In this week’s TDN Writers’ Room Podcast, future Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher didn’t mince words when talking about the breakdown of Mongolian Groom (Hightail) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic and the rash of breakdowns that have emboldened politicians and animal rights activists. Calling the current situation a “crisis,” Pletcher implored the racing industry to do whatever it takes to cut down on the number of equine fatalities.
Here are his comments: “I don’t think there’s any acceptable answer. The reality is we have to do better. We have to do better starting from the birth of these horses. I think a lot of the issues are sort of pointed toward the racetrack, pointed toward the trainers. The more we look at these situations, it begins back literally at the birth of these foals, how they’re prepped and treated and presented at yearling sales and 2-year-old in training sales. We have do better in every single phase. We all know that there’s nothing we can do that is absolutely going to prevent it from happening, but I do think we can dramatically reduce it and every effort has to be made to do that. We’ve made some strides in the right direction. But we can’t back off now. We have to continue to work harder and do better at this. It’s a crisis. In racing, a lot of times, we get through one crisis and then we kind of coast. We can’t let our foot off the pedal. We have to get this thing sorted out and do a lot better than we’re doing now.”
Pletcher was this week’s Green Group Guest of the Week. To listen to the complete podcast, click here.