Things That Make You Go Hmmmm (11)

The July 12 congressional hearing on racehorse medication in Washington, D.C., didn't determine any equine drug policy, but it did show why the industry struggles to get things right and how lawmakers and others have little grasp on how the industry works. Here are some of things that were said:

Sen. Tom Udall: "Chronic doping continues unabated."

The statement isn't based in fact. "Doping" refers to use of illegal drugs that have no place in a racehorse's system, and regulatory statistics indicate doping is rare.

Ed Martin of the Association of Racing Commissioners International: "This is an issue we believe is not adequately understood by racing fans or the general public."

This is true. So why doesn't the industry educate the public, and in some cases the media, rather than allow them to believe and report untruths?

Kent Stirling of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association: "Lasix is not performance-enhancing. On the other hand, blood in the lungs does make horses run slower."

Dr. Sheila Lyons, founder of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation: "This drug has been found to have performance-enhancing effects on racehorses."

So which is it? Maybe both? Isn't it time to put this argument to rest with comprehensive North American-based research and move on to legitimate reform?

Dr. Sheila Lyons: "I would like to see every horse in every race tested."

She must be out of touch with the Thoroughbred industry's acknowledgment that fewer, more targeted tests are the best option for enforcement and would maximize financial investment in testing as stated in the revisited McKinsey Report.

Jim Gagliano, president of The Jockey Club: "The bill's definition of 'performance-enhancing drug' is extremely vague and is overly broad, encompassing almost anything, and seeking the technically impossible 'zero tolerance.' "

This is a widely accepted view of the proposed Interstate Horse Racing Improvement Act, which begs the question: Who the heck writes this legislation, where do they get their information, and do they have a clue?

Jeff Gural, operator of The Meadowlands: "There have been a few in harness racing, but we don't know if 'beards' front for them. It's rare, and in most cases they surface somewhere else or their girlfriend becomes the trainer."

This was in response to a question about how many harness racing trainers have been permanently banned; the girlfriend scenario actually has happened on several occasions, funny as it sounds.

Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor International: "One would have to look in the (harness racing) hall of fame."

This was in response to Gural's comments. I guess everyone inducted into other halls of fame is or was clean? Prove it.

Marc Paulhus, retired executive: "Action was desperately needed because horse racing had become the single most dangerous sport in America, with horses snapping legs and dying nearly every day before horrified fans on racetracks across America.”

Marc Paulhus: "The fact that horses are dying on American racetracks in record numbers is common knowledge."

These comments--testimony before Congress--from the former vice president of the Humane Society of the United States are inflammatory and false. The only thing worse, and probably scarier, than this misrepresentation is the fact no lawmakers called him out on it. Of course, there were hardly any lawmakers at the hearing.

Barry Irwin: "He's a candidate for someone I'd like to wave goodbye to."

This was said during a discussion of trainer Doug O'Neil, the retired I'll Have Another, and whether some trainers should be kicked out of the business. O'Neill has become the industry's whipping boy, and the target of such cheap shots that do nothing to further racing.

Jeff Gural: "The thing that would solve this is if we took some of these trainers out in handcuffs."

He's probably right. But doing it isn't that easy, as Gural also said: "I have more ability to police than the (New Jersey) State Police does." That sounds like a major impediment to progress.

Sen. Tom Udall: "I don't buy the resources argument. There is plenty of money (to put toward drug testing and law enforcement)."

He said this in response to comments from Martin of RCI that money for regulation is tight. There might be money for it, but the racing industry has blown a lot of money, and surely Udall realizes Congress has, too. Just look at the national deficit.

Jeff Gural: "We do almost everything wrong."

That's probably the case--and also the real reason why two Congressional hearings that should be needless have been held this year.

31 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Deltalady

Everyone from the fan to the railbird, to the trainer, to the owner, to the breeder should be responsible to not take at face value everything that is repeated in the now tabloid press. Repeating lies, distortions, fanning the flames of hot rhetoric are just plain irresponsible, yet in these times of the Internet and all information being available instantly, it is remarkable how seldom the recipient of the information is qualified to interpret it!

