More Evening Attire news: Steve Crist writes about him in his blog, proving that even handicappers have hearts, and Jenny Kellner wrote a follow-up article on the NYRA website, focusing on Evening Attire’s “grandfather,” Tim Kelly, Hall of Fame trainer; breeder and part owner of Evening Attire; and father of Pat Kelly, Evening Attire’s current trainer. The amount of emotion that this horse inspires is just amazing.
Got my synthetic surfaces edition of The Blood-Horse today, and I dove into it as soon as I got home and am finding fascinating reading, by far the most comprehensive look at synthetic surfaces that I’ve seen. No surprise that reactions are mixed, with creditable perspectives on all sides. One interesting preliminary observation: that many people don’t think that synthetics should be the only surface, rather, that they should be installed on tracks with historically high rates of injury. Unsurprisingly, horsemen have opinions about which dirt tracks are safe and which are not.
Two vets came out unequivocally stating that there’s no evidence of the synthetic junk in horses’ respiratory systems; the number of horses scoped after racing on synthetics is significant, and so far, so good.
The general sense is that synthetic surfaces do not reduce injury as promised; most people feel that the surfaces were/are over-hyped in terms of this benefit. Interestingly, the most recent Keeneland meet had the same number of fatal breakdowns as the 2005 fall meet and the 2006 spring meet combined, and they were both run on dirt. The Polytrack meets of fall ’06 and spring ’07 had zero fatal breakdowns during racing.
More as I continue reading–get a copy! It’s terrific reading.