Hansen’s pre-Gotham Blowout, non-Lasix at GP, and UK goings on…
‘The Great White Hope’ is probably my favorite pre-Derby motto. Congrats to the hometown connections behind Hansen here in Louisville – I only wish he was training at Churchill’s Trackside facility which I drive by everyday as trainer Mike Maker did for many years past. Oh well.
EDIT: As of March 10th, Hansen is headed to Trackside in Louisville to train up to the Spiral Stakes.
From Dr. Hansen’s blog:
“He (Maker) decided to take Hansen to the track the morning of the race to gallop about 3/4 of a mile. Hansen gets upset when he does not get to go to the track. So why not make him happy?”
Now by ‘gallop’ this could mean anywhere from 6F in either 13 or 18 second furlongs, but what actually happened isn’t that important, what is notable is that this excitable colt was taken out of his stall the morning of the biggest race of his life for exercise. I gather that since Dr. Hansen called attention to this as a ‘change’, that it was the first time it happened. Voila – he was much calmer in both the post parade and in the gate.
We have talked about the physiological implications of the ‘blowout’ for years in this space. For such a fractious colt, this exercise will cause contraction of the spleen – dumping 30% more red blood cells into the bloodstream. Now when he returns to his stall for his afternoon nap – the spleen re-fills with fresh blood. Without this session, he goes to the gate with 7 day old blood inside of that spleen, less than ideal for oxygen transport.
The connections viewed this practice as purely a psychological tool, but enjoyed the physiological aspects as well, no doubt. A blowout doesn’t need to be a Carl Nafzger style 4F in :50, it can be much slower for an excitable prospect.
LASIX ACROSS THE BOARD AT GULFSTREAM ON SUNDAY
Race 7 is a MSW for 3yo over 6F on the dirt with 9 first time starters in the field of 10. Kiaran McLaughlin sends 2 forward for Darley without Lasix, as does owner/trainer Fred Seitz with his entry. Seitz wins, and the 2 Darley horses place and show.
I bet this was the first ‘lasix-free trifecta’ in many, many years – decades, perhaps?
TOBA Graded Stakes Chairman Dr. David Richardson took some heat for backing off on the lasix-free 2yo races in 2012, but he also provided some of the best comments on the use of the diuretic in an interview in the Paulick Report:
“We suggest that most who discuss the merits of furosemide have not read the studies on its use. The study on furosemide from South Africa was a well-done study and demonstrated that the drug had a modest effect on reducing EIPH. The study showed 79% had some bleeding without furosemide and 57% of those receiving the drug also had bleeding. Thus, in the study group receiving no medication, 21% had no bleeding, 44% had Grade 1 bleeding (minor and does not affect performance), and 23% had Grade 2 bleeding (which would be borderline for adversely affecting performance). Therefore, the major benefit accrued to 12% of the horses. Is it wise to treat 100% of horses to achieve a 12% benefit? While long-term negative effects of furosemide administration on the breed can be postulated but are certainly unproven, it is clear there are major dissues of public perception about competing on medication. It is curious why we feel 2-year-olds racing in Graded Stakes races require this medication when racing in all jurisdictions around the world are able to function without it.”
FROM ACROSS THE POND, ANOTHER TRAINER USING PHYSIOLOGY TO GAIN AN EDGE
“So if you got that edge it has to help. The likes of Aidan O’Brien and Mike de Kock, some of the most revered trainers in the world, are seeing there is a benefit to using exercise science.”