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Atchata First Winner for Louisiana Sire Apriority

The 2-year-old filly broke her maiden June 15 in her second start.

Heiligbrodt’s Atchata overcame a stumble at the start to score by 1 1/2 lengths in a June 15 maiden special weight on the turf to become the first winner for freshman sire Apriority.

Despite the stumble, the 2-year-old filly settled just off the pace behind Too Foofoo for You, who took the field through a quarter-mile in :22.08. Coming off the turn in the six-furlong race, Atchata rolled to the front unchallenged and caught the timer at :44.77 for the half-mile. Pulling away in the stretch, she finished the distance in 1:08.75 over the firm turf course.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Atchata was purchased under Heiligbrodt’s East Hickman Racing for $85,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales March 2-year-olds in training sale, where Robert Brewer consigned her. She was bred in Louisiana by 4M Ranch out of the Stormy Atlantic  mare Sweet Jackie Jo.

Apriority raced from age 3 to 7 and won the 2011 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) as a 4-year-old. The son of Grand Slam retired with a record of 6-9-3 from 36 starts. Four of his second-place finishes were in stakes, including a nose difference in the 2011 Churchill Downs Stakes (G2). He also finished second to Morning Line  in that year’s Carter Handicap (G1).

Standing at Elite Thoroughbreds in Louisiana, Apriority has a 2018 stud fee of $2,000.

Victory Trip First Winner, Starter for Guilt Trip

The 2-year-old colt won by 7 3/4 lengths June 13.

 

Victory Trip went gate-to-wire June 13 to represent Guilt Trip‘s first winner from the stallion’s first starter.

Victory Trip, a 2-year-old colt bred by Terry Adcock in Louisiana, broke on top to set fractions of :23.06 and :46.71 through a half-mile and finished out the 4 1/2-furlong maiden test in a final time of :53.17 over a fast track.

With no challengers in the remaining field of four, Victory Trip sped to a 7 3/4-length score.

The colt was purchased at the 2017 Equine Sales of Louisiana yearling sale by his connections for $20,000. He is out of the Songandaprayer mare Anne Margaret.

Guilt Trip, a 9-year-old son of Pulpit, was campaigned by Gary and Mary West and trainers Chad Brown, Bob Baffert, and Wayne Catalano. After breaking his maiden in his second start with Brown and following it with an allowance-level score, he was unable to make the grade as a 3-year-old. But he returned the following year to take the Strub Stakes (G2) with Baffert.

Bred by Winsong Farm in Kentucky, Guilt Trip is out of the Quiet American mare Mysterieuse Etoile. From two crops the stallion has 67 registered foals to date.

Guilt Trip stands at Jay Adcock’s Red River Farms in Louisiana for $2,500.

Study Narrows Focus on How Furosemide Works

Learning how the medication works could lead to alternative treatments of EIPH.

A recently published study in Comparative Exercise Physiology found a relationship between the administration of the medication furosemide, used to prevent exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, and an enzyme that affects the pressure within the blood vessels in a horse’s lungs.

The relationship potentially points toward new avenues to explore regarding the treatment of EIPH in Thoroughbred racehorses.

The study, conducted at Gávea Racecourse in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, analyzed post-race blood samples from 73 horses over eight race days. Of the 73 horses, 47 had been treated with 250 mg of furosemide before their race and 26 were not medicated.

These samples were then tested for levels of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), a potent vasoconstrictor that when active contributes to higher blood pressure. Several studies have affirmed furosemide’s effectiveness in reducing incidences of EIPH, but how the diuretic drug actually works is still unknown. This study showed ACE activity was significantly reduced in the horses that had been treated with furosemide.

“Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that pre-race furosemide significantly influenced ACE activity post-race, while distance raced, temperature, humidity, and hematocrit did not,” the study concluded. “This is a novel finding which might impact on the search for the exact implications of furosemide use, and its effects on physiology and performance of Thoroughbred racehorses utilizing loop diuretics as treatments for EIPH.”

