Getting a Handle on the Pro-Ride


Pro-Ride, Pro-Ride and more Pro-Ride. Considering it was installed only about two months ago and this will be the first Breeders' Cup held on a synthetic surface, it is all anyone here at Santa Anita is talking about.

How will some of the traditional dirt horses handle the Pro-Ride? Will it even the playing field for the Euros, especially in the Classic? How is the new surface playing at the current Oak Tree meet? These are all questions people are asking. Some of them won't be answered until later this week, but with five only days until the Breeders' Cup, I decided we could all use a refresher course on Pro-Ride. The logical person to talk to was Ian Pearse - the man who invented the surface and is responsible for reconstituting Santa Anita's previous Cushion Track surface into the one we see today.

Upon arriving at Santa Anita for the first time Monday morning, my initial reaction of the Pro-Ride is that it looks a lot different than the Polytrack I'm used to seeing at Keeneland. It is much more brown than most synthetics and looks like a more traditional dirt track. But that was only an impression from a physical standpoint. I asked Pearse, who is Australian and first developed Pro-Ride 20 years ago for his dressage arena, to explain some of the specifics about the surface that will dominate discussion all week.

JS: People's reaction about Pro-Ride during the current Oak Tree meet has been positive for the most part. What have you been hearing?

IP: It's been very positive. The main thing they are saying is that track's resiliency has been very surprising. They are blown away by how much spring it gives. Also, in racing to date, there doesn't seem to be much bias. Horses are winning on the lead, from behind and on the rail. It's proven to be unbiased so far.

JS: One of the complaints we hard in the first few days of racing is that riders say the track gets very hot. Have you heard this from many people?

IP: Initially yes. In the early part of the meet we had weather in the high 90s and people we saying it was a bit warm. As the temperature on the track got around 105, we watered it and (the temperature) significantly dropped. People said it was much better.

Now, the weather is in the mid-80s and low 90s and no one is talking about it anymore. It was really that first week. But we'll continue to monitor it through the week and take the ground temperature.

(As a side note to this, this morning I asked trainer Eoin Harty about the heat on the track and he confirmed it wasn't an issue anymore "It is totally being overblown. We haven't had any issues with it. People need something to talk about." Of course, at the bottom of this blog you will see that Steve Asmussen has a different opinion.)

JS: I think people tend to lump all synthetic surfaces together. Can you tell us what the main difference between Pro-Ride and the others synthetic tracks are?

IP: Well, the main difference is that our material is made from Polymetric binders, as opposed to wax. Wax, when heated, it softens. The Polymetric does not soften and therefore it is a more stable, long-term surface. We don't have to use a watering program that others use. We only use water to lower temperature when needed.

What also makes it better, in my opinion, is it has a two-phase cushion. The significance of this is the track is just as resilient on the last day of the meet as it is on the first. We don't have to do maintenance. It's better technology; more advanced. It is second-generation material.

JS: Still, there are many traditionalists that say we shouldn't have racing on synthetic surfaces. How do you respond to that?

IP: Well, the motivation for racing on synthetic surfaces is different everywhere. In Australia, there is a water shortage problem and that is why the racing industry pushed for it. Over here, the motivation was animal welfare. The lower cost of ongoing maintenance is also a factor. But as far as racing on dirt or synthetics, everyone has their preferences.

Curlin and Asmussen

After Curlin worked in :51 1/5 this morning, trainer Steve Asmussen held court for the media. I didn't get to see the Curlin breeze, but I was standing next to him as he hotwalked afterwards. As always, he looks like a physical specimen and seems very happy. As far as Curlin's liking fotr the Pro-Ride, Asmussen was pretty vague. Here is what he had to say when I asked him about his overall impressions of the surface.

"We're just trying to gather information at this point. I think at this stage, when you're talking about three-quarters speed, and gallops and breezes, the data is everything you will see in the race.

What about the heat?

"I think it's obvious that in the afternoons it does generate a great deal of heat. We've breezed him in the afternoon trying to simulate that and see if it would adversely affect him. Of course, he's not on it the amount of time he will be for the race - post parade, built-up and all that time. So it does allow for heat to be that much more of a factor. But with that being said, we're not sure of what the temperature will be that day."

**After the post position draws on Tuesday I will have my first analysis and picks of the Friday races. Look for that in the evening.


