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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Brief Runhappy Thoughts

Runhappy, Maria Borrell, Mattress Mack and Laura Wohlers have been 99% of my Twitter feed for the past few days. Judging by my feed, you wouldn't know that American Pharoah had won the Classic, and you would have forgotten than a female jockey won the Melbourne Cup pretty quickly. I haven't tweeted about this Runhappy thing, but I have a few brief things to say about it.


  1. Trainers, if you are reading this, you would be wise to have any clients sign some sort of legal agreement before you take their horses. Lay out that you will charge your day rate, whatever costs you will bill, and that you will bill for whatever % of purse earnings the horses make. The tracks aren't going to protect you, and the unfortunate reality is that there are plenty of owners who don't like to pay. You can ask practically any trainer at any racetrack and they will tell you that they have had to fight with some clients to get the money they worked for. Protect yourself, or be ready to have to fight a lot harder if you get screwed.
  2. On this fracture tibia in New Orleans thing; I don't know Laura Wohlers at all. I had never heard her name before this Runhappy thing. This is what I do know; even the worst trainers I know personally wouldn't send their horse out to race with a fractured tibia. It's one of those things that's pretty obvious. Even if they were to decide to run the horse with that injury, we have commission veterinarians for a reason. In addition, the horse clocked a half mile in 47 flat in the race, a quick pace for a route race. So if you're deciding to believe a clocker that this horse was crippled before the race and that there is no way the injury was sustained in the race, I sure can't help you.
  3. On the other hand, who sends a horse out to train the day after a race? I've worked with plenty of horses in Stakes races and $4,000 claimers at Fort Erie, and they all walk for a few days after a race, regardless of whether or not it was a hard fought win or a pitiful dead last effort. Generally, they get three days to walk, some get two, some get a few more, it all depends, but again, any trainer will tell you this is how things operate. It's unheard of in current racing for a horse to train the day after a race. The fact that there was apparently some heat in one of his feet makes this even more bizarre to me. I don't know what his feet were like, I wasn't there and I'm not going to take a side, but that whole part of the start really baffled me.
  4. Do we know the whole story? No. We have a few social media posts from both sides, but none of us were there, none of us know what actually happened behind the scenes, none of us can say anything for sure. So many things are possible here. Who are any of us to pick sides and make judgments?
        I don't know Maria Borell, Laura Wohlers or Mattress Mack, I don't know who has done what with Runhappy over the course of his career and I don't have an interest in picking a side in the matter. We'll see what happens next, but the whole story isn't there for us to see.

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