01/26/2015 1:05PM

More scratches loom on Thursday card


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – If there is racing at Aqueduct on Thursday, nearly one-fifth of the entrants will have to be scratched after the racing office misinterpreted a new rule instituted by management.

Eleven of the 63 horses, or 17.5 percent, entered for Thursday will have to be scratched since they would be running back 14 days after their last race. In the wake of a high rate of equine fatalities this winter at Aqueduct, the New York Racing Association announced on Jan. 16 that beginning with entries taken for the Jan. 22 card, horses would no longer be permitted to run back within 14 days of their previous start.

“Horses will be permitted to start on the 15th day following said race,” according to the release, which was put out by NYRA in consultation with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

Six of the eight entrants in Thursday’s fourth race will have to be scratched, resulting in a two-horse race between Painted Poney and Epiphany, provided neither is scratched for other reasons.

“If we have to scratch 11 horses, we have to scratch them,” said Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice president of racing operations. “We can’t renege on the rule.”

The 14-day rule was one of four new measures put in place by NYRA to help prevent future fatalities at the meet. In 28 full cards of racing since the inner track opened Dec. 3, there have been 14 racing-related fatalities, 10 of which were breakdowns. Two occurred in a spill, one was due to a cardiovascular collapse, and another fell after the finish line and was euthanized after fracturing a vertebra.

On Sunday, the stewards were forced to scratch eight horses because they were running back in 14 days. That, combined with other scratches, left 52 runners for a nine-race card. Not surprisingly, total handle was $4,327,671, down 25 percent from the corresponding Sunday of 2014.

There is no guarantee that Aqueduct will be open Thursday. A major winter storm, possibly bringing more than two feet of snow, was forecast here for Tuesday, putting both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s card in jeopardy.

None of the horses on Wednesday’s card are running back in 14 days or fewer.

◗ Jockey Manuel Franco will serve a three-day suspension Wednesday through Friday as a result of careless riding during Aqueduct’s third race Jan. 19.

Junior Alvarado appealed a three-day suspension handed to him by the stewards for careless riding during the fifth race Jan. 19.

Larry Goldberg More than 1 year ago
At the Conduit Blvd entrance to the track, which is the entrance off of the Belt Parkway, there is a huge sign for the Casino. There is no mention on the sign of Aqueduct Race Course. This is NYRA in a nutshell!!
Mike Oliveto More than 1 year ago
If the current rules were in place when Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes then all of the other horses in the field, including Sham, would be on the “Poor Performance List” and would need to jump through hoops for the stewards by completing a half-mile workout in 53 seconds or less to be permitted to enter in a future race. Does that underscore the stupidity of the current “measures to ensure safety”?
martymar . More than 1 year ago
Now think about it logically if you can, if a horse is a maiden and continually to lose by 25 lengths why are they continually being entered? case and point Shewreckstheplace, her very last race prior to breaking down lost by over 25 lengths and had not business being brought back a week later. I D I O T
Mel More than 1 year ago
NYRA is a JOKE. Should be made into a Reality TV Show called "DUMB, DUMBER and DUMB IDIOTS"
Ryan Escobar More than 1 year ago
Why are some some people referring to toys r us when it comes to this issue? Like what does toys r us have to do with this?
Richard More than 1 year ago
The present NYRA CEO was the head of Toys R' US and had no real knowledge or understanding of horse racing.
Ryan Escobar More than 1 year ago
Oh. Thanks for clearing that up.
Michael Jacob More than 1 year ago
The last time i went to Aqueduct was about 10 years ago. The best part of my day was when i gave french fries to the seagulls.
kenneth russell More than 1 year ago
The next time you make a bet at NYRA, wait 14 days before you make another one. The racing office and management won't "misinterpret" that message...
wayne haehner More than 1 year ago
the 14 day rule, and the 25 length rule--are absurd--created by a bunch of dopes who shouldn't be making decisions on matters as such Long term--NYRA is looking to stop racing @ Aqua Duck--the land is worth so much more and they have their casino--so you will see racing shift to Belmont year round outside the Spa meet
Russell Rieckenberg More than 1 year ago
NYRA doesn't own Aqueduct, they won't make any money from the sale.
riconap More than 1 year ago
Would Toys are Us hire Alan Jerkens as CEO ? Probably not . NYRA may be finding ways to enhance revenue under Mr. Kay, but the lack of horse racing savvy from him and his cohorts is monumental.
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Conquistador cielo only needed five days rest to win the belmont. Vietch only needed one week of rest for proud truth for his classic win. These type of examples are with horses who did not use lasix. Big difference. Three out of the first four classic winners had less than 15 days of rest. No lasix back then. You dont see that anymore with grade 1 lasix users, except in the preakness. In 2012, the top three finishers, i'll have another, bodemeister, and creative cause ...never ran another race due to injury. Wentthedaywell also ran that day and needed a long layoff. Only 13 days rest for these derby/ preakness horses. Chrome had a six win streak turn into a three race losing streak, after running in the preakness. Ride on curlin bled through his lasix in the belmont. Eleven preakness horses have bled since the late 1980s. At least three weeks rest should mandatory. Especially for young maturing male horses. Horses with 35 furlongs of works and races in 60 days have 4 times as many fatal breakdowns as horses with less than 26 furlongs. This should be a protocol.
Connie Hampton More than 1 year ago
Why no mention of the 2 horses that died in training accidents at Belmont today? Why no update on the riders.
Rosemarie Cola More than 1 year ago
Connie enjoy your comments. Any news on the exercise riders? Very sorry to hear about the two horses. Thanks