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Old 09-06-2020, 11:59 AM   #16
Track Phantom
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No one wants to accuse anyone of nefarious activity without hard data/facts to support it. But, as a handicapper of tens of thousands of races, you identify a rhythm to this game. Without a doubt, Baffert horses (most notably in the last 5 years) have consistently run far outside the norm.

No question Baffert gets high quality stock but his results defy logic and common sense. His run from 2015 through the Derby yesterday is unmatched in the history of the sport.

Occam's razor is the principle that, of two explanations that account for all the facts, the simpler one is more likely to be correct. Either Baffert is the greatest trainer of all-time (and by an extraordinarily large margin) or he is using chemicals to create performances that exceed natural ability. Given his history, and the fact that his competition is taking an edge, the more obvious conclusion is that latter.

I doubt he'll ever be caught. He'll continue to run roughshod over the sport until he retires. Don't be surprised if he wins 6 more Ky Derbies in the next 10 years.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:12 PM   #17
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Johnny V. gave a great ride.

Authentic ran a big race. Tiz the Law ran well, but he didn't fire his best figure.

Hopefully Jimmy Barnes and Thousand Words are fine.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:19 PM   #18
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Either way I hope they all stay healthy because it looks like a bonanza of a classic brewing.

I’m sure the controversy drums will beat louder and louder.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:35 PM   #19
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I like Bob, I mean on the surface of it he's a good enough guy but yea the impression I've always had of him is do whatever it takes, even if it's going to be a bit shady. As for the meds, they need not be illegal meds at all. What they need to do is test clean and he's fine, i.e. use whatever gets results in the training program and as long as it clears the horse's system you're good. That's likely what we have today and have had even way back to Lukas & Harthill. Some have just designed a better program. Bob is the best around today but unfortunately there are some victims that fall by the wayside and that's the sad part. I personally don't want any drugs in racing, I mean if the horse is injured and on the farm and needs pain relief of course but these training programs that make use of drugs that have potentially bad consequences on the horse's health, I'll never be in favor of that, it's not good for the sport.

IMO what's good for the sport are the old war horses with 50-100 starts that win 40% of the time like Sagely and Mt. Rushmore, that you can bring your kids to the track every year to watch and then those types of horses make the fans. When we got to the point where the trainers had to make the fans and the horses are mostly gone by age 4 or 5, IMO not good.
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Old 09-06-2020, 01:33 PM   #20
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I personally don't want any drugs in racing, I mean if the horse is injured and on the farm and needs pain relief of course
That's all well and good ...... if they HAVE a good vein left in them.

Michael Blowen, Old Friends: ".....our great mentor, the late Dr. Doug Byars, would administer medications to our retirees through their right jugular vein. At the track, it was customary to inject them through their left one. "By the time you get them, " he said. "They've been hit so many times through their left one there's nothing left."
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:18 PM   #21
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I dont think baffert is doing anything different than other top barnes are doing, he just has better horses and more of them so he can really lean into them without fear of losing the top horse as he just reloads.
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:28 PM   #22
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I believe people want to see someone else that is not necessarily a super trainer win the big races for a change. Someone that is constantly not in the spotlight, or under scrutiny for questionable situations. I bet people would have been happy if Mandella, Shirreffs, Tagg, McAnally, or some other small-time trainer get their moment to shine.
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:44 PM   #23
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I dont think baffert is doing anything different than other top barnes are doing, he just has better horses and more of them so he can really lean into them without fear of losing the top horse as he just reloads.
He's the only one I know of with a top "Barnes"!

(Jimmy - the assistant trainer who got hurt when Thousand Words went over. Wishing him a speedy recovery.)
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:45 PM   #24
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That's all well and good ...... if they HAVE a good vein left in them.

Michael Blowen, Old Friends: ".....our great mentor, the late Dr. Doug Byars, would administer medications to our retirees through their right jugular vein. At the track, it was customary to inject them through their left one. "By the time you get them, " he said. "They've been hit so many times through their left one there's nothing left."
The battle was lost years ago with lasix and it only went downhill from there. The good guys, the hard nosed guys like Dr O'Dea (the Racing Imperative) put up a good fight but couldn't hold it back. Until they put the horse first, make the health and longevity of the horse, clean racing the most important thing it isn't going to change. Bob operates within the rules as much as most of them do IMO. If you ban all meds on and off track save for exceptions due to as I said pain relief while on the farm recovering from serious injury etc, then we have a clean sport and we can see who the good trainers are under those conditions. The horses we have no idea, this horse who won the derby, without clen might be a NW2 alw horse natural, we don't know. We have no idea who is who 'natural' anymore. It's like bodybuilding, these guys now are freakshows, but the difference is they're willingly taking the stuff that's going to hurt their health longterm, the horses have no say in it.

So IMO remove all meds, mandate right down to what they can be fed (if need be) mandate at least 3 to 4 consecutive months off per year for the horse's well-being, or whatever the studies show are helpful to the horse, essentially come up with what's good for them and go from there. You'll still have a sport and a better sport at that with athletes that stick around.
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:48 PM   #25
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Baffert

Attacking one of the sports most successful trainers and accusing him of cheating without any real evidence,Can this be a good thing for our sport?
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:56 PM   #26
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Attacking one of the sports most successful trainers and accusing him of cheating without any real evidence
Oaklawn handed him some very public evidence when nobody else would.

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I bet people would have been happy if Mandella, Shirreffs, Tagg, McAnally, or some other small-time trainer get their moment to shine.
Well, shouldn't that actually happen more than it does, I mean, even just statistically......and doesn't that make racing more exciting for the racegoers as well?

Unless one thinks only one trainer knows how to put workouts, training, etc. into their horses, when these other guys you mentioned are HOFers and at this for years?

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Can this be a good thing for our sport?
Answered above.


As for the topic title, there's little point in "villaining" any trainer in a system that is permissive and where meds are pervasive, and where perhaps the testing science is behind a number of levels when compared to the "feed guys" science and hasn't caught up.

I guess it depends on whether you wish to concentrate on the symptoms of the problem, or the actual problem itself.

Fashionable breedings for speed probably don't help. (That will eventually come back to bite us.)

Even the BC races got rid of the marathon, relagating it to undercard status, while also reducing the purse for it. And we've seen distances cut for other stakes races as well. Trending......
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Old 09-06-2020, 03:14 PM   #27
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Only 2 things I noticed about the baffert horses yesterday. Obviously they were both revved up. One so much so had to be scratched. The other revved up one wins.

I noticed the works being put into Authentic, which to my eye seemed over the top, no interval training at all, ALL starting in August 5F, 6F, 6F, 1 mile, 6F......and with very little spacing between. So concentrated. For a horse who had just gotten out of the Haskell. That seemed a bit over the top to me. I was expecting him to be a tired horse.......but instead, he was the opposite, super revved up.

As a friend said never underestimate the power of lidocaine patches.

Will be interesting to see how quickly he gets back on the worktab, etc.
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Old 09-06-2020, 03:19 PM   #28
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Baffert

Do you believe Baffert is alone in this? How many trainers have had multiple failed drug tests over the years? It's a industry wide problem. They need to fix it across the board.
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Old 09-06-2020, 03:23 PM   #29
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Do you believe Baffert is alone in this? How many trainers have had multiple failed drug tests over the years? It's a industry wide problem. They need to fix it across the board.
This list of drug violations per start is a few years old, but Baffert is right up there with the usual suspects. The trainers near the bottom are great trainers.

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Old 09-06-2020, 03:33 PM   #30
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When they crossed the wire I told my friend , I can't wait to see what the environment has contaminated this horses blood with .
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