John Veitch, the chief state steward for Kentucky Thoroughbred racing, defended his actions June 28 in the first day of a hearing in connection with Life At Ten’s participation in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs last Nov. 5.
Prior to the race, jockey John Velazquez, interviewed while aboard Life At Ten as a rider on a lead pony held a microphone rode alongside, told ESPN commentator Jerry Bailey that Life At Ten was not warming up as she normally does. That information was relayed to the stewards by ESPN producer Amy Zimmerman, but the stewards did not contact the racetrack veterinarians overseeing the race to alert them to the situation.
The 7-2 second choice in the Ladies’ Classic, Life At Ten trailed the field throughout the race and was listed on the chart as not finishing the race (View Race). The filly did, however, cross the finish line and returned to trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn without assistance. Pletcher later said it appeared that Life At Ten had experienced an allergic reaction to anti-bleeder medication she was administered prior to the race.