A syringe by any other name…

The Internet is buzzing about the latest high-profile scandals to hit U.S. racing just as the Triple Crown season gets under way.  The first black eye came as trainer Jeff Mullins was caught administering an oral paste to a horse in the detention barn before a race in New York, which is illegal under the rules of that state. The paste was contained in a plastic oral syringe – which most people not used to dealing with horses have probably never seen or heard of. So the headlines have been transformed into “Mullins caught with syringe,” which makes it sound like he was injecting some substance. The confusion could draw attention away from the real issue of what should and should not be permitted on race day (the right answer, of course, is that nothing should be permitted).

The second black eye came from Ernie Paragallo, a big owner in New York State who apparently has better things to spend his money on than feeding his sizable bloodstock holdings. Several emaciated mares from his farm ended up at slaughter auctions in New York as Mr. Paragallo enjoyed cocktails at Aqueduct over the weekend.

Both incidents shine yet more light on an industry in trouble, but how much worse does it have to get before any real change happens? U.S. racing is like a substance abuser that has to hit bottom before being hauled off to rehab, but where in the hell is the bottom?

0 Replies to “A syringe by any other name…”

  1. I feel like we’re there. Perversely, I hope we are, because I want to racing to face up to safety issues, slaughter, medications and make the changes that are best for the horse.

  2. While I hope, for us all, Jessica, you are right, I think if we dropped a rock off this proverbial ledge, they could run the Grand National again, before we heard it land.

  3. And I fear your prediction is closer to the truth, Michael.

    Also, I wish it were possible to edit comments after posting. I see a couple typos above I’ve love to fix.

  4. American horse racing is nowhere near the bottom. In fact, there may not even BE a bottom.
    Reason being, except around Derby time, the general public doesn’t really care what goes on at the track, and the betting public doesn’t give a hoot either.
    So the bottom line? Without pressure the horse racing industry isn’t going to do anything to clean up it’s act and things will simply get worse and worse until the whole sport is banned in this country.

    P.S. anyone know where I get an audio dub of that excellent English track announcer and his call of the ‘ARC last year? It was Magnificent.

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