Reading the Life At Ten article in The Thoroughbred Times for Wednesday April 13th, one of my long held beliefs was greatly reinforced. Polling The Man on The Street about a hot topic, this one being the KHRC’s assessment of a ten thousand dollar fine against rider John Velasquez, will produce answers or comments that are ninety eight per cent drivel. A great many emotionally charged words about a subject they know little or nothing about. These are “result oriented” people who have extremely limited knowledge of the process which takes you to the adjudication-or result. They don’t really care how you got there, they just know they do not like the result. Imagine having people who think in this manner on your jury.
In it’s entirety the Life At Ten incident is a very complex issue and sadly it appears there is ample blame to go around. We will see how the commission apportions blame in their adjudication of other segments of this fiasco. There is a great deal to be learned here for those so inclined. Personally, I would like to see a list of any corrective procedures the commission has put in place regarding acts or omissions by the stewards, veteranarians, riders and other personnel concerned with getting the horses from the paddock to the starting point.
The investigation findings suggest to me that there is -or hopefully was- a severe need for clarification of responsibilities on the part of the stewards. vets and riders regarding scratches on the racetrack. And I see nothing in the rule book about the vote of the Chief Steward carrying any more weight than a vote by either of the other two stewards. If this is the case I wish someone would quote that authority for me. Why did the other two stewards suggest in their answers to investigators that without the vote of the Chief Steward they-as a board- could do nothing? I am anxious to know whether or not the commission found those statements to be acceptable. Believe me, we have not heard the last of Life At Ten.