Educating trainers about the warning signs of catastrophic injury and having committees focus on racetrack safety are two ways safety can be improved at the racetrack.
None of the horses that participated in this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships Oct. 24-25 at Santa Anita tested positive for steroids, blood-doping agents or TCO2 (bicarbonate).
The Jockey Club announced Sept. 4 the election of four new members: Dr. Rick Arthur, B. Wayne Hughes, Warren "Spud" Williamson and Peter Willmott.
The second Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit concluded March 18 with the 62 participants releasing action plans on how to improve various aspects of the Thoroughbred industry.
- By Jack Shinar
The California racing industry voiced nearly united support for synthetic racing surfaces and for the board that mandated them during a packed California Senate committee hearing Wednesday, June 13, in Sacramento.
Steve Buttgenbach, a popular Southern California veterinarian, died May 15 in his La Canada home from complications of cancer.
Longtime Southern California horseman Noble Threewitt officially called it a career on what was his 96th birthday Feb. 24 after spending the better part of eight decades in the Thoroughbred industry.
While one barn at Los Alamitos remains under quarantine due to equine herpesvirus-1 positives, the situation in California appears to have calmed down considerably.
Quarantine restrictions at Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows and the Alameda County Fair at Pleasanton due to the presence of Equine Herpes Virus-1 were lifted Jan. 10, but three new cases of EHV-1 at Los Alamitos Race Course have been confirmed, according to a California Horse Racing Board advisory.
- By Jack Shinar
Dr. Rick Arthur, the new equine medical director of the California Horse Racing Board, told a meeting of state horse breeders Sept. 22 that he plans to hold veterinarians accountable when trainers they advise are found in violation of horse medication rules.
Del Mar track management held an informal meeting the morning of July 22 to address the spike in injuries and fatal breakdowns during the first days of the seaside oval's summer season.
The California Thoroughbred Horsemen's Foundation (CTHF) announced the results of its 2006 board of directors elections.
A unnamed virus spreading through the barn areas at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park has reduced the number of horses available to race by "at least 10 to 15 percent," according to Oak Tree Racing Association director and practicing veterinarian Dr. Rick Arthur.
Jerry and Ann Moss' homebred Giacomo, upset winner of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be sidelined for the remainder of the year with a bone chip in his left front ankle, suffered in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Trainer John Shirreffs said the prognosis is excellent, and he is optimistic the colt will return to the races as a 4-year-old.
- By Jack Shinar
The veterinarian in charge of the committee that oversees Santa Anita Park's milkshake testing program said he has nothing to do with the process and is only involved when notified that a trainer's horse has exceeded the acceptable level of total carbon dioxide in its blood.
Trainer Jeff Mullins said Friday that Puppeteer, found to have an excessive level of bicarbonate in his bloodstream following his second-place finish in the Jan. 22 San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT), was subject to an accidental contamination of alkalizing agents.
The average price at Del Mar's yearling sale, $48,589, jumped a dramatic 40.8% over last year's figure and set a sale record Monday evening.
- By Ray Paulick
Random pre-race testing for "milkshakes"--the loading of bicarbonates through a stomach tube to reduce fatigue-causing buildup of lactic acid--began at Santa Anita Park in late February, but the California Horse Racing Board is referring to the program as a survey because no penalties will be applied if a horse tests positive.
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