Congress debates intervention into… horse racing safety!

Introducing… The Department of Horse-land Security.

Jess Jackson, owner of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin: “We need action, please. Congress, help.”

Bloodlines, steroids, the lack of an authoritative governing body, alarming figures on horse deaths and a breech of protocol by Big Brown’s trainer were all topics of discussion Thursday before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The hearing was called after Eight Belles broke down at the Kentucky Derby last month and was euthanized on the track.

Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky noted that Congress has leverage to influence the sport because of the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978, which grants simulcasting rights that now account for much of the industry’s profits. A law could be passed, for example, that withholds simulcast money from states that don’t adhere to federally mandated guidelines.

Aren’t you glad that Congress is investigating this single horse death while largely ignoring thousands of human deaths in Iraq?

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