Statement on behalf of Candy DeBartolo owner of Life At Ten

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The following statement was sent to the Paulick Report by David Vance on behalf of Candy DeBartolo:

Kentucky’s Chief State Steward, John Veitch, has elected to make a public announcement saying that our horse, Life At Ten, didn’t need to be scratched from the Breeders Cup Ladies Classic because there was “no overt sign of a physical problem” Moreover, he said the stewards decided not to test her after finishing a quarter of a mile behind a horse she had beaten twice in the last four months because the test barn was too crowded.

On both counts, it appears that Mr. Veitch is in total denial or is attempting to justify the stewards’ failure to adjudicate the case properly. Life At Ten, without equivocation, should have been scratched from the race. What’s more, to ignore testing that type of form reversal in a $2 million race on national television is tantamount to letting a suspected criminal go free because the jail is too crowded.

Mrs. DeBartolo and I do not believe there is any reason to suspect foul play of any kind. Life At Ten had a 103 degree temperature the morning after the race and her white blood cell count was “off the chart,” according to her veterinarian, and her enzymes were out of balance, as well.  It is our understanding from Lisa Underwood, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, that results from the pre-race TCO2 blood test of horses in the race, will be available soon. Although this test is accurate and reliable, it does not test for all forms of performance enhancing drugs. According to Ms. Underwood, the main point is that they have blood taken from Life At Ten, so further testing is possible.

However, that doesn’t excuse the scenario that evolved prior to and after the race.  It was made blatantly obvious to the millions of people watching the post parade that something was terribly amiss. The stewards were alerted by telephone to that fact by the ESPN production truck prior to the race. The stewards have direct radio contact with the veterinarians stationed at the starting gate. So why was our filly allowed to enter that starting gate?

Mr. Veitch had one explanation; “Well, you know, she was a little dull…but except for the dullness, it wasn’t apparent to anyone.”

Accordingly, we invite him and anyone else to go to http://espn.go.com/espn3/index/_/sport/horse%20racing#. There you can click on Replay, Friday Breeders Cup World Championship and when the video appears, click and drag on the bar below the picture to 3:19.42 and watch for the next twelve minutes or so. In particular, view at 3:30.15 to 3:30.47 and you will see Life At Ten stumble and stagger and appear weak-kneed almost to the point of falling. A little dull, you say? Now, there are three stewards who are suppose to be viewing the post parade with binoculars and via the most sophisticated video surveillance available, along with numerous ESPN cameras trained on the post parade. What’s more, the three state veterinarians are at the starting gate looking for “overt” signs. Failing to test her after the race only exacerbates the problem.

There is an unpleasant reality here; the betting public was denied a fair shake and racing nurses an ugly black eye. The fact that we would have been reimbursed $60,000 in entry fees had she not walked in that starting gate, simply underscores the irresponsibility that took place. Mr. Veitch has had a distinguished career as a trainer and as a steward, but that doesn’t excuse what took place that night or since.

Losing that race by a quarter of a mile because our horse was ill is no less heartbreaking for us than the owners of Zenyatta must surely have felt when she was beaten by a nose in the Classic.

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. 

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  • Daniel

    I can’t imagine what you are going through Candy. I agree with you “We can’t fix the wrong, but we can’t ignore it, either” Keep your head up.
    Yes, it was unfair to the betting public, but most of all, it was unfair to Life At Ten, who bravely soldiered on the best she could, handicapped by a body that wouldn’t–or couldn’t–do what it was being asked to do. This gallant mare deserved better!!

  • http://www.gallopfrance.com G. Rarick

    Bravo to the owner. Just a question: Do you see any problem with the way your trainer handled this, and will the horse stay in training with him? Did you see the problem as it was happening and were you in any position to make a phone call to get her scratched?

  • Dara

    Even the non-horse people watching with me could tell something was not right with your lovely horse. It boggles my mind to think that supposedly educated stewards and vets couldn’t or wouldn’t see it. Just whom are they protecting? Certainly not the horses or bettors. Probably the 15% of the wagering pool that was bet on her.

