02/27/2013 12:29PM

Veitch motion to reopen Life At Ten investigation being considered by judge

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A Franklin Circuit Court judge on Wednesday deferred ruling on a motion by former Kentucky Chief State Steward John Veitch to reopen an investigation into the Life At Ten incident during the 2010 Breeders’ Cup, an inquiry that cost Veitch his job.

Veitch’s attorney filed the motion to reopen the case a week ago, claiming that members of the state racing commission were provided with “inaccurate information” in a report prepared by a hearing officer that recommended Veitch be suspended for one year for his role in the incident. Veitch is currently appealing that suspension, which was handed down a year ago, several months after Veitch had already been fired.

The racing commission filed a response to the motion seeking its dismissal, contending that Veitch has not presented specific evidence of the information that he claimed was inaccurate. The response characterized the motion as a “fishing expedition” and reiterated the hearing officer’s conclusions that Veitch had provided misleading testimony during the investigation into the incident.

In the motion to reopen the case, Veitch’s attorney said that he intended to depose a racing commissioner, Tom Conway, who had voted along with other racing commissioners to approve the hearing officer’s findings to suspend Veitch for a year. The vote to approve the report was unanimous.

Tom Miller, Veitch’s attorney, said that Judge Thomas Wingate was “non-committal” to the motion at the Wednesday morning hearing.

“He said he was taking it under advisement,” Miller said.

Veitch was placed under scrutiny after Life At Ten performed poorly in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Churchill Downs. Prior to the race, Life At Ten’s jockey, John Velazquez, told television broadcasters that the filly was “not warming up the way she usually does.” Although Veitch acknowledged that he had received information prior to the race that the rider had made comments casting doubt on the filly’s condition, he did not order veterinarians to conduct an on-site examination.

An investigation into the incident exposed numerous communications failures by on-site personnel. The hearing officer concluded that Veitch had violated five racing rules for failing to order the filly to be examined or sent to the test barn after the race.

Jeffery Harris More than 1 year ago
The incident was ashame for the sport. It was handled poorly all the way around! having said that, mr. Veitch should not have been the oly scape goat. Johnny V should have faced suspension and a heavier fine! Johnny said to the announcers that she wasn't warming up the way she had before, he did not say she was in distress or acting ill. If Velasquez felt something was truly wrong with Life At Ten , it was his duty and obligation to the filly as well as the connections not mention the bettibg public to go to one of the vets at the starting gate and tell them his mount was not right! He did not do that! Why didn't he, we won't truly know because he never said why he didn't, but its not a stretch to think he was more concerned about it being a multi million dollar purse, and the fact his and Pletchers mount in the previous years Breeders' Cup Classic had to be scratched at the gate and that was an embarrassment. In the end Johnny v said he would pay a $10,000.00 fine just to put it behind him. I don't think that was enough for our sport. He should have been subject to review and forced to asnwer all these questions regarding his role in the performance of Life At Ten. I know if i were the owners, I would have been irate with Johnny V, he is the one in charge of the mount once it leaves that paddock, and if he even though she wasn't her self, he shouldn't have been sharing it with ESPN and the viewing public, he should have took his concerns to the state vets and the stewards!!! He shouldn't get a free pass , he should have got the same or even more scrutiny as John Veitch....
Jeffery Harris More than 1 year ago
The incident was ashame for the sport. It was handled poorly all the way around! having said that, mr. Veitch should not have been the oly scape goat. Johnny V should have faced suspension and a heavier fine! Johnny said to the announcers that she wasn't warming up the way she had before, he did not say she was in distress or acting ill. If Velasquez felt something was truly wrong with Life At Ten , it was his duty and obligation to the filly as well as the connections not mention the bettibg public to go to one of the vets at the starting gate and tell them his mount was not right! He did not do that! Why didn't he, we won't truly know because he never said why he didn't, but its not a stretch to think he was more concerned about it being a multi million dollar purse, and the fact his and Pletchers mount in the previous years Breeders' Cup Classic had to be scratched at the gate and that was an embarrassment. In the end Johnny v said he would pay a $10,000.00 fine just to put it behind him. I don't think that was enough for our sport. He should have been subject to review and forced to asnwer all these questions regarding his role in the performance of Life At Ten. I know if i were the owners, I would have been irate with Johnny V, he is the one in charge of the mount once it leaves that paddock, and if he even though she wasn't her self, he shouldn't have been sharing it with ESPN and the viewing public, he should have took his concerns to the state vets and the stewards!!! He shouldn't get a free pass , he should have got the same or even more scrutiny as John Veitch....
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
I hear P Val and Rick Dutrow are looking for a third to go fishing for awhile, any interest John?
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
John Veitch should have stuck to training but oh no, the Stewardship was his calling I guess, another poor decision on his part.
Heidi Kruckenberg More than 1 year ago
The Life At Ten situation was clear. I could even tell on the t.v. that something wasn't right and she was tying up. If anyone should be responsible, it's Pletcher but, yet, the stewards should have called the vet to examine her prior to loading in the gate. What a mess.
Anthony Bartolo More than 1 year ago
Was even more of a mess if you were watching and had a large bet on her ike yours truly. That was ridiculous.
john p More than 1 year ago
It looked bad !!!!! The way the horse ran.Johnny V's remarks before the race to jerry bailey,who kept on asking the question,is the horse ok. The chief steward that is veitch,should have sent the horse to the test barn. They should have called down to the vet and scratch the horse before the race.We need to make it fair for the people who bet!!!!
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
Why start now making it fair for the general public? Talk about locking the door after the horse is gone, perfect example here.