Leave a Comment:


Thanks Jason for taking the time to interview Ian Pearse. I understand the differinces now between poly and pro-ride. It makes sense to water it if the temp gets to high. I don't understand all the talk about heat if it's not an issue. Get one of the posse to take the temp a couple of times a day. Who wants to go first?

20 Oct 2008 4:01 PM

Wanda, I know the others are swamped with big projects right now. Hmmm too much vacation time? No not really.

Personally I think what's happening with Eoin is that you sort of stop noticing it. May be why Steve A said it is hot. If you read on Steve Haskin's blog he said it's been reported as high as 150-160 degrees. Now I'm not sure about that high but it was at least 125 when the temp's were in the 90-100 degree range. What I find kind of interesting is the fact that the inventor of it said the reason he invented it for Aussie use is so it doesn't need water, but then it brings the temp down if he waters it. Of course he's going to put the most positive spin on it, he's marketing it (at least a mil worth of free adverts on BH alone).

The buds said it definitely puts off more heat than the tracks they visited this summer, I only went to Del Mar so.(I know, stop pouting)  Anyway it's supposed to be in the low 80's this weekend so it may be a moot point. (p.s. I heard when they water it, it gets faster but then I guess I'm just one of those guys along with the jocks, other trainers etc that are blowing it out of proportion) if you don't water it to keep it playing fair, then it WILL get up into the 90-100 degree range and with the way people were whining about the Belmont, this would really have to affect the horses.

(Yes, Wanda, we are wild and crazy over here on the left coast. Think the buds on the right coast are a little more mellow than we are)

20 Oct 2008 6:04 PM

correction: Steve H's Talkin Horses segment last week.

20 Oct 2008 6:14 PM

Those comments by Asmussen makes it look like he has no idea what he is doing on the surface and does not know hot to get Curlin ready to race on it.  The work was slow and tells me this horse will not be ready to face tough G1 winners.

20 Oct 2008 6:24 PM

Have you been to the track so you can back up your info first hand? What does anyone expect Pearse to say? It's hotter than Hello out there? Trust me it has been hotter than any track I've been to in a while. Eoin's horses haven't worked on it in the heat of the day, sure some have run on it. My buds say the same and we all think the temp is higher than it was when they cancelled Saratoga that day last year and also for the Belmont (yes it was humid in NY the difference, but some thinks the ocean makes it feel humid here???)we were there, were you?  If you've been to all or any of those tracks, and I know Steve A has been, then you can speak with authority on the fact that he's making excuses or is clueless. If you actually follow horse racing,you know that typically Steve works his horses in 101-102+ and probably wasn't thrilled with that 59 flat work. I don't think a trainer of a horse that's made 10 million has to make too many excuses regardless of the outcome. How many excuses did we hear from somebody else. Right Steve is another of those trainers you love to hate that have now idea how to train a horse. Just who do you think trains them? I would love to have earned 20 mil + not knowing what I was doing. I'm not even backing Curlin since I'm looking for a price, but fair is fair and a grudge has to end at some point.

20 Oct 2008 6:47 PM

Jordan: I don't know what you mean. Serious Del Mar? Why in the world would I want to go where it's hot? It's sooo nice here today 50 and all the trees are losing their leaves. I get your french comment from the other day but don't test me cause I didn't play attention in french class at school.

There's no doubt that they are putting a postive spin on their product over the heat thing. I do find it interesting that alot of these BC horses final works vary from maintance moves to eye catching bullet works. That, I put down to the trainer knowing what their horse needs for race day. The flip side is that sometimes when they do those kind of bullet moves so close to the race that they  don't have that edge come race day. However none of us are training any of these horses so I guess it is after all THEIR call.

20 Oct 2008 6:51 PM
Monica V


You cannot make any comment that is not biased when it comes to Curlin.  Admit it.  You  just hate him for some reason.  I don't know what that horse ever did to you.

20 Oct 2008 7:30 PM

Sorry Wanda, was talking to you know who, temporary insanity.

Actually Del Mar is beautiful and even when it's hot there it isn't hot because it's right on the ocean and the ocean breeze cools it off. You can even watch the races from some of the houses on the hill that overlook the track, have a friend who lives there. You would love it I bet. Santa Anita is further inland between Glendale Pasadena and Glendora on the edge of the Angeles Ntl forest (not like your forests I know) with the San Gabriel's right there. Don't know if you've ever been but you should plan on next year after you cash your lottery ticket in.

