Steve Haskin beat me to talking about the Royal Ascot meet in England, but let me say this: You all are probably sick of me praising turf racing, but after watching this eventful treat, I have learned a great deal. I always enjoy watching horse racing in Europe. Where they are dominated by turf racing of all sorts, including hurdles.
Why was I so amazed by watching the races this past week? Where else can you get 30 horse fields, 2 1/2 mile races, and finish the final stretch uphill! I watched three or four races and they were all impressive. The Ascot Gold Cup (Eng-1) with Yeats and a few other Aidan O'Brien wins, were captivating to watch since he seemed to have the magic touch this past week.
I will not recap the races too much, but you need to go read Steve Haskin's new blog and his post on this breathtaking event.
My last thought on this is: get some of those 2+ milers over here and breed them, because our horses would almost die racing that distance, figuratively speaking. More power to the European turf horses, and now I am starting to wonder how Curlin might do against Europe's top turf horses.
Curlin is mighty, but what are your thoughts on him and the turf?
Now the Roll...
IEAH has stepped up to the plate. The team many hate to love, may have started the ball rolling for the industry, with this profound statement:
"We have decided to withdraw all of our horses from medication, except for Lasix," IEAH co-president Mike Iavarone told Blood-Horse.
IEAH has started a movement that the horse industry will have to make, or most likely the government will take us there. I have read story after story on various groups with various ideas and various ways of implementing those ideas. Yet, only small steps were accomplished. I am very grateful those steps were taken and so many groups and people want change.
But, after the past months of reading about this issue, it seems ego, greed, and laziness have cramped the horse industry's style. Some have tried and unfortunately fell short, but IEAH has the money and backing to follow through. That is one perk of a partnership.
Now some will argue why even allow Lasix (which is now called Salix)? Especially looking at Europe. In Germany, you can not breed horses that have used Lasix. They want bloodlines to remain clean.
Lasix/Salix is there for bleeding, but may have performance enhancing effects as well. I say if they cut it back to that one legal drug, which does have a positive benefit from it, I can live with that. Really, I am impartial. Either one or none is fine with me.
I have gained some additional respect for IEAH. I like that they are leading off and taking one for the team. Sometimes this is what it takes. When things are so set in a particular way for a long time, when people are reluctant to change, sometimes it takes the new kid on the block, the outsider to bring a new vision or to start change because they see things differently or have not had the same exposure.
A light-hearted but prime example would be the movie Footloose. Kevin Bacon enters a town and creates a positive change that the community had a hard time accepting, but ended up being mostly harmless. Then again, there was not a billion dollar industry involved.
The IEAH guys are doing a great job in winning me over, even if there may be things hidden in the shadows. I tend to be an optimist and like to think people can change.
They are trying to get the industry to change and are willing to put money in, to promote and improve the image of horse racing. They are also responsible for the Ruffian Equine Medical Center in Elmont, N.Y. I have to say it: IEAH might have arrived to help save the industry from destroying itself in some aspects, at least from a governing point of view.
Of course, it isn't quite as glorious a picture as I just painted, because the hospital and other means they are pursuing are going to make profits. We do live in a capitalist society though, so I can accept that. If they are going to take risks and help lead to positive change for us, and if they are looking out for the welfare of horses, yet making a little money on the side off of it, I can take that.
Truth be told, IEAH has placed themselves under a microscope. I will be observing their culture closely. I do have my skeptical positions, but I am willing to think about trusting them if their actions are louder than words.
You can read more on this article here.
After all the serious discussion:
Extra Sexy Psychic won the Cozy Lace Stakes at Presque Isle Downs race over the weekend. Why is this name so awesome? Because of her pedigree: Freud—She's Pretty Too, by Housebuster.
Cleverness with class.
Video: Footloose Music Video