    I will no longer be betting Churchill.

    I hope Life At Ten is 100% again very soon. Thank you to whoever is making the updates on her Facebook page.

  • Equinevet

    Candy-

    Thank God she came back safely (it certainly did not help her physically) and no other horses or jockeys were injured. This is irresponsible, IT WAS UNNECESSARY, and it is disgusting. Very troubling in a professional sense.

  • Michelle

    Wow. What a heartfelt statement from the owner. Ms. DeBartolo’s response to the actions of Veitch are commendable, and what we all hope owners who truly love their horses, would state. I bet you anything what she didn’t say, is that Todd got an earful. Brava, Ms. DeBartolo. We all hope Life At Ten is back to her normal self, and ready to take on the world. Never again in Kentucky, I’m sure. :)

  • David H.

    I don’t understand this statement. I get being angry that your horse was sick and no one noticed, and my sincerest sympathies go to the horse and her owners. But I pay my trainer to take care of my horses, and from this owner’s point of view, Life at Ten is ultimately Todd Pletcher’s responsibility, no one else’s.

  • South of the Border

    WOW! After watching the video, I cannot believe LAT found her way to the starting gate.

  • LATFriend

    Pletcher still has a license to train in Kentucky? In ANY racing jurisdiction?! Ms. DeBartolo has nothing to apologize for. Well, maybe to LAT for allowing her to be in the hands of a scroundrel like Pletcher.

  • Michele

    I was appalled at what I saw with Life At Ten. I lost respect for Todd Pletcher and Jonnny Valezque on Saturday that the almighty dollar was more important then that mares life. In a sport where there are no room for any error someone including that mare could of been tragically hurt.

    You know I agree with G. Rarick and would like those same questions answered. As an owner myself I would of been in the paddock and with my trainer during this escapade and demanded she be scratched.

    Its time for stiffer penalties for these types of behaviors for all involved including the vet and stewards. Someone needs to be held accountable. That was sad and disgraceful.

  • J. scalf

    Even my 13-year-old daughter, who had never seen a race in her life, knew something twas terribly wrong from the grandstand and was very worried.

  • Lost In The Fog

    I empathize with Candy DeBartolo but what I don’t understand is why she is not also pointing a finger at both Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez. Pletcher knew the horse wasn’t right and yet he gave JV a leg up and sent her out to the track. JV knew the horse was in distress and yet he didn’t ask the vets to look at her and allowed her to be loaded into the gate. If I were Candy DeBartolo I would pull LAT out of Pletcher’s barn today! And I’d never let JV near her again either.

    As for the stewards and vets, they have no excuse for what happened, and the “investigation” is a complete sham.

  • Jim

    If you watch the video of John Velazquez talking to Todd Pletcher after the running of the Ladies’ Classic, you can clearly see through non-verbal communication that they are a tad nervous and aware that this incident could burst a bubble.

    Who knows what they were speaking?

    One thing that should become a regular part of future Breeders’ Cup races is a jockey-analyst dialogue during the post parade and warmups. Jerry Bailey should continue these types of communication lines open.

    One needs only to ask Jerry Bailey about Noble Causeway, who he happened to have scratched from a race at Saratoga a few years ago. Trainer Nick Zito was mildly dismayed in Noble Causeway being scratched, so he entered the horse in a race in the following days. He also put a different jock (Ramon Dominguez) aboard, though it is not known if this was a trainer decision or a jock refusal for a return engagement. On its return to the track, Noble Causeway was pulled up a little after a quarter of a mile in the race. Tom Durkin could be heard in his declaration that there was something amiss.

    The issue at Saratoga should have warranted serious dialogue up to and including long-term suspensions for the trainer, and an open forum in which Jerry Bailey could have been questioned to the exact nature of his decisions in the days before.

    There are a number of puzzlements regarding Breeders’ Cup races. It’s common knowledge that Bobby Frankel had an engaging conversation with Ken Ramsey about Ghostzapper and Ramsey’s runnerup in the Classic of that year.

