A recent Daily Racing Form article (9/20/13) suggests that the pervasive doping in horseracing has a silver lining. Well, sort of. First, the bad news: trainers, of course, are dumping illegal junk into their horses, and because labs are always playing catch-up, much of it is hard to detect. But the good news, at least for a publication most concerned with the integrity of the bet, is that some of the drugs – or drug knock-offs – “are nothing more than the equine equivalent of snake oil.”
The California Horse Racing Board’s Dr. Rick Arthur: “A lot of this stuff is bull—-. There are probably trainers out there who think they are using ITPP [an illegal performance-enhancer], and they aren’t. It says ITPP on the label, but it’s just a bunch of stuff that doesn’t work and isn’t even illegal.”
The “stuff” – legal and otherwise, effective and otherwise – can be easily found at sites like horseprerace.com. But the products – “Green Speed,” “Lightning Injection,” “Blast Off Ice” – and ridiculously low prices should prompt caveat emptor. Arthur: “The RMTC recently got sent what was supposed to be cone-snail venom [a painkiller], and it was just a bunch of amino acids. And yet the guy who was using it said that it was the best cone-snail venom he’d ever used.” Pity the gullible cheating trainer, for he is being cheated himself.
So now racing officials must decide whether or not to expend tight resources developing tests for drugs that don’t enhance performance. Dr. Dionne Benson of the RMTC: “That’s the big question. What they are doing is illegal, and we feel like we should have an ability to crack down on it. But that means we might not be able to do something else.” In other words, we know you’re trying to cheat, but no edge no foul. Not surprisingly, the DRF has nothing to say on how this dummy dope may affect a horse’s long-term health. In racing, what passes for ethics is cracking down on the drugs that make horses run faster. For that would be unfair.
The bottom line here, for anyone of true integrity, is how these “unknown” substances ” are affecting the health of the horse. Once again, racing shows it’s true colors. It is all about having the appearance of a “fair deal” for the bettors and others so the money can keep flowing for this corrupt industry. The horse is just a disposable commodity.
Also, the irony is the cheaters taking advantage of other cheaters !
I read the Paulick Report nearly every day – it’s a wealth of incriminating information on the horse racing industry. Yesterday, the article “Sparks Fly At CHRB [California Horse Racing Board] Meeting To Discuss New Veterinary Recordkeeping Measures” was jam-packed with such info, included in the piece itself (from The Blood-Horse) and in the comments (The Blood-Horse comments and the PR comments) by industry members.
Here, the opening sentence from The Blood-Horse; “A CHRB Medication and Track Safety Committee meeting was often contentious at Santa Anita Park March 16, when topics regarding drug use and documentation were discussed.” It continues; “Most of the discussion centered on an item that would ‘require the trainer of record of the horse that was claimed to provide the new owner a record of all joint injections within the last 30 days.’”
And now, some snippets from the article and comments – from the “horses’ mouths”…
-“Jim Cassidy, a trainer and president of the CTT [California Thoroughbred Trainers]…said surgeries are performed on horses of which trainers aren’t aware when they buy them, ‘and we have to try to keep them together for the clients [owners], so we keep the business going. Yet, you guys issue licenses to trainers that shouldn’t even be on the grounds.’”
-From trainer Ron Ellis; “The worst thing that can happen to a horse is to change barns every time they run.”
-And Ron Ellis again; “I’ll never ask another trainer ‘What did you do with this horse?’ because I’m not going to get the truth.”
-From commenter Joe Schneider; “”I have claimed horses and two weeks later the horse falls apart. That’s where you realize that your horse has been injected. You cannot see if its been injected prior to dropping the claim…Do you continue on with the injections…? Spring for a surgery to remove a chip or dump him for a lower level?”
-And Schneider again; “I’m not as concerned with the larger joints [being injected] as I am with the ankles and knees [which are the joints that ARE injected!…along with hocks]. That’s when repeated injections can cause catastrophic breakdowns.”
-A Richard Holmes had quite a bit to say in his PR comment; “The trainers don’t want these records [vet records] made public because people would be outraged if they knew what was truly going on. These horses are being injected left and right…When a horse breaks down, these trainers will usually pretend that the horse was sound and must have taken a bad step. In almost every case of a horse breaking down, it is an unsound horse who has a history of unsoundness and ankle injections.”
-Jack Frazier replied to Holmes, saying; “As far as bute and Lasix, I have paid cash many times because they [vets] didn’t want a check or a credit card so they could hide the money.” He goes on to say this about race track vets; “It’s all about the money and they don’t want a third party vet injecting bute and Lasix.”
If you’ve got some time, grab a cup of coffee, read this article AND comments…but now that I think about it, there’s so much incriminating info there you might want to forgo the coffee and opt for a stiff drink.
Thanks for putting this up Joy. I try to read the PR every day and was immediately drawn to this article. You are so correct “INCRIMINATING” information and it just leaves me speechless that these people seem to be oblivious of the fact that these noble horses are intelligent, sensitive, voiceless living creatures. They just do whatever they damn well like to these racehorses – a very sick culture. An industry that is rotten to the core.
Like you Joy, I do read the Paulick report. It’s a great piece of information.
First of all, there are thousands of vets in the USA that obtain pet medical records every day. When you take your dog or cat to a new vet they immediately request the records from another vet for a variety of reasons. One main reason is for the continuity of health and to not repeat unnecessary invasive medical treatments on the pet. This ensures the pets comfort and safety.
Not the horse racing industry. They come up with every single excuse not to provide medical records, and there are many reasons for doing this. The main one is that they don’t want the unsuspecting wagering public to know what’s going on. Like the PETA video undercover agent said: “they dupe the public every day.”
They rely on the silence of the racehorse. The system is set-up for the ongoing abuse of racehorses, and responsible for many who are sent to their deaths. The sole purpose is to fill races, increase bets, and make more money.
I always use the analogy of a used car. In most states, a used car package is mandatory every time a car is sold or changes hands similar to a claiming horse changing hands.
The used car package contains general information that a new owner needs to know and so does the safety board before a car goes onto the road. This saves lives. Period.
A “used” racehorse (sorry but I’m utilizing this term in the raw form) should have a prior medical record go along with it. This would save lives.
This industry has been flying under the radar for way too long now. Serious overhaul and changes were needed yesterday. OF course shutting it down is the long term goal, but in the meantime they need to be held accountable for the ongoing deliberate abuse and deaths of racehorses on racetracks in North America.
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