07/22/2011 4:47PM

Letters to the Editor July 24


Breeders' Cup drug move the latest affront to betting public

First, the Breeders' Cup people make up these ridiculous races for specialists in every category imaginable, lessening the organization's original product. Then they run the races two years in a row on an un-handicappable artificial surface. Now, they ban Lasix ("BC to ban drugs in juvenile races," July 16). What's next, making us guess the name and number of each horse without a program?

Just about all horses everywhere in North America run all the time using Lasix, whether they need it or not. So exactly how is a handicapper supposed to know how a horse will react without the medication, running against the supposed best talent in the world? It's tough enough picking winners with all the variables thrown into the mix . . . now this?

The Breeders' Cup began 30 years ago with the best of intentions. It was a glorious event. But the greed for more, and the ridiculous thinking of racing's greatest minds, has made it just another sporting sham. I for one will be putting my bankroll into the Keeneland (one track where an artificial surface produces formful results) and Churchill Downs meets. The Breeders' Cup has become just another thing that governing establishments have ruined for the people. Once again, the people that keep the sport alive, the bettors, get the shaft.

Mike Cozzi - Tinton Falls, N.J.

Ban's effect may be largely negative

I was dismayed to read that the Breeders' Cup is eliminating Lasix for the year-end championship juvenile races in 2012, preparatory to a total phase-out of raceday medication. As a horse racing fan, I believe that these steps will significantly harm our sport.

I for one will no longer purchase Breeders' Cup tickets and fly to the venue (as I have in years past). Neither will I be wagering on races where horses run without Lasix. I remember the 1980's, when the results of races were nearly impossible to predict without knowing which horses will bleed or not. The same result is obtained today in Great Britain and Ireland.

I am still struggling to understand the rationale of banning Lasix on race day.
We know it is not harmful, but rather advantageous for racehorses. We continue to read that banning Lasix will result in "standardization" of rules across the world. But is this a desirable result? Owners can come to the United States and choose to use Lasix or not. Consider also the effect of a universal Lasix ban on the Thoroughbreds who bleed and are unable to race in Europe, but can come to the United States and have successful careers. Now these animals will have nowhere to go.

One is tempted to speculate that perhaps the board of directors of Breeders' Cup, in banning Lasix, have commercial interests in mind for their own pricey stallions of sturdier stock. I hope that they will also take into account the harm they are causing to the sport and the individual people and animals in it.

Patricia Stanford - Highlands Ranch, Colo.