By the way if a certain person read Steve's comments on the DRF they would see that he loved the way he galloped out and was pretty high on his colt.

20 Oct 2008 7:49 PM

as long as they are not CHEATING give em a break & let the good times ROLL!!!...Long Live The Dirt!!!

21 Oct 2008 2:49 AM


    I will agree Asmussen's coments do make him sound like he doesn't exacly know what's going on with the pro ride, but if you are reffering to curlin's last work going 4 furlongs, then well he alway works a bit slower. The only his work at five furlongs went quicker than what he normally works. And even when he worked quicker he looked fantastic going over the pro ride. Also you can't just look at time, you have to look at a way a horse moves, and what their body language is telling you. So far everything with Curlin is pointing to he loves the surface and is ready to roll.

21 Oct 2008 5:48 AM

I am not a huge fan of Asmussen but I have to say I am very impressed at how he has managed Curlins' career. I feel that based on works and looks he is primed to repeat his performance in last years BCC.  

21 Oct 2008 10:14 AM
Joan Cowin

My dad was a trainer for over 32 years and always said before he passed in 2005 that tracks needed to be safer.  I think people and animals acclimate to their surroundings as a survival skill and to me if we give these synthetics a chance in 3-6 years horses wont know what a dirt track was.... In other words, you dont miss what you dont know.

21 Oct 2008 10:31 AM

Wanda I do not dislike Curlin. But Curlin is facing very good horses for the first time in a year. I guess you could say he faced some in the Man O War but he lost the race. Reading through the lines from the Asmussen interview it doesn't sound like he is real sure of Curlin either.  The weather is suppose to be in the low 80's so that should not be a concern yet he is talking about the heat a lot.  I look for the small things and I do not like horses that run slow before big races.  I am sure the other thing that has Asmussen worried is without Big Brown in the race where is the speed?  A slow pace opens it up for everyone.

21 Oct 2008 10:40 AM
Karen in Texas

I think Steve Asmussen is just saying that no one knows how the Pro-Ride surface will affect the horses who have not yet raced on it until they actually do. Also, Curlin's 4f work time was reported as 49 in two other stories I've seen. Was it 49 or 51? Thanks.

21 Oct 2008 1:23 PM


Do these sound like the words of a man who doesn't know what's up with his horse?  (From the DRF)After Curlin's work, before the real press of media comes, Asmussen was all smiles. "Did he look just amazing galloping out?" Asmussen said. Curlin was being walked around an oval path outside the barn entrance, stopping for a drink out of a water bucket balanced on a feed tub as Asmussen looked on admiringly. Curlin could not look better, his coat gleaming, his muscles rippling.

"Ten million dollars later, to still be acting like this?" Asmussen said. "Come on."

I'm going to try and beat him with my wagers, but it looks tough. As far as the temps. The track seemed hot to me when we went to Los Al for a race, we went over to watch some races at SA. If they have to water it then who knows. But 85 + 20-30 degrees makes it hot.

Weren't you the one who used the hot day as one excuse for BB when he lost to Da'Tarra? (???) It was in the 80's and every horse faced the same thing.

I think there actually is a little speed in there. Who knows about the Group 1 winners and a couple of others.

I know Steve, he runs a lot of horses in the same circuit we run in (heck he runs a lot of horses everywhere). I've known him since his days as a jockey and actually knew his folks before he was bigger than a minute. He doesn't like bullet works, he has his horses work a certain way. Curlin seems to do whatever he needs to do. By the way who did Big Brown beat in the last year? The only one still running in anything of note is Col John.

I don't think the race in Dubai was a cakewalk for Curlin.

I don't really think anybody cares too much about what you look for in a work, you've disrespected the people who do this for a living saying we shouldn't listen to them. Why oh why then would we listen to a neophyte like you? Guarantee you couldn't train a race horse, wouldn't even let you hold the lead on one of mine. Whether I like Steve, Curlin or the rest is a moot point, you can say what you will now, you've made your point abundantly clear the last 6 months.

21 Oct 2008 1:37 PM

Joan, we all have thought that tracks should be safer. But are the synthetics really safer? What about what happened at Del Mar this summer vs how safe Saratoga's dirt was? Keeneland had a lot of fatalities when they first put it in. My guess is your Dad would have approved of making the dirt tracks safer and it CAN be done. We're oldtimers too, 50+ years in the business in one form or another ,training owning etc.

