Pletcher statement: Why is Life At Ten report being issued ‘behind closed doors’?

by | 03.10.2011 | 10:22am

Todd Pletcher, the multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer of the Grade 1-winning mare Life At Ten, has issued a public statement, hours before the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is to meet and report on the incident involving Life At Ten in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs. Pletcher said he cooperated fully with the KHRC's investigation and urges the commission to act in a transparent manner, and questions why the report is going to be discussed “behind closed doors.”

The Paulick Report will attend the KHRC meeting this afternoon and live blog whatever statement or report is issued.

Statement of Trainer Todd A. Pletcher
Regarding the Ongoing Investigation of Life At Ten by the
Kentucky Horse Racing Commission     

March 10, 2011- Armonk, NY – LIFE AT TEN was one of the best race horses in the World in 2010. In that year alone, she started seven times, won five races, four graded stakes, two of which were Grade 1 races, earning for her owners just shy of $1 million in purses. She was a stand-out in our racing stable in 2010, a year in which we started over one thousand horses, earned over $23 million and won 14 Grade 1 races. Nevertheless, we were all disappointed by her performance in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic. As I've stated publicly, while she was quieter than usual before the race in the paddock, there was nothing else that I observed that concerned me whatsoever.  
We know that she trained brilliantly up to the race. 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 today 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.

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