• National HBPA: More Than 600 Industry Stakeholders Show Support For Race-Day Lasix
    Paulick Report


    A unified industry group believes banning Lasix will adversely impact the health and welfare of racehorses, as well as the strength of our industry. Today, a letter was released with more than 600 signatures in support of protecting Lasix as a choice for horsemen and veterinarians to administer on race day for the well-being of equine and human athletes. The initial round of signatures from racing stakeholders features individuals from across the industry.

  • America's regulatory and integrity structures are failing us
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    If you are reading this, you already know that Justify tested positive for the drug scopolamine after winning the Santa Anita Derby before going on to win the Triple Crown. The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) never explained to the racing public what had happened. We only learned about this development 15 months after the fact thanks to this article by Joe Drape in the New York Times last week (September 11).

    From my perspective, this was not handled appropriately by the CHRB, but, in my view, Baffert and Justify do not figure in the real story, which does need further explanation.

  • The End Of Race Day Lasix? Two Studies Examine Effectiveness Of Dosing 24 Hours Pre-Race
    Paulick Report


    In 2015, The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation sought research on Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) and how to control the condition without race-day medication. Two research projects were selected for funding, and now results are in. Both studies, which were recently published in peer-reviewed journals, were designed to test the effect of furosemide (Lasix) under various circumstances.

  • The Friday Show Presented By The MATCH Series: California Conflicts?
    Paulick Report


    The U.S. horse racing industry is dealing with yet another controversy this year after the New York Timesstory about 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify's positive drug test following the Santa Anita Derby.

    In this edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss the details of the situation, answer questions people likely have and share their thoughts on the important issues this story raises.

    Watch The Friday Show below and share your thoughts:        

    https://www.paulickreport.com/features/the-friday-show/the-friday-show-presented-by-the-match-series-california-conflicts/

     

  • In Defense of Justify, Bob Baffert Lets Others Do the Talking for a Change
    The New York Times


    In a letter to The Times released on social media, Baffert’s attorney, W. Craig Robertson III, said that Justify’s positive test for the banned substance scopolamine had been the result of “environmental contamination” and commended the California Horse Racing Board’s handling of the case. As reported by The Times, the board apparently did not follow its own procedures and ultimately closed the investigation without ever disclosing the positive test result to the public.

  • Billy Reed: Justify report puts horse racing in 'serious' trouble
    Wave 3 News


    Baffert denies ever giving anything illegal to Justify. But he still could be held responsible under the rules of racing, despite the fact that the illegal medication (scopolamine) also can be ingested from hay and feed. It is illegal for racing purposes because it clears a horse’s airways and optimizes his heart rate, enabling him to run better than normal. 

    However, Baffert really isn’t the big issue. It’s how the California State Racing Board refused to take action on the positive report and, instead, concocted a cover-up that allowed Justify – should he be now call him Justifraud? – to sweep through the Triple Crown.

  • Horse racing under fire after 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify's failed drug test
    FOX Business


    For a horse racing industry contending with declining participation and mounting concerns about its safety standards, evidence that 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify failed a drug test days before his history-making run turned a moment of celebration into another instance of bad publicity.

    Justify, the 13th Triple Crown winner in the sport’s history, tested positive for banned substance scopolamine just days after he qualified for the Kentucky Derby, the New York Times reported. Rather than disqualifying Justify, the California Horse Racing Board allegedly delayed, and ultimately dismissed, its inquiry into the failed test, in a departure from its normal standards.

  • Report on Justify spurs call for national horse racing regulation. Here's what's next.
    Herald Leader


    Horse racing’s latest black eye is likely to increase calls for oversight of the sport as Washington plans a congressional hearing into legislation that would nationalize regulation of racing.

    The sport was shaken by a New York Times report released late Wednesday that Justify, the 2018 Triple Crown winner, tested positive for the chemical scopolamine after winning the Santa Anita Derby. According to the story, Justify could have been disqualified from running in the Kentucky Derby. The California Horse Racing Board eventually dropped the case after a closed-door hearing.

     

  • Baffert: Justify's positive test came from contaminated food
    Fox Sports


    Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert denied giving 2018 Triple Crown winning horse Justify a banned substance that caused a positive test prior to last year’s Kentucky Derby and blamed the result on contaminated food.

    Baffert said Thursday that he “unequivocally” rejects the implication he’d give Justify or any other horse scopolamine, which the colt tested positive for after winning the Santa Anita Derby in April 2018.

  • The Justify bombshell shows even more the need for national oversight of racing
    The Herald Leader


    What is clear is that Congress should pass the federal Horse Racing Integrity Act, and the sooner the better. The bill is sponsored by Kentucky Republican Rep. Andy Barr and Rep. Paul Tonka, a Democrat from New York, two men who represent the horse hubs of Lexington and Saratoga Springs, two places that depend not just on horse racing, but on breeding, raising and training them too. The bill would create a private agency that would be in charge of anti-doping efforts from every racing state with standard regulations, rather than the hodgepodge of state rules that exist now. Thie agency would be overseen by the Federal Trade Commission. This group would probably have fewer conflicts than current racing commissions, where board members frequently do business with the people they oversee. The bill would also ban race day medications, which would put it in line with racing rules in the rest of the world. Barr said Thursday that the confusion over Justify’s case would bolster the legislation. 

    The proposed bill has gone from pariah status to a movement supported by Keeneland, the Jockey Club, numerous groups and people, most recently, billionaire B. Wayne Hughes, the owner of Spendthrift Farm in Lexington. Holdouts such as Churchill Downs are believed to have kept Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from signing on. The country’s two largest horsemen’s groups, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, are also opposed because of the raceday medication rule.

  • Justify drug test cover-up deals immense blow to US horse racing
    The Guardian


    Having spent the first six months of the year under intense media scrutiny as 30 horses died either racing or training at Santa Anita, US racing suffered another immense blow to its reputation on Wednesday when it emerged that Justify, last year’s Triple Crown winner, tested positive for a banned substance after winning the Santa Anita Derby, the race in which he qualified to run in the Kentucky Derby.

    There are a couple of chapters to this story. The first is that the horse tested positive for a potentially performance-enhancing drug after victory in a vital trial for the first leg of the Triple Crown. Justify was a 12-1 shot for the Kentucky Derby before he ran in the Santa Anita Derby on 7 April. After a three-length success there, he was the favourite for the Run for the Roses. Two months later, he was Bob Baffert’s second Triple Crown winner in four seasons.

  • Connections React to Story on Justify Failing Drug Test
    BloodHorse


    Some of Justify 's connections reacted Sept. 12 to an explosive New York Times story that revealed the eventual Triple Crown winner failed a post-race drug test after his 2018 Santa Anita Derby (G1) victory, saying contamination caused the positive test.

    story posted to the NYTimes.com website the evening of Sept. 11 reported that after Justify's victory in the Santa Anita Derby, the colt tested positive for scopolamine, a prohibited substance. The story, based on documents obtained by the New York Times, calls into question how the California Horse Racing Board handled the positive, noting that it took more than a month to confirm the results, the regulator failed to file a public complaint, and the regulator conducted meetings behind closed doors in which decisions on the case were made.

