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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Is there Anything Sacred Left?

Sir Barton - First Triple Crown Winner - 1919

After the 2023 Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs released a statement with reference to the two horses who died that day and the "need to mobilize our industry in order to explore every avenue possible and effectively minimize any avoidable risk in the sport."

When thoroughly exposed on live television during the biggest race of the year, Churchill Downs makes fancy statements like this, as if these two horse deaths will not be tolerated and we must now minimize risks in our sport. That statement was obviously geared towards the general public who tunes in once a year, but real followers of this sport have been demanding this for years. Obviously the past is swept under the carpet.

At Pimlico this past weekend, Bob Baffert was interviewed after National Treasure won the Preakness. Through his fake, tearless, and pitiful soliloquy, he referred to Havnameltdown as "that horse" two times, apparently unable to even recall the ill-fated colt's name.

Sportscasters conveniently forgot to mention the disgraceful record of deaths, drug infractions, cover-ups and foul play of their revered trainer as they repeatedly reminded us of his "Hall of Fame" status over and over throughout the broadcast.

Two minutes after playing the sympathy card with that poor acting job immediately after National Treasure's win, Baffert and his botoxed wife are found in the winner's circle, all smiles and laughter in their "redemption." It was as if nothing transpired with Havnameltdown on live TV, with children watching. The celebrations commence for the "great Hall of Famer."

The sportscasters on NBC shower their praises at the same time Havnameltdown's body is being transported for disposal.

Business as usual, we are to forget what happened just hours before, just as they forget what has reoccurred endlessly over the past years.

We are to forget.

In the same manner that we are supposed to indulge those who come out with the same arguments yearly during the Triple Crown season as to how we should change the structure of the three races.

We are to forget.

The same tired lamentations that we need to space our Triple Crown races in order to placate the changes in breeding, soundness and longevity of these majestic animals. The yearly banter that, in essence, bows down to what they so callously destroyed along the way, as if that is the answer to the destruction of our sport.

If they aren't going to breed horses with stamina anymore, then we should accept this and space the three Triple Crown races to be more in line with their insistence on altering these thoroughbreds in the first place.

Change the spacing so these little speed demons can enter a Derby gate with the 100 points they received on a 9f souped-up race track. Give them time to heal so they would be able to participate at Pimlico and our gates would be filled.


Is there nothing sacred anymore? Those who come out once a year demanding changes to the historical Triple Crown are basically ACCEPTING the travesties that are occurring on a daily basis, year in and year out, and placing more emphasis on placating the state of affairs to fill gates instead of actually fixing the problem.

Do you want to win a Triple Crown?

Then breed a horse that can withstand the rigors of the grueling schedule. Sir Barton, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault and Citation. Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed. Thoroughbred Classic Champions built to win. Do you want the status that they were capable of? Well, there are an abundance of Sires and Mares standing in elite barns this very day who are fully capable of passing down the genes to see this happen.

Stop trying to turn the little ".34 second in 1f" speedster that you bought at the Keeneland sale into a classic runner using medications to mask problems if you don't want his leg to crush under him when he's running a 6f race.

Don't put drugs into your colt's system. This would allow the horses in the barn to actually compete for the Trophy in the first place. It would ensure longevity and soundness. It would keep our sacred traditions intact instead of changing it to match the ruthlessness occurring on a daily basis.

The need to medicate a "speed demon" to compete is the problem in the first place. Giving that speed demon more time between races does not irradicate the problem - it rewards it. It allows it. It makes it acceptable. Ignorance to this fact is no excuse.

Do you want to "effectively minimize any avoidable risk in the sport"?

Then tack on an extra zero to these miserably minor fines when a horse is found to have banned medications in their system. If banned from one facility, accepting them at another facility does not curtail the infraction. The vicious circle continues onto different turf and does nothing but give acceptance to the state of affairs with this sport.

Those who come out once a year demanding "changes" to our longstanding Triple Crown placates those who have altered our Champions and this, in turn, simply masks the real problem. It would give acceptance to breeding speedsters who need meds to perform at the longer distances. It would ensure that more innocent horses die on live TV. It would render the breeding shed as a speed factory, producing unsound horses who need 8 weeks to recover from a 9f race. It would surely see to the demise of a what a Classic Champion truly is. Additional time does not change the status of the unfit horse.

The "ideas" set forth on what changes need to be done with the scheduling of our Triple Crown in order to see more entries in the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes is cringeworthy and does absolutely nothing to save the Thoroughbred. It simply gives affirmation to those who insist on breeding sub-par speedy milers who are lucky if they make it through 2 years unscathed, and retiring with 6 races in their career. The money machine would simply churn at a faster rate with even more breakdowns and deaths and ACCEPTANCE because nothing is sacred any more.

The same speedy milers who show up on the vets lists who need medications to allow them to make it to the next distance on their trainer's calendars. But, yeah, let's give them more time to rest in between the races that they can't handle in the first place. That should do the trick.

This sort of thinking is prevalent and accepted in all things lately, not just in horse racing. The perverted acceptance of change and what they perceive as growth and tolerance has not only destroyed what semblance this country once had, but it has rendered morality and societal decorum in a downward spin with no recovery in sight.

Acceptance that bows down to those who force feed their skewed mentality onto anyone who will listen will ensure that the cracks become craters, that which there is no return. It is no different when it comes to horse racing. Acceptance and change to a history that has produced magnificence need not be altered to surrender to those who perverted it in the first place.

Nothing is sacred any more. Not in our country and certainly not in the sport that we grew up with. Change the Triple Crown series and the sport is gone for good. Nobody can convince me otherwise. You don't change to match what they have undone. You strive for perfection in order to keep what little semblance is left.


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