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?
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Read full article here »

Rep. Paul Tonko promotes H.R.1754 at Saratoga

Racehorse tied in stall.

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) spoke at Saratoga Racecourse promoting the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R.1754), gifting us with an interesting poster. It was on the front of the stand Tonko was speaking from. A link to a pdf version was also available for download online.

Promotional poster for H.R.1754 — The Horseracing Integrity Act — used at Saratoga racecourse by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY, who introduced the bill with Andy Barr (R-KY).
Promotional poster for H.R.1754 — The Horseracing Integrity Act — used at Saratoga racecourse by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY, who introduced the bill with Andy Barr (R-KY).

Number 1 under the subtitle “The Horseracing Integrity Act”, it reads:

“Establishes a conflict-free, self-regulatory organization responsible for creating and implementing an anti-doping program for the entire horseracing industry.”

Guess where that self-regulatory organization will come from.

We remind you of the words of Dr. Sheila Lyons, DVM, the founder and director of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, writing about H.R.1754, The Horseracing Integrity Act:


“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.”

Dr. Sheila Lyons, DVM


The poster barely mentions the horses at all. As you can see, they talk about how much money they make, how many people they employ, how lack of uniformity impacts betting and thereby their “handle”. We believe this is the only reason they are pushing no race day medication, bringing them in line with other race betting nations, and at the same time increase confidence in bettors at home.

The last sentence of the poster — their last thought — finally mentions the poor old racehorse, saying this bill will increase the safety and welfare of the horses, jockey and drivers. Oh, how nice. Thanks a lot.

Doesn’t matter where you bet on racehorses. You bet. They Die.

THE DIRTY DOZEN

At the very bottom of the poster, look who supports this disingenuous bill:

Animal “Welfare” Groups
ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE
ANIMAL WELLNESS ACTION
ASPCA
HSUS

Horse Racing Groups
BREEDERS’ CUP
JOCKEY CLUB
KEENELAND ASSOCIATION
KENTUCKY THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION
NEW YORK RACING ASSOCIATION
STRONACH GROUP
THOROUGHBRED OWNERS AND BREEDERS ASSOCIATION
WATER HAY AND OATS ALLIANCE

ASPCA and HSUS. No surprise there. Enough said about that. The Animal Welfare Institute? You must be kidding. We thought they were pretty decent. Probably haven’t read the bill.

What about Animal Wellness Action? We just published their press release regarding horse soring. How disappointing. Would they promote putting Big Lick-ers in charge of governing horse soring? Then we say do not promote putting cheaters, liars, dopers and killers in charge of governing horse racing.

We won’t insult your intelligence by commenting on the racing groups. Except for WHOA. What happened to them? We actually supported them when they first started out. But as you can see, they have gone rogue. Or maybe they always were.

Hey. It’s all about the money. Nothing but the money.

TAKE ACTION — OPPOSE H.R.1754

Go here for quick, easy steps to take to oppose this bill »

YES, it’s August recess. But you can still contact your U.S. Representative’s office. They should be “at home”, back in their constituencies. Call. Write a letter and drop it off there instead of contacting their D.C. office if you can.

OR go to The Horse Fund’s Stakeholders Page on POPVOX. Sign up with an email and password and you can do it all from right there, with the guarantee that your lawmakers will see your message. We love POPVOX.

You can also view The Horse Fund’s talking points on each bill at POPVOX without signing up or signing in.

If your U.S. Representative has cosponsored this bill, contact him (or her) to remove their cosponsorship. Contact your two U.S. Senators and ask them to refuse to cosponsor S.1820.

*   *   *   *   *

UPDATE: We didn’t know at the time of posting, but PeTA also support this legislation, although their name is not on the poster. We are disgusted with these big box animal rights’ groups, who clearly have NOT done their homework. Nauseating.  — Editor.

6.25pm EST.

Thoroughbred Industry Organizations’ Statements On Current Crisis

Horses jump out the gate at Del Mar racetrack in California. Unattributed Google search result.

The Ray Paulick Report post entitled, “Thoroughbred Industry Organizations’ Statements On Current Crisis“, was published yesterday evening.

Mr. Paulick put it to horse racing stakeholders this way:

Paulick email: In recent weeks, I’ve been approached and contacted by numerous people whose livelihoods depend on the Thoroughbred industry, telling me they fear for the industry’s future, and asking me, “What is (fill in the name of the organization) doing to protect the racing industry?”

I throw that question to all of you individually, as leaders of national organizations: What is your organization doing in response to the crisis now facing this industry, one that demands that the industry and those in positions of authority do absolutely everything humanly possible to protect the health and welfare of horses? 

First of all, it’s too late to “do absolutely everything humanly possible to protect the health and welfare of horses”. The integrity of the American Thoroughbred racehorse has been totally compromised through generations of chemical interference and doping from the moment these horses are foaled. They cannot go back now and do a do-over. They are stuck with what they got.

Plus the other elephant in the room  — horse racing is addicted to doping. They are never, ever going to give it up. They don’t know how to train without doping.

Perhaps it would be fairer to say that constant doping is the only way at this point to keep horse racing going. It’s highly likely and probable that it’s impossible now to get a racehorse on the track to train or race without administering a long laundry list of drugs, probably daily.

If you decide to read their responses you will see how panicked they are, which in turn means you won’t be able to believe a damn thing they say. We weren’t going to anyway.

Slow curtain. The end.

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!