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By New York Times - PETA Accuses Two Trainers of Cruelty to Horses
jeff
3/19/2014
11:56:06 PM
PETA Accuses Two Trainers of Cruelty to Horses:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/sports/peta-accuses-two-trainers-of-cruelty-to-horses.html?ref=sports&target=comments&_r=0#commentsContainer
--quote:
"Over a 26-year career, the trainer Steve Asmussen has built one of horse racing’s largest and most successful operations. He ranks second in career victories, with more than 6,700; has earned more than $214 million in purses, the fifth most in thoroughbred racing; and was recently included on the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame ballot.

But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, after conducting an undercover investigation, has accused Asmussen and his top assistant trainer, Scott Blasi, of subjecting their horses to cruel and injurious treatments, administering drugs to them for nontherapeutic purposes, and having one of their jockeys use an electrical device to shock horses into running faster. As a result of its findings, PETA filed complaints with federal and state agencies in Kentucky and New York on Tuesday, saying Asmussen "forced injured and/or suffering horses to race and train."

The undercover inquiry was conducted by a PETA investigator who worked for Asmussen for four months in the spring and summer of 2013 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y."
--end quote



-jp




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~Edited by: jeff  on:  3/19/2014  at:  11:56:06 PM~

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jeff
3/20/2014
3:18:17 PM
PETA Video:
Click here to watch.

I find the video very hard to watch.

As a horseplayer, I support this game on a daily basis with my hard earned money in the pools. As a horseplayer I can't help but see things on a daily basis that suggest the game has a darker side. As a horseplayer, I tend to block that out because if you don't: How else can you justify your own involvement in the game?

I don't know which is more troubling to me: The video itself even though I realize it came from PETA and was likely edited to cause max effect? Or racing industry decision makers who fight at all costs the idea that racing has even one single problem that needs to be addressed.


-jp


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~Edited by: jeff  on:  3/20/2014  at:  3:18:17 PM~

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jeff
3/20/2014
1:29:33 PM
New York State Gaming Commission Press Release:
http://www.gaming.ny.gov/pdf/03.20.14.NYSGCInvestigation.pdf


--quote:
"NEW YORK STATE GAMING COMMISSION LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE AND MISTREATMENT OF RACE HORSES BY TRAINER STEVE ASMUSSEN, ASSISTANT TRAINER SCOTT BLASI AND OTHER LICENSED INDIVIDUALS

The New York State Gaming Commission has undertaken a formal investigation into
allegations of abuse and mistreatment of thoroughbred race horses in New York State by
licensed individuals. The investigation was initiated after the Commission was provided
undercover evidence of alleged violations by the People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals (PETA).

"The allegations and footage provided by PETA are extremely troubling and we are fully
investigating the matter," said Robert Williams, Acting Executive Director of the New York
State Gaming Commission. "PETA has offered to assist the Commission in its investigation,
and we welcome such cooperation. We expect that all other parties involved will be
forthcoming as well. If the results of our investigation find that licensed individuals violated
the State's laws and rules, the Commission will consider all options.""
--end quote





-jp


.


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Caveat
3/22/2014
9:21:08 AM
Asmussen should be banned for life as with all others that use drugs illegally .

The fans should boo each winner he has.

Yes, It was hard to watch...

I'm sure others do it but not like he does..

ITS ALL GREED!!!

You can watch shows on Animal Planet where people are put in jail by treating dogs and cats cruelly...

How do people like this get away with it?

Mike

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jeff
3/23/2014
8:29:12 PM
CNN has now picked up the story:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/21/us/racehorse-cruelty-allegations/index.html

FYI, the video, which had 17k views about mid day the day after the initial story broke is currently up to 135k views.


-jp

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jeff
3/24/2014
4:39:32 PM
Story now picked up by The Atlantic:
http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/03/the-ugly-truth-about-horse-racing/284594/


--quote:
"

If the sport cannot find a way to rid itself of a culture that abides all of this it not only won't survive—it won't deserve to survive. Barry Weisbord, publisher of the Thoroughbred Daily News, was right in his rant over the weekend. The industry needs a fourth group, of earnest people at the core of the industry, who no longer are content to remain silent and watch their friends, neighbors, or competitors ruin it for the rest. In horse racing, as in life, there is no such thing as "almost honest" or "somewhat crooked" or "slightly abused."

"
--end quote



-jp

.


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Ishmael
4/7/2014
7:43:25 AM
A large number of trainers cheat and a large number of horses are illegally drugged. Until we all come to grips with that nothing will ever change. As Jeff mentions industry will always take the "there is nothing here to see" approach. Always. Have seen it already. Backed up by their media flunkies who want to protect their Kentucky Derby passes. And even fans put their head in the sand and say well Dutrow is the bad guy or Assmussen or Mullins but "the rest" are ok. Industry says its not a problem at all, and most players say its only a slight problem- an anamoly. One is cynical and the other naive.

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jeff
4/8/2014
12:21:17 PM
Back in 2009 Dan Needham of Thorotrends designed a comprehensive survey that we asked HANA's member horseplayers to take. Here is a link to the results:
http://www.horseplayersassociation.org/articlefall2009hanasurvey.html

More than 70% of the horseplayers taking the survey cited Drugs as one of racing's core problems.

This past summer, The Jockey Club hired a consulting firm (Penn Schoen Berland) to design a similar survey. Strangely enough, their survey results dovetailed closely with results from the HANA survey 4 years earlier.

Here's a link to a page at The Jockey Club Website where their survey results were presented at the 2013 Round Table.

The market research study performed by Penn Schoen Berland (just like others before them) concluded that total customer spend on the thoroughbred racing product has been shrinking at the rate of minus 4% per year and that DRUGS are a big part of the problem.




When you talk to trainers, owners, and track management, more than 70% will tell you that racing doesn't have a drug problem. Instead they will tell you that horseplayers have a perception problem.

But when you talk to horseplayers, more than 70% will cite drugs as one of racing's core problems.

But here's the thing no one is talking about...

When you start talking to the public at large - and by that I mean people who gamble for recreation - who buy lottery tickets and/or occasionally go to a casino but have no connection to racing and do not regularly bet on horses...

When you ask this segment of the market (and it is racing's largest potential customer base) about drugs you get a completely different answer...

The public at large views drugs in racing (therapeutic or not) the same as they view use of performance enhancing drugs in sports in general.

And 98% of them are strongly in favor of zero tolerance.

In my mind, THAT is the elephant in the room that track management, trainers, and owners had better recognize (and soon.)


-jp

.




~Edited by: jeff  on:  4/8/2014  at:  12:21:17 PM~

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Ishmael
4/9/2014
11:10:54 AM
Is there a way to capture some of this in HANA's track rankings.

If track A has fuller fields all else being equal but primarly due to permissive cheating and lax enforecement, while Track B has smaller fields and one of factors is more enforecement i am sending my money to track B.

A cursory look at trainer win % and numbers when claimed from tell alot

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