The part about not missing what they don't know may be true for humans but if that's the case in the animal kingdom, why do so many become extinct when they lose their natural habitat and why is it so difficult to keep certain species bred in captivity, alive?

21 Oct 2008 2:49 PM

You're probably at the draw Jason but I'm curious. Frankel said Mast Track was going in the Dirt Mile. The quarter wasn't that bad, not even bad enough for a patch. Think he was all bluster and when he saw what monsters the others looked like, decided to close up the wallet when it came to the Classic?

21 Oct 2008 2:56 PM
Jason Shandler

Kitman: I am at the draw. Have about a minute here. Im not exactly sure about the Frankel question, but ask Steve Haskin on his blog, he is close with Frankel and was talking to him this morning.

21 Oct 2008 3:35 PM


Thanks for the info you provided. I hate fake tracks but that's where they decided to run this year. I'll likely sit it out for the most part and look forward to next year when we have a better handle on this type of track. I will though be placing some smaller than usual bets against where I see vulnerable favorites. I won't however be praying for Curlin to fall apart like draynay seems to be hoping for.

Good luck to all who venture into the mutual pools. For those who don't, enjoy racing's biggest two day spectacle!!

21 Oct 2008 4:10 PM
Joan Cowin


Dont get me wrong, I think the synthetics are just coming out and like everything new, needs to be tested for safety-performance etc.... I just hear alot of people that are very closed minded on the subject and lets face it- If we can debut the Model T Ford in 1908 with a 20HP engine compared to the current SSC Ultimate Aero with 1183 HP.... Hey let's be open minded to change. If were bringing these guy's up on synthetics, they learn how to run on it.  We are bringing horses on it that have ran on dirt and KNOW the feel of it and those are your horses that have not ran well on it. Basically, you have to learn to crawl before you walk and you must walk before you run.  Same thing for the synthetics.  That is just my personal opinion. I dont want to see horses being injured on this stuff but honestly all of us can say that we are living longer then we ever have and our medical field has vast amounts of information they didnt have 30-40 years ago and that is because we have learned from death and its various causes, we thrive for advancements to go on into the future. This next question may show your age...(jokingly, i ask)

Do you want your Model T Ford racetrack or your SSC Ultimate Aero racetrack? A little humor never hurt no one....

21 Oct 2008 4:29 PM

Jason, guess you didn't get your 2-1 on Curlin at least in the morning line, 7/5. Zenyatta opening at 3-5 ouch. Maybe I could win a bet here by saying she'll be 1-9 by the time the race goes off?

Taking my Lunch break from my project and saying Steve sounds pretty confident, but is realistic in saying he's cautiously optimistic, much smarter than someone saying "it's a foregone conclusion" Man did he look tense and uptight? (ha, ha) in his tshirt and jeans, looked like I do working around the house. Kind of blah draw. Alex stumbled over his mouth kissing up to the sponsors. Loves the media and offered you guys free food, and oh by the way the horsemen.

Hey, lets all come together and cheer for the old guy Better Talk Now.

21 Oct 2008 4:37 PM

Karen TX published time was 49.60

21 Oct 2008 4:48 PM

Neophyte ? funny considering I am Agnostic. Anyway I think a fast track will work to the advantage of Raven's Pass and Smooth Air.  Henrythenavigator and Casino Drive fight it out in the bottom of the ticket. Curlin should finish 5th or 6th.

21 Oct 2008 6:21 PM


    Curlin likes to close into a soft pace, Steve H. had a blog on it a while back and honestly i thind he could be onto something. Also it's not like curlin has never face good horses before he was up against them all year as a three year old and showed up every time. This year he also beat some pretty good horses in the world cup, like Asiatic Boy and Premium tap. Both are good horses. The Man o War was on a surface that was not curlin's favorite, and he had only worked over twice, and RA let RR get the jump on him. If you watch the race RR is not pulling away and Curlin isn't gaining, meaning if the rolls were switched and curlin got the jump he probably would've won. Lasty as i said Asmussen will normally have his horses work slow, Curlin did that up to his wins in both the Woodward and JCGC, so why say he's not ready, when he's worked slowly befor his last two wins.

21 Oct 2008 7:16 PM

Karen in Texas, it was 49 for Curlin i think there was a mix up between his and pyro's who worked 51. Just to clarify again, curlin worked in 49, and pyro 51.

