Santa Anita makes major misstep in addressing horse deaths

Think about being a automotive owner with tires that maintain going flat. You modify the windshield wipers and install new brake pads. Hey, it’s safer. See? But … um … why are the tires going flat?

You did something, without answering or addressing the question.

That’s the alarming lack of dot-connecting occurring at Santa Anita Park within the wake of yet one more horse demise on the monitor. The power in Arcadia, reeling from 22 fatalities since Dec. 26 — together with one Thursday, a day after re-opening the primary monitor for coaching — got here across as a flailing misdirection.

The decision to, among other issues, ban using the treatment Lasix despatched trainers and people who look after horses into outraged orbit.

What it put in movement, a lit fuse inching toward its financial dynamite: Trainers and house owners are more likely to depart the state, which can result in smaller area sizes, which can lead to decreased odds and payouts, which can lead to much less betting, which can result in …

The dominoes, crushing and probably permanent.

“I feel they’re going to cause a mass exodus from California,” coach Joe Herrick stated. “Lasix has nothing — nothing — to do with the soundness of a horse. If they need to actually do one thing, reduce anti-inflammatories in half or altogether so when a vet diagnoses a horse within the morning, they really know what’s occurring. I look OK when I have three or four Advil. If I don’t, I limp around pretty good.

“With out Lasix, horses might bleed and endure. We don’t need to injury our horses. This is unnecessary in any respect. I’m disgusted. I feel they’re greedy at straws because of the strain.”

Lasix is a potent diuretic that controls pulmonary bleeding in horses susceptible to that. If all of it sounds too inside-baseball, boil it right down to this: Santa Anita had to do one thing to deal with far too many horse deaths, but picked the flawed something. Actually, they picked the precise one thing that would tear apart the sport at its California seams.

Veteran trainer John Sadler also predicted horses would flee California, telling “I feel that’s in all probability a really huge mistake, because the first time they’ve two or three horses tip over in the stretch bleeding out the nostril, how’s that going to look?”

If any of this feels like an argument in help of the sport smooth-shoeing its strategy to security, that’s nowhere near being the case. In reality, nothing is more essential to its monetary and ethical survival.

It’s a matter of being sensible and, as much as something, on-target about selections that ship ripples by way of an business already on fragile footing with an ageing fan base, animal-safety considerations and a variety of other challenges. Racing supports an estimated 50,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in annual financial impression in California alone.

Carlsbad horse proprietor and handicapper Jon Lindo strengthened Santa Anita’s confusing response.

“The announcement…

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