HRU Feedback (2018-08-19)

More on equine health column on respiratory problems

Along with the very solid information that Ms. Pietrzak has offered for the reasons behind many of the respiratory problems that we are seeing in racehorses (full story here), I would suggest that the biggest contributor to these problems is dust. Far too many young horses are housed in dusty barns (feed and bedding) and poor ventilation. The very fact that they are not outside (even in hot, muggy weather) grazing and roaming naturally, is likely the biggest contribution to respiratory problems. The very act of walking increases their circulation which cleanses their systems. It strengthens their respiratory system just by using it. Horses standing in stalls most of their lives are likely to more challenged by their environment than are horses that spend most of their time outside. A more natural environment is preferable to a man-made one for all horses but especially for ones that are challenged by hard work regularly with their respiratory systems being pushed to the limits. Horses do not naturally run those kind of distances at race speed unless fleeing for their lives. Their respiratory systems are quite adequate for their natural needs. We humans have made it difficult and challenging for them to deal with the our demands with the tools that nature has given them by keeping them locked up in dusty stalls, with dusty hay, trailering them in small spaces on dusty trailers, racing them on dusty tracks. The common denominator is — dust! Along with dust — dust mites! Right from the time they are born, their respiratory systems are challenged by this issue. No wonder they are breaking down as racehorses.

— Lynne Magee / Wingham, ON

Thoughts on 15 per cent takeout for the Crown

Thanks for the article announcing the reduction of rates for the betting at this year’s Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs. (full story here).

I live in Pennsylvania and attend and bet the races at both Pocono Downs and Harrahs Philadelphia. I very seldom bet their trifecta or multi-race bets due to their high takeout rates on these type of bets. I plan to be on track for the Breeders Crown programs. I usually bet more on these cards and now feel I can play more on all the various feature bets that I tend to avoid in Pennsylvania. I also appreciate that they extended this offer to their win, place and show pools as well. Since these are the polls I bet the most I plan to increase my level of play on these bets as well. I hope our other readers take notice and support this effort by increasing their level of play on these cards to send a clear message we bettors appreciate this effort. If the track sees a major increase in their handle it may trigger lower rates in the future.

— John Chambers / Lansdowne, PA

Chart error

When I saw this chart, I was sure something was wrong by the fact that it shows a horse at 715.80 to 1. It probably should have been 15.80 to 1. I was wondering what happened to Fleetwood Hall and why they did not record how he finished. I watched the replay and he finished about 7 lengths behind the winner. Since he was lapped on #3 Jersey Boy, I’d say he went 1:55.4 with the last quarter in about 29.0. I’ve seen errors like this before and they rarely if ever get corrected. Who should be notified in cases like this?

— Jerry White / Boynton Beach FL