Various chart notes from Santa Anita yesterday:

Violent Storm “brushed the gate”
Little Rachel “never responded to urging [whipping, that is]”
Maven “bumped leaving the gate”
Winding “bumped leaving the gate”
Ted “clipped heels”
Agree to Settle “bumped leaving the gate”
Kiss My Cat “bumped leaving the gate”
Chevy Girl “bumped rival”
A Little Bit Crazy “bumped rival”
Overdue “hit gate at the start, bumped rival”
Larry’s Legend “bumped rival”
Big Buzz “took a bad step near 3/8 pole”
Harlocap “roused [whipped] in upper stretch, urged left handed [whipped] at 16th”
Yellow Brick “bumped with rival”
Texthelegend “bumped with rival”
Tiz Tok “bumped leaving the gate”
Vegas Burner “bumped leaving the gate”
Quincy Market “was hard to load” (finished last, 18+ lengths back)
King Apollo “bumped”
Stotland “bumped”
Savile Row “was rank in upper stretch” (finished last, 18+ lengths back)
Marinas Tina “bumped leaving the gate”
Lunar Impact “bumped leaving the gate, bumped [again] at 3/8 pole”
Fayette Fox “took a bad step on the turn”
Mount Mary “bumped early”
Rivka “bumped early, bumped [again] at 3/8 pole”

Quite a day, huh?

Then this: The New Jersey Racing Commission has announced yet another opioid positive – previous ones here – at Freehold Raceway. After “winning” the 1st race on November 4, 10-year-old Mac’s Secure was selected for testing: oxymorphone. Her trainer, Leo Iordan, was fined $1,000 and suspended for a mere seven days.

This is horseracing.

The following horses were scratched by the track vet over just five days of racing (Jan 6-8, Jan 13, Jan 15) at Santa Anita:

Wirly Girly, injured
Niles Channel, injured
Elusive Class, injured
Rip City, sick
Ring General, sick
Classier, sick
Krahenbuhl, sick
Spirit of Makena, injured

And: Haskelled, sale voided, placed on Vet’s List

The following on the Hejazi pics from yesterday comes from a former racehorse owner with a lifetime of experience working with horses. (This person prefers to remain anonymous.) I’ve reposted the photos and another showing the bit in question. Again, this was Sunday at Santa Anita. Jockey, Mike Smith; trainer, Bob Baffert.

“When I first saw the article about Hejazi in a racing publication, the number in the headline caught my eye: ‘$3.55-million Purchase.’ Craziness. The next thing I noted was the picture included in the article. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. Then I zoomed in, and as I looked closer, I thought, wait, where’s the bit?? What kind of bit does he have?? As I enlarged the photo, I realized the cheek piece of his bit was IN HIS MOUTH. That poor horse – and his expression, with his ears pinned, shows it.

“After some research, I determined that this is a Dexter Ring Bit. The Dexter [below] has a ‘spoon’ hanging off the O-ring cheek piece. The spoon, it says, is ‘to prevent the bit from being DRAGGED through the mouth.’ Sure failed this poor horse! All I could think was the sheer force that Smith exerted to pull all this hardware into this poor horse’s mouth. And with his tongue tied down, Hejazi had no way to protect himself.

“I have never seen this happen before, not with eventers, not with jumpers. I can’t imagine the pain this horse endured. His teeth probably got banged, his cheeks and tongue possibly pinched, and then I thought, again, a $3.55-million horse gets treated like THIS?? He’s from a million-dollar barn and they couldn’t ensure his bridle cheek pieces were fitted properly?? If that’s what happens to the elites – what kind of treatment do you suppose the low-level claimers get?”