Saturday Sports: Horse Racing Deaths, March Madness

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: And it’s time now for sports activities. (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) BLOCK: Selection Sunday is tomorrow, and university basketball fanatics, like BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme track, will find out who is playing whom in the mad month of March. But first, we go to Southern California and horse racing, in which almost a dozen horses have died on race music in recent months. NPR’s Tom Goldman joins us now. Tom, proper morning. TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Melissa. BLOCK: Twenty- horses have died at Santa Anita Park because of the quiet of December, which is merely a stunning range. The most recent death came on Thursday.

What is behind this? GOLDMAN: Investigators do not know at this factor why this many catastrophic breakdowns – in other phrases, accidents the horses suffered at the same time as jogging, forcing them to be euthanized. Sadly, this occurs in racing. But truly, what’s happened at Santa Anita in less than three months is an outlier. Investigators are looking at a variety of of things, such as the song’s condition. People there on a daily foundation say it is in first rate form. But there has been a number of rain and cooler temperatures doubtlessly affecting the tune. BLOCK: This week, on Thursday, Santa Anita did announce that it would be making some adjustments. What did they say?
GOLDMAN: Yeah. The organization that owns the song issued terrific changes for an American race music, banning the arguable diuretic Lasix from being given to horses on the day they run. Now, maximum international locations do not permit it on race days. The U.S. Does. So this places Santa Anita in step with the maximum of the world. Other new modifications limit the usage of whips on horses and use of other capsules, like anti-inflammatories, joint injections, which could masks pain and permit horses to run once they should not. And finally, Melissa, the LA district attorney’s workplace introduced yesterday it might look into. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been pushing for this as soon as running shoes and veterinarians investigated, and that induced this reaction from an authentic with the California Thoroughbred Trainers – quote, “we welcome an research. It’s lengthy beyond the time that these unfounded accusations be confirmed wrong and that everybody comprehend our running shoes’ first challenge always is for their horses.” BLOCK: OK. Let’s pass directly to March Madness and… GOLDMAN: OK. BLOCK: …Brackets that fans are so eagerly looking ahead to. What should we be expecting? GOLDMAN: Hoping for insanity. In each the men’s and girls’s event, no clear favorites. Although inside the men’s, Duke’s Zion Williamson – the following LeBron James, if you hadn’t heard, Melissa – is… BLOCK: I suppose I’ve heard some thing about that guy. GOLDMAN: Yeah. He’s again from a knee sprain because of his exploding Nike. And he led the Blue Devils beyond archrival North Carolina last night time within the ACC tournament. He makes Duke very good. Others to look at – North Carolina, Gonzaga, Virginia, Tennessee. On the women’s side, UConn has gotten thru a rocky season for them, losing two entire video games. But for once, they’re now not the overwhelming favored getting into. Baylor, which beat the Huskies this season, is ranked first in the united states. All 5 top teams have lost video games. So Notre Dame, Mississippi State, Louisville – they may be all contenders, too.
BLOCK: Well, final May, the Supreme Court legalized sports having a bet. How’s that going to play out? GOLDMAN: Hold on for your hat, Melissa. BLOCK: I’m conserving on. GOLDMAN: For the primary time ever, humans will virtually bet cash on the event. BLOCK: Shocked. I’m bowled over. GOLDMAN: No, no longer clearly. Actually, it simply approach more people can bet legally around the u . S . With out flying to Las Vegas. It’ll suggest the billions already guess ought to increase and growth the general amount of cash – billions surrounding the event, none of it, of rthe oute, going to the athletes, who generate the product. BLOCK: All proper. NPR’s Tom Goldman. Tom, thanks a lot. GOLDMAN: You’re welcome.

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