Haskin’s Belmont Report: Barn Burner

What do Bobby Frankel, Max Hirsch, and John Sabini, chairman of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, have in common?

They have all used Barn 2 on the Belmont backstretch to leave an indelible mark on Thoroughbred racing. The first two gave racing countless thrills. The third gave it a black eye.

Yes, we know the implementation of a “stakes” barn for the Belmont Stakes horses is supposed to “protect the integrity of the sport.” But spin is one thing and reality is another. It’s amazing that Sabini can say that with a straight face when the entire world knows why they decided to use a stakes barn this particular year.

As Dullahan’s trainer Dale Romans, said, “They think we’re all crooks.” He’s right. That is the only way this move is going to be perceived. Those unknowing poor souls at Churchill Downs and Pimlico allowed the horses to race out of their own barn. Shame on them. The New York politicians are going to show them how to do it correctly.

So, the SRWB wants to protect the integrity of the sport, but only for the Belmont Stakes. The heck with the sport’s integrity in all the other races. They don’t care what happens in those races. And, of course, should I’ll Have Another lose the Belmont, the main reaction will be, “See, there, the barn worked. We prevented I’ll Have Another from being tampered with.”

That thinking reminds us of a story actor/comedian George Gobel used to tell of his service in the Army during World War II, when he was stationed in Oklahoma. Gobel noted what a good job he had done in service to his country, because “not a single Jap got past Tulsa.”

Yep, that stakes barn worked just fine. Not a single doped up horse got by the Barn 2 Brigade.

So, of course, it was reported on Wednesday that I’ll Have Another had been restless in the new barn, sniffing and kicking, and is taking a while to settle in. Fortunately, he eventually did settle in fine and was his usual spirited self on the racetrack Thursday morning, turning in one of his better gallop/breezes.

There has been so much insanity in that barn already, it has become a slapstick comedy; but no one is laughing it’s so ridiculous. It’s as ridiculous as, oh, let’s say, NYRA preventing I’ll Have Another from using nasal strips or the California Horse Racing Board suspending O’Neill two weeks before the Belmont, even though they concluded there was no wrongdoing, no milkshaking, and no ill intent. But that part got buried in the report.

The whole barn scenario has already become a nightmare and is totally out of hand. It started when they wouldn’t allow Doug O’Neill and Michael Matz to cook their oats. O’Neill was told, “We know what you guys put in oats?” O’Neill, who has put up with more intense scrutiny, negative press, and condemnation from an ignorant national media than anyone should have to endure, finally threatened to take drastic actions and get out of Dodge, stating that I’ll Have Another needs his oats cooked.

Union Rags requires silicone-free needles to draw blood, because he is very sensitive on his neck, so Matz brought several silicone-free needles with him and informed the proper authorities in advance. But he still was given a hard time by the attending vet, who insisted on using regular needles and told him he’d have to clear it with the stewards. It took another vet to step in and help calm the situation.

When Bob Baffert’s assistant, Jimmy Barnes, walked in the barn with a bucket of ice, the bucket was searched thoroughly, with a security person sloshing through the ice with his hands. Heaven knows what he was searching for at the bottom of an ice bucket.

Once again, the integrity of racing was upheld.

And, with the majority of Belmont horses going out at 8:30, when only Belmont Stakes horses are allowed on the track, you had 10 or 11 horses having to be washed down at the same time. Have we used the word insanity before?

Dale Romans, who did compliment NYRA for making the best of a bad situation and fixing up the barn with such short notice, decided to take Dullahan out at 7:15 to avoid the 8:45 wash jam.

If I’ll Have Another should lose the Belmont, how many uninformed people, believing everything they read, will be convinced it was because he was put in a security, oops, stakes, barn? 
 
Yep, that barn sure worked. Racing has been saved from the forces of evil.

51 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Lou in TX

Thank you Mr Haskins!!!!  I'm glad to see you put it out there  for all to see.  No wonder the public can't understand how this world works. Those in NY aren't in control.  Heaven helps us if our Gov. leaders follow suit.  Please keep up the good work to keep us all informed.

