As I type this blog post, I'm thinking about all the awesome articles that Pull The Pocket and View From The Racetrack Grandstand (among others) are putting out there in order for us, "dumber-than-a-stump-when-it-comes-to-wagering" kiddies to read about, with regards to understanding handles, takeouts, etc., and then I think, "What the hell for?" All this valuable info that these bloggers are giving us becomes virtually weightless when people in the industry CONTINUE to cheat. I mean, why don't we all just bet our hard-earned money on which owner/trainer will be the next ones caught? Screw betting on the actual race itself. Are we going to have to start re-naming races, to let's say, The Little Brown Jugging, or, The EPO North America Cup? And let me get this out there: I'm not a wizard when it comes to understanding the wagering game, by no means, but I would have to think that when these horses are all jacked up on "Mountain Dew", you're inadvertently screwing with the stats - the very stats one would use to determine handles, takeouts, etc.? Not only are they contaminating those stats, but they're falsifying best lifetime marks, track records, breeding bold lines, geesh, the list is endless! We see it all the time in stallion ads, " Breed to this sire, his best lifetime mark is 1:48.1'! Is it REALLY?? How can we be so sure - does that mean he just never got caught using? One has to ask themselves now.
Does the punishment fit the crime?
Ok, this cheating stuff has been going on for a long time now, and Crys Dream isn't the first, and certainly won't be the last, but what types of reprimands should be enforced? Many people might not like my answer, but I say, "GET OUT - AND STAY OUT!" And if there was a vet involved in it, he can get the hell out too! I'm sorry, but I operate an off-the-track-standardbred rescue and I see first hand what illegal drug use and overages do to a race horse. If a trainer/owner cannot win on their own merit, and feel the need to pump their horses with anything from vodka to cobra venom, then a pharmaceutical job might be a better career choice for them (or a bartender, or zookeeper). We should have grooms in the barns, not chemists.
I originally wanted to create an upbeat blog post today; something funny, lighthearted, and entertaining, but I got tired of once again, trying to use make-up to cover yet another black eye the industry received today, and decided to talk open about it. And I'm not saying all owners and trainers play this way, because there are many that are clean and play by the rules, but it's the dirty ones who make headlines most of the time.
Let's set one thing straight though: It's not Crys Dream fault, she goes out on the track each time asked, and does a job. Hopefully, this will all come out of the wash and be a big misunderstanding, and that she was never positive on anything. That being said, if it is true, and she was positive on something illegal, we must remember that she was the innocent bystander in an industry that should be creating positive influences...not positive tests.
Stay safe, keep your hooves on the ground, and keep reaching for the wire.