Thoroughbreds work out at Thistledown. Photo credit: Marvin Fong / Plain Dealer File.

Racino expansion fuels debate over drugs in horse racing

by THOMAS OTT

Cross-posted from The Plain Dealer

Thoroughbreds work out at Thistledown. Photo credit: Marvin Fong / Plain Dealer File.
PHOTO CREDIT: MARVIN FONG / PLAIN DEAILER FILE.
Thoroughbreds work out at Thistledown in May. Critics worry that horses unfit for competition are racing under the influence of medication at America’s tracks, risking injury and death.
    CLEVELAND, Ohio — Casino gambling at Ohio horse tracks will fatten racing purses and could rejuvenate the sport in the state, but the higher stakes also will give trainers more of a reason to cheat.

    Horse racing has long faced questions about whether trainers use medication to gain an unfair edge. Controversy flared again this year after the New York Times reported that 3,600 horses — an average of 24 a week — died during racing or training in the United States from 2009 through 2011.

    Stories suggested that big prize money at racinos, as racetracks with casino gambling are known, is fueling the use of painkillers and performance-enhancing drugs in horses that are not fit to run and sometimes have sale values lower than the prize money at stake. The newspaper counted 3,800 drug violations but said the number likely was higher. Continue reading >>

This is rich isn’t it? As if trainers need an extra incentive to cheat.

Once again, we see to what a pathetic low American horse racing has sunk. Instead of putting down their tubes and syringes and pursuing bigger purses fairly, trainers instead are tempted to cheat more than ever which is already mind bogglingly high. It also appears at this level of racing the horse is viewed as a disposable commodity even more.

Most horse racing defenders say that it is only the top prize money trainers who give the industry a bad name with all their doping and other duplicities. This article points out quite a different story doesn’t it and defeats that line of thinking.

I don’t see why people who visit these racinos even bother betting on the horses. If a person is determined to bet, it seems the safest wagers are to be had inside the gambling hall on the slots or other mechanized action. No horses get abused, drugged or killed. Hmmm. All horses win in there.

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