The furor around Life at Ten’s non-performance in the BC Ladies Classic (don’t get me started on that name) has started to die down. Most of the bettors whose money was squandered have taken their lumps and either moved on in disgust or completely moved on to slots.
I was there at Churchill on Breeders’ Cup Friday, freezing in the dark and having a great time. A friend with me also had placed a goodish bet on Life at Ten; then I saw her “warming” up before the race. Clearly, something was amiss, I advised my racing buddy, and he scooted over to the windows and changed his bet.
Part of what I do to earn a living in racing includes looking at racehorses and evaluating their action. And there were plenty of other people at Churchill who could have seen what was going on (whether the mare was tying up or whatever), and they should have taken action.
As one who looks at a lot of horses every year, I don’t especially need anyone to look after my interests at the track, but most track patrons do. They need professionals to oversee the conduct of racing. That’s why racetracks have stewards, video cameras, outriders, ambulances, on-track veterinarians, and so forth.
Unfortunately, the professionals that day failed. And the sport took a lick to the head that was not necessary. The only bright spot is that Life at Ten appeared not to be damaged from the bad situation of trying to race when she was genuinely uncomfortable. But a lot of people lost a lot of money for no good reason, and the professionals who should have scratched the mare at the gate have mostly stayed in their fox holes waiting for the storm to blow over.
That seems to be the “professional” answer. But over at the Paulick Report, Ray has begun posting a daily reminder that the investigation into this incident has not rendered a conclusion. Read the latest here.