Barry Irwin does have some redeeming qualities in that he travels abroad looking for better breeding matches, and he has come out for removing raceday meds. He needs to stick to the subjects he knows best, and that he is qualified to address, and stop the personal attacks on others. It is not becoming, and it detracts from some of the good he tries to do.

Guess he hasn't read Richard Shapiro's defense of O'Neill. Shapiro is actually someone who knows the background and insider stuff about O'Neill, and is a lot more qualified to speak about him than is Irwin.

13 Jul 2012 1:34 PM
Bill Two

Joe Drape and The NY Times, hmmmmm.

13 Jul 2012 9:39 PM
footy231

We all know U.S racing is the dirtiest in the world and will always be looked down upon by rest of the world.

14 Jul 2012 4:04 AM
Barry Irwin

Tom, for a journalist, you are either very naive or clos- minded. In your report of the hearing you characterized me among others as creating and fostering some misconceptions about drug use in Thoroughbred racehorses. One would think, for example, in the recent wake of the "frog juice" incident that doubters about the breadth of cheating in America would be encouraged to keep an open mind on the subject.

Over the years I have encountered plenty of journalists like you and have been able to enlighten and "turn them." Some of these are in the forefront of today's writers that are doing their best to clean up this game so that the ethics are more in line with what guys like you would want to believe in.

One reason I initiated the Stanley Bergstein Memorial Aware for writers was to encourage investigative stories that would bring bad practices to light in hope that by shining a light on dark practices that the sport would rid itself of people that don't want to play by the rules.

Tom, nobody knows how many other frog or sea snail of BALCO stories there are out there. But apologists for the sport are never going to be the ones to help uncover them.

As for this article, I have two comments:

1) My harness racing Hall of Fame comment was a joke. That is why so many people in the audience laughed at it and the reason it was a joke is that the standardbred industry has experienced such a troubled history with some of its driver/trainers over the years. Unlike Thoroughbred racing, our brethren in Standardbred racing have suffered to a much greater extent from cheating, losing a great part of their gamblers and fan base because of such widespread cheating scandals over the years.

2) As for my comment on Doug O'Neil, if you listen carefully to the question as asked by Sen. Udall and my carefully crafted answer, you will see that I said that I wanted to see trainers with a record such as his "waved goodbye to." I didn't say that I wanted to wave goodbye to him specifically. I am all for three strikes and you're out. But I am guessing that, based on your previous comments, that you are one of these naive people that do not understand the powerful impact of milkshaking or carbon dioxide manipulation. The ingredients are simple and legal, but when combined and used effectively, they produce a powerful impact on the performance of a horse.

Furthermore, your description of what constitutes doping is identical to that of Kent Stirling of the HBPA, who said that doping occurs when something that should never be put inside of a horse is given to an animal.

In cycling and track and field, the rules have been established by the United States and the World Anti-Doping Association.

While the use of Lasix is allowed and clenbuterol tolerated by horse racing rules, they are considered illegal in the two human sports I mentioned.

So while technically the use of Lasix and clenbuterol are not considered to constitute doping in racehorses, I and others choose to call them doping because based on other sports in the Olympics they would be. Our rules need changing.

Do yourself a favor and visit the WADA website and see how it classifies the use of Lasix, clenbuterol and carbon dioxide manipulation and see if this changes your mind on what constitutes doping.

14 Jul 2012 10:27 AM
Stellar Jayne

Round and round we go and where we will come out - nobody knows!

14 Jul 2012 11:04 AM
Alicia McQuilkin

I feel like the more transparent and honest racing is, the more beatings we've gotten. We're putting the numbers out there and making all these initiatives, but the media is sensationalizing everything and their reporting is frankly lazy. I was extremely disappointed with the Nightly News. I've always thought Brian Williams was extremely professional--they'd cover stories like this, but it seemed like they tried to be neutral (which now makes me second guess their past stories). It seems to be very typical of politicians to use vague wording like "doping" and "performance-enhancing". When they're trying to create uniform policies all they're doing is creating loopholes and confusion and this will just lead to more inconsistency.

