Vets Using Extreme Caution, Scratch Another Horse from BC Race
By Ed McNamara
It’s been a rough week for trainer Brendan Walsh, who brought two highly regarded horses from Kentucky to the Breeders’ Cup and couldn’t run either.
His big hope, Maxfield, was withdrawn Tuesday from the Juvenile (G1) because of a problem with his right front leg. Vitalogy, who was 10-1 in the morning line, was scratched from Friday’s Juvenile Turf Mile (G1) on Friday morning reportedly because the examining panel of veterinarians was concerned about the way he was moving.
The scratch allowed also-eligible Deviant to move into the race and start from post 14.
Fergus Galvin purchased Vitalogy for Qatar Racing and partners this year. In a tweet, Galvin wrote: “Unfortunate scratch of Vitalogy today. Horse is sound but didn’t move to the satisfaction of the vet panel. Gutted for the team and especially trainer Brendan Walsh.”
The day before, long shot Thais was scratched from Saturday’s Filly & Mare Turf (G1). She would have served as the pace-setter for trainer Chad Brown’s defending champion, 8-5 morning line favorite Sistercharlie.
Brown, one of the world’s leading trainers, has won 12 Breeders’ Cup races.
He was upset by the decision of veterinarians Dr. Rick Arthur and Tim Grande, who “determined the filly was unsound and put her on the California Horse Racing Board’s list as unsound, which makes her ineligible to start.”
“I would never run a horse that wasn’t sound,” Brown told the Daily Racing Form. “I never have and never will. The horse is perfectly sound and has been. She trains sound and has no medications in her. Unfortunately, it’s not my decision if my horse can run, so I’m going to drop the issue, turn the page and focus on the race.”
With the specter of 36 equine fatalities at Santa Anita in the past 10 months hanging over the Breeders’ Cup, the track and the CHRB are exercising extreme caution.
Although Brown argued that Thais is “perfectly sound,” Dr. Arthur characterized the ruling as “erring on the side of the horse.”
Editor’s note: Click here to know what do you if your pick is a last-minute scratch.