Pletcher Releases Statement on Life At Ten

Pletcher Releases Statement on Life At Ten
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Todd Pletcher

Todd Pletcher, trainer of Life At Ten, has issued a statement regarding the much-publicized incident in which his filly finished last in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I), creating a public outcry.

Sent off at odds of 7-2, Life at Ten, owned by Candy DeBartolo, was discovered to be lethargic in the saddling area and again on a the racetrack warming up. That observation was relayed to ESPN on live television by jockey John Velazquez, who never persevered with the filly once the gates opened.

Life At Ten proceeded to lope around the track until being eased by Velazquez after a half-mile.

The long-awaited Kentucky Horse Racing Commission report on the incident is scheduled to be released March 10 following what officials termed an extensive investigation.

"We know that she trained brilliantly up to the race," Pletcher said in the statement released the morning of March 10. "We know she was examined on a regular basis by her primary care veterinarian. We know she was scrutinized by numerous state and Breeders’ Cup veterinarians the week leading up to her race, and again on race day.

"We also know that there were 12 attending veterinarians actually present for her race. We know that her pre-race medical history is unremarkable as she was completely healthy, sound, and prepared to compete in the Ladies' Classic. We now know from state officials that her pre-race blood sample was subjected to comprehensive instrumental screening analysis–consistent with analysis performed on post-race samples and that no prohibited substances were found.

"Finally, we know that the racing stewards of the state of Kentucky conducted their own investigation in November 2010 and concluded that neither I nor the mare’s rider, John Velazquez, did anything wrong.

"What we don’t know are the contents of the 'report' which is scheduled to be presented to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (March 10) because our request for a copy was declined. What we also don’t know is why this presentation is being made to the commission behind closed doors where the public is excluded. This is a troubling approach and may be ignoring fundamental due process principles.

"We can only hope that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has seized upon this opportunity to make lasting improvements for the benefit of the betting public and fans alike. We have fully cooperated throughout this entire four-month process in the hopes that our participation will result in changes that are both positive and meaningful for all of racing."

According to the agenda for the March 10 KHRC meeting, the Life At Ten report is scheduled to be discussed in public after an executive session.

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