op/ed

Op/Ed: A Great Opportunity. Will We Blow It Again?

by Edd Roggenkamp Millions of Americans are in lockdown--bored, grouchy, tired and looking for entertainment at a time when major sports are shut down and people are sick of looking at 20-year-old reruns. What an opportunity to expose millions of new people to the excitement of horse racing. So, I propose a three-month (May-June-July) interim experiment. In several places, horse racing has proven a unique ability to operate safely during these times, with careful and adequate social distancing. Since horses, grooms and riders are already on the grounds, including racing...

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Op/Ed: If Google and Apple Can Work Together…

During the Great Depression, horse racing developed into one of America's favorite pastimes as it became a welcome distraction from the hardships and fears of the economic climate gripping the country. Horses like Seabiscuit, Equipoise and War Admiral rose to prominence as they captured the imagination of a nation seeking a break from the challenges and uncertainties of everyday life. Unfortunately, starting in the 1960's, racing began its slow trajectory towards becoming a niche sport. Unlike the NFL, NBA, NCAA or even PGA, it did little to integrate the advances...

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Op/Ed: Creating Demand During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

We are in the midst of a global pandemic unprecedented in modern times. The global stock market is plummeting. Lives are being lost before their time right across the globe, numbers compounding by the day.  A trivial question emerges--but an acutely important one for those in our industry--who is going to buy our horses? The global financial crisis saw yearling prices drop more than 40% overnight. It's not unrealistic to see a similar drop this year and we need to face that reality now, not later. However, there is a...

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Op/Ed: All of a Sudden, the Only Betting Game in Town

In a way that nobody ever envisioned or wanted, the gambling part of our industry is about to have a massive social experiment imposed upon it: For the near-term future, betting on horse races will be pretty much the only form of sports wagering in America. In an effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, professional basketball and hockey have suspended their schedules. Major league baseball's season opening has been pushed back. The NCAA basketball tournament has been canceled outright. Racing's response to the coronavirus has been different,...

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Op/Ed: Clenbuterol–It Has To Be Stopped, And Now

Clenbuterol is the most abused drug in our industry. For anyone who does not know what Clenbuterol is, please read this: a synthetic drug used in the treatment of asthma and respiratory diseases and also in veterinary obstetrics. It also promotes the growth of muscle and has been used illegally by athletes to enhance performance. This drug is banned by every major sporting body in the world. The Olympic Committee banned it more than 20 years ago, yet it is alive and well in the Thoroughbred industry. The mind-boggling thing...

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