America's Race Tracks and Racing Boards are Just as Guilty of Animal Neglect . . .



  • markinsacmarkinsac Member
    edited April 2014
    Look at the timeline of Hub Johnson's death. It came after the PETA video came out and before he was to start a new job for LoPresti, trainer of Wise Dan. I would think that was a job to look forward to.

    But later in that story, there's an eerie statement, "He talked about putting the horse first and being BRAVE enough to punish rule breakers." Johnson: "I think that's how you're taken seriously--if people outside the sport see that if somebody messes up, they're punished. And they're punished the same way in one part of the country as another."


    *PETA video breaks
    *Johnson has another job lined up with a trainer who trains Horse of the Year
    *He talked about being BRAVE enough to punish rule breakers (just that use of the word BRAVE indicates some danger is involved)
    *Johnson is dead from a supposed suicide

    This has questions written all over it

  • When you try to put the pieces together, maybe Johnson threatened the wrong person that they were going to be exposed. From what you have learned about the racing industry, this is not out of the realm of possibility.
  • markinsacmarkinsac Member
    edited April 2014
    There are some more tangents to consider. When did he stop working for Asmussen? And why did he quit or get fired? How come no details of the suicide have been released? If he made the comments that cheaters should be punished, is it possible that he assisted the PETA mole? Could that have been found out by the wrong people and ?

    This case is getting murkier by the day.

    Please explain what he's trying to say, I don't quite get it:
  • KetaKeta Member
    It is worth reading the entire article-these are just excerpts from it.

    A Track’s Shift to Dirt Adds to Horses’ Risks
    By JOE DRAPE The New York TImes APRIL 3, 2014
    On Tuesday, the Jockey Club released statistics from its equine injury database showing that synthetic racetracks were far safer than dirt or turf, and that the one at Keeneland Race Course was one of the safest in the nation, with a fatality rate last year of 0.33 per 1,000 starts.
    So on Wednesday, what did the lords of the venerable racetrack do?
    They announced that at the end of the current meeting, they were replacing Keeneland’s synthetic track with dirt, a surface that fatally broke down racehorses at a six-times-greater rate from 2009 to 2013, according to the Jockey Club.

    From NY Times article by Joe Drape
    “Isn’t it supposed to be about the safety of the horses?” said Charles Lopresti, trainer of the two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan, in The Lexington Herald-Leader.

    NY Times article by Joe Drape
    Keeneland wants to host the year-end Breeders’ Cup World Championships in the future. It has not been lost on the powers that be that Santa Anita Park will host its third straight Breeders’ Cup this fall after switching from a synthetic surface to dirt in 2011. They also are aware that another California track, Del Mar, announced it would replace its surface with dirt by next year in hopes of landing a Breeders’ Cup.

  • Bravo! Good reporting! Remember, they are promising a dirt track "just as safe" as the polytrack was. They are lying through their teeth already. No track, especially dirt track, can get to .033 per 1,000 races.

    Furthermore, Keeneland had just set records in betting and attendance.

  • markinsacmarkinsac Member
    edited April 2014
    Keeneland CEO tells TVG Polytrack "didn't become the accepted surface around America."

    Really? Then why did you set a betting record last year?

    Furthermore, the safety of the horses and jockeys OVERIDE the gamblers. I am a gambler and I surely will vote for less breakdowns over my wallet. Besides, I do better on synthetic tracks because I'm a gambler with an imagination.

    Keeneland greed+
    Keeneland lies=

    Keeneland Clowns.
  • markinsacmarkinsac Member
    edited April 2014

    Turfway was the first track to install polytrack and they have no plans of removing it. But Turfway has taken strides to be a real race track by courting race fans and giving them excellent customer service. Now this just in:

    Turfway and it's horsemen team up to fund aftercare programs . . .

    Keeneland who?

    NTRA wants whistle blowers. OK, try getting a job after you get "laid off" from the guy your telling on. No. Racetracks and state racing boards need to do some undercover work much like PETA did. Why is this so hard to conceive? Is it because they are so aligned with the trainers who are destroying their business?

    The article is long and tries to present a balanced look at why synthetic tracks just don't work. One thing that you can't ignore, synthetics didn't live up to their expectations. Another thing you can't ignore is that synthetics are much safer than dirt. But there are other factors:

    If you read the comments section, the third comment from "Richard Cadena" makes a very good point that the DRF has always been biased against synthetics. One could surmise is if bettors don't like it, then the DRF must not like it either. DRF makes nearly all of it's profits directly from bettors.

