How many times would you have liked to hear the truth? Not the P.C. answers aimed to please, but the ones we’ll talk about around the water cooler. There have been some goings on this year, and I would have loved to been a fly on the wall taking in the real truth. Sometimes we take that mental break, and just dream about a world that doesn’t resemble this one at times. When you turn off the bull-crap filter. You may hear a little different story.
The Asmussen / Blasi / PETA / debacle = Hello, we’re from PETA, and we want to speak to you gents. “No, not you with that filthy mouth. It’s hard to understand what a trainer sees in your silly crap.” Well gents, we have a little problem and now the world has seen behind the curtain of the sport. What should we do? Ban you, fine you, suspend you? “The public thinks this is going on everywhere, and you have helped them see that bad decisions get made everyday.”
Asmussen – “I don’t know what happened. There are 500 horses around the country under my care, and I can’t see everything. I am INNOCENT!!”
Blasi – ” $%^&*^$$#@v !!! – &**$$#@^^&% !!!! – Me too….”
PETA – “We have gotten together with racing officials from around the nation, and have sought guidance from other countries. Mr. Blasi, you’re next up for taking care of injured horses who no longer race. Maybe some of them were under your care. You’ll be highly supervised, and you’ll work with special needs children and the benefits of therapeutic riding. Maybe you’ll see the joy it is to be around horses. Don’t worry, we’re going to muzzle you, and give you a tongue tie. The hours will be long, the pay will be small, and your efforts will just begin to scratch the surface of your lack of professionalism. Oh, and social media will follow you everywhere for the rest of your life. If you don’t like this, there’s always barber college.”
“Mr. Asmussen, you’re going to be punished as well. We don’t want to take you away from the sport. We’re going to make you the “snitch” when things are going wrong anywhere. Bad horsemen will hate you, the good outfits will have no use for you, and the public will never believe you. Think of this like your own personal Elba. By the end of your life, you would have begged to be under Mr. Blasi’s care. When you win a race, you’ll invite all of the media to video, take pics, and download your post-race operations. From this day forward, 50% of all of your earnings will be redirected to retirement facilities, after-care programs, and fan education. We sure hope you win the Derby this year, there are many operations who need the money.”
Synthetic Track Surfaces – “Has anyone seen that rubbery stuff the horses across the pond have been running on? Is can be safer, and we’ll make a heap load of money trying to peddle this to big tracks. Hell, they might even buy a big chunk of the product!”
We’ll claim it is impervious to all elements. “You know, like Superman.” We know it doesn’t belong at more than a handful of tracks around the nation. The ones who use to lose weeks of racing due to freeze/thaw conditions. It sure doesn’t belong in California, as they have perfect weather in the northern areas, and in the south the heat will cause the surface to get sticky, uneven, and unsafe. Aqueduct could probably use it on the inner-track, but they would tell us where to go in short order. How about Kentucky, the capital of the Thoroughbred? Yeah, that’s the ticket. I’ll bet they’ll buy it. We’ll sell the safety angle, and they will have a hard time saying no to that!
Kentucky – “How can we say no to safety? We have to examine this, and no matter the cost we will do what is right for racing.”
California – “Don’t leave us out. If there is a safer surface as you say, we’ll take it. We would be in the wrong business if we didn’t think about the athletes.”
The Truth – “Pull that crap up! Impervious my ass… It makes the track sticky, and players hated when we went away from dirt. They may downgrade the Bluegrass to a starter allowance race! Just think, racing was conducted for about 200 years in the states, and a manicured dirt surface was fine. I hear every horse from California gets the “doubt test” no matter how good they run. We can’t have this! We want the Breeders’ Cup to set up shop, and our handle to return to the 1980’s. Let’s just use this stuff on some training tracks, and allow horses to heal and get ready to return to the natural dirt.”
“With a wink and a blink I soon awoke, and my bizarro dream went away just like smoke.” All sports have to police themselves and make the game transparent. That doesn’t mean some of the time. But anywhere there is a sport that an edge can be gained by using methods that don’t have a purpose in the sport. Blast off the suckers, jokers, and wannabe doctors who seek that magic elixir. There is no substitute for time, patience, education, and penalties that will rid the game of bad eggs forever. As far as synthetic surfaces. They do not come cheap, and they cost millions of dollars to design and upkeep. Tracks fall into a bad place when safety becomes the big issue. They’ll tend to go the route if there is any money in the coffers. Opting to go back to state-of-the-art dirt surfaces have two reasons. 1) The surfaces didn’t hold up as they were sold. 2) Horses are opting to stick with surfaces where the Derby and main preps would be run. Graded race s could be downgraded, and with the Breeders’ Cup dollars looming in the background. The idea of the safest dirt course design only makes sense. Not to mention, the handle may jump a bit when players have that old confidence again when going to the windows. If you don’t invest in your sport, nobody is going to play. Casino’s have the eye in the sky, and Big Brother is on many street corners in America. Racing needs to pull back the curtains and show that bad eggs are like needles in haystacks, and if something isn’t working to the advantage of the sport. Changes need to be made.