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Saturday Sports: Horse Racing Deaths, March Madness

Horse Racing

Saturday Sports: Horse Racing Deaths, March Madness


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, where almost a dozen horses have died on race music in recent months. NPR’s Tom Goldman joins us now. Tom, good 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 various things, such as the song’s condition. People there on a daily foundation say it is in the first-rate form. But there has been some rain and cooler temperatures doubtlessly affecting the tune. BLOCK: This Thursday, Santa Anita announced that it would be making some adjustments this week. What did they say?

GOLDMAN: Yeah. The organization that owns the song issued terrific changes for American race music, banning the arguable diuretic Lasix from being given to horses on the day they run. Now, most 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 the use of different capsules, like anti-inflammatories and joint injections, which could mask pain and permit horses to run once they should not. And finally, it might look into Melissa, the LA district attorney’s workplace, introduced yesterday.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been pushing for this as soon as running shoes and veterinarians investigated, which induced this reaction from an authentic with the California Thoroughbred Trainers – quote, “We welcome research. It’s lengthy beyond the time that these unfounded accusations are confirmed wrong and everybody comprehends that our running shoes’ first challenge is always for their horses.” BLOCK: OK. Let’s pass directly to March Madness and… GOLDMAN: OK. BLOCK:

These are brackets that fans are eagerly looking ahead to. What should we be expecting? GOLDMAN: Hoping for insanity. There are no clear favorites in each of the men’s and girls’ events. 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 something 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 in the ACC tournament. He makes Duke very good. Others to look at – are North Carolina, Gonzaga, Virginia, and Tennessee. On the women’s side, UConn has gotten through a rocky season, 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 may be all contenders, too.

BLOCK: Well, in 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: Humans will virtually bet cash on the event for the primary time ever. BLOCK: Shocked. I’m bowled over. GOLDMAN: No, no longer clear. It simply approaches more people who can bet legally around you. S. Without flying to Las Vegas. It’ll suggest the billions already guessed ought to increase and grow the general amount of cash – billions surrounding the event, none of it, of the out, going to the athletes, who generate the product. BLOCK: All proper. NPR’s Tom Goldman. Tom, thanks a lot. GOLDMAN: You’re welcome.

Erika Norman

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