As for Barry Irwin's statement, I like his blunt honesty and you know he's not going to hold back his opinion and this seems like a rather neutral statement for him. He took a no-love-lost approach, without attacking O'Neill (at least in what was quoted). I think everyone in the industry can see that he's become the medication punching bag this year. And props to Reddam by sticking with him!! A TCO2 overage is not the worst violation ever recorded and O'Neill has been upfront and said that he has a history of it and they've been actively trying to change their management with examples. He's the industry in one man....defending himself with the truth but the media is villianzing him despite his trying to get it right. And on his own, going to children's hospitals (and not as a save-face move) and doing all these great things....but that doesn't get the ratings like a good scandal.

For my own personal soap-box, who invited the former HSUS exec?! When has anyone from there ever given honest facts without embellishing and giving their ignorant opinion? That "non-profit" (which that status was under investigation this year by the feds) pours enough money into lobbying as it is. Can someone take a page out of the Nebraska govenor's book and tell them to butt out?? I'm not even from NE, but when I saw that on the news, I gave him a standing ovation in my living room! If the media wants something to sensationalize, HSUS is easy pickings...$35M yearly budget, most of their fundraising comes from people that want to help puppies and kitties and only $250k goes to shelters across the US with the rest going towards lobbying (prop 2 in CA, anyone) and employee pension plans. If I was one of those people paying $19/mo, I'd be furious, or give my money to PETA, at least they're transparent about their objectives of no animal-human contact.

14 Jul 2012 12:17 PM
Foxtrail

I totally agree with the effort Dr. Larry Bramlage made by issuing a statement through Rood & Riddle in regards to I'll Have Another and the veterinary treatments this colt received during his attempt to capture the Triple Crown. However, he may as well have thrown it in the trash can because NBC or the Times will most likely not followup with equal air time or print which is contrary to their comments. They will distort and edit anything to suit their purpose. Just an example is the Martin death in Florida, political comments and activities and in general the "truth" about anything. Dr. Bramlage, with his credentials, should have demanded equal on air time with NBC and block the below the belt punch Williams has thrown. Also, they do a sorry derby coverage.

14 Jul 2012 12:47 PM
breeze10

Well said, Deltalady!

14 Jul 2012 12:50 PM
longtimeracingfan

Deltalady, you are 100% spot-on... and Tom, you are as well. It's frightening how powerful and pervasive the "tabloid" style of journalism has become... I would not believe anything published in the NY Times these days unless it was verifiable from other more reliable and more correctly resourced publications (online or not). Other info sources jump on the NYT as "gospel" and bray it out to the rest of the world just in case they haven't heard... with no regard to the truth or the complete story.

And do not for one moment believe the Humane Society of the US (I cringe at that name, they are so OPPOSITE of humane) or any of their past or present connections. They are hand in glove with the other enemy of domesticated animals of all kinds, PETA.

Shame on "lawmakers" who jump on this bandwagon without doing their homework... it's like me telling NASCAR how to run their races (!!)

SCARY. The Great Unwashed Public has no chance to learn the truth. Or even both sides of the story (the several stories).

Racing should have one overall resource for information, regulation and resources, and that should not be some state governor looking for future political gain, an outsider with a personal agenda, or a gaggle of groups with varying views that are at odds with half of the others.

It's a sad situation, and what really bothers me is that racing in general seems to have a totally apathetic attitude toward all this. A few folks speak out, some repeatedly, but nobody DOES anything.

COME ON!!! GET BUSY!!! DO SOMETHING!!! Don't let the NYT, HSUS, PETA, and the other careless or agenda-driven entities kill racing... believe me, they are doing a good job so far.

Back under my rock. Thanks, Tom and BH, for this bully pulpit. From someone who has watched racing from the late 1940s on.