    Bias? NO! NOT THE DRF!!!!!!!!!!!

    From ESPN:

    Of course he won't. Supertrainers live by a different set of rules. And pardon me for using the words 'supertrainers' and 'rules' in the same sentence.
  • Speedinthruthecity ($4) comfortably holds off Ms Anna Destiny to give her trainer, Steve Asmussen, his sixth win in $100K Carousel at Oaklawn Park
  • Are you saying he won 6 races today?
  • RachelRachel Member
    edited April 2014
    indeed he did. 6 wins at Oaklawn today...unless it means he won that race 6 times
  • damn...if u look him up on wikipedia, they have his cruelty accusations lol
  • carolinarkansascarolinarkansas hot springs, arkansasMember
    edited April 2014
    as unpopular as it may be......I have several times this year seen him paddock schooling his horses....not when a bunch of folks were watching .....just me sitting by the paddock because I go to the track to see the horses....he was hands on....talking to them...his assistant and groom were talking as he walked the horses around Oaklawn's indoor paddock....he was firm but raised voices...the horses seemed to respond well to I am willing to give him the benefit of "innocent til proven"...and I mean proven but a credible source ...
  • Carolina, he's already had over 25 medical violations. But he's just one of many. He shouldn't even be training based on that evidence. There's no doubt he's a good horseman, but that doesn't mean we should ignore his past. I don't think the PETA video is much, it's his past that is the bellringer. And only on a few occasions has he gotten even a suspension.
  • One of the reasons Asmussen came under the glare of PETA is because quite a few of his racehorses and retired broodmares were at slaughter sales such as New Holland in horrible conditions, a few were saved but no telling how many were killed and sold for meat. The ones saved were rescued by private rescues and these people are having to spend thousands of dollars to save former racehorses who have been abused, maimed, neglected, and nearly starved to death; while their former trainers/owners are living high on the hog from earnings made off these horses. It costs so much more to rehab these horses than it would to retire/retrain them to another life. The Attards are also under the microscope as well, so don't be surprised if another bombshell falls soon. I'm not a PETA advocate, but whatever it takes to get the garbage off the track, I'm all for it!

  • As the clock continues to tick, complacency is already setting in. I think that when someone advocating change looks at the big picture, all the mechanisms that need to click, it becomes apparent that this is like trying to climb Mount Everest in a wheelchair.

    Not one racing official has contacted Jeff Gural for advice on how to deal with the situation, just shows that not ONE of them is willing to admit that they made mistakes.

    Not one.
  • Has Asmussen made a public statement? I remember Dutrow wouldn't shut up.

  • Asmussen hasn't. But don't sit by the TV waiting for him to announce he made mistakes. Nobody in this industry seems capable of that.
  • You mentioned Monmouth Park back a few days ago and the odds dropping mid-race. I once heard a teller say that a horse that was actually running was scratched. Not only did the horse run; it won the race.
  • markinsacmarkinsac Member
    edited April 2014
    The situation you described is rare but it does happen and I think it only happens at New York's tracks, Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga.

    Here's the situation: When an owner enters two horses in the same race, they become an entry, usually #1 and #1A. If you bet on #1, you get two horses. But if one of the horses in the entry gets scratched, you still have action on the other one. You will still have time to go cancel and change your bet if the horse that was scratched was the best half of the entry, if you choose. Except in New York. The NYRA will completely scratch the #1 and #1A if just one horse is scratched. But they will let the healthy one race FOR PURSE MONEY ONLY.

    This creates a lot of confusion, especially for those betting on the race at someplace else, like Phoenix, Arizona for example. If the entry is scratched, but one of them is running for purse money only and wins the race, people betting on the second-place horse might throw away win bets on that horse not realizing the winner didn't count. On the other hand, if the entry gets scratched and the one running for purse money only runs out of the money, people might throw away their tickets not realizing they could get a refund on their bet.

    The ones who benefit the most is the people who play pick-3 or pick-4 bets. Since they bet on the entry and one gets scrathed, they don't want to get stuck with the worst horse of the two at low odds. So their selection on the entry gets transferred to the betting favorite, which plummets the odds on that selection.

    To avoid all confusion, race tracks should abandon the entry rule altogether. It's completely outdated. Meaning there simply wouldn't be entries any more. If an owner enters more than one horse in a race, they remain separate betting interests.
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