Stronach: Eliminate Race-Day Medication and Sport Will Flourish

by | 12.06.2013 | 10:06am
Frank Stronach
Frank Stronach

Global horseman Frank Stronach, leading Thoroughbred owner, breeder and proprietor of three of the industry's most famous racing venues, has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) as a supporter of federal legislation to rid North American racing of race day medications.

In a letter last week to WHOA, Mr. Stronach, founder of Adena Springs and one of the sports most successful horse owners and breeders, said “racing can not only survive the elimination of race day medications, but it will flourish and invigorate itself while cultivating new fans from around the world”.

The Canadian-based entrepreneur, whose company The Stronach Group owns six major race tracks, including Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, and Pimlico Race Course, becomes the first major track owner to join the group of influential owners and breeders pushing for the United States and Canada to join the rest of the world's major jurisdictions in banning all medications, including anti-bleeder medicines and painkillers, on race day.

“We as track operators, horsemen and regulators must do everything we can to eliminate race day medications and consider the support of federal legislation to create a more uniform set of rules and regulations,” Stronach wrote. “The integrity of our sport and safety of our athletes, both human and equine, should and must always be of paramount concern. I hope you join me in promoting the elimination of race day medications.”

The movement has gradually garnered support by some of the industry's most influential owners and breeders, including many members of the Jockey Club. None bring wider influence to the reform effort than Stronach. Before purchasing several of the sport's leading tracks, he forged glittering owner and breeder credentials as founder of Adena Springs which he started in Kentucky in 1989. Since then Stronach/Adena Springs has won twelve Eclipse Awards, including eight as leading breeder and four as leading owner. In Canada, Stronach has been honored with Sovereign Awards nine times as leading owner and nine times as leading breeder.

His premier racing facility, Santa Anita Park, has been selected as site of the Breeders' Cup for three consecutive years, 2012 through 2014. In addition, The Stronach Group owns Laurel Park, Portland Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, a 2,000 acre stallion complex in Bourbon County and Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach Florida.

Click here to read Stronach's full statement

  • dh

    One of the most successful breeders and owners-who robbed the general public of $1 billion dollars thru his bankruptcy-wants this to go thru because it will kill of the bottom feeder tracks full of $4k claimers, reducing the number of tracks and competition, and incrementally increasing the handle and value of the premier tracks.
    That being said, it is a wonderful idea for the horses, but would gut the industry overnight,

    • fb0252

      Correct, except it is other than a wonderful idea for a horse, as anybody in the USA at the end of a shank on a dirt track knows. Let ’em bleed, according to Frank Stronach. The ulterior motives of this group is palpable.

      • Gordon Pritchard

        If the horses cant race because they bleed, then maybe they shouldn’t race. Have you ever considered that? Maybe, if we force the industry to get rid of lasix, other substances won’t go into them on race day. The rest of the world races without Lasix, why can’t we?

        • betterthannothing

          Gordon, some people just don’t get it.

          • Gordon Pritchard

            I know.

            The advent of race day medications, whether helping or hurting a horse is detrimental to racing’s popularity as a whole. During the normal process of racing, a horse will lose a great amount of water, and a horse on lasix will lose twice that of a normal horse. Horses that are treated with Lasix lost an average of 27.9 pounds between injection and a weight measurement after the race, while untreated horses lost an average of 11.9 pounds. This is supposed to be better for the horse?

            So to stop a naturally occurring by-product of high stress racing, they force a diuretic into the horse, that reduces the horse’s ability to re-bound and causes dramatic weight loss. Thus, horses only race every 6 weeks on average, and have shortened careers.

            The administering of the drug on race day, allows the scum in this industry the opportunity to add a “little something” to the lasix. The betting public has figured this out, and as a result we have less and less fans.

            Obviously this fight will wage on and on. i would think that if horses were allowed to train on lasix, but not race on it, the integrity of horse racing would increase.

          • betterthannothing

            Gordon, I totally agree with you. It is so tragic to know that what hurts horses and their riders also hurts racing and still the industry remains under the toxic influence of special interests. I hope that good racing people will succeed with reforming racing so we can enjoy it.