14 Jul 2012 1:17 PM
Foxtrail

I commend Dr. Larry Bramlage for his effort to provide a written response to the outrageous comments made by NBC's Brian Williams and NY Times. But, I say "who will hear what Dr. Bramlage has to say"? No one that is outside the racing industry. With his credentials, Dr. Bramlage and the entire industry should be in the face of NBC demanding equal air time to correct the false impressions that these media outlets have created. NBC and the Times are notorious for the editing practices they follow. Just look at the gross distortion of information and editing coming out of the Martin case in Florida, or the economy of this country and just about anything else. The "truth" is not to be found. It is all about viewing audiences or selling papers. I don't like the way NBC puts on the Derby and Oaks maybe we should find a better network.

14 Jul 2012 3:08 PM
JerseyTom

I respect what you have accomplished horse-wise in this business Barry, but I will pass on your advice on what's good journalism and what isn't.

14 Jul 2012 3:09 PM
JerseyTom

Why is objectivity frowned upon in this complicated business? No wonder it spins its wheels.

14 Jul 2012 3:24 PM
Your Only Friend

Maybe time for federal standard on medication since racing states are unwilling to agree......Maybe it's time since they have too many legal problems with dirty trainers saying don't know how it happened ........Maybe it's time for tracks to have only track vet that can scratch horse on race day.....after examination before getting to the starting gate.

14 Jul 2012 5:40 PM
Stretchman

One move that's been overlooked in this whole I.H.A debate,the fact that NYRA actually got something right.The quarantine barn was the move that saved us. Was this the real reason they scratched? It's more difficult to shockwave in a crowded barn.

14 Jul 2012 7:24 PM
PomDeTerre

Mr. LaMarra, your blog on this subject is, even by your limited journalistic standards,  irresponsible and biased. You have taken comments out of context and manipulated them to suit your means, which appears to be that of protecting the dopers and sweeping this rampant issue under the rug. If a 3-strike rule was implimented for this problem, a certain KY Derby winning trainer would have been out of the sport almost 5 times over, yet you try to swaddle this man in protective bunting and defend him as the innocent new born he clearly is not.

You call these hearings "useless" and then deflect the lack of funds issue by dragging in the national deficit. Another poster here defends Richard Shapiro's pro O'Neill statements as "gospel." That is one man's spin.

When a 3-year-old colt of IHA's quality requires joint injections, while legal, that is a clear sign that the animal has been overtrained. When a nationally known trainer admits that he will no longer use ITTP on his 2-year-olds, as they cannot be pulled up afterward in a breeze, and that comment is ignored, something is wrong. When trainers at more obscure tracks go from 15% to 35% win rates, does one simply believe that they are getting higher quality horses in their barns? When a trainer can collect violations in 14 different states, you would like to have your more naive readers believe it a coincidence.

All you have done in this article is jumped aboard the train to inaccurately and unfactually get a headline. When I read posters swallowing your line of garbage and regurgitating comments like O'Neill "defending himself with the truth." I don't know whether to laugh at their gullability or cry about the state of the sport.

One thing, however, is crystal clear from your irresponsible column: It begs the question: "Who the heck writes this (sorry piece of journalism), where do they get their information, and do they have a clue?" And finally, how could the BH editors be so spineless, negligent, and cavalier to allow it to be published?

15 Jul 2012 6:39 AM
JerseyTom

PomDeTerre: You obviously would prefer people to sit back and take what everyone says as gospel. Sorry, no can do. This industry is largely in the predicament it is in because of unchallenged misinformation. ... For the record, and I've said this before, anyone who cheats should be tossed from the game, but there is such as thing as due process. ... The Jockey Club proposed penalties are actually tougher than what's in the proposed federal bill, and should be passed as soon as possible. The Lasix debate, unfortunately, will slow the process. ... Feel free to question my journalistic integrity any time, but in all fairness you can't back that up. If you want facts, feel free to contact me at tlamarra@bloodhorse.com.

15 Jul 2012 7:39 AM
fb0252

Excellent work sir, and about time!

