Breeders’ Cup Post-Race Tests Declared Clear by New Authority

It took a little longer than originally thought, but all post-race samples taken from contenders in the Breeders’ Cup have been cleared by the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU).

Distribution of purse money has begun accordingly, the Breeders’ Cup said in a news release.

The 2023 Breeders’ Cup marked the first year the event was run under the full jurisdiction of the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Authority (HISA), including the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program, which took effect in May and is enforced by HIWU.

Bolshoi ballet at the Belmont Derby- Photo Courtesy of Joe Labozzetta

Breeders’ Cup Veterinarian Scratches: Impact on Favorites & Trainer Insights

A total of 166 horses were officially entered in the two-day, 14-race Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita. Nearly two dozen were scratched either after race-day exams by veterinarians or by injury during training.

Among the vet scratches were River Tiber, the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the BC Juvenile Turf (G1) and Bolshoi Ballet from the BC Turf (G1). Both are trained by Aidan O’Brien.

“He (River Tiber) was being checked all week, he seemed OK, and the vets have checked him this morning and weren’t happy with him, so that’s the way it is,’’ O’Brien told ITV. “Obviously, that’s the rule, and I suppose there’s no more to say about that. We’re visitors here and we’re very grateful to be here, rules are rules, and they just weren’t happy with him today,’’

Medical Rules and Horse Tragedies: Insights from Breeders’ Cup Events

Also scratched was Givemethebeatboys (10-1) from the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1), a decision that riled trainer Jessica Harrington

Jessica Harrington said it very well,’’ co-owner Irene Sands said at the time. “She said that ‘at the end of the day, vets aren’t any different to any other profession, they all have different opinions.’ That’s not taking anything from anybody but certainly, our own contingent would have been very happy for him to race today.”

Also, Practical Move, a top contender in the BC Dirt Mile (G), collapsed after a workout and died from a “cardiac event,” and BC Classic (G1) contender Geaux Rocket Ride suffered a severe right front leg injury during training on Oct. 28, and was euthanized a few days later.

As was the case under Breeders’ Cup’s anti-doping and medication control rules before HISA’s ADMC program began, medication is prohibited within 48 hours of the 14 BC races and the undercard. All horses were also subject to out-of-competition testing for banned substances.


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