Just got back into the US from a trip to South America for a client, what a fantastic experience! (that is me on the left in the above pic, along with local contact Juan Manuel)
We visited a few tracks and a private training center in and around Buenos Aires - with most work being at San Isidro. Early in the week was spent at an amazing farm nearly 4 hours south of the city.
Much more info to come in future posts, but for now here are some of the main differences I saw in their training programs:
- San Isidro had 2500 stalls and 5, yes 5 dirt training tracks, arranged in concentric circles where you can stand 10' away from a horse breezing on the rail
- Trackside barns are owned by the owners, no stall rent to pay.
- Barns are all U-shaped, where horses can see each other, and the courtyard, all day long.
- Horses are hand walked to swimming pool in afternoons, which is nice as it was over 100 every day last week.
- Grooms are in attendance 24 hours a day, different shifts of course, but always someone attending to horses.
- Many gallops are done in bareback fashion, near a 2 minute lick, with tack only being used on official breeze days.
- In general, 14 days prior to a race the horse is worked the race distance, and again 7 days before race he/she is blown out half the race distance
- Horses often breeze strongly an eighth or so in front of the grandstand during the post parade, roughly 10 mins before entering the gate - THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART AS THE SPLEEN IS EMPTIED AND ACTS AS A NATURAL BLOOD DOPING PERFORMANCE ENHANCER.
- Horses may stand in the starting gate for a few minutes before the race, this stinks in my opinion.
- For my client, the race rider (who is a top 10 jock), gallops and breezes as many as he can manage every morning - and is very active in providing feedback