2011 Preakness Stakes: first Triple Crown race won by a horse wearing glue-on and/or plastic horseshoes; Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness with his aluminum shoes glued on.There was some uncertainty, apparently, in the Roman camp that Hurricane Irene might arrive in time to turn the Spa to soup, but Irene is busy elsewhere and the rains aren't predicted to begin until long after the sun sets in upstate New York. A wet track, however, didn't impede Curlin when he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup in the same type of glue shoes in 2008. I still miss that horse. Just for old times' sake, watch him win that race, which catapulted him into the #1 spot in all-time money-earning racehorses:
2008 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park won by Curlin in plastic glue-on horseshoes over an off track; Curlin also wore the shoes when he won the Woodward that year.The first stakes horse to run in glue shoes was Afleet, back in the 1980s; his trainer opted for the Mustad Easy-Glu. Since then, horseshoers at racetracks have had success with a variety of raceshoes adapted for glue, and in even directly gluing aluminum raceplates to the foot. Experimentation with glue shoes (rather than nails) goes back to the 1800s. Most experimentation has been done in Germany, which also gave rise to the newest era of glue shoes when the Glu-Strider emerged there in the 1980s. That shoe was developed by a creative engineer and horse owner named Peter Steubbe; the technology was quickly purchased and continued in research and development of a full line of shoes by hoofcare giant Mustad International.
|Asmussen horseshoer David Hinton working on Curlin's foot, shod with a urethane Polyflex shoe. (photo courtesy of Polyflex)|
Glue-on shoes are now so ubiquitous at the track that it's hard to find out when horses win in them. We found out about Shackleford in the Preakness, after the race was over; he was shod by Brad Dewey. Horseshoes aren't as visible as a tack change or new style of blinkers or Zenyatta's ear plugs, so the news of innovative horseshoes isn't always obvious.Here's a partial list of stakes horses who won their races (some set track records) wearing the Polyflex glue shoes: Ambitious Cat, Bargain Baby, Big Booster, Brother Derek, Buzzards Bay, Charitable Man, Cry and Catch Me, Cowgirls Don't Cry, Cubera, Divine Park, Dream Play, Eldaafar, Essential Edge, Ever Elusive, Foxysox, Fredaville,Golden Yank, Greeley's Conquest, Hold the Salt, Hot Dixie Chick, Indian Blessing, J Be K, Kandar Du Falgas, Kensai, Lantana Mob, Little Belle, Lucky Island, Luna Vega, Major Rhythm, Malibu Mint, Mo Cuishle, Mr Fantasy, Nehantic Kat, Noonmark, Octave, Osidy, Pray for Action, Present Danger, Pyro, River's Prayer, Roses 'n' Wine, Secret Gypsy, Set Play, Seventh Street, Shaggy Mane, Silent Name, Sok Sok, Stormin Baghdad, Stream of Gold, Student Council, Total, Teuflesberg, Uno Mas, Wow Me Free, and Zanjero. (Names harvested from the Polyflex web site.) Favorite little known fact about Polyflex glue-on shoes: Both Curlin and his beloved stable pony Pancho wore them! Nothing but the best for the champion's best friend! Watch Shackleford and all the top three-year-old Thoroughbreds entered in today's Travers Stakes at Saratoga on NBC Sports at 5 p.m. Lots of news about the race and the track on www.nyra.com. To learn more about Polyflex shoes, visit www.noanvil.com. Photo of Shackleford's feet courtesy of Sarah K. Andrew and Rock 'n Racehorses. Sarah is a frequent contributor to the Hoof Blog and keeps a key eye on the hooves at the track. Her track and sport horse photography is nothing short of phenomenal; Sarah is also a key ingredient in the success of Camelot Weekly, the all-volunteer program at the New Jersey horse auction that channels racehorses, sport/recreational horses, and companion horses into new homes instead of the killer pen--via Facebook! Sarah photographs the horses available each week, without compensation, and I wish a book publisher would make a coffee table book of these portraits of horses in need. They have saved thousands of horses from slaughter; not one horse from that auction has been re-routed to slaughter since they began.
|Click on ad for easy ordering of this spectacular, award-winning graphic reference poster featuring image from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Equine Foot Laboratory, Dr. Robert Bowker, and Dr. Lisa Lancaster.|
TO LEARN MORE
Hoof Blog: Laminitis-survivor Overdose sets European track speed record wearing American-made glue-on shoes
Research: Clayton and Bowker's “Effects of Barefoot Trimming on Hoof Morphology” Focuses on Incremental Heel Recovery
|Click on this link to go to the licensing survey for racetrack horseshoers.|
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