07 Jun 2012 7:32 PM
Nyfalcon

Hi Steve thanks for your wit we need it at this time, I am a die hard fan and on all my years playing this game I have never been so mad and discouraged over all the sh## over the security and just plain stupidity of both N Y. & Ca racing boards . Romans should run for president !!!  My goodness. Hope we survive the onslaught of negativity  ,would just die if this keep up . And racing comes out of this looking like we had a crooked crown!

07 Jun 2012 7:36 PM
Karen in Texas

Steve, I thought the nasal strip nonsense was foolish enough. Then, I read earlier today about the cooked oats initially having been prohibited, and I really became angry. This has turned into such a mockery! What does the NYSRWB think they are accomplishing? They have raised everyone's anxiety level, including the horses! And speaking of tampering and illegal substances, I loved your quip on the video with Lenny about hoping all 12 horses come back with high TCO2 levels. It could actually be much worse--they could all come back with various elevated enzyme levels and  blood chemistry abnormalities due to having breathed paint fumes (from that lovely freshly painted barn) in close quarters for four hot days prior to the race. Yeah, the SRWB is certainly proving a point, and none of it has anything to do with the WELFARE of the horses. Did I mention I was angry?

07 Jun 2012 7:45 PM
Tiz Herself

Don't have to sound like a broken record by saying that they clearly were not thinking this through. Yes, we all get that they want to ensure that these horses are properly handled, not given some magical concoction, etc. Every single one of the Belmont horse contenders already know that something big is coming to them and now they have to deal with this? I hope all of the horses come through sound from the race as most have been forced to change their routines... madness. Heaven knows what they're thinking of for next year's Breeders Cup when NY hosts, chilling thought isn't it?

Welcome to the new Big Bang Theory everyone!

07 Jun 2012 8:02 PM
Racingfan

THANK YOU!!!  Well said - and just what I have been thinking!  It isn't bad enough that it seems much of the media is out to discredit racing anyway they can, but now "regulators" have to get into it also.  It is exactly right that plenty of "security" could have been provided and it never needed to hit the news.  Can't wait til they run it into the ground during the race telecast!  Steve, can we draft you for the position of racing commissioner?  You would have my vote!!!

07 Jun 2012 8:03 PM
Tiz Herself

For something good in the world, how great would it be for Camelot and I'll Have Another to complete their Triple Crowns? When has that happened in the same year? How about the kid Joseph O'Brien? To have two 'rookies' win the Triple Crowns in the same year... would be outstanding.

Will The Wonder from Down Under continue on and win at Royal Ascot?

07 Jun 2012 8:10 PM
Uncle Smiley

Steve H.

Your passion for the Sport could not be more demonstrated!

Your attention to detail,  spot on!

But to get back to what we love, horse racing, for the Belmont, now jockey wise, exacta, Dominguez and Napravnik.

Are there any more powerful riders who have yet to sit on    a TC? They must beboth so hungry.

Uncle Smiley

07 Jun 2012 8:36 PM
Mike from Michigan

Personally, with all that has gone on this week at Belmont, I don't think they will be awarded another Breeders Cup for quite a while.  That's ok with me, I like it at Churchill or Santa Anita anyway.

07 Jun 2012 8:42 PM
Michael J Arndt

In my opinion, its a damned if you do damned if you dont situation. They had CHRB investigators telling them the things they know and that probably includes alot of between the lines stuff that isnt solid enough for charges but gave NYRA the feeling that Dutrow West was coming to illegally steal the Triple Crown. All this proves is there should be a veteran trainer on every states racing board.

Steve Haskin, I know you are not an investigative reporter, but information such as what the C02 readings of each entrant in the Derby and Preakness would be very helpful here. There are those in prominent positions who feel ONeill has figured out how to apply legal meds and feed to get the same result as a milkshake. If that case was made behind closed doors to NYRA, that would explain their actions here, even if the same goal could have been achieved with more respect to the needs of the entrants and their connections, imo.

