Of course there are environmental factors. Some of those factors are exactly what the Jockey Club is addressing to attempt to make TB racing safer for the horses. However, when a horse has bad feet, the immediate 2 or 3 generations of its ancestors have bad feet, and its progeny have bad feet, to dismiss genetics is to not see the forest for the trees...or, as in the case of the industry itself until very recently, to try and hide the sordid truth, which is breeding horses without the underlying conformation to support both their weight and the job that they do - then, through pharmaceuticals, diet, comditioning, and intense farrier care, try to nurse them through a brief 2 or 3 year racing life.
More directed at Horsegears, a horse that is carfully nursed through a 2 or 3 year career hardly qualifies as "consistently sound". Consistently sound would be defined, or at least should be defined, in terms of lifetime soundness.
Once again, all racing TB breeders are not irresponsible in the sense of placing money above responsible breeding, just as not all racing TB trainers place their horses at unreasonable risk - and I am not intimating otherwise. However there are many breeders and trainers that fall into that category, just as there are breeders that irresponsibly breed behemoth grotesque halter horses that can barely waddle into an arena
I am not an anti racing wacko...I have been a TB racing fan for over 50 years. However, I have been around long enough to see the industry deteriorate over the years and breeding practices become more and more irresponsible. I used Big Brown as an example because he and his geneticly poor feet have been highly publicized and most people, at least in the US, are familiar with him. Big Brown to me is the stereotype of poor breeding practices...it was known before he was even born his feet would be bad, and of course they are. Not only should he have not been bred himself in the first place, mare owners are waiting in line to breed him...