        • fb0252

          Gordon Pritchard: here is a response.
          #1 They don’t bleed with lasix. They do bleed without lasix (on dirt tracks). So, I guess what you’re saying is that when we eliminate lasix 95% of the horse population should not race. Maybe you will clarify this.
          #2 The rest of the world does not race on dirt tracks, and in the few jurisdictions were they do every concoction and method know to man to prevent bleeding is used, much of it cruel of the horse.
          #3 You may be unaware that this debate was resolve in early ’90s in NY when lasix rule was adopted because trainers were widespread “drawing” their horses before racing. Google that if you are concerned about the horse.
          #4 Other substances have nothing to do with lasix.

          • johnnyknj

            I was on the end of a shank this morning, and you are making a tired argument. Yes, we did other things when lasix was illegal, but that is not the point. There is a bit of perception is reality in this whole argument. Sure people will try other things but banning raceday drugs is critical to racings future,IMO. Not condoning drug use is what people need to see to attract fans. Further, saying “they don’t bleed with lasix” is absurd. Plenty bleed through lasix (and yes, I’ve looked through the scope and seen it). If a horse can’t run and train without lasix, and with proper spacing and care, then they are better off not running. Lasix is not about what’s best for the horse, it’s about what’s best for the humans.

          • fb0252

            u might consider replying to the “argument” before calling it tired. What “other” things did you use without lasix, and why did you use them? Did you “draw” your horses without lasix? What do you do with the $50,000 EIPH horse who has $25,000 in training? Retire it?
            What % of horses on dirt tracks do you consider have EIPH problems without lasix? What I call tired Johnny is the generalized BS in posts such as the above. Specifics please. Have you been on the end of a shank in Bossier, La in the summer time, e.g.?

          • loopsteer

            Lord knows I have thrown my share of craps in this game. I have got lucky to. No disrespect but how do the trainers in Australia,Japan.,Great Britain do it?. racing is flourishing there. No drugs.No Lasix,. Someone said Dirt makes them bleed really.Really!! ?? Can I sell you a bridge? or a 50,000 respiratory cripple? .

          • fb0252

            Read Ross Staadens Winning Trainers and you will see how Tommy Smith did it in Australia–as I mentioned, every concoction known to man and more. Smith had his own private vet and they developed a company for their many horse enhancers. However, Australia races on grass. If you indeed loopsteer have been around then you fully understand that horses rarely suffer EIPH on grass and the very same horse will do so at an 80-90% clip on dirt. Suggest getting on some dirt horses. Listen to them coughing on the way back from the track. Or your $100,000 investment down to La downs in the summer time and see how far you get without lasix. Will affect ur opinion assuming that u favor what’s right for the horses. As I mentioned above–this issue should be settled medically and based on medical science and what’s good for the horse instead of the multitude of know nothing posts that populate this thread.

          • loopsteer

            I just googled “Ross Staadens Winning Trainers” , He a interesting man very good horseman and I can;t wait to read it. One is never to old to learn in this game. That being said about 20 or so years ago I was a assistant trainer for one of the leading grass trainers in the country. We had a what I thought a very unusually high percentage of bleeders he ran on lasix and did very well. Also he would Blow his bleeders out down the stretch the morning they were in and they won at about a 30% clip at a major track. A tactic I seen work time after time and to this day I still don’t have enough balls to do it.. I respectfully disagree with you about horses rarely bleeding on the grass as opposed to dirt in my own clinical observation with over 3000 starts I haven’t noticed much difference personally. Although I do race up north in the summer. Since you kind of berated me about my previous post I have read a dozens or so articles on the use of lasix from New Bolton to Mr.Paulicks “ARE CALIFORNIA HORSEMEN OBSESSED WITH LASIX?” both the pros and cons.and I see your point. and I respect it. As for me having a agenda ” I do” But I am afraid it is a day late and a dollar short,” hope you have a great year LOOPS

          • fb0252

            txs for reply–do read Winning Trainers if u can get a hold of one. Best horse book ever. Section on Tommy Smith and methods is worth price of gold. Father of Gai Waterhouse. And also DW Lukas section. My one rat e.g. I never have had a horse remotely bleed on grass and same horses bleed on dirt. Your 3000 starts give me pause for thought. If they also bleed on grass, what do you do with the bleeder, except lasix?