15 Jul 2012 11:57 AM
Karen in Texas

Tom---I think you've done a good job reporting on the racehorse medication regulation issues for months. You seem to grasp some of the pharmacological specifics better than most non-medical persons. I strongly agree with two of your conclusions/suggestions above--1)That the industry needs to get busy educating (truly educating, not "spinning") the public and some factions of the media; and 2) It is long overdue for there to be more North American university-based controlled veterinary medical research into the merits of furosemide for treatment of EIPH. We would not be having some of this current debate if such work had been done a couple of decades ago when it was warranted.

The Hinchcliffe, Morley, and Guthrie study published in 2009 should be replicated and expanded to confirm or disprove efficacy.

While the industry could do more to educate the public, the fans should attempt to inform and educate themselves better as well. I have seen ridiculous statements on other blog sites slamming O'Neill for "giving IHA huge 'doses' of TCO2," as though TCO2 were a "drug" instead of a lab value! Really.

PomDeTerre----You may well know something that I don't, but please tell me the basis for your statement that IHA required intra-articular injections. Are you referring to earlier phases of his career? Or more currently? The records made available to the NY authorities show all his medications to have been administered IV, with the exception of oral omeprazole and inhaled albuterol/flovent. Please share your source. Thanks.

15 Jul 2012 12:14 PM
Samm Graci

I'm I the only person that has read this? www.nytha.com/.../the_lasix_question.pdf  

we have a serious problem... we are not god!  We really don't have all the answers... The field of medicine has always had their debates... that's why they call it practicing medicine!  As good horsemen we do look at research... we do evaluate each horse and treat according to the needs of each individual horse!  Is a nose bandage performance enhancing... the study I read said it does... at the same time I know personally what it feels like not to be able to breath well thru my nose... thats why I'm a swimmer and not a runner!  

I absolutely do believe that any trainer using crap like frog juice should be thrown out on their ear!  TCO2... I'm not sure about levels ... I do use baking soda in a horse feed when they have a sour stomach (you know by the smell of their poop). It isn't always about cheating.. another instance... I had a filly who was entered to race... she got some sort of reaction on her tongue and didn't want to eat... I'm thinking... I'll put some oral lidocaine on it.. NO WAY screamed my husband... she will test positive!  If she didn't eat... she was a scratch... 1. racetracks don't like scratches.. 2. she was in the right spot and we need to make money...

Luckily she started eating the next day...  

an innocent almost mistake... I'm not saying everyone is innocent...

All the vets I know believe in race day lasix... one vet comes out of nowhere and we are all supposed to take her word over vets we know and trust?  which btw... is documented by the study I posted on top...

One other thing... there was a bill to ban horse slaughter, the most inhumane thing possible to do to a horse (I believe in rendering... shoot them in the head and feed them to other animals) funny Sen. Udall's name was not on the list of supporters... neither was Rockefeller's.

Let's talk track surfaces, the pressure from owners and racetracks to run. Owners don't want to give horses rest,  and if they do and don't replace the horse.. the track takes the stall away.  

I do believe in importing horses to bolster up our breeding programs (not because they don't use drugs because they do) but just getting new blood in.. more stamina than speed... we've been breeding speed to speed for way too long!  

I could go on and on about the issues... trainers prostituting themselves for far too long... low day rates but trainers under even more pressure to win that 10%. Maybe we should just be paid like circus performers... with the prize being bragging rights... like the old days...  speaking of old days... is it more humane to draw a horse or give him lasix?... I truly would have a hard time denying my horse food or water for 24 hrs prior to racing.  

I want the best for my horses... as I do for myself... I'm sore from training... should I deny myself a motrin?

15 Jul 2012 1:20 PM
Paula Higgins

Jersey Tom, I totally get your point of view. Lasix should not even be a topic of conversation right now. There are other drugs that should be. As for Doug O'Neill, when you are willing to throw out higher-profile trainers, also in trouble for repeated drug violations in the past, then you can throw out O'Neill. Until then, what I see from O'Neill is that he is cleaning up his act. If it should be proven otherwise, then out he goes.

