Horse Race Insider’s Note to Racing: No More Mixed Messages

We note a few quotes and write in response to a Horse Race Insider’s article, “Note to Racing: No More Mixed Messages.”

Quote: “Aside from seeing an occasional news broadcast, the public has little to no interest in the game.”

We Say: Because horse racing has little to no interest in the public. This is an insider’s game. Plus — and this may ultimately be the defining factor particularly in the current climate — the public do not want to watch racehorses being killed.

Quote: “None of the people that have signed on to support the HIA [Horseracing Integrity Act] race their stock without drugs, even though they openly oppose it. They do not want to lose the edge from supposedly non performance-enhancing medications. That in itself negates the claim that drugs regularly administered to racehorses are benign.”

We Say: Yes. Correct.

Quote: “It is easy to look good backing a bill with no chance of becoming law.”

We Say: Spot on.

QUOTE: “TJC’s [The Jockey Club] support of DOA [dead on arrival] HIA bill, and not the Racehorse Doping Ban Act of 2019, aka Udall-Wyden, or the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act 2019, makes it seem as if the stewards of racing are moving forward to improve the reputation and integrity of the sport, but not supporting Udall-Wyden and SAFE clearly shows it is a publicity ploy.

“HIA not only lacks the necessary support, it faces the opposition of the National Horseman’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Kentucky’s Senator Mitch McConnell, who acts on the wishes of Churchill Downs, and has no mechanism to fund itself.

“Supporting a bill that has no chance to become law is the perfect ploy to placate the public and the perceived enemy, animal rights groups.

“HIA not only places the same ineffectual industry leaders in a majority position on a board with government backing, it sets up the United States Anti-Doping Authority for a fall.

“Udall-Wyden and SAFE, which would both be beneficial to the sport are absent of TJC support. SAFE in particular because it outlaws horse slaughter in the US and prohibits the export of horses for slaughter in other countries.”

We Say: Exactly.

Here is where we part company with the Horse Race Insider article.

QUOTE: “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) causes death by blows to the head, yet the National Football League and the National Hockey league are not even remotely worried that society or politicians will banish Football or Ice Hockey.

“Thoroughbred horse racing’s leaders need to wake up to the fact that the industry isn’t an endangered species and get back to competing with sports betting, which is likely to have a much greater negative effect in the industry than horse deaths.

“In one year, the narrative has changed from how to grow the sport to how to save it. The issues of growth have not changed, nor has the chance horse racing will be banished.

“The time has come to take the reins and drive the sport into the future, not shrink from the actions of animal rights activists.”

We Say: The quote in the article that breaks the bank is this, “Thoroughbred horseracing’s leaders need to wake up to the fact that the industry isn’t an endangered species and get back to competing with sports betting, which is likely to have a much greater negative effect in the industry than horse deaths.” More than horse deaths? How do you think horse racing got into its current jam then?

As regards the horses, racehorses aren’t recruited. They don’t sign multi million contracts to train and compete. Neither do they volunteer their services. They are purposely bred, created, not for themselves — but to be hideously used and disposed of by a cruel industry whose concern for their welfare has become virtually non existent. 

Please folks whatever you do, do not try to respond with comments about how much owners and trainers “love” their horses. If so, then their love is the kiss of death. Added to that, they wouldn’t be in this business at all if they gave a flying you know what about the racehorse.

As a sidenote, we are not picking on Horse Race Insider here. We are simply using its article as an example of how a majority, if not all, of horse racing thinks.

As you can see, many in horse racing are still making piously bankrupt remarks about reform, and turning around and contradicting themselves just a few days later. It’s bedlam trying to follow it all. Horse Race Insider just happened to gift us with what we needed all in one place, that’s all.

What it appears in actuality is all that American horse racing truly wants is for the bad publicity, outside interference, proposed federal oversight, anti-doping legislation, suggestions of an independent Commissioner — and oh, yes, those annoying day-to-day racetrack death watches and protests — to go far, far away so they can go back to what they do undisturbed and unperturbed. Who can blame them — if you are of that ilk.

However, that means the continued drugging, abuse and killing of racehorses. Why would anyone who enjoys a flutter want to gamble on such a thing? How can the rest of us turn a blind eye?
_______

Read full article here »

Racing — A sport that lost track of its main asset

Hello horse lovers and welcome.

An article entitled, “A sport that lost track of its main asset,” by Raj Tawney and published by Newsday caught our imagination. It is beautifully written and states the obvious, unless you work in or gamble on horse racing.

We excerpt it below. Quotation Mark Left (Arimo Gray)

.  .  .  . organized racing didn’t begin until after the Civil War in 1868, when The American Stud Book was founded, followed by the formation of The Jockey Club in New York in 1894.

