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Owner: Life At Ten Should Have Been Scratched

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has begun inquiry into incident.

In the latest salvo in the imbroglio over the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I), the owner of Life At Ten said the filly should have been scratched prior to the race at Churchill Downs.

“Life At Ten, without equivocation, should have been scratched from the race,” a statement released by owner Candy DeBartolo and her racing manager, David Vance, said.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has begun an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Life At Ten’s participation in the $2 million race that highlighted the first day of the two-day World Championships.

The Breeders’ Cup has issued a statement saying it will take no action on the matter until the probe by Kentucky regulators is completed.

Jockey John Velazquez told ESPN prior to the race that Life At Ten did not seem right as she was warming up. The filly was the 7-2 second choice in the Ladies’ Classic but wasn’t persevered with during the race and finished last. About $300,000 was bet on Life At Ten to win, and total wagered on her would number more than $1 million when factoring in other wagers, such as exotics.

John Veitch, chief steward for the state of Kentucky, said neither Velazquez nor trainer Todd Pletcher notified the state veterinarians about any concerns over Life At Ten prior to the race. He said the protocol is for the veterinarian to be notified and that he or she will in turn notify the stewards.

“It was made blatantly obvious to the millions of people watching the post parade that something was terribly amiss (with Life At Ten),” DeBartolo’s letter said.

The day after the race, Pletcher said it appeared that Life At Ten experienced an adverse reaction to Salix, the anti-bleeder medication she was administered.

In their letter, DeBartolo and Vance question why no post-race testing was conducted of Life At Ten, considering the filly's performance. The KHRC has said blood was drawn from Life At Ten, leading to the possibility of it being tested later, according to DeBartolo’s letter.

“There is an unpleasant reality here; the betting public was denied a fair shake and racing nurses an ugly black eye,” the letter continued. “We can’t fix the wrong but we can’t ignore it either. For that reason, we expect further action by the KHRC and we are equally hopeful that the Breeders Cup will address the issue as well.”