Derby Points Will Not Be Awarded
By Dick Downey
The 2019 running of the San Felipe Stakes will not take place, and horses from California will make an exodus to Oaklawn Park on Wednesday.
As of this post, TVG reports 18 horses are looking at the Rebel Stakes. Oaklawn Park said earlier this week the Rebel will be split in two divisions if at least 20 horses are entered. It appears there's a good chance that will happen.
In such case, Oaklawn will revise the purse from a total of $1 million to $750,00 for each division. Kentucky Derby points would be awarded at 75 percent of the total, but in both divisions. Accordingly the winner of each division, instead of receiving 50 points, would receive 37.5 points.
Points from the San Felipe will not be awarded as if the Rebel were a substitute race. Those points will go away.
Here's video of TVG breaking the news about the San Felipe.
The investigation of Santa Anita’s main track will continue indefinitely, and now the biggest question on the minds of many is whether the track will be dug up and replaced.
In the meantime, Santa Anita officials say they will make some to the way horses at the track are handled.
Going forward, Santa Anita says it will require trainers to apply for permission to work horses at least 24 hours in advance, allowing track veterinarians to assist in identifying “at risk” horses through the evaluation of past performances, workout data and physical inspection. Track officials say additional veterinarians have been hired to observe all horses entering and exiting track areas during training hours.
The first 15 minutes of training sessions, both after the track opens and after each renovation break, will be reserved for horses working an officially clocked time.
The Stronach Group, owner of the track, says it will appoint a new Director of Equine Welfare, and that only an accredited veterinarian can fill the job. Responsibilities will include oversight of equine. There will be formation of a Rapid Response team for injuries, tasked with conducting investigations of injuries and communicating findings to the racing and general public.
Gulfstream Park already has a house rule, which Santa Anita will adopt, requiring portability of veterinary records. The rule mandates that the veterinary records of a horse follow that horse through any trainer or ownership change.
“This has worked very well at Gulfstream Park,” said The Stronach Group CEO Tim Ritvo. “There was some pushback from the trainers at first, but this is the best thing for the horse. Now, everyone has bought into the process as they realize they are also on the receiving end of this information intended to understand the full medical history of that horse.”
Ritvo put out a statement that says, “Every one of us, from our Chairman and President Belinda Stronach, to our employees, to every trainer and owner and person who works in the stable area, we all have deep, deep love for horses/ It’s why we get up every day. It’s all about the horses. Human medicine is more advanced than equine medicine, so if there is new technology or equipment that will assist in increasing the ability to discover our pre-existing injuries, we’re going to invest in that technology and bring it to our horsemen.
“We’re looking forward to returning to normal, but it will be a new normal,” said Ritvo. “The safety of our equine and human athletes remains our highest priority. We need to work together and continue to create not only our own internal audits, but an open and honest dialogue with all of the stakeholders and evaluate best practices at other racetracks around the world.”