  • Justify Failed a Drug Test Before Winning the Triple Crown
    New York Times


    On June 9, 2018, a colt named Justify thundered home to the full-throated cheers of a capacity crowd to win the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes and claim horse racing’s Triple Crown, one of the most storied achievements in sports.

    It was the perfect ending to an improbable journey for a talented horse, his eclectic ownership group, and his Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert.

    Only a few people, however, knew the secret that Baffert carried with him into the winner’s circle that day: Justify had failed a drug test weeks before the first race in the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby. That meant Justify should not have run in the Derby, if the sport’s rules were followed.

  • Lawsuit by owner, trainer targets New Mexico horse racing
    USA Today


    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A horse owner and a trainer from Texas filed a lawsuit claiming officials in New Mexico are failing to follow their own policies and regulations in overseeing the state's multimillion-dollar racing industry.

    Debra Gotovac and Brad Bolen filed the case in U.S. District Court, alleging their rights to due process were violated when the executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission allowed horses belonging to a trainer suspended on suspicion of illegal drugging to compete under other trainers.

  • NOTE TO RACING'S LEADERS: NO MORE MIXED MESSAGES
    Horseraceinsider


    Thoroughbred horseracing’s leaders need to wake up to the fact that the industry isn’t an endangered species and get back to competing with sports betting, which is likely to have a much greater negative effect in the industry than horse deaths.

    In one year, the narrative has changed from how to grow the sport to how to save it. The issues of growth have not changed, nor has the chance horseracing will be banished.

    The time has come to take the reins and drive the sport into the future, not shrink from the actions of animal rights activists.

     

  • Thoroughbred Owners Of California Seeks Alternative Federal Legislation
    Paulick Report


    Four years ago at the annual membership meeting of Thoroughbred Owners of California, then-president Joe Morris said the TOC's board of directors was “100 percent against the federal government or USADA being involved” with oversight of Thoroughbred racing medication rules. Morris was referring to the Horseracing Integrity Act, federal legislation that would make the United States Anti-Doping Agency the responsible party to regulate medication policy, enforcement and drug testing on a national basis.

    Last Saturday, Aug. 10, at TOC's 2019 membership meeting at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif., current president and CEO Greg Avioli indicated the organization's position has evolved, though it still does not embrace the latest version of the Horseracing Integrity Act. Instead, Avioli said, TOC supports federal legislation that would “require other states to adopt California rules” – which were put in place earlier this year in the wake of a highly publicized spike in racing and training fatalities at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., last winter.

  • Commentary: Uniform Rules In Horse Racing Won't Happen Without Compromise
    Paulick Report


    For as long as I've covered horse racing, I've been asking people to define their biggest concern about the sport. For my entire career, the top two, conveniently dovetailed answers have been the same: central regulatory authority and uniform rules. Those who want a commissioner of horse racing usually want one so they will impose and enforce uniform rules............While in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., this month, I heard more than ever about uniformity and the way forward – primarily from proponents of the proposed federal legislation known as the Horseracing Integrity Act. The Jockey Club Round Table featured lots of well-crafted mentions of the benefits of the legislation, including a segment from William Lear Jr., vice chairman of The Jockey Club, who I thought summed up the history of our sport's own attempts at uniform rules better than anyone else I've heard so far:

     

  • Jockey Club Round Table Focuses on Equine Safety
    BloodHorse


    Just a few miles away from a festive day of racing at Saratoga Race Course, The Jockey Club's 67th annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing brought several hundred industry leaders together Aug. 11. The informational session put a spotlight on the crisis the sport is facing in the aftermath of a Santa Anita Park meet that ended with 30 equine fatalities.

    As speaker William M. Lear Jr., vice chairman of The Jockey Club, expressed in his talk, Thoroughbred racing is facing a situation that "threatens the very existence of the sport."

    During the course of the two hour and 45 minute session at the Gideon Putnam hotel, a variety of pertinent topics were addressed by speakers, with equine safety issues topping the list as a major push involved support for the Horseracing Integrity Act that has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives and Senate.

    "We are facing an existential threat. If our response to that threat is, or even appears to be, business as usual, we're going to lose," Lear said. "We will have no chance of fending off the same people that did away with the circus, that did away with dog racing in Florida, because they have their sights on us. ... the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

  • Horse Racing Round Table Shows Both Industry Leaders, Humane Society Support Key Safety Reforms
    Casino.org


    Horse racing industry leaders gathered at Saratoga, N.Y. on Sunday for the annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing, and as it has for almost all of 2019, safety and animal welfare dominated the discussion.

    The event, organized by The Jockey Club, featured speakers on improving racing surfaces, handling crises, and support for the Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA), federal legislation that calls for the establishment of national standards in the sport.

    The conference comes after 30 horses died at Santa Anita in a six-month span that ended in June. The Southern California track, which will host the Breeders’ Cup championship races in November, suspended racing for several weeks in March to inspect track conditions and determine why the horses died.

    In addition, The Stronach Group, the track’s owner, proposed an ambitious reform package to promote equine safety, including an eventual ban on giving race day injections of drugs, such as Lasix, that can mask injuries. Other major national industry players have since pledged to help implement similar reforms in their states.

    William Lear Jr., vice chairman of The Jockey Club, laid it out succinctly in his remarks in support of the bill sponsored by US Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.).

    “We all know things have to change,” Lear said. “And prominent among them is the way we handle medication regulation in the United States.”

  • US racing national drug policy would be "an economic monster"
    Horsetalk


    Drug policies were a hot topic in the latest round table conference on horse racing in the US, with calls for the industry to unite on important matters to create a “level playing field”.

    Among the speakers at the Jockey Club’s 67th Annual Round Table Conference was John Messara, the owner and chairman of Arrowfield Stud in Australia, who spoke of the positive impact that uniform drug policies in the United States would have on the Thoroughbred industry.

    “I think that having a national drug policy would unleash an economic monster in America,” Messara said. “It is difficult for us in Australia to judge if we should buy a mare or stallion from the US because we do not know if it received medication. Rather than get bitten by it, we stay away.

    “I would appeal to American horsemen to join together. The [Horseracing Integrity Act] would be a great base for the future if you can get it through. It will create a level playing field and make the sport more international.”

  • 'This Story Is Not Going Away': Round Table Focuses On Action In Times Of Crisis
    Paulick Report


    A statistic presented during the 67th annual Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs Sunday put the current horse racing crisis into sobering perspective: according to David Fuscus, president and CEO of crisis management company Xenophon Strategies, there have been 20,000 news stories published since January 1 on the racing industry's struggles, brought to light by the Santa Anita equine fatalities. The 27thfatality alone sparked 300 articles in three days, which Fuscus believes appeared in publications accessing 90 percent of the American public.

