03/30/2016 2:46PM

Romans: ‘I would never knock American racing'

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Dale Romans said he isn’t done with American racing and doesn’t plan to go to Hong Kong anytime soon.

Comments attributed to Romans in a story in the South China Morning Post said the Eclipse Award-winning trainer was done with American racing and was interested in plying his trade in Hong Kong.

“I’m ready for an adventure, and I’m so sick of what’s happened to the sport in the U.S. I’m done with it,” Romans, who was in Dubai last weekend to run Keen Ice in the Dubai World Cup, was quoted as saying.

“I’m a horseman, and I think races should be won by the better horseman, not something else. I was very impressed with what I saw in Hong Kong when I was there, and I know that, because the vet side of racing is so tightly controlled there, it’s the superior horseman who will succeed. They’ve never had an American trainer, but if they want me, I’d love to train there.”

On Wednesday, standing on the rail at Gulfstream Park, Romans attempted to clarify his comments.

“There isn’t a person around who believes I said that stuff,” Romans said. “I would never knock American racing.”

Roman said he is tired of a lot of the bureaucracy – including audits and health care – involved in America.

“When I said I was tired and done with this, I was talking about labor boards, immigration department ... not horse racing,” he said.

A few years ago, Romans did tour the facilities in Hong Kong and liked what he saw. He said he would be interested in training there but not is actively pursuing it.

“If they ever called, you’d have to think about it,” Romans said. “If I ever went, it would be to take on a new challenge at this stage of my life.”