There is increasing evidence indicating that molds and mycotoxins are involved in the syndromes in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia this spring.
As of noon May 16, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received nine additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (five early-term and four late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 477.
The latest information regarding what has now been named "Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome" (MRLS) occurring in Kentucky's equine population.
The Derby winner, the speed, and the new arrivals dominated the Preakness scene at Old Hilltop this morning. Richly Blended, the last of the Preakness workers hit the track at 8:30 for an easy half-mile breeze, which was followed by another awesome gallop by Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. At 10:30, two vans arrived on the backstretch, carrying Bob Baffert's pair of Point Given and Congaree, and Dollar Bill. A fourth Preakness starter, Mr. John, was dropped off at Mary Eppler's barn across the track on the backside. Finally, all the pieces are in place, leading up to tonight's post position draw.
In an April 25 order, Broward County (Fla.) circuit court judge Patti Englander Henning has granted the defense's motion in the case regarding the ownership of Val's Prince and has ordered a new trial.
Jerome Brody, who operated Gallagher's Stud near Ghent, N.Y., died May 15 at his winter home near Miami following a lengthy illness. He was 78. Brody was named New York Breeder of the Year for 2000, and one of the horses he bred in the name of Gallagher's, Adcat, was voted New York champion grass male for last year.
Tom Priddy, a meteorologist at the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, put together data on the weather this spring that is thought to have caused the current equine problems associated with pasture.
Based on scientific and diagnostic results available to date, the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners has issued the following suggestions for veterinarians to discuss with their clients based on a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship. This is subject to change based on updates from scientific results.
The Senate Commerce Committee has amended the Amateur Sports Integrity Act to include the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Bill. The American Horse Council reports it could adversely affect the pari-mutuel industry and its efforts to foster interactive wagering.
As of May 16, 30 different Monarchos-related items were offered on the popular auction site ebay. Some of them, such as Belmont Stakes programs and $2 Belmont win tickets on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, don't even exist yet.
Geri McGuire, a chestnut colt from the first crop of Geri, brought the top price of $215,000 on Tuesday at the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training in Southern California. Ed and Natalie Friendly purchased Geri McGuire, who was consigned by the Havens Bloodstock Agency, agent.
As Ohio veterinarians try to understand and determine what might be affecting foals in the Ohio River Valley, the number of foals and fetuses available for testing by the diagnostic lab is no greater than normal. Sheila Grimes, DVM, PhD, Pathology Section Head for the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, recommends that horse owners submit aborted fetuses and deceased foals with the placenta for testing.
The good news is that the federal government doesn't have to be in Kentucky or any other state because of the current spring syndromes taking place in the horse populations. They would be required to investigate if there was any indication that an infectious or contagious disease process was at work.
As of noon May 15, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received 26 additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (18 late-term and eight early-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 468.
It might not be possible to gauge the extent of the fetal loss syndrome problem in Ohio since pleasure horse owners might not pay for the cost of testing on dead fetuses and foals presented to the diagnostic lab. However, anecdotal reports support evidence that veterinarians and breeders in Ohio are seeing an abnormal number of problems.
Trainer Nick Zito announced this afternoon that Victor Espinoza, who was replaced on Congaree by Jerry Bailey, has been named to ride A P Valentine in this Saturday's Preakness Stakes.
Canterbury Park reported a 114% increase in revenue and a 300% increase in earnings per share for its first quarter. The strong performance is attributed to the Minnesota racetrack's card room. Call Now, the owner of Retama Park, saw revenue increase but so did its net loss.
Magna Entertainment chairman Frank Stronach told shareholders May 11 that he plans to buy four more racetracks in the United States. He said he hopes the racing conglomerate will control 35% of the U.S. handle on Thoroughbred races within two years. Stronach is also considering breaking into the Ontario racing market.
It was one of those bits and pieces kind of day on the Preakness front. With the leading contenders only walking the shed this morning, at Pimlico and Churchill Downs, most of the focus was on the two open riding assignments. As of 1 p.m., one (Griffinite) has been filled, and the other (A P Valentine) was due to be announced later this afternoon. Jennifer Leigh-Pedersen, trainer of Paraneck Stable's Griffinite, said earlier that New York-based Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard the son of Unbridled's Song for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Industry organizations have taken a proactive stand in the wake of the fetal loss syndrome that has gripped Central Kentucky farms in recent weeks. Tim Smith, commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, has been in contact with federal officials and is planning to spend most of Wednesday and Thursday morning in the nation's capital, meeting with members of Congress and staff to discuss the possibility of federal assistance for breeders who are being financially crippled by the health crisis. But Smith had some bad news about existing federal programs.
The top five remained in the exact top five slots on the leading sires list, but there's a new face in the No. 6 position.
- By Tom LaMarra
By Tom LaMarra -- The real Garden State Park went up in flames in 1977. Little did we know, it was the beginning of the end of a racing tradition in the Delaware Valley.