  • You Can’t Handle the Truth!!

    David H.,

    Yes and no. Until they lead one onto the track, a trainer is pretty vigilant. Once they approach the starting gate, however, a trainer is going to err on the side of racing the horse. A jockey with an account like Pletcher’s is going to err on the side of racing as well. Absent a very apparent lameness issue, the track vets will just keep on snoozing. LAT seemed more dopey or tied up than lame. Which is actually good news. The jock should pay the owner back the starting fees. He’s the one with no balls.

    Add it all up folks and you get exactly what you got.

  • amfcf

    Support the Paulick Report! Thank the heavens this publication exists!!

  • Kim Howell

    I am stunned and saddened. The more I hear about the blatant mistreatment of that lovely mare, the angrier I get. The only ones who were “a little dull” were Mr. Veitch and Mr. Pletcher; a LOT dull to be perfectly honest. My heartfelt sympathy to Ms. DeBartolo; I’m sure you were in tears watching your precious mare stumble to the gate. I truly hope she recovers completely, and that you see Mr. Pletcher for the incompetent he is. There are many trainers who would love to have Life at Ten in their shedrow. Hopefully the KHRC, the Breeder’s Cup, the NTRA,the ASPCA and every other organisation dedicated to the welfare of the horse will remove their collective blinkers and see…

  • Bucky In Kentucky

    So let’s get his straight; Pleatcher is still “taking care” of Life at Ten?

    Pletcher needs a harsh punishment, Johnny V. needs a long vacation and the horse needs a trainer who is a true Horsemen.

    Stewards are wrong, Vets were wrong.

    Horse and public were wronged.

    Period.

  • Heather

    Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez need to step up and take their share of the scorch on this….I would not leave my horse in Todd’s barn. Too many questions and not enough answers.

  • joe

    Trainers are responsible for the welfare and safety of horses owners place under their care and expertise. However, I have always been stunned by how casually owners hire trainers and fire them without notice, how owners send their horses to trainers most often without a written contract listing the responsibilities of both parties to protect humans, animals and investments involved and to help prevent painful, shameful, tragic and unethical situations.

    Assuming that Ms. DeBartolo was in the paddock while her mare was being saddled, was she told that Life At Ten was not well by her trainer and what the potential risks might be if she ran? This could have killed her.

    Heads need to roll.

    How is Life At Ten today?

  • DonW

    According to the statement, LAT’s enzymes, white cells and temperature were high on the morning of the race. Did the owner know this and discuss it with the trainer and vet? Did the vet notify track officials that there might be a problem? Did track officials know it and yet not keep a special eye on LAT as she came to the race? And could they have required post-race testing of LAT, given her pre-race problems and performance? As was once said about a President, “what did he know and when did he know it?” applies to everyone involved.Of course, the one group of people we know were kept in the dark were most of the racing fans and bettors. Since Kentucky officials have already decided that nothing was done wrong, should it turn out that there were things that were wrong, BC should not be held at Churchill Downs again, ever unless all the people involved who acted inappropriately are out of racing, period. Santa Anita awaits, complete with a dirt track, competent stewards and ethical vets.

  • Alex Puderbaugh

    Thank you Ray, Brad, David Vance, Candy DeBartolo, and everyone else who has been refusing to let this issue just fade away as some of the people in authority seem wont to do. Thank you especially for posting a link to the ESPN coverage which I’ve been trying to find but had been unable to do so until now. I’m so sorry for what your filly went through Candy, and I too am thankful for the updates via Facebook (as well as the FB page in general, it’s super neat and really makes you feel like you’re a part of things). I will be praying and keeping my fingers crossed that at the least, a more thorough investigation is done. I don’t want to say who should or shouldn’t be punished because I haven’t seen the ESPN footage yet and on the day of the race I was at the BC but working and missed the majority of the post parade, so I don’t feel I am informed enough. However, whoever deserves to be punished or at the least chastised, I hope it happens. I also am glad to hear Life at Ten is feeling better and I hope she recovers fully very quickly. I’ve heard that she might stay in training and if that’s the case I look forward to seeing her run, but if she is retiring, I can’t wait to see her foals hit the track in a couple of years.

