Ehalt: NYRA should implement a ‘pitch count’ for horses

by | 02.28.2012 | 7:38am

At ESPN New York, Bob Ehalt suggests the New York Racing Association should consider requiring a mandatory rest period for horses between starts, something akin to how Little League baseball restricts the number of pitches young pitchers can throw in a week.  Ehalt says not only would it reduce the strain on horses, but it would avoid certain frustrating situations for handicappers:

“All of this stems from this past Saturday's Aqueduct card when trainer Linda Rice ran Lithe Legend in the fifth race. Some 48 hours earlier, on Thursday, Lithe Legend finished third in the fourth race. Because of the quick turnaround, the track program and Daily Racing Form editions lacked information on how Lithe Legend fared on Thursday, leaving some fans in the dark.”

“Compounding matters, NYRA did not declare Lithe Legend a non-wagering starter, and stipulate she run for purse money only. In a similar incident three months ago, when trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. raced Iron Lou on Nov. 6, two days after he ran on Nov. 4, the horse ran for purse money only.”

“Clearly, NYRA deserves a Big E on the Rheingold scoreboard (old Mets fans will recall that one) for that blunder as Lithe Legend finished fourth on Saturday, burning plenty of money as the 9-2 third choice in the wagering.”

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