Joe Takach

Article Library




The 5th reason that a bad-looking horse could and sometimes does win a race is because he’s drugged.

Drugging can be legal, illegal or a combination of both.

If you ever spent anytime of consequence as a groom or a hotwalker etc., you know the actual word “drug” is never heard from a backside worker’s mouth to include a trainer or assistant trainer.  It is all part of the backside mindset that the “frontside”, to include every single owner and $2 punter, should always be kept in the dark, even if nothing illegal is being administered!

“What they don’t know won’t hurt them” is usually the reply of these condescending hardboots!

Of course from a wagering standpoint, even legal “drugging” is quite important if for nothing more than to know how another horse beat you, or perhaps to explain how you were bright enough to capitalized on a momentary situation where a horse was “legally” going 1st or 2nd lasix while adding “bute”. 

These two legal panaceas (bute and lasix) and a host of other little legal “goodies” are not supposed to “enhance” performance. (If you still believe that nonsense, contact me at once.  I have “swampland” in the middle of downtown Del Mar I can let you have for 20 bucks an acre). 

By now, every serious horseplayer alive knows that 1st and 2nd time lasix does enhance performance and frequently in a big and winning way.  And if you continue to believe the horse manure fed you by racetrack chemists, vets, officials, etc., you deserve to lose your money.

I offer fuller treatments of legal drugging in my earlier books if you’d like deeper explanations of the interaction of these 2 legal drugs (bute and lasix) and their undeniable ability to “mask” virtually anything that most racing jurisdictions are testing for.

Not every single horse put into this lasix scenario is necessarily cheating thru illegal and undetectable additives, but surely enough of them suddenly run so well that to deny the performance enhancing benefits derived from theses drugs is to insult everyone’s intelligence.

Horses simply don’t knock 2 to 3 seconds off their fastest races because they were offered just lasix. 

On the other side of the coin, banned substances (that track officials know about) are plentiful and far too many to discuss in this writing.  Even more numerous are the “designer” drugs that flow on backsides like water over Niagara Falls.  Simply put, if any racing jurisdiction doesn’t have a test for a specific substance, metabolites of that illegal substance will show up in the post-race state urine test as an unidentifiable or indistinguishable metabolite----much the way a food metabolite would show up.  That being the case, nobody did anything wrong as far as the state is concerned, even though these metabolites haven’t been identified.  You can’t blame the state for not finding something that they aren’t testing for and therein lies the problem.

If in the Olympics, they can tell you what specific drug is in any and every participant, why can’t racetracks have more sophisticated tests geared toward their specific problems.

In a word, money! 

And even if offered unlimited funds capable of detecting everything and anything in a horse’s system, what’s the point in possibly catching the majority of your revenue base cheating while in search of purse money?  If the state caught too many, racing would slow down or stop and the state would lose a nice piece of tax revenue, not to mention untold unemployment compensation given to all the displaced backside workers. 

Catch 22, no?

I hope I didn’t make you paranoid about illegally drugged horses, but in writing a piece like this, I have to show you the many different sides of this drug coin.  To skip the topic would be misleading at best and still leave you in the dark as to why a bad-looking horse runs a winning race. 

If a horse doesn’t “feel” that enlarged front ankle or blown knee due to “a little help from his friends”, he’ll run as he did before acquiring his problem until the ankle snaps or the knee shatters.  And that just might be fast enough to win any given race depending on the state of affairs of the other contestants!

Suffice it to say that somewhere in your horseplaying career, a poor-looking drugged horse (legal or illegal) with zero energy and one who couldn’t get his head over his shoulders in the paddock, beat you.  Maybe by only a nose, head or neck, but you ripped up your losing ticket nonetheless.  Accept it as it’s never going to change.  The bad guys will always be one step in front of the good guys until the good guys discover exactly what the substance is.  But by that time, the bad guys are on to something new.



Copyright © 2001 iCapper.Com