    “I am the most anti-alarmist person in the room; with that being said, this story is not going away,” said Fuscus. “You can't wait it out, you can't part the waters. This is the most critical time American horse racing has ever experienced.”

  • Los Angeles Board Effort To Oppose California Horse Racing Falls One Vote Short
    Paulick Report


    Efforts by the Los Angeles Board of Animal Services to send a non-binding recommendation to the city council opposing horse racing in California fell one vote short of the required majority during a meeting on Tuesday at the South Los Angeles animal shelter.

    The motion by commissioner Roger Wolfson received two votes, with one opposed, but for passage needed approval from at least three of the five commissioners, two of whom did not attend Tuesday's meeting.

    There are no racetracks in the city of Los Angeles, with Santa Anita – which experienced a highly publicized spike in equine fatalities earlier this year – located in nearby Arcadia. According to MyNewsLA.com, Wolfson had considered proposing support of a ban on off-track wagering in Los Angeles.

  • Horseracing Integrity Act to nix equine enhancing drugs
    ADVISORS Magazine


    When horse fans make a $2 bet at the track, they might be sentencing their chosen thoroughbred to death. 

    A staggering 4,649 racehorses died on the track between 2009 and 2015, according to data published by The Jockey Club. A later 2018 analysis published by the same organization found an aggregate “fatal injury” rate of 1.68 for every 1,000 race starts. Age, surface, and other factors all play a role in “breakdowns,” the euphemism often used when a horse drops dead on the track, but performance enhancing drugs exacerbate matters, according to activists. 
     

  • Ten horses have died in nine days at New York racetracks
    USA Today


    ALBANY, N.Y — Ten horses died in the recent span of nine days at racetracks across New York, raising concern among animal-rights activists at a time when the sport has come under intense scrutiny following a series of deaths at a California racetrack earlier this year.   

    The deaths, both racing and non-racing incidents, occurred at four tracks between July 9 and July 18 — one at Belmont Park; two at Monticello Raceway; three at Saratoga Race Course; and four at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack.

    Critics said the deaths were indicative of the dangerous industry.

  • Los Angeles to consider banning horse racing
    FOX5


    LOS ANGELES — If one local animal commissioner has his way, Los Angeles will soon become the first major city in the country to ban all activities related to horse racing.

    Commissioner Roger Wolfson, who recently encouraged the Los Angeles Board of Animal Services to pass a motion banning rodeos in the city, has placed an item on the board’s Tuesday agenda described as “Opposition to Horse Racing in the State of California.” Its goal is to have the board recommend that the City Council draw up an ordinance that would prohibit horse racing and off-track betting in the city of Los Angeles.

  • 'Freak' Accident During Del Mar Training Session Results in Two Horse Deaths
    Casino.Org


    The increased attention to horse safety has helped federal lawmakers in pursuing a bill that would nationalize racing standards. In March, US Reps. Paul Tonko (D-New York) and Andy Barr (R-Kentucky) re-introduced the Horseracing Integrity Act. Last month. US Sens. Kristen Gillibrand (D-New York) and Martha McSally (R-Arizona) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

    Pringle noted that the 2017 version of the House bill ended up getting just 131 cosponsors in 18 months. Four months after Tonko and Barr brought back the bill, it already has 135 cosponsors.

    “The spate of deaths and the media focus on them has helped to drive interest in protecting race horses,” she said. “People are looking for a remedy.”

  • Commentary: Why horse racing needs new rules to survive
    The San Diego Union-Tribune


    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has a message for the horse racing industry: If you aren’t going to stop racing, which you should do for the protection of the horses, then at least stop harming them. Stop putting their lives at risk. Take care of the thoroughbreds you bring into this world from the day they’re born through their retirement to the day they die. And don’t let that death be at a track, in a slaughterhouse or at the hands of someone who neglects them.

  • Teetering on the brink: our industry will fail without the passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    An industry that has lost its soul

    In sum, the industry is not full of change agents seeking new challenges and changing the business. However, as I tried to outline above, we are desperate to change in many areas. We need to identify and eliminate the cheaters in the game. We also need to protect the interests of our owners, breeders and employees to assure them that we run an honest business that works in the interests of all participants. 

    If we try to stand still with existing policies and business practices, we are only going to go backwards.

    I wrote what I thought was a very important article back on April 2. It was primarily stimulated by the most powerful case for reform in U.S. Thoroughbred racing and breeding that I have ever read: Vision 2025.

  • Editorial: California horse-racing deaths demand industry reforms
    The Mercury News


    The message to the horse racing industry in California must be clear: Implement tough safety standards at your tracks or risk the state closing them down altogether.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom last week signed legislation giving the California Horse Racing Board greater authority to close tracks that aren’t adequately protecting the health and safety of horses and jockeys. That’s a good first step. But much more is needed.

    This is a national sport and a national problem. The horse-racing industry should step up to set and enforce tough safety standards across the country before Congress or states like California do it for them.

     

  • Pharmacy owner whose drugs led to doped racehorses admits to peddling unsafe equine drugs
    Dallas News


    Joe Landers turned his lifelong love for horses into a lucrative business, first by breeding them on his Texas ranch and then running a pharmacy catering to their race performance needs. 

    But it was the Weatherford man's love of money, federal authorities say, that made him part of a growing problem in the horse racing industry that is putting profits ahead of horses and their well-being. Landers pleaded guilty last week in federal court to charges related to the production and sale of dangerous drugs for racehorses in Texas and in other states, according to federal court records.

  • Horse racing has become a blood sport
    The Baltimore Sun


    Race horse fatalities of this magnitude are not inevitable. In a May interview on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Gina Rarick, who trains in France, said that "our horses have long careers, run drug-free, and don't die on the track like their American cousins. ...On race day there can be no drug in the horse's system. None." The key phrase is drug-free.

    In his May 17 Sun piece about the "existential crisis" facing the horse racing industry, Childs Walker noted the Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2019 introduced in Congress that would bring uniformity to racing regulations across the U.S., set up an organization to oversee a new anti-doping program, and ban all medications for horses within 24 hours of a race (“As it prepares for 144th Preakness, horse racing industry faces larger 'existential' crisis,” May 17). Similar legislation has been before the Congress since at least 2013. Those with financial interest in the status quo have lobbied against passage and continue to do so.

    I love the sport of thoroughbred horse racing. The runners are majestic, the jockeys strong and brave, and the races are thrilling adrenaline rushes. But the sport of kings has become a blood sport in the U.S. If it doesn't reform itself, it could go the way of dog racing, which Florida voted to ban by the end of 2020.

  • Vets selling drugs: A tough nut to crack
    Horse Racing Reform


    What if every time you visited your doctor you paid no fee for service? No office fees. No consultation fees. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and all your vital signs were checked without any charge. Much of the diagnostic work? That’s free, too.

    Wouldn’t that be great! But there is a catch.