  • Calbred

    LOVE it. A perfectly written statement. .

  • Al

    my, my, my the ole’ kentucky “hardboot” crowd finally getting laid out. They have all deserved it for years and they are the most prominent cause of our industries tailspin. I’m most concerned after the embarrasment, what then? Wholesale changes are in order. perhaps the feds have the Life at Ten debackle on the radar screen. one can only hope…..

  • Lost In The Fog

    I know this is a stretch but since it appears quite clear that the authorities in Kentucky are hell bent on sweeping this whole fiasco under the rug perhaps there is some legal construct under which the feds can claim jurisdiction to investigate what happened. Besides the fact that LAT’s safety was risked the bettors were defrauded out of millions of dollars. What happened is unconscionable!

    Does anyone with legal expertise have any insight into whether there is a plausible theory under which the feds could step in?

  • Rachel Anderson

    Dear Ms Bartolo, with all due respect…it was YOUR trainer that sent her out there to race…no one else…your trainer.

  • PWK

    I think Ms. Bartolo needs to be upset with her trainer and even more so with her jockey for letting the horse start, then attend to the other BS that is going on. J.V. is not some bug boy with no experience. He KNOWS when a horse is not right.

  • Tressa

    Gutsy statement. I once suggested someone was crooked and my trainer reamed my ass for a month as he couldn’t get a jockey to ride our horses for that long. However, will you continue to use Pletcher? That’s a massive mistake to make and he fed your mare to the wolves. And she’s a freaking NICE mare. I think I’d be calling Sheriffs or another one of the very few trainers who are known for their insane dedication to the quality of their horses lives. Good luck and I’m glad Life at Ten is okay although I’m super-sad that she was out there sick and, to a significantly lesser extent, that I lost money as I was ALL ABOUT her in that race.

  • Ciela

    She’s tripping and staggering all over the place!!!

  • ktq

    The first thing that needs to happen, if the owner is truly upset that her horse was put in jeopardy, is to remove the horse from the Pletcher barn and change riders. Then, keeping fighting for an investigation.

  • Julie

    While I appreciate Ms Bartolo’s comments, the only meaningful expression of her outrage would be to remove her horse from Tod Pletcher’s barn and send Life at Ten to a trainer who will make the health and welfare of the HORSE his priority.

  • MSD

    It’s so sad. This thing should never have happened.
    Out of everybody….ESPN did the right thing by telling the stewards that Johnny V. said something was amiss during warmups.
    Pletcher should be punished; he’s the trainer. He is the represenative responsible for the horse. He should have known in the paddock something was wrong.
    Johnny V. needs to be, if not punished, talked to by the stewards and told that if he thinks something is wrong he should IMMEDIATLY tell the vet.
    The vets on sight for the races that night need to be talked to and told to pay closer attention: SOMETHING WAS OBVIOUSLY WRONG! They should have been able to see it.
    And FINALLY, the owners need to be talked to because for all we know Pletcher may have told the owners that the horse wasn’t right but the owners pressured him into running her.
    This whole Life at Ten thing is just a real shame.

  • RyeHill

    And this my friends is why American racing is a joke to the rest of the world….

  • Ida Lee

    What happened here with LAT is a disgrace. If she were mine, goodbye Trainer, goodbye jockey, and no more Churchill Downs. I am so angry I can’t see straight. Life At Ten is one of my very favorites. Do these people know how those of us who love this horse felt watching her and knowing there was something wrong and that it could have been much worse. What’s wrong with you people? And now they’re dropping the whole thing. I need to get over this and move on. I just keep keep getting angrier and angrier.

