Curlin is Just Happy to See You

curlin
Some ‘stiff’ penalties indeed were handed down this week in the quarter horse world as a New Mexico trainer was given a 16 year suspension for dosing his racing stock with Viagra. In what is believe to be a first; several owners were also sanctioned. Details here from the Paulick Report:

http://www.paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/viagra-positives-land-new-mexico-trainer-16-year-ban/

The puns aplenty throughout the Twitterverse reminded me of a day long ago at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky where I met the great Curlin just beginning his stud career. I snapped the above picture of ‘Curlin Jr.’ who appeared ready for his close up.

Viagra sends increased bloodflow to one specific area; which has very little to do with performance outside of the bedroom, at least in humans. It’s doubtful that human size dosages of the drug have the same effect on horses, especially given the fact that several drugged horses were female.

I think if the drug testing labs used my HR/GPS gear to ascertain if these illegal drugs actually increase performance in athletic horses they would find that 75% of what is illegal simply doesn’t work as hoped for by the cheaters.

Nevertheless, it’s good for the game to send these boneheads to the sidelines.
(Okay, I am out of puns.)

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About bpressey

Equine Exercise Physiologist

Posted on February 12, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. “Viagra sends increased bloodflow to one specific area; which has very little to do with performance outside of the bedroom, at least in humans. It’s doubtful that human size dosages of the drug have the same effect on horses, especially given the fact that several drugged horses were female.”

    Not to mention that pretty much every horse runs in Lasix now, which decreases blood pressure, so if Viagra was to have any effect they would probably cancel each other out! Either way, just….duh!!!

    • Same with EPO or any ‘blood booster’ Linda: the equine spleen already shoots stored red blood cells into the bloodstream (already thinned out by Lasix as you mentioned), a natural sort of fuel injection. EPO on cyclists traveling 2200 miles in the mountains over a 21 day Tour de France benefitting? Absolutely. A horse going 8F once every 5 weeks? Not so much.

  2. There is more to the story, depending on where you read it. He claims some other legal medication was contaminated with Seldenafil. The NMRC is still holding him responsible, even after supporting testimony from the drug company. Will be interesting to see how it turns out.

    http://www.aqha.com/Racing/News-Articles/Stinebaugh-Handed-16-Year-Suspension.aspx

    • Thanks Ty. Many drug violators make this claim, and it does pan out occasionally. Another reason in my mind for no drugs whatsoever, but then the claim can be made that the feed was contaminated. In the human world, at least, some supplements are made in the same factory: one being allowed, and another being forbidden – making cross contamination a real possibility.

  3. Well said. I have followed you column for some time now and am very impressed by its content. Keep bringing it on! Sincerely, Mark Breen

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