Parting is such sweet sorrow, and, in some instances, painful...
DRF’s David Grening reports that Kiaran McLaughlin will no longer train for West Point Thoroughbreds, and G1-placed Justwhistledixie has been transferred to Bill Mott. However, don’t cry for McLaughlin; he is still the Maktoum families’ primary American trainer, and I, for one, am pleased to see him riding Rajiv Maragh more, apparently unlike some.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the Aga Khan announced two weeks ago that Christophe Lemaire has been retained as their first-call jockey next season, ending an eight-year partnership with Zarkava’s jockey Christophe Soumillon who suffered an open fracture to an elbow on Tuesday and may be out for the rest of the year. Ouch! At least it will give Soumillon time to think before he speaks...
Much like Wesley Ward’s world-record setting One Hot Wish and William Curran’s track-record tying Ever So Pretty, I have a feeling we’ll never hear again from Doug O’Neill-trained Necessary Evil who fractured her left front ankle running in the G1 Darley Debutante last weekend. What possible value is there in blazing-fast two-year-olds who burnout way too fast? Is it just my imagination, or do we see far too many of these types nowadays?
Mixed feelings about Cosmonaut’s retirement...I always loved this son of Lemon Drop Kid, even when he was trained by cobra venom cheat Patrick Biancone. His highlights, for me, are the third-place finish behind Kip Deville and Excellent Art in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile at Monmouth in 2007, and the narrow second-place miss to Purim in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in 2007. Wow, now that I see that in writing, I guess it's been awhile since he's been at the top of his game. Still, sad to see him leave the turf, but he’s certainly earned a long, healthy retirement.
As for the loss this week of “sire of sires” Gone West, Glenn Craven (Fugue for Tinhorns) has said it far better than I; check out his post here.
Congratulations to Linda Rice for winning the Saratoga training title over Todd Pletcher—it’s no small achievement, especially with a limited number and type of runners. Thank god only 28 of 192 races were taken off the turf...
Let me get this straight: Rick “Duh”trow has been suspended 30-days for a 2008 clenbuterol positive, but, naturally, the suspension will not begin until after the Breeders’ Cup? Once again, those who govern horse racing—in this instance, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission—has permitted one of the game’s most notorious cheats to make a mockery of rules and regulations.
Furthermore, the agreement does not require him to transfer his horses to another trainer? I’ve read the commission’s disciplinary measures and penalties several times, and I don’t see where, as the DRF’s article claims, a transfer is required only after a second Class B violation. In fact, section 3 clearly states: “Prior offenses occurring in other racing jurisdictions may be considered by the stewards and the Authority in assessing penalties. The stewards shall attach to a penalty judgment a copy of the offender’s prior record containing violations that were committed both inside and outside of Kentucky.”
Additionally, section 7 clearly outlines: “A person shall not train a horse or practice veterinary medicine for the benefit, credit, reputation, or satisfaction of an inactive person.” The passage continues to outline how the new trainer, not “an associated person”, should maintain records of bills, etc. during the time the horse is under their control.
Ray Paulick derisively noted last year that, considering his extensive rap-sheet of infractions, Rick Dutrow should hardly be considered a “first-time offender” in this case. I totally agree, although I’m sure those few Dutrow supporters out there will again claim we are beating up on poor misunderstood Rick, but I don’t care. I’m tired of the hypocrisy, the double-standards and the turning a blind eye to drug misuse. Enough is enough!