It will likely be years before a firm rule either further restricting race-day Salix or banning it outright is implemented. In the meantime, the globalization of racing will continue. Considering many trainers and breeders overseas already view American bloodlines as suspect and “tainted,” now is the time to begin debating how we will ensure the integrity of our bloodlines when medication no longer allows us to hide our flaws.
This is the final paragraph of an article by Eric Mitchell called “Breeding Integrity”, writing for The Blood-Horse.
It follows the International Summit on Race Day Medication, EIPH and the Racehorse held at Belmont Park, June 13-14.
Begin debating? What’s to debate, except how best and how fast they can implement the changes necessary to bring American racing in line with other nations who have found effective, workable solutions to what appears to confound the industry in the United States, even after being properly schooled on exactly those points during the recent Summit.
Initial responses to this question are typically, it’s all about the money. Accepting that as a rational argument, because in America everything is always about the money, who in their right minds believe that they can continue to make money producing a flawed product that nobody wants to buy or use, or only use a year or two before it breaks?
In this case, of course, sadly the “it” is not actually a product, but a living, feeling being — the racehorse — who for the most part is abused from the beginning to the end of his or her career, and the only reason we are interested.
I admit I smirk at columnists and commentators who claim that horse racing is stronger than ever in North America. I wonder what planet they inhabit.
Mr. Mitchell at least seems to have his feet firmly planted on planet earth, but he may find himself in lonely company where he stands.
Joe Drape who writes for the New York Times is a comrade of sorts, and has written about the doping of racehorses from what I can tell, around about 2005. During the Summit, Mr. Drape wrote:
The American thoroughbred industry has acknowledged recently that it is in trouble, and on Monday, its counterparts from around the world told it why: it races too often, allows race-day medications that prop up inferior horses and is paying the price for these flaws with plummeting sales at breeding auctions.
That was about a week ago. What happened?
For further information, please see our in depth reports on breeding and drugs in horse racing.
Next up: Racing Through the Slaughter Pipeline