I’m not supposed to have to write articles like this. Polytrack was going to change everything.
Today at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, two horses were euthanized and three-year-old star Teuflesberg suffered career-ending injuries that reports say will require surgery on both his front legs. He was moved to Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington where he will undergo surgery.
It was a big day at Keeneland, with five graded stakes on the card. Keeneland is entering it’s second year of racing on a Polytrack (patented artificial) surface.
Racing is serious this time of year, with only three weeks left until the almighty Breeders Cup, which is like the Super Bowl for racing.
I wasn’t watching ESPN today when it happened, so I went to the Keeneland web site. No headlines, no statement of the facts, no tasteful tribute to the fallen horses are posted there. Keeneland owns the company that produces Polytrack surfaces for racetracks. On the Polytrack page of the Keeneland site is the title: “Polytrack: A safer solution”.
From what I understand, one horse was euthanized in the paddock before the race, and two broke down on the Polytrack surface during races.
MSNBC seems to be the only racing news outlet that considers the injury of three horses (on the new “safe” racing surface) and the death of two of them as newsworthy enough for a story.
Meanwhile, at Belmont Park in New York, Barclay Tagg’s NoBiz Like ShoBiz won the Jamaica Handicap on the turf by four lengths. It was a big day of stakes races there, too, with everyone prepping for the Breeders Cup.
Are these horses being pushed too hard to qualify and prep for the Breeders Cup? Are trainers racing their horses on a schedule dictated by counting weeks backward from the Breeders Cup circled on their calendars?
Barclay Tagg shocked everyone by saying that his popular colt would probably skip the Breeders Cup three weeks from now and train up to the Hollywood Derby in late November.
Sunday morning update: FoxSports posted an Associated Press story that has the breakdowns in the headline, but it doesn’t have much information about the horses nor any reaction from track officials, owners, jockeys, etc.