    It seems that you can’t leave the doctor’s office without a bag full of medicines — pills, tonics, specially formulated vitamins, etc. Some for ailments, real or imagined, you didn’t even know that you had. Your doctor refers to these as preventive maintenance. He recommends them to all his clients. So what if you don’t have a thyroid issue. Your doctor says that if you take these pills for the rest of your life you will never have to worry about your thyroid.

  • Why So Many Horses Have Died at Santa Anita
    The New York Times


     

    On a recent Monday, after one of the rare weekends when Santa Anita conducted three days of racing without a horse fatality, Ms. Stronach sat in her empty racetrack and talked about the aggressive, wide-ranging drug and safety protocols she had demanded.

    A review of the medication violations over the past 10 years for the trainers of the 30 horses that died at Santa Anita showed that many had been cited with unusual frequency. Amid growing complaints in March, the Stronach Group made changes to its drug and veterinary policies that would match international standards.

     

     

  • Horse trainers and track investigated after Santa Anita deaths
    CNN.com


    The Jockey Club, The Stronach Group and others say the excessive medicating of horses could be causing problems and leading to animals dying. 

    On its website, The Jockey Club states: "Improper drug use can directly lead to horse injuries and deaths. Horses aren't human and the only way they can tell us something is wrong is by reacting to a symptom. If that symptom is masked, the results can be devastating."

    Dr. Sue Stover, a professor and veterinarian from UC Davis, says that more than 85% of horses that break down on the track had a pre-existing issue that was exacerbated.

    Vets check every horse before it races at Santa Anita. But if that horse is medicated, the vet might not detect an issue that could later prove fatal.

     

  • Fans don't like watching horses die. It's time for racing to face this and fix it.
    Lexington Herald Leader


    That’s why attention has returned to federal legislation of Lexington’s own Congressman Andy Barr. The Horse Racing Integrity Act seems like a common sense approach, one that even a casual race fan can understand. First, it creates one central oversight authority that creates and administers the same medication rules, just like just about every other sport in the nation. It would ban race-day medication, which mirrors international racing rules.

    Barr had a similar bill two years ago, which faced opposition from big organizations like Churchill Downs. But Barr thinks the bi-partisan bill, co-sponsored by New York Democrat Paul Tonka can pass this time around. Similar legislation recently appeared in the Senate. Barr hopes his bill will get a hearing this summer.

    “I certainly think it has more momentum because the problems at Santa Anita raised the public’s awareness and lawmakers’ awareness that there’s a problem that needs to be fixed,” Barr said. “What we want to avoid is legislators who are overreaching — we want to prevent them from doing something like ban the sport because they’ve heard from PETA or some other group. It’s so important for the industry to demonstrate a record of integrity and safety and show everyone we’re treating these animals with humane practices.”


    Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/article231513783.html#storylink=cpy

  • Horse racing insider calls for national reform targeting animal deaths and cheating
    WUSA9


    While there have been no accusations of wrongdoing in the most recent deaths, the entire industry is threatened by drug cheating that heightens the risk of catastrophic breakdowns on the track, according to Joe De Francis, the former owner of the Maryland Jockey Club and the current chairman of the National Horseracing Advisory Council for the Humane Society of the United States.

    The issue is an existential threat to the future of the sport that can only be solved by federal legislation and the intervention of the US Anti-Doping Agency which regulates drug use in human athletes, De Francis said.

    DeFrancis said abuse of medications and treatments that allow horses to run through debilitating pain to the point of breaking down are at the root of many deaths, but there are no national standards that equalize the playing field in the 38 states that allow racing.

  • New York's horse racing industry contends with drug, slaughter scrutiny
    Rockland Westchester Journal


    The horse racing industry is under fire for the use of drugs in the sport and even facing accusations that retired animals end up in meat slaughterhouses. A report in May by The Journal News/lohud revealed the growing concerns about horse deaths in the industry in New York and across the country.

    The sport is having an existential moment across the country, after a series of deaths at a prominent California track sparked a debate about the morality of the industry.

     

  • Horse Racing, Save Yourself
    LEO Weekly


    Now is time for all of us, especially the horse industry and government, to look closely at horse racing and make it safer. Because the sport has to change, or it may die itself.

    Racetracks and regulators need to enact top-to-bottom reforms to ensure the health, safety and quality of life of the horses. If not, the federal government needs to make the changes for them — or outlaw horse racing entirely.

  • Proposed race horse bill draws criticism, debate
    Furosemide slammed as "performance-enhancing drug," but AAEP disagrees
    Veterinary Practice News


    Proposed legislation that would establish a uniform national standard for drug restrictions, testing, and enforcement at horse racing venues is receiving pushback from veterinarians and national equine associations...

    “The AAEP is committed to funding research into alternative EIPH management strategies, which would eliminate the need to administer furosemide on race day,” said association president Jeff Berk, VMD, MRCVS. “The proposed phase-out of the medication’s use beginning at many thoroughbred racetracks in 2020 emphasizes the urgent need for continued research into new methods for mitigating EIPH.”

     

     

  • Feinstein: It's time to take a hard look at horse racing and opportunities for reform
    Los Angeles Daily News


    In my opinion, if a horse needs a drug to treat bleeding into the lungs, it shouldn’t be racing in the first place. And if horses are routinely given such a drug purely for performance reasons, it ought to be banned from the sport.

    Many racing countries like Japan and Australia don’t allow Lasix on race days and some, like Germany, ban its use outright...

    ...Horse racing has a long tradition in this country, but that tradition is on the downswing. Fewer Americans go to the track each year, while at the same time, more and more stress is being placed on horses to make money. The result appears to be dangerous conditions that contribute to dead horses.

    We need to take a long, hard look at the future of horse racing in this country, and we need to do it before more horses needlessly die.

     

  • 'Completely Wrongheaded': HBPA Opposes Senate Version Of Horseracing Integrity Act
    Paulick Report


    The National Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) announces its opposition to the Senate version of the Horseracing Integrity Act (S. 1820), introduced last week by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Martha McSally (R-AZ). On behalf of thoroughbred race horse owners, and trainers, the HBPA has been steadfast in its opposition to the House companion measure introduced earlier this year by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY-20) and Andy Barr (R-KY-06) (H.R. 1754).

    “Senator Gillibrand and Senator McSally have clearly been misguided. Banning race day Lasix will cause more equine deaths, and additional regulations will cause jobs to be lost,” stated Eric Hamelback, CEO of the HBPA.

  • National HBPA Opposes Senate Introduction of the Horseracing Integrity Act (S. 1820)
    HBPA Press Release


    The National Horseman’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) announces its opposition to the Senate version of the Horseracing Integrity Act (S. 1820), introduced last week by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Martha McSally (R-AZ). On behalf of Thoroughbred race horse owners and trainers, the HBPA has been steadfast in its opposition to the House companion measure introduced earlier this year by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY-20) and Andy Barr (R-KY-06) (H.R. 1754).

    “Senator Gillibrand and Senator McSally have clearly been misguided. Banning race day Lasix will cause more equine deaths, and additional regulations will cause jobs to be lost,” stated Eric Hamelback, CEO of the HBPA.

