The Vaunted Ft. Erie to Woodbine Angle, and Used Treadmills

Rood and Riddle Treadmill exam 2010 Rolex Tour MR

Not a very clever title to this post, but I need to cover 2 different angles today, my apologies. Let’s do the last thing first, why not? I have 2 used high speed equine treadmills that are looking for a new home, please email me at for details.

Price is discounted 50-75% from new. Quality used machines don’t hit the market that often, but in this case we have a retiring trainer looking to unload some nice gear.

Now the interesting part of the post: One trainer had 5 horses leave Ft. Erie and head up to Woodbine this season and record claiming wins. For those of you not aware of the HUGE class difference here is a quick primer on these 2 Canadian circuits:

In 2012 a typical $10k claim ran for a purse of:

$24,000 at Woodbine.
$14,000 at Ft. Erie.

In 2012 an allowance race carried a purse of:

$67,000 at Woodbine.
$18,600 at Ft. Erie.

I wish I was an astute enough researcher to see how many other horses, not trained by this gentleman, made the large jump in class from FE to WO and emerged victorious. Any sharp handicappers or turf writers out there willing to help? I can look back at this trainer’s 2011 record and note that ZERO of his horses were able to make that jump, despite several attempts. Here is some past performance info on the lucky 5 from our friends at Betfair:

Attitude Included


Sunny Weather

Fiji Boy


I post this info reluctantly, but sometimes I like to toot my own horn – as all of these horses were on STORM. A few times in the comment section of this blog readers have taken me to task for talking about the one supplement that I sell, inferring that I was simply trying to sell a product (heaven forbid). But these results are remarkable, and I have tested several other supplements that failed to produce results, and therefore have never graced the pages of this blog.

I also tout the benefits of the Niagara Equissage saddle at and Photobiostimulation therapy from although I have no financial interest in either.

My point is, when you objectively quantify thoroughbred fitness with HR/GPS and blood lactate equipment, you uncover some modalities that seem to improve nearly every horse across the board – and when you find those gems, you better use them.


About bpressey

Equine Exercise Physiologist

Posted on January 16, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Q bill–we’re sure storm ingredients will fail to test?

    • Absolutely RR, thousands of starts over nearly every district in the world, no violations. It’s only protein after all, actually an amino acid, and some carbohydrate. Perfectly natural – like milk and cereal for a human. Now, nothing in the TCO2 milkshake is illegal either, it’s the EFFECT that they test for, but that’s easy to do when the effects are short lived and in the blood – STORM supports the horse’s own ability to milkshake himself – providing the weak link to accomplish carnosine synthesis in the muscles.

      Now, if one was to capture the PH in the muscles of STORM horses within 15sec following a race, one would find a higher PH/lower level of acidity than in non-supplemented horses, in my opinion. But that is also true of better horses in general, and is highly variable. Also, that number will improve with conditioning. By the time the winner is back in the test barn, all effects are gone.

  2. In a weird coincidence, I use to work at Windfields Farm when Attitude Included was boarded there! I can confirm that her name suits her well but of course, we all love these horses anyways!

  3. Treadmill an effective method of exercise, but also a great means of monitoring the horse during training.

    TVG Horse Racing Channel

  4. We’re do we draw the line though. If something doesn’t swab does it make it legal. If beta alinane is a proven performance enhancer then would it be not included as doping? There are a few amino acids like the phenyl inanes that are illegal and are pre cursers etc . Bicarb is a buffer as is beta Alinane .testosterone is naturally occurring as is dopamine. It’s a curvy line I think. What if stewards came out tomorrow and banned beta alinane cause it enhanced performance (which it does) does that mean you have to hand back all the races you won as you have admitted using BA?

    • I am not aware of any amino acid being illegal. Amino acids are what constitute proteins. Food itself is performance-enhancing, starve yourself or your horse and see how much slower you run 400m or 6 furlongs. But yes, it certainly is a curvy line. Carbohydrates as well are extremely performance enhancing.

      Training/racing on merely hat/oats/water is inhumane in my opinion. The sport of racing is unnatural and requires sensible dietary supplementation in order for horses to improve their physiological processes. Of course, 99% of said supplements are probably junk.

      Anything you inject or tube down your horses’ throat 4 hours before a race is a drug – anything you add to the feed on a daily basis for 4-6 weeks before any improvement is seen is a supplement, in my admittedly biased opinion. Drugs are fast acting and temporary, supplements don’t work overnight and aid in the conditioning process over the long term.

      Would you give your kid an aspirin before a football game? Sure.
      But would you inject his ankles? I wouldn’t.

      • Peptides are short chain aminos aka epo, thymosin b4 , aicar, the list is endless

      • EPO is a hormone that controls red blood cell production and, like many substances in the body, is comprised of several different amino acids. The amino acids themselves are not illegal – what is banned is the ingestion of this specific combination that constitutes EPO.

        Carnosine is also a di-peptide found in muscle, carnosine is made up of beta-alanine and histidine. When you condition a horse to improve his stamina, among other things you are asking him to increase his level of stored carnosine, which he must manufacture himself from these 2 amino acids, only one of which (histidine) has been found to be plentiful in equine muscle. Hence, the need for beta-alanine supplementation. The BA does nothing on its own, it provides the horse with the (lacking) raw material to develop staying power within muscles. Traditional TCO2/baking soda milkshakes do no such thing – they are temporary fixes to blunt the acidic buildup in blood. Big difference in my opinion.

        Similarly, we all know that exercising horses increases their muscle mass. This is a natural process that requires protein, but horses are vegetarians by nature. Adding protein/amino acids to their feed helps them to withstand the rigors of competition and training. If you wish to eliminate EPO and the like, will you also disallow protein added to all feeds?

        I take it you view trainers that use beta-alanine as cheats? I agree this is a slippery slope, but going overboard in regulation of naturally occurring compounds can also be just as detrimental to the developing equine athlete. That being said, anything designed to dull pain is a drug and should be expressly forbidden in any animal of prey being used for sport.

        I am very much enjoying your this back and forth, thanks for your providing your perspective-

      • Dont get me wrong!! I am in no way endorsing these products but it is interesting as to where the lines are drawn sometimes. Especially for example when steroids were legal to use up until the 80s. How easy would it be these days to train a horse as hard as we need to on anabolics ? Extremely!

      • Oh I understand. I agree – steroids plus hard training in the US back in the 70’s gave us some monster Triple Crown winners, steroids plus light training since then gave us nothing. Now we only have the light training, minus steroids (supposedly), and the winning times in our Classic races are equal to those of the 1930-1940’s!

      • From my perspective, going along with this ‘Ft. Erie to Woodbine’ post – it was astounding to see the simple addition of an amino acid to the feed 2x per day lead to such a big class jump for so many horses. What if we can overcome genetic limitations such as a low level of beta-alanine in the muscles with a variety of sound nutritional strategies? Would be quite a feat. Sadly, the compound creatine has not been proven to be absorbed into the equine gut, thus far.

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