A closer look at the Hong Kong model, breakdowns, Lasix

8 thoughts on “A closer look at the Hong Kong model, breakdowns, Lasix”

  1. Great article! The best part is the author states “protocols here that are germane to US racing and breeding”

    As Nick Zito once said we are american we don’t run on turf and we don’t wanna learn how to run on turf.

    I think the biggest thing we could do is make it mandatory that the two-year old season cannot begin till September. We also have to increase the purses of older-horse races while keeping the purses of two-year old and three-year old races stagnant.

    We cannot violate the simple laws of economics and human nature yet expect to be successful.

  2. Great article Sid,
    Everybody mentions “agendas” in the lasix debate. It’s an overreaction to the new era of transparency that many of us welcome and believe long overdue in our sport. The best “dodge” to direct questions that we don’t want to answer, because of being exposed is to raise the topic of “agendas”. Its the current ploy but transparency will end it’s reign as well.

  3. When buying a reasonably priced horse in Australia we do similar Vet checks who wouldnt. But we regularly send bleeders to the US to race out their careers

    1. Greg:
      With all due respect, my point was that in regions that breed horses–US, Australia–the bulk of our racing prospects are purchased as yearlings or raised as homebreds. This is a different paradigm than that of HK, where they purchase racing stock and can vet a horse for EIPH. We cannot do the same with yearlings. This is one of the points of my post.

  4. As somebody who has followed Hong Kong races for over a decade, I couldn’t agree more that they are not comparable at all. You mentioned numerous reasons why, as well as the fact, they have no claiming races. There’s some things American racing could incorporate from Hong Kong, but to say just copy the Hong Kong model is extremely naive and even a little bit ignorant. Kudos.

  5. By the way, for the sake of clarity, I should note that Joe Drape’s quoted tweet—“Not complex: In Hong Kong, over past 5 years, only 8 deaths among 45,000, 1 per 5,692 starters vs. 2.14 per 1,000 here. Why? No drugs..”—is not technically correct, either. Joe probably—almost certainly—misread a HKJC report that stated that “sudden deaths” in HK over a five year period were “8 incidents ~ 45,000” or “one per 5,692 runners.” Sudden death, as opposed to catastrophic breakdowns from musculoskeletal causes, were defined as those deaths from EIPH (2), heart failure (5), and abdominal hemorrhage (1). The actual catastrophic deaths in HK are at 0.7 per 1000 starts—a figure much lower than the 1.5 per 1000 usually associated with US racing but far higher than the figure he quoted as such.

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