The Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association has sent the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission a letter in support of senior state steward John Veitch, one of the prominent figures in the commission’s recently released report on the performance of Life At Ten in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
The letter, dated March 17, was sent to KHRC chairman Robert Beck on behalf of the Kentucky HBPA board of directors. It makes no mention of the Life At Ten investigation.
“Many horsemen are familiar with John’s long storied career as a Hall of Fame trainer, but it is his seven years as the senior state steward where they learned the essence of his character,” Kentucky HBPA executive director Marty Maline wrote in the letter. “John’s professional demeanor and straightforward approach has provided the KHRC with type of leadership that is imperative in his position.
“Having had the opportunity to represent several horsemen in steward’s hearings I have found him to be both fair and equitable. Obviously, there are times when horsemen may not agree with the steward’s rulings, but my experience has been that they are always treated with respect. Horsemen from other jurisdictions have commented to me that we, in Kentucky, are fortunate to have someone of his caliber as our senior state steward with such a strong racing background and knowledge of the industry.”
The commission in its report said there is “probable cause” to believe Veitch and jockey John Velazquez, who rode Life At Ten, were in violation of various Kentucky racing regulations. Hearings have not yet been scheduled, and Veitch continues to hold his post as chief steward.