Secretariat

Travels with Charlie

The fans have spoken and the horse with the popular name is also the most popular horse, winning the Secretariat Vox Populi Award. Here is the story behind the charismatic and courageous Hot Rod Charlie. ~ Steve Haskin

Travels with Charlie

By Steve Haskin

My apologies to John Steinbeck for stealing his title, and Hot Rod Charlie is by no means as compatible a traveling companion as Steinbeck’s pet poodle Charley. But Steinbeck did conclude his 10,000-mile journey in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, which were all stops for Hot Rod Charlie on his 25,000-mile trek across the United States and back to California that included 10 cross-country flights and stops in New Orleans, Louisville, New York City, Oceanport, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Back home he made appearances in Los Angeles and Del Mar.

No one can deny the courage, fortitude, and consistency of this year’s top 3-year-olds. And they did stir our emotions. We saw the outpouring of love and admiration for Medina Spirit following the colt’s tragic death last week that deeply affected so many people. In many ways, Medina Spirit and Hot Rod Charlie, as well as Essential Quality, mirrored one another in the way they battled hard race after race without wavering even once. Any of the three would have been a worthy Secretariat Vox Populi Award winner.

But in the end, Hot Rod Charlie was voted the award by racing fans mainly because of his consistency, resiliency, toughness, and traveling all over the country to take on the best over any distance and any racetrack. What also separated him from the others is that many regarded him as a hard-luck horse who always tried his best, but often came up just short, with almost every race being a mini-drama. And because of that, they were always pulling for him to land one of the major races.

One of his most heartbreaking defeats, which may very well have endeared him to the public even more, was running such a gutsy race in the Haskell Invitational only to be disqualified. And this followed a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes, which was considered by many as one of the greatest losing efforts in memory. To then travel back east for the fifth time this year and finally get that elusive Grade 1 victory in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby only increased his fan base and put him in position to be seriously considered for the Vox Populi Award.

And how can you not be a fan of a horse who, from November 6, 2020 to November 6, 2021, ran in eight races (six of them Grade 1) at eight different racetracks in six different states and never finished worse than fourth (excluding his disqualification), while finishing in the top three in seven of them.

To demonstrate how versatile he was and how he could be placed anywhere on the track, he won or placed at seven different distances from five furlongs on the grass to 1 ½ miles on dirt , and in his half-mile calls he was first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh, finishing in the money in all of them.

In his final start, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, he was the only horse who posed a serious threat to the front-running older horse and likely Horse of the Year Knicks Go, making a move along the inside and getting almost on even terms nearing the eighth pole. But he was unable to sustain his move and was passed by fellow 3-year-olds Medina Spirit and Essential Quality, who finished just three-quarters of a length and a length ahead of him. Always in the mix, in Charlie’s previous defeats he was beaten three quarters of a length, a neck, one length, 1 ¼ lengths, and on a disqualification.

Despite all the hard races and all the traveling, he ran a career-high Beyer speed figure of 111 in his next-to-last start in the Pennsylvania Derby, the fastest non-sprint number by any 3-year-old this year. Perhaps he peaked in that race or perhaps the tough races and the traveling since January finally caught to him in the final furlong of the Classic. But he never stopped trying.

Before we go over all the stops in our Travels With Charlie let’s start at the beginning when Sean Feld called Doug O’Neill’s brother Dennis, who buys many of Doug’s horses at the sale, and told him that he and his father Bob were selling a half-brother to sprint champion Mitole by Oxbow at the Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale that he really liked, but there was no interest in him and he was getting little action. So Feld sent Dennis photos of the colt and a video of him walking and Dennis fell in love with him. He then called Greg Helm of Roadrunner Racing, which had been buying only 2-year-olds and told him, “I’ve got a yearling you might want to buy.

Helm wasn’t sure his five partners wanted to invest in a yearling so he sent them an email trying to convince them to put up more money, explaining that he was a half-brother to Mitole and could make a good sprinter, and they all agreed. “That’s why we named him Hot Rod,” Helm explained. “We thought he would be a bullet.”

Dennis bought him for $110,000 with Roadrunner Stable going in for half and Dennis getting Bill Strauss and Boat Racing to go in for the other half.

Boat Racing is comprised of five college buddies and football teammates from Brown University, who formed a strong brotherhood after graduating. Heading the partnership is Doug and Dennis O’Neill’s nephew Patrick O’Neill, who became the spokesman for the group, who named the stable after a beer game from their college days and have been vocal and fun loving at all of Charlie’s races.

“The Boat Racing guys are a unique addition to racing,” Helm said. “To bring in that kind of youth and energy and devotion helps give the sport the strength it once had.”

That youthful energy was on display at the Breeders’ Cup post position draw, at which there is little reaction when a number is called. But, even though post positions had little significance in the Classic, when Hot Rod Charlie drew post 3, a huge cheer went up, much to the amusement of the crowd. It was Helm who played up to the Boat Racing boys’ exuberance, telling them before the draw, “No matter what post we draw, let’s make some noise.”

Patrick told Lenny Shulman of Blood Horse, “It’s been incredible. I can’t even put into words the experience we’re having. It’s so cool to be able to share this with family and my best friends in the world. It’s been a remarkable journey; crazy how one horse can bring so many people together.”

Hot Rod Charlie also has been running for a cause, with a portion of his earnings going to fight melanoma, which claimed the lives of Doug and Dennis’ brothers Danny and David at an early age. Dennis fought the same disease and was able to beat it.

Charlie’s career had started off rather uneventful. Because of the colt’s illustrious brother, Doug started him off at five furlongs, once on dirt and once on grass, but troubled starts cost him any shot at victory. He was then stretched out to a mile on grass, but ran a non-threatening fifth. What was most disappointing was that he was the favorite in all three races. Doug put blinkers on Charlie in a one-mile maiden race on dirt and he showed much more life, battling every step of the way to win by a neck over John Shirreffs’ highly regarded Parnelli.

Following the race Doug shocked Dennis when he told him that this was a different horse now and that he was going to run him next in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Dennis admitted he thought Doug was crazy, but the colt nearly pulled it off at 94-1, battling the undefeated grade 1 winner Essential Quality to the wire, getting beat only three-quarters of a length.

In his 3-year-old debut, the Robert Lewis Stakes, Charlie got bounced around like a three-cushion billiard shot in the stretch while in tight quarters between horses and finished a game third, beaten a neck, by Medina Spirit in a three-horse photo. He then wired his field in the Louisiana Derby, run for the first time at the extended distance of 1 3/16 miles. In the Kentucky Derby, he had to check passing the finish line the first time, right behind Medina Spirit, dropping back to fifth. He fought hard in the stretch, but fell a length short of catching Medina Spirit and Mandaloun, although he did out-battle Essential Quality for third.

