Racing Economics Collide With Veterinarians’ Oath

Death and disarray at America’s racetracks

By , and REBECCA R. RUIZ

Published: September 21, 2012

Horse-racing veterinarians are both doctor and drugstore; the more drugs they prescribe, the more money they make.

Only after Bourbon Bandit broke a leg racing last November did his owner, Susan Kayne, learn the full extent of prescription drugs that veterinarians had given him at Belmont Park on Long Island.

Susan Kayne and Bourbon Bandit – Photo by Nathaniel Brooks for the New York Times

Until then, Ms. Kayne had believed that Bourbon Bandit was “sound and healthy”, because that is what her trainer told her, she said.  But new veterinary bills arrived, showing that the horse had been treated regularly with clenbuterol, a widely abused medication for breathing problems that can build muscle by mimicking anabolic steroids.

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