JC / Railbird

Sorry, Bettors

If you bet Life at Ten, officially eased in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Churchill after jockey John Velazquez told ESPN that his mount wasn’t warming up right, Kentucky steward John Veitch would like you to know:

… it was unfortunate but “there’s nothing we can do for [you].”

And forget learning in future televised races that you’ve been ripped off:

… under discussion is whether television interviews with jockeys when they are on their mount before a race should be allowed.

Tweeted Nick Kling: “Breeders’ Cup bettors hosed. ‘Stewards plan to take no action‘ in Life At Ten debacle. Is it time for horseplayers to quit the game?”

Not yet (at least for this one), but it would be good to get reassurances something similar won’t happen next year. An independent review, conducted by the Breeders’ Cup, as Ray Paulick suggests, seems reasonable, as does the BC and KHRC formulating a plan for dealing with such situations that doesn’t include shutting up jockeys who might utter unwelcome words publicly. What Velazquez said wasn’t the problem. The communications breakdown among the rider, vets, and stewards in the minutes leading to the race was.


Doesn’t the jock have the right to refuse the ride if he/she doesn’t think that a horse is right?

Perhaps John wasn’t fair to the public if he entered the gate with a horse that he planned to pull up.

Posted by gib. on November 11, 2010 @ 12:49 pm


Regarding Life at 10:

I was able to pull my bet because I had the ESPN feed available at my table. The jockey interviews are generally dumb but my ears pricked right up when Johnny V said his horse was not warming up properly.

I am not fast enough to reform a winning wager so when late information arrives such a key scratch or a key pace horse looks “wrong” on the track, I usually pass on the race. It was nice to know, from the horses mouth so to speak that L@10 was not well. It would have been fair to everyone if the scratch were made. I had an unfair advantage. That is not right.

Rather than scratching ‘Jockey Chat’ maybe the jockeys all can twitter and tweet,(welcome to the twenty-first century)the lameness onto the infield score board. Or, perhaps the jockey could just tell the vet the horse is sick and unsafe to ride.

Posted by christopherlally on November 11, 2010 @ 3:27 pm