          • jumpjockey1

            Fb0252
            I’ve been fortunate to ride in many countries . Both on the flat and over jumps . Japan has serious dirt racing and possibly the worst air I’ve ever had to work in and they Do Not run on lasix and from what I can see they ship to many other countries and are highly competitive .. the same is less true from US shippers . This debate is a double edged sword . It cannot be solved over night. Over medicating horses needs to stop . 42 permitted drugs is lunacy . If a horse needs that much medication then there’s a major problem .. start with lasix free races on the higher levels . No lasix until a horse is 4yrs old . If they need lasix to run then geld them and do it . This will help eliminate more junkies going to stud . Use the closed stud book model . If mares ran on lasix they go into a different category than ones who didn’t . There are ways to eliminate the problem but it can’t be done over night . Pick a starting point and expand from there .

          • fb0252

            txs for reply. I am unopposed to a starting point although to experiment with non-lasix, although why would that be at the highest levels, and, will tell you all who train on dirt already know how that’s going to come out. Ur screen name is jumpjjock, for which u get kudos for courage, but, Q whether there’s similarity in EIPH problems in speed game and jumping. My riding is limited to just a few horses. I never used lasix till the first one bled. That one went on to win his next race by 20 on lasix. I’d be out of the game without the drug, and personally to ask a horse to run at speed when you know they’ll bleed (maybe 10 races down the road, but they will), the animal rights people are going to be all over that. Stronach has joined the shrink horse racing crowd. Regrettable.

          • jumpjockey1

            Fb0252
            I think when a horse reaches its depths be it speed wise or stamina wise it possibly can bleed .it really depends on how a horse is conditioned I believe . A horses body has to be fit enough to be able to handle the stress of racing . Its probably harder over here as most trainers don’t train their horses in large groups as they do in other places .usually we see 2 horses breezing together but never 4 or 5 . Not granted it is harder to do that over here with the layout of the tracks and the amount of traffic on them at any given time in relation to the large open training tracks in Europe . When I say at the highest levels for non lasix racing I mean anything that can qualify you for the classics ( derby etc) if you are aiming to run and people want the best horse to win and the owners want a lucrative stud career then yes I say prove it/earn it and run drug free . This way we give ourselves a true test and the winners can deserve their stud careers .. obviously we need bread and butter races and perhaps we would get more interest if we adopted handicap races instead of o many claiming races . Have a track handicapper assign weights and get these groups together . It will in theory give fans a better race . Who wants to watch a Jamie ness horse beat a bunch of 5k claimers by 10lengths at 3/5 . That is not sport . Like I said nothing can be solved over night but if people stop fighting and try work together it can be changed in time . We can strengthen the breed and everybody wins .. I do appreciate your honesty in saying you speak from personal experience and I think anyone involved needs to evolve and try different things . All horses are different so we just need to find places they can be competitive . Its a great sport and I hope it can be viewed that way in the future by the public ..

          • fb0252

            nice post! we agree. great sport! –volunteer that I’d doubt training solves EIPH. Tends to broaden the threshold–i.e. they can take more before they start coughing. I’ve trained several scientifically including Tom Ivers style and Preston Burch style. EIPH occurs despite rigorous careful training I am afraid.

          • jumpjockey1

            I was unfortunate enough to be subjected to dealing with Tom Ivers supposed partner when they started their interval training ideas . I’ve used interval training during hill work or while training off the farm . This guy wanted us to breeze horses 5/8ths on a flat track in a row . He seriously wanted us to breeze pull up and do it again and again . Obviously I refused but they actually had people do this and I know they ruined an enormous amount of horses . My point being be careful what you read and from whom . A horses body much like a persons has to be conditioned up to the point of performance and it takes time . I’m sure most people will agree that horses are rushed to that point more often than not and there in lies the problem .. like with most things in life common sense goesa long way .. listen to what your horse is telling you and you will probably do just fine . The real problem is not so much lasix in my mind (I am in favor or getting rid of it ) but its the other legal and illegal drugs that are killing the game . If people only knew half the crap that goes into horses they would cringe . The tracks with backlogs of positives that still haven’t been punished . Tracks who let trainers know what they are and are not testing for . Isn’t it funny that certain trainers do well at some tracks but can’t be found with search warrants at others ? . Like I said common sense goes a long long way ..