The horses used in this study were already stabled at Gávea and the treated horses were part of the racetrack’s established protocol on managing EIPH. At Gávea, a horse is entitled to pre-race furosemide if an official racetrack veterinarian has documented a bleeding episode through tracheobronchoscopy exam. A registered bleeder can receive furosemide four hours prior to post time and must continue to receive treatment for every race within 90 days from diagnosis. Horses that are younger than 3 1/2 years old are not allowed to receive pre-race furosemide, and any medicated horse is prohibited from competing in a group 1 or group 2 race.

While furosemide has proven to be the most effective method of reducing EIPH, the medication still does not entirely prevent its occurrence. In the Gávea study, 36.2% of the non-medicated horses showed some degree of post-race bleeding compared with 76.9% of the treated horses.

“This study confirms that, although furosemide might reduce EIPH severity after a single bout of exercise, it does not abolish or reduce its occurrence,” wrote the study’s authors. “This conclusion does not argue against the use of furosemide as a treatment for control of EIPH, but indicates the continuing need for better alternatives to limit the progressive and deleterious effects of repeated episodes of EIPH on the lungs of horses, and that further research into the possible role of renin-angiotensin aldosterone system components (like ACE) in developing new treatments is needed.”

The study was published by Dr. Maria Fernanda de Mello Costa, Dr. Fernanda Aparecida Ronchi, Dr. Yoonsuh Jung, Dr. A. Ivanow, Dr. Juliana Braga, Dr. M.T. Ramos, Dr. Dulce Elena Casarini; and Dr. Ronald F. Slocombe.

Aug.1 Deadline to Apply for AAEP Research Fellow Scholarships

Applications currently being accepted for the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation Past Presidents’ and EQUUS Foundation Research Fellows scholarships. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1.

These annual scholarships are awarded to AAEP-member veterinarians who are beginning careers in equine research in graduate school. Each recipient will receive a $5,000 scholarship during the AAEP’s 64th Annual Convention in San Francisco, Calif. Dec. 1-5, 2018.

The AAEP Foundation Past Presidents’ Research Fellow and the EQUUS Foundation Research Fellow, established in 2006 and 2011, respectively, emphasize the importance of equine research while rewarding researchers for their personal contributions.

The Foundation created the research fellows to acknowledge the increasing need to train future equine veterinary researchers.

“Companion animals – dogs, cats, and horses – play a central role in our quality of life. Horses thrill us as athletes, grace our lives as companions, instill confidence and teamwork in equestrians of all ages and perform miracles for people with special needs. The impact of horses on our well-being is significant. It is crucial now – more than ever before – that we continue to improve their health and welfare,” said Jenny W. Belknap, Chair, EQUUS Foundation.

These scholarships are made possible through the monetary contributions of AAEP past presidents and The EQUUS Foundation.

“Although it is common for veterinary graduates with an equine interest to pursue residency training in a clinical specialty, it is difficult to get them to the next level of pursuing a career in research and teaching mainly due to economic constraints,” said Richard Mitchell, DVM, MRCVS, DACVSMR, chairman of the AAEP Foundation Advisory Council. “If our knowledge of horse health is going to continue to advance, we must encourage more veterinarians to become researchers. We can’t thank the EQUUS Foundation and AAEP’s past presidents enough for supporting those pursuing careers in equine research.”

Ideal candidates for the research fellows are graduates of an AVMA-accredited school/college of veterinary medicine who have experience conducting equine research and are nearing completion of a residency or doctoral program. Applicants who are seeking funding for their research project or have secured funding from other organizations are eligible to apply, as the scholarships focus on supporting the researcher, not the project.

The scholarship descriptions and applications are accessible on the AAEP Foundation’s website.

 

About AAEP Foundation

The AAEP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization created in 1994, serves as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners to improve the welfare of the horse. Since its inception, the Foundation has allocated more than $4 million to support its mission.

