Sunday, January 31, 2010

Training in Argentina

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:

  1. 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
  2. Trackside barns are owned by the owners, no stall rent to pay.
  3. Barns are all U-shaped, where horses can see each other, and the courtyard, all day long.
  4. Horses are hand walked to swimming pool in afternoons, which is nice as it was over 100 every day last week.
  5. Grooms are in attendance 24 hours a day, different shifts of course, but always someone attending to horses.
  6. Many gallops are done in bareback fashion, near a 2 minute lick, with tack only being used on official breeze days.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. Horses may stand in the starting gate for a few minutes before the race, this stinks in my opinion.
  10. 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

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