07 Jun 2012 8:52 PM
oldkyhome

More "thank you Mr Haskins". I am a transplanted Kentuckian, residing in NY for 20+ years and I am sad to say that this situation is representative of NY State's  tendency to chase it's own tail...and then kick over the wash bucket...and then get tangled in the shank...run up and down the barn....and then wonder why the whole shed row is a mess...and the horse is sweatin' bullets. After all: just had a bath didn't it???

07 Jun 2012 8:56 PM
zdreamer

Thank you for voicing what I have been feeling. So very frustrated with all of this. Such hypocrisy. Hoping I'll Have Another does it despite everything. Go Mario, Go I'll Have Another!!!

07 Jun 2012 9:02 PM
robinm

Before this article, I felt the "stakes barn" was a stupid idea but I wasn't taking into consideration the many ways this can negatively affect the horses and the people caring for them.  Horses are very sensitive animals; any tension in their handlers will transfer to them.  Specifically as regards to I'll Have Another, the horse doesn't know this race is more special than any other.  But his handlers do, and under the best of conditions, there is bound to be more tension than usual.  Add to that the additional pressure due to the logistics of having to deal with this "special" housing and monitoring situation, tension must be going through the roof.

Now I realize this is beyond stupid.  Those responsible for these rules are clearly ignorant of horses' needs, both physical and mental. And just as clearly, they don't care.  It seems it is all about perception; that is, perception of the lay person as reported by the non-horseman media.

07 Jun 2012 9:22 PM
Alex'sBigFan

Perfectly stated Steve and again brilliantly written.  I agree completely, this is insane and ludicrous.  You and Lenny were spot on and nailed it in the video. I agree with Dale Romans too, the horses are creatures of habit, why subject them to such changes just days prior to an event where they have to perform at top levels?  Whatever happened to "horse first," it's more like let's control the veterinarians first.  Cooking the oats!  I bet they want NYRA's goose cooked at this point.  Poor Doug O'Neill, he sounds like he was pushed to the limit over the cooked oats issue.  It's got to be a comedy of errors over there, why can't anyone (NYRA) think of the horses.  I would not subject them to having to change their surroundings days prior to the race, you would think PETA would be freaking about that, not over making sure IHA is guarded at all times. Hopefully IHA will be just fine, he's got Lava Man there, hopefully they allowed him in the stakes barn.  PETA is up in arms over the wrong issue, so to guard IHA's intake of everything, oh let's move all horses and upset them for a few days.  Idiotic move.  Not to worry though, I still have a good feeling about it all.

I hope Dale Romans is hanging out in the grandstand again near the Winner's Circle prior to the race, I just got to get his autograph this year.

Flower Alley is going to be a busy, busy, busy, little bee after Saturday!!!!  Let's all stay positive, stakes barn or not!!!!

Go IHA, Mario, and Team O'Neill.  

07 Jun 2012 9:47 PM
Aspercel

I hadn't heard about the needles until now.

Can you imagine if something had happened?

This is all horrible.

07 Jun 2012 9:51 PM
JR

Hi Steve,

Great article, I'm not so sure this tension around the barn isn't going to have an effect on the horses. Animals can sense when things aren't right with their human counterparts.

The SRWB should be thinking about cause and effect of their actions,and the repercussions. But then of course, you would have to be rational to have that thought process, obviously that is not the case here.

Thank you Steve for reporting what is going on, with out you, we wouldn't know.  

On a side note, before any security person put his hands in my bucket of ice, I would be saying "hold your palms out flat before you do that." Two can play that game.

Kind Regards,

JR

07 Jun 2012 9:53 PM
an ole railbird

the lack of equine knowledge that is on display by the nyra security, simply accentuates my theroy. the majority of the public that are so adamantly opposing horse racing, has no clue what really goes on. yet they run about like shakespears angry mob shouting & repeating untruths that were planted in their small minds by some lie or propaganda spread by hell only knows who. the american people should remember that that was how communisum got its start in the 40s & 50s. propaganda is like wise being used by animal rite activists,& anti racing organizations, today. we all need to be very careful to be sure that we know truth from propganda. remember that how fidel castro got control of cuba. simply keeping a line of propganda out there, he finally brainwashed the people. think about it folks . i remain "an ole railbird".