 

About EQUUS Foundation

The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is the only national animal welfare charity in the United States dedicated solely to horse welfare and the horse-human bond. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc.: Tele: (203) 259-1550; E-mail: mail@equusfoundation.org; or Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

 

A RECORD TWO DEAD HEATS FOR TRAINER DANNY PISH TUESDAY, JUNE 12 AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – It was quite an unusual day for trainer Danny Pish Tuesday afternoon at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. With four starters on the card, Pish’s runners won two races in not one, but two dead heats!

In the third race Okbyeceya, a 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief and Perfect Poet could not be separated at the wire. Three races later, it was the same outcome when And She Scores and Theboyzgalaxy finished in unison.

“I’ve never had two dead-heats on the same day,” stated Pish. “In my previous 25 years of training, I’ve only had three, so it was a pretty crazy thing. But a win is a win!”

Okbyeceya, owned by GFB Racing LLC, was ridden by Emanuel Nieves. It was the fifth win in 19 starts for the Kentucky-bred.

“I claimed her for $8,000 at Oaklawn Park,” explained Pish. “She’s a little trouper kind of filly.”

He was equally impressed with Champion Racing Stable, Inc.’s And She Scores, who dug in gamely under leading rider Richard Eramia. It was just the second victory for the 3-year-old filly by Even the Score.

“Usually when a horse is on the outside and gaining, they will win,” Pish said of #7 Theboyzgalaxy. “But And She Scores (#5) was so gritty; she would not give up.”

It was the second career victory for Theboyzgalaxy, a 4-year-old daughter of Greeley’s Galaxy, owned and trained by Ronnie P. Ward.

Albert Salmon’s Perfect Poet scored for trainer Joseph P. Smith. The 3-year-old Oxbow filly was ridden by Gerardo Mora.

Pish has now won seven races at Louisiana Downs. He is currently the fifth leading conditioner at Lone Star Park. Earlier this year, he ran horses at Oaklawn Park, Sam Houston Race Park, Fair Grounds and Remington Park. Pish, who has won titles at each of the Texas racetracks, has a staff of 40; assistant Kevin Scholl oversees the Louisiana Downs string.

Born in Yoakum, Texas, Pish, 52, became a trainer after competing in the junior and professional rodeo circuits where his top event was bull riding.

“I grew up rodeoing,” said Pish. “I was addicted to it before I could truly fathom the danger!”

He began training Thoroughbreds in 2005. He has started over 13,000 horses with a record of 2,246 wins; 2,029 seconds; 1,895 third-place finishes and $33 million in earnings.

Weekday racing is far from ordinary at Louisiana Downs. The biggest win payout of the 2018 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet came on Monday, June 4 when Glory Be True won the sixth race at odds of 72-1 and returned $146.60 for the $2.00 win bet. Longshot players were rewarded handsomely with Mr Lexis ($64.60) winning the sixth race; Glory Be True ($146.60) captured the seventh and Bear Down Baby ($48.40) closing out the late Pick 3 for a 50-cent payout of $7,634.55.

Stay tuned for more of the out of the ordinary at Louisiana Downs, and of course, the running of the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby on Sunday, September 2!

 

Jackpot Carryover of $96,901 for Wednesday, June 13

Live racing resumes on Wednesday, June 13 at 3:15 pm. Carryovers for the Jackpot, the meet’s Pick 6 wager have continued to build and $96,901 will be up for grabs on Wednesday. The wager begins on the second race of the card.

 

Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of June 12, Karl Broberg and Jorge Lara share the lead in the trainer standings with eight wins each.  Joe O. Duhon,Danny Pish and Henry E. Uriegas have each saddled seven winners.  Last year’s leading horseman Joey Foster and Beverly Burress follow closely with six wins.

 

Richard Eramia has been on a roll of late and is the current leader in the jockey standings with 20 wins. Joel Dominguez, Gerardo Mora and Emanuel Nieves are tied for second with 17 wins each. Hector Del-Cid has made 14 trips to the winner’s circle.

