op/ed

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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OP/ED: What's Next in the Fight to Ban Horse Slaughter in the U.S.?

For close to 20 years, activists have been working to protect American horses by lobbying for a federal ban on horse slaughter, rallying each year to keep the inspection of horse slaughter plants defunded and continuously working to pass the Save America's Forgotten Equine (SAFE) Act. The next 30 days are important in the push for a federal ban on horse slaughter. Every one in the racing business can have a hand in helping to pass a ban. In March 2021, the TDN interviewed veteran animal welfare lobbyist Chris Heyde,...

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July 30 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency WELL-BRED FILLIES DEBUT AT ELLIS 3rd-ELP, $51K, Msw, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 2:46p.m. Brad Cox saddles a well-related firster in Godolphin homebred ALREADY CHARMING (More Than Ready). Her dam Alluring Miss (Shamardal) is a half-sister to MGISW and top sire, the late Scat Daddy (Johannesburg); GSW & GISP Antipathy (A.P. Indy); and stakes winners Grand Daddy (Johannesburg) and Lovestruck (Tapit). Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas also unveils a nicely bred juvenile filly in Surprising (American Pharoah). Out of SW & GSP Harriett Lane (Giant's...

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Op/Ed: Guild Members: You Should Not Be Proud

Perhaps no collection of companies makes decisions based more on hard data, charts, statistics and actuarial tables then those that make up the insurance industry. Non-smokers get better rates on health insurance. Middle-aged drivers pay lower premiums than do those a generation or two younger. Those driving in Los Angeles traffic pay more than those who live in rural areas of the country. Apply for a term policy and the insurance company can list your premiums for the rest of your life. They know what the statistics show, based on...

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Letter to the Editor from James McIngvale: Where You Bet Matters

As handicappers and racing enthusiasts across America prepare to dive into this week's sensational Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, keep this in mind: Where you bet matters. It took 25-plus years of horse ownership and a $2.4-million wager for me to fully appreciate the huge difference it makes where a bet is placed. It was a wake-up call for me, and it should be for you. Everyone in horse racing whenever possible should put their money through the windows or self-bet machines at the racetrack. If you're like I was, you've...

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Letter to the Editor: Shipping Horses by Cargo

I am Shelley Blodgett, co-founder of Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare Inc. (CTA), a non-profit (501c3) that helps Thoroughbreds racing in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. I live on the U.S. mainland and have also worked here to help Thoroughbreds and other horse breeds in need. I wrote a letter to the editor published in TDN in September, 2017, asking for help following Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico and its racetrack, Hipodromo Camarero. The response was swift and impactful. So many individuals and industry entities were moved to help,...

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Op/Ed: HISA Necessary for Our Future

At the end of 2020, I was happy to hear that an important piece of legislation geared toward keeping our horses safe, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), was signed into law. I chose to support HISA because it will establish the same medication rules and penalties at every track in every jurisdiction in the United States, which makes for fair and equal competition, promotes equine welfare and punishes those who cross the line. This week, I read the news that the governing authority established by HISA announced its...

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Letter to the Editor: Jerry Brown

First off, let me say that I have been fighting against the use of performance enhancers in racing longer than anyone reading this. When The Jockey Club took up the fight in 2008 I was one of the people they talked to, for that very reason. So, I'm not very happy being told that if I oppose a misguided piece of legislation, I'm somehow pro-drug (link to Bill Finley's Mar. 17 Op Ed). I disagree with Victoria Keith's Op-Ed (link) on one point-- horseplayers, not owners, fund purses, which ultimately...

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Letters to the Editor: Benard Chatters

Benard Chatters, Louisiana Owner-Breeder-Trainer, President, Louisiana HBPA Bill Finley, in his Mar. 17th TDN opinion piece--"Horsemen's Groups Turn Their Backs on Honest Trainers, Owners"--criticizes the National HBPA for challenging the legality of a private non-governmental regulatory scheme for the horse industry, established by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act ("HISA"). He wrote, "It's hard to imagine that there is one horseman anywhere who cares one bit whether or not HISA is unconstitutional or not." Well, it doesn't require any imagination to understand why horsemen believe rules governing their livelihood and...

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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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