PLETCHER: I told him (John Velazquez) when we left the paddock that I was concerned about the way she saddled

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:48am

Todd Pletcher (trainer, Life At Ten, DNF) – “I told him (jockey John Velazquez) when we left the paddock that I was concerned about the way she saddled. She was abnormally quiet; almost sedated-like. I told him to make sure and warm her up well. Unfortunately, she's either had some sort of allergic reaction to her Lasix treatment or she's had some severe cramps, or tied up before she ever went out there.
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“That's a tough position for Johnny to be in. He asked the vets to look at her. It's unfortunate because of all the horses we brought over here today none were doing better than her. At the last minute, something went wrong.

“Her week to 10 days here has been phenomenal. We felt really, really confident that she was coming into this race so well. That's why I think it's some kind of reaction to the Lasix.”

John Velazquez (jockey, Life At Ten, DNF) – “She seemed okay. She felt okay. I don't know. She didn't feel like running today. She never put in any effort whatsoever. I tried to warm her up and wake her up, and she just never felt like running.”

  • tonyaz

    On a day as big as the Breeder’s Cup-The proof was stated on live TV before the race by both the Jockey and the commentator, and after the race by the Jockey and Trainer. LIFE AT TEN should not have run out of the basic fear that she could be hurt or end up dead! And for the the fans that got yet slapped in the face again, the wagers should have been refunded. I know, I know, those slot machines are going to save racing. Wake up RACING, WAKE UP and realize this is one really bad dream. Love the Horses that carry the fans dreams and dollars on their back and take care of them. Its obvious that greed and stupidity go hand and hand, even at the Breeders Cup.

  • Jim Walsh

    Outrageous! Velasquez tells Jerry Bailey (and thus the whole world watching) that she isn’t right, and then procedes to walk calmly into the gate, and lets her run! Tod Pletcher admits that she wasn’t right in the paddock earlier. Did it ever occur to these two that they should scratch her? What were they thinking?

  • C.P. Ramsey

    In my opinion, this is one of the things that is wrong with racing. To let her go in the gate knowing she wasn’t right and you were not going to ride her is wrong. She should have been scratched at the gate. Thousands of bettors lost millions of dollars because the jockey didn’t have the will to scratch the filly.
    Johnny V should be commended for not pushing her, but if he knew he wasn’t going to rideher out, he should have scratched.
    Racing just lost the trust of more gamblers!!!!

  • Have definitely seen a jockey not feel a runner is not warming up to his (or her) satisfaction and refuse to ride — often ending in a runner’s scratch — if he truly felt something was wrong Johnny V should have done just that. Instead a ton of the public’s money was sacrificed as he allowed her to race and never persevered with her from the start. Sad indeed.

  • Marilyn

    let me get this straight; the ESPN crew (Moss & Bailey) are expressing concern about the physical condition of this filly; the jockey is expressing concern about this filly to the point that it is said she is going to be examined by a vet; was she ? it is apparently not clear; Todd Pletcher knows she isn’t right when she is being saddled. In other words, everybody and their mother could see something was wrong with this filly; so what do her connections do about it? nothing., they walk her into the gate, allow bettors to squander millions of dollars and get this, because THE JOCKEY KNOWS SHE REALLY ISN’T IN TO RACING AT THAT VERY MOMENT, OR SHE IS ILL OR WHATEVER, HE BASICALLY WALKS HER AROUND THE TRACK SO AS NOT TO HURT HER FURTHER.

    Is racing a joke or what? are you kidding me; on the biggest day for horse racing, on the grandest stage, once again, the people who populate this industry are clueless. I am not a bettor; I watch horse racing because of the majesty, grace and beauty of the horse. But I know that the bettors are the life’s blood of the industry and THEY REALLY REALLY GOT SCREWED; If I had bet one dime on her, I would be fuming. That issue is aside from the real danger of something happening to the horse on the track; putting her in danger. Todd Pletcher said after the race that she “tied up” before going into the gate. BUT HE LET HER GO INTO THE RACE ANYWAY>

    I have lost all respect for Mr. Pletcher. There should be an investigation and people need to be held accountable for this debacle.

  • Marilyn

    oh it gets better; Joe Drape, a writer for the NY Times said (and I quote)
    “clearly she should not have run”
    the horse’s connections failed her; the vet failed her and the bettors; everybody loses.

  • Rachel

    Yup, she’s just an animal, so run her, it’s a lot of money on the line…who cares what could go wrong, it’s only a filly and she’s insured.

    PS That’s why my horse crowd hates racing.

  • Rachel

    It’s interesting reading the comments that a lot of money was wasted by bettors…I guess it’s OK she could have died, fallen with her jockey, intefered with other horses in the race…I better straighten out my priorities…money first…lives and safety second.

  • nick

    incredibly sad that life at ten wasn’t scratched thank god there was no eight belles ending

  • Giddyup

    What should have been the best Breeders Cup event ever, is quickly turning into a nightmare. First we had the madness that followed the Marathon race and now this. A quote from John Wayne gains added significance suddenly – “Life is hard….it’s harder when your stupid”.

  • kyhorsegal

    Thankfully she is ok but the racing community needs to once again re-evaluate the use of Lasix. Lasix causes SEVERE dehydration and SEVERE electrolyte depletion. This is apparently what happened to Life at Ten. There is no reason to use lasix other than to make a horse lose weight and cover the use of other drugs. It has been proven in multiple studies that it does not stop bleeding (read studies published by Dr. David Marlin), whereas the nasal strips have been shown to help reduce bleeding. Can you imagine any other athlete performing at the highest level of competition severely dehydrated and electrolyte depleted?

  • Trappeddownontherail


    Right on the money! The US should do the humane thing, fall into line with international medication rules and ban all race-day medication including lasix and bute. Lasix masks other drugs. Bute masks injuries and infirmities. Both have contributed mightily to racing losing confidence with the public – and have contributed to some of the ugliest scenes at our tracks. And I think I am right in saying that some of the vets involved in this fiasco are strongly in favor of race-day medication!

  • Giddyup

    Borel and Pletcher put their own interest above what is best for the sport and as a result a lot of potential thoroughbred racing fans will leave the Breeders Cup thinking the sport is a second rate cartoon that has “fixes” worthy of wrestling. I think they should share HAOY (Horses Ass Of The Year).

  • concerned vet

    I was directly associated with this incident. I am a veterinarian. Let me be very clear about this- the vets knew NOTHING of this. THe vets were all there and available up and down the track and during the warm up. The evaluate each of the horses in the race and have about 30 seconds maybe for each horse to do so. THe horses are generally evaluated for LAMENESS. THere is NO WAY any vet can tell how a horse “feels”. AT NO point was any horse presented to any of the track vets to evaaluate her before this race

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