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Stem cell rx wins another horse race

This report in from Editorial Administrator and journalist Margaret Guthrie: Earlier this year, we linkurl:reported on a company;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/54215/ called Vet-Stem which has devised a treatment for horses using the animal's own stem cells to heal tendon and ligament injuries. In some cases it's been an unqualified success. One of those successes was part of our story - a big gray gelding named Greg's Gold. When we posted the story online, Greg's

By | April 8, 2008

This report in from Editorial Administrator and journalist Margaret Guthrie: Earlier this year, we linkurl:reported on a company;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/54215/ called Vet-Stem which has devised a treatment for horses using the animal's own stem cells to heal tendon and ligament injuries. In some cases it's been an unqualified success. One of those successes was part of our story - a big gray gelding named Greg's Gold. When we posted the story online, Greg's Gold had just won a race on opening day at Santa Anita racetrack, pushing his earnings close to the million dollar mark. The past weekend Greg's Gold ran again, for the ninth time since his treatment. He won easily, beating two other Grade I winners handily (Grade I winners are the top in racehorse land) and pushing his earnings to $1, 067,923. This achievement appears to answer one of the questions skeptics have about the treatment - namely, how long will the previously injured leg hold up? Trainer David Hofmans says, "Yes, the old boy showed up again, he came out of the race great, cleaned out his feed tub, looked around for more." Plans are to run twice more to tune up for the Breeders Cup Sprint and a championship, all on that Vet-Stem repaired leg.
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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 2

April 9, 2008

Can someone tell me why a gelding is competing for the "Breeders Cup"?\n\n(slightly more on topic: Yay for animal research helping animals!)
Avatar of: Margaret Guthrie

Margaret Guthrie

Posts: 1

April 9, 2008

The reason a gelding can compete in Breeders Cup races is that the races were set up years ago by a group of people eager to promote horseracing. Most of them were breeders and so the name for the championship series reflected that fact.\n\nGreg's Gold is a good example of how decisions in the horseracing industry are sometimes deeply regretted. His value as a stud, were he uncut, would be in the tens of millions. His behavior at two years of age mandated the decision.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 2

April 10, 2008

Thanks, that clears that up :)
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 2

April 10, 2008

Just to clarify about the "Breeder's Cup" title of the race series, it's not just because breeders created the races. It is because these are races for the progeny of stallions whose owners paid fees to make their sire's colts and fillies eligible to enter these races by paying reduced entry fees according to a periodic schedule. IN contrast, a superlative horse who is not the progency of a breeder's cup nominated stallion can still enter the race, but the entry fee in this case is several hundred thousand dollars. The advantage for Breeders cup nominated stallions is that mare owners who keep their colts/filies and race them, and subsequent prospective of the stallion's progeny, can pay relatively small periodic entry fees to keep the colt or filly breeders cup eligible, until the young horse's owner has enough information about the horse's deevlopment as a racehorse to either decide that it is a potentially superior horse (and then continue to pay the periodic fees to maintain its eligibility for the b.c. races, in the event that it is good enough to enter these top-flight races), or they decide that the horse will never be able to compete at that level, at which time they can stop paying the fees. There have been several cases of non-eligible horses being "supplementally nominated" to the Breeders Cup races by their owners' paying the huge entry fees. Some of these horses have finished worse than fifth (making it a very expensive losing gamble for their owners!) and a few have won enough money for it to be a risk that paid off.

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