 

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. is tied with End Zone Athletics, Inc. for the lead in the owner standings with six wins each. Jorge Gomez is next with five wins and Brittlyn Stable Inc, Patti Turner, P and D Racing Stables, Penny Scarberry, D & D Racing and Maxie Wayne Kitchings, Sr. follow with three wins each.

 

Wednesday and Saturday Race Day Promotions

Louisiana Downs offers value for racing fans each Wednesday with Dollar Day. They will be able to enjoy $1 hot dogs, $1 beer at the Paddock as well as $1 programs. Saturday’s weekly promotion is the Family Four Pack featuring four hot dogs, four sodas, a program, and a box seat for four at the affordable price of just $16.

 

The Total Rewards program is free for horseplayers. With the swipe of their card each Saturday, members will receive valuable incentives.  These include:

  • Play $250 or more to receive a 5X multiplier
  • Play $1,000 or more to receive a 7X multiplier
  • Play $5,000 or more to receive a 10X multiplier

Participant’s multiplier cannot exceed a total balance of more than one hundred thousand (100,000) Reward Credits during one promotional day after the multiplier is applied.

 

 

Post Times and Stakes Schedule

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. (Central) post time through September 27.

 

The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes highlighted by two major events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4 and Super Derby Day on Sunday, September 2. As previously announced one major change for the upcoming season is that the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby will return to the main track at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth on Sunday, September 2.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

Can Bandages Cause Tendon Damage In Racehorses?

by | 06.11.2018 | 1:19pm

Many racehorses have their legs bandaged in an effort to reduce the chance of overreaching and injury when they are worked or exercised; many sport horses and those ridden for pleasure have their legs bandaged or wrapped by owners who believe they are providing support to equine legs. In horses that are not racing, the chance of injury from interference is much lower as they are not working at racing speeds.

British veterinarian Dr. Campbell Thompson of Nantwich Equine Vets is urging horse owners and riders to carefully consider if their horses should wear leg support while being ridden. The former vet of the British Olympic team, Thompson warns that horses’ legs can overheat if the horse is worked hard or if the weather is hot. This overheating can make horses susceptible to tendon damage in the legs that are wrapped, he says.

While open-front boots, like those worn by horses that jump, are not potentially harmful, bandages that completely encase the horse’s legs, like those used on racehorses, can cause overheating and potential for injury, Thompson said. Additionally, he does not feel that any wraps provide support for the horse’s limbs.

Read more at Horse & Hound

Justify 13th Triple Crown Winner After Belmont Victory

Undefeated chestnut set the pace and held off multiple challengers.

 

The trio of tests is designed to expose chinks in otherwise strong armor, missteps in well-thought-out game plans, holes that even those closest to the horse going through the gauntlet didn’t even know were there.

It is the whole reason the five-week exercise that is the American Triple Crown remains the most heralded achievement in a sport that counts its age in centuries—because unlike any other challenge, it separates those who almost can from the select few who refuse to be denied.

Since the start of his career 112 days ago, Justify has been jumping through hoops that horses with his experience, or lack thereof, should never be able to handle. He went from maiden winner to grade 1 victor to classic hero in just over 70 days. He went into a quagmire two weeks after shoving history aside on the first Saturday in May and emerged more tested and hardened than ever. He arrived in New York to try his hand in a race that has flattened horses whose plaques hang in the Hall of Fame, while only serving as a coronation on 12 exceptional occasions.

And so it was in the 150th edition of the final leg of the Triple Crown that the son of Scat Daddy, already deemed a prodigy, became racing’s newest living legend. At the end of a five-week odyssey logic says should have taxed his chestnut frame to detrimental levels and highlighted the foundation that was poured in at an accelerated rate, he managed to redefine what those of his ilk can achieve.

Three years after a Bob Baffert-trained freak ran right on through the most heavily guarded club in racing, the velvet rope dropped once more for another prodigy from the barn of the man who himself keeps raising his own ceiling on greatness. Justify, the horse who didn’t make his first start until Feb. 18 and, thus, should have cracked under the strain that has undone many of an all-timer before him, captured the June 9 Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) by 1 3/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion over the Chad Brown-trained Gronkowski to become just the 13th horse in history to sweep the Triple Crown.