          • fb0252

            there are medicine men/women back there instead of trainers. how pervasive that is, is something i’d like to know stat wise instead of by supposition. .05%, according to JC, for last five years test for performance enhancers instead of therapeutic overages. Ivers BTW–took me 1.5 yrs to get through the program. did it twice. and, yes 3 x 6f. they can do it if, as u say, conditioned to it, and a decent horse comes out of it, if done correctly! Too long and a fail compared to Preston Burch style training, which I really like.

          • jumpjockey1

            Believe me its way more than that .. some states are still not testing for anabolic steroids even when they claim they are . Its a know fact . What’s reported to the jockey club and what’s actually tested are night and day . So many places simply don’t test as its expensive .. just for fun look at colonial downs . Now they test like crazy and see wht trainers with huge win % couldn’t be found in the winners circle .. people need to just look at the facts do a little back tracking and the story tells itself .. I’m not familiar with Preston Burch . I have done intervals on hills at farms and had success . My ivers promoter wanted us breezing on a track left handed 5/8th 3 times in a row .. just lunacy as u are asking to break them down .. the best tool I have found is the etrakka heart rate monitor . They really tell you what is going on inside of your horse and working with them changed my opinion on what I thought I knew .. its an evolving world and we need to evolve with it .. try find some etrakka info on YouTube . Its worth looking into ..

          • betterthannothing

            “Or take your $100,000 investment down to La downs in the summer time and see how far you get without lasix. Will affect ur opinion assuming that u favor what’s right for the horses”

            Basic common sense and honesty are lacking here, not science. “What’s right for the horses” is not racing them at cheap tracks to exhaustion while drugged and dehydrated in extreme summer heat and humidity (and perhaps pollution).

          • fb0252

            betterthannothing:
            1. la downs is hardly a “cheap track” as you put it.
            2. the horse I had there who bled on his first breeze was a horse that had just been through 1.5 years of Tom Ivers training. First horse I ever had bleed. And, yes, it is extreme humidity there in the summer. So now you want to eliminate La downs for the good of racing. Is that ur take?

          • betterthannothing

            johnny: “Sure people will try other thing”. And they must not. That’s why we need to protect race horses with surveillance in barns, inside horse stalls and track them everywhere they go; limited, fully controlled and disclosed therapeutic chemical and physical treatments and transparent equine health records from birth and a huge price to pay for abusing (or trying to abuse) horses and cheating the public.

          • loopsteer

            Johnnyknj To me your post seem to always be SPOT on! So i hope you keep on a posting!! I can tell you have been around and you get it. I find that rare amongst the horsemen in this day and age. Sometimes I wonder if the biggest problem in our business is that the people involved think it is more about them instead of the horses?

          • Mimi Hunter

            And I’d go one further -and this is where I usually get bashed – if the horse cannot race without Lasix, they should NOT be retired to the breeding shed

    • betterthannothing

      Thank you for thinking about the horses. The industry needs to establish an ethical quality standard below which it should not fall.

      The number of tracks and races needs to be adjusted to the number of healthy and fit horses capable of racing without drugs and treatments used solely to maximize their exploitation instead of healing them.

  • Jay Stone

    Less than two weeks after the HBPA president tells Congress we don’t need any help in regulating this business the most prominent person in racing goes on record as saying we should consider federal involvement. Mr. Stronach is 100 percent correct in saying uniformity in rules and enforcement by the federal government along with elimination of race day medications would bring back public confidence in racing. That alone would Help increase the handles nationally.

