We have been following the scuttlebutt this week since it was announced that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has decided to ride to the rescue of horse racing. He is riding a spooked horse so not sure what he can do, but it appears he feels he has found at least part of the answer — a congressional bill already pending in Washington.
Sen. McConnell is working to push through a doctored up version of the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754 or HIA) which was heretofore dead in the water with 256 cosponsors in the U.S. House and 25 cosponsors in the U.S. Senate. He may breathe a bit of life into the bill, however, there’s nothing to indicate that the HIA will help at all. To us, it’s one of those bills which sounds good on paper but very well may not accomplish much when tested. McConnell gets paid either way.
While all of this has been unfolding, the usual panicky crowd of horse racing leaders predictably began issuing the same statements. That is no surprise, but what is amazing to witness is them yet again behaving and speaking as if they are totally clueless about (1) what racing’s problems truly are and (2) how alarmingly large racing’s problems have become which give every appearance of being irreversible.
Doping (which H.R. 1754 is allegedly designed to curtail) —is no doubt a dangerously serious problem, but it is only the tip of a huge iceberg of problems.
Riding American horse racing now is like riding the Titanic. As in that scenario, U.S. horse racing is also dead in the water, and very few will survive. The exception of course is Churchill Downs Incorporated. They figured it out long ago.
• McConnell Announces Horseracing Integrity And Safety Act, New Independent Regulatory Authority; Paulick Report; 31 Aug. 2020 »
“There is an air of panic in U.S. horse racing. They do well to panic, but in the end it will do them absolutely no good, nor the horses they breed and use. That is where the shame and real tragedy is — the way racing uses and disposes of its horses.” — Tuesday’s Horse.
Featured Image: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). ©2020 Bloomberg Finance LP. Image by Stefani Reynolds.