'He’s Very Much Improved': Spendthrift Farm Takes Steps To Manage Bolt D'Oro's Aggression - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘He’s Very Much Improved’: Spendthrift Farm Takes Steps To Manage Bolt D’Oro’s Aggression

Jockey Corey Nakatani celebrates aboard Bolt d’oro as they enter the winner’s circle following their victory in the Grade I, $300,000 FrontRunner Stakes, Saturday, September 30, 2017 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.© BENOIT PHOTO

Aggression isn't an uncommon trait for stallions to a certain degree, but Spendthrift Farm has had to go to special lengths to manage the behavior of young stallion Bolt d'Oro, Racing Post reports.

The 5-year-old son of Medaglia d'Oro was taken out of breeding service for two days in February after becoming too aggressive for his handlers, including his former racetrack groom who was called in to assist with the stallion and was hospitalized after being attacked by the horse.

The Racing Post reports that Bolt d'Oro's signs of increased hostility became apparent during the recent Southern Hemisphere breeding season, where he stood at Spendthrift's Australian base.

To curb the behavior, Spendthrift general manager Ned Toffey consulted Sue McDonnell, head of the equine behavior program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center. McDonnell previously worked with dual classic winner War Emblem, who was famously aggressive and disinterested in breeding during his own stud career in Japan. Spendthrift stallion manager Wayne Howard was flown from the U.S. to Australia to apply the methods to Bolt d'Oro, and positive changes were seen, but the hostility began bubbling back to the surface when the Northern Hemisphere breeding season began.

McDonnell visited Spendthrift in the wake of the recent relapse in behavior, and recommended several changes in the horse's routine, including placing him away from the other stallions on the farm's roster. Bolt d'Oro has since returned to work, and Toffey said he's much easier to manage.

“Because of our size and layout here, we're better able to fully implement Sue's recommendations in terms of keeping him away from the other stallions,” Toffey said. “Knock on wood, the response has been great. It wasn't instantaneous, it's taken several days, but he's very much improved.”

Read more at Racing Post.

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