Although it can be safe to run in the heat, high temperatures combined with high humidity can have profound effects on a thoroughbred’s performance and health.
How would you like to win a $1 - million Grade 1 stakes race and not have a win photo to hang on the wall? The intense heat and humidity the day Big Red Mike won the 151st Queen's Plate at Woodbine Racetrack is why there is no "official win photo" taken by photographer Michael Burns. Trainer Nick Gonzalez, winner of more than 1,000 races, still recalls that day in 2010.
"It was 100 degrees in the shade. We had the Queen and a big crowd. Mike is a very excitable horses, so it was stressful even before the race began" says Gonzalez, who trains primarily out of Woodbine and Fort Eire with his assistant, wife Martha.