- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
As a pari-mutuels clerk and backstretch worker at the Maryland racetracks, I can attest that the problem with drugs and horses has become almost epidemic. It is commonplace to hear of certain trainers euphemistically referred to as "needlemen" or of horses as being "plugged in." The fact is that most racing authorities are either unwilling or unable to pursue comprehensive drug testing and then hand out penalties that are severe enough to prevent further abuse. Until this happens, the needlemen will continue to laugh, the horses will continue to suffer and horse racing will continue its downward spiral.
You seemed to blame breakdowns mainly on drugs. In actuality, the majority of breakdowns can be linked to the practice of racing immature animals in stressful situations. A 2- or 3-year-old horse is not fully developed, and the stress applied under racing conditions is bound to result in disaster.
You wrote about a possible connection between drug use and the tragic accident involving our fine gelding Prairie Bayou at the Belmont Stakes this year. In the races leading to the Triple Crown events, Prairie Bayou never received any medication. Never in his life was Prairie Bayou administered corticosteroids, nor did he receive any other treatment of that nature.
The numbers generated by my research on thoroughbred breakdowns were misrepresented in your article. You presented the figure of 840 horse-racing fatalities for 1992 as a tabulation, but this is not the case. The number is actually an estimate, an extrapolation based on a preliminary analysis of limited data collected from 28 racetracks.
Monon Bell Classic
I believe that all similarly inarticulate Wabash and DePauw alumni owe Garrity a debt of gratitude for writing the consummate story and describing the indescribable.
As a Wabash College alumnus now living three blocks from Notre Dame Stadium, I just enjoyed one of the greatest weekends ever. The atmosphere in South Bend surrounding the Notre Dame-Florida State game was almost surreal.
But it only approached the pitch generated by a typical Monon Bell game. When we beat DePauw in 1985, I had the great privilege of helping to carry the bell out of the stadium and back to its proper home in Crawfordsville. I can assure you that there have been few trips as joyous as that one.
What a surprise, then, to find the victories by my alma mater as well as my adopted alma mater featured in the same issue. Both articles were superb, truly capturing the spirit of the contests. Thank you for an issue I will cherish.