At ESPN New York, Bob Ehalt writes that while NYRA has lowered purses for certain claiming races in an effort to combat a rash of breakdowns this winter, more will need to be done before the next racing season at Aqueduct. Ehalt says other possible changes include an increased veterinarian staff, the power to look at the medical records of horses, and a time frame when horse's legs can be viewed without wraps:
“Surely, as NYRA delves deeper into this, there are going to be unsettling findings, and some of the possible answers — like less races a day to reduce the need for so many bottom level races, and a month or two winter break — might rankle revenue-starved politicians like Cuomo who are speaking one way now and might change his tone later when it could affect the amount of money pari-mutuel wagering turns over to the state.”
“Some answers might not be popular, but quite clearly NYRA cannot endure another winter like this one.”
“Somehow NYRA needs to get across the message to horsemen that the winter of 2011-12 cannot be repeated, and that if more prudence is not exhibited it will be mandated.”
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