Vet's Corner

"Vet's Corner," a new endeavor for the series I am Horse Racing, focuses on delving into the most common ailments and issues that horses, sport horses, and racehorses often experience. This week, we welcome back Dr. Emma Adam to explain what an entrapped epiglottis is and how it is most often treated. This condition became particularly newsworthy just last year when top 3-year-old Omaha Beach was scratched days before the Kentucky Derby having been diagnosed with it. You'll not only learn what an entrapped epiglottis is, but how many horses can safely return to racing once treatment is complete, just like Omaha Beach! #IAmHorseRacing. See that here.

Source: I Am Horse Racing, June 23

Track Makeover

Saratoga main track gets makeover in off-season Installment of safety rail opens door to refurbish track, improve drainage

The New York Racing Association fulfilled a major capital investment at Saratoga recently that may not offer the grandeur of the 1863 Club or accommodate the picnic area like hundreds of new high-def TVs.

Then again, there's a strong possibility that fans won't be allowed on the grounds for the 2020 meet, anyway, but NYRA considers the latest improvement at Saratoga to be vital to safe, consistent racing there, which should be a benefit for everybody, especially the horses and riders.

Saratoga was the last of NYRA's three tracks scheduled for installment of a so-called safety rail on the inside of the main track, which is much more forgiving than a conventional rail if a horse collides with it.

While NYRA was replacing its old inside rail, the opportunity presented itself to also improve the drainage on the inside and refurbish the track itself in an ongoing effort to maintain consistency and fairness to the surface.

It may not be a until racing begins on July 16 that horsemen will be in a position to offer opinions on the renovation, but in the meantime, NYRA is confident this project will pay dividends in the form of safer racing and better capacity to handle the elements.

"You saw 1.4 inches of rain last night, and to have the track in the shape that it was this morning, you would've been [designated] fast by race time," said Glen Kozak, senior vice president, facilities and racing surfaces.

"This is not a sexy project," track surface consultant Dr. Mick Peterson, said with a laugh. "I dug swales and I took all the dirt out, put it in piles and put it back.

"But what it does show is we've got the data to support, year after year, that these types of projects are absolutely critical. So by moving the drainage back further and keeping the crow's feet away from the racing lanes, if there's any kind of speed-up of the water going down through those drains, those aren't in the racing lanes. They're now completely under the safety rail."

Peterson is the executive director of the Racetrack Surface Testing Laboratory and the director of the Racetrack Safety Program at the University of Kentucky, where he is a professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering.

Read the story in its entirety here.

Source: The Daily Gazette, July 2