  • Has RCI Gone To The Dogs? California Regulators May Drop Membership
    Paulick Report


    Citing a new formula determining board seats and philosophical differences over medication policy, the California Horse Racing Board will consider withdrawing its membership in the Association of Racing Commissioners International at Thursday's regularly scheduled CHRB meeting in Pleasanton, Calif.

    According to the meeting package prepared for Thursday's meeting, the CHRB has been a member of RCI since 1994 and currently pays $27,500 in annual dues to the non-governmental agency that has no direct regulatory authority. “Its members individually possess regulatory authority within their jurisdictions and each jurisdiction solely determines at its discretion whether to adopt RCI recommendations on policies and rules,” the CHRB meeting package says of RCI.

  • Medication Use in Horse Racing: Yea or Neigh?
    Pharmacy Times


    Medication use in horse racing has become a hot topic across the country. Uniform standards have been established by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) for the United States.  However, not all states are following these guidelines. The National Uniform Medication Program consists of medication rules, penalties, and testing guidelines. Additionally, the policy contains the Controlled Therapeutic Substances list, a policy limiting administration of furosemide to third-party veterinarians, a multiple medication violation penalty system, and a laboratory quality assurance program.

  • Keep tradition of horse racing alive
    The Hill


    Earlier this year, lawmakers in Congress introduced bipartisan legislationbacked by the Jockey Club and others in the industry. The Horseracing Integrity Act would create a uniform national set of drug rules as well as greatly improved standards for drug testing race horses. The industry desperately needs a governing body that will ensure transparency and consistency in the medical treatment and health of race horses. The passage of this legislation would help to restore the faith of our fans.

  • Why horses are dying at U.S. racetracks at an alarming rate
    PBS NewsHour


    The Belmont Stakes marked the end of the Triple Crown on Saturday, but the focus of horse racing this year is centered on a tragic statistic: an average of 10 horses a week died at American racetracks in 2018, a fatality rate that is two-and-a-half to five times greater than in the rest of the horse racing world. New York Times reporter Joe Drape joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.

  • 27 Racehorses Have Died at This Track Since Dec. 26
    New York Times


    The sport is divided. On one side are horse breeders and owners who back a federal bill to create a uniform national standard for drug testing and medication rules in racehorses that would be overseen by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. On the other are horse trainers and racetrack owners who find the proposed changes too expensive and intrusive.

    In March, after the 22nd fatality at Santa Anita, the Stronach Group announced a ban on the use of whips and medication on racing days. It was applauded by animal rights activists but angered horsemen in California and beyond.

  • Belmont Horsemen Concerned About State of the Game
    Horseraceinsider


    One day after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his support for a bill authorizing the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) to suspend horse racing licenses to protect the health and safety of horses and riders, Senator Diane Feinstein, who has twice called for the suspension of racing, participated in a fact-finding session with Santa Anita officials.

    Meanwhile, three hours and 3,000 miles away, trainer and analyst Tom Amoss, who will saddle Kentucky Oaks winner and Acorn Stakes favorite, Serengeti Empress, on the Belmont Stakes undercard, surprised reporters on an NTRA conference call with his take not only on the California issue but the state of the game as well.

  • Finley: The Week in Review: So, What Would It Take to Appease Animal Rights Activists?
    TDN


    What is going to happen next? This is a sport that has a U.S. Senator (Feinstein), a U.S. Congresswomen (Judy Chu), the Governor of California (Gavin Newsom) and the entire animal rights community on its back and watching its every move. To ignore them and their demands for serious reform would be foolish, if not suicidal.

    The Santa Anita meet does not end until June 23. The sport would have to be very lucky for there not to be at least one more fatality at that track between now and closing day. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but what if it does? What happens if there are three or four?

    Will the “other side” realize that is a sad and unfortunate part of a sport that is steeped in history, is an economic engine that provides tens of thousands of jobs across the country and that the vast majority of racehorses are pampered and beloved by their owners and trainers? Will it accept that if serious efforts to make the sport as safe as possible are undertaken, racing has earned the right to carry on and vow to continue to make the sport as safe as possible? Or will it say no sport in which any animals die for the pleasure and economic benefit of human beings is acceptable? And will the voting public agree?

    That question is inevitably going to be answered. Hold your breath.

  • Despite Changes, Feinstein Wants Santa Anita Halted
    BloodHorse


    "I believe we need to carefully review what medications horses are given and under what circumstances, as well as take a close look at the issue of overrunning horses, which may be contributing to deaths.

    "Tracks in the United States have significantly higher rates of death than tracks overseas. We need to determine what we're doing wrong in this country and fix it. If we can't, we need to consider whether horse racing has a future here."

  • Horse-doping trainer 'branded with the scarlet letter of a cheat,' prosecutor says
    Windsor Star


    A local trainer who injected a racehorse with performance-enhancing drugs in 2010, then was caught six weeks later intending to do it again, has been fined $3,750 and is “branded with the scarlet letter of a cheat,” the prosecutor in the case said Friday.

    Derek Riesberry’s convictions for fraud over $5,000 and attempted fraud over $5,000 mark the first time in Canada horse doping was prosecuted criminally, instead of having regulatory agencies such as the Ontario Racing Commission hand out fines and suspensions.

    Riesberry, 46, now carries a criminal record, noted assistant Crown attorney Brian Manarin, speaking at the end of a 5½-year legal odyssey that took the case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

    “He’s been branded with the scarlet letter of a cheat, which is a terrible thing,” he said. “He’s going to have to do a lot of things to make amends for shooting up a horse with a performance-enhancing drug.” 

  • Governor Gavin Newsom Announces Support for Legislation to Suspend Horse Racing Licenses
    Governor's Press Office


    SACRAMENTO – In response to the increasing number of horse racing deaths in California, Governor Gavin Newsom announced today his support for SB 469 by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) which authorizes the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) to suspend horse racing licenses to protect the health and safety of horses and riders. The announcement comes after the 26th horse death at Santa Anita Park.

    “The recent horse fatalities in California are unacceptable,” said Governor Newsom. "We must hold the horse racing industry to account. If we can regulate horse race meets, we should have the authority to suspend licenses when animal or human welfare is at risk.”

     

  • Racing! The rebuttal to HBO's Real Sports segment
    L A Times


    I’m not sure how many of you watched the HBO Real Sports segment on horse racing last week, but it was met with a lot of disdain from the horse racing side. I can’t exactly say I watched it, but I certainly listened to it. A lot of the first part of the segment were replays of horses going down. And in the second half there were videos from inside the horse slaughterhouse.

    Regardless of your stance on racing as a sport, those are tough to watch. And I guess that’s HBO’s point.

