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News stories tagged with "horse-racing"

How to be kind to a horse: Cigar gets a nice bath at the Kentucky Horse Park. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7326810@N08/625667615/">Jean</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
How to be kind to a horse: Cigar gets a nice bath at the Kentucky Horse Park. Photo: Jean, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NYS, KY regulators investigate allegations of racehorse abuse

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Thoroughbred racing regulators in New York and Kentucky are investigating allegations of mistreatment of horses by Racing Hall of Fame-nominated trainer Steve Asmussen and his top assistant, Scott Blasi.

The state's racing commissions said Thursday that investigations were launched after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals provided video evidence from an undercover investigation of Asmussen and associates. The PETA investigation was first reported by the New York Times.  Go to full article
2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro (center) died as a result of injuries in the Preakness, held two weeks later. About one thousand racehorses per year died as a result of injury on U.S. racetracks between 2003-2008. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alexbrown">Alex Brown</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/">some rights reserved</a>
2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro (center) died as a result of injuries in the Preakness, held two weeks later. About one thousand racehorses per year died as a result of injury on U.S. racetracks between 2003-2008. Photo: Alex Brown, CC some rights reserved

NY State Report finds half of racehorse deaths preventable

A report by the Cuomo Admistration on the death of 21 horses at a New York racing course concludes that half of the deaths could have been prevented.

The task force was appointed by Governor Cuomo following a spate of horse deaths at the winter meet at Aqueduct. The investigators, who included horse racing experts and veterinarians, did not find any evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Rather, they concluded what one task force member says was a "perfect storm" of circumstances that led to the deaths and that highlight a number of questionable practices. Director of State Operations Howard Glaser says those practices will need to change: "The health of horses and safety of riders cannot finish a distant second."  Go to full article
A slow day at Saratoga Racetrack. Photo: Brian Mann
A slow day at Saratoga Racetrack. Photo: Brian Mann

Governor Cuomo takes the reins at state horse racing association

Governor Cuomo has taken the reins of the troubled New York Racing Association Board. As Karen DeWitt reports, the governor is saying he needs to "restore the public trust" in a rapidly changing, and expanding, gaming industry.  Go to full article
2008 Kentucky Derby horse Eight Belles was euthanized after breaking two ankles. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
2008 Kentucky Derby horse Eight Belles was euthanized after breaking two ankles. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In horse racing, balancing animal welfare with the bottom line

Horse racing is in the midst of its triple crown, with the Kentucky Derby this past Saturday, the Preakness later this month in Maryland, and New York's Belmont Stakes coming up in June. Breeding and training thoroughbreds and harness horses has been a tradition in our region for decades. But the industry is changing, with some saying it's in crisis.

Over the last three years, the New York Times reports some 3,600 horses have died at the nation's tracks. Modern technology might have saved some of those animals, but the bottom line, as many owners see it, is that healing a horse is often too expensive. WEKU's Leslie Guttman reports on the equine hospitals where life-saving care is balanced against the bottom line.  Go to full article

Comptroller fears NYRA could soon run out of money

The state's top finance official says the New York Racing Authority is once again facing a financial crisis. NYRA already got a $250 million loan from the state to operate racetracks, including Saratoga Raceway, this summer. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says he's putting auditors on site there to monitor NYRA's operations.
An audit shows the NYRA faces insolvencey unless it cuts more spending and starts getting revenue from a casino at Aqueduct that doesn't exist yet.

Karen DeWitt reports.racetrack.  Go to full article
Rep. Scott Murphy (D-Glens Falls) is urging state officials to fix horse-racing "crisis"
Rep. Scott Murphy (D-Glens Falls) is urging state officials to fix horse-racing "crisis"

Rep. Murphy: Without loan from state, Saratoga horse racing season won't happen

Congressman Scott Murphy says there is a growing risk that this summer's thoroughbred racing season in Saratoga Springs could be canceled. The move would devastate the region's tourism economy.

Yesterday, the New York Racing Authority sent letters to its employees warning of possible lay-offs. State officials have failed to provide revenue to the thoroughbred industry from a proposed video-lottery terminal casino. The project has been stalled for nearly a decade.

The New York Racing Authority now says this summer's thoroughbred season, scheduled to begin in July, could be canceled if the legislature doesn't provide a bridge loan. Congressman Murphy from Glens Falls has been working to try to broker a settlement. He spoke yesterday with Brian Mann.  Go to full article
Scott van Laer's breeding farm in the Adirondacks has been threatened by the state crisis (Photos:  Brian Mann)
Scott van Laer's breeding farm in the Adirondacks has been threatened by the state crisis (Photos: Brian Mann)

Bungling by industry and state leaders threatens Saratoga horse racing season

The budget crisis in Albany is threatening to derail yet another major upstate New York tourist draw.

Already this year, Governor David Paterson raised the possibility of cutting all funding for the Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid and shutting down state campgrounds.

Now the state's political gridlock could force horseracing officials to cancel or scale back this year's summer meet at the track in Saratoga Springs.

Even the sport's biggest fans say New York's thoroughbred industry is in serious trouble.

As Brian Mann reports, some of that pain is being felt here in the North Country.  Go to full article
Scott VanLaer's horses are selling for upwards of $100,000
Scott VanLaer's horses are selling for upwards of $100,000

Adirondack breeder builds a business around winning horses

This week, we've been talking about the history of North Country horseracing, from the harness buggies that raced the county fairgrounds in the early 1900s to the storybook run of Funny Cide for the Triple Crown. But horseracing also has a future in the region. A thoroughbred breeder in Ray Brook, in the Adirondacks, is raising top horses that are competing on tracks around the world. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Keeping pace in Saratoga
Keeping pace in Saratoga

Postcard: starting a harness race means driving the gate

All this week we're telling stories about horses and horse-racing, a sport which for decades has been part of North Country culture. Today, Brian Mann sends this audio postcard from the harness track in Saratoga. That's where he met Scott Hamilton, who travels the North Country every year starting trotter races at county fairs.  Go to full article

Paterson unhappy with NYRA decision

In his first major break in policy from his predecessor, Governor Eliot Spitzer, New York Governor David Paterson says he's displeased with an arrangement that gives the New York Racing Association control over horseracing in the state for the next quarter century. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

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