Workout Patterns of a Lasix-free Gulfstream entry

107 entries at GP on Sunday, December 4th and only one running Lasix free – trained by blog favorite/Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens of course, how can he accomplish this feat? (CLICK ABOVE TO ENLARGE)

Wild by Nature got whipped in this race after a stumbling start, but that is not the object of this post. 106 horses ran under Lasix today at Gulfstream and 80% of them were disappointing as well. The point here is what does Mr. Jerkens do in order to compete without the drug?

On the PP sheet above we see the following workout pattern for Wild by Nature:

Dec. 4 – race 8+F
Nov. 30 – breeze 5F/1:00
Nov. 24 – breeze 7F/1:27
Nov. 20 – breeze 5F/1:03 over off track
Nov. 15 – breeze 4F/:49
Prior works and 1 race at Belmont

Now I don’t have access to this horse or trainer, but this blog is certainly a fan of breezing 85% of the race distance, working more frequently than the typical once every 6 days, and the mixing of short/fast moves with longer/slower breezes.

Last week we talked about this approach in getting horses to the races without the use of Lasix, and here Mr. Jerkens continues to practice what he preaches well into his 80s:

While I certainly applaud Mr. Jerkens sticking to his guns and racing this 2yo without Lasix until he proves he needs it, I realize that he is competing at an extreme disadvantage – likely spotting the rest of the field 20+ pounds of fluid.

To summarize: primarily to bleed or not to bleed is up to the pulmonary capillaries of the individual horse, but human intervention, as proven by Mr. Jerkens, can aid the process significantly. It’s not racing that makes ’em bleed, it’s not training that makes ’em bleed – it’s the DIFFERENCE in intensity between the 2 tasks that is the culprit.

Put another way, if you can breeze 7F and scope clean, you are more likely to race 8F and scope clean as well.
The same cannot be said for entering that 8F race off of a series of ‘clean’ 4F works.

Alas, true horsemanship in this manner will not be around much longer as the Mr. Jerkens of the world are slowly receding into history.


About bpressey

Equine Exercise Physiologist

Posted on December 15, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Many thanks. More of this appropriate training information please. EIPH is a result of exceeding the physiological adaptability of the racehorse. Pulmonary health is a result of appropriate lung development, appropriate stabling (abundant locomotion and grazing), and appropriate training to develop lung capacity, elasticity, and durability.
    Horsemanship best manages bleeding, not drugs. All the practices that keep lungs healthy keep racehorses happy and sound.
    Regards, Sid Gustafson DVM

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