21 Oct 2008 7:19 PM

Not quite ole enough for a Model T althoug we did have one that the boys worked on and restored. Difference is a machine and a living creature can't be compared and animals, unlike humans don't have the power of reasoning and react to what is normal in nature. I've seen on here comparisons to astro turf and how it caused so many problems they're abandoning now. We can't really afford to do that with synthetics, the window for running a horse is so small, even if you run them for 8-9 years. We cannot afford trial and error, we aren't dealing with an engine that can be tinkered with and made better thru trial and error. There are a whole different set of problems with Turf, mostly suspensory and soft tissue injuries and I guess Frankel's horse proved that it doesn't prevent hoof problems. Another big thing is the handicappers don't like it and if they aren't betting we'll have to go back to match racing and so forth.

Actually, I nor my kids ever crawled,I just stood up at 7 months and started running around the house. But, considering this is still our livelihood I really don't look for too much humor in it. There are things that make us laugh, like the antics of the horses, an owner or the silliness of some of the suggestions. Dirt or turf are the natural surfaces for a horse, why not try to make THOSE better instead of inventing the NEW Coca Cola then having to switch back when it fails?

21 Oct 2008 8:27 PM

Karen, I repeat 49.60 it's the PUBLISHED work. Go to the Equibase or Oak Tree site.

21 Oct 2008 8:29 PM

If Curlins 5/8 work the other day is any indication of his readiness than the others are really going to have their hands full. The race will be over at the 3/8 pole.

21 Oct 2008 8:55 PM
The Wizard


You're right, Asmussen doesn't know what he's doing. Doesn't have a clue how to train Curlin up to a big race like Saturday's.

So, do us all a favor. Bet everything you got that Curlin won't hit the board. Everything on whoever you think will finish ahead of him. EVERYTHING you got!  

21 Oct 2008 9:24 PM

InTheMountains: There are alot of people on here that are fans but a very very small percentage know how to train a horse let alone walk one.

Saying that most of them don't get into commenting about the training end cause their smart enough to know they don't know. Even the ones that do know don't comment on another guys training methods. If you've got a horse who's made 10 mill, you have to expect the guy who's training him knows what he's doing. That's not rocket science. I guess the odd person just has to say something negative just because they can. You and I know better.

21 Oct 2008 10:12 PM

Ummmm.... maybe none of you noticed but Curlin has not looked very good his last 2 races vs. very average horses.  He is facing much tougher in this and maybe its time to work him a bit faster because everyone is gunning for him.  There are some very good closers in this race and he has been lucky with more than one head bob just ask Street Sense and Lawyer Ron.

LDP... he beat some good horses in the Dubai Asiatic Boy and Premium Tap ? Premium Tap ? And Curlin would have won the Man O War if he just switched places with Red Rocks?  Why didn't I think of that.

21 Oct 2008 10:48 PM
Monica V

Draynay just can't stand Curlin.  5th or 6th!  Ha!  At least he doesn't have him last.  Oh, wait, that was another horse!

22 Oct 2008 1:02 PM

The Classic winner will be the horse that takes to that synthetic surface.  it will be a horse that has run and won over that surface will be your winner, and that is one of the california based runners.  Curlin is wonderful, love him,  but he's at an obvious disadvantage,  but who knows, maybe he'll fool us all on Saturday and win by 10.

22 Oct 2008 1:20 PM

The horses Curlin beat were so bad that Big Brown ducked him every chance he got. Oh yeah, he ducked everyone else too.

22 Oct 2008 1:27 PM
Get Real

For all those naysayers that think Curlin's last races weren't that great, consider the fact that Eoin Harty (who trains Past the Point, 2nd to Curlin in the Woodward), Harty told Scott Hazelton on Pursuit of the Cup that PTP was like a zombie horse in the test barn, head down, after running the race of his life to come in second, and Curlin was bouncing around like he was ready to run again.  He's a more professional horse now, who does what he has to, to save his best for the big dance.

22 Oct 2008 1:28 PM

I just saw a comment on here about working Curlin faster because he's not going to be quick enough. I'm sorry but that has to be the most uneducated thing I've read on here in a long time. You show your ignorance of how a racehorse is trained and maintained by that statement.

If you are high on the Euro's you should know that they do NOT work their horses quick per say. They can all get beat on any given day but trust me,that work will not make or break him.

