TIF Says Triple Crown Pre-Race Inspection Reports Should Be Public


While veterinary scrutiny has increased, communication has not, as U.S. racing has fallen short in the transparency space both this year and many years in the past, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF) said on their website on Wednesday.

According to the TIF report, there were more than 33,000 races for Thoroughbreds in the U.S. in 2022, but if you asked the public to name just three of them, chances are they would be the GI Kentucky Derby, the GI Preakness S. and the GI Belmont S.

The report takes the position that the Triple Crown races, despite massive coverage across multiple platforms, still relies on potential hearsay and not regulatory bodies with the specific expertise to offer “formal updates regarding the health and soundness of horses entered in the races which attract the most public attention.”

TIF piece goes on to argue that, “Actual details which media, horseplayers and fans alike can consume, eliminates speculation and repetitive inaccuracies that take hold, particularly across social media, while proving to a wider audience what many inside the sport already know–veterinary scrutiny has never been stronger!”

As with Forte's (Violence) leg injury or Mage's (Good Magic) cut above his eye leading up to this year's Kentucky Derby, the majority of the time the public hears from a veterinarian only after an injury has occurred. Though safety and welfare initiatives are welcomed without question, TIF advocates regulators going further to communicate with the public about the horses and their fitness to compete in the most important U.S. races.

“Communication” will occur regardless–first as whispers amongst some insiders, then tweets and texts that spiral endlessly–all while, as TIF wrote, “the truth is likely sitting in regulatory silence.”

As for international examples, they abound TIF offers. The protocols surrounding the G1 Melbourne Cup in Australia and the pre-race screening administered by the likes of the Hong Kong Jockey Club are models that the U.S. can emulate, which will lead to progress and transparency for the sport.

Click here to access the full report on the TIF website.

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