He then provided one of the greatest second place efforts in the history of the Belmont Stakes, battling on the lead through a torrid half in :46 2/5, which was only a fifth of a second slower than Secretariat ran in his record Belmont victory. Again, he wouldn’t quit in the stretch, but just couldn’t hold off Essential Quality, who was able to sit back off that pace and wear him down, winning by 1 1/4 lengths with an 11 ¼-length gap to the third horse, Preakness winner Rombauer. It was the second fastest Belmont in the last 20 years, with only Triple Crown winner American Pharoah running faster. And this followed the second fastest Kentucky Derby in the last 20 years. The only Derby run faster was by Authentic the year before, but that race was run in September because of Covid when the 3-year-olds were far more advanced and experienced.

Charlie appeared to have finally landed his elusive Grade 1 victory when he out-battled Mandaloun by a nose in the Haskell Invitational only to be disqualified and placed seventh for interfering with Midnight Bourbon in the stretch. Despite another gutsy performance going for naught, Charlie missed the stakes record by only a fifth of a second and the track record by two-fifths. After the race, Bill Strauss told Helm, “We got Haskelled.” When the group later purchased a Practical Joke colt at the sale they named him Haskelled.

Everything finally went right for Charlie in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby and he had no trouble winning wire-to-wire by 2 ¼ lengths, earning his career-high 111 Beyer speed figure, but once again had to survive a foul claim for drifting out at the top of the stretch.

The previously mentioned Breeders’ Cup Classic was anticlimactic, but no one held Charlie’s fourth-place finish against him, knowing he gave 100 percent once again and was the first one to go after Knicks Go, which may well have cost him second or third. Even with only the two stakes victories and losing the rich Haskell purse, Charlie still ended the year with earnings of over $2 million.

“It was a heartbreaking, but exhilarating year,” Helm said. “It breaks your heart when he doesn’t quite get there, but he always puts everything into it and that’s why the people voted for him. We realized how popular he was when so many people at the Breeders’ Cup asked us for his hat. Charlie doesn’t fit the mold of your typical classic racehorse other than the size of his heart. When I think of the ride he’s taken us on it blows your mind.”

Contrary to the last two years when the Vox Populi Award was given to the eventual Horse of the Year,  this year the fans voted for a horse who has no championship aspirations, unlike Knicks Go, Essential Quality, and Medina Spirit. They threw away the stats and went with their heart, which was founder Penny Chenery’s intent when she created this award. Charlie showed that the true qualities of the Thoroughbred are not always determined by the number of victories as much as the fight and desire to attain those victories. And no one fought harder race after race than Hot Rod Charlie.

Photo courtesy of Coady Photography


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229 Responses to “Travels with Charlie”

  1. Lynda King says:

    Really nice article “Medina Spirit” The Only Thing He Lacked Was Respect”, on horsenetworkdotcom.

  2. EddieF says:

    COVID-FREE POST

    Two good 2yo races at the Fair Grounds next Sunday: the first ever Gun Runner Stakes (for Derby points) and a maiden race at 8.5f with a Gun Runner connection.

    Rocket Dawg will probably be the favorite in the Gun Runner, and his debut 7f win was impressive. But Epicenter also was impressive in his stretch-out maiden win in a one-turn mile race at CD. He broke from the outside 10 post and took the lead contested by Surfer Dude. Epicenter put the Dude away and won by 3.5 lengths. Dude won his next race two weeks later and now is facing Epicenter again as the only other speed. Epicenter has Post 1 on Sunday.

    In the maiden race, the Gun Runner colt Cyberknife stretches out after finishing first (and DQed) at 6f and then missing by a half length at 6.5f. He’s had good once-a-week workouts since Nov 20 and should be a strong favorite.

    • Lynda King says:

      I always pay attention to horses owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds. In addition to owning Epicenter, they also own Echo Zulu and owned Gun Runner, Midnight Bourbon, Untapable, Tapiture and Tapit, just to throw a few names out there.
      Epicenter’s damsire is Candy Ride.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Rocket Dawg’s maiden win was right up at the top of my list. Could be a good one.

  3. pro vet says:

    I can see the future…….i was going to claim a horse this week, but i think people will be surpised whats going to happen…..this new OM variant is going to mess with us big time. Sports are going to be really messed with. Anything public…..do you realize whats coming? There will be so many positives coming. Im not worried about lives, this is like a cold…..
    I’m worried about how dumb people are. How are they going to shut alot of public things down again.? For something like a cold?…..now, a pos test is not the same. Do we test for Delta and OM?……

    I see chaos……..i would expect the stock market to go down…..SELL!….SELL!
    does anyone know how contagious this is?……..zero chance of stopping this weak variant….
    GET READY!

    • Matthew W says:

      I think some states are done, with all this shutting down bunk…unfortunately, I live in Cali, and only hope they don’t shut down Santa Anita to live crowds….crowds are smaller, now— you can get up front, in the Saddling barn and walking ring, now, at SA….and while I read this latest strain is 70X more contagious than Delta…it’s far less lethal—-I read last August the average age of Covid death was 78….the same as the life expectancy of an American male, and I wonder if people aren’t just going to ignore any more of this fear mongering….I also wonder, VET—What do THEY know, that WE don’t, what exactly did they create, in the lab….making strains stronger, so they can make better cures, what are they doing????

    • Coldfacts says:

      “I can see the future.”

      I rather definitive disclosure. A modern-day Nostradamus.

      If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. – Proverbs

      Who will win the 2022 KD thou one blessed with this special power?

      Mr. Modern-day Nostradamus. What is the correct clarification of one ‘Who Knows Not, And Knows Not That He Knows Not?

      • Coldfacts says:

        EDIT TO FINAL PARAGRAPH –

        Mr. Modern-day Nostradamus. What is the correct classification of one ‘Who Knows Not, And Knows Not That He Knows Not?

    • Lynda King says:

      As I type this, I have a friend who is fighting for his life on a ventilator in the hospital. He is a husband and father to two teenage girls. The doctors told his wife this morning that they are doing all they can for him. He took a turn for the worst 24 hours ago and his ventilator is maxed out at 100% and he has an infection in his lungs and is no longer responding to the anti-viral. Last November I lost another friend to Covid and there are others, people I knew or worked with or lived in my home town.
      I wonder sometimes, do you, Coldfacts and from time to time, Sceptre, ever think about what you write or how it might impact other people?
      Is that your biggest concern, the stock market dropping or sports schedules being messed up or how “dumb” you think people are when people are dying?
      Why is it always about “You”????

    • Mike Relva says:

      Many things you are, visionary you aren’t.

  4. Matthew W says:

    Larry’s riding “Thunderbolt”, in the big $5K race tonight, on the Three Stooges

  5. Coldfacts says:

    I have already started an in dept research into the 2YOs that have captured my attention. I came across a bit of information that leads me to think an exacta in the next future poll is worthwhile based purely on a hunch.

    Giants Causeway last crop emerged from 9 mares bred with 7 reported in foal that yielded 4 live foals. Two from the four
    made it into the KD Future Pool 1. They are Giant Game and Classic Causeway.