    • Lawrence Vaccarelli

      federal government is full of shit…always has been…always will be…bank on it…they couldn’t oversee themselves taking a leak for crying out loud.

      • Jay Stone

        Compared to the inept regulation of the industry in Florida even our federal government looks like Einstein.

        • Valiant Pete

          Everyone Else Involved in Horse Racing: Eliminate Frak Stronach From Our Sport and It Will Flourish

      • harry

        This must be one of the trainers using the drugs for there the only ones against it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ask Vegas they are all for this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Concerned Observer (& citizen)

        Sorry Lawrence, I have worked all over the world. No place has the advantages we do in the USA, and much of it is due to the consistent but silent support of our government systems. Such blanket bashing statements are at best naive.

    • harry

      My hats off to Mr. Stronach he’s so correct except should be all medications and it will truly clean up the game all by it self!!!!!!!!!!!!! You will see a lot of trainers percentage drop dramatically!!!!!!!! It’s always been a joke on the back side that horses run faster through chemistry !!!!!!!!!!!! Get rid of the chemistry so we can handicap the horses not the trainers and there drugs!!!!!!!!!!

      • Mimi Hunter

        Ban all meds on race day and most of them at other times? YES !!! But the enforcement group will have to stay right on the cutting edge or a whole new set of meds will crop up.

  • G. Rarick

    Thank you, Mr. Stronach.

  • Hamish

    Stronach, whether you admire his business tactics or not, can help get this no race-day meds and uniform rules deal done. It would prove to the public that we are truly serious about cleaning up the game if this “national” everybody’s in, concept gets going, sooner rather than later.

  • David

    He’s right that elimination of same day meds is something
    good. But to suggest it alone would
    drive new audiences to tracks is a bit of a stretch. Reform for this, safety of surfaces, integrity with tote systems,
    universal licensing, stitching together an otherwise helter-skelter seasonal
    landscape, distributing of betting handle to a wider portion of players, etc.
    would all serve to put the industry on firm footing and to promote a better
    product but, it’s far from a silver bullet.

  • betterthannothing

    I am so glad for the horses and the whole of horse racing that reason is becoming contagious and hopefully about to “go viral”. TY Mr. Stronach and WHOA members.

  • Tom

    Frank,

    While racing in general might survive the elimination of race-day meds, racing in Maryland won’t survive if you continue to own the tracks. You expect people to come to your facilities but you give them an outhouse to stand in to try to enjoy themselves. Your management team, and I use that term very loosely, put up a wall around the clubhouse escalator at Laurel over a year ago and posted a sign that claims “….. the situation is being addressed and we expect a resolution shortly.” The wall IS the resolution, Frank – you aren’t going to fix that escalator.

    If you want racing to survive in MD, put some money into the facility. Not the state’s money, not the horseman’s money, but YOUR money, Frank.

    How is that work going on the new barns, by the way? Oh, it’s delayed due to obtaining the permits? Having trouble getting the county to allow a horse tunnel to be built under Brock Bridge Road on the edge of a flood zone/wetlands? Who could have seen that coming?

  • Francis Bush

    Good for Stronach. This type of thinking is the reason he has been so successful. Fans deserve help and this would contribute to their benefit.

  • Ted

    It’s about time. Vets have been raping this industry. Time to stop

    • Battler

      no doubt but If you ban Lasix, and allow the pre-race of 40 other medications with threshold levels, then it’s nothing more than a PR campaign. unfortunately, the anti-lasix people who follow the international nonsense (who also have threshold/pre-race issues) don’t understand that argument.

      • Elliot ness

        This post makes the most sense. It is all of the other crap that scares me as a claiming owner. Lasix is proven to stop bleeders. It is all of the other crap that is murdering these horses. Yes you probably could run the non bleeders back quicker with no lasix, they probably recover faster. But what about the bleeders? Stop with the anti inflammatory drugs that mask injury. Any drugs that mask pain. The tranq, the muscle relaxants the dex, the joint injections, the clen, lasix does not mask injury, lowers blood pressure and stops bleeding. Why this OCD about lasix? It is everything but lasix. Lasix is needed. When shug took over the Phipps job, I remember he was trying to give away 60 muzzles, penna used them to help draw horses, no lasix back then in nyra. Basically you withhold food and water from the horse to make the horse lose water., prior to race. Humane? Starve and no water, or lasix to do same thing. Stronach got a little good press today, and it was free.

