04/01/2011 11:49AM

Europe Declares Boycott of American Racing


April 1, 2011. In a move claculated to send shockwaves through the American racing industry, European horsemen met in Brussels on Friday to announce a boycott of American racing, one that will prevent all European-trained horses form running in the United States from this day forward.

The burning issue is America's lenient raceday medication rules. In Europe, raceday medication is not allowed.

"We will not permit our horses to compete in America until all raceday medication in the United States is completely banned," said Roy de Belgique, the president of the Federation of Intra-European Breeders (FIB), who also serves as the Sports Minister for the European Union. "It is time to draw a line in the sand," he said firmly, "and drawing it in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is as good a place as any."

Leading French breeder/owner Aggie Kohen concurred.

"We in Europe will not waver on this point," he said while promenading on the Champs-Elysees. "And it isn't just the drug issue that concerns us. In America you never know on which surface a race is going to be run. Is it on dirt or synthetics this year? And if a race comes off the turf, will it be switched to dirt or synthetics? It is all very confusing. Anyway, I prefer to remain in Paris. All of my favorite restaurants are nearby."

Speaking for the British Organisation of Owners and Breeders (BOOB), Liz Windsor was adamant.

"I much prefer to do my racing at Ascot in June," she opined. "The weather then is so lovely. And anyway, who wants to send a horse to run at a place like the Fair Grounds? The weather in New Orleans is so changeable."

Contacted at his desert lair in Dubai, trainer Saeed bin Thare Beefoor declared: "It doesn't make any difference where we run our horses. They are all pleasing me and I am very happy with them."

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a spokesperson for the Hungarian Racing Association said: "We were going to send three horses to run in the Kentucky Derby, but that's out of the question now. Churchill Downs' loss is Kincsem Park's gain. In Hungary we train horses the old-fashioned way: on water, hay and goulash!"

Kentucky racing officials, all of whom are in Houston to watch the University of Kentucky play in the Final Four, were unavailable for comment.