The list of barriers that have gone down since Justify first announced himself at Santa Anita Park are as notable as the colt’s unprecedented ascension into racing’s annals. When he captured the May 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), he became the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to take the 10-furlong test without having raced as a 2-year-old. When he turned back Eclipse Award winner Good Magic in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and then held off late-running Bravazo to prevail by half a length, he gave his Hall of Fame conditioner what was then a record-tying 14th victory in a Triple Crown race and put himself in position to join Seattle Slew (1977) as the only undefeated horses to take all three classics.

In equaling Slew’s feat with a sublime triumph Saturday that never saw him get seriously tested, Justify not only gave Baffert his record-breaking 15th Triple Crown race win, he put the white-haired savant alongside the great “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons as the only trainers to condition two Triple Crown heroes, with Baffert also having guided American Pharoah , who famously ended the 37-year drought between feats in 2015.

Justify also provided his 52-year-old legendary jockey Mike Smith—pilot of such Hall of Famers as Zenyatta, Holy Bull, and Inside Information—the one accomplishment that was missing from his résumé.

“I’ve been through it and … if he was great, he was going to do it. And that’s what it’s about,” an emotional Baffert said of Justify. “To me, I wanted to see that horse, his name up there with the greats. If they’re great, they’re going to win the Triple Crown. It takes a great horse to win the Triple Crown.

“I don’t have to really compare (Justify and American Pharoah) because if they make it on that wall (of Triple Crown winners), that’s all you need to say.”

That Baffert has been dropping Justify’s name in the same breath as American Pharoah’s since his 2 1/2-length victory over juvenile champion Good Magic in the Kentucky Derby was a shot across the bow of what would be coming down the pike heading into Belmont Park‘ssignature 1 1/2-mile test.

Where American Pharoah proved the game hadn’t passed the current-day Thoroughbred by in terms of being able to thrive during the Triple Crown grind, Justify illustrated that superior talent can get a late start and still run every obstacle into the ground. In his first career outing, Justify set testing fractions of :21.80 and :44.37 and still drew off to win by 9 1/2 lengths going seven furlongs. That display of speed and stamina proved to be just the tip of the iceberg of what he was about to become.

Following an equally handy 6 1/2-length, optional-claiming allowance win March 11, Justify was in a progress-or-bust situation where his Kentucky Derby prospects were concerned. He needed a top-two finish in the April 7 Santa Anita Derby (G1) to ensure himself a shot to make history beneath the Twin Spires. As has become his trademark, he took it to the more seasoned members of his class—besting multiple grade 1 winner Bolt d’Oro by three lengths—in an effort Baffert didn’t even think was emblematic of the colt’s upside.

“When we came with this horse, when he won his second out, I was thinking, ‘I think this is a Derby horse. He could be a Triple Crown horse, man,'” Baffert said. “He just showed us that raw talent was there. He’s like a walk-on. He just came on there and he broke every curse there was. It was just meant to be.”

After chasing a hot pace in the Kentucky Derby and after Good Magic tried to put the heat on him in the Preakness, the only vulnerability anyone could come up with when forecasting a dismal Belmont scenario for Justify was if the strain of packing five races into just over 90 days hit him between the ears when he had to stretch himself for 12 furlongs over a track whose surface can sap form from even the fittest of runners.

Even before the field of 10 was drawn, that notion took a hit when the colt campaigned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Starlight Racing, and Head of Plains Partners threw down a pair of impressive works at Churchill Downs—most notably a four-furlong sizzler in :46 4/5 May 29 that had a look of a horse going through a routine gallop.

When he leaped out of post 1 Saturday and began his devastating rhythm before he even reached the first turn, the gauntlet was effectively thrown down.

“I knew if I jumped out well, he’s just faster than they are,” Smith said. “He was about a neck to a head in front the first couple of jumps, so I was really happy with the way he got away from there.