By the turn of the century, more than 300 racetracks existed in the United States as the focus became less about prestige and more about legalized gambling. All but a few annual races, including the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, held on to sporting traditions. Horses were now treated as commodities instead of elite athletes. If and when they no longer produced results, they were sent to “the glue factory.”

Horse racing may have historical origins but the sport has lost sight of its most important contributor: the horse itself. If this precious animal is treated only as a disposable product — a means to a dividend — how is this “sport” any different from the meat industry?

Quotation Mark Right Arimo Gray

Read full article here »

By the way, in the same article, PETA is quoted that “the Thoroughbred-racing industry sends an estimated 10,000 horses to slaughter annually.” Add to that the ones they kill on the racetrack, and you see what a chillingly deadly industry it is.

Why would anyone with half a heart or an ounce of integrity want to “save” horseracing? Or gamble on it?

That last quote by the article’s writer is a showstopper — how is this “sport” any different from the meat industry?

Answers anyone?

29 U.S. Reps from California betray racehorses

Blinkered racehorse closeup. Photographer not specified.

H.R.1754 (the Horseracing Integrity Act) is a shockingly bad bill for racehorses and will change nothing except put a handful of horse racing’s drug kings in charge of racehorse doping across the entire U.S. instead of simply their own backyard.

Imagine a scenario such as this, someone like the totally unscrupulous Bob Baffert, who ranked at the top of every doping violation list we ever saw published, help making and overseeing the rules on racehorse drugging. It’s criminally stupid, and would mean continued if not heightened suffering and death for America’s racehorses.

We were checking the cosponsor list of H.R.1754 and discovered some startling support for this bill. 29 cosponsors from the State of California.

It appears that these U.S. Representatives signed onto this bill because they were lobbied to do so. No one could have taken the time to read it. Or if they did, they are either unscrupulous or perhaps even paid highly to support it.

Here are the 29 California cosponsors of H.R.1754:

1. Rep. Bera, Ami [D-CA-7]
2. Rep. Brownley, Julia [D-CA-26]
3. Rep. Calvert, Ken [R-CA-42]
4. Rep. Carbajal, Salud O. [D-CA-24]
5. Rep. Cardenas, Tony [D-CA-29]*
6. Rep. Chu, Judy [D-CA-27]
7. Rep. Cisneros, Gilbert Ray, Jr. [D-CA-39]
8. Rep. Cook, Paul [R-CA-8]*
9. Rep. Correa, J. Luis [D-CA-46]
10. Rep. Cox, T J [D-CA-21]
11. Rep. Davis, Susan A. [D-CA-53]
12. Rep. Eshoo, Anna G. [D-CA-18]
13. Rep. Gomez, Jimmy [D-CA-34]
14. Rep. Harder, Josh [D-CA-10]
15. Rep. Hunter, Duncan D. [R-CA-50]
16. Rep. Khanna, Ro [D-CA-17]
17. Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13]
18. Rep. Lowenthal, Alan S. [D-CA-47]
19. Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6]
20. Rep. Napolitano, Grace F. [D-CA-32]
21. Rep. Panetta, Jimmy [D-CA-20]
22. Rep. Porter, Katie [D-CA-45]
23. Rep. Rouda, Harley [D-CA-48]
24. Rep. Roybal-Allard, Lucille [D-CA-40]
25. Rep. Schiff, Adam B. [D-CA-28]*
26. Rep. Sherman, Brad [D-CA-30]
27. Rep. Speier, Jackie [D-CA-14]
28. Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15]
29. Rep. Thompson, Mike [D-CA-5]

* = Originating Cosponsors | Source »

You can see why we must employ lobbyists to educate legislators on the validity of equine related legislation supposedly aimed at helping horses when sometimes they do quite the opposite. There is absolutely nothing good about H.R.1754 for racehorses. Remember too that this is for all racehorses, not just Thoroughbreds.

Calling all Californians

If you are a California resident, please check the list above to see if your U.S. Representative is on it.

If they are:

Contact them via email at the link provided at https://www.house.gov/representatives. Ask them to remove their cosponsorship of H.R.1754 at their earliest opportunity.

Tell them this bill is being marketed by horse racing lobbyists as a move forward in bringing an end to racehorse doping, however it is anything but. It will be business as usual — doping, cheating and killing racehorses — but under a national umbrella instead of a patchwork of independent state laws.

This following statement sums it up. Send the paragraph below as the reasoning for your request to remove cosponsorship, along with your own thoughts and ideas:

Dr. Sheila Lyons, DVM, the founder and director of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, writing about H.R. 1754 (The Horse Racing Integrity Act), warns of the following.