        • Mimi Hunter

          So, you ban Lasix first – a fair number of horses will be out – and some of the other meds will go with them – then go after the drugs that are left

    • johnnyknj

      I don’t think you can pin this on the vets. Yes, they treat the horses and supply many of the medications. But they are acting at the behest of the trainer. (And please spare the drug dealer/addict analogy). What they are supplying is legal and while they could refuse to, say, give bute, banamine, lasix, etc. to a horse, or tap joints, someone else would, and the ethical vets would be extinct. Not saying it’s the way it should be, just the way it is. I have seen trainers insist a horse be tapped or injected when the vet thinks it unnecessary, but what can they realistically do? If they do not think it dangerous or harmful they are in a tough spot. I have seen the vets I know refuse to do something they think would harm or endanger horse and rider. The good vets would be fine with no raceday meds and happy to practice their craft more and dispense less.They are part of a system and culture that has a problem, they are not the problem.

      • loopsteer

        come on Johnny you can pin some of this on the vets. If I was to do everything some vets suggest to do I would be working for them.. (Ironically most of the time they run worse)

        • Jay Stone

          Sadly most vets have become like everybody In the real world including our personal physicians. That is economics rule most of them. Between the mark up and promotion of products and high charges for services this sector is out of control.

  • Ted

    See who the real trainers are…

    • betterthannothing

      And who the ethical vets are.

    • Concerned Observer

      Question for the historians. I just checked. Kelso started 63 times in 6 years (1960-1965)
      63-39-12-2 record. I assume that was before lasix, mostly on dirt, mostly in the summer heat, often carrying weight. We do not have many of those iron horses around today, 50 years of advancements in medication have not moved the horses up much. Did Kelso run on some magic potion? Are my dirt, heat and weight assumptions correct?

  • zchairman

    If Stronach really believes what he says, that banning Lasix will create a better racing game because horses will run more frequently and people will bet more money on Lasix free races, he can simply ban Lasix at any track he owns anytime he wants.
    Frank, give it a shot, be a pioneer, show some ‘nuts’ and demonstrate through actions, not phony words to everyone what a ‘non-Lasix’ world will look like!!! If you are successful, ALL tracks will soon follow suit.

    • Kerry Fitzpatrick

      Won’t work. If he did that, all the bad trainers who can’t live without lasix will just run their horses at other tracks.

      • BOB

        GOOD

        • betterthannothing

          Not good for the horses. Bad trainers need to be banned, not allowed to escape to abusive tracks.

    • Tres Abagados Stupidos

      Race 2 at Hollywood Park today…..Stronach has a horse running and it is on Lasix. It’s easy to talk the talk but if he is against Lasix then maybe he should walk the walk.

    • McGov

      Did you actually type
      ” Frank, give it a shot, be a pioneer, show some ‘nuts’ and demonstrate through actions,…” ???
      Seriously? Frank Stronach? Got to be kidding. This man….uh…not even going to do it….google it.

  • fb0252

    imo the lasix debate should be resolved medically based on what is right for the horse. Racing EIPH horses (80-90% that race over periods of time) without lasix on dirt tracks–is that what Mr. Stronach is advocating? This will cause horse racing to “flourish”? How?

  • anthony bell

    Increase purses(races) to support owners who race there horse lasix free and offer decreased purses to horses that run on lasix. That simple. He controls what type of races are written and how much for.Wheather that needs federal involvement is another story. Not sure if legal if you can write lasix free races. As for bettors and fans i dont think they care. But jacking horse full of meds and the horse breaks down during race, that they care about. If he had the balls he would copy hong kong and control from a-z what comes in and out including vets,feed,blacksmith etc.. Benefit to the owners.benefit to breeders. Benefit to fans.