07 Jun 2012 10:02 PM
steve from st louis

It is well documented that America's Pastime, has been dealing with both illegal drugs and performance enhancing drugs for the past 40 years or longer and the National Football League is so full of steriod users, that  Hall of Famers like Mike Webster and Lyle Alzado have commonly died from their use and abuse. Now those who run New York's racetracks are determined to make a mockery of the game by creating a prison-like barn for Belmont horses and disallowing cooked oats and nasal strips. Next, I expect the common manure droppings to be tested. God help racing if we have a roughly run or accident-filled race on Saturday. The game might not survive the ridiculous faux scrutiny.

07 Jun 2012 10:12 PM
Terlingua

I surely wouldn't want a stranger placing hands into any bucket intended for one of my horses in this "stakes barn."  Any possibility of cross-contamination here?  The current situation just raises a whole new set of questions and issues about this race.

07 Jun 2012 10:18 PM
Sharon

Shame on NY and Belmont!  Don't they understand that fans want to see the horses in good condition to race, happy and healthy, don't they understand they are driving people away from the sport with all the negative publicity and silly new rules and actually locking the horses up in one stakes barn? Evidently they have learned nothing from Churchill Downs and Pimilico, gosh they know how to handle a big race.  What in the world is wrong in NY?  Thank you Mr. Haskin for weighing in. Guess NY/Belmont just doesn't want to give I'll Have Another a chance.

07 Jun 2012 10:44 PM
Sharon

Karen in Texas, I couldn't agree with you more!

07 Jun 2012 10:45 PM
jamesb

They should have threatened to scratch from the start.

I know it would never happen, but at this point I would love it if they scratched en masse an hour before the race.

07 Jun 2012 11:00 PM
Karen in Indiana

Karen in Texas, I was thinking about those paint fumes, too. If they used latex paint, it might not be so bad, but an oil-based paint throws off some heavy duty fumes. And they are saying only one door into the barn open. Steve, does that barn have good ventilation?

07 Jun 2012 11:09 PM
Mike Monarchos

Nice Steve!

I'm surprised that Mayor Bloomberg has not told the Belmont trainers not to let the horses drink more than 16 ounces.

Leadership at all levels in this country has gone to hell! Now Obama wants us to eat horse meat. Pathetic!!!! What's next? Dog? Oh yeah, Obama's already eaten that in Indonesia.

08 Jun 2012 12:13 AM
Karen in Texas

Alex'sBigFan----Lava Man was going to be allowed in the new barn, but O'Neill thought he wouldn't handle it well and decided against it, I believe.

Steve, seriously, should you feel like giving the SRWB a taste of their own methodology; you need to sidle up to one of the officials  and innocently ask, "What did your MSDS (material safety data sheets) have to say about the hepatotoxicity of that paint y'all used in the security barn?" Tell them inquiring minds want to know.

08 Jun 2012 12:32 AM
Carry Back

This is all a travesty especially since it has to affect the horses who are sensitive and responsive psychologically. No word yet about how the fans/press have been treated as criminals by these crazy security measures. And the rudeness by overzealous security.  Not what racing needs as hordes of long distance, casual/new fans, and a myriad of media people have descended upon the track. The security are ever present, are abrupt, and far from welcoming. Today a guard (who knows me!) almost denied me passage, firmly stopped me, closely scrutinized all my credentials, etc. When I reacted (since he knows me), he  apologized and promised that next week it would all pass. But there will not be a next week for new and casual fans, media and local who are first timers and likely not to come back with such treatment.

08 Jun 2012 12:36 AM
Wrensflight

jamesb, I couldn't agree more. It's good to hear that the concept of civil disobedience did not disappear after the 60's. I wonder what would have happened if all owners and trainers refused to put their horses in the stakes barn.

There appear to be no true horsemen on the SRWB. Aren't the horses the priority here? It's too bad that the Belmont can't be moved to another track in another state next year.

08 Jun 2012 12:40 AM
Sharon

Yes, scratch en mass - the race obviously isn't worth anything to the powers that be in NY.  The paint fumes could be a real problem for the horses.  What's wrong with the trainers that they sit idly by and allow this to happen!  Of course, the public has no say whatsoever.