  • natalie

    Did it ever occur to any of these people that making her run when she couldn’t even walk straight was just asking for her to trip for the millionth time after the start of the race?! And we all know how hard it is to avoid catastrophic injury once they get going at 40 mph. How would that one have played out in the media and in the stands, gentlemen?

    And incidntally, I don’t care how inclined they are to run the horse once she’s going to post, the trainer and jockey are paid to bring the horse home alive and a winner, and when they should’ve known they couldn’t have the latter, why weren’t the worried about the former? She shouldn’t have come out of the barn if they knew she was ill, but once she had they should’ve broken their necks to get her off the track before she snapped a leg, which looks like it was fairly likely. Everyone involved (especially LAT) is REALLY lucky this didn’t turn into an even more tragic tale in one of the most high profile races of the year.

  • Cris

    Is there a way to hurt them where they notice? How about a class action suit by the bettors of Life at Ten against Breeders Cup and Churchill Downs for dropping the ball. This horse was unfit to race anyone can see that. The owner, in the paddock, should have noticed as well, so although I feel for the owner, I am confused they did not grab a offical and say I want my horse scratched and the vet to check her right now. We all love our horses and want them to have their day in the sun, but the track is supposed to have protections in place to avoid stuff from happening. The bettor never had the information they needed and money was taken from them. They did not place a losing bet. They were robbed of their money.
    Is this possible to do? If so lets get the word out so bettors can band together and get it done.

  • Tina

    We need more journalists like you Ray! Thank you for reporting the truth on this. God bless you for standing up and telling the truth!
    My heart goes out to the owners & Life At Ten:(
    The Mare and the fans deserve respect!

  • joe

    Life At Ten walked hot, obviously sick, all the way back to her barn in a cold night WITHOUT A BLANKET. I am stunned.

  • http://deleted Sunny Farm

    I wasn’t going to make comment untill all the facts are in and proven. However ; when I see that video and the mare is staggering, when I read # 32 and #36 , I grow more and more mad and absolutely DISGUSTED. IT IS THE TRAINERS RESPONSIBILITY…READ THE racing rules and the trainers test. #36 stated that “LIFE AT TEN walked hot , obviously sick,all the way back to her barn in a cold night WITHOUT A BLANKET. ” If this is true then there are no meaningful words that can be placed on a public forum to tell you how I feel. This is a trainer that I had looked up to but I would not anymore, …..IF THIS IS TRUE.
    My feelings are that this is NO HORSEMEN who would neglect to have a rug ready for a horse after racing in November !!!! SHAME ON YOU.SHAME SHAME SHAME.
    That poor mare to be so sick and have to go without EVEN a blanket ? UN -BELIEVABLE. Care of the horse IS the trainers responsibilty. PERIOD. As for any other comments I may make, I will still wait and see what has been done about all of this after the “Investigation”

  • Horsefan

    In this statement: “Although this test is accurate and reliable, it does not test for all forms of performance enhancing drugs.”
    I challenge the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to test for ALL performance enhancing drugs as these tests are readily available. If they can’t figure out how, they should contact the IOC for best practices related to performance enhancement drug testing.

  • Rachel Anderson

    I tried to call my congresspeople yesterday, forgetting that it was Veteran’s Day (thank-you to any veterans that post here).

    Today I will see if they are open, if not Monday for sure…plus the Kentucky Attorney General.
    I’m not a big bettor, but I can’t imagine that in the exotic wagering there was a bet placed that did not include this filly…who would leave her out?

    PS I’m absolutely more concerned about her, but the “feds” will only check it out because of the millions wagered on the race.

  • Bourbon County Gal

    Rachel Anderson, I don’t know where you live but if you are not from Kentucky then perhaps you don’t know that the Kentucky Attorney General is Jack Conway, part owner of Stately Victor. He understands racing very well and since he’s coming off a very nasty campaign where he lost the Senate seat to Tea Party candidate Rand Paul, perhaps he’s ready to take on a fight. Let us know if you find a number for the rest of us to call. Thanks.

