Racing Mule Clones Yes—Racing Thoroughbred Clones No


Two of the University of Idaho's cloned racing mules, Idaho Gem and Idaho Star will soon be competing in races around the country. Meanwhile the snootier Jockey Club, which regulates Thoroughbred racing, forbids clones to compete. An MSNBC article on the Thoroughbred cloning ban points out that cloning could be used to give geldings like 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide a reproductive future, but apparently that's banned too. The article further notes:

[P]restigious Kentucky breeders say there is no room for cloning—or any other genetic engineering technology—in their business.

"Part of the intrigue, part of what makes horse racing so appealing is the challenge and the art of breeding a better animal," said Dan Rosenberg, president of Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky. , which breeds Smarty Jones and a stable of other blue chip runners.

"It will become less appealing if it comes down to which owners and breeders can hire the best scientists," Rosenberg said. "Do we really want races that pit 10 Secretariats against each other?"

Since the rules of any sport are essentially arbitrary, the private ruling body of any sport can set any arbitrary rule that it wants as far as I'm concerned, but I think a race between 10 Secretariats would be very excting.