08 Jun 2012 12:45 AM
oldkyhome

Carry Back, you and others bring up some added questions about Security, i.e: what kind of background checks done? This whole plan is flawed from start to finish, and I am extremely disappointed that something so exciting as a bid for THE Triple Crown would get "contaminated" by such a poor knee-jerk decision. Do we intrude on such events as the Super Bowl? Do we think the Thoroughbred Industry has no self-regulatory measures in place??

Rude to horses and to personnel. Insulting to the racing fans.

QUESTION: Can someone tell me how denying IHA his nasal strip might affect his race? My first thought is that this is like telling a trainer they can not use the same bridle or bit they have been successfully racing with in the past. I've been out of the Thoroughbred business for a while, so really not sure how critical this  matter is.

08 Jun 2012 6:43 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

The Martians that have taken over human's bodies will keep trying to screw things up and Haskin and the Haskinites will continue fighting the neverending battle for truth, justice, and the Triple Crown way. Imagine that, they never cook their oats on Mars. It's no wonder they have the worst oatmeal cookies in the universe year after year.

08 Jun 2012 8:12 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Are you sure we're not living in a slapstick comedy from the 1920's or something? Like the Keystone Kops? That guy that was fishing for who knows what in the ice bucket, maybe an olive that escaped from a martini or something, said "Wow it sure is cold in that bucket. Maybe too cold. Hmm. Maybe we ought to test it to see just how cold it is."

08 Jun 2012 8:19 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Terlingua

   That's a very good point. Who knows where that guy's hands have been. Who will watch the watcher?

08 Jun 2012 8:27 AM
fanofallthree

Hi, Steve -

Have I told you lately that I LOVE you?!~  Jeez, did you ever nail it.  Thanks a great big bunch.

08 Jun 2012 9:08 AM
Tbreds Rule

While I agree that the track has gone too far in some of these restrictions, the industry has brought this on themselves. Until the industry stops all drugs race day and has serious penalties which the actually enforce, the public's perception is that horse racing is a tainted sport.

I have been a fan of horse racing all my life and have been to numerous, Derbies, Preaknesses and BCs. I have owned race horses in partnerships and while there are many honest people in racing, there is a very ugly side. I no lger own horses racing but now adopt injured ones off the track to avoid slaughter.

And O'Neil is not of the most stand up trainers. Over 14 years and in four different states, O’Neill received more than a dozen violations for giving his horses improper drugs. O’Neill’s horses also have had a tendency to break down. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the horses he trains break down or show signs of injury at more than twice the rate of the national average. Over 14 years and in four different states, O’Neill received more than a dozen violations for giving his horses improper drugs. O’Neill’s horses also have had a tendency to break down. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the horses he trains break down or show signs of injury at more than twice the rate of the national average. Anyone remember the mare he raced back quickly and she broke down and was euthenized? When asl=kd why he didn't give her time to rest he said it wasn't in the business plan.

I see NY's stance as trying to avoid any suspicion of foul play. While they have taken it to extremes, at least they are doing something about it to send a message that the Belmont is a clean race.

Look at both sides of this, you in particular Steve. Horse racing needs to clean up.

08 Jun 2012 11:01 AM
Stephi S.

If I'll Have Another loses the Belmont, there will be only two possible causes, 1)he couldn't get the distance. 2)the SRWB and their ridiculous pre-race conditions. I would pick number two, personally. I have never seen such a stupid and un-horsemanlike setup. Those poor horses will probably be dizzy with nerves by the time post time rolls around. And if the SRWB is so worried about someone fixing the race, why put the horses in the barn together where the horses themselves might get together and fix the race between them? That's about as plausible as finding drugs in the ice bucket.

08 Jun 2012 11:04 AM
Melissa P

OMG, Steve! You've nailed it! The inmates have taken over the asylum!