  • jo

    There is only one word to characterize the behaviour of the KY stewards, the trainer and the jockey regarding this race: INEPT. The stewards should be replaced and if I were Mrs De Bartolo, I would look for another trainer.

  • joe

    #37 Sunny Farm:

    Just look at the ESPN video, it shows LAT walking the long walk back to barn in the cold, at night without a blanket, much less a warm one.

    I could NOT believe it myself. ESPN showed her several times, always without a blanket.

    If this happens in a top barn, with a trainer that has made many millions off his horses, if this happens to a very valuable race and broodmare, following a $2 Million race, with her owner and family present and by now probably very worried about their great mare, in front of a large crowd, media and on ESPN, how are less valuable horses treated in front of nobody?

    Life at Ten earned the comfort of warmed blanket. It was a must for her that night based on her condition. Because she was sick, it should have been an emergency to throw a warm blanket on her if not give her a ride home.

    Ah! but a ride home would have made things look worse.

    I propose that Mr. Pletcher be fined $5,000 for letting Life At Ten walk back to her barn hot, sick, and without a blanket that cold night. That money should be distributed to Thoroughbred rescues in need of warm horse blankets.

  • Shuvee

    What a wonderful, albeit empty, statement by Ms. DeBartolo. Wonderful because she gives Veitch the tongue-lashing he so rightly deserves (and he deserves more than a tongue-lashing; he deserves a pink slip), but empty because it ultimately will mean nothing unless 1) she immediately removes Life at Ten, and any other horses she has with Pletcher, from his barn; 2) keeps pushing for Lisa Underwood, Executive Director of the KY Horse Racing Commission, to move past the Commission’s (read: Veitch’s) ruling and further this investigation; and 3) the results of the pre-race blood test(s) — good, bad, or indifferent — are made public.

    The KY Horse Racing Commision, if it so decided (but Veitch will likely oppose), could subpeona any/all blood or other test results that Life at Ten’s private vet has in his/her possession. I’m not suggesting that illegal substances are to blame for LaT’s non-performance, but the results of whatever pre-race vet tests were made on her may prove interesting. At the VERY least, they would prove that the trainer of a sick horse KNOWINGLY sent her out to start in one of the sport’s premier races. That, in and of itself, is worth a big fine and suspension. Pletcher opined that he thought the filly “might have had a bad reaction to her Lasix.” What bunk: Life at Ten raced on Lasix in ALL of her previous starts!

    I am absolutely stunned by the second sentence in DeBartolo’s statement: “Moreover, he [John Veitch] said the stewards decided not to test her after finishing a quarter of a mile behind a horse she had beaten twice in the last four months because the test barn was too crowded.”

    The test barn was “too crowded” so Veitch et al. gave LaT a pass? That speaks VOLUMES on the steward’s incompetence and just amps the fishy odor I’ve been smelling….

  • http://deleted Sunny Farm

    #42 Thanks for letting me know for certain that via video , anyone can see your statement is true.
    last night as I walked the barns checking my horses, I thought of LIFE AT TEN.
    What really made me mad all over again , was here was a horse who the trainer said earlier “May have tied up”, and your right , not only should she never have raced, but she should have been rugged up especially if she was tieing up,she should not have been moved , let alone RACED ! I propose that Tod Pletcher pay the owner the 60 thousand entry fee and another 40 thousand for ”pain and suffering” of the mare. Lucky he didn’t kill her.
    The trainer could have least given LIFE AT TEN his own jacket to cover her loins !!!
    Even if the horse was a two dollar horse, no horse should ever have to suffer because of a PAID trainer with so many years experience , let alone a mare of LIFE AT TEN’s value and at the Breeders Cup no less ! I would most certainly pursue blood-testing and find out why the mare staggeres before that race. SHAMEFUL & NO EXCUSE FOR IT .

  • RDV

    Thankfully the horse did not die out there. And, it is unfortunate that some owners do not care as much about the welfare of the horse as they do about winning.