Kyle Stasierowski More than 1 year ago
Dear Mr. Shuback, In my opinion if this holds up to and including the Breeders' Cup then that means that horses like Goldikova will not be allowed to come to the US to compete in the Breeders' Cup races including the Breeders' Cup Mile that Goldikova has won three times and her connections were planning on bringing her back to run in the Mile to hopefully win it for a fourth straight time. Sincerely, Kyle Stasierowski 26-year-old loyal TVG viewer, HRTV viewer, and horse racing fan from Alden, New York (Dear Kyle, if all goes well this season as hoped, Goldikova will be at Churchill Downs for the Breeders' Cup. Sorry to lead you astray, but the story was an April Fools' Day plant. although I personally think it would be a good idea if European horsmen did boycott American racing until we ban raceday medication.) AS
ghostzapper111 More than 1 year ago
The real shame is that it is only a joke, the real joke is what US racing on drugged up horses had become. And the industry scratches its head and wonders why they lose more customers with each passing year. Who wants to pay good money to play the equivalent of a crooked poker game with a cheating dealer?
ghostzapper111 More than 1 year ago
Very good move by the Euros, its about time someone took a stand and went against the complete farec and nonsense that US horse racing has become. US racing has basically become a drug fest. Heck look at Richard Drugtow and Big Brown a few years back. He had that horse steroided up to the hilt and as soon as he removed the steroid regimen, bang, he runs up the track in the Belmont. The breed has been bastardized in the US to the point you almost can not even call these horses thoroughbreds anymore. It's gotten so ridicukous that most US thoroughbred trainers now give virtually all of their horses Lasix injection FOR EVERY SINGLE BREEZE WORK THEY TAKE IN MORNING TRAINING. That is the definition of insanity = you have weakened your bred pool soo much that you know have to have the vet come by every morning a horse is about to do an official breeze so that it can be injected with Lasix??? Adequan and bute have become other favorites of the US druggie trainiers. I won't even bother going into the rampant, yes rampant banned substances that many top US trainers still employ. Milkshaking, cobra venom, (steroids - which in all other sports are ILLEGAL, but legal in most US horeseracing, too many more to name. Rick Dutrow = convicted of over 60 med violations during his so called 'career" at 15 different tracks and yet he can still train horses in virtually any US state. Steve Asmussen = another guy you would literally need a calculator to add up all the times his horses have been caught with banned substances in him, yet his so called "training career" keeps rolling along. Ditto for Jeff Mullins in SoCal = bigtime cheat caught multiple times, but still allowed to train. And of course there id Todd Pletcher who never had a 2 or 3 year old who was not juiced to the moon on steroids and a host of other cocktails some legal, some not. US racing has become a joke. Three cheers to the Euros who actually do it right = if you need meds to get to the race over there you dont race and if you get caught cheating you dont get so called 30 day suspensions where you basically train by cell phone, you get banned forl ife and your arse is kicked to the proverbial curb permanently.
Rick in N.O. More than 1 year ago
If you Euros keep this stuff up, we'll send the American Dental Assoc. over there and there'll be hell to pay.
trackman617 More than 1 year ago
It's April 3rd and I'm still In A Tizzy over this late breaking news. E-mailing PetMeds.com for an overdose of phenylbutazone for the pain this prank has caused.
tim m More than 1 year ago
Can't fool a fool -- April Fools!
Laura Skamser More than 1 year ago
When the Hungarian horses do arrive will they be train by Peter Gulyas. After all that's what his last name means in Hungarian.
Ron More than 1 year ago
What it amounts to is, Those idiots do not like Americans. They expect us to kiss their back sides.They expect us to bow to their every demand. We do not need them. They do need us. That is pure fact.
Celso C More than 1 year ago
I wish it was true ... it's really going to take a drastic stance by a major organization or group to get the message across ... STOP THE CHEATING!!!!! There are way too many cheaters that are screwing up the game. Do you want an example? How about Richard Dutrow Jr? He get a slap in the wrist (60 days) when he's caught - I wonder how many times he hasn't been caught. He just takes an extended vacation whenever a suspension is handed down - and we all know he's still behind the scenes. Then he comes back and does it all over again. How do we stop it? How about 30 days suspension for 1st time offenders, 1 year for 2nd time offenders and LIFETIME BAN without a chance to be re-instated (do I hear Patrick Valenzuela?) ... maybe then we will get an even playing field and the good horsemen will be rewarded. I LOVE this game and it pains me to see what a joke it has become! (Dear Celso, I agree with you on every point!) AS
Gerald Goldfader More than 1 year ago
From Gerry of Miami Sorry I got to the April Fools Day post late. Roy de Belgique, Aggy Kohen and Saeed bin Thare Befoor gave the game away, Alan. The best English prank was the BBC TV segment about spaghetti growing on trees in Italy complete with strings of spaghetti hanging from tree limbs. Thanks for the laughs.
Bob More than 1 year ago
