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Archive for the ‘Racing’ Category

An Interview With Doctor Lawrence Bramlage

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Dr. Larry BramlageBecause we are in the grips of horse racing’s run for the Triple Crown, the subject of horses and their safety has been brought back to the forefront — especially when you consider the tragedy of Eight Belles. With this in mind, I pursued an opportunity to interview Dr Lawrence Bramlage, the attending on-call* veterinarian of the Kentucky Derby.

Dr. Bramlage also oversaw the euthanasia of Eight Belles after determining the severity of her injuries; something he’s never before witnessed during his career as a medical expert for the thoroughbred industry.

In our interview, we asked Dr. Bramlage some questions about the Eight Belles injury, potential prevention methods, Big Brown and Derby Pie. Needless to say, Dr. Bramlage went to great lengths to educate some of us who may have been in an uproar about animal cruelty and horse racing. Our interview was conducted via email and because I’m no expert when it comes to matters of the horse-racing industry, some of my questions may seem elementary.

Thankfully, Dr. Bramlage’s answers were not:

Intentional Foul: Dr. Bramlage, thank you for taking the time speak with Intentional Foul. In your report, it was revealed Eight Belles had fractures of the cannon and sesamoid bones in both front legs. What, in your professional opinion, contributed to the severity of these injuries? Was Eight Belles fighting the “slow down” commands she was being given or did she perhaps step incorrectly while she was slowing?

Dr. Bramlage: She was slowing down perfectly just like you want a horse to do. She was decreasing her momentum without abruptly stopping. She was relaxed and the jockey had her perfectly balanced. There is no good explanation for how she got the fractures. In her last three strides she showed lameness in the right front on two, then dramatically shifted her weight to the left. That is when the left fractured and she went down. Obviously she overloaded the right as well.

There is no indication of anything wrong until those three strides. Horses occasionally sustain injuries during a race that shows up as they slow down, but no one associated with racing that I have talked to has ever seen anything like this event.

Continue reading our interview with Dr. Bramlage

What Can Big Brown Do For You?

Big Brown

The Preakness is tomorrow and while you are enjoying all the debauchery, be sure to remember there’s a semi-important horse race going on tomorrow. You know, if going to a horse track to watch horses race is your type of thing — a legitimate question for all the in-field attendees.

If you are actually interested in the race, the other questions surrounding The Preakness are can the horse who launched a million UPS trucks (not really, but he did get his name from the shipping giant) win the second leg of the Triple Crown? If he does, will anyone in attendance be sober enough to appreciate it? Another question, deftly tackled by Pat Forde, is whether or not two-weeks is a sufficient enough lay-off for modern horses to compete the Triple?

I’m not sure Seattle Slew or Affirmed had these issues to worry about, but nevertheless, the concerns are out there. Others tend to stem from the Eight Belles tragedy and while they are legitimate, I’m not sure if they won’t just fall on deaf ears. The horse racing industry is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry (especially if you include the gambling aspect) and while the immediate destruction of one of these beautiful creatures leaves a lasting impact on the general sporting public and generates tons of shock waves, it won’t derail horse racing from moving forward.

We are in the middle of the Triple Crown season and it’s the industry’s time to shine and if the Barbaro saga didn’t dampen their spirit, nothing — not even the destruction of Eight Belles — will.

Anyway, enough op-edding for now; let’s look at the race. Can Big Brown complete and win leg number two of the Triple Crown? Considering the fact he’s a 1-2 favorite (for every $2 spent, you get $1 in return), it’s pretty obvious where Vegas’ feelings lie. When you look at the rest of the field’s odds, you can get the distinct impression Big Brown is the only horse worth paying attention to.

The second lowest odds are for Gayego, who comes in at 8-1. After that, the rest of the entires have double-digit odds. To me, this seems to indicate either Big Brown will destroy the field (in a winning way) or some enterprising gambler is going to make a lot of money off the likes of Macho Again (20-1) and Riley Tucker (30-1). With that in mind, I’m going to go out on a limb here and pick Big Brown to win, place, and show.

In other news, ESPN’s Randy Moss looks really intense. God, I love bad choices in online video freeze-frames.

Randy Moss

Don’t take any crap from that ESPN 2 crew, Randy.

Kentucky Derby Field Set

Derby Hat

Ah yes. It’s that time of the year — the first Saturday in May. Time for ostentatious hats, $1000 mint juleps, Derby Pie (if it’s from Kern’s Kitchen), celebrities and the most exciting two minutes in sports — all for the sake of watching the ponies run a mile and a quarter to see who wins the Run for the Roses and the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

Kentucky Derby LogoIf you don’t know by now, I’m talking about the Kentucky Derby, of course.

Amidst all the celebrity pomp and circumstance, there is a very serious horse race to be run, one that has untold millions of dollars worth of preparation tied into it. If you’ve never been to Kentucky, it’s hard to explain just how much pull and power the horse industry has in the state known for bourbon and basketball.

Anyway, the field for the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby has been set:

1. Visionaire
2. Big Truck
3. Colonel John
4. Z Fortune
5. Pyro
6. Eight Belles
7. Anak Nakal
8. Court Vision
9. Z Humor
10. Monba
11. Smooth Air
12. Adriano
13. Bob Jack Black
14. Denis of Cork
15. Cowboy Cal
16. Big Brown
17. Tale of Ekati
18. Cool Coal Man
19. Recapturetheglory
20. Gayego

As of today, the favorite is Big Brown who comes in the 3-1 odds. If, perhaps, you are wanting to go but think you might have missed your chance, Intentional Foul’s parent company, Ticket Solutions, has Kentucky Derby tickets. Unfortuantely, if you are looking at getting into Anita Madden’s party, we can’t really help you there.

But if you decide to crash it (Double Q tried one time. I believe they failed), send us pics.

Danica Patrick Needs A Sammich

Danica Patrick

Yes, I just quoted Fark in my title, but the fact remains, if she doesn’t want to get some weight added to her Andretti Green Racing Honda, she might want to increase her caloric intake a little. Patrick — whose weight and height measures in at 5-2, 100 pounds — could very well be on the short end of the stick when it comes to the IRL’s new minimum vehicle weight standards, which will now includes the weight of the driver in the overall measurement.

Essentially, the heavier cars will have their total weight reduced while the lighter cars could have up to 35 pounds added. Considering Patrick’s relatively petite stature, her vehicle would, in all likelihood, be one of the first cars to see their weight increased. When asked about the reasoning behind this new rule, Patrick was skeptical:

Patrick said she asked IRL officials about the reason for the change but said “they didn’t really have one.

If she really wanted to protest, Danica could always show up in one of these t-shirts:

No Fat Chicks