08 Jun 2012 11:28 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Was I'll Have Another injured since going to the brand new detention barn? Was he injured because they altered his routine to try to avoid the crowded chaos created by the new detention barn? Great job New York. Are you still going to be running your grubby paws through the ice buckets, or was your goal accomplished so no need for that now? On the bright side- There is nothing better in racing than catching an injury before the race starts rather than running him with an injury when a horse is injured. Will the Triple Crown forever lie in the 70's? Is our time period now too negative and discombabulated to allow another Triple Crown winner? It's going to be tough but we will never give up hope. Never, until we kick the bucket.

08 Jun 2012 12:09 PM
Householder

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

IHA is injured.

08 Jun 2012 1:03 PM
longtimeracingfan

Steve, your note that I'll Have another was kicking and bucking in his detention stall (there's no other name for it) takes on a huge new significance... they are about to announce his withdrawal from the Belmont due to a tendon injury. WHAT IF HIS IRRITATION AT THIS NEW LOCATION WAS THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE INJURY? Bucking and kicking in themselves don't cause injury... but within the confines of a stall, with concrete block walls (if I am not mistaken), there's not much room for a horse to maneuver, and it would be all too easy for an aggravated kick or buck to cause him to land wrong on a front foot and torque something in a tendon... I am just sick.

You have hit every nail on the head, and most of the bloggers have further expressed my opinion about this shameful business of the "stakes" barn... when we all know it was a knee-jerk reaction to the political and radical anti-animal forces which have such strength in New York. NOT from any true concern for racing or knowledge of horses, other than that they are very big and one doesn't want to get too close to them (GRRRRR).

Bet PETA is dancing with glee.

I agree with several of the bloggers who say the entrants should all scratch en masse... at what point do the horsemen and owners have a say in what goes on with THEIR horses? At this point, if I had a horse racing in the NY area I'd boycott Belmont... for just this one reason. And if it is extended to all NY tracks, so be it. Bye bye.

I still remember seeing the reaction of Big Brown to the "stakes barn" too. This isn't new, it's just been blown up past all reason by ignorant people who prefer their own ignorance to EVER finding out the facts.

And yes, if someone stuck their hand in my ice bucket, I'd very quickly dump that bucket... who knows what they might have on their hands? ...and if a little splish of that ice/water should land on Mr. Nosy Hands, oh golly, so sorry. NOT.

Frankel, Black Caviar... wish I were going to Royal Ascot this year... and maybe Camelot will be able to finish the triple over there in the St. Leger. It sure ain't a-gonna happen over here as long as the present powers that be are in control. That's pretty clear.

Angry over the stupidity, and sick over what could VERY likely have been...

Now I'll crawl back under my rock. Maybe my mood will improve in time for the Breeders Cup.

08 Jun 2012 1:10 PM
KarenToga

Hi Steve,

Your article was so on point and now to hear that IHA is scratched due to inflammation in his left front foreleg. What a heartbreaker for everyone. I just watched Doug Oneill state that it had nothing to do with the detention barn, but lets be honest. He was being way too nice about it. What NY put him through was totally absurd . Thoroughbreds are such sensitive creatures and to move them 2 days before the biggest day of their lives is ludicrous.  John Sabini is a fool and I for one they replace him with someone that has some good horsesense.

What a loss for the sport and the connections of IHA. Your article was so on point. Thank you for being spot on with your commentary.  You are truly one of the greatest  Ambassadors for this  sport and we are all fortunate to have you as our voice.

08 Jun 2012 2:05 PM
mwill

Thank you for a good and honest post. (Always good.)  This detention barn is utterly ridiculous.  Why should the highest class trainers have to go through this circus?  No wonder fans leave this sport.

08 Jun 2012 2:32 PM
Melissa P

Well, if there was any doubt that this lunacy would affect the horses, we now have our answer. What a durned shame...

08 Jun 2012 2:35 PM
Slew

The NYRA deserves what it's getting.  No Triple Crown on the line tomorrow.  No luster, no great publicity, less fans.

I'll Have Another and the O'Neill crew deserve none of what they got, bad publicity, aspersions, lame-brained attempts to make the race at difficult as possible...and to top it all off...a lame horse who is being retired.  I cried this morning, I feel so sad for all involved.

08 Jun 2012 2:47 PM
fb0252

my take--we have a paramutual sport.  quit bitching and put up with it.

