Now that the heat has dissipated, Steve Asmussen has re-hired Scott Blasi. His first day back was yesterday at Saratoga. For those unfamiliar (or those with short memories), this is Scott Blasi (and Asmussen’s operation):

Direct quotes from Blasi:

“Fuck these horses. These motherfuckers. They’ll fucking break your fucking heart every fucking day, these cocksuckers. There’s always something wrong with ’em.”

“You ought to see these limping motherfuckers. I see this son [of] a bitch out here [Saratoga] jogging every day.”

“You could not believe how many they hurt and kill before they ever even get to the racetrack.”

…to doomed horse, Nehro: “Quit being such an asshole. …Aggravating son of a bitch.”

…after Nehro died of colic: “I have seen a lot of shit. That is the most violent fucking death I have ever seen.”

…on “shockwave therapy,” used to deaden pain: “It fucking hurts like hell. I can’t believe them fucking sons a bitches can take it.”

…on electric shockers, used for motivation: “I’d tell [jockey Ricardo Santana Jr], ‘You got the maquina [shocker]?’ ‘Boss, I got the maquina.'”

…after losing an underperformer – a “rat” – to a claim: “I could just do a fucking cartwheel right now.”

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In yesterday’s Daily Racing Form, Blasi says, “It’s great to be back doing what I love. I think the people that know us know how compassionate we are about the sport and the animals we take care of.” Asmussen: “He makes us better. I’m better with him. He’s done a lot of good for us in 18 years.”

One might call it hubris. One might call it stupidity. But one thing it most definitely is not is surprising. No industry-wide objection is forthcoming because the above is business as usual. (Apparently) no rules were broken; Blasi is a talented trainer. So why wouldn’t he be reinstated? For most racing people, Asmussen and Blasi obviously included, the level of care is entirely informed by profit maximization. Keep them running, fast. That’s it. “Compassion,” as Mr. Blasi well knows, is not part of the job description. In fact, it can’t be.