Toward a New Horse Racing

Consider this a promising first step.

Michael Iavarone, the man behind IEAH Stables, which counts Big Brown among its more than 50 thoroughbreds, has announced that his horses will be off their drug regimens by October. The hope is that other stables will follow suit and begin to rid the sport of steroids and other harmful pre-race drugs.

While this is a self-evidently good thing, forgive me if this doesn’t strike me as a moral awakening on the part of Iavarone. Rather, I imagine it’s some sort of preemptive tidying up in response to Congress’ growing interest in the sport.

No matter: The point is to remake horse racing into something that resembles a humane endeavor, which presently it manifestly is not. Again, it’s a promising first step. But as I’ve written before, the uniform or at least widespread use of synthetic track surfaces and taking measures to prevent the running of injured horses are also necessary. There’s more to be done.

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