Armen Antonian

Letter To The Editor: The Unspoken Safety Factor In Horse Racing Fatalities From The Handicapper's Perspective

Handicappers use the term "bounce" to explain a poor performance of a horse or to project a possible poor performance. This handicapping angle is more pronounced in demanding stakes races where a horse will often meet a field where only a top performance will result in a placing. But what does a "'bounce" really mean? It refers to a horse that had a recent fast performance, several tough races in a short period or many races in a racing campaign. The handicapper is implicitly (and unknowingly) using basic biology to...

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Letter to the Editor: Horse Racing Needs a Commissioner's Office

by Armen Antonian Ph.D As the 2021 Breeders' Cup approaches, there is much for horse racing to celebrate. New procedures put in place at racetracks to prevent horses with pre-existing conditions from racing have reduced fatalities. And the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) will be implemented next year to standardize medication of horses. But from California to Kentucky to New York, horse racing is still under a magnifying glass. In the absence of national leadership, individual racetracks struggle to manage ongoing issues and each, on their own, is responsible...

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Letter to the Editor: Time for Horse Racing to Exhale

by Armen Antonian, Ph.D. Horse racing is stuck: stuck in the winter of 2019. Stuck at my home track at Santa Anita. That Santa Anita winter meet saw 37 horses euthanized and the meet stopped for a time due to horse safety concerns. California Senator Dianne Feinstein admonished the track publicly and Governor Gavin Newsom called horse racing "archaic."  There was real fear among Santa Anita officials for the continuation of horse racing in California. The events at Santa Anita were a trauma that reverberated around the U.S. racing world....

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