Group calls on KHRC to pay players who may have been cheated
For immediate release:
May 11, 2021
David Pearl 202-483-7382
Louisville, Kentucky. – PETA is urging the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) to explain how it will deal with conflicts of interest that may arise when considering Bob Buffert’s drug law claims, given that three commissioners appear to have business ties with coach. The letter to the commission sent this morning follows Sunday’s announcement that Buffert-trained Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has tested positive for betamethasone, a banned anti-inflammatory drug.
The group points out the following:
- Commissioner Charlie O’Connor – Director of Sales for Coolmore America, which features several outstanding Buffert-trained horses at the stud, including the Triple Crown American Pharoah and Justify; Maximum Security, who was transferred to Buffert from Jason Service (recently charged with drugs) after being disqualified from the Kentucky Derby; Lookin At Lucky Contest Winner; and the winner of the rates Cupid. Coolmore has a financial stake in preserving Buffert’s reputation.
- Commissioner Leslie Howard is the general manager of Stonestreet Farms, which owns or co-owns several Buffert-trained horses, including Charlatan, Hosier, Bezos, Mani Mike, Fenway and Curvett.
- Commissioner Tom Riddle worked for many years as a veterinarian at Rood & Riddle and now serves as Director of Public Affairs. Buffert has treated horses at Rood & Riddle, including Life Is Good, which recently underwent surgery there.
PETA is also urging the commission to take more serious action than just disqualifying Medina Spirit, reallocating the prize money, and fine Buffer if a second test confirms the presence of betamethasone. The group is urging KHRC to oblige all bettors who bet on the runner-up who should have won to have a veterinarian investigation and revoke Buffert’s license to race in Kentucky.
“The racing industry has to come to terms with this and understand that a small fine and reallocation of funds is not enough,” writes Guillermo. “Drugging a horse is not only cheating but also abuse, and anyone who abuses a horse should not be allowed to race in Kentucky.”
PETA – whose motto, among other things, is that “animals do not belong to us to be used for entertainment or abuse in other ways” – opposes arrogance, a worldview focused on human superiority. For more information please visit PETA.org or subscribe to the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram…