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Posted by George W on March 18, 2001 at 23:14:06:

In Reply to: Re: BIGGEST SCORES posted by HP on March 17, 2001 at 05:28:47:

: : : : : : : Anyone care to mention his/her biggest score to date and closest to the big score they got. My biggest was the tri in the BC turf last year. The closest I came to a big,big score was a cold January saturday at aqeduct in which I had all 6 horses in the pick 6 but had 2 separate tickets with 5 winner. I only played $20 and I I had only put $4 more, would have hit 54k(there were 2 winner at 81k, I would have been the 3rd)

: : : : : : Everyone who replies to this will incur my wrath. You should be put on the rack for trying to start a string of this happy chat/"I was brilliant but unlucky" crap. Instead, let's speculate about trainers who give illegal drugs to their horses. Comparing notes would be useful, and there would be the ancillary benefit of getting on HP's nerves.

: : : : : Hey, other people slammed that stuff too. HP

: : : : What you wanted to do, you did well. I just don't understand why you wanted to do it. It looked liked selective prosecution to me. Both Ragozin and JB have commented about drugs in a way that was just as inflammatory as Patent's, but you didn't--as I recall--accuse them of libel or call them "pathetic". I always look forward to your posts because you are smart, clear, and, above all, level-headed. Your recent work on the other board was, I would bet, driven by emotion.

: : : : Patent painted a picture of racing in CA that was far too bleak, but there are big problems here and elsewhere. Ever the pessimist, I don't think the problem of drugs in racing can be solved until the public perception of this aspect of the game hits rock bottom. It is getting there. If you will permit me to enlist Nietzsche: "What is falling, we should still push".

: : : Patent's posts were more inflammatory and he followed them up with more comments on another thread (about Baffert). JB usually includes other factors and doesn't make it sound like Patent did, where everybody is driven into the medicine chest by the realities that 'everyone' is aware of. Patent is just so close to the action with the vets and others on the backstretch. Please. The whole idea that you can give a horse drugs and presto, he wins, is a little off. If everyone's horses are hopped up on drugs, where's the edge? In this perfect world described by Patent, the guys juice their horses and win. I guess he's never talked to anyone who's juiced a horse and lost. Hey what do I know? Drugs don't always work precisely the way you want them to. I have heard more confirmed stories of human intervention (pulling horses and other scams) than drug intervention. The thing I found hilarious was the way Patent said he 'wanted to get back to talking about the Derby and other important things.' The thing about drugs and horses is that this has almost no handicapping value whatsoever! What did his drug comments have to do with handicapping the Derby and 'other important things'? Okay Dave, the horses are faster this year because of drugs. Now what? You're right, it was an emotional response and I stick with it. And it's fine with me if push comes to shove and the wall falls on those that are into this kind of thing.

: : Our ability to inflame is usually in proportion to our clout. Ragozin and JB are vastly more influential than Patent. JB is uncharacteristically tactful on this subject but when he names three trainers who "are doing something", we know what he means.

: : Patent didn't claim that every trainer juices his horses. If some do, it seems quite likely that others will follow for reasons of self-defense. Races to the bottom can begin in this way; they have in other sports.

: : If all horses were "hopped up on drugs", there would still be an edge: It would belong to the best chemist. You are right that drugs are no guarantee of success, but we might see a day when they are a prerequisite for success.

: : I agree that drugs have limited handicapping value. That is part of the problem. Trainers know what drugs they give to their horses. We don't. We can't factor it in as we do with Lasix. We have a situation now where we see effects (all those fast Derby prospects, form reversals, etc.)but have to guess as to the causes (drugs?).

: : Do you think racing has done everything possible to eliminate illegal drugs? The most powerful man in the sport, Stronach, employs a trainer who fled Hong Kong under a hail of positive tests. Doesn't this give lowly bettors like Patent and me the right to paint with a broad brush? Couldn't the game use some benign paranoia?

: : I want to add that I'm not comfortable with the idea of accusing specific trainers of skullduggery in the absence of compelling evidence, especially since I don't use my real name. My reply to OPM's post was (obviously, I hope) tongue-in-cheek, including my hyperbolic "attack" on his innocuous idea.

: : I like to argue with you, HP. I can always be certain that your motives are pristine.

: I'm glad you used Stronach as an example. The guy has like a bazillion dollars and owns eight different tracks or something. You think he would risk getting hit with drug positives?

WHY NOT? The guy OWNS the track!! He can get away with anything he wants to!!! Stronach is the biggest crook in racing now, I just hope that one day he shares a prison cell with that other scum bag Bob Brennan.

Seems crazy to me. I don't think racing has done everything it can to get rid of drugs. One good specific point or proven incident is worth more than these generalities. It would be better to nail such 'obvious' practitioners (everybody knows who they are, right?) rather than any benign paranoia. HP

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