Why Attack Horseracing Now? And Why Santa Anita?


After countless hit pieces in the national media, and just as many articles in the horse racing media flogging the sport and the people in it – finally someone has the courage (and the facts) to tell the truth:


Par for the course in America these days it takes an overseas writer to bust up the media groupthink with actual facts. Bless his heart. Try that here and he’d be ignored, or attacked, or banned from social media, or fired by CNN. Deplatformed, in current terms.

Correction: American writer, overseas publisher. Even more ‘interesting’. The Paulick Report couldn’t write this? Bloodhorse? The same thing happened with the Maria Borell situation, took an American writer getting published by an offshore site to bring that matter to the public’s attention, while US based horseracing sites willfully ignored the story – for many months. 

It’s all politics, plain and simple. Those who despise horseracing utilize willing media activist accomplices to appeal to emotions with massive distortions of fact. And it works – half of our industry is willing to kill itself off over this nonsense.

You show me data like above where the deaths at SA gradually rise from 2.0 to 5.0 over a period of a few years and I will go apeshit with anger and demand changes immediately. But it’s not happening, even with biblical flooding this past winter over a surface engineered to withstand years of drought.

There is a BIG example of this same activist-driven lying going on in the US with another hot button political issue where an event happens 20% of the time but those events garner 99% of the media coverage in a coordinated effort to push an agenda that is based on lies, meant to inflame emotions, and result in additional votes for one party over another. Facts be damned.

PETA sympathizers vastly outnumber horseracing fans in California, and CA racing better not forget that demographic fact. Every CA politician knows where his/her bread is buttered.

You may not care about politics, but politics cares very much about you.


About bpressey

Equine Exercise Physiologist

Posted on June 27, 2019, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hey Bill, good morning from Texas. I’m hearing your anger at the negative piling on but do you not think the sport deserves it? Even a little? For years, it has been completely acceptable to the participants of racing for their stars to go down to injury – often destroyed because of it in green curtain fashion on the track. Yes, the trainer and backstretch folks are sad when they lose one but they accept it and go on. I would argue it is very acceptable because it feeds the replenishment cycle (“we’ll get you another one”). The old “took a bad step” or “the horse just went wrong”, etc… pick your euphemism… is a bad excuse for what is most likely a preventable injury. I know you love the game and I know you get frustrated at the pace of positive change in the sport but are you defending the status quo or just pointing out the hypocrisy of the media?

    • Of course we can do better – but if you think cutting the fatality rate in half from 1.6 to 0.8 is going to stop the negative attacks on our sport I think you are mistaken. And it’s no coincidence this media cycle is focused on California. SA has lower fatality rates than CD year after year, so why them? Why now?

      The guy I work for uses no drugs. None. He didn’t need a law/rule to stop everyone, he just decided to do what he felt was right – and he wins races. I want more people like that in the game.

  2. Mike Campbell

    Horse Racing, as a whole has had many dirty little secrets and to deny that fact makes you just as complicit as the guilty parties that are ruining a once beautiful sport. For anyone to think that catastrophic injuries were going to continue to be swept under the rug is just plain nuts. Yes, there are many good, honest and compassionate trainers out there and yes sometimes bad things happen to good people/trainers but as we all know, there are also monsters with training licenses and until they are eliminated, the spotlight on cruelty in racing is going to get brighter and brighter. The honest, law abiding trainers need to band together and help enforce honest training practices by pointing out the culprits that are killing the business. I for one remember when I was a full time trainer, I saw things done to horses that looking back at it now, I should have reported to authorities but there is a ridiculous code that exists regarding horsemen snitching on horsemen. That code needs to be abolished and horsemen need to report nefarious acts to the powers that be. There is no other way to get rid of these criminals that are destroying horseflesh and ultimately our livelihood, as enforcement whether it is at the track or at training centers can’t keep up with the sheer numbers.

  3. What a fucking joke. I work for the only drug free connections in the industry. I am not the problem. We have no dirty secrets although it sounds like you do. Don’t project that shit on me. Cheaters covering up for cheaters happens in every industry. I don’t need some bullshit laws passed for everyone else to make me do the right thing by a horse. Maybe you do.

    CNN ran a quote by someone claiming that horses are routinely raced on broken legs and given drugs to cover it up. That’s not true. That’s a lie. But these media activists believe they are morally on the right side of an issue, and that’s what makes lying a necessary and just part of their job. That is what my post was ranting about.

  4. I’ve got a lot that I could say about this, but I’ll address only one area. You said honest people should rat out the crooks. Ain’t gonna happen. Evidence? I’ll give you a name – Glenn Thompson. He wrote an ebook about cheating in horse racing a few years ago. Personally, I don’t think his book went far enough. But my point is, take a look at the number of starters he fielded before and after the book came out – it dropped dramatically. In other words, he was blackballed, at least somewhat. Most likely that was by owners pulling horses from him. Want to know why trainers who know what’s going on won’t talk? That’s why. And all the honest trainers in the world ain’t gonna stop it when you have owners who care only about winning at all costs.

    • Owners aren’t the only ‘win at all costs’ party, so are trainers and vets. As a matter of fact, of these 3 groups only 1 is guaranteed to lose money every year. Remember what eventually brought down the drugs in Track and Field? A syringe sent to the doping cops with a mysterious substance from BALCO, sent anonymously. Rumors should be enough. Hear about EPO constantly? Test for it. Cobalt? Same. But I think often tests arent run because authorities don’t want to know.

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