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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

It Starts in the Shed

With eyes finally open to the condition of Havnameltdown prior to that Pimlico gate, discussions will commence, but most likely, nothing will be done. Years and years of the same replay has never resulted in anything but stripping Medina Spirit from his Derby trophy and a ban from Churchill Downs for the time being. It is a mere token for the public and it does not alleviate a damn thing for the horses themselves.

Over three years has passed since I published an article here at the Club entitled "Mr. Baffert, Answers Please" and since then I have posted many follow-ups.

That article was not an accusation, it was a solid opinion based on the correlation between the majority of his charges in their relation to their charts, breeding, style, and distance capabilities.

I still stand firmly next to that article and now, over 3 years later, people are starting to wise up.

As most of you have read recently on many sites across the internet, the condition that Havnameltdown was in prior to his last race at Pimlico on May 20th was not that of a particularly healthy horse.

"On April 16, 2023, records from Equine Medical Center show that Havnameltdown received injections of Hyvisc and Celestone in his stifles, and injections of Hyvisc and Kenalog in his hocks, in addition to Banamine, torbugesic and dromosedan."

This horse had workouts on April 28th, May 6th, and on May 12th at Santa Anita. Incredible.

He was then shipped across the country to compete in a Grade 3 race, and he was killed on that track. The necropsy shows the horse was running on bone-on-bone ankles, all four. Havnameltdown was full of worms to the point of causing enteritis and colitis.

Baffert stated, "The horse is healthy."

Havnameltdown's medical condition and apparent medications do not pertain only to this one ill-treated horse by Baffert.

Bob Baffert has had a slew of clones who disregard their breeding inheritance for years.

Bob Baffert has been sited with drug infractions over and over again.

Bob Baffert has lied continuously to the public and has been caught over and over again.

The early retirements. The breakdowns. The deaths. It's been ongoing for years. It reoccurs with the same exact type of horse, over and over again. The type that does not run to his chart. The type that excels on fast speedy tracks like DelMar and Santa Anita so they can wire the field. The type who are filled to the brim with speed.

The type that needs injections to push that speed to the limit. The type that does not have sufficient endurance to compete at the distances he is forced to conquer. The type who is rewarded with early retirement because he can no longer endure competition or the meds fail to produce what they once did.

Worse yet, the type who takes the last step of his life as he nears a finish line.

Gamine and Charlatan. Nadal and Authentic.

Justify and American Pharoah, two horses "strong enough" to win the Triple Crown - all early retirement.

Arrogate, Medina Spirit and Havnameltdown - all three dead.

Countless gone. Left unmentioned. Unnoticed and forgotten. Owners who care not about the welfare of these horses but continue to trust in Baffert to get that trophy, regardless of cost to the horse.

There has been two schools of thought with "fixing" our broken sport.

One idea is absolutely absurd and does nothing to alleviate the catastrophe that still awaits these thoroughbreds. The idea of more time in between races, including the Triple Crown, which will only see the same unsound and highly medicated speedsters have another week or two to rest. That's it. Will that change the condition of the horse? Not in this lifetime, it won't. It will only mask their inevitable torture and only give a slight pause to what they quietly endure on a daily basis.

The other idea does make 100% sense, but for other valid reasons. Finally, there is talk of adding Synthetic, Tapeta, All Weather surfaces to the tracks. Of course, this change would be safer for the horse when competing but what most do not realize is that this change would force a return to a sounder and healthier horse in the long term.

The "speed horse" - which guys like Baffert clamor for in the breeding shed, who thrive on speedy dirt tracks, would no longer find advantage on an AWS.

They would not win races. They would not see a Winner's Circle. Trainers and owners would not rake in those hefty paychecks, neither on the track or in the breeding sheds. The very thing that keeps this vicious cycle moving full steam ahead.

The death traps of some of these highly souped up dirt tracks would be replaced with a surface that caters to STAMINA. No longer would the prized speed demon be the authority on race tracks across the country and breeders would need to shift gears in favor of the breeding from the past in order to compete.

No longer would a sprinter need medications to find additional distance capability. For a barn to be successful on AWS, they would need to cater to a thoroughbred who was bred with the proper attributes in order to perform on that surface.

This includes elite stamina which has a huge effect on their soundness. They would then be able to compete in more than 5 races in their careers. They could run more than 8f and more than once every 2 months. They would not need injections in order to get around a 9f track.

Most importantly, Baffert's speedy injected clones would not exist any more because they would find no success on AWS. Baffert's sole purpose in life is to make millions of dollars with his leads going gate to wire on the speediest dirt tracks in the country. It would end.

Within 6 to 8 years of a changing to AWS, the caliber of horses born from the sheds would begin to mimic those from the past because they could only be the type to pay their owners and trainers when competing on All Weather Surfaces. The sprinters would be kept to compete at 8f or shorter, which is where they belong now.

Without the change to AWS, guys like Baffert will continue to push unsound horses to their untimely demise.

It begins and ends in the Breeding Sheds.

Force them to breed stamina-driven horses for success on AWS and the "Bafferts of this Sport" will have no choice but to end their ruthless and deadly practices.

Horses that are bred with hyper-speed and sent to perform on hyper-speedy dirt tracks to win is a deadly combination. Throw in medications, injections and unsound horses and it's a losing proposition. If anyone hasn't noticed, the trend of deaths and early retirements continues to get worse and worse as the demand for speed goes higher and higher. The only way to save this sport is to hit them in their wallets.

Change the track surfaces and the breeding will follow. It would be the only way they could continue if they want to make money. It would be the only way to save the sport and the only way to save these horses.

And by the way, where is Faustin?


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