No, I don’t agree with co-owner Jess Jackson’s decision to skip the Breeders’ Cup with Rachel Alexandra in November at Santa Anita, and I don’t go along with his assertion that it was the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita that got Curlin beat in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. Curlin was a very good colt, but I think Jess has the horse on a little bit higher pedestal than he belongs. He’s not one of the all-time best. Not even close.
One area I do agree with Jackson on is that this sport needs a national ruling body so everyone plays by the same set of rules and can’t be feigning ignorance when they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar when racing outside their jurisdiction. Here’s what Jackson had to say on a national teleconference this week on the subject of slots at race tracks:
“I look at the slots and gambling as an interim, short-term solution to racing,” he said. “I think the long-term future of racing is best served if we can get together voluntarily and form a league, have a commissioner, get uniform laws and have uniform enforcement across the United States as they do in other nations. But because of the separation of powers and the preservation of rights to different states, that may not be happening, at least in a constitutional way at the federal level so therefore I think it’s incumbent upon the racing committee to solve that problem, do it voluntarily and have internal regulations and compliance the way professional golf, the NBA and the National Football League, etc. do it.”
Makes sense to me. If challenged, would such a setup hold up in the courts? I don’t know. I’m skeptical, but I do know that horse racing needs a commissioner who can get this sport back on its feet with some good, sound decisions. We’ve had too many people making the wrong decisions for a while now, and that’s why horse racing is in the shape it’s in.