Friday, June 08, 2012

I'll Have Another Is Out Of The Belmont


I don't normally write about sports here, but I have to say I was really excited at having the chance to watch a horse finally have a really good chance to win the Triple Crown this Saturday. Instead, it looks like another year will have to wait. The horse, I'll Have Another is out of the race, at least according to his trainer. The horse has tendinitis in his leg and won't be able to run.

44 comments:

Beth said...

That's a shame, but I am happy that they have the good sense to protect the horse... which, yes, ultimately is an investment.

Audrey said...

Good. The owner is an asshole and the trainer has a HORRIBLE reputation for over-drugging his horses.

Meg said...

I was super excited about I'll Have Another, but I was also conflicted about it due to awful practices of the trainer. I'm wondering how bad it actually was to get him to not try and doctor the horse up to run.

The jockey trained in Vancouver, so I have a bit of a soft spot for him (I know the local racecourse was going to have a huge party for the Belmont).

I'll be cheering for Bodemeister - I really like his owner and his story (almost died this past year and Bodemeister is named after his son) and he seems to have more humane practices.

Audrey said...

Let's just STOP using animals for entertainment purposes. Period.

curlyhairslacker said...

I'm sad to hear this but glad they are looking out for the horse. I live in Kentucky and not huge into horse racing, but was definitely pulling for a Triple Crown.

Redheat said...

Actually horses like this need to run,there are just certain athletic breeds of animals that need that kind of outlet. It's good for animals like this to have a venue in which they can do what they are born to do. HOWEVER, having said that, unfortunately they are all too vulnerable to greedy douchbags that treat them like a non living commodity. There definitely needs to be more regulations and harsher sentences for anyone caught abusing or drugging any animal.

FSP said...

Mmm...horse.

angel said...

I grew up riding and am a big fan of all things equine. That horse is stunningly beautiful. So glad they aren't the type to bet health against glory.

Ms Cool said...

I don't know, Audrey. I'm not sure how to feel about this. I grew up with hunting and herding dogs and those dogs love their jobs and take them seriously. Our collie loved to herd the cats and us kids. Our springer spaniel cried when my dad went deer hunting.

I'm totally against animal abuse and what others are saying about the trainer. I don't hunt or race animals. I'm just conflicted about whether it is a bad thing to race them. I guess in a perfect world, if all the trainers, owners and jockeys treated the horses with the utmost care and respect, I would not have a problem with it.

We used to have a greyhound track around us and some of the dogs were abused. So horrible. I ran into a greyhound owner yesterday walking her adopted dogs - she said they are wonderful pets. They like to race around for about 2 minutes in the morning and sleep the rest of the day! So that conflicts with what I said above about our animals taking their jobs seriously.

So I guess this comment doesn't make a lot of sense. My bottom line is that I know some animals to love their breed specific abilities but I don't know how I feel about racing them.

msgirl said...

I haven't heard any stories, good or bad, about the owner or trainer - it's terrible if they are bad people. I know I should be opposed to horse racing, but damn, I was all excited about I'll Have Another - I loved the way each time he swept past the others at the last minute, and he was beautiful to watch.

angel said...

Agree Ms Cool. To do away with everything is to cancel out a lot.. races, shows, rodeos, hunts, polo, and on and on. Fortunately for horses and unlike their Greyhound counterparts, both their purchase price and potential winning purse are much greater, so for the most part they are some of the best cared for mammals on the planet.

msgirl said...

Greyhounds are treated terribly - and there are no protections or regulations because they are listed as "livestock" - fortunately there's a lot of people who do rescue and love them, but their start in life is just awful. The ones who aren't great racers are luckier because they are gotten rid of much faster.

angel said...

@msgirl, absolutely right. I'd be all for eliminating Greyhound racing. They are just flat out used, abused, and thrown away. It's disgusting.

Momster said...

@ Ms Cool, my family had a collie, too, and he used to do the same herding. My cats would be like, WTF? and go after him. I miss that dog.

That horse is gorgeous.

angel said...

This is I'll Have Another photographed being taken for a morning run. You can see the true color of the coat in bright sunlight. Gorgeous is right.

http://images.alternet.org/images/AFP/photo_1339111553461-1-0.jpg

The Ghost of El said...

They just need back the coliseum and throw in there annoying celebrities, rapists, and people who harm children. Win 5 rounds, you take on take on a lion one handed and with a blind fold and you can have tyra banks as a sidekick for help. Ill put my money on that instead of animals any day =)

Unknown said...

Meg, Bodemeister isn't running in the Belmont.

Sis said...

I was hoping for a Triple Crown winner this year. Last year, Zenyatta came close and she is a beauty too just like this one. I am pleased he was pulled due to injury, some trainers and owners too will have the horse run anyways, crossing their fingers against damaging the horse more. Alot of times the horse will have a total breakdown after the race and if they lost well, they get rid of "it" as if was a commodity and not something living and breathing. Some of my best horses were from the track and we have rescued quite a few.

When I heard on the radio this morning it was a little "secretive" about why he was scratched, I wondered right away if it was the vet who pulled him out, there was nothing said about the trainer or the owner at all.

Sorry for the run on sentences, I just get fired up about this issue and any kind of animal abuses. I start thinking faster than I can type, so sometimes it is a little scattered :)

tracynator said...

FYI I'll Have Another is being retired to stud. Just saw it on CNN.

Nosey Parker said...

I was going to cheer for a Triple Crown, but I'm glad that they're doing what's best for the horse.

I was young when Secretariat won the Belmont. I'll always remember cheering and crying! I was a once in a lifetime race, and I'll probably never see anything like that again.

tracynator said...

FYI I'll Have Another is being retired to stud. Just saw it on CNN.

Sis said...

Also, just an fyi, Zenyatta is in foal with her second baby, the first one is rumored to be worth in the tens of millions, the stud fee alone was $350,000, you can see the money involved here and sometimes that is what the owners and trainers only see. Apparently, Zenyatta is completely pampered.....and I like that :)

I'll keep an eye out and see what happens to this guy.

tracynator said...

Sorry about that!

Sis said...

Ok, nevermind...Out to stud, he'll like that :)

lostathome said...

Zenyatta has been retired for 2 years and even last year she was 7 so she wouldn't have competed in triple crown races, they are exclusively for 3 year olds. She was the first female to win the breeders cup classic and almost did it a second time but got beat a nose. That was her very last race, in 2010.

lostathome said...

I work around racehorses as my job, and most of us in the industry knew something was fishy. You don't let a horse go between the two most important races of his life and not breeze (give him a strong workout) him unless something is amiss. I think it is a shame because he seems like he could have been the real deal and this could have just been poor management. I wish they had focused more on the horse and not the people involved in the news because he is the one responsible for all of this. You can be a great trainer but if you're horse is exceptional, he is the one taking you on the ride.

Horses these days are much more fragile and more dependent on medicine and supplements than horses from before, which is why a lot of them don't last as long as they used to. It's a real shame.

And for someone to say that this is a cruel sport, why don't you get up at 4 every morning and see how happy they are to be able to go out and do what they love - run. If I horse doesn't want to do something, they WILL bolt or they WILL refuse. The people who knowingly race horses that are sore give all of the good guys a bad name. A horse is just like any other athlete but no one goes around saying basketball coaches are cruel because of the way they train their players and how many games they play a week.

Either way he is a beautiful animal and hopefully one day will see another crown winner.

Redheat said...

@lostathome agree with what you wrote. There are good people out there. I was raised around horses, and if walked into my parents home you would think that a western tack shop exploded in their house. I've grown up to love, and respect the animal. I do watch the triple crown races, and these horses are built for speed.
I just wish that people would demand that more regulation and oversight be put into place to protect all animals. That goes for greyhound racing, which the premise isn't bad, its the people all the way to the circus.

Audrey said...

Greed can't be controlled and, unfortunately, it's the animals that are abused because of it. More regulation = more cheating. People will figure out how to cheat the system as long as money is involved. If they love animals so much, take the betting out of racing and see what happens. They love to run, then let them run - for free.

Redheat said...

@Audrey, I hear you and you make valid points, but free won't pay the bills.

I'm sorry but for some reason I have a brain fart, but a few years ago there was the horse that went down during the race. The owners were told to just put him down, but they didn't, they spend $$$$$ trying to give that horse a life, sadly he finally succumbed to the injury. I still get teary eyed when I recall the entire episode. That shows that there are good owners and trainers that do truly love these animals. Yes people will always be what they are, but you can restrict their bad actions and reduce the number of bad acts. Life will never ever be fair. This coming from a woman who loves animals.

Janet296 said...

I am so disappointed! I was looking forward to the race.

tracynator said...

Heck, I'd like it too!

angel said...

@Redheat, I believe Barbaro, another Triple Crown hopeful, is the horse you're thinking of, put down in 2007. That was sooo sad too. It seemed the whole world held it's collective breath hoping against hope, but it wasn't meant to be.

Redheat said...

THANK YOU! it was driving me crazy.

tinkerbell33 said...

Period.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

Warning: Mini-Rant

My sister in Alaska has a sled dog team, and it drives her crazy when people say that kind of dog racing should be stopped--yes, there are a (very) few owners out there who don't treat their dogs as well as they should, but any decent musher with half a brain takes VERY good care of their dogs. A good dog can quite literally save your life when you're out there in the cold and snow, and good masters are very aware of that and make sure their dogs have everything they need and are treated extremely well. Also, like grayhounds, these dogs really do love to run, and are miserable when they can't; they go crazy with joy whenever she starts loading up all the gear and getting ready for a run (be it a race or just normal training). She doesn't have that much money, but there have been plenty of times that the dogs ate much better than she did (we're talking salmon, elk & moose for the dogs, and ramen for her). So please remember, when you hear PETA bitching about the Iditarod, that most mushers love their dogs dearly and take wonderful care of them, and their opinion of anyone who doesn't is, well, you can imagine...if I were one of those, I'd rather PETA got hold of me first than the other mushers.

As for I'll Have Another (surely he has a nickname?), I'm glad they're not going to run him if he's not 100% up for it. Maybe they're being selfish because they want the stud fees down the road, maybe not, but at least he should be able to have a long, happy life now.

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

I should point out, though, that I do have some issues w/greyhound racing, or at least the way it's too often done--if the dogs were treated like sentient living creatures and not like automatons to be destroyed if they don't win enough races, I wouldn't object nearly as much.

BTW, if you're planning to adopt a former racer, do keep in mind that you either need a good-sized, fenced-in yard, or access to a dog park where the dogs can be allowed off-leash to run--they really DO go nuts if they can't run every day. I heard tell of a friend of a friend (aka FOAF) whose greyhound would do laps around her house--ZOOOOOOM, over and over again--until he got his run out (as it were), and then was perfectly happy to be loved on and petted.

On a perhaps tacky note, do studs get to actually breed w/the mares, or is it all done by artificial insemination? It seems a shame if it's the latter--what's the point of being a stud if you can't actually get busy w/all the ladies?

Sherry said...

@Robin: Yeah! Let them get a little some some at least.

I love all animals and there are animals out there that need that "job" - mushers, race horses, etc. Look at Moose aka Eddie from Frasier. That dog was a problem and went from shelter to family several times (or so the story goes). Once he got a job he was a totally different dog.

Our friends have rescue Greyhounds and I can attest to their need to run.

Glad this glorious creature gets to have a life of leisure now and that they did NOT push him to his death.

lostathome said...

Barbaro! A good friend of mine was his groom and it hit him hard when he died. And his trainer, as much of a nervous wreck as he can be, really cares about his horses and does right by them.

Cornbread said...

Would they be screening the horse for performance enhancing drugs prior to the Belmont, or would that have already been done earlier in the week? I just wonder if something like that isn't the real reason behind this, knowing the trainer is being suspended next month. I'm not well-versed in horse racing.

We have several greyhound tracks in Florida, and a fairly large one in Bonita Springs. Two years ago, the facility caught fire, and they lost SO many dogs...it was so, so, so very sad. Greyhound adoption is big in our area, so I'm happy some are able to find good homes. I'm all for racing as sport, good fun, etc., but the previous poster is right - when money is involved, you may as well have the mafia running the entire thing right out in the open. Sad to see money placed at a higher importance than the life of the animal.

Also agree these situations can give an entire sport a bad rep.

Carol said...

I have to comment about greyhounds "need" to run... That's not true. I've owned greyhounds for 10 years now, and I got my first when I lived in condo, with no yard. We walked for exercise and that was fine, and she was a happy happy dog. The misconception that they need acres and acres to run is a disservice to them.

They're actually very good apartment dogs since they are very mellow and very lazy. We currently have 3, and 2 get walked a couple miles a day, the third is 12 and a half and prefers car rides.

Anyway, I hope I'm not sounding like a know it all, but I've been involved in greyhound rescue for quite some time. Sure, all of them are different, but they're nickname is the 45 mile an hour couch potato...the can sprint, but they are fine with walks too.

PAP Sheets said...

I've been betting horses my whole life. The sport is rough on them, but horses race in the wild, as do most creatures.

The first problem is LASIX. The drug masks physical ailments which allows fast, unsound horses to become champions.

The next problem is the BETTING. The need to run races creates a strong demand for horses who run fast, rather than frequent. These horses also win more purse money, and are then discarded or bred once they are no longer useful.

The final problem isn't really a problem, and that's athletic glory. The same thing happened with Smarty Jones in 2004: his hooves were just shot from too much pounding on the dirt surface. Both horses' bloodlines have weak hooves, and prefer softer surfaces which wouldn't sting so much.

Nature is fixing some of this, as breeders are placing a premium on soundness. These unsound Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer kids (Danzig was 3-for-3 and retired, and his grandson Big Brown was the last fiasco in 2008) are now being crossed with sound, stout Euro lines (they don't allow lasix in Euro).

They're also going to be banning lasix gradually from the sport, as "the wonder drug" has given us this, rather than live up to its promise. Racing will change, but I don't think it will die.

Ray Gordon
Price And Probability (PAP Sheets)
http://www.toosmarttofail.com/pap.html

Free video Belmont Day analysis:
http://www.youtube.com/papsheets

Henriette said...

I don't know much about horses. I do have a soft spot for Secretariat (sp) because we are born the same year :) I was surprised it's been 34 years since a Triple Crown Winner. What other sport could possibly have those odds?

KittensRUs said...

The trainer is known in the industry as "Drug O'Neil" because his horses keep testing positive for illegal substances.

Tendonitis is the best thing that ever happened to that horse. Now he can retire and just eat and have sex. As Mr. Kittens says, where do I sign up for that gig?

Lelaina Pierce said...

@lostathome -
Thank you for that perspective. My parents are both in the horse racing business (dad is a trainer) and they treat their horses VERY well. My mother dotes on them like you would not believe and they get acupuncture and massages. It's a shame that some people do give the industry such a bad rap.

I hadn't heard anything negative about I'll Have Another's trainer. I'll have to find out about that.

My mom and I were discussing the Belmont/Union Rags earlier. Very interesting background on the horse's owner.

The Barbaro story was a heartbreaking one, but I will NEVER forget watching Go For Wand in the Breeder's Cup. That one broke my heart.