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Drug use may threaten horse racing's future

Drug use may threaten horse racing's future

Former Maryland Jockey Club CEO Joseph A. De Francis watches the Triple Crown races with growing anxiety, worried that an overmedicated horse will collapse in front of millions of viewers, sending the industry's already tenuous fortunes tumbling along with it.

Questions about drugs in the sport have "the potential to explode on the industry like a nuclear bomb," said De Francis, 61, who spent 35 years in the business and once was a partner in Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, which will host the Preakness on Saturday.

Some trainers, owners and industry insiders like De Francis warn...