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China Horse Club

August 26, 2018

Thoroughbred racing season at Saratoga race course in Saratoga Springs, New York is a wonderful place to get away from Manhattan and watch the best trainers, horses and jockeys in American horseracing.

Taking the train from Grand Central for a race day or two in Saratoga Springs is one of the best summer entertainment venues in the Northeast.

It is also a place to observe the curious entry into American horseracing by the China Horse Club, an organization originating in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

That raises questions of involvement of a foreign government in American entertainment and could lead to inclusion of the China Horse Club in the Trump Administration’s trade policies toward the PRC.

On Saturday I watched races 6, 7 and 8 at Saratoga and was somewhat disconcerted.

In race 6, two horses trained by Dale Romans came in 1 and 2.  It is highly unusual for a trainer to enter two horses in the same race and for both to place is unheard of.  Romans, also, is known not to hold anti-drugging rules in high regard.

In race 7, a horse entered by China Horse Club and ridden by Mike Smith came in first. Mike Smith clearly fouled the number two horse, but was not disqualified.

Smith’s foul was a bush league act more common at 3rd tier racecourses in New Mexico, not in a premier event at Saratoga.

In Race 8, a $500,000 race on dirt for 7 furlongs, Mike Smith was riding a horse trained by Bob Baffert and Jose Ortiz was on a horse trained by Chad Brown.  Mike Smith won again and Ortiz was third. A horse entered by the China Horse Club did not place.

Possible drugging, a foul that did not lead to a disqualification and PRC-based entries are causes to wonder how deeply compromised is the New York Racing Association,

 

 

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