Congress to probe horse racing? Whoa! - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Congress to probe horse racing? Whoa!

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Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 6:24 pm | Updated: 10:44 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

No matter how many issues Congress is leaving unaddressed — immigration reform, the war in Iraq and so on — know there’s bipartisan support to address today’s Really Big Issue: thoroughbred racing.

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection has sent letters to industry leaders, asking for their views on the sport, The Associated Press reports. Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., expect to hold a hearing this month.

The self-appointed overseers of everything now have their sights on thoroughbred racing because of the death of Eight Belles. The horse was euthanized on the track after breaking its ankles May 3 after the Kentucky Derby. The incident “raises serious questions about the care and treatment of Eight Belles, and other young fillies like her, and whether adequate preventive measures are in place to prevent similar incidents in the future,” Rush said.

The congressional subcommittee is the same group that fumbled its way through hearings on the use of steriods in baseball and other other sports.

Thoroughbred trainer Rick Hiles, quoted in a report on, summed up the situation best:

“The first thing we don’t need is the federal government getting into our business.”

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