative.

Explanation: Ergotism or Ergot Poisoning

At the industry-wide meeting on Thursday, May 10, Dr. Steve Jackson, an equine nutrition consultant and owner of Bluegrass Equine Nutrition, and Dr. Jimmy Henning, an extension forage specialist at the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, both mentioned that ergot or alkaloid types of toxins were being sought in the testing of pastures. In discussing the situation further with Jackson on May 11, he said that Merck's Veterinary Manual had a good explanation of ergotism in other livestock.

Janet Holds Off Keemoon for Yerba Buena Win

Red Baron's Farm's Janet tracked pacesetter Alexine then held off a late rally from 9-10 favorite Keemoon to win the $150,000 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 3/4-lengths Saturday at Bay Meadows. Under David Flores, the Darrell Vienna trainee completed the 1 3/8 miles in 2:17.09 on a firm turf course.

Kalu Wins Paceless Hawthorne Derby

Under jockey Jose Santos, Christophe Clement-trained Kalu set a slow early pace and held on to win in the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) by 3/4-lengths over 2-1 favorite Proud Man Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Honor Grades completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.49 of firm turf. After the race, Santos broke his right wrist when the horse reared up unexpectedly while heading to the winner's circle.

Include Edges Albert the Great in Pimlico Special

Robert Meyerhoff's 4-year-old homebred Include rallied from fifth place to upset 3-5 favorite Albert the Great in the final strides of the $750,000 Pimlico Special Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Pimlico. Under Jerry Bailey, the 2.5-1 second choice earned the hard fought neck-length victory by completing the 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.61 on fast track while drifting out in the stretch.

Kentucky Veterinarian Seeing Increase in Laminitis Cases

Dr. Rhonda Rathgeber, a veterinarian with Hagyard-Davidson-McGee veterinary firm in Lexington, Ky., specializes in performance horse problems. She said in the past 10 days, she has seen "a lot of riding horses lame with an associated colitis (inflammation of the large or small colon). I've talked to one other vet who has seen the same thing," she said. It is unknown whether this increase in laminitis is associated with the other problems currently running through the horse industry and thought to be caused by mycotoxins.

Genuine Risk Win Bravo's Fourth on Card

Jockey Joe Bravo earned his fourth win on Saturday's Belmont Park card by guiding Overbrook Farm's homebred Katz Me If You Can to a 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II). The D. Wayne Lukas-trained 4-year-old filly carried lightweight of 113 pounds and stopped the timer in 1:09.55 for the six furlongs on a fast track.

Still No Rider For A P Valentine

Nick Zito, trainer of A P Valentine, likely will have to do some last-minute recruiting for a jockey, after it was announced Friday that Dollar Bill will point for the Preakness Stakes, and regular rider Pat Day will be aboard. Zito thought he had secured Day's services, but when Dollar Bill popped into the picture, Day popped out of the picture for A P Valentine.

Kentucky Legislators Ask USDA for Help With Horse Industry 'Disaster'

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and two members of the House of Representatives from the Bluegrass State -- Ernie Fletcher of the 6th Congressional district and Ed Whitfield from the 1st district -- have written a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman alerting her of the foal/fetal loss syndrome in Kentucky and asking for assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Byars--Pericarditis Becoming More of a Problem

While the numbers are nowhere near those associated with early fetal loss and late gestation pregnancy loss, there is a pattern appearing with horses developing pericarditis (fluid in the sac around the heart), said Dr. Doug Byars, a specialist in internal medicine at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee's medicine unit in Lexington, Ky. At the industry meeting at Keeneland on Thursday, May 10, Byars reported that there had been 20 cases of pericarditis at Haygard's and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in the past week.

Dr. Byars--Pericarditis Becoming More of a Problem

While the numbers are nowhere near those associated with early fetal loss and late gestation pregnancy loss, there is a pattern appearing with horses developing pericarditis (fluid in the sac around the heart), said Dr. Doug Byars, a specialist in internal medicine at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee's medicine unit in Lexington, Ky. At the industry meeting at Keeneland on Thursday, May 10, Byars reported that there had been 20 cases of pericarditis at Haygard's and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in the past week.

Dollar Bill Added to Preakness Field

Dollar Bill, this year's hard-luck horse, will run in the Preakness Stakes if he works well at Churchill Downs Sunday or Monday, trainer Dallas Stewart said Friday. The son of Peaks and Valleys, who has gained fame this spring by having his own website, will ship to Baltimore on Wednesday. Pat Day again will ride.

Distilled Injured in Gallop; Out of Preakness

Dogwood Stable's Distilled, winner of the Illinois Derby, will not run in the 126th Preakness Stakes after suffering a small tear in the suspensory ligament in his left front ankle while galloping at Belmont Park Friday morning. In other news, Monarchos' stablemate Hero's Tribute, who was pointing for the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard, popped a quarter crack during a jog at Pimlico this morning, and will now wait for the Peter Pan Stakes.

TRF Tabbed as NTRA Charities Affiliate

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has named the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) a horseracing affiliate of its nonprofit branch, NTRA Charities. The TRF provides aftercare and adoptive services for retired racehorses in several states, and is the largest and oldest organization of its kind in the U.S.

TVG to Air Singapore Cup

TVG has announced that it will televise the $1.65 million Singapore Airlines International Cup from Kranji Racecourse beginning at 11 a.m. eastern standard time Saturday, May 12. The race will be shown on a tape-delayed basis, and there will be no TVG account wagering on the contest.

Kentucky's Fields of Dreams Now Nightmares

The old-timers say Kentucky is horse country because of its soil. What's now growing on that soil could be the cause of a rash of late-term losses in foals, early embryonic death, pericarditis (fluid surrounding the heart), reduced growth rates in young horses, and other problems that might not yet have been recognized.

Researchers Unite to Search for Cause of Crisis

Over and over the refrain has been heard for the past two weeks--the horse industry is lucky to have the equine expertise concentrated in Central Kentucky, especially during this time of all-out war against an unknown killer. Dr. Roger Murphy, president of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners, opened the informational meeting the evening of May 10 with the statement: "I'm proud to be a part of an industry that can unify in the face of adversity."

Evidence Presented at Keeneland Suggests All Horses May Be at Risk

The foal loss syndromes facing Kentucky's pregnant mares might be just the start of a host of problems that could affect horses of all ages, breeds, sexes, and uses in Kentucky and other states. Whether you have a gelding that is on turn-out, a yearling, suckling, stallion, or non-pregnant mare, there could be problems brewing. This information and much more was brought to light at an open meeting at the Keeneland sale pavilion in Lexington, Ky., on the evening of May 10.

Preliminary Test Results Suggest Possible Causes, Preventative Measures

After testing numerous pasture samples for mycotoxins, endophytes, and other possible causes to the problems in Kentucky, tests have shown higher than expected levels of a mycotoxin called zearalenone, according to Dr. Steve Jackson, a consultant for Bluegrass Equine Nutrition. Jackson and other presenters stressed that zearalenone has not been pinpointed as the definitive cause to the problems.

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