    When, say, the president, regardless of which one, gives a major speech, the networks usually follow it with a rebuttal statement from those of the opposite party. I don’t know if Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive of the National Thoroughbred Racing Assn., was chosen to do it on behalf of the industry or he just felt he needed to it, but this is a slightly edited version of the letter he sent to Joe Perskie, executive producer of HBO Real Sports:

  • Thoroughbred racing needs reforms, and not from lawmakers
    Washington Post


    Thoroughbred racing’s best hope for survival is a moral blockade by these good handlers of horses, a movement from within to ostracize noncooperators in reform. Powerful coalitions of horsemen such as the Jockey Club and the Water Hay Oats Alliance have backed congressional legislation only because they despaired of persuading fiefdoms such as Churchill Downs to submit willingly to a national governing body. But the Santa Anita tragedies may be changing that.

    As the Jockey Club pointed out in a paper, thoroughbred racing is a balkanized sport with tracks in 38 states, from Churchill Downs to Del Mar, operating under different rules, which “denies the industry the ability to affect dynamic and effective change.”

  • California Racing Is In Trouble, So Where Are Our Industry Leaders?
    U S Racing


    For the past five months, like just about everyone else whose life and livelihood is entrenched in horse racing, I have watched horses at Santa Anita in California die in record numbers and the owners of the track, The Stronach Group (TSG), scramble to diffuse what has become a very volatile issue with minimal success. It’s no secret I’m not the biggest fan of TSG these days for various reasons and I’ve been flabbergasted by some of their actions in shifting blame and muddying waters with issues having nothing to do with now 26 dead horses, but I also know that this situation isn’t deliberate and none of the powers that be enjoy seeing injured and dead horses anywhere, let alone on their watch.

  • 'Very Survival Of The Sport At Risk': HBO's 'Real Sports' Examines Racing Fatalities
    Paulick Report


    “With so many racehorses dying every year in America, how long will horse racing itself survive?”

    That's the fundamental question asked by correspondent Bernard Goldberg on HBO's “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel,” which aired a 20-minute segment on equine fatalities in Thoroughbred racing in the U.S. on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET.

    The feature, entitled “Raced to Death,” was prompted by the spike in racing fatalities this winter at Santa Anita Park and begins with videos of horses sustaining fatal injuries while racing at the Arcadia, Calif., track. “The fallout was fast and furious, the deaths quickly becoming a national story,” Goldberg says. “This much is known: what happened to the horses at Santa Anita is just the tip of an iceberg the public knows virtually nothing about.”

    No effort was made by “Real Sports” to offer a balanced view from the perspective of racing regulators, track operators or horsemen's organizations on measures taken in recent years to address safety and welfare issues, most notably by The Stronach Group, owner of Santa Anita, earlier this year. At least 18 video clips of horses sustaining serious injuries are shown during the segment, taken from different tracks over a number of years.

  • 'Raced To Death': HBO's Real Sports Investigates Deaths In Thoroughbred Racing
    Forbes


    Not even the staunchest defenders of horse racing could deny the brutality of the incidents HBO shows, nor would most even try, but viewers won’t know that. The segment features interviews with a variety of people along a continuum of dissatisfaction with horse racing, from a veterinarian who expresses outrage at the trainers who race sore horses and the veterinarians who able them to do that, to the chairman of The Jockey Club Stuart Janney, who suggests that various industry organizations that resist his organization’s suggestions do so because they want power, to a racing fan-cum-activist who organizes protests at tracks and maintains a list of the horses that die during racing in the United States.

  • Horse deaths underscore urgent need for racing reform
    A Humane World


    The multi-billion-dollar U.S. horseracing industry, once the envy of the world, is facing a global reputation crisis, for failing to keep up with the higher welfare standards established in other countries. And one of the chief reasons for this is the industry’s continued and widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs – a practice banned or well-regulated in every other major sport in the United States.

    The problem began when Congress, in 1980, decided to leave it up to states to come up with their own rules on what drugs to allow in horse racing. This has led to a confusing patchwork of 38 state laws with no uniform national standard, and it’s been a boon for unethical trainers who can move from state to state to avoid penalties while continuing to dope and race horses.

  • Why horse racing is so dangerous
    National Geographic


    Trainers have been accused of making an already risky situation worse by drugging horses with performance-enhancing substances or painkillers,animal welfare advocates say.

    Such drugs allow horses to run faster and power through the pain. For example, the drug furosemide, popularly known under the brand name Lasix, is a “performance-enhancing drug cloaked as a therapeutic medication,” according to a March report by the Jockey Club.

    While it’s prescribed to treat bleeding in the lungs, the medication also causes urination and, consequently, weight loss. Lighter horses run faster, and Lasix has been shown to help horses run three to five lengths faster. The legality of each drug varies by state. (

  • Horse racing industry needs uniform regulation
    Baltimore Sun


    If each of the 32 NFL teams set their own rules for doping, there would be constant confusion and an outcry for reform. But that’s exactly how the horse racing industry operates. Spectators and viewers watching the Preakness Stakes on Saturday will see the spectacle of the crowds and competitive races, but they’ll likely be unaware that, unlike other national sports that have a single regulating body, horse racing has 38 jurisdictions overseeing approximately 100 racetracks in the United States.

  • Horse racing's uncomfortable truth: Horses die
    AP News


    As breakdowns mounted, Santa Anita shut down twice as a national expert probed and studied the dirt surface. Nothing seemed wrong. Deaths continued, although not since early April. The cause or causes remain a mystery.

    But many say the root causes have long been obvious and rampant across horse racing: Drugs to make horses run faster and mask injuries. Whipping them down the stretch. Decades of breeding that have yielded maximum muscle and power, but relatively light bones. A decline in thoroughbred births, forcing horses to race more often.

    Now powerful voices, including the owners of Santa Anita, are backing major change.

    “We are taking a step forward and saying, quite emphatically, that the current system is broken,” said Belinda Stronach of the The Stronach Group, which also owns Pimlico in Baltimore.

  • Fatalities, Drugs, and Integrity: Americans' Top Three Concerns for Horse Racing
    PR Newswire


    National poll shows strong support for horse racing reform

    WASHINGTON, May 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a new, national and Kentucky-based poll commissioned by The Jockey Club, horse fatalities are the single most important factor facing the horse racing industry with nearly seven in 10 likely voters (69 percent) saying that it is a "very important" issue. The misuse of drugs was almost equally significant with 65 percent saying it was "very important." Integrity and corruption also scored highly at 63 percent.

  • The Jockey Club survey: Voters want 'real changes' in racing
    Horse Racing Nation


    The poll also looked at the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019, which would establish a private, independent horse racing anti-doping authority involving the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA); require full transparency into the medical treatment, injuries, and health of all racehorses; and create one, universal system of medication regulation.

    Ninety-one percent of respondents said they would view horse racing “much more” or “somewhat more” favorably if the industry adopted the national regulations and strict anti-doping rules embodied in the HIA.

  • Jockey Club Survey: Drugs, Fatalities Top List Of Public Concerns About Horse Racing
    Paulick Report


    According to a new, national and Kentucky-based poll commissioned by The Jockey Club, horse fatalities are the single most important factor facing the horse racing industry with nearly seven in 10 likely voters (69 percent) saying that it is a “very important” issue. The misuse of drugs was almost equally significant with 65 percent saying it was “very important.” Integrity and corruption also scored highly at 63 percent.