“Some horses just stay on, or some just completely stay off. But he just listens to everything I say. Every time I want him to just take a breather, I just put my hands back down and he’d settle right back down. And if I wanted to squeeze him a little, he’ll jump right back again.”

Smith is savvy enough to know not to get in the way of a great horse doing his thing. Making his life even easier was the fact none of Justify’s nine rivals bothered to press his tactical speed.

With his stablemate Restoring Hope going wide around the first turn and moving into second position, and Bravazo settling in third, Justify ran the opening quarter in an honest :23.37 but was allowed to back things off a bit through a half-mile in :48.11. As Smith and his partner reached the final turn after clocking a mile in 1:38.09, the Todd Pletcher-trained Vino Rosso loomed to his outside just a half-length behind.

Where that challenger and the rest of his brethren were coming under a ride, however, Smith was still sitting in statue mode, yet to call upon all the gas in the tank.

“I just wanted to wait as long as I could before I really put the pedal to the metal,” Smith said. “He dug back in, and I felt at that point he would hold off anybody that was coming.”

“Down the backside, I figured it would be nearly impossible for (Justify) to get beat by anyone when I saw 1:13 and change (for three quarters),” Brown added. “I changed my mind a little at the quarter pole when I saw Gronkowski saved every bit of ground because … (jockey) Jose Ortiz gave me a million-dollar ride today.”

As Justify hit the top of the lane with history within his grasp, Gronkowksi—who was last in the early going, several lengths behind the field after breaking slowly from post 6—indeed tried to do what his stablemate Good Magic had done before him and inject some drama into the outcome. The son of Lonhro whipped up the inside rail in his first Stateside start and first try on dirt and came with a rally that in most years would have been good enough to make him a stunner of a classic hero.

This was no ordinary season, however. And Justify reaffirmed in the stretch he was no ordinary athlete. As the crowd provided an emphatic soundtrack befitting the achievement before them, the big red specimen dug in gamely to hit the wire in 2:28.18 over a fast track, with Gronkowski besting the Bill Mott-trained Hofburg by 1 3/4 lengths for place honors.

“It was no fault of Jose that the horse didn’t break well,” Brown said of Gronkowski. “From there, he got everything out of this horse. He did a great job for me. (Baffert) did a training job that is one of the greatest of all time. The pace might have been a little slow, but this horse (Justify) ran in three Triple Crown races, and he showed up and earned it.”

“You can’t doubt Justify now,” Mott added. “There’s no way. You’ve got to give him credit.”

Vino Rosso faded to fourth, with Tenfold rounding out the top five. Bravazo, Free Drop Billy, Restoring Hope, Blended Citizen, and Noble Indy completed the order of finish.

With his record a spotless 6-for-6 and his place among the best of the best secure, it is a wonder what the colt bred in Kentucky by John D. Gunther could do next to add to his level of acclaim. A summer campaign was mentioned in the aftermath of his trek into the history books.

The most pressing thing all involved wanted to focus on, however, was giving themselves the proper time to soak in the achievements of the horse who took on a most improbable task in the most improbable of fashions and made it all look normal.

“To have the opportunity to be here and to make history like this is an incredible feeling,” said Elliott Walden, president of WinStar Farm. “These horses just … you buy them or whatever, but a horse like this just kind of happens. You can’t find these horses. They find you.”

https://vplayer.nbcsports.com/p/BxmELC/nbcsports_embed/select/media/xTr_cAHnUJEc

Body and Soul: The Ten Commandments of Stallion Selection

By Robert D. Fierro

We know what you’re thinking: Whatever in the world would possess someone to talk about stallion selection just before the breeding season officially ends? While some might accuse your correspondent of being somewhat possessed, in some ways, there is a logical reason for exploring this subject at this time: Everybody starts thinking about next year when the breeding shed doors close up for the season.

Stallion managers start looking more closely at prospects for the next season. Sometimes they look to stay on a roll of success after breeders stormed the doors for a newbie or freshmen sires burst out in style. Sometimes they need to assuage the frustration of a newbie failing to attract much interest, or those with a couple of crops failing to show much competence or class.