 As for Lasix, we would not treat human athletes with Lasix to stop bleeding in the lungs because it's not something that would work. We do other things for human athletes who have joint and stamina issues. But if I had a horse who bled and Lasix would prevent it, I sure as heck would use it.

John Shirreffs is a proponent of it and that says it all for me. He is second to no one in his care of his horses. As for it being a performance-enhancer, that is rubbish, it prevents them from having complications/side effects while racing. It doesn't make a marginally good horse a great runner. It allows a horse to compete but doesn't measurably improve performance.

I have heard that Zenyatta was a bleeder. I don't know if that is true, but would we really want to have missed out on her because some power that be decided she shouldn't have Lasix? I don't think so.

15 Jul 2012 8:14 PM
Nick Danger

Are high-quality alfafa and high-quality oats considered performance enhancing? One could make an argument that it is. Should high-quality feed then become regulated and be disclosed to the public in PPs? I can hear the next handicapping angle: "First-time orchard grass".

Standardizing medication and penalties for all U.S. tracks by modifying the Interstate Horseracing Act sounds simple and logical but goverment has the capacity to make it too complicated and illogical due to politics and bureaucrats.

16 Jul 2012 12:30 AM
woodshade

On the subject of Lasix, it seems to help the horses' performance, once they are on it. Are all horses bleeders? Because reading the past performances, it seems they are all on Lasix all the time.

Do they use it in Europe? Once they come over here, they are put on L1. And if they don't use it in Europe, do the trainers not care for the horses and let them bleed?

Just ban all drugs including the whip. If the horse can't run on its own desire and ability, so be it. Please enlighten on Lasix in Europe. I would not want to be hit by the whip 10-12 times. Be it less or more times.

16 Jul 2012 12:48 PM
Karen in Texas

woodshade----I would recommend listening carefully to Dr. Foster Northrop's segment on the recent Talkin' Horses BH interview. I'll try to link it here. The topic is 'Focus on Furosemide.'

cs.bloodhorse.com/.../focus-on-furosemide.aspx

16 Jul 2012 2:20 PM
Fetlock

Barry Irwin: Please take Stan Bergstein's name off your "award." He was a dual Hall of Famer and would not have found your comments appropriate or amusing as a subject for a "joke" at the expense of harness racing.

The fact that you consider a congressional hearing on racehorse medication a forum for you to make jokes at the expense of another breed means the invitation to speak was wasted on you and your judgment on any subject is questionable.

Racehorse medication is an important issue calling for informed debate, one that has been taken very seriously by harness racing leaders, and an issue that harness racing has dealt with in a far more pro-active way than Thoroughbred racing. To malign the inductees in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame was uncalled for and unnecessary and irrelevant.

There are your three strikes – you’re out.    

16 Jul 2012 2:49 PM
40yrsINtheBIZ

Denial: (a) is not a river in Egypt; (b) does provide a life raft for people who refuse to accept that better winning through chemistry has become the new normal at all levels of our sport. Spend a few years on the backside, watch vet trucks congregate like vultures in the morning mist, hear a few legs snap, watch a horse or three drop dead for no reason other than its trainer’s love of clenbuterol, find a heap of discarded clenbuterol containers in a shower stall near a leading trainer's shedrow (true story), listen to a horse groaning as it goes into convulsions after its trainer misses the vein and shoots bute into the artery… OF COURSE needles, syringes and injectables are illegal on association property in every jurisdiction, but most everybody has them... which is why women who avoid disgusting backside restrooms never pee in the corner of an empty (abandoned, someone who left) stall without checking for needle & syringe combos.  If you think I invent this stuff, then you've never been here, and that's the awful truth. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE, BLOODHORSE.

