I can't speak for America or Europe, or Australia.
But here in South Africa, it's definitely a case of breeding quantity over quality.
Which, I believe, has led to the generally 'weaker' specimin.
Here, we're not allowed to race on Lasix like you can in the States(as far as I know).
Inbreeding has always been my pet hate. I don't get how it can be allowed in animals, when it's considered taboo among people. It produces the same result, a weak animal.
Since the downturn in the economy, many people are not breeding like they were. I know of some of the larger stud farms simply culling broodmares that weren't up to a certain par in terms of proven ability and proven offspring. Which, in my opinion isn't a bad thing. Certainly kinder for them in the long run.
My biggest pet soapbox though is the shortsightedness of breeders. Not today, but the one's who took Northern Dancer, bred him to every mare under the sun and used his colts as Studs. *shakes head*. It might have been a good idea at the time, but no thought was given to what was going to happen 20 - 30 years later when the market was flooded with ND bloodlines.
I think TB breeders could take a leaf out of the Warmblood breeders book and introduce selected breeds. To bring new blood into the market, and generally create a stronger specimin.
WHICH, is all completely way off topic, I know.
It's early and I haven't had enough coffee yet.
The simplest, cleanest way to improve the TB industry in my opinion would be to gradually move to eliminate 2 year old racing. Push the first race for 2 year olds back one month per year until the first race for 2 years olds is in September. This is for two reasons: most of the legitmate criticism of TB racing comes from young horses doing too much too soon and breaking down as a result. Not allowing a horse to race until it's 30 - 36 months old will also put some downward pressure on the trash breeding. By extending the time it takes to reap a return on a breeding or foal, you'll push a percentage of breeders out of the business. Yes, it will be a financial hardship on some and the industry will contract (I think it needs to), but the folks who will be pushed out by the slower return will mostly be the trash breeders or folks doing it on a shoestring.