In an interview released Friday with NBC's Bob Costas, trainer Steve Asmussen addressed the accusations that came out of an undercover investigation of his barn by PETA.
“If you read the complaint [filed by PETA with New York and Kentucky regulators], there is not one actual rule violation,” said Asmussen, who referred to PETA's publicly-stated goal to halt the sport of horse racing. “The most bothersome thing about this is for anyone to think that I am not a good caregiver.”
Asmussen told Costas he welcomes the opportunity to defend himself from the charges in court, and hinted that he might sue PETA for their accusations.
Asmussen won the Kentucky Oaks Friday afternoon with Untapable.
The following are post-interview comments released by NBC:
After the interview on NBCSN:
Analyst & Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey on the comments from the chairman of the Jockey Club, Ogden Mills Phipps, that Steve Asmussen should stay away from Churchill Downs this weekend: “Absent of a ruling by the racing authority saying he can't, he should be able to race anywhere, including here.”
Analyst Randy Moss: “We have all of the respect in the world for Mr. Phipps, but I completely agree (with you). Now, one of PETA's primary complaints about horse racing in general is the indiscriminate use of medication. On that topic, I happen to agree with PETA. I think there is too much medication in horse racing. There needs to be more out-of-competition testing, there needs to be more post-race testing at every track and at every race. The sport is making progress on the medication front, I just think there needs to be more.”
Jerry Bailey: “It has made a lot of progress, significant in the last couple of years. They've gone to a uniform medication policy across the nation with the exception of a couple of states. Even those, Louisiana and Florida, have said that they would join that. Now, we'll see if they do, but they've pledged to. But if we can sit here and think that this industry is going to go to a zero medication policy without prompting from outside force, I think we are kidding ourselves.”
Host Tom Hammond: “The issues go far beyond Steve Asmussen's barn, (to) racing in general. We'll keep our eye on any developments as the Triple Crown in 2014 unfolds.”
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.