By Ray Paulick -- Politicians should look beyond the false image of the breeding industry to the rank-and-file horse farmers.
Dr. Claire Latimer is a specialist in veterinary ophthalmology, the study of animal eyes. Since May 1, she has seen a surprising increase of eye problems in horses in Central Kentucky that fall into two distinct groups.
Despite talk to the contrary, Atlantic City Race Course, which will conclude its 10-day, all-turf meet Tuesday afternoon, doesn't plan a longer meet for 2002, track president and general manager James Murphy said. In addition, talk of an imminent sale is just a rumor.
Youbet.com reduced its net loss for the first quarter of the year by 31% to $2.4 million, or 12 cents per share. During the same period a year ago, the company reported a net loss of $3.4 million, or 17 cents per share. The online horse racing and wagering service also gained 1,400 new subscribers between Jan. 1 and March 31.
Keeneland has received Kentucky Racing Commission approval to open a day earlier this fall to accommodate stakes that serve as preps for the Breeders' Cup. The Lexington track will open Friday, Oct. 5, instead of Saturday, Oct. 6.
A long New York winter is being blamed for a decreases in attendance, on-track handle, and average daily total handle for Aqueduct's winter/spring meet.
Crimson Saint, who developed into a treasure trove for Central Kentucky horseman Tom Gentry, died May 12 at John Willard's Offutt-Cole Farm near Midway, Ky., where she had spent the last six years of her retirement. Crimson Saint was owned by Gentry's son, Olin. Crimson Saint produced Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner and successful stallion Royal Academy, plus grade II winners Terlingua and Pancho Villa and restricted stakes winner Alydariel. Crimson Saint's descendants also include leading sire Storm Cat. Overall, Gentry sold 10 of Crimson Saint's offspring as yearlings for a total of $17,775,000.
Enjoy today's action while you can. There won't be much more happening from a training standpoint from now on, as trainers will spend the remainder of the week using words like "maintain" and "preparation." With Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos sticking to a galloping program, today's works by Point Given and Congaree at Churchill Downs and A P Valentine at Pimlico were to be very revealing, as an indicator how these horses bounced out of the Derby.
Geri McGuire, a son of freshman sire Geri, and Lit de Hushi, a daughter of Lit de Justice, both worked an eighth-mile in 9.9 seconds on May 11 during the under tack show for the May 15 Barretts May sale of two-year-olds in training.
Bills that would allow New York to join the National Racing Compact are moving through the legislature. New York would become the ninth member of the compact, which facilitates licensing for owners, trainers, jockeys, and harness drivers.
The Republic of Ireland has lifted its prohibition on British horses that travel there in a move that should help both the breeding and racing industries. It appears British horses, previously restricted because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak, will be able to compete in the Irish One Thousand (Ire-I) and Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at the Curragh May 26-27.
An attorney for the California Horse Racing Board has recommended a six-month suspension and $10,000 fine for trainer Bob Baffert, who had a horse test positive for morphine last year. The positive urine sample came from Nautical Look, the winner of an allowance race at Hollywood Park May 3, 2000.
Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos galloped at Pimlico Racecourse Monday morning as he continues preparations for Saturday's Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown. Also at Pimlico Monday, A P Valentine worked five furlongs. At Churchill Downs, trainer Bob Baffert worked his two Preakness candidates, Point Given and Congaree, and Dallas Stewart reported Dollar Bill is on track after his workout.
Grade II winner Pulpit was represented by his first winner when his daughter Bema won a five-furlong race on May 13 at Churchill Downs by 5 1/2 lengths in :58.12.
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.
Friday at Pimlico
The connections of horses now off the Triple Crown trail have begun to plan new courses for their respective horses, with Palmeiro entered to run Monday against older horses in a Hollywood Park allowance race. Trainer John Sadler hopes to use the 1 1/16-mile race as a prep for the $150,000 Affirmed Handicap.
Percy Hope worked four furlongs in :47 2/5 for trainer Tony Reinstedler at Pimlico Sunday. After the work, Reinstedler said "it's a go" for the Lone Star Derby winner to race in the Preakness.
Win More Stable's Marciano, who was entered by trainer Tim Ritchey in Sunday's Jock La Belle Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park, was scratched from the race and is now considered likely to start in the Preakness on Saturday at Pimlico.
Jockeys James Lopez and Tim Doocy were injured in a spill during the running of Sunday's fourth race at Churchill Downs. The spill occured approaching the stretch and resulted in the death of one of the two horses involved.
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.
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 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.
Godolphin Racing's Noverre rallied under Frankie Dettori with a furlong to run to win the Poule d'Essai des Poulains -- French Two Thousand Guineas (Fr-I), Sunday at Longchamp. Vahorimix finished second, with Clearing third in the 12-horse field.
Jockey Jose Santos fractured his right wrist on Saturday, the result of being thrown from his mount, Kalu, shortly after winning the Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT). Santos had been slated to ride Griffinite in the Preakness, but trainer Jennifer Pedersen is now searching for a new rider for the colt.
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.
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