Breeders conjure up similar thoughts, especially those who booked to stallions whose first or second crops sold like hotcakes at the yearling or 2-year-old sales, but have demonstrably proven their shortcomings a week or so after their mare has been bred to one of them.

Guilt trips travel over various routes.

Below we present a check list of factors that might raise an eyebrow or two as to what we have referred to as the “Ten Commandments of Stallion Selection” (no apostacy intended, and we even phrased most of them as questions rather than dictates). While it is more geared toward the breeder than the stallion manager, there might be a nugget or two for all to find interesting, if not helpful.

[I] How Did He Run? The best sire prospects–even among sprinters–gain early position and have the cruising power, stride length, and thrust (kick from behind through hocks and quarters), to outlast the rest at the end. These horses are more efficient. On the other hand, deep closers–including closing sprinters–may be less efficient due to biomechanical issues which force them to settle, get into rhythm, and then win on momentum. It’s an axiom of genetic probability that the more efficient body will have the best chance of replicating itself in a population of mares where the majority are closer to being reasonably efficient.

[II] How did he move? Did he move as to give an appearance of running with his nose to the ground–like Danzig, Deputy Minister, A.P. Indy, for example? Did he run with his neck extended straight ahead and move in a rhythmic motion with his shoulder extension–like Affirmed and Alydar? Did he run with his head up, floating along like a ballet dancer–such as Montjeu? Which style defined your mare, and do you want to match it or blend it with another style?

[III] Where, and on what surface, did he run? The majority of leading sires in Kentucky–and in most major breeding states–raced successfully in New York, and by extension on the major circuit which includes Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Gulfstream, Santa Anita and Del Mar. Some may have done well overseas before racing here, but for the most part you want domesticity in a race record.

[IV] Is he a square, a rectangle, or a trapezoid? This is an assessment of body set and takes some eye adjustment. A square body will include equal front and rear leg length and relatively short body length–you see a square. Rectangle would include those with legs that might be the same length as those on a square body, but the length of the back and body would be long, so you see a rectangle. A trapezoid would be a body set that is to the eye either square or rectangular, but the body itself is lower or higher at the elbow or flank thereby generating either a downhill or an uphill trajectory.

[V] Is he Derek Jeter, Wilson Kipsang, or Tom Brady? Now, move around to the front and, still keeping your eyes above the knees, try to get a handle on this guy’s girth–i.e. how wide or how narrow he is. Jeter is agile and versatile, Kipsang is lanky and long-winded, Brady is as balanced as Jeter but not as agile. Think of the athlete you are viewing and determine what kind of athlete you are looking to breed.

[VI] Is he a “sport?” Biologically speaking, a “sport” is “an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration–a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently.” In the vernacular, that refers to a person or animal who appears to be completely different than what was expected, but manages to establish itself as a success. In racing, that could mean success on the racetrack, and either success or failure at stud. California Chrome is a bit of a sport.

[VII] Kick the tires. It is much easier to breed for one trait than two, and heaven forbid a stallion has bad front wheels as well as being very short in those legs. You might want to send a long legged, correct, mare to him, but you might not get a correction for both factors unless the rest of their physical traits are close. Try to do your genetic homework here–find out if bad front wheels are a trait of the sire’s pedigree, or whether the wheels were an environmental accident, e.g., awkward position in-utero, nutrition as a foal, etc.

[VIII] Who’s his daddy? Line or branch founders are generally consistent in siring the type of individual who helps establish that offshoot. Fappiano’s branch of Mr. Prospector’s line is far different than Gone West’s, Smart Strike’s and Forty Niner’s in many key aspects–each branch is quite consistent in expressing the founder’s size, aptitude, or personality, for example

[IX] What stock did his momma come from-and who was her daddy? You can quickly eliminate a stallion from consideration on the strength of the broodmare sire and his sire-line. Check the list of leading sires over the past 10 years and note which were produced by mares whose sires and maternal grandsires made no lasting impression on the breed–love that phrase, memorize it. Look at the six-cross pedigree of the stallion prospect and ask yourself, “Does this work?”

