07/03/2009 5:22PM

Medication: RSVP/ Part 2


Please continue commenting on the previous post in the comments section for this one. Thanks to all for the many thoughtful and provocative submissions in the past 24 hours.

Smith More than 1 year ago
Exposing the trainers or owners who are doing things that are not popular with fans and media will curtail the practice of those things. Remember the fiasco surrounding the Preakness when someone was exposed for trying to load the field with starters in order to block Rachel Alexandra's entry? The outcry was overwhelming, those involved were embarrassed and they turned their story 180 degrees. Players, such as I, really have the easy role to play. All we have to do is form opinions on starters, place a bet, and hope to win. We aren't at risk of losing our businesses over this sport. However, owners, trainers and operators are at risk everyday, with every horse, to keep their livelihood. Who are we to tell these guys what to do?
putting_green More than 1 year ago
Ladies and Gentleman of the Jockey Club, thank you all for allowing me to speak. All medication in horse racing should be banned for a very simple reason...it is wrong. If it is done to enhance performance, it is wrong. If it is done to mask or hide an injury, it is wrong. If it is done to collect a bet, it is wrong. If all of you here today just sprained an ankle, and I gave you a shot of cortisone and put you in the starting gate to run 6 furlongs, how many of you would refuse? The horses can't refuse...they just have to take it. For the last 100 years, it has been wrong, and it won't get any less wrong for the next 100 years if we continue. Ladies and gentleman, if we are considering anything short of that, have a nice day.
Robert Slifer More than 1 year ago
I keep reading many good points here but we are all forgetting that just a few short years ago that New York was running races with no lasix's at all do you recall winter racing at the big A with 5 horse fields and everybody crying for more horses? Well New York opened up pandora's box and allowed raceday meds and increased field size but the door was open for the cheats. When I handicapp I take note of trainers and claims you have no choice sometimes to use horses you would never play but have to because of the so called super trainers...The bottom line is until racing takes a page from Indiana and Delaware who take big stances on those who get caught nothing will change and the product will continue to spiral down. I have always wondered this one by the way you hit a race ie a "signer" why do you have to pay state taxes on the money? isn't the state in which you live in already getting a piece of the pie in takeout? I agree with the post on here about those winnings its senceless a big player can go to the window and bet a tri that cost him $200.00 and he wins $602.00 and has to pay taxes on it. Rob
Nate B More than 1 year ago
Thanks for seeking the input of the thoroughbred racing fan and bettor. I had a fascinating conversation with an Australian businessman in the infield of Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day during the down time leading up to the main event. He casually mentioned to me that Australians generally discredit American thoroughbreds because their performance is influenced by drugs. In reply, I couldn't defend the sport in our country. I could only nod, and that saddened me. I love thoroughbred racing, but I hate even seeing the "L" next to any thoroughbred's name in a form. The solution seems very simple to me - Let horses compete against each other as horses, not horses + drugs, but just horses. Consistently shooting up an animal with any foreign substance - drugs, medications, etc. - is not good for the horse. And that should be reason enough. But it's also not good for the sport. In an era when the performance by athletes in other sports is being questioned as at no other time, the thoroughbred racing industry has a HUGE opportunity to regain a lot of its fan base that it lost decades ago when track administrators failed to cooperate with TV networks. Americans want a sport right now that they can attend, watch, enjoy, etc. where what they are watching is actually that - pure sport. People, consciously or unconsciously, associate drugs with greed. Why do athletes shoot up with steroids? They are either greedy for money, or for acclaim. Why do trainers shoot their horses up with drugs? They are greedy for money, and they think that their horse won't finish in the money against other horses that are influenced by drugs (or they can get an unfair advantage if they aren't). Thoroughbred racing doesn't want fans that are ashamed of themselves for being fans. It wants fans that are proud of their sport and eager to share it with others. (Imagine - or maybe you don't have to - taking a friend to a track for the first time? "What's this 'L'?" he or she asks. Do you really want to tell them?) Perhaps a certain amount of greed is inevitable in a sport/industry that receives most of its income from wagers. But it is possible to wager for recreation and enjoyment, and doing so on horses that are simply displaying the talent God gave them makes it that much easier to keep greed out of the picture. Thanks again for seeking input.
Michael Giorgio More than 1 year ago
There should be NO race day medications allowed, period! Second, the sport needs a national commissioner of some kind, with authority to enforce a centralized medication policy. Currently, the states have control, which has led to the most ridiculous mess imaginable. Further, we as bettors and owners need to face facts, namely, that horseracing is in dire straights...and by ignoring-or worse, condoning- medications, the end result is having a devastating effect on the sport. How can we realistically expect to attract more fans/players/owners if they perceive that the game is 'not on the level'? Until and unless there is a central body of some sort charged with the authority to regulate medications in a consistent way throughout every state, this problem will not go away.
P. Tester More than 1 year ago
...The problem of medication can be solved by the Jockey Club by having them produce transparency from the birth to the end of racing career of a particular horse. That transparency would involve the production of a 'medical passport' that could easily be created and maintained by compilation of veterinarian bills and treatments throughout the life of the horse. The Jockey Club could solve the problem but has refused to because THEY are the problem. And Steven Crist and any one else who grovels at the feet of the Phipps' and the Jockey Club and accepts invitations to speak at the unproductive, grandstanding Round Table enable the system to maintain the status quo. Don't waste your time on this, do something productive outside the system that has brought a sport to the place it occupies today.
Norm F More than 1 year ago
Does anyone remember the Kentucky Derby winner of 2009 ? Yes, the MOST heavily medicated horse in the field! But, was this common information ? NO ! Because the Thoroughbred Industry continues to hide in the shadows. Why not post the percentages of medication dosages, how about weight loss or gain ? The Jockey guild needs to take the lead ! How about hairless Jockeys in Louisiana ?
George White More than 1 year ago
Steve, As a daily bettor, I stopped playing Churchill Downs and ALL Florida tracks about 1 year ago when I discovered serious dis-association between running lines and actual performance. An insider from Kentucky, speaking as an anonymous source, informed me that Kentucky was notorious for non-enforcement of rules because of the status of the sport. It doesn't really matter, the point is that a rational bettor would avoid such a situation. In Florida, where I live, we had numerous articles in the press about the betting rings connected to New York - insiders and jocks. Drugs were suspected but not proven So I look at it as simply cut off the infected cancerous limbs. At the extreme, I would probably back small sample random drug testing on stratified samples with the results made clearly available to the public.
Silver Charm More than 1 year ago
Steve a couple of suggestions that may be viable or maybe not. The Graded Stakes Committe should require the host track to draw blood samples of each participant for the race to remain Graded. If the host track doesn't want to then the Graded status would be pulled and the quality of the field probably suffers. The Breeders Cup supplement should also be distributed with the same requirement or restriction. If the host track takes the BC supplement money then they should agree to do blood samples and testing. The NTRA or some other governing body should insist that ALL tracks do a random blood sample of at least one race a day. This would be in addition to the Graded race. This random race would be determined by the stewards or someone similar at around noon each racing day in a pill draw. Those tracks who do not want to participate because of cost or whatever reason they give should be made public to the public. Sort of a buyer beware notification. This will not fix everything but it is a very good start and would be coming from some outside groups who have enough leverage to engineer such changes.
Andy More than 1 year ago
If the R/X can't be detected in a timely way;nothing can be done about it. You wonder which particular racing group has the latest good medicine.That is what the average racing fan thinks. Look at the record. Does anybody really believe that any certain trainer is that much better than the average???? Madoff changed and cast doubt on almost everything.