    One colt is dark brown, and the other is chestnut. In addition to having the same sire, both also have the same DOB i.e., February 22, 2019.

    Who could have expected that from a foal crop of 4, two would have common foaling dates the same day? A Giants Causeway exacta is in order. I hit a nice exacta in the California Chrome Derby. I just wagered the CC exacta. California Chrome with Commanding Curve. Hay anything goes in a race of glorious uncertainties.

    Classic Causeway’s dam has a June DOB. It probably the first time I have seen a KD prospect whose dam was a June foal. A deceased sire with a foal from mare born in June. This read like something that could be added to the weird history of the KD.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Although Classic Causeway needs to learn how to finish. having had two hoses blow by him in the final furlong, I already have that exacta marked off for an even better reason than yours. Feb. 22 is my grandson’s birthday and this will be his fourth coming up. Having done some earlier research on both horses, CC’s broodmare sire, Thunder Gulch and his great-great grandsire Temperance Hill both won the Belmont and Travers. And GG’s tail-female family has Sea Hero and Honest Pleasure, both of whom won the Travers and finished first and second in the Kentucky Derby, so lots of classic bloodlines in the their female family.

      • EddieF says:

        That’s a nice angle. But I’m betting Smile Happy and Slow Down Andy in the next KDFW because far more “S” horses have won the Derby (19) than any other letter of the alphabet. In the past 49 years, “S” horses have won the Derby 13 times, for an incredible 26.5% win rate….Seriously! I’m not S******* you. Additionally, the last winning “S” was in 2010, so it’s DUE! And I don’t even have to think about pedigrees.

      • Mike Relva says:

        Mr. Haskin, his pedigree is loaded. He could be special.

    • Bill Dawson says:

      Good Day Coldfacts

      Classic Causeway got my attention early on, but was no match for Smile Happy in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He could improve moving forward as a 3yr. old, we’ll see. Based on Rattle N Roll’s huge closing move in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, he’s my top Derby pick as it stands now.
      Being a sucker for deep closers, I was very impressed with Joe, winner of today’s Maryland Juvenile Championship Stakes, coming from way back (10th) to run down the leaders, going 7 furlongs in 1:25.63. In the early stretch run, he was on the wrong lead, but as soon as he switched to the correct lead, he hit another gear, and drew off, to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
      At first glance, you would think that Joe, by Declaration of War, would be a turf horse, but he looked pretty damn good on dirt today.
      His broodmare sire, Arch should give him plenty of stamina, so routing shouldn’t be a problem. Granted, there hasn’t been a lot of Derby winners coming out of Laurel, (none that I’m aware of), but there’s always a first time. Trained by Michael Trombetta, this colt could have a bright future moving forward on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
      Good luck with Giant Game and Classic Causeway.

      • Steve Haskin says:

        I dont think Joe is a deep closer. He was right on the pace in his maiden victory. He was 5-6 wide every step of the way the stakes. Not a huge turn of foot, but a grinder who just keeps coming. He looks very interesting. Good looking horse with a beautiful alert head. Gotta love the name.

        • Bill Dawson says:

          Hi Steve

          A “Grinder” could be a better characterization of Joe’s running style, we’ll see if that remains his MO moving forward.
          BTW, any thoughts on his pedigree, especially on the dam side? He appears to have a ton of stamina in his genes, IMO.
          Thanks.

      • Point Unforgiven says:

        You like closers, Bill? Check out Thursday’s 6th race from Meydan. A 2-year-old Street Sense colt, out of a Empire Maker mare by the name of Azure Coast flies by ‘em all in a 7f contest. Probably didn’t beat much but, if nothing else, was visually impressive.

  6. Matthew W says:

    I expect to see Charlie up close Dec 26th, and hope for sunny skies, with the snow capped backdrop! One year, we all (Mom, my brother and sister and I) attended opening day, pouring rain, they didn’t run the Malibu back then, the opening day stakes used to be the Palos Verdes, for older sprinters at 6 furlongs ..on that rainy day the race favorite was Gray Papa, a tall gray…he was a close 3rd, but Crusading was the winner, the horse who was sold for one dollar!

  7. Coldfacts says:

    Why do so many develop emotional attachments enterprising losers? Is this emotional connection similar to the one harbored for underdogs? Just about everyone one loves an underdog. Why?

    Is there such a thing as misguided emotion? Are deeply emotional people more gullible?

    The series of questions about reflect the state of my confusion regarding emotions.

    I endeavor to never allow emotions to play a pivotal role in any decision made or conclusions reached. Why? Just about every decision made with significant emotional involvement. Will in retrospect be assessed as being either wrong or inappropriate.

    I remain puzzled regarding the assessment that the late KD winner was a profile courage, driven by his tenacity on the lead. Where exactly is the BOW to support this assessment? The colt showed tenacity in two of his 10 races. If one swallow a Summer doesn’t make. Two races displaying tenacity doesn’t a courageous horse make. Why? There are many such horses who have not been so classified. I can only conclude that this assessment was driven by misguided emotions.

    What has fueled the emotional connection with Hot Rod Charlie?

    It’s certainly cannot be his race record (12 starts:3-2-3) Horses with 25%, win rates are fairly common.

    Could it be his close battles with Essential Quality? Well, Essential Quality has a 3 to 1 edge in their HTH. (recurring)

    Could it be his performance in the Belmont? Certainly not! The Belmont was one of three occasions that Essential Quality
    rallied from behind HRC to either defeat or finish ahead of him. This makes the internal fractions of the Belmont irrelevant.
    He just cannot repel EQ’s stretch challenge under normal circumstances

    Could it be sympathy for his disqualification in the Haskell? Most DQs are controversial. The one in the Haskell wasn’t

    I cannot identify any signature moment associated with HRC that would trigger an emotional connection. But then I am cold by nature. For some an emotional connection has to be earned with more than just being a hard trying loser. There are too many that fall into this category for which emotions are misguided.

    There is a reason some horses emerge winners and other emerge losers. Some are just better overall. And no amount of misguided emotions will ever change this cold fact.

  8. Mike Relva says:

    Will state you never express an ounce of sorrow when a horse is injured or passes.

    • sceptre says:

      I’ve held my tongue about you far too long. You are, without doubt, an outrageous fool. Talk about banning someone. If I were moderator you’d be first on the list. Never, ever, have you offered anything of even meager consequence. Instead, you respond as would a foolish immature child.

  9. Matthew W says:

    Not a day goes by, without my thinking of my father, who passed away from melanoma, I did not know that part of Hot Rod Charlie’s purses have been paying for this cause—my father’s name is Charlie

    • Steve Haskin says:

      I’m glad you found an emotional connection that I’m sure brings you closer to the horse. So sorry about your father. I lost my father when I was 24.

