JC / Railbird

Gate Break Checks

Santa Anita stewards have tightened their policy on vet checks for gate breaks, following a January incident in which a horse pushed through its stall doors before the start and then didn’t run its best race after losing two teeth:

While stopping short of automatically scratching horses that break through the gate, we decided that the veterinarian will look at every horse that opens the gate in any way. This will not only provide safety for horses and riders but will also protect the wagering public by providing some opportunity to change wagers if necessary.

Via the February 5, 2011 stewards’ minutes.


Interesting. What took them so long?
What will it take for every other racing jurisdictions to finally see the light at what happens at the gate break?

Actually this sheds more light on how the starting gate
and how the horses that act up before – during – after can be compromised physically.

This is a step forward but I am usually concerned at what happens in the opening moments after the break.

Jennies Rees’s blog has a nice pic of Brethren breaking towards the outside from the outermost post in the Sam Davis. Big Brown got mugged by a maiden in the Belmont stakes and mangled his shoe in the opening jumps. The brilliant EightyFiveinaFifty’s career was ruined because a jock decided to veer in and make contact.

I keep asking around the web…

When was the last time the starting gates were revamped to make the races more safer? Certainly not after Barbaro’s double-load in The Preakness.

Posted by The_Knight_Sky on February 15, 2011 @ 9:34 am

More importantly, to my mind, is this long-standing outrage: horses which flip before races are, at times, allowed to run. That should NEVER happen.

Posted by Tinky on February 15, 2011 @ 10:11 am

Was an even money filly at Del Mar a couple years ago in a nice allowance race who flipped over and landed straight on her back/head before entering the gate..she was allowed to run, was last place all the way around the track and I never saw her run again. At the time i was in shock over her being allowed to run and have not forgotten about it years later.

Posted by Pete Martinson on February 16, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

Intuitively it appears that horses that break thru the gate are allowed to run more today, when in the past they would have been scratched. I have maintained that horses that break thru the gate should be an automatic scratch. My belief is their chances of winning are tremendously compromised.
It would be in the best interests of the wagering public if there was a study done by the Stewarts or the RCI, tracking horses that break thru the gate and their subsequent performance.
But in the meantime, if you have access to Betfair, laying horses that break thru the gate has been a very profitable angle!

Posted by Eric P on February 17, 2011 @ 11:06 am