I’ll Have Another won’t have another nasal strip
The Daily Post reports that Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another will not have another Flair equine nasal strip when he runs in the third leg of the Triple Crown at Belmont Park on June 9th.
When I’ll Have Another bids for the Triple Crown in the June 9 Belmont Stakes, he won’t be allowed to wear the Flair equine nasal strips he wore in all four victories this year, including the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
According to Dr. Ted Hill, the Jockey Club steward at the NYRA tracks, studies have shown that equine nasal strips can be performance-enhancing by reducing fatigue and possibly preventing bleeding, claims the company makes on its website, flairstrips.com.
If that’s the case, Dr. Hill said, then how do you regulate them? For example, what if it’s raining and the nasal strip comes off in the post parade?
The horse racing industry allows racehorses to run with a panoply of drugs, such as the anti-bleeder Lasix which has reported adverse side effects and believed by reputable veterinarians to be performance-enhancing, but New York regulators are worried about a nasal strip that simply assists breathing?
Instead of barring I’ll Have Another from using them, why not allow everyone to use them? We are told that equine nasal strips are not on any banned list in any horse racing jurisdiction in N. America, and they are far from proved to be performance-enhancing.
And isn’t it a bit late in the day to worry about them? I won’t even comment on the “post parade” and “what if it’s raining” statements.
Racehorse drugger unhappy about being in detention
In related news, proven racehorse drugger Dale Romans does not like being treated like a criminal, complaining how all Belmont runners being housed in a detention barn.
The Associated Press reports:
Trainer Dale Romans criticized the New York State Racing and Wagering Board’s decision to establish a detention barn to house Belmont Stakes (gr. I) starters, saying regulators “think we’re all crooks.”
Romans will saddle Dullahan, third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), in an effort to thwart I’ll Have Another in his bid to become the first Triple Crown champion in 34 years. He said the decision by the racing and wagering board failed to put the welfare of horses first.
“They are not cars that you can just go and move from one garage to the next,” Romans said. “These are creatures of habit. They like being where they are.
“The biggest problem we have in our game is the disconnect between the regulators of the game and the reality of what goes on on the backside (barn area).”
Well, what can I say about this sort of thinking? Creatures of habit? What habit does he really have in mind I wonder.
When a trainer such as Romans appears on a repeat offenders list of trainers with numerous medication violations, a record that also includes I’ll Have Another’s trainer Doug “Milkshake” O’Neill, it appears to me that the New York horse racing regulators have valid reason.
Is it not a good idea for New York State Racing and Wagering Board to take these sorts of precautions when this year’s Triple Crown has been plagued with one racehorse drugging headline after another because of the “crooked” histories of many of its trainers?
Please get some sense, balance
This is why horse racing has the reputation of not being able to govern itself sensibly. The industry should seek to bring balanced, principled thinking to it regulations.