    • Lynda King says:

      Matthew, I know all to well about missing your Dad. I too think about my Dad most every day. We carry the memories of our loved ones in our hearts even though they are no longer with us.

  10. EddieF says:

    Remington Springboard Mile tomorrow night — This race actually awards 10 Derby points to the winner and has a $400k purse! Osbourne (6-1) is the 5th choice of 9 horses in the morning line. In his debut at 6f, he was third to Howling Time, the next out winner of the Street Sense Stakes. Then he broke his maiden going 7f at CD. Leparoux travels to Oklahoma to stay on the Moquett gelding, which is a very good sign.

    It’s great to see December racing at Oaklawn, which is my favorite track without a turf course. 😉 Saturday’s card includes an 8.5f maiden race in which Quick to Blame is the ML favorite — same breeder and owners of 2yo champ Game Winner. This is his second start and first around two turns. He has three nice works since his debut for Brad Cox.

  11. Coldfacts says:

    One of my favorite country songs is ‘People Are Crazy’ I guess it’s because it accurately describes some of the actions taken, decisions made, and conclusions reached by so many.

    A gathering of people was given the option by Pontius Pilat to request a pardon for Jesus or that of the murderer Barabbas. The group chose Barabbas. As per the story that was the last time Barabbas was mentioned and Jesus is now worshipped along with another celestial authority.

    In 2019 there 3 finalists for the Eclipse for Champion 2YO. The leading nominees were Maxfield and Storm The Court Surprisingly, Champagne G1 winner Tiz The Law didn’t make the cut.

    Maxfield missed the BCJ due to injury but would have been at worst, the 2nd choice in the wagering. His win in the (G1) Claibourn Breeders Futurity was breathtaking and that performance propelled him to the status of a major KD contender.
    Storm The Court’s win in the BCJ @45/1, was preceded by an 8 1/4L shellacking in what was then the (G1) ForntRunner stakes. Maxfield’s absence from the BCJ shouldn’t have impacted the voting for the Eclipse. The likes of American Pharoah and Shared Belief who didn’t contest the BCJ, were awarded the Eclipse for Champion 2YO.

    The voters chose Storm The Court the BCJ upset winner over Maxfield the ultra-impressive Breeders Futurity winner. Surely with Champagne G1 winner Tiz The Law not making the cut. Maxfield would have been the obvious choice. But
    an example of voter gone craziness had unfolded.

    To my dismay, many knowledgeable folks including reputable bloggers and writers, endorse the voters choice. Surely it had to be something in either the water or he air that led any critical thinker to endorse such a decision. The 28/1 runner up in the BCJ had only one start, which was a debut win on turf. The 2019 BCJ was a farce that would be further confirmed by the fact that neither the winner nor the runner up, have recorded a win in a combined 18 start since. In comparison, Maxfield made 9 starts since missing the BCJ and has recorded 6 wins all in graded or listed stakes.

    What does the two scenarios above reveal about voting as it relates to awards? As the song states, people are crazy. Some voting craziness is fueled primarily by unbridled emotions. When such emotions are operating at their optimum, cold facts are relegated to the back of the bus. The inability to properly use analytics in decision making process is another factor. The decision made to award the Eclipse to Storm The Court is a glaring example.

    Is Hot Rod Charlie deserving of the largest proportion of votes driven by emotions? The analytics indicate no! But identifying what drives emotions is still a work in progress.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      And I thought we had escaped this week.

    • Matthew W says:

      I mean…some would have thought it crazy to give the Eclipse to the horse that got injured and did not compete in the biggest race….are you going to revive the “people are crazy” theme—if Jack Christopher turns out to be a world beater, and Corniche turns out to be not so good? There are MANY instances where a horse that does not win the 2yo Eclipse, turns out to be better than the winner of the award. In closing, you veer off road, and bring up Hot Rod Charlie’s winning the popularity award, an award that is nit fact based, it’s not an accomplishment award, it IS an emotional award!

      • Matthew W says:

        Coldfacts….the reason you don’t understand why HRC won the Vox award is because you are using analytics.

        • pro vet says:

          your last word tells me everything about you………..you are a genius……you are correct…..you should run for president…….me on the other hand …….i am the worst………ad person………because i used a word…….

    • pro vet says:

      No follow up on the the thyroid post?….You said i was wrong…….then i posted it increases metabolism from the website…….where is your retraction?…..where’s the apology?

  12. Coldfacts says:

    Is Hot Rod Charlie a hard knocking colt? Yes! Is he more harder knocking than Keepmeinmind? No! When both met in the BCJ, Keepmeinmind was still a maiden

    He was knocked out of contention early by an opponent and trailed by 17 1/4L. He closed on a speed bias surface a to finish 3rd, 1 1/4L behind HDC. In the KD Keepmeinmid trailed by 19 1/2L and closed to finish 7L behind HRC. He made the biggest move on any KD entrant. He never avoided Essential Quality despite being beaten by him in their 6 meetings. With a bit more luck he could have been 5th time lucky in the Jim Dandy, as his ground saving tripe landed him on the lead in mid-stretch, but went down by a HD to his nemesis, yet again.

    Certainly, Keepmeinmimd could have made the list for profile in courage. He is the only top 10, 3YO that broke his maiden in a stake. He never avoided those in the upper echelon of the division in the big races. Should Essential Quality be awarded the Eclipse for Champion 3YO. Keepmrinmind is the only opponent of EQ that faced him in the Breeder Futurity, BCJ, Blue Grass, KD, Jim Dandy & Travers.

    Back stories are great. Just about every horse has one. It’s always the case of who will tell the stories of the deserving but unheralded horses?

  13. John Goggin says:

    Just learned that team Baffert was just awarded over $100,000 in legal fees against the NYRA from a judge in NY state from the NYRA’s previous actions against Baffert….saw that coming a mile away.
    Horseracing needs a national commissioner to rule, judge and oversee this stuff before it erupts into this. Not a legal scholar but this “stuff” (Baffert, Medina Spirit, Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the NYRA) is about to absorb the upcoming Kentucy Derby march and frankly much of horseracing asunder with this galatic black hole.
    ….Baffert, Medina Spirit, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, NYRA….this needs to be addressed now.
    And Steve – you were correct….we need a national commissioner that ALL sides will adhere to.a

    • Lynda King says:

      The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 has been passed by the United States Senate and the US House of Representatives and signed into law which takes effect on July 01, 2022.
      The purpose of the Act is developing and implementing a horseracing anti-doping and medication control program and a racetrack safety program.
      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shall have oversight over the authority. The authority shall submit to the FTC any proposed rule, standard, or procedure developed by the authority to carry out the horseracing anti-doping and medication control program or the racetrack safety program. The authority shall seek to enter into an agreement with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA Equine Division) or an entity equal in qualification under which the entity acts as the anti-doping and medication control enforcement agency under this bill.
      Among the required elements of the horseracing safety program are sets of training and racing safety standards consistent with the humane treatment of horses, a system to maintain track surface quality, programs for injury and fatality analysis, investigation and disciplinary procedures, and an evaluation and accreditation program.