    “This survey is further proof that the horse racing industry has reached a tipping point,” said Jim Gagliano, The Jockey Club president and COO. “The health of horses is of concern to both horse racing fans and the general public, and it's time we make some real changes.”

  • Horse racing's uncomfortable truth: Horses die
    San Francisco Chronicle


    But many say the root causes have long been obvious and rampant across horse racing: Drugs to make horses run faster and mask injuries. Whipping them down the stretch. Decades of breeding that have yielded maximum muscle and power, but relatively light bones. A decline in thoroughbred births, forcing horses to race more often.

    Now powerful voices, including the owners of Santa Anita, are backing major change.

    "We are taking a step forward and saying, quite emphatically, that the current system is broken," said Belinda Stronach of the The Stronach Group, which also owns Pimlico in Baltimore.

    The influential Jockey Club, a 125-year-old organization that works to improve racing and thoroughbred breeding, issued a damning white paper warning the sport must rid itself of drugs or face a public and political backlash that could kill it.

    "This isn't about a single track — horse fatalities are a nationwide problem, one that has shocked fans, the industry, the regulators, and the general public," the Jockey Club wrote.

     

  • Kentucky Derby: Churchill Downs must help fix horse racing before it's too late
    Louisville Courier Journal


    On Saturday, more than 16 million people will watch the Kentucky Derby. But many will be watching through the lens of recent events that have brought the health of racehorses to the forefront of public consciousness.

    The horse racing industry is under fire, and that scrutiny is largely a situation of its own construction. In California, the Los Angeles district attorney has formed a task force to investigate horse deaths at Santa Anita, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein has called for suspension of racing at Santa Anita until an investigation into the causes of those deaths is completed.

    In a recent California poll by Quinnipiac, only 19% of Californians had a favorable opinion of horse racing, which speaks to the mood in the state and why a ballot initiative to ban racing is a real possibility.

     

  • AQHA statement on racing industry reform
    AQHA Press Release


    The American Quarter Horse Association has a paramount concern for the welfare of the American Quarter Horse, as well as the integrity of the races in which they compete. 

    Unfortunately, following the March 14 introduction of the proposed bill HR 1754 (commonly referred to as the “Horse Racing Integrity Act”), as well as sweeping actions taken after a series of fatalities at Santa Anita Race Track in California, the racing industry is in the animal welfare spotlight.

  • Heller: Race-day Lasix unnecessary for virtually all horses
    Harness Racing Update


    Every single foreign racing jurisdiction on the globe bans Lasix and all other drugs on race-day. How many years can we believe that Canada and the United States are the only countries correct on this? Other countries haven’t experienced a tidal wave of fatal breakdowns because horses raced without Lasix on race day.

    If racing without Lasix on race-day is so dangerous, why did the trainers of the best thoroughbreds in the U.S. ship them half-way around the world to Dubai to compete in million-dollar races without race-day Lasix last weekend? And the American horses fared very well in Dubai: first and second in the World Cup, first in the Golden Shaheen Sprint and first in the UAE Derby.

  • Jockey Club: Horse racing needs one national set of anti-doping, medication rules
    Lexington Herald Leader


    In advance of the Kentucky Derby, several prominent racetracks announced the formation of a coalition to eliminate Lasix as a race-day medication for 2-year-old and stakes races. Additionally, Churchill Downs announced a set of safety protocols and procedures, including medication reform, limits on crop use, an increased investment into equine medical facilities, and an initial set of limited medication reforms, which are all laudable and will move safety forward. 

    The Jockey Club commends those associations on their commitment to the health and safety of racehorses, and the integrity of the sport on the threshold of another Triple Crown season. But for reform to be truly effective, it would have to be adopted across the 38 separate state and regional regulatory bodies that govern horse racing. This fragmented system means we don’t have national standards that are in line with international standards, which are designed to better protect horses. It means that initiatives, such as those announced last week, are faced with a long and tortuous path that may take years to implement.

  • PETA switching up tactics as it works with Churchill Downs on racing reform
    The Louisville Courier Journal


    Six years after declaring its opposition to horse racing on a mobile billboard circling Churchill Downs during Derby Week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has adopted a subtler strategy.

    Reassured by initiatives the racetrack announced last week and by management’s receptiveness to further discussions, PETA is planning no protests for Kentucky Derby 145. Speaking at the annual shareholders meeting of Churchill Downs Inc. on Tuesday morning in Chicago, PETA vice president Kathy Guillermo commended CDI’s announced intention to phase-out race-day Lasix at the company’s racetracks and challenged management to lead the way toward additional reforms.

  • Churchill Downs and Keeneland join other horse racing tracks with Lasix ban
    The Louisville Courier Journal


    The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby without a race-day dose of Lasix was Grindstone in 1996.

    The end of that streak is now in sight.

    A coalition comprised of most of America’s major racetracks Thursday announced a gradual phase-out of the only medication allowed to be administered on the day of a race. Beginning next year, 2-year-olds would be required to run without Lasix at Churchill Downs, Keeneland and other prominent tracks, with the ban extending to stakes races in 2021.

    “Churchill Downs will advocate in the strongest possible terms with Kentucky regulators and the regulators of other U.S. racing jurisdiction to achieve this result,” the track said in a prepared statement. “It is our intention to run the 2021 Kentucky Derby without. . .Lasix.”

  • 'Old World' Commends Brave New One on Lasix
    TDN


    The landmark prohibition of raceday Lasix, projected by a coalition of major American racetracks on Thursday, is being received with unsurprising warmth by European horsemen, who have long complained about trans-Atlantic disparities in the regulation of medication. Less predictable, perhaps, is a disposition among the more knowledgeable to give the American industry time and space to overcome what they recognise as perfectly legitimate anxieties about adjusting to a different way of doing things.

  • Are Challenges To Lasix Phase-Out Baked Into Current Regulatory Policies?
    TDN


    One of the meatiest bones of contention from last week’s Lasix phase-out debate is that representatives from the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA), the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (THA), and the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) all told TDN they were left out of discussions that led to the multi-track proposal to end Lasix usage in juveniles starting in 2020 and in all stakes races by 2021.

    You can easily flip this argument on its head by pointing out that from the perspective of the coalition tracks–those owned/operated by the New York Racing Association (NYRA), The Stronach Group (TSG), and Churchill Downs Inc., plus Oaklawn, Del Mar, Keeneland, Lone Star, Remington, Tampa Bay Downs, and Los Alamitos (Thoroughbreds)–it’s unlikely that this bold first step for United States medication reform would have ever gotten off the ground had horsemen been asked to actively partner in and shape the proposed phase-out.

  • Statement from President Dr. Jeff Berk about the Prohibition of Race-Day Furosemide by U.S. Racing Coalition
    AAEP Press Release


     

    “As Doctors of Veterinary Medicine, science and evidence-based discovery is our foundation, and as such, the AAEP’s long-standing racehorse medication policy has supported the administration of furosemide on race day to mitigate the adverse effects of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH)."

