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Summary

A case-control study was conducted on Thoroughbred horses to identify factors associated with the risk of breakdown on racetracks. A total of 310 cases (breakdowns) were identified from the Horse Identification Department records kept by the chief examining veterinarian of New York Racing Association. For each case, two control horses were selected randomly from the Daily Racing Form Inc. records. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify and quantify the risk of factors associated with breakdown, while simultaneously controlling for the effect of other putative factors. Factors associated with risk of breakdown were: track (horses raced on Saratoga racetrack were at a lesser risk of breakdown), track composition/condition (turf tracks had a lower risk compared to dirt), number of seasons in race, racing in a later race, number of starts per year, the total number of starts, season (summer had a higher risk than winter or spring) and age of the horse.