The following comments come from Clark Brewster, a horse owner and attorney for Steve Asmussen, who is under investigation in three states after complaints were filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which conducted an undercover investigation of the Eclipse Award-winning trainer's operation in Kentucky and New York in 2013. Hours earlier, Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club, issued a statement advising Asmussen to stay away from Churchill Downs during the week of the Kentucky Derby “for the good of the game.” Phipps, co-owner of 2013 Derby winner Orb, also called for trainers of Triple Crown runners to disclose medication treatments given to horses 14 days before each race.
Clark Brewster: “The letter is written by Mr. Phipps. There is no statement contained therein that the substance represents the opinion(s) of the Jockey Club members or board. That being said: Steve Asmussen applauds Mr. Phipp's efforts to cause more transparency in racing.
“It is clear from Mr. Phipps' comments that he has not reviewed the PETA complaint or investigation reports. I have. After a five-month 'undercover investigator' observing the daily operations of Mr. Asmussen's training at Churchill and Saratoga there is not a single accusation of illegal or unauthorized medication. Although PETA took issue with the use of furosemide (Lasix) as a raceday medication there is no suggestion that its use by Mr. Asmussen was other than in conformity with the rules of racing and under the auspices of a practicing veterinarian; in fact, the same manner in which the medication is administered to horses raced by Mr. Phipps. Mr. Asmussen would welcome racing rules that implement more transparency and invites Mr. Phipps to contact him directly to discuss how he can help in this industry-wide effort.”
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