Good one Alan, I have to admit you had me until the British Organisation of Owners and Breeders and the comment about weather in England. Hungarian racing association, classic. ;))
dave g More than 1 year ago
would be nice but nice april fool's joke
Off Track More than 1 year ago
Who are these 3 Hungarian horses that were going to run in the Derby? lol!!! You would certainly want to make that statement anonymously. 'promenading on the champs-elysees', give me a break. (Dear Off-Track, the three Hungarians were Ovedose's half brother Dead On Arrival, Kincsem's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson Kincsem XIII, and the undefeated Russian-bred Hungarian Revolution.) AS
John S. More than 1 year ago
Good Column. An April's Fool joke is always more effective when it makes you think about some of the important underlying issues that you have identified regarding the state of racing. I wonder how many readers other than Brad Free won't be able to tell it's a spoof.
David A. More than 1 year ago
April Fools! Good one.
Fred C More than 1 year ago
And it is just a coincidence that today is April 1.
vance jones More than 1 year ago
best april fools joke in years. they only send their horses here when they need meds.
andrew More than 1 year ago
Alan, thanks for your insight regarding internal fractions & times. I think they should run on soft/heavy grass here in the US, especially for stakes/grades stakes races. But one of the things that makes american racing is the "speed" aspect in dirt & "hard" turf races, the turf here is so hard sometimes that it produces the fastest times ever recorded on any surface (especially Santa Anita and Belmont), some think the turf here is too hard (i.e. the connections of Workforce) who did the right thing by scratching him from the BC Turf.
george More than 1 year ago
you actually had me beleiving the first ten words. Happy April fools to you too
J Gomez More than 1 year ago
April fools! The organization of BOOB gave it away! (Judging by some of the comments I received, I didn't give it away clarly enough.) AS
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
Nice one (April Fool) Alan..!
Jeannine Rinaldi More than 1 year ago
Good for them. I myself hardly play anymore because lately everytime you turn around someone is being fined for their horses testing positive. The latest shock to me was Papa Mandellas Champ Pegasus testing positive. Last month I bet on Peter Eurtons Holy Flapper at 20-1 and She won. Later it was reported that she tested positive. I wonder how many times I wind up on the losing side because a horse on drugs beats me. It sure is leaving a bad taste, but more important is that it is not safe for the horses. (Before departing for the weekend, I would like to wish each and every one of my readers and correspondents a Happy April Fools' Day. My introduction to the British newspaper custom of planting an April Fools' story came in the early nineties when I was in Liverpool for the Grand National, and it was a rude one. The Sporting Life on the day ran a front page story saying that the Canal Turn would be bypassed at that year's Grand National because a rare species of bird had been discovered nesting in the fence, and an environmental group had gotten an injunction against disturbing the little creature. I was livid! had I traveled all the way from New York to see a watered down Grand National? When I expressed my ire to a British racing journalist, he alerted me to the date on the paper: April 1. I had fallen for the ruse, hook, line and sinker and remain red-faced to this day.) AS
jgamble More than 1 year ago
I wasn't aware that there was a Hungarian group with plans to run in the Derby. I know that Hungary is the hotbed of horse racing in the free world, yet I don't recall seeing any of there horses running in the Triple Crown series in past years. Must be an oversight on my part- how will the Derby manage to survive the Hungarian boycott? That tongue in cheek comment aside, it would be sad not to see the Europeans here during the BC championship. (Yes, it certainly would. I, too, shall miss them, almost as much as I miss the camel racing on HRTV.) AS
BRich More than 1 year ago
How much in graded earnings does this hungarian trio have? Last I checked they would never make it to our derby anyway. As for the Aga Khan. You know exactly what surface you will run on since as far aS i KNOW THERE IS NO DIRT AND SYNTHETIC TRACK IN THE USA. tHERE'S TURF DIRT TRACKS AND TURF SYNTHETICS, BUT DON'T EVER THINK ANYONE HAD TO MAKE A CHOICE BETWEEN RUNNING ON DIRT OR SYNTHETICS IF IT WAS OFF THE TURF SINCE THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE. I don't blame europe as I believe in some of their stuff, but this is nothing more then europe's way of sticking it to the BC committee who stuck it to them.
andrew More than 1 year ago
Its ok let them have their racing on heavy grass and watch horses "run" a mile in 1:55! Happy April fools day! and Happy Bday Zenyatta!!! Hey Alan, when will we ever get internal fractions in the form for international races??? (Not in our lifetime. Fractions are available for races at Meydan if you can dig deeply enough. Paris-Turf used to publish fractions on a daily basis for races on the parisian circuit, but no more. Be careful of disparaging times. Very soft, holding and heavy turf courses are like nothing we ever see in America. If we had such conditions in the U.S., it would be all races off the turf for at least a week. In Europe, they just run. Racing is, after all, an outdoor sport.) AS
easygoer132.2 More than 1 year ago
I almost wish it was true!