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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Another Country Heard From: Meet the Hooves of Japan's Casino Drive

Casino Drive's Feet, originally uploaded by Rock and Racehorses.

Racing is full of "What ifs" and there were probably echoing off Casino Drive's stall walls when Big Brown failed to fire a week ago in the Belmont Stakes.

Casino Drive was visiting from Japan with the sole purpose of stealing the Belmont from Big Brown. He certainly stole the Peter Pan in a very dramatic run for the finish line a few weeks earlier, but a bruised foot caused his connections to be cautious and skip the Belmont instead of poking and prodding and poulticing and patching the colt's foot.

Meanwhile, my friend Sarah Andrew (a.k.a. "Rock and Racehorses") tracked the poor horse down to take photos of his feet for this blog. I wonder what the Japanese team thought of her pointing the camera not at his handsome head but at his feet and knees?

Casino Drive is out of the same mare who foaled the winners of the 2006 and 2007 Belmont Stakes. What if....

(Casino drive and his long feet have gone back to Japan, promising to return for November's Breeders Cup, which will be raced on an artificial track surface for the first time. I hope he can stay sound and healthy and show up with his race face--and feet--on.)


Sally Hugg said...

Good grief! I hope someone saves that poor horse before he winds up where Ferdinand supposedly went on his final day. I hate to criticize, but just appalling hoof care. Thank you, Fran, for publishing the photos. The public needs to be aware of what happens to these horses.

kneadstoknow said...

Amen Sally.. yikes on that foot care. I wonder where people's brains are located sometimes. Oh yeh.. in their pocketbooks.. duh.. I forgot.

Hope he is going to be ok. This is worrisome.

Horse lover.. to the MAX

Fran Jurga said...

Comments like these dominate this blog. Please be aware that these types of comments are not in any way associated with Hoofcare and Lameness Journal nor do they represent the views of Fran Jurga.

In the future, comment privileges may be limited to paid subscribers of the Hoofcare and Lameness Journal network.

The negativity of strangers is getting tiresome. At least Sally was willing to use her name (if that is her real name), for which I thank her.

Pat said...

I am a Thoroughbred owner and trainer and have seen all too many of these kinds of legs on racehorses. This horse has bad knees alright, but are not described as "over at the knee" they have severe arthritis by the looks of it from the photo. Possibly many chips in there, or they have already been removed, but the arthritic condition will always prevail with heat and swelling being obvious. Very painful without the use of drugs and dangerous for anyone aboard during a race. As for the hooves, the bottom inch or so goes away from the angle from the coronet band, presumably the end of growing out some problem or just letting the toes get too long between farrier visits. Angle should be constant, not dishing out towards the ground.