Ron Mitchell, writing for the Blood-Horse, reports:
John Veitch, chief steward for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission who was the subject of an investigation into the Life At Ten situation during the 2010 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, was dismissed from his position Nov. 28.
The action comes in the midst of a hearing officer completing a final report from an investigation and hearings held this summer regarding the performance of Life At Ten during the 2010 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Robert Layton, who is the chief hearing officer for the Office of Administrative Hearings within the Energy and Environment Cabinet, is drafting the report based on three days of hearings conducted June 28-30. Earlier this month, Layton requested and received a 30-day extension in which to complete his report.
Life At Ten, owned by Candy DeBartolo and trained by Todd Pletcher, finished last in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) as the second choice at odds of 7-2. With jockey John Velazquez aboard, Life At Ten had no run when the field left the gate, and she was not persevered with throughout the race.
Pletcher said at the time that the mare either “tied-up” for which he had no explanation, or had a reaction to her pre-race injection of Lasix, for which he had no explanation. Life at Ten ran on Lasix in all of her other races without (reported) incident. Pletcher also admitted he noticed that Life at Ten (and I am paraphrasing here) was quiet — not herself — when she was being saddled for the race in question. If the Kentucky Horse Racing Commisssion is going to spend enormous amounts of time and energy in a sincere effort to get to the bottom of the situation, let’s hope Pletcher was the first person called on the carpet.
But what we are going to get is a report compiled by an insider concerning the investigation and hearing and we will mostly likely never know whether Veitch has been singled out, or sacked.
Horseracing is notorious for circling the wagons, giving out very little data, or giving it out in such a way that the most exquisite mind struggles to comprehend it. Scapegoating appears to be another of their tactics. At any rate, it will be interesting to see what the report reveals.
It looks like a case of betting fraud could be alleged, and possibly, probably, the only reason so much attention is being given to the Life at Ten controversy. Life at Ten was 2nd favorite in a heavily bet race and finished last, and when it is reportedly pretty clear that a number of professional eyewitnesses questioned her suitability to run.
It certainly has nothing to do with the horse. The mare’s owner “retired” her and dumped her in a sale shortly after the Breeders’ Cup. Not long thereafter, however, she was withdrawn.
The Daily Racing Form reports:
- In a release issued Saturday, Fasig-Tipton said Life At Ten’s owner, Candy DeBartolo, and Pletcher decided against entering her in the auction after consultation with the sale company.
Wow, a press release following the withdrawal of the sale of Life at Ten. Wouldn’t we all like to know what Fasig-Tipton had to say in that consultation? Where is Life at Ten now? She has entered Thoroughbred breeding mill.
The Thoroughbred Times reports:
- Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs signed the ticket for $1.95-million for multiple Grade 1 winner Life At Ten on Monday at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale for his fourth purchase of the opening session.