If John Veitch, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s chief
steward, is involved in the investigation looking into the Life at Ten
incident on Breeders’ Cup Friday, then neither the KHRC nor the
Breeders’ Cup is taking what happened very seriously.
Veitch is a man of integrity, and I consider him a friend. But the
role of the KHRC stewards, including Veitch, has to be examined as part
of this investigation, too. The wagering public and the owners of Life
At Ten deserve a thorough and completely unbiased review of what became
a major embarrassment for the Breeders’ Cup and Thoroughbred racing,
especially in Kentucky.
Here is the sequence of events in the lead-up to the Ladies’
Classic, where Life At Ten was listless in the paddock, uncomfortable
in the post-parade and warm-ups, and was eased in the race itself as
the 7-2 second choice in the wagering. More than $7 million was wagered
on the Ladies’ Classic, with millions more bet on multi-race wagers.
ESPN analyst Jerry Bailey, a retired Hall of Fame jockey, asked
jockey John Velazquez during warm-ups how Life At Ten was doing. “Right
now I’m not sure, Jerry, to tell you the truth,” Velazquez said on live
television. “She’s not warming up the way she normally does.” Bailey
asked if she was reluctant, and Velazquez responded, “Yes she is.”