“This proposed legislation ultimately leaves the details of drug regulation in the control of members of the horseracing industry despite the reality that following decades of promises to regulate drugs effectively, it has failed to do so.”

*  *  *  *  *

If you wish to give a fuller objection, we recommend sending the following from Dr. Lyons’ report which also contains the above quote:

Dr. Sheila Lyons, DVM, the founder and director of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, writing about H.R. 1754 (The Horse Racing Integrity Act), warns of the following.

The Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019 seems to directly accomplish only two things:

1) It will create uniform rules and regulations regarding the use of drugs in racehorses amongst the states through the creation of a national regulatory structure imposed through a newly created nonprofit entity; and,

2) It will eliminate the administration of drugs on race day.

Unfortunately, neither of these changes will directly impact the common abuse of drugs used to mask injury and or enhance performance. This proposed legislation ultimately leaves the details of drug regulation in the control of members of the horseracing industry despite the reality that following decades of promises to regulate drugs effectively, it has failed to do so.

*  *  *  *  *

AUGUST RECESS

Traditionally, the U.S. House of Representatives recesses for the month of August. This is a time when Representatives return to their constituencies. You may like to type something up and drop it by your Representative’s office local to you. Or call.

There will be a skeleton crew in their Washington D.C. offices.

OUTRAGED IN CALIFORNIA

We discussed the number and nature of the 29 cosponsors with California racehorse advocates this past Friday in a highly strung meeting. They had no idea until we brought it to their attention. They are shocked. They are outraged. And more determined than ever to pursue a Referendum next year banning horse racing in the State of California. The Governor still supports it. Whatever the case, they will win. You can bet on it!

NOT A CALIFORNIAN?

See who has cosponsored H.R.1754 by State.  Is your U.S. Representative on it?

(1) If they are, contact them and ask them to immediately remove their cosponsorship and vote against this bill.

(2) If they are not on the list, contact them and tell them to oppose the Horseracing Integrity Act and vote against it. Step by step online instructions here on Tuesday’s Horse »

POPVOX

Even easier. With an email and password open up a free POPVOX account and weigh in and track legislation important to you. Search by bill number and take a stand. As quick and easy as that.

Check out our stand on active horse related legislation in Washington at The Horse Fund’s Stakeholders page on POPVOX.

HANDY LINKS

House.gov home »
Directory of Representatives »
California Representatives »
H.R.1754 Cosponsors by State »

Thank you everyone!

Hollendorfer wins his lawsuit to return to racing

Jerry Hollendorfer racehorse trainer, killer and doper. Racing Post image.

Sometimes there seems little justice in life, but was trainer Jerry Hollendorfer made the poster boy for the rash of racecourse deaths in the killing fields of California racing? He was asked to take his horses and move out of Santa Anita following the reported 30 deaths that caught national headlines, and some of which he was responsible for.

In the hot glare of the negative publicity swirling around those racehorse killings, horse racing desperately needed to look like they were doing something, and banishing Hollendorfer seemed like that something.

Hollendorfer tried other racetracks who said, yes, okay, we’ll let you in, only to change their minds. When he applied at Del Mar and they said no dice, he sued them.

ESPN reports:

Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Hollendorfer is now allowed to train and race horses at Del Mar following a ruling Friday in a San Diego courtroom.

Hollendorfer had sued Del Mar earlier this month after the Southern California racetrack refused to allow him to enter races during the track’s meet or keep his horses in the track’s stalls. He sought an injunction to allow him to race at the track, and San Diego County Superior Court Judge Ronald Frazier granted that request.

The suit was filed after the track declined to give him stalls due to “[public-relations] risks and considerations,” according to court filings. Hollendorfer had previously been banned at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Park, two tracks owned by The Stronach Group, after four of his horses died during the Santa Anita meet, completed last month, where 30 horses were euthanized.

The response to the lawsuit by Del Mar attorneys alleges that during the meeting June 28 where they told Hollendorfer he wouldn’t be allowed to participate, his attorney said, “We get it. Jerry’s radioactive. We get it.”

Horse racing is radioactive. A toxic killer of horses.

And we strongly object to the use of the more pleasant sounding term “euthanized” when these racehorses catastrophically and painfully broke down and had to be killed to put them out of their misery. Insured too, no doubt.

In the meantime, “according to Equibase, Hollendorfer horses have won 7,623 races in his training career and have collected purses of $199,932,748,” reports the same ESPN article.

Who writes this stuff? The horses have collected purses of . . . ? Yes, we know what they mean. Still.

Blood money.


IMAGE
Racing Post image. Not filed with ESPN story.

See also “The Slow and Merciless Death of American Horse Racing“, Tuesday’s Horse, May 28, 2019