Brothers: Time To Face What’s Right And What’s Wrong With Racing

Do you agree or disagree?

Link to article:

I am not part of the mainstream TB racing ‘business’ other than the micro shares I own in various MRH horses. I don’t even bet on the horses I ‘own’.

I’m not a big fan of Donna Brothers as a commentator but she definitely has food for thought, IMO, in this article. The challenge is getting all the disparate groups to begin to work together a la IOC. Is the IOC/WADA model perfect? No, but it solves many problems and I don’t recall many reports from this last Olympics of competitors being caught testing positive for a prohibited substance; yes, there were some but not whole scale.

How could an IOC-type model get implemented in the TB industry? WADA is already an existing entity that could be extended to include TB participants… jockeys, trainers, horses, stable workers, etc

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On July 1st American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson tested positive for marijuana after winning the 100 meter race in the U.S. Olympic Trials. She was disqualified and suspended, not allowed to go to the Olympics Games in August. There was a lot of chatter in track circles–the pot rule is old-fashioned, why would a sprinter use pot anyway, she was (understandably) distressed after hearing about the death of her biological mother, etc. Bottom line, she was not allowed to run in the Olympics.

And we are still awaiting a decision on Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby win, from last May.

So, yes, something needs to be done at a national level.


I have been screaming for a National Governing Body with uniform medication rules for decades. I have also been heavily involved with rehoming retiring racehorses for decades, even before it sort of became a thing so of course I agree with her. I ran and won a seat on the board of directors years ago when Penn National first started lobbying to get slots at the track because I wanted to try to get some of that potential money if they passed slots for aftercare.

Because I have been so involved in the aftercare conundrum I also know that TB people do more as an industry than any other towards that end but there is still a long way to go as horses are still falling through the cracks. I advocate for at least one surrender stall at each race track for example.

I do not agree that the lasix ban and whip rules are a good thing, I think that was not a decision made with the horse’s best interest in mind and was instead made in attempt to please the AR people which is not only impossible but detrimental.


I don’t think it has to be an IOC or WADA to start. Setting up a US governing body with national alignment would be a huge step in the right direction. Maybe I’m being Pollyanna about this, but we already sort of have it in multiple forms. The problem is then everyone goes home and makes their own state rules. It doesn’t seem like it would be hard to say the states have to follow the central governing body. But again, maybe I’m being overly optimistic.

This saga will certainly be a black mark on the sport. Especially when we all know Bob Baffert won’t go away regardless of the outcome.

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In addition to a national governing body which so many have been screaming for, I was really pleased to see her suggestion for a national testing database. This is something I’m feeling very passionately about lately.

I agree the whip and Lasix bans have not been created for the right reasons and have not been implemented well. If we are getting down to the heart of the issues, I don’t disagree with them in spirit. Appearances are everything and use of both are very bad for appearances. But you can’t throw the horsemen and the horses under the bus for the sake of appearances.

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My opinion:

I agree with her on most of this. I’m glad to see people with public exposure speaking out about this.

One area I’m not as quick to celebrate is the EID. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in support of the EID. Yes, we have reduced breakdowns. We should be proud of this. But it is complete BS that participation is voluntary and that public reporting is optional. Our data is affected by that. At this point, I don’t think we have any prominent hold outs remaining in terms of participation, but the majority of tracks still hide their numbers. I understand there are executive reasons for that, but the entire sport’s goal should be “we have nothing to hide.”