06/01/2012 6:47PM

Letters to the Editor June 3


Nasal strip ban in New York has foul odor

The May 27 article "Nasal strips taboo in N.Y." told of the ruling by Belmont Park stewards (whose authority is unclear) that the nasal strip that I'll Have Another has utilized will not be permitted for the Belmont Stakes.

Significantly, no one has accused the manufacturer, the distributor, or the trainer of utilizing the nasal strips for an ulterior purpose, such as to enhance performance.

Were this correspondent J. Paul Reddam, owner of I'll Have Another, I would call a press conference and tell the Belmont Park stewards that they have 24 hours in which to repeal this "rule" or I will take my horse and go home.

It does not take a great deal of imagination to predict what would happen to the Belmont Stakes without the presence of I'll Have Another.

In the final analysis, the question is: Who owns racing? The owners of the athletes, or the tracks, which act as though they were hospitals in relation to physicians who practice within their walls? We are not practicing medicine, we simply provide a place for independent contractors to work their magic.

Nathaniel  J. Friedman - Beverly Hills, Calif.

Belmont detention an unfair move

After the horse has been out of the barn for all these years, the New York Racing Association finally decides to make stringent rules for the upcoming Belmont Stakes ("Security barn returns for Belmont," June 1), housing all horses running in the Belmont in a single, highly secured barn beginning three days before the race, taking blood tests on arrival, and limiting who will be permitted to enter. In addition, there will be checks of all equipment, feed, and hay.

The New York Racing Association and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's group are making trainer Doug O'Neill such a scapegoat that it's an embarrassment.

I am all for tight security (access to the backstretch at racetracks across the country has been a joke for years); not tolerating any shenanigans; giving horses only hay, oats, and water; meting out -- and enforcing - severe punishments for wrongdoers, etc.,  but it is unfair and unbalanced for anyone to be singled out and vilified for what so many others are doing as a matter of routine.

Steve Wolfson Sr. - Ormond Beach, Fla.

Riddle This More than 1 year ago
Did IHA wear the strip at Saratoga last summer when he ran 6th in the Hopeful?........nope
Riddle This More than 1 year ago
Mr. Friedman, Get your facts straight next time before mailing your letter. The nasal strip clearly is a performance enhancer not a fashion statement. The strip seller claim 20% improved breathing for a horse with the strip. However the real reason it is not allowed in NY is that it could fall off during the race thus putting the better at a disadvantage. I it important to remember that 90% of racing revenue comes from the better.
Warren Eves More than 1 year ago
Mr. Wolfson: I couldn't agree with you more. Just when I thought California horse racing was like a ship without a rudder, along comes the fiasco we've seen in New York in recent months. Leadership is lacking on all fronts. I agree stricter regs and rules were needed but why weren't these things put into place long ago?
W.G. More than 1 year ago
To me, I think Mr. Wolfson is missing one very important piece: New York State just found over 1,700 violations against Harness trainer Lou Pena, and I suspect the detention barn the state did was in light of THAT development, NOT O'Neill being singled out. It's mainly a "dog and pony" show for the general public to "show" the public that concerns are being addressed.
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
I'm sure Nat, if IHA was your steed, you'd go home, wno chansa of TC ?? Its thw way it is in horse racing, each state & or track have their rules & regs, ya dance to the music ! Steve W Sr: Seems Marty W. had similar situation some years ago at Arlington, Illinois changed nada, it was M W who walked.....am sure he is really missed ??
jeffries Will More than 1 year ago
this mystery barn being put in place now is unfair but nyra is the joke of the industry (except for jamie ness) so why should this surprise anyone. unfortunately it has been taken over by an even more corrupt individual in the recent weeks. that said, the take my ball and go home theory of the ca editorial is exactly what wrong with the sport. but in his mind, its my way or the highway. if the strip doesnt enhance performance then who cares.
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
That's NYRA for you. The same people who have driven America's premier racing franchise into the gutter.
Jeff More than 1 year ago
With all due respect to the writers of today's letters to the Editor: Accuracy requires a rebuttal. The NYRA, as it is presently constituted, did not issue the edict concerning the Belmont Stakes "security barn". It was issued by the NYS Racing and Wagering Board, the entity currently exercising regulatory oversight of the racetracks, casinos, and VLT parlors, in the State of New York. The NYS RWB is controlled by our present Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Not only does Gov Cuomo control the regulator, he will shortly control the very entity that the State regulates, to wit, the NYRA. The Legislature, with the current NYRA Board of Trustees tacit approval, will pass legislation this month giving the Gov a majority of the 17 Members of the reconstituted Board. IT will be all Andrew, all the time. Thus, if the toilets are overflowing in the Spa backyard,please forward your complaints to the Executive Mansion, Albany, NY. Moreover, to paraphraseTricky Dick Nixon, you won't have the NYRA to kick around any longer. PS-As to the nasal strip issue, the stewards, only one of whom is appointed by the NYRA ( one is a Jockey Club appointee and the other is appointed by the NYSRWB), relied on the description provided by the manufacturer of the strip insofar as the manufacturer stated that the strip is a performance-enhancer.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
JEFF THANKS... most people on the side of objectivity and fairness understand this.. i doubt it's going to stop the finger pointing though. i work for a leading new york trainer as an assistant. we win our share of graded stakes. this stuff making everyone sick....you need to bring this more to light on some other blogs... i warn you though... i stated many truths to the same point and got hammered.