  • Concerned Observer

    A very positive step by Mr. Stronach. I wish he would instruct his racing secretary to put a few “No Lasix” races in the condition book (and resolve the state lasix-rules entry issues) and let the industry fill some races that way. I think we might all be surprised how many horses would be entered.
    I would run mine, since I never breeze my horses on Lasix anyway.

    • loopsteer

      “Interesting” Good idea why not?

  • Lawrence Vaccarelli

    bottom level claiming races are the bread and butter of the game …probably 75% or more of all races run in the united states…that being said if you take away the meds how is that going to play out with the bread and butter races ?…now im not advocating either way…but it seems to me that the bottom will fall out of the game ..then what ?

    • zchairman

      Simple answer—-The slaughter houses will be VERY BUSY until there is literally no horse population left.

      • RayPaulick

        It’s obvious that the more hysterical you get, the more concerned you are that the people on the right side of this issue are gaining momentum again. Fear mongering at its best.

        • Hamish

          Racing doesn’t crash if there is no lasix or race day meds permitted. Good pick up Ray as to the fear mongers that are clearly on the wrong side of the debate, while they are keenly aware of the inevitable outcome, that being no race day meds.

          • Stewart

            How exactly would Ray or possibly you even know (Ray is a soundboard for the industry but has never owned a horse and clearly does not truly understand the inner workings of the industry….just likes to point out negatives for the most part)? While the comment about “literally no horse population left” is absurd, the previous comment about 85% of racing in the US being claiming is factual and logical.

          • RayPaulick

            Thanks for the assessment Stewart. You’re nothing if not predictable and tiresome.

            For the purposes of this argument, let me defer to someone who has owned a horse – two Kentucky Derby winners, in fact. He raised a third one, and a Kentucky oaks winner or two. He’s worked in the stable of a Hall of Fame trainer, stood stallions, bred and sold horses, bought horses, raced more horses and won more races than you could dream of. Arthur Hancock III is a horseman.

            I’ll take Mr. Hancock’s knowledge, or Mr. Stronach’s, over yours. Any day.

          • Stewart

            Predictable because I call you out for being biased when the very nature of your position in the industry is supposed to be neutral (or at the very least truly informed)?
            I can sit down and have a logical discussion about medication or any other issue in the industry and backup my opinion based on facts and experience gained over 20+ years as an owner. I am not extreme on any issue and realize from practical experience that there has to be a happy medium rather than hard line positions based mainly on lack of knowledge and/or egos.
            You don’t have to win a Triple Crown Race to be successful and respected in the industry Ray and your very response shows how out of touch you are with the real bread and butter of the industry.
            I have practical experience, willingly listen to both sides of any LOGICAL argument and even though I am not in the .0001% of owners you covet so much, I am actually respected in the industry.
            You, on the other hand, can simply throw out names and say “I trust them over you”.
            Here is what is predictable…
            I am part of the industry, take VERY good care of my horses, have gotten over 100 new owners involved in the game, generate considerable income for the industry and give back to the industry on a consistent basis.
            You are on the outside looking in even though you report on the industry and make a living off of it. Would it hurt to get off your high horse and actually learn the true ins and outs of what makes this industry tick?

          • Ray Paulick

            Is one of the things you’ve learned over 20 years that it is OK for a trainer (who is not a veterinarian) to give a Lasix shot two hours before a race, even though that is a clear violation of racing rules?

          • Stewart

            I would expect a more intelligent response from a 2YO Ray. Any time you want to become an informed member of this industry give me a call…I would be happy to introduce you to people at all levels of the game (track management, racing officials, owners, trainers, vets, grooms, exercise riders, van drivers, feed / bedding suppliers, etc.) and give you an opportunity to truly understand the industry you claim to love.

          • Hamish

            Stewart you sound precisely like what Ray has described as a “fear monger.” O.K., you defend the industry’s ways, but guess what, they have failed. You can go down as a “good ole boy” protecting all horse know it alls from the ourtside wortld, while in fact, folks like you are why we are dying. To “understand” a corrupted sport and business model and accept it as standard and all that we can be, is nothing to be proud of or cherise. Stronach, Hancock taking a position or worshiping some PNat trainer juking a horse, wake up man.

