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Veitch Speaks During Kentucky Hearing

Published: June 29, 2011 12:02 pm ET

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The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission hearing into the alleged inaction of its chief state steward, John Veitch, got underway on Tuesday, June 29.

Veitch is facing the possibility of a five-year suspension and up to $50,000 in fines after Life At Ten, the 7-2 second choice in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic, was allowed to race even though her jockey, John Velazquez, had gone on the record with ESPN minutes before the race as saying that his mount wasn't warming up as she usually did. The filly went on to start very poorly in the race and was never a factor, as she was distanced by the field.

2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic

An article by Frank Angst in the Thoroughbred Times explains that the KHRC has determined that Veitch violated five rules when he allowed the filly to race in the Breeders' Cup event. The KHRC has said that Veitch failed to take appropriate action for misconduct; failed to address questions regarding scratches; allowed a horse to race that is 'not in serviceable, sound racing condition;' failed to assure that a horse was ridden out, and failed to have the commission veterinarian collect a post-race sample.

The Thoroughbred Times report has cited Veitch as saying that he followed the state's rules of racing when he decided to not ask the commission veterinarians to inspect the filly before the dash.

“You put a vet in a no-win situation if you make that call,” Veitch was quoted as saying in the Thoroughbred Times article. “Stewards are not trained to do this (judge a horse's heath or form). Veterinarians are in position to make those decisions.”

The report also states that the opening day testimony in the hearing suggested that Kentucky stewards were unclear about some of their particular procedures and aspects of chain of command.

(With files from the Thoroughbred Times)

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