      The bill sets forth other provisions regarding (1) funding, conflicts of interest, and jurisdiction; (2) registration with the authority; (3) program enforcement; (4) rule violations and civil sanctions; (5) testing laboratories; (6) review of final decisions of the authority by an administrative law judge; (7) unfair or deceptive acts or practices; and (8) agreements with state racing commissions.

      It is not like the horse racing industry, the sport and the racetrack owners, trainers, connections did not know that this day was coming when it became apparent that the sport and the industry was either unable or unwilling to regulate themselves. There was actually a sense of denial or “ostrich sticking its head in the sand’ syndrome and in some cases, actual arrogance.

      Of course PETA and other animal rights extremists groups and “ignorant fans” will be blamed for this law and big money was spent lobbing members of Congress to pass the bill.

      There was a grassroots movement started, WHOA (Water, Hay, Oats Alliance0: “The Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) is a grassroots movement of like- minded individuals who support the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing. The appointment of an independent anti-doping program run by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will resolve the problem of widespread drug use in American racing and put U.S. racing jurisdictions in step with international standards.

      Doping destroys public confidence in racing, defrauds the betting fan, weakens the genetic pool and, most importantly, puts the life and limb of our equine athletes and their jockeys at risk. It is obvious that after years of committee review and discussion, America’s racing industry cannot police itself by eliminating the proliferation of performance-enhancing drugs in our sport, nor does it possess the power to adequately punish the purveyors of these drugs

      Founded in 2012, WHOA is a group of like-minded Owners, Breeders, Trainers, Jockeys, Equine Practitioners, Industry Professionals, Handicappers and Racing Fans who stand against the permissive use of performance enhancing drugs in American horse racing.”.

      You can go to this web page – wwwDOTwaterhayoatsallianceDOTcom for the roster of supporters from each state and industry leaders, trainers, jockeys, owners

      • John Goggin says:

        Question….
        Who legislates this going forward? Who executives this law, if any? And who judges this law, again, if any?
        Who is going to regulate this? In Great Britain there just one governing body but perhaps two at the most.
        At last seen in the thoroughbred industry you have the NTRA, NYRA, CHRB (California), KHRC (Kentucky), TOBA, The Jockey Club, The Breeders Cup, Keeneland Association, The Stronach Group, The Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, PETA, The Humane -Society, Animal Awareness Wellness etc….
        And by July, 2022….too late for the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

        • Lynda King says:

          The The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 is Federal Law and comes under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission (The Federal Trade Commission was created on September 26, 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Trade Commission Act into law and has the responsibility of protecting consumers by stopping unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. The agency conducts investigations, sues companies and people that violate the law, develops rules, regulations and penalties). The authority (HISA) shall establish an anti-doping and medication control standing committee and a racetrack safety standing committee to provide guidance to the authority on the development and maintenance of the programs. The programs will be administered by an equine U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
          The federal agency that will judge the laws (regulations) is the an administrative law judge, or ALJ, serves as the judge and trier of fact who presides over administrative hearings. ALJs have the power to administer oaths, make rulings on evidentiary objections, and render legal and factual determinations. ALJs are appointed pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 (APA). Most Federal Agencies such as the FTC have a ALJ.
          Basically what the Agency will be doing will be regulating the equine athlete in the same manner as human athletes in competition are regulated (managing the anti-doping program, including in-competition and out-of-competition testing, results management processes, drug reference resources, and athlete education).

          • John Goggin says:

            Nah, the FTC is basically a consumer protection organization. They are too far removed from the sport. You need a governing horseracing body spearheaded by a commissioner that is either voted on, elected to, or promoted up to that all horseracing entities adhere to….much like NFL or MLB or even the IOC (Olympics).

            • Lynda B King says:

              While I have long thought (for years) that the horse racing industry needed a commissioner or governing body such as the NFL, MLB or IOC has, I came to realize after reading and learning how HISA will be implemented that a “commissioner” and governing body was not the route that would best serve the interests of the athlete, in this case, the horse. (I even commented several weeks ago on this very site that a “commission and a commissioner” was needed.)
              The NFL, MLB, IOC and other human athletic sports commissions and commissioners are wrought with fraud and change course with the prevailing winds of politics and the current political climate; “woke” and “political correctness”.
              The fact that HISA and USADA-equine are removed from the sport rather the horse racing industry will result in the sport surviving because of the protections that are being placed for the athlete (the horse) and the safety of the racetracks.
              Seats on the HISA and USADA boards are not voted on or elected or promotions from the ranks of the horse racing industry. The individuals on these boards are hired, based on their qualifications and education and experience.
              Because HISA is Federal Law, it has to come under a Federal Government Agency, in this case the FTC.
              HISA and USADA-equine are fluid in that the first rules that go into effect on July 01, 2022 address the most immediate and pressing needs, that of the doping of race horses, the testing protocols and the sanctions for rule violations as it relates to steroids and Lasix.
              There will be more rule making as it relates to medications and race track safety.
              Many track veterinarians are actually happy that HISA became Federal law. Now they can get back to being veterinarians and not just drug dispensaries.
              Big changes are coming. Some in the horse racing industry are not happy and there will no doubt be challenges to the Federal Law ( a couple of lawsuits have already been initiated.
              The sport of horse racing was not a dying sport, it was on life support drawing it last breaths.
              The oldest sport in America was on the verge of going extinct like greyhound racing has in Florida.
              It could not continue to do things the way it always has, it had to evolve or die.

              • diane kwolek says:

                the National Horseman’s Benevolent and Protective Association and state affiliates in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, West Virginia and others are suing to prevent the HISA from being implemented. A quote from Arthur Hancock. “If they are successful and they stop this, you can kiss the horse industry goodbye”. These law suits can cause delays so the start date of HISA 7/1/22 could be in jeopardy. I hope these suits go no where and are adjudicated quickly if possible. The HISA appears to be the last best hope right now for thoroughbred racing in North America.

                • Lynda King says:

                  The HPBA sounds like AARP.
                  I agree with Arthur Hancock. HISA is the last best hope for the continuance of the sport of horse racing in the United States.
                  For all its clamoring, it appears HPBA has accomplished very little in the way of a national commissioner/governing body since its creation in 1940.
                  HPBA has also not taken a strong stand on the issue of horse slaughter in the United State and the sale and transport of horses for slaughter to Mexico and Canada and the sale of live horses, donkeys, mules and burros to China and Russia.
                  I read a bit of a blurb about HISA from their CEO and it was a misrepresentation of USADA-equine.
                  Had to giggle just a bit when the statement about HISA included the millions and millions of dollars spent annually by Thoroughbred owners.
                  Somehow the horse is being left out of the equation here. HPBA says that the initiative to ban Lasix should not be seen as a safety reform and HPBA thinks that Lasix should be a choice as a race day medication.
                  Statement from the Jockey Club regarding the HPSA lawsuits: “We are not at all surprised by the lawsuit filed against HISA today by a number of affiliates of the National HPBA,” The Jockey Club said in a statement on Monday. “We are confident that the law is constitutionally sound and legal, as it is patterned precisely after other longstanding law.