    And it just goes to show you, these ‘so-called” good trainers are nothing but hacks and drug pushers. When will ban drugs for all together?? Isn’t Pletcher the trainer who had this years Melbourne Cup winner in his stable running him in 1-mile claiming race?? Yikes. Run as far and and fast as you can from this guy.

  • http://www.horsenharnessreviews.com WC Ma

    A great reply from LaT’s owner.

    And as many have said: the big question really surrounds trainer Pletcher. His competence in all this surely has to be brought into question.

    Mrs DeBartolo now needs to show her strength of character and remove any horses she has with trainer Pletcher and allocate to another trainer(s).

  • Shuvee

    WHY ARE WE TALKING AMONGST OURSELVES? Do you really want to complain/advocate for racing integrity? Ask the right questions to the right people? Here’s the list of people to write/call/email and ask to CONTINUE to investigate the Life at Ten situation. Whether you come at this from a horse lover’s or racing fan’s or handicapper’s point of view, these are the people you need to contact. Thank you to Mr. Paulick for allowing me to pass this on; please do include in The Paulick Report blog:

    The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s mission “is to protect and foster the integrity of horse racing in the state.” http://www.khrc.ky.gov

    Chairman, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC): Robert M. Beck, Jr., atty at Stites & Harbinson, 250 W Main St, Lexington KY 40507-1714, email: [email protected], phone: 859-226-2336

    Executive Director, KHRC: Lisa E. Underwood, 4063 Iron Works Pike, Bldg B, Lexington, KY 40511-8434, email: [email protected], phone: 859-246-2040

    Chief State Veterinarian, KHRC: Bryce Peckham, DVM, email: [email protected], phone: 785-817-2067

    Chief State Steward, KHRC: John Veitch, email: [email protected]

    KHRC Field Staff/Administrative Specialist: Gregory Berry, email [email protected]

    KHRC member, and one of the fairest, knowledgeable equine attorneys around, Commissioner Edward S. “Ned” Bonnie, Stonelea Farm, 4701 South Hwy 1694, Prospect, KY 40059, email: [email protected], phone: 502-589-5400

    KHRC Supervisor of Parimutuel Wagering Greg Lamb, email: [email protected], phone 859-246-2040 x248

    KHRC Equine Medical Director Dr. Mary Scollay, email: [email protected], phone 859-246-2040 x243

    KHRC General Counsel Susan Speckert, email [email protected], phone 859-246-2040 x 223

    KHRC Integrity Hotline — [email protected], Toll-free 866-993-3949, local 859-246-2848 or KHRC Director of Enforcement Patrick Adams, email [email protected], 859-227-2957

    Chair, KHRC Safety and Welfare Committee Elizabeth Lavin (Ned Bonnie also sits on this committee), Longfield Farm, INc., 9500 West Hwy 42, Goshen KY 40026, phone 502-228-1166. This committee : “identifies issues of concern and makes recommendations to promote human and equine safety in KY horse racing.”

    Chair, KHRC Wagering Integrity Committee Franklin (Frank) Kling, 1800 River Heights Lane, Villa Hills, KY 41017, phone 513-641-1400 x130. This committee “advises the KHRC on matters related to the security and integrity of the tote system.”

    And the Breeders’ Cup has promised to continue to push the KHRC for further investigation of the Life at Ten situation. Tell them you support their effort: Breeders’ Cup President & CEO Gregory C. Avioli, email: [email protected], phone 859-223-5444

    PLEASE NOTE: all the above is ***public information***, either from the KHRC Web site or the TOBA Membership Directory.

    Oh, and Life at Ten’s owner, Ms. Candy DeBartolo can be reached via her Candy Bar Ranch, 405 Tetrault Rd., Kalispell, MT 59901-6705, phone: 406-756-3557. Kudos to her for asking the right questions in her statement posted on The PRpt.

  • tonyaz

    I have also been told by my Senator that the FEDS are looking into some very particular activity on this as well.

  • tonyaz

    People please stop the insanity and contact your state and federal reps as well. It works. Some will protect the public!