08 Jun 2012 4:08 PM
TerriZ

What a travesty. I wonder if I'll Have Another hurt his leg when he was bucking and kicking in Stalog 2 (aka Security Barn 2). Ashame they couldn't give him Zenny's favorite brew; then he might too high of a blood alcohol level to race in Belmont. Then Doug O'Neil would be accused of animal abuse by giving him a Guiness.

I hope that Bloodhorse will send you and Lenny to Ascot to watch the Australian Queen race.

That would be a nice reward for the excellent reporting you have done for the Triple Crown.

08 Jun 2012 7:20 PM
casey

As always Steve, you hit the nail on the head.  I'm so sad that IHA is injured, but happy that his team is taking care of him.  I can't help but wonder whether the barn move, his kicking and bucking, helped inflame that tendon.  I guess we'll never know

08 Jun 2012 11:21 PM
Linda in Texas

TerriZ. I second the suggestions in your last 2 sentences.

I think Lenny and Steve in Top Hats would just about be the only thing that could cheer me up right now. I know what the word bummed feels like now for sure. And i am not alone.

Thank you Steve.

And suggestion to the SRWB or SWRB,

get someone on your board who has horses in the races in New York and

can give you some pointers in delegating and coming up with more realistic rules and regs than the ones you came up with a few days ago regarding The Stakes barn.

09 Jun 2012 2:16 AM
Linda in Texas

Steve, you were on Union Rag's side

the whole way. Only like me when the chance for a Triple Crown Winner come to almost fruition did i begin to realize I'll Have Another's chances to become a Triple Crown Winner, did i include him in my thoughts and wishes, even at the expense of Union Rags losing. The doors opened in a horrible way, but as i said before, when we are given lemons we make lemonade.

Union Rags won The Belmont with guts, determination, maturity, athletic ability and confidence

and i am proud i was on his bandwagon from the beginning, with a side trip forever also with I'll Have Another.

Yes, it should have been I'll Have Another's to lose today but the

Racing God's had other plans. And their second choice was just fine,

Union Rags deserved it today.

Was sorry we were not shown I'll

Have Another's retirement ceremony.

I watched the race on NBC.

09 Jun 2012 7:20 PM
Linda in Texas

Steve, you were on Union Rag's side

the whole way. Only like me when the chance for a Triple Crown Winner come to almost fruition did i begin to realize I'll Have Another's chances to become a Triple Crown Winner, did i include him in my thoughts and wishes, even at the expense of Union Rags losing. The doors opened in a horrible way, but as i said before, when we are given lemons we make lemonade.

Union Rags won The Belmont with guts, determination, maturity, athletic ability and confidence

and i am proud i was on his bandwagon from the beginning, with a side trip forever also with I'll Have Another.

Yes, it should have been I'll Have Another's to lose today but the

Racing God's had other plans. And their second choice was just fine,

Union Rags deserved it today.

Was sorry we were not shown I'll

Have Another's retirement ceremony.

I watched the race on NBC.

09 Jun 2012 7:21 PM
BerttheWonderHorse

thank you for posting this.  i didn't know the half of what had gone on regarding the stakes barn.  what little i did know was bad enough.  to find out all this makes me sick.  they are going to ruin new york racing.

10 Jun 2012 9:18 AM
Slew

Linda..while not a UR fan, I agree with your sentiments.  (Paynter was my pick).  I too was disappointed that NBC neglected the retirement ceremony for IHA.  Perhaps I'll catch it on HRTV's First Call this am.

10 Jun 2012 9:42 AM
Cassandra.Says

Omigod. It's come to this.

People and horses are going through this for fear that O'Neill feeds his horses to combat lactic acid build-up better than the other trainers?

The absolute insurer rule is manifestly unjust -- basically, one person is "designated" guilty even if you KNOW s/he's not. Innocence is not a defense. People put up with it because it's obvious how utterly unenforceable med/drug controls would be without it. But it would be fairer to its victims if the public understood that a "conviction" means something different in this industry than it does in the courts.

10 Jun 2012 8:46 PM

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