I'll Have Another winning the Preakness in 2012. Google image.

NY racing regulators attempt to breathe honesty into the Triple Crown

I'll Have Another winning the Preakness in 2012.  Google image.
I’ll Have Another winning the Preakness in 2012, equine nasal strip and all. Not a single concern has been raised until now. Now that I’ll Have Another is running for the troubled racing industry’s Triple Crown at Belmont Park, New York.

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?

What?

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.

Read more at NYPost.com >>

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?

Read more on BloodHorse.com >>

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.

15 thoughts on “NY racing regulators attempt to breathe honesty into the Triple Crown”

    1. Oh my…that’s so weird. Didn’t I just write those very words to Jane? Oh well, if I’m being plagiarized on a site that advocates for horses, I don’t care. (Just don’t tell anyone the titles of my next two novels…LOL!)

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  1. (smiley-face thingy and heart icon) There are days (at least once a week, sometimes once a day) when I fervently wish I didn’t know all that I know about horse abuse and slaughter…. Freedom from that information is a reprieve permanently gone for me now…and forever. So, I pick up my discarded spade and start working at the uncongenial soil again. There is a Buddhist saying: “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water….After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” The work is the same; only the knowledge and wisdom which we accrue changes. That’s my philosophy, anyway. We WILL change the lot of equidae over time…so that those who have suffered and died inconceivably horrible deaths will not have suffered and died in vain. I know you share this belief with me. That’s why I wrote the book; that’s why I go on. “I mean to go on as I’ve begun…though kings shun me and commoners despise me.”

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  2. Hey Chip ‘n’ Dale…it’s me, Pluto (Mickey Mouse’s dog)…yup, yup ! I love Tuesday’s Horse and I love you both for all you give to our horses and to all horse-lovers. God(dess) bless you both….

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    1. :):):)…that is a triple smile. Thanks.

      Gotta have a sense of humour (oops, Canadian spelling with that pesky “U” in there)and true appreciaton and love for all those who are on the same crusade …

      We are all on the same page…

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  3. No, you never know, no matter whom you speak to in racing, or what is reported, just what the facts really are. Perhaps there are none. But the industry needs and should pay attention. Interesting report on the Paulick Report calling on the industry to stop the infighting and do what is right for the horses, and therefore racing.

    The fact that Congress is paying attention to this means federal intervention looms. From past experience this does not always result in improvement, but adds the burdens of bureaucracy to an already painful situation.

    Please see International Racing Management IHIA solution to race-day medication issue: http://www.paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/international-racing-management-says-ihia-solution-to-race-day-medication-issue/

    I was not being argumentative, just asking / discussing!

    Thank you Jane and Cynthia for your insightful comments.

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  4. I hear you, Jane, but you can only be “fed up with it all” for a short time. You have spent hours (a lifetime) researching and writing reports that people like me rely on to “go on with the fight”, to “go on though no-one seems to hear, though no-one learns to change his ways”. It is the work of people like you and Vivian that keeps people like me, working in our little corner of the planet, that uplifts and inspires and drives us on in our ultimate belief that, one day, our horses will be safe from abuse, neglect, slaughter, and live well, long lives in the company of humans who respect, admire, and care for them up to end-of-lfe. Please tell me that I am right.

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    1. You are absolutely right Cynthia.

      There are times however that it seems overwhelming. But like you say, we must all pick up the pieces and go on. The fight for their freedom will never die.

      Thank you!

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  5. How recent was that Jane that NY banned nasal strips? I was told by a racing authority that they are not explicitly banned in any racing jurisdiction in US.

    Not that it matters really.

    Next thing you know, they will rule that jockeys are banned because they enhance performance. I would say, how about whips but there are many jockeys who say you can’t flog an exhausted horse and make him run any faster than he is already physically capable.

    Tempest in a teapot I say about these equine nasal strips, when they doctor these horses with so many chemicals, illegal and otherwise.

    I will be so glad when it is all over. I feel confident that I’ll Have Another will be just fine, and romp home. I am always tempted to say, shame about his connections, but are Baffert, Ness, Romans, Pletcher and company any worse?

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  6. I agree that the banning of nasal strips is definitely silly and there seems no foundation to ban the use of them. As you point out, let anyone use them, they are not medication per se..

    But NY instigated the ban before I’ll Have Another even made it to where he is and it is simply protocol. New York’s racing stewards prohibit nasal strips, citing issues with how to regulate its use.The issue apparently is what to do with a horse who was scheduled to wear a nasal strip if the strip comes off in the paddock or at the gate, perhaps because of wet weather. Is it reason to scratch and all the rest of the “rules”,???

    Agree stupid but it is yet again a symptom of the lack of uniform racing rules across the 38 jurisdictions and the dire need for reform in the North American racing industry.

    How can something be OK in one state and then be illegal in the next if only a mile separates them, or even if a hundred miles separates them???

    Absolutely absurd, agreed!!!

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  7. The detention barn is definitely a good idea. I do not feel it is excessive.

    The nasal strips, and particularly the veterinarian’s comments about them, came across as totally silly to me. Are they just banning equine nasal strips for I’ll Have Another in the Belmont, yet any other horse running any place else in any other race, well that’s okay.

    It is a knee jerk reaction typical of horse racing. I don’t blame NY racing however. They have had terrible management issues, one resulting in multiple deaths of racehorses at Aqueduct.

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  8. As for Romans, yet another abuser of drugs, his statements simply point to guilt.

    As much as I agree that outlawing breathing strips is somewhat absurd given the reprehensible antics that go on in the world of racing, I personally applaud the measures taken for the Belmont.

    And it is true that with the possibility of a Triple Crown victory coupled with the drug-ridden persona of NA racing there is no doubt that the authorities are bending backwards to make sure nothing sinister or culpable will taint the final leg of the TC.

    And why shouldn’t they? They feel it might be the milestone for the crippled industry as it stands. A new awakening so to say. I doubt this will sway the rest of the racing world but as everything else, putting band-aids on wounds seems to be the answer rather than correcting what is wrong

    More importantly, if there is nothing to hide and if all of these trainers and owners are “innocent” then why should it matter?

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