I suggest you take a course on Horse Training 101 and then be able to make comments about it.

22 Oct 2008 1:38 PM
Karen in Texas

JordanA and LDP, Thanks for clarifying the work time for Curlin!

22 Oct 2008 1:52 PM

This could be a sign of the apocalypse, but I sort of agree with Dray. Sort of. I think Curlin's vulnerable here. Long campaign, travels to get here, unknown surface. He hasn't looked fabulous in his last races, but he's rarely the brilliant looking sort anyway. He does just kind of grind everyone in the dust. I won't fault him for whom he ran against, because he ran in open company in what are traditionally quite prestigious races. If he doesn't win, he hits the board though.

22 Oct 2008 1:52 PM

I finally found what I've been looking for!!!! But first my thoughts on the Breeders Cup.

Like many others I despise a fake track but that hasn't dampened the enthusiasm for this years renewal. I'm going to sit back, sip a few morgan n cokes and enjoy two days of big time racing. I'm especially waiting to watch Goldikava on the grass. Expecting nothing less than a huge effort here.

Enjoy the spectacle of racing at its best!!

22 Oct 2008 2:00 PM
Joan Cowin


My comparison with the autos was to show you that we can make progress on things to make them better with time.......

So your telling me that these horses can not and will not learn to run on these synthetics because it cannot be found in the horses environment?  Well, if the horses mentality is like yours, I guess you cant teach an old dog new tricks.

Hey, if your livelihood depends on it, then maybe you can stop betting on the horses and become rich submitting your ideas to manufacturers for what YOU think is best for the industry.

22 Oct 2008 2:39 PM


   If you think invasor is so great, i don't know if you do but if you do you have to consider the horse that ran second to him in the World cup, and won many of his races leading up to the 08 world cup good. Also When i say swapped places with RR i meant during the first stages of the race, which would've given Curlin the jump on him, cause if you didn't notice curlin was what three four lengths behind red rocks. Which gave him a huge disadvantage. Also since when is 59 and one for five furlongs slow. O right it's not. Also 49 and 3 to me is average, 51 and above is slow. Lastly in the JCGC did you not notice all RA did was throw crosses at curlin, no wonder he didn't win by 50. So please come down off your high horse and talk like and normal civilized person.

22 Oct 2008 5:08 PM

Ahh, LDP, you beat me to mentioning the 2007 Dubai World Cup.  Premium Tap put up a pretty hard fight in upper stretch against Invasor, who gained control in the final furlong. Premium Tap pushed Invasor to a 1.59.97 time (second fastest WC time 1.59.5 being the fastest) while Curlin cruised home in a 7+ length margin in 2.00.15.  If Curlin had been pushed to the wire, he would have easily beat Invasor's time and possibly more. . .  

23 Oct 2008 12:03 AM


I DON'T bet much at all. We TRAIN, breed and OWN the suckers. Many trainers are skeptical of the new surfaces. Even the biggest of them. Nick said he believes dirt is the surface of choice and it can be made safe. There were ZERO breakdowns at Saratoga this summer as opposed to 12 or so at Del Mar.

Wayne said it's a handicappers nightmare, the Euro's probably have an advantage and it probably won't be formful at SA. I'm not saying I'm opposed to change. I am just not big on change for the sake of change and hey let's just keep trying things and maybe we'll get it right. Who cares if it screws up racing and turns off the handicappers and gamblers who support the industry with their hard earned money.

Whoever your Dad was, I seriously doubt he would have approved of fixing the surface by trial and error.

People are already bi**ing and moaning about how hard it is to bet or pick horses when they run on synthetics, they're doing the same about how horses are bred for speed and not endurance, now we're going to have to breed them for synthetics, pro-ride, Tapeta etc etc. Then when it all falls apart and they decide to either go back to strictly dirt or one particular type of surface we have all these 'inferior' bred horses I've been reading about on these blogs for months.

(Correction to my first post, synthetics are presenting a whole different set of problems for horses with soft tissue injuries, not Turf)

23 Oct 2008 2:11 AM
Joan Cowin


Why dont ya turn that frown upside down....  :)

I disagree PERIOD.

23 Oct 2008 1:35 PM

Joan, Why don't you NOT trivialize what someone who is ACTUALLY in the industry is saying.

