THE WEEK THAT WAS
TRAINERS OUTRAGED BY UNEXPLAINABLE HOT PEPPER POSITIVES:
It’s a huge mystery and it has Canadian horsemen fighting mad. Race horses continue to test positive for capsaicin, a derivative of chili peppers, that is a restricted substance because it can be used to treat pain. Forty-five horses at tracks across Canada have tested positive since June but no one knows where the capsaicin is coming from. Two ASD trainers were forced to return purse money earned by horses who tested positive after races on June 16, 23 and July 1.
When Woodbine trainer Tony Cattellaro
had two positive tests last week, he was enraged: “I’m probably one of the most progressive trainers out there--a hay-oats-water guy,”
he was quoted as saying. “I am pro-horse, this business is my passion. It’s a stain against me and this is not something I will accept.”
Eight Woodbine trainers have filed an appeal with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to have the drug positives expunged from their records and to have purse money redistributed.
HORSES WEARING A BLANKET EAT LESS:
Wearing a blanket, he won’t eat as much hay
Draping a blanket over a horse during the winter cuts back a horse’s consumption of hay by eight per cent. That’s the outcome of a University of Wisconsin study where two groups of eight horses had identical living conditions and free access to hay in December and January except that horses in one group wore blankets. The blanketed horses ate two pounds less hay each day. It seems obvious that they didn’t need to take in as many calories to keep warm compared to their unblanketed counterparts.
$25,000 SLIPS THROUGH THE FINGERS OF BETTING GROUP:
It seems impossible that Saturday’s ‘I won bigger” betting group wasn’t sharing $25,000 (about $500 per $20 share) after #5 Penetanguishene
, won at odds of 21-1 and this was a horse used in group pick-3s and atop superfectas because I loved his chances. So why didn’t the horse appear on pick-5 tickets? I’ll take the blame. I should have reviewed tickets produced during other telephone conversations.
I took solace later in the afternoon after a friend suffered an even worse beat. He was about to bet a $220 Power pick-6 ticket on his HPIbet account but didn’t hit “send” because he thought he could cut the cost in half. Of course you know what happened: His original ticket would have given him the only correct ticket on the pick-6 and his account would have been fattened by $45,000. So, a sorrowful $70,000 went wanting on Saturday. Misery loves company.
But, of course, the “I won bigger” betting group will soldier on as usual on Woodbine races this Saturday and I’ll at least take pleasure in listening to the Call to the Post before each race. That's because that is now the correct version after I emailed the track noting the previous one--with multiple horns--was missing a couple notes and annoyed racing purists. Gotta take satisfaction in whatever little bits are thrown your way.
BLASTY THE HORSE COMES OUT OF RETIREMENT:
Blasty makes a comeback
The fire-breathing horse, Blasty
, is being brought out of retirement to once again adorn the Calgary Flames’ jersey when the 2021 NHL season begins likely in January. “The actual kit, what the players are going to be wearing with the pants and the socks and everything . . . is awesome,“
said Flames marketing director Ryan Popowich
. “I think we have the best kit.”
Adults who wore Blasty jerseys as kids in the late 1990’s and early 2000s campaigned via social media (#FreeBlasty) to bring Blasty back. But not all Flames fans are happy since the team never made the playoffs during Blasty’s first reign. Oddly, perhaps, a real horse never raced under the name Blasty.
FAIRMOUNT PARK GETS NEW NAME AND UPGRADE:
Thanks to Illinois adopting gaming legislation last year, 95-year-old Fairmount Park--not far from St. Louis, Missouri--will be partnering with the New York sports betting group FanDuel to rename itself FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing and upgrade the facility and bring back the $250,000 St. Louis Derby that had been dropped 14 years ago. Racing will be held from May to September.
DIET COKE BREAKS APART MASS STUCK IN HORSE’S STOMACH:
An Australian vet is the talk of the internet after he used Diet Coke to help break up a football-size mass of vegetation in a horse’s stomach. A camera that peaked into the stomach of a horse in poor condition with a dull, dry coat showed a tightly wound ball of undigested material. Based on anecdotal information, the vet, Dr. Oliver Liyou
, poured two litres of Diet Coke into the horse’s stomach through a tube and another three litres two hours later after noticing the first couple litres had loosened the mass. That was finished off with an eight-litre electrolyte drench. Could Diet Pepsi have worked just as well? (I use Pepsi to rub away car rust.)