Kentucky Horse Racing Commission
Life At Ten Investigation Report Released - violations cited
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) today released the findings of the investigation into the performance of the mare Life At Ten during the Ladies’ Classic at the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 5, 2010. Life At Ten was the second betting favorite but ran poorly and was never in contact with the field, finishing last.
The intent of the lengthy and detailed investigation was to determine if there was “probable cause” to support charging any individual with a violation of Kentucky horse racing statutes or regulations.
The report, reviewed and adopted by the Commission, indicates no evidence of intentional wrongdoing or nefarious or fraudulent activity. According to the report, “in some instances there was not a specific rules violation but, rather, a failure of common sense to prevail.” The report also reveals a systematic breakdown in communications among the various people either working directly for Life At Ten and her connections or working for the KHRC and the Breeders’ Cup.
The Commission, in reviewing and adopting the report, found probable cause that Life At Ten’s jockey, John Velazquez, violated:
• 810 KAR 1:009 Section 10
• 810 KAR 1:016 Section 14
• 810 KAR 1:025 Section 14 (1) (Q)
And that Chief Steward John Veitch violated:
• 810 KAR 1:004 Section 4 (1)
• 810 KAR 1:004 Section 4 (8)
• 810 KAR 1:012 Section 9 (1)
• 810 KAR 1:016 Section 14
• 810 KAR 1:018 Section 11
Both are entitled to a hearing before a hearing officer who will make recommendations to the full Commission on findings of facts, whether there was, indeed, a violation, and recommended penalties. That recommendation will go to the full Commission which could accept, reject or modify the hearing officer’s recommendation.
The Commission did note that a number of recommendations regarding policy, procedure and protocol will receive careful attention in order to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future. The report further points out that one regulation that may have had a positive influence on this incident was in the review process prior to the Breeders’ Cup, but did not take effect until February 2011.
KHRC Director of Enforcement Patrick Adams led the investigation. Additionally, the Commission requested that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Inspector General analyze the racing stewards’ activities as an outside, independent party in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest. In all, 90 people were interviewed either by the KHRC enforcement staff or the Office of Inspector General.
A complete copy of the investigation’s final report to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which includes findings and recommendations can be found online and downloaded at www.khrc.ky.gov