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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vets as Trainers vs. Vets as Vets

With the Triple Crown coming up, it is almost impossible not to talk about thoroughbred racing when it comes to racing in general.  Bill Finley has a column for ESPN which talks about Effinex, a horse trying to make it to the Kentucky Derby on hay, oats, and water; more specifically without using Lasix.  The manager of the stable which houses Effinex is Dr. Russell Cohen.  Cohen does okay as a vet but he is not raking in the dollars because he treats horses to cure, not to enhance the chances of a horse winning a race.  Obviously, stables which chose chemical war fare when it comes to racing obviously are not going to select Dr. Cohen as a vet.

Lasix, one of the popular drugs is given to horses that bleed.  I don't call for Lasix to be banned (at this time) because something needs to be done to make sure these horses don't end up in a feed lot. The problem is racing (and a lot of America) rather treat the symptoms than cure the problem.  How do you cure bleeding?  You recognize it is an undesirable trait which you don't want in a horse and as a result, you don't use that horse for breeding.  As a South African study shows, bleeding is hereditary so you need to avoid breeding those horses.  You breed only non-bleeeders and eventually you will have a hardier horse that doesn't bleed.  When you get to that point, then you outlaw Lasix.

Greyhound racing is another step closer to being uncoupled from the casinos in Iowa and then shut down.

Some thoughts from Jeff Gural's Q&A in Canada:  It should be mandatory that 5% of all slot revenue go into marketing;  forget about lottery wagers such as the V75 as there is not enough handle in racing to support it; successful race meets are short meets indicating tracks like Saratoga (TB), Keenland, and Del Mar; while Gural made arrangements for more racing on television, the Pennsylvania races are questionable since the PHHA doesn't want to cut purse about $50 a race to pay for it.  If you want more information about what Gural said as well as PC leader Tim Hudak, you can check out Darryl Kaplan's tweet feed here.

As much as I would love to see Atlantic City hobbled more after what they have done to racing in New Jersey, the move to restore the original interpretation of the American Wire Act which would outlaw online gaming (not horse racing) even where it is presently occurring is a bad idea.  People have and will continue to find ways to wager on online casino games whether legal or not so at least by having the states regulate the sites will prevent underage gambling, ensure the integrity of the games, and payment of winnings.  And yes, the state may as well collect taxes on these companies which they can't from off-shore companies.

Of course, this bill has a backer, Sheldon Adleson, who is an owner of brick-and-mortar casinos globally, including Las Vegas.  Obviously he has his own reasons for supporting this bill which are obvious; self-interest.  Whether this bill goes anywhere remains to be seen (the 'experts' say no) but it is sure to get some people sweating bullets, including those executives in Atlantic City.  Good, for once let them feel what it is like to be in racing.

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