                  “It’s a shame that the National HPBA has chosen this expensive and time consuming path, but it is consistent with their well known pattern of conduct that has served to block or water down needed reforms that the vast majority of the equine industry and animal welfare organizations support.”
                  The law was passed as part of a spending bill after being shepherded through Congress by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr.

                  “We are in the final stretch of achieving the most transformational and consequential reform of the Thoroughbred horseracing industry since enactment of the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978,” Barr said in a release when the bill passed. “For almost a decade, I have worked with industry stakeholders and my Congressional colleagues to build consensus around reforms that will protect equine athletes and strengthen confidence and international competitiveness in the sport.”

                  HISA is intended to bring more national control to racing and transfers drug enforcement in the sport over to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. As part of the new drug enforcement, use of Lasix will be phased out.

                  The HBPA was against the bill from the beginning, saying that it was not asked to assist in its creation.

                  • John Goggin says:

                    Translation…..according to this blogger here and read me clearly….the horseracing industry has failed to control its business with inconsistence rules and regulations and its time for big brother (feds) to come in the take control.
                    Either get the hint or the threat and take control or give up your rites…..period.

                    • Lynda King says:

                      “This blogger” is a conservative/libertarian, thank you very much.

                      Just as an FYI to you that the HISA bill was passed with bipartisan support.

                      The original bill was introduced by Rep Andy Barr (R-KY) and co-sponsored by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and went thru several rewrites before it was voted on. When the bill reached the Senate it was supported by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

                      Barr’s statement “As a conservative who believes in federalism and states’ rights, I nevertheless understand that the Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce precisely for the purpose of eliminating these kinds of impediments to interstate exchange. And as I’ve said many times as a limited government conservative, this legislation is not about more regulation. It is about creating a single, nationwide set of rules that will result in smarter, more effective, and streamlined regulation for the industry.”.

                      So Mr. Goggin, I will ask you the same question as I asked pro-vet and scepter, “What is your proposed solution?”

                    • EddieF says:

                      You imply that HISA is a takeover of the horseracing industry. It is not. The act requires “a uniform anti-doping and medication control program to be developed and enforced by an independent Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority.” Now, unless you oppose all laws and governmental enterprises, you need to first understand the purpose of this legislation.

                      Also, the only blogger here is Steve Haskin. The people who write comments beneath the blog are not bloggers.

                    • John Goggin says:

                      My solution, again, is to have a commissioner much like the NFL or MLB, which, without federal government stepping in forcing its regulations takes care of fines, PED suspensions etc.
                      Don’t really care about bipartisan support from elected officials outside of the industry. The biggest reason the feds had to step in and is that the industry has failed to come together and did the same.
                      It should not be the federal government to create a ‘single, nationwide set of rules that will result in smarter, more effective, and streamlined regulation for the industry’.
                      Again, the NFL has accomplished this as well MLB and even the IOC.
                      FYI….the Authority that has oversight of this new federal regulation include Adolpho Birch, whom spent 23 in the NFL enforcing suspensions including substance abuse violations. Now why can’t someone in the horseracing industry be instead included?
                      Another person is Charles Scheeler who did the same with the MLB….drug violations.
                      Horseracing people are clearly in the minority on this committee.
                      Further, it is the Federal Trade Commission that will have the final say on any medication rules set forth and any states bucking this will ‘be forced to comply with these rules”

    • pro vet says:

      I am totally against this, and Hisa……….what happens if you choose the wrong guy?……..who should be the commish?…..a lawyer?….an owner? A CEO? THIS SPORT IS WAY DIFFERENT than other sports. You must be a horse “expert”……who is qualified?
      What if you get a Hay Oats water guy?…..
      Be careful what you ask for

  14. pro vet says:

    Somehow you can’t use “fight back” when talking about a horse that were not running full out earlier in race?

    You are missing the point……..it’s funny that people LABEL horses BRAVE, FIGHTER, HEART…..That idle on the lead.

    Does this mean i saight horses do not try? fight? have heart?……..the point was the LABLING ……..BECAUSE they idle earlier……horses have more at the end that do this……

    your argument sucks

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Your last word tells me all I need to know about you. Use it again and you wont have to worry what people say on here because you wont be here.

      • Steve Haskin says:

        I am not offended by the word. I am offended when YOU use it. I often use the word that rhymes with it, even at my age.

  15. EddieF says:

    I read that, after a 2.5-month freshening, Pappacap may go in the Lecomte at Fair Grounds (Jan. 22). Steve wrote about him as a BCJ longshot, and the Gun Runner colt finished a good second at 15-1. Could he be the Vox Populi winner next year? It’s a good story. The Rustlewood Farm homebred is from a relatively small Florida breeding operation that normally sells its yearlings. Pappacap, as Steve wrote, didn’t draw any interest at the sales. If he runs a good race but doesn’t win the Lecomte, he could be a nice price in that weekend’s KDFW 2. The longer the distance, the better.

    • Matthew W says:

      Casse probably should’ve won the Derby, with Classic Empire, has a nice colt…

      • EddieF says:

        Yeah, that one had a mess o’ trouble in the Derby. Then there was War of Will, who might have been in the money if not for the interference. I’d like to see Casse get a Derby….or McPeek.

    • Lynda King says:

      I recently saw a photo of Man O’ War as a foal. If he was alive in this time he too most likely would have not been given a second look.
      He was very down on his pasterns, especially on the fore which were very long as well and had a very high head carriage.
      No doubt Seabiscuit would have been passed up as well because of his club foot.
      Carry Back would have been ignored because of less than stellar pedigree much like that of California Chrome who would have been passed up as well.
      Zenyatta was ignored because she had as I recall a horrible case of ringworm.
      Pappacap’s dam, Pappascat raced on turf (13 Starts: 4 – 2 – 2, $165,762), When she was sent to Keenland to be sold, she was RNA at $110,000 and Rustlewood purchased her privately.
      Pappascap was her first foal and typically a mare’s first foal is smaller.
      Pappascap was a beautiful baby with nice, big flat knees. great shoulder and hip. From the photos it did look like he was born small enough that he could walk under his dam’s belly.
      If you compare his Keeneland sale photo to others of the same age, he is small, not as heavily muscled but very correct conformation wise.

      • EddieF says:

        Thanks. Very interesting. Did you see the recent article about Pappacap at kentuckyderbyDOTcom? The title is “Tales from the Crib: Pappacap.” Nice story and photos.

  16. Karole Northrup says:

    Hot Rod Charlie has been my horse throughout this entire race season, I have absolutely loved everything about him! Thanks for this wonderful article putting into words why we love him so much. He truly has the heart of a champion.

