Joseph De Francis, formerly the CEO of the Maryland Jockey Club, is concerned that over the course of the Triple Crown classic races, “an overmedicated horse will collapse in front of millions of viewers, sending the industry's already tenuous fortunes tumbling along with it,” according to a Baltimore Sun story.
The 61-year-old warns that the public perception of drug use in the horse racing industry has “the potential to explode on the industry like a nuclear bomb,” especially with the major differences in medication rules across state lines.
De Francis has become a new voice in the battle for uniform medication oversight, recently speaking before a congressional committee on the issue. He believes that a uniform policy will draw the public, currently skeptical about drug usage, back to the racetrack and the gambling window.
The national spotlight is on racing only three times a year during the Triple Crown, warns De Francis, and a fatality caused by a drugged racehorse during one of those races could devastate the “majestic but alarmingly fragile” industry.
Read more at the Baltimore Sun.
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