Racing has become chemical warfare. Pattern has been the same for years. QH people (due to Mexican connection) discover new drug. TB trainers learn about it and use it until a test is developed. And so on and so forth. Furthermore, just because training meds are legal doesn't make them ethical or right. Barry Irwin knows what he's talking about. Whoever wrote this article doesn’t.

Sincerely, Linda Broussard

16 Jul 2012 3:33 PM
sceptre

Here is, perhaps, the biggest joke of all (regarding this hearing):

The ONLY vet asked to testify was Dr. Sheila Lyons, (founder of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation). Take a look at their site. It would seem that Dr. Lyons has relatively little experience with the care and treatment of on-track racehorses. So, with all the TB racehorse-associated vets out there, why summon only one such as Dr. Lyons? Something really stinks about all this.

Are the members of Congress that clueless (highly likely) and/or is this a consequence of the powers of certain vested interests? First things first; there must be properly qualified, objective witnesses.    

16 Jul 2012 5:04 PM
JerseyTom

Linda: There is nothing in this blog that suggests what you say doesn't happen, and there is nothing here that says use of "legal" medication isn't way out of hand and needs control.

You missed the point.

17 Jul 2012 8:09 AM
Dick Downey

I am curious to what extent Lasix is used during training in Europe, and what the threshold is on race day. I cannot find reliable info about this anywhere. I have heard, however, that the threshold is higher than we are led to believe by U.S. anti-Lasix proponents.

I would be indebted to anyone who can post a link to reliable information, not just opinion, on this subject.

17 Jul 2012 10:17 AM
Nick Danger

I have been in this industry for over 30 years and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of unsubstantiated allegations made against a hot trainer. "I want what he or she is running on." Mr O'Neil will be judged by his record, which includes winning the 1st two legs of the Triple Crown this year. His violation record is what it is but that does not diminish his accomplishments of 2012 in my opinion. I hope Mr O'Neil was able to savor the Derby and Preakness success.

17 Jul 2012 3:06 PM
Slew

Opinion: If owners and trainers and veterinarians cannot get their act together to present solid information to the general public, how can you have any informed opinion at all?

Most of what I read tends to be conjecture, supposition, rumor, innuendo, and skewed statistics.

How the hell am I able to have any informed opinion at all, if I can't find the facts buried under some one else's manure?

That's what's wrong with the information going out to the public from sources that are more concerned with tabloid sensationalism than actual news.

How long did major news networsk devote to Anna Nicole Smith? 2 years? Real journalists are more difficult to find every year.

The New York Times itself, at one time, one of the most respected newspapers, has become no better than the screaming tabloids at the grocery check-out line...worthless.

Sceptre: YES, Congress is THAT clueless about almost everything.

17 Jul 2012 6:00 PM
Old Old Cat

Tom, my hat is off to you. I feel that Steve Haskin has done a wonderful job of reporting the TRUTH; Lenny Schulman is not afraid to speak out against injustice in the racing world; and now, in my mind you have joined them in presenting FACTS and TRUTH...Kudos to you. You have my admiration.

To Barry: I "apparently-sp??" have a much different viewpoint than you do. I applaud your guts to say what you feel, and not stand behind a ghost pseudonym.

What you said in jest was probably very funny. The printed page does not come across with the humor. Reading your comments, without your inflections, leads me to have a lower opinion of you than I would have otherwise. Seeing them in print makes you feel that you are misquoted by Tom...Very similar to NY Times and NBC sensationalism...How does that shoe feel??? And how do you feel about NY Times and NBC journalism???  

Tom, The one thing I find intriguing is that people can lie before the US Congress without being challenged. Was the panel truly "fact finding"??? Has Congress already made up their collective minds??? Did anyone on the Congressional panel have any knowledge of anything???

Keep up the good work!!!

One final question:  Why doesn't every article in Blood-Horse have room or space for blogs??? The Triple Crown changes have MAJOR impact on Thoroughbred racing, but the article was printed with no prior warning, and no opinions were solicited. (Yes, there was a pseudo trainer interview, but I bet the readership response would have been off the charts.)  

18 Jul 2012 7:16 PM

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