  17. Davids says:

    Steve, your warm reflections on Hot Rod Charlie’s triumphal travels around the US racing circuit, along with a pocketed history of his connections’ trials and tribulations, sets everyone up for the holiday season. Joy to the World!! I actually went to a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” last weekend so everything is happening here.

    Here in Melbourne, Christmas is going to be 84f. Lol!! Ho. Ho, ho it is not. I miss the cold, snow, and even sleet of the Northern Hemisphere. Chicken salad doesn’t quite cut the mustard to warm the heart nor cheer the spirit. “Moulin Rouge” on Boxing Day (night) here will be fun though but even better the following morning I can watch all the Santa Anita stakes races on Boxing Day in the US. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!!

    The Malibu Stakes is all I want for Christmas, along with a win by Flightline, of course. Sorry Charlie. Thanks Steve, and all the best for the New Year.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Thanks David. Did you move there for work or just because you wanted to live there? does Santa even know where Australia is? with that beard and suit he must get awfully hot climbing down the chimney. Do you even have chimneys in Melbourne? Happy New Year to you.

      • Davids says:

        Pure accident. I was visiting relatives/friends late 2019 early 2020 then the Covid-19 crisis started and Australia was the safest place in the world then. Friends in academia had various projects lined up where I could be posted. A working holiday in some respect. Lol. Melbourne is a wonderful city to live in. You can walk around at night without any fear of being mugged.

        Santa wears speedos down under, so be warned!! Lol. Yes, there are stacks of Victorian terraces, townhouses, Edwardian and Georgian houses with multiple chimneys for Santa to dive into. All the best, Steve.

    • Matthew W says:

      I’ll report from the saddling barn! And then the walking ring! I got to see Spectacular Bid and talk to Bud Delp right before his legendary Strub! This (Flightline) gives me goosebumps, I’m watching the 2021 Malibu from the same place I watched the 1980 Strub—from Clockers Corner.

      • Davids says:

        Matthew, that would be fantastic. The weather forecast is picture perfect for December 26, 64f with cloud cover. I know exactly what you mean, with regard to Flightline. Next year, I’m hoping we see a ‘Seattle Slew Flamingo Stakes’ performance by Flightline but it’s a bit early for same in the Malibu.

        Thus far, the field for the Malibu is Breeders’ Cup standard. Counting down the days.

    • EddieF says:

      Hi, Davids. I just read a fascinating article at abc[dot]net[dot]au: “How cocaine kingpin Damion Flower infiltrated the horseracing industry, and how it could happen again”. Are you familiar with this story?

  18. Delrene Sims says:

    Thanks for this great tribute to Hot Rod Charlie. He has been a fun horse to follow. The highs and the lows. One thing about him….. he never takes a bad picture. He loves the click of the camera. I’ve been so fortunate to see him and Medina Spirit, Knicks go a d Essential Quality. All worthy horses. Sweet Medina Spirit. Gone to soon.
    Looking forward to 2022. Stay healthy everyone.

  19. Paula Higgins says:

    Loved the title-what a riot and the picture is priceless!! I think John Steinbeck would be really
    happy you borrowed his title for such a great post on a wonderful horse. Hot Rod Charlie is a
    most deserving winner and as you said, any one of them would have been a great pick, including
    Medina Spirit.

    Hot Rod Charlie’s speed in the Belmont was jaw dropping. As you said, one of the best losing efforts
    you will ever see. Even though he didn’t win, he pretty much did in many people’s minds. When he goes
    to stud, they should just run that race as an ad.

    He is easy to love, easy to root for, and his connections likewise. I am very happy he won this award. Nice
    article with lots of background-most of which I did not know.

  20. EddieF says:

    Steve, thanks so much for a wonderful tribute to the now official Most Popular Horse in America. He’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for all the reasons you described so eloquently. But he also gets massive memory points for being one of the valiant runners in the closest 4-horse finish in the history of the Kentucky Derby. Perhaps another historical note is that all four won subsequent Grade 1 races within 5 months of the Derby. Looking forward to the next column, which presumably will be about the next group of potential Derby runners.

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Thanks Eddie. When you think of the all the great finishes and fast times, this really was an exciting crop of 3-year-olds with Charlie, Essential Quality, Medina, Midnight Bourbon, and Mandaloun right there every race. What battles they provided.

  21. pro vet says:

    It is always funny to me, when people talk about horses that idle, or pull themselves up on lead, and call them BRAVE, FIGHTER, HEART………Both medina and Charlie have idled on lead……..they fight back, because they have more in the tank….but, fine…………its not a truth award………congrats HRC…….

    • Steve Haskin says:

      Where do you come up with these things? People are being ignorant for calling them a fighter and then you immediately say “they fight back.” So they fight back but theyre not a fighter. You used your own words to contradict yourself. Who cares if they idle to get a breather or wait for competition, if they fight back they are a fighter, they are brave, they have heart. Horses, and people, who wait for and want competition and then fight back are fighters. I would rather have a horse like that than one who empties the tank early. When it comes to horses and their competitiveness, leave it to those who actually like and know about horses and can appreciate their many attributes.

      • Mike Relva says:

        Amazing last week an individual states pro is bright,yet Eddie and myself are “know nothings”. Mind blowing!

      • Zanytactics says:

        Steve, why are you surprised with his post. He’s been spewing dung for many years. Nothing new in his repertoire. It’s best to ignore him. Your day will be much better.

      • pro vet says:

        you argue tiny things……..the point is, they idle so they are not running full out……stick to writing FICTION

        • Zanytactics says:

          The only thing that keeps idling …..is your brain. You post nonsense 99.99% of the time and think you’re smarter than everyone. Yet, you can’t analyze a single race even if there are only two entries.

          Speaking of trolling….you’ve mastered that art form on HRN.

      • pro vet says:

        Why argue things that have nothing to do with me being wrong?………if you think i’m wrong then debate it……..did i post ignorant?……..i posted something that these 2 “brave” horses do………..

        • Steve Haskin says:

          Get over yourself. You said something ridiculous. You knocked both horses. Dont try to get out of it. And if I write fiction and if you dont like it there are other libraries you can go to that would be more intellectually stimulating for you.

          • pro vet says:

            I did not knock those horses…….iHrc was my derby horse, Medina was my cup pick…………….it was not a knock…..these horses idle on lead. i said this is why they are called BRAVE……i posted horses that are like this, have more in the tank…..it is that reason they have more left in the stretch…………i’m right

            • Steve Haskin says:

              Thats not the way it came out, so I suggest you express yourself better.

              • sceptre says:

                Steve, wouldn’t be more accurate to say —That’s the way I (Steve Haskin) interpreted it…? You instead state it as though it’s etched in stone, as if anyone would have interpreted it as did you. Well, I wasn’t one of those anyones.