          • Stewart

            Go back, read everything I wrote and tell me a single instance where I defended anything other that stating (1) individual had a valid point to consider. What you just stated makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and if you honestly don’t realize this….not sure what to tell you.

          • Stuart Marc deVoe

            I don’t get it…if there is a demand for “drug free” races, why don’t the racing secretaries write them as such? Why would they be different then any other condition? If they fill and the handle increases as a result, if the field size handles as a result, etc…we have our answer. If not…we have our answer. After all, they run a race on Halloween for greys. Why cant they write it for “clean” horses…

  • Lawrence Vaccarelli

    the answer to the med problem is simple…video cameras 24/7 in every stall.

    • Jay Stone

      Probably eventually coming to that.

    • McGov

      It’s not at all that simple….wish it were. Horses are drugged while security is standing outside the stall watching the care to “ensure” no drugging.
      People find clever ways to hide needles and hit a vein. The same type of people that successfully steal from an environment full of security cameras and personnel.

  • MSD

    For once….I agree with Stronach. Time to grow some balls and make a major change horse racing. We can’t keep running things like we are now or we will be in trouble. Get race day meds out of the picture please.

  • Barry Irwin

    Atta boy Frankie baby!

  • 4Bellwether666

    What’s he waiting for???…

    • Stewart

      He will get to running his vast stock of high priced, well bred horses w/o race day meds as soon as he puts money into MD racing and follows through on his commitment to make improvements at Pimlico and Laurel. In other words, just blowing hot air as always.

  • anthony bell

    Well things must be looking up for frank and family. Lots of positive feedback for a change. Was not the case 2 years ago. I think the problem with the people on this form is everyone wants instant change like a snap of the fingers.Its not the case as we all know. Baby steps, slow and easy is his style.Case and point laurel park,maryland. All i hear now is alot of positive from the people i have talked to and the breeding industry is about to flourish. In doing so it looks like maryland will become relevant again. Who would of thought that. Just remember baby steps. Still alot of work to do but everyone has to agree its alot better in every aspect then two years ago. So the west coast which is his prized asset is the only dog left. Alot of his previous enemies are now his friends it seems.He ends up hiring them. He is flourishing while the others wither away. Took awhile plus 1 billion dollars kick at his ego. How many of you if you lost one billion in any sector would pony up and do it again. Most would walk and do something else. Hopefully his family continues his fathers dream and completes it without selling out which is the easy thing to do. It looks like the law of attraction is working as far as im concerned.Could improve alot better if the federal government was to help and be a partner.Goal should be to copy success which is hong kong in every aspect. In short, we can always have and support a track which is pure lasix.Win win.Calder.lasix free.gulfstream. everyone wins short term until the breeding improves.Just need to talk between two companies and put thought into action.

    • Stewart

      You are attributing higher purses in MD to Frank? That is not even laughable, it is absurd. Still waiting on his plan for track improvements that he continually delays. Purse improvements came from slots and work by MD Horsemen with the Government, certainly not Stronach who was so irresponsible he didn’t even file an application when the track was basically guaranteed a license.
      Stronach has proven time and time again to by a liar and a hypocrite. Hopefully this comment won’t be removed because his record of lying is public record, not a baseless statement.

      • Jay

        You are spot on Stewart.

  • Lanie Wright Johnson

    Course non use of drugs will further..if that’s possible..the slaughter industry for use as human consumption….I’m against the drugs as the past proves that performance and health can be sustained without them…however..breeders and owners are the answer to both of these issues. Until breeding for greed stops the breed will continue to be broken down and over populated and when through with careers…..they will be left without rescue in the future. Bottom line is the industry is about “money” at the cost of the breed…I can only be hopeful that at the very least the “discussions” are taking place.It’s the only way to bring the breed and the industry to the highest standards.

  • sammyfrommiami

    I’ve been saying to card hay,oats,and water races only for quite sometime now but only problem is now the supps that trainers use to enhance are not detectable so we’d only be penalizing the honest trainers once again.

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