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posted: 3/21/2014 5:30 AM

Undercover horse-racing video tough to watch -- but absolutely necessary

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People in the horse racing industry often say they wish they would get more coverage, more publicity.

Well, ready or not, here it comes -- and it's most definitely not the type of pub they were hoping for.

If you haven't seen the 10-minute video shot by an undercover PETA investigator who worked for Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen last summer, you should find it online.

But be warned: you're in for a disturbing, but necessary, look at what really goes on behind the scenes at racetracks in regards to the way some horses are mistreated by trainers and veterinarians.

It's not easy to watch and it bums me out as a huge fan of the game, but it's absolutely necessary -- and I hope it sparks conversation in a sport in desperate need of two things: leadership and transparency.

That's not all:

It's not just the amounts and types of drugs that are pumped into these animals on a regular basis that will grab your attention on this video.

There's also a taped conversation between a Hall of Fame jockey and a Hall of Fame trainer where they appear to casually laugh about the use of buzzers by jockeys.

That's just hilarious, isn't it?

The bottom line:

PETA has since filed state and federal complaints against Asmussen and his chief assistant, Scott Blasi, and here's hoping the story doesn't stop there.

For the sake of everyone who plays the ponies and those who love the sport and care about its future, here's hoping every track owner is asked what's going to be done about this at their tracks.

This is the last thing a sport that's teetering needs.

The first thing it needs is action ... and fast.


I'm off the soapbox now.


Happy second day of spring!

Speaking of happy:

I'll admit it: that "Happy" song actually makes me happy.

I'm sure after weeks of being overplayed, though, it will leave me quite "Irritated."

Teuvo time:

I was talking to a colleague the other day about the impending arrival of Teuvo Terravainen to Chicago.

While some argue that at 19 he's too young to throw directly into the fire, we both respectfully disagreed and cited two examples why:

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Tourney time:

Honestly, there aren't many things in sports more exciting than the extended drama that is the NCAA Tournament.

But all of the joy it provides does come with a price in the form of ...

Three weeks of:

Sideline reporter: "Coach, your team (struggled / did well) in the opening half. Any adjustments you can make at halftime?"

Coach: "Well, we have to tighten up our defense and spread the ball around more on offense."

SR: "Thanks, Coach."

No, thank you!


My pick to click is Iowa State.

Yeah, that's probably a ridiculous selection, but I'm sticking with it.

Just wondering:

Is that the scent of world-famous pork chops I smell coming to Trackside at Arlington?

I'm thinking it will be real soon, gang.

Trailer trash:

Not since seeing the trailer for "RIPD," starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, has there been a movie I've wanted to see less in my life.

But now there's some competition -- "Draft Day," starring Kevin Costner.

My Lord.

Just from the commercials, I'm pretty sure I know exactly what will happen: Costner will make an unpopular -- some might say reckless -- decision with his team's first-round pick. This will lead to turmoil, angst and even some soul-searching, but in the end he will be vindicated, and there will be much hugging.


Not good:

Three weeks until The Masters and my guy Jason Day has pulled out of his second straight tournament with a thumb injury.


And finally:

Wanna feel old?

It was 34 years ago today that J.R. was shot.

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