The Big L & The Numbers

Lasix is again in the news. I'd make that statement up to the power of 47, but I don't know how to do that on my keyboard.

I wonder sometimes, racing sure spends a lot of time on issues that don't make a lot of difference in the grand scheme of things. No matter how you feel about lasix use on raceday, there are probably a dozen other medication policies that can be enacted ahead of a lasix ban. 

Like Bacon said in the linked article above, scare tactics and demagoguery come into play.

Some off the cuff comments:

Lasix use in the US, where 98% of the horses use it, is pretty silly. 98 out of 100 horses do not need lasix. Scarring, blah, blah, blah. I think you're full of crap.

Banning lasix like they do in the UK and elsewhere is a charade. There are other drugs and remedies that do similar and they are used in a uniform fashion. They will be used in the US too if the lasix ban goes into effect.  There won't be an "L" on the program, but unless you have a 72 hour D barn for every race, be rest assured it will happen.

Adding new remedies, drugs, vitamins, whatever to stop bleeding is probably inflationary for horse owners. This stuff will cost more than $40.

This is an elite versus the serfs issue; something that really plagues thoroughbred racing, in my opinion. Sure the black-typers who want to race six times a year at most and shuffle off to the shed will see little effect on their businesses. They might get invited to more horse racing parties in the UK and not made fun of. However, the dude at Mountaineer with a 5 claimer trying to make ends meet is a different animal. He or she is probably screwed. And would never get invited to a party at Ascot on their best day anyway.

Lasix is pretty evil. I think. I hate watching horses pee all day, lose weight, compete then go recover. I don't buy the starts/horse proclamations from either side, though one may be proven right over time, but it really is a drug that irks me.

In the end, I think whatever happens, racing will deal with just fine. I don't think this will shake the foundations of racing either way. I honestly don't.

I think uniform drug policy is a more pressing issue, as a matter of fact. I think tough laws that ensure someone that works with an animal and abuses it never works in racing again should be striven for (right now, inexplicably, these laws have no teeth at all). I think when someone is caught with egregious practices, like shocking on raceday, we should Gural them, call the cops, and hope the person gets sent away to think about it.

That doesn't mean racing should do nothing about the Big L. I just think there are much more pressing issues.

The Numbers

We've read about the mellifluous way attendance is being counted at Saratoga before. 

From the NYRA board meeting today.

2013 Per Capita Spend = Spend in 2013 / # of people in your venue in 2013

2014 Per Capita Spend = Spend in 2014 / # of people in your venue in 2014

 If no one really knows what the denominator is, I don't think you need a math degree from MIT to comprehend you're up the creek without a paddle.

Have a nice day everyone.

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