10/26/2012 4:52PM

Letters to the Editor Oct. 28


Lasix ban puts horses and bettors in no-man’s land

I read with interest “First time no Lasix” in the DRF Weekend section of Oct. 20. I hope everyone who plays the races during the Breeders’ Cup will skip betting the 2-year-old races. It is simply not fair to the true handicapper.

And more importantly, these 2-year-old horses will be pushed for great performances, in spite of the longstanding reliance most of them have on Lasix. Will that take a toll on their health?

But back to handicapping. How will we know how the 2-year-olds will perform without Lasix? Some have run without it, but most have run with it this year. Are we going to get some extra information? From what source? Will (or can) a trainer give us the okay that a horse will run to his or her best without raceday medication? I do believe trainers depend on having a horse get appropriate medical treatment, including raceday Lasix when needed. I have no doubt we see a more consistent performance record with appropriate use of Lasix. Horses still go out of form and back, but, I would argue, the proper use of Lasix is healthy for the horses, and that is why they run better and more consistently with it.

DRF Weekend recently profiled one superhorse, Frankel (“Number one with a bullet,” Oct. 13), who as a European runner has accomplished his undefeated 14-race career without Lasix. But comparison to U.S. horses is not fair. Superhorses are not born regularly anywhere on the planet. Does Lasix weaken the breed? Show me the answer, please.

Ray Davis - Tampa, Fla.

BC will punt on Sunday Cup

An Oct. 21 letter to the Racing Form, “Sunday Cup card could be bonanza,” suggested that the Breeders’ Cup needs to go to a Saturday-Sunday format rather than Friday-Saturday. While that would seem to be a good idea, as many people do have to work on Friday, what the writer forgets is why a lot of tracks have stopped running on Sundays in the fall: The NFL being the 800-pound gorilla of sports.

Going opposite the NFL is a lost cause. Breeders’ Cup would lose any chance of getting casual sports fans, and handle would be well below what it is on Friday solely because of the NFL.

Much more likely is the Breeders’ Cup being entirely on Friday and Saturday night. The potential for hundreds of millions in new handle from the Asia-Pacific region (where it would be Saturday and Sunday morning) will likely drive the BC to a full-bore night format, which may happen anyway, given that NBC is televising the Classic in prime time this year for the first time ever.

Walter Parker - Philadelphia