by Beau Lane
Rumor has it that Mike Repole said he was going to get out of the business if things didn't change. Well, I can see how Mr. Repole could feel that way; he's had some real kicks in the behind this year. But the racing industry needs more people like Mike Repole. He goes to the sales, buys nice horses, goes to the races, and takes his chances. He spends more than most and has Todd Pletcher for a trainer (there is no better), and so his chances are better than most.
Everything has changed so fast this year. All of a sudden, we have this new entity (HISA) that has taken complete control of our industry. They basically have the power to shut anyone down at any time. I don't like it and neither does anyone else trying to make a living with racehorses, especially those that are “hands on”. We have people controlling our lives and our livelihoods that don't know anything about us or our horses. Perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.
This is America, or what's left of it. Blaming the cheaters (1%} for our problems is a load of crap. They are essentially using the media to slander individuals, our livelihoods, and our whole sport with no recourse, even if they're wrong. The damage is done by that point, which is their goal. This is a gambling game. Our purse money has always come from some form of gambling. The best way to save this industry is to fill those gates; our racetracks needs to realize this. Our economy is such that it is going to hit the horse business sooner or later. During the Great Depression, racetracks were one of the few businesses that thrived. Every time a track closes, be it large or small, it weakens us all. The people trying to control us act like they couldn't care less. This won't do.
Dr. Allday, one of the best racetrack vets in the world, says a horse can run. But a vet that has been out of school for a very short amount of time says it cannot. They, of course, listen to the least qualified person which may have cost us another Triple Crown winner. Come on, get real. Where is the reality in our sport anymore? PETA does not control us. Give into that bunch… well, don't get me started.
The small breeder, the small trainer, the small owner… they are the backbone of this industry and don't you ever forget it. Get down to where the rubber meets the road. Support the HBPA–the people that support you. Tracks, support your horseman. Our business is not run by PETA or any other power group. No more tail wagging the dog. I love this business and its people.