Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg tells it like it is to Ed Fountaine of the NY Post when it comes to meds, legal or otherwise. Nothing surprising to anyone who follows racing except for the fact that he’s SAYING it.
“These horses, they can’t say no,” Van Berg told The Post from his barn at Hollywood Park. “They’re getting steroids from the time they are babies. They don’t have time to grow and mature like they should.
Just open your eyes and look around. You know how many trainers would still be winning races if they couldn’t use medication? Some of them would starve to death. The veterinary bills are as big as the day money (training bills) for a lot of them. You watch and check how much these veterinarians are making on the backstretch now. They’re becoming wealthy.”
He’s certainly not the first and definitely will not the be the last to speak out on the rampant over medication of race horses, but he’s the first trainer I’ve seen to speak out so strongly.