Algorithms Head On by Adam Coglianese

Algorithms injured, first horse off the 2012 Derby trail

Algorithms Head On by Adam Coglianese
Algorithms Head On by Adam Coglianese

The Blood-Horse reports that Algorithms is off the Derby trail due to a “fractured splint bone” revealed in an x-ray of the colt’s right front leg.

Algorithms is the first horse off the 2012 Kentucky Derby trail. Can we expect more? Sadly we can if last year is anything to go by. A number of Derby contenders were injured during the run up to the big race that forced them out of the competition; some off the racetrack for good, some to the breeding shed where they could potentially pass related weaknesses on to their offspring.

Algorithms is trained by Todd Pletcher. The report does not mention when or how the injury was sustained. It does, however, mention that they plan to race the colt following surgery.

Owned by Jack Wolf’s Starlight Racing, the horse’s owner says:

“It is very disappointing that he will have to miss the spring classics, but we look forward to having him back in late summer or early fall,” Wolf said in the release. “This really is the best long term option for Algorithms.”

The typical response to ongoing injuries and breakdowns occurring in such young, splendidly bred and lightly raced Thoroughbreds is “that’s racing.” Why is “that” exactly?

Story Source:

Image Source: Adam Coglianese, Eclipse Award Winning Photographer


Putting the horse first pays off, The Blood-Horse, by Deidre Biles, Feb. 1, 2012


Visit the Int’l Fund for Horses and read our sourced reports on Horse Racing, including Breeding for Breakdowns, by Jane Allin.

11 thoughts on “Algorithms injured, first horse off the 2012 Derby trail”

  1. I know I may be in the minority here, but I detest racing of any kind. I do not care if it is harness racing, Steeplechasing, racing on the flat, I just detest, and I mean truly detest, the entire world of horse racing. I refer to the ‘Triple Crown’ as ‘The Cripple Crown’. I agree with everything Peggy Kuhn has said in her post.



    1. I do not believe you are in the minority, Tiggy….. the problem, as I see it, is we can all continue to share our animosity toward these so-called “sports”, but what can we do about actually annihilating these industries? They are perpetuated by “Joe Public” who are in for the thrill of the win, NOT the SAFETY of these horses used for potentially dangerous competition! May I also add “rodeos” to your list?


  2. The whole race industry is nothing more than a bunch of people with money that are trying to make more money. Most of them could care less about the horses. If they get hurt many of them end up at sales and the ultimate out come is slaughter or abuse. I’ve seen a race horse put down when he could have been saved ,and given or sold to someone that wanted him. I do not respect the race industry in any way. Look on the adoption sites and see how many are up for adoption and almost all of them have injuries to the extent they cannot even be ridden. What a sad world for the horses!


  3. I’m starting to believe that there is something missing in the brood mares diet. We all see these young horses break down all during the racing season and before, you wonder why? I’m beginning to think it may be calcium and Vit-D deficiency. The mares are fed a bagged feed produced at a mill with a list of ingredients. It’s like dog or cat food does anyone really know for sure just how much calcium and Vit-D is actually in the feed or for sure how much a mare really needs? i doubt much research has ever been done on horse feed for brood mares. I think it’s been left up to the producers or mill owners to add needed nutrients. Because this sounds like a form of brittle bone disease. These broken bones may not be happening because of the horses age but other factors seem to be present that no one is seeing.

    I’m saying this because of all of the information that is coming out about the need to raise the amount of Vit-D3 and calcium that humans need based on the amount the government claims humans need which is considered to low to keep a person healthy. Every one on this blog needs to google Vit-D3 and just read how much most people actually need to stay healthy. I believe it’s the same for these horses.


  4. Racing has become a cover for stud and breeding fees. The intent of racing horses for competitive best has been overshadowed by the short term thinking involved in breeding for the sales. When you see an 8 million dollar filly at a sale, there is something wrong here. This is a global market and prices for a few have skyrocketed. While that benefits the seller/breeder, it drives costs up and you have the breeding frenzy we see now. It is not about achievement on the track. Unproven horses with stellar bloodlines are being touted without being proven and then bred. Everything has sped up. It is speculative and about names.

    Without racing, we would never have known a Citation or a Secretariat. They showed the magnificent TB and that is part of their history and why they are so incredible as a breed. There is no other breed like that. Their versatility has not been advertised and their uses are as great as any other breed. As a former owner of a TB and a QH, I can extol the many virtues of both breeds to anyone. TB’s get a bad rap as adoptions and there is no justification for it. Their adoptions lag as a result. The truth has to be told about the TB. Then OTTB adoptions will pick up.

    This is not a defense of what has happened to racing or of slaughter. That has to end first. There is no reason to kill these horses. They can be used to generate income all their lives.

    Until racing (and the AQHA) admits they breed and kill, racing will suffer. The AQHA is now known as corrupt. The big lie about having to kill to remove an “excess” is unacceptable. Breakdowns on tracks have always happened and also happen in eventing. There should not be this number of constant breakdowns. With the proper behaviors and settings and reliable and swift enforcement, racing and eventing can be safe and appropriate for the rare, right horse who enjoys and excels at the sport. Most horses are not that competitive in nature and may not enjoy these very demanding sports. As a brief part of their lifetimes, some may do well. Then you will see champions who deserve their reputations from performance and not from the surrounding hype from anticipated sales.

    Racing has been called the Sport of Kings. Mass breeding is antithetical to that core idea: it is only for the few and the most excellent in speed on a track. Racing has become anything else but that. If it continues as it is, it will self-destruct. The TB breed is also endangered by this constant race to the breeding shed.They will be seen as fundamentally unsound. However, if racing is outlawed, illegal racing will be even more of a factor. There are no rules at all with illegal racing.

    Without racing, the TB would not be known around the world as the champion breed it is. This is a terrible shame for all parties involved.


  5. It is so sad. And it never changes. What if these races were for 4 yr olds. Or even if they were held in the fall? Is tradition always King? Can some things be Changed Because it is better for the animals? Or do we just let horse racing die??? I think without all of the sadness and Injuries and deaths, it might survive better even if some traditions are changed. Made new. Made better and safer for the horses.


  6. Someone asked me once why we did not call for horse racing to be banned outright. We don’t need to; they are as you say, killing the industry off for us. Unfortunately, they are killing some of the horses along the way.


  7. The TB is getting weaker and weaker as we speak.

    Inbreeding, drugs, racing too early, you name it. The industry is killing itself.

    Soon there will be no racing if something doesn’t change.

    Greed and it’s evil followers has ruined this so-called “sport”. It is merely exploitation today and has nothing to with a sense of healthy competition and welfare for it’s athletes.

    But then again does it differ from any human initiative these days?


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