[X] Be wary of a stallion prospect whose name you cannot pronounce or spell. Years ago a breeder asked whether we thought of a new stallion, whose name he pronounced “Abajoenee.” Puzzled, we asked other pertinent questions but finally asked how the name was spelled. He spelled it and we then informed him that the name was pronounced “A-bag-in-one” (he was by Devil’s Bag). The man preferred his pronunciation and eschewed breeding to that horse.

Abaginone notwithstanding, such is the way of the world, and our game.

Bob Fierro is a partner with Jay Kilgore and Frank Mitchell in DataTrack International, biomechanical consultants and developers of BreezeFigs. He can be reached at bbfq@earthlink.net.

DHS Authorizes Additional 15,000 H-2B VIsas for FY2018

Considerations for filing an H-2B petition per the new regulation.

 

Following several weeks of tense discussions between Congress and the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland Security published a final rule May 31 in the Federal Register authorizing issuance of 15,000 additional H-2B visas for the remainder of fiscal year 2018.

As reported this spring, Congress authorized the DHS to raise its cap on H-2B temporary worker visas from the current cap of 66,000 to 129,500 visas for FY2018 within the context of the omnibus appropriations law passed in late March. DHS states that by issuing 15,000 extra H-2B visas—significantly below the additional 63,500 authorized by the FY2018 omnibus—the agency will prioritize employers who demonstrate that they would suffer “irreparable harm” to their business unless they are able to hire additional seasonal workers during the summer and fall 2018 seasons. DHS further states that it seeks to avoid possible abuse of the H-2B program by limiting the pool of extra visas to 15,000.

According to the rule, DHS punted the broader temporary worker shortage issue to Congress, urging lawmakers to reform the Immigration and Nationality Act, which establishes the H-2B visa program. During the course of the extended back-and-forth discussions between the legislative and executive branches this spring, DHS claims that only congressional action can provide long-term certainty with respect to the issuance of more guest worker visas. According to federal regulators, addressing worker shortages through the annual appropriations process fails to create certainty, undercutting the ability of the business community to plan long-term.

Since moving forward with a limited cap increase, DHS’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service has outlined some practical considerations for filing an H-2B petition per the new regulation:

  • An employer “must meet all existing H-2B eligibility requirements,” which includes receipt of “an approved Temporary Labor Certification from the Department of Labor that is valid for the entire employment period stated on the petition.” DHS reminds employers that “the employment start date on the petition must match the employment start date on the TLC, even if that date has passed.”
  • Employers must also “conduct a fresh round of recruitment for U.S. workers if the TLC contains a start date of work before April 15, 2018.”
  • A business must “submit an attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-2 in which the petitioner affirms, under penalty of perjury, its business will likely suffer irreparable harm if it cannot hire all the requested H-2B workers before the end of the fiscal year.” The agency provides Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-2 Instructions to properly complete the attestation.
  • DHS further states that it “will not accept” an “expired ETA 9142-B-CAA from fiscal year 2017.”  The agency will reject any “petition that does not include the new ETA 9142-B-CAA-2 attestation form for fiscal year 2018.”

Recognizing the time constraints associated with the application process, DHS states that it will “adjudicate” applications within 15 calendar days for employers opting for “premium processing,” and 30 days for standard applications. To learn more about how to fast-track an H-2B visa application, please go to: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/how-do-i-use-premium-processing-service.

The unprecedented demand for guest worker visas this year will create a narrow time frame in which to submit an application.

As details unfold related to practical considerations associated with the new rule, American Horse Council will continue to inform members about developments and helpful notes for members who are considering moving forward with summer applications.

As a reminder, AHC will be conducting a panel discussion featuring congressional and industry experts June 12 in Washington as part of the association’s annual meeting. To view a copy of the final rule, go to: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-31/pdf/2018-11732.pdf.

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