07/07/2009 9:15PM

Medication: RSVP/ Part 3


The discussion continues. Scroll down or click here for the original post, and please continue speaking up. Comments are now closed on the original and Part 2 posts, so please use the comments section on this post for now.

Kathy Leigh More than 1 year ago
What I would like to see banned are pain meds. More damage is done to horses running injured with meds to dull the pain than with any "performance enhancing" drugs. Personally I'm not that worried about performance enhancing drugs in any sport. I don't think the evidence is very good that they really enhance. I think it's a good thing to ban them however they are not my hot button. I'd like to see drugs banned that allow a trainer to race a sore or injured horse. Putting horses (and jockeys) unnecessarily at risk like that damages the animals, the people, and ultimately the sport.
Wilson Alers More than 1 year ago
As a relatively new race horse owner but lifetime racing fan, I beleive that horseracing as a sport needs to clean house with strict and uniform racing rules (vs drugs) nationwide and begin to market our sport to young adults not only as a showcase for the greatest athletes (thoroughbreds)on Earth, but also as an entertainment event for all ages. My young adult children, whom no longer with me and my wife, can not wait for the next time we all go to the track together. A day at the races which also involves food, drink and an overall good time together at a relatively good value for your entertainment dollar, is a great day. A better value, should we win our bets, of course. We have a great sport, let's not lose it.
beyou More than 1 year ago
Although I haven't really had a chance to read the other posts, here are my 2 cents: I am a fan of the game who has, I would say, a fairly good understanding of the sport. To be honest, however, I don't know much about the medications which are administered, maybe other than Lasix - - i.e. what medications/drugs are allowed, what isn’t allowed, what they are used for, what dosages are acceptable, etc. To the extent that these sort of “mystery” medications or drugs are used, I wonder why they aren’t disclosed either in the racing from or, if the information is too current for publication, why can’t there be a "medication board", if you will, so that everyone knows what medications/drugs are involved prior to each race? That would help to educate the public about race-day drugs/medications and to help handicappers know what is in each horse's system before they go in the gate. Also, when there is a drug/medication violation, the penalties seem far too lenient for my taste. Most trainers seem to get a slap on the wrist and even if they are suspended for a significant period of time, their assistants can still walk their horses over to the track and race them. So, in sum, I understand that certain drugs/medications are needed. However, there should be full disclosure to the betting public about what drugs/medications are in a horse's system well before each race and if a trainer is found to be breaking the rules, the penalties have to be strengthened - - perhaps barring that trainer from running anything from his barn for a period of days (try explaining to your owner why his promising 3-year-old cannot run in The Travers of the Belmont Stakes because you “doped” a horse in a $15K claiming race) or, perhaps even better, there should be substantial…very substantial monetary fines imposed. Thanks and, as always, thanks for the opportunity to post!
Pete from Indy More than 1 year ago
Dear Steve, I spoke to you once at the BC at GP in 1992. Pointed out that one year prior your Racing Times had a cover with all of the silks in color for each race. Color was rare then. I had a streak of annual BCs and Travers even though I lived in the Midwest. I saw a streak of Arlington Millions, Jim Beam Stakes, and Blue Grasses. Those were the days, ESPN with Chris Lincoln and Pete Axthelm. It sure isn't the same. I had friends in NY that I took to Belmont, we were there for both Go for Wand and Prairie Bayou. My last Travers was Holy Bull over Concern. Now I visit the local OTB once a month. Steve FIX horse racing please!
Greg B More than 1 year ago
The question itself is what's interesting. It sounds like the Jockey Club isn't looking to solve anything, they merely want to understand how the drug issues are perceived so they can develop a marketing plan to modify the perceptions themselves, rather than change any behavior. It's not a drug problem, it's a perception problem. Most of us think we're fans of something called Thoroughbred Horse Racing. We're not. We're cogs in a subsidiary of Thoroughbred Horse Breeding. It's all about black type, stud fees and auction prices. That's where the real money is. How do medication issues affect these things? They don't. Well, they do, but in the opposite way of how they affect you as a racing fan. The breeder is looking for the black type earned in graded stakes. Does he care what chemical cocktail the horse was on when it won those races? Nope. It's the black type that sets the price. Same with the broodmare owner. If the mare can produce something with a nice pedigree that looks like a race horse, they'll be rewarded at auction. Even more so if they can juice it up to run a furlong in 10 seconds when it's 18 months old. What happens after that only matters if this horse can earn some black type itself and start the cycle over. And that's why racing exists - so breeders have somewhere for their investments to win stakes races. At this point, the breeders need to have drugs in racing to keep these fragile bleeders running long enough to be sold or win a stakes.
John Perona More than 1 year ago
I appreciate that you were seeking opinions on how drugs have changed wagering behavior. I used to bet at least $10,000 per week for probably about 40 weeks of the year. In a good week the number was much higher. I now go to the track for fun 4 times a year. Derby Day, BC Day, Memorial Day, and day in August to Monmouth just to remember what it looked like. Let the powers that be know that integrity counts. Between the drug cheaters and the past posters enough is enough. You want me to bet, run the track like a legitimate business. Throw the crooks out. Thanks and Good Luck. John Perona
Matt Anderson More than 1 year ago
Steve, Drugs for horses on race day should be banned. They should only be used for therapeutic purposes on horses who are not currently racing. To the extent drugs are allowed, there should be a national standard, and no leniency for trainers or owners who give their horses performance enhancing drugs. If these issues are tackled, everyone in California can go back to racing on dirt!
Bob More than 1 year ago
Zero meds. Zero tolerance. If you're caught, redistribute purses and suspend trainers. It's best for the game.
fred winters More than 1 year ago
as a lifelong horseman my sense of the drug issue in racehorses is that the public (let's all remember that they are the folks who are to become our "new fans" when we grow our product)perception is highly NEGATIVE. Regardless of where we stand personally, on the issue, I'll repeat, the public perception of drug use in racehorses is negative! If we want to grow our product we need to remove negative perceptions,period. Racing on hay, oats and water is the only way to achieve a truly level playing field. If no one is using any drugs, (race day, that is, then the perception will be improved, period. Additionally, we could further advance our "humane image", by removing the drug variable thus presenting ourselves as being more "horse friendly". These two issues are the ones which seem to be most frequently advanced by our critics and it seems as though one fix could go a long way towards changing the publics perception.
vince_c More than 1 year ago
I would like to see fewer tracks and healthier horses. The status quo is an artifact of a time and gambling landscape that no longer exists. It leads to an artificially inflated demand for field-fillers, which leads to medication abuse. It's time to admit that ours has become a theater sport, accept that we need fewer foals and fewer tracks, and edge our way to the Japanese or European model of concentrated talent and relevant races. That's the only way to make hay, oats and water a realistic goal.