  • equine

    Yes, Bravo to the owners of LAT for clearly stating that their horse should have

    Bravo to Ms. DeBartolo for stating,
    “Life At Ten, without equivocation, should have been scratched from the race. What’s more, to ignore testing that type of form reversal in a $2 million race on national television is tantamount to letting a suspected criminal go free because the jail is too crowded.”

    Fans and horseplayers are well aware of state rules on which horses are automatically tested post race and that the additional horses to be tested are chosen at the discretion of the stewards. That only a prerace TC02 test for milkshaking was performed when the well known and well established protocol during the KY Derby and the Breeders Cup is performance of the ‘super testing’ on winners and any horse “specialed” by the stewards with the excuse there was no room in the test barn, or it was too crowded, reinforces the general public’s perception that racing is crooked. This is really, really unfortunate in light of all the effort put forth to insure integrity in racing on those big days.

    I’ve seen it mentioned on a couple of forums that perhaps the owners forced the trainer to run. It certainly had to be a huge personal disappointment after the travel arrangements and excitement leading up to the BC, but as a long time racing family it is reassuring to know that there are still people in this game who put the horse’s welfare first.

    Thank you for the link to the ESPN replay. At 3:42:36 during the ESPN interview with TP, it appears it is the trainer’s understanding that JV asked the vet to look at LAT, I’m wondering if this may have actually been the case?

  • MyBigRed

    I thank God, Life at Ten did not stumble or fall during the Ladies Classic. After watching the video several times, it is obvious, something is wrong with LAT. I think, if LAT was my horse, Todd Pletcher would NEVER have anything to do with my horses again and I would send LAT to John Shirreffs, who loves and cares for the horses like they are his children. To see LAT walking back after the race without a blanket or sheet on, makes me shiver. How on earth can anyone be so cruel?? That is just plain heartless and stupid.
    As far as the State of Kentucky goes, I would be concerned about how this will impact the Kentucky Derby next year. Will the public have the confidence to attend & bet on the races?

  • Dan

    I was a part of the Breeders Betting Challenge, and waited to make my biggest play of the day (my life) to win on Life At Ten. After placing the bet, I went outside on the 6th floor balcony, my heart was racing and was really feeling the pressure of J.V. getting her out of the gate and into stride. Much to my horror, she broke way back and never made a move.
    She crossed the finish line about a 100 lengths behind the second to last horse. I did not wait around to find out what happened. Actually heard in on the T.V. when I got back to my hotel.

    I will not bet on another Todd Pletcher horse again, nor will I wager on any horse that J.V. is on. Both should be suspended, and the guy in charge at C.D. should be fired. The Breeders Cup should not return unless new standards are met. I did have the time of my life over the two days, and hope to return there again. Just my thoughts.

  • Tina

    #50 I couldn’t agree with you more. After watching the video I was very distraught
    http://espn.go.com/espn3/index/_/sport/horse%20racing#

  • Freespirit

    I wish I could have watched the video. It’s gone now. Todd Pletcher and John Veitch, are they like best friends or something? I just don’t get what is going on here. Both should be held responsible for this, as should those vets that let that horse walk in the starting gate. Hard to believe no one is being held accountable for this blatant disregard for Life at Ten’s well being.

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  • ruffianruns

    Wow Shuvee,

    Thanks for all that contact info.

    Sad, pathetic situation all around.

  • LuckyLuckyLucky

    Heh, I guess when a trainer has 200+ horses in his barn, it’s too hard to pay attention to the welfare of one individual. (Pardon my cynicism.) Do you think Quality Road or Uncle Mo would’ve entered the starting gate in that condition? I guess when you have a chance to cash in on a stallion season, you start paying more attention to the animal’s health. (Oh dear me, I just let more cynicism slip through!)

    All sarcasm aside, the whole ordeal was inexcusable. And dumbest of all was that Velazquez had the mare complete the course instead of pulling her up. It’s not like she was in contention for second-to-last-place earnings.

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