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Vets Talk During Day 2 Of KHRC Hearing

Published: June 30, 2011 12:30 pm ET

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Day 2 of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's hearing into the alleged inaction of its chief steward, John Veitch, heard testimony from commission veterinarians into what did and did not transpire before Life At Ten loaded into the gate to contest the 2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic.

Veitch, a retired Hall of Fame trainer, is facing the possibility of a five-year suspension and $50,000 in fines. The KHRC is charging that Veitch did not do his job in assessing and dealing with the John Velazquez-ridden Life At Ten, who went off as the second wagering choice in the high-profile race. Minutes before the dash, Velazquez had gone on the record during a live ESPN broadcast as saying that his filly was not warming up the way she usually did. The filly ended up racing unbelievably flat in the contest and was well distanced at the wire.

2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic

An article by the Lexington Herald Leader quoted Veitch's lawyer, Tom Miller, as saying on Day 2 of the hearing that his client is "a scapegoat" in the current matter.

During his Day 2 testimony, Veitch was cited as saying that he had heard Velazquez's comments about the filly on ESPN and that, in turn, he visually examined the distaffer from a distance with his binoculars. Veitch stated that he did not see anything out of the ordinary about the way the filly was warming up, and he was quoted as saying, "If the jockey saw anything wrong, it's his responsibility to go to the vet."

The Lexington Herald Leader report also states that, after hearing the jockey's comments, an expert veterinary commentator had radioed the top KHRC veterinarian, Dr. Bryce Peckham, whom had been monitoring the fillies just prior to the race. The analyst asked the Dr. Peckham if any jockey had contacted them in regard to worries about their mounts just before the race. According to the article, Dr. Peckham stated that no jockey had done such thing.

The report also explains that the KHRC vets were then on strong alert just before the race, although, according to Dr. Peckham, the vets did not see anything abnormal which would have prompted them to examine any of the horses.

(With files from the Lexington Herald Leader)

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