Also, in the past month Kat has disclosed some about her personal tragedies to those of us who have gotten to know her on here. My guess is that even YOU wouldn't be able to smile through that, plus a constant attack on your livelihood. She said a long time ago that her husband is a current trainer. Yet you expect us to place credence on your second hand info about someone who's no longer here to agree or dispute?

23 Oct 2008 4:44 PM
Joan Cowin

Jordan A and Katsan:

I came into this forum to talk about horses and the industry.  I am NOT liking the fact that people cannot have opinions without being HUNG for them.

Katsan you obviously dont like the synthetics and I dont have a problem with them. We differ on opinions and what more do you want me to say but that.

JordanA I never asked for you or the readers to place credence ANYWHERE.


I think I will start to look for forums with nicer people.  

23 Oct 2008 7:24 PM

I also thought this was the IT forum to discuss the Horse racing Industry as a whole,and NOT a place to chat-about "personal" stuff..Opinions are like As$#%&@%,everybody has one,but they all seem to differ....Peace.

24 Oct 2008 12:51 AM

Joan, We ARE nice people, but if you've read the board in the past you know that the personal attacks on people get out of hand. Kat seemed to me to be presenting an opposing point of view about why she doesnt' like the synthetics and not once did I read her attack you personally. YOU were the one who got sarcastic and tried to trivialize what is obviously important to those in the industry and has been discussed over and over again on the BH by Jason, Steve etc.

"Well, if the horses mentality is like yours, I guess you cant teach an old dog new tricks.

Hey, if your livelihood depends on it, then maybe you can stop betting on the horses and become rich submitting your ideas to manufacturers for what YOU think is best for the industry

Joan Cowin 22 Oct 2008 2:39 PM "


Why dont ya turn that frown upside down....  :)

Joan Cowin 23 Oct 2008 1:35 PM

Also, she, and a bunch of other horsemen are correct, us handicappers don't like to guess about an uncertain surface when we're spending our hard earned money and by the time they get it figured out we may not have any left.  I suffered through the debacle of Del Mar and Santa Anita last year and ended up betting on the tracks back East.

Now I'm finishing up my picks and getting ready to go to the BC, that's where the fun and excitement are. I'm excited just like I've been for all the others I've attended since I was young, even if it is Pro-ride,

24 Oct 2008 8:39 AM

Slew, this discussion was about surface, and personal feelings do play into any discussion. I mentioned someone's personal reference when another poster brought it to the personal level and trivialized the discussion with a 'turn a frown into a smile'. People come on for different reasons. To discuss issues, but also for fun and to learn new things but not to demean others. And if it wasn't infused with a little personality and personal stuff it would just be all of us handicappers blabbing about our picks, which you could get that from the handicapping columns and with dry statitistical info.

24 Oct 2008 10:35 AM
Joan Cowin

JordanA and Katsan:

You both are right and I am wrong. Sorry Katsan if your feelings were hurt.

24 Oct 2008 2:53 PM

Wanda  I didn't know this blog was only for horse trainers. As an owner of race horses that race mostly on the NY circuit I have had the opportunity to meet many of the top trainers in the world. I can tell you that some of them don't know much more than the owners they train for and most would agree that a good horse is dangerous in anyones hands. I respect your knowledge and experience but please drop the condescending attitude and maybe you could teach a "Horse Training 101" class.

27 Oct 2008 10:43 AM

MikeM, just meeting a trainer doesn't mean you know anything about their training methodology. I've met, spent time and hung out with some of the REAL TOP trainers in the World and they, unlike an owner who isn't involved in the day to day care of a horse DO know what they're doing. Get real Mike, if they were clueless they wouldn't be the top trainers in the world, they'd be flashes in the pan and most of the REALLY big trainers have been around for YEARS. And don't say it's because they have owners with deep pockets because many of them have sustained success over 10-50 years, even if they do have the occasional clunker it happens all the time in all kinds of sports. NOw if YOUR trainer, who is probably the only one you would be qualified to judge since that isn't based on MEETING somebody, then shame on you for not being astute enough to hire a good trainer.  NO this isn't a blog for trainers, I don't think that was ever what was said. But, just like I don't want a Chiropractor doing spinal surgery on me, I wuuldn't want a horse owner with no practical experience, a non horseman, or an event rider telling me how or training my RACE horse. Get my drift, the Chiro knows just enough to be dangerous, so does a person who never actually trained, fed, worked or managed a horse.

27 Oct 2008 7:40 PM

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