                • Steve Haskin says:

                  Although I am still convinced, having dealt with him for many years on Bloodhorse, that was again a slight on people who call the horse brave and a fighter and knowing you are his biggest and only supporter, you are correct. I should have said that is the way I interpreted it. If he knew how to structure a sentence and didnt say “I’m right” and “you are wrong” all the time perhaps people wouldnt misinterpret him and not be offended by his demeaning tone. Normally I dont respond to him because it is futile, But this is what happens when he catches me in a cantankerous mood. Lol.

                  P.S. The Bloodhorse banned him years ago under the name Ky Vet and I let him back under his new name.

                  • EddieF says:

                    Steve, you don’t need to say “that is the way I interpreted it.” That should be assumed. Otherwise, we’d be inserting the phrase with nearly everything we write here.

                    • sceptre says:

                      No, “That’s the way it came out” , with no further explanation, and from the moderator, can ONLY be interpreted as a statement that assumes that ANYONE would have interpreted it in the same way.
                      Ironically, it is not far akin from the type of “positiveness” that you, Steve, and so many others find so objectionable from guess who.

    • sceptre says:

      It’s always rubbed me the wrong way to witness someone UNFAIRLY ganged-up on. Why do I say “unfairly”, because I think your observation is accurate, here. If you had chosen your phrase “…fight back” just slightly differently, such as, for example, accelerate again, or re-accelerate, or something else instead of “fight back”, perhaps you would have given them less ammunition but, actually, I doubt it. I do believe, however, that either innately or, perhaps, by accident through training, some racehorses indeed do try harder. Actually, many of our elite may share that characteristic, one reason why it was totally absurd to begin the race-day lasix ban in stakes races. Yes, this initial ban usually also included 2 yr. old races, equally as nonsensical.

      • EddieF says:

        Use some ointment.

      • pro vet says:

        I am right………this is where people are wrong………i said ….these type of horses have more in the tank, BECAUSE they idle……i find it humorous that people call them brave, fighters, and heart……….when the REASON they have more, is because they rested on turn, or whenever………….this doesnt mean they cant fight. Where did i say that?……….i said…….they get labeled these terms……they get labeled human characteristics.
        Yet somehow, i cant say fight back?……why?………it is totally different……i can’t say, he tried at the end of a race because he rested earlier?……….what a dumb argument.
        They never say i’m wrong………..it’s just dumb name calling…….did you see me calling anyone ignorant in my original post?….no…..did you see me calling those 2 posters dumb?……no………

        they project things on me………YOU have fairness, you have disagreed with me many times…..but guess what you do?….you debate give facts……….these people have no argument….you know why…..that was why i stuck up for you, when you were scolded ………..

        • Zanytactics says:

          Define your “version” of idle. Taking a breather? Nonsense!

          Since this topic is about HRC and similar top class horses, do you have any idea how fast their cruising speed is? Hint….
          somewhere between 40-37 mph. Therefore, when a front running horse “idles” on the lead, how fast do you think he/she is running?

          Not holding by breath for an intelligible explanation.

          • sceptre says:

            idling, or taking a breather if you like, is indeed a reality/within their capabilities for some racing horses. You seem to imply otherwise, as if it’s not possible. It’s fairly clear what it implies, and really doesn’t require further explanation/definition. I suppose, also, that you can’t comprehend the notion of rating, which is somewhat distinct from idling?

            • Zanytactics says:

              “idling” is an optical illusion. Some speed horses loaf around on the lead until they see another horse to re-engage. Unlike a horse that gets tired, their cruising speed doesn’t change significantly.

              I suppose, you are not a trainer nor an expert on all things TB racing. Rating was not part of this topic. You and the “fakepro” seem to have this game figured out.

              • sceptre says:

                So, “loafing around” isn’t an optical illusion, but idling is? Idling simply means easing up a bit, not putting out quite as much as would be your capabilities minus urging. Horses often are placed behind others during a race to potentially help them to relax (relatively speaking)–And that’s part of your problem, you’re taking the words idling, relax, etc. too literally. Here they are meant in a relative way.

      • pro vet says:

        The lasix ban was nonsensical, because it was proven to help……every study said it……..and i really didnt change anything……they are so ignorant…..WE STILL dehydrate……why do they not know this?……..they made it not HUMANE…….making thirsty horses is humane?……..we now withold longer……how is this humane?………
        They just made something easy, harder………there are also other meds we use now……..

        Yet you see posts like “i wonder what the stats show” for no lasix?………what good are those stats? When will still dehydrate?

        Yet this GREAT INFO i give is always mocked…..

        • Lynda King says:

          OK, I am game pro vet and will challenge your statements.
          Dehydrating a Thoroughbred before a race is very old school and is certainly not supported by modern medical veterinary science. The practice most probably evolved decades ago when jockeys would go the swat boxes to dehydrate and lose a few pounds before a race so as to have an advantage of the horse being able to run faster.
          Racehorses can lose as much as 5% of their body weight during a one-mile race. The amount of fluid and electrolyte loss is influenced by temperature, humidity, and the length of the race.
          The risk of dehydration caused by their extreme fluid loss is the reason trainers emphasize proper hydration both before and after a horse runs in a race.
          Horses dehydrate when they lose more fluid than they take in, resulting in not having enough water and other fluids for its body to function correctly. If the deficit isn’t replaced, the horse becomes dehydrated.
          Horse’s suffering from an extreme lack of water and minerals are dehydrated. Signs of dehydration include lethargy, red mucous membranes, skin tenting, loss of appetite, excessive sweating or no sweating, high heart rate, dark urine, dizziness, and fever.
          Horses for example who compete in long distance endurance rides (50-100 miles) are subject to examination by vets at check points along the course. In addition to heart rate the horses are examined for dehydration and the vet will pull the horse from the competition.
          The use of Lasix to dehydrate a horse replaced older methods to reduce water weight before a race in the mistaken idea that the horse would run faster because the drug had the additional benefit of reducing exercise‐induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) found in some horses.
          In addition to the signs of dehydration I listed above, a dehydrated horse can cause impaction colics and flush out electrolytes such as calcium, potassium and sodium that are essential for proper muscle function including the heart.
          The other issue with Lasix is that could flush out certain drugs that could be detected in urine test samples after a race.
          As to your comment that “The lasix ban was nonsensical, because it was proven to help……every study said it.” is not accurate when in fact most studies both here in the United States and in other countries showed that Lasix does not help the horse.
          One has to ask the question (if they are to implement their critical thinking skills), how many horses have collapsed on the race track because of a drop in blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia or tachycardia, fracturing a leg as they fell.

          • EddieF says:

            Lynda, you offered a rational and reasonable argument. But nobody (well, nearly nobody) takes seriously anything this guy says. And he has no interest in an intelligent discussion, mainly because he’s not capable of engaging in one. His aim is to disrupt. That’s all. He is the epitome of an Internet troll.