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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday Briefs

Starting this week, Cal Expo has increased their guarantees on the Pick-4. On Friday nights, the guarantee is $20,000 while Saturday nights feature a $25,000 guarantee.

The Meadowlands and the SBOANJ has agreed to postpone their preference system for those trainers who supported the Meadowlands racing program when Pennsylvania tracks are open.  Apparently there was push back by stables because they got caught by surprise when it was implemented this year.  The preference system will be modified and posted before the PA tracks open for the season so when it is implemented this coming November, no one is surprised. 

Some may argue against a preference system which rewards those who race in New Jersey over Pennsylvania during their meets, but it is perfectly acceptable that those who support the Meadowlands when there is a demand for horses get preference in the entry box over those who show up only when there is nowhere else to race.

A local newspaper had a column from a veterinarian talking about common eye problems dogs with short noses which tend to happen due to their breeding.  Without going into too much detail, it talked how their bone structure has changed impacting the way their eyes are in the socket.

It got me thinking, what kind of responsible breeder continues to breed these types of dogs knowing there is a good chance there would be eye problems down the road?  Obviously, there is market for these dogs, probably because buyers are not aware of this problem.  Responsible breeders would attempt to change their breeds standard to allow them to introduce new blood into their lines in an effort to breed out or reduce the incidence of eye problems, but they are not allowed to do so.

A similar situation occurs with race horses, in particular with the problem with bleeding.  The industry has no problem breeding bleeders with bleeders because there is money to be made.  You could argue responsible breeding would attempt to minimize the number of bleeders produced, even if it required the stud book to be modified to allow horses with a smidgen of non-standardbred blood into the stud book or introduce more studs or mares from Europe or Australasia to introduce bloodlines instead of continuing to tighten up the crosses.

Now, realistically, the chances of any commercial breeder willing to be the first one to introduce such a horse into the breeding barn is slim, but they should be allowed to do it if they are willing.  Yet, the USTA has a rule proposal which plans to eliminate the little crack we currently have in introducing non-standardbred blood into the breed.  Here is rule proposal #16 which will be voted on this year:

A proposal to add language to existing §26.03 Non-standardbred - to require that any such horse be spayed or neutered as a requirement for registration by adding the following language to the end of the first sentence: "and verification that the horse has been spayed or neutered."  
If someone has a non-standard (either not 100% standardbred or unproven breeding) horse that is competitive enough on the track that someone is willing to use the horse for breeding, I don't see the problem (provided it is disclosed) if the breeder is willing to take a chance; let's face it, any off-spring would not likely be in demand at any sale.  At best, we will have introduced some new blood into the breed, at worst, there would be a horse which would not make it to the races.  However, if the USTA gets their way, the little crack we have for attempting to introduce new blood to eliminate undesirable traits such as bleeders, will be closed.
I realize the approval of this proposal is a foregone conclusion, but I urge those voting to vote against the proposal.  

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