  • Targeting Lasix gives horse racing a good look, but won't result in meaningful change
    The Louisville Courier Journal


    Galvanized by tragedy and united in bad publicity, horse racing’s major racetracks have teamed up to collectively phase out race-day use of the medicine Lasix.

    Sounds great, right? No one is going to argue against improved safety for horses

  • Under Pressure, Leaders in Horse Racing Industry Move to Limit Medication Use
    The New York Times


    Under pressure from animal-rights groups and a growing public perception that horse racing is cruel, the three tracks that host the Triple Crown races formed a coalition on Thursday and agreed to seek a ban on race-day medication for all of their 2-year-old races beginning next year and to extend that practice for stakes races — the sport’s highest level — in 2021.

    The new policy would move the United States closer to the standards in Europe, Australia and Hong Kong, where strict rules about medication are thought to have helped make horse fatalities far rarer than they are here. The proposed policy is also an attempt to change the conversation — directing it away from the recent 23 horse fatalities at Santa Anita Park — as the Kentucky Derby approaches and casual sports fans turn their attention to horse racing.

  • California adopts new rules that put horse racing under a microscope, before and after deadly injuries
    Pasadena Star-News


    In another major reform growing out of the deaths of 23 horses at Santa Anita Park this season, the chief of the state’s regulatory agency said Thursday it will now assign an investigator and a steward to dig into every death at California racetracks, even if it means having to subpoena records.

    The state already pays for postmortem examinations for every horse, but these simpler investigations were often inconsistent, particularly when it came to analyzing medications in a horse’s system. Toxicology was requested only on a case-by-case basis until about a year ago and veterinarians were not required to provide medication histories to the laboratory conducting the exams.

    “Now, every necropsy is going to be part of a more thorough investigation,” said Rick Baedeker, executive director of the California Horse Racing Board.

     

  • Lasix: Treating the symptom and not the disease
    A Yankee in Paris


    The Lasix debate has reached its fever pitch, and I have avoided it thus far. Backed off by accusations that I am merely a scientist and not a race trainer, I have remained fairly quiet.

    But. I am a horsemen. I am a scientist. And maybe those two things needs combined for an opinion.

    An opinion based on fact. Not anecdote. Not legend. And more importantly, not propaganda.

    Furosemide (Lasix) is a drug used to prevent or at least minimize outward bleeding of horses in strenuous work. This bleeding is called epistaxis, and mostly occurs when a horse suffers from grade 4 Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH). There are three lower grades (1-3) which can be detected by endoscopy, but are not outwardly noted as a horse who bleeds.

    While 55% of thoroughbred racehorses experience that grade 1-3 EIPH, it is known that a mere 4% of actually experience epistaxis or outwardly bleed (Preston et al (2015)).

  • Quinnipiac University Poll: More Than Half Of California Voters Want Independent Review Of Santa Anita Deaths
    Paulick Report


    More than half of California voters want the state's governor to create an independent review panel to study the highly-publicized equine fatalities at Santa Anita Park. A poll from Quinnipiac University's Polling Institute released Thursday and examined a number of political topics on voters' minds, including the death penalty and sanctuary cities. Fifty-five percent of those polled said Gov. Gavin Newsom should appoint a panel to study the deaths; 35 percent did not support the idea.

    Poll results show just 19 percent of voters had a “favorable opinion” of horse racing, while 20 percent had an unfavorable opinion of the sport. Fifty-nine percent had no opinion.

  • University poll: California governor, voters want answers on racing
    Horse Racing Nation


    Amid the ongoing debate over track safety, medication and whips in Southern California, a poll commissioned by Connecticut's Quinnipiac University and published this week found that 19% of California voters have a favorable opinion of horse racing.

    Additionally, 20% find it unfavorable and 59% expressed no opinion on the sport, while Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll, concluded that "after the deaths of 23 race horses at California's most storied race track, the governor wants answers and so do voters."

  • California considers the unthinkable: Canceling horse racing at Santa Anita Park
    The Washington Post


    Veterinarians and animal rights groups said there is more to the deaths than a prolific rainy season and track maintenance, reasons that are more entwined with long-standing racing practices and culture.

    “Compaction of the surface can make the surface harder, increasing loads to the horses’ limbs,” wrote Stover, the UC Davis professor. “However, it is unlikely that the surface was solely responsible for the rash of catastrophic injuries. Inherently healthy horses may not have had injuries on a racetrack managed to handle the rain.”

    Race-day drugs and the jockey’s whip are horse racing staples receiving new scrutiny. Both are used to drive thoroughbreds — sometimes beyond their physical capabilities — to win.

  • ARCI Proposes To 'Dramatically Increase' Trainer, Owner Penalties For Doping
    Paulick Report


    The Drug Testing Standards and Practices (DTSP) Committee of the Association of Racing Commissions International (ARCI) is considering a major change to the recommended penalties for violations of the association's drug rules to dramatically increase sanctions on those violations that can be considered “doping” or “equine endangerment”.

  • PETA Calls For Changes Amid Horse Racing Controversies
    LEX18


    LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The future of horse racing is at a crossroads over the controversy surrounding the treatment of Thoroughbreds.

    Animal welfare groups like PETA are calling for medication bans at tracks, and now Keeneland is also facing backlash after a horse was euthanized on the track this past Saturday.

  • Is horse racing 'addicted to drugs,' as critics charge? Necropsies reveal strong clues
    Pasadena Star-News


    Half of the three dozen horses that died at Santa Anita Park in the 12 months prior to the current meet were on at least one anti-inflammatory medication, a major focal point of the investigation into equine deaths at the racetrack.

    In several cases, according to a review of a year’s worth of necropsies, horses were on two different types of the pain reliever.

    Critics argue the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, masks the injuries of horses and increases the chances of a fatal breakdown on the racetrack. The California Horse Racing Board’s research indicates 90% of breaks stem from preexisting injuries. Animal rights organizations say these medications likely contributed to the deaths of 23 horses at Santa Anita since the season began Dec. 26.

  • Just Another Day In Pennsylvania: Sketchy Supplements, Class 1 Substances, And Commission Silence
    Paulick Report


    A series of drug positives issued by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission in early February raised a few eyebrows, including those on the face of trainer Gerald Lee Jr. Lee, who has been in the Standardbred business some 30 years, has maintained a small stable and stayed on the right side of the Pennsylvania rulebook for most of that time. He had just one ruling against him in the state previously, a $200 fine stemming from a late driver change on one of his horses four years ago. In late 2018, he suddenly found himself the recipient of four positive tests for strychnine, a Class 1 drug in the Association of Racing Commissioners International's uniform classification of foreign substances. Lee said he was as surprised by the news as anyone.

  • After horse death at Keeneland, PETA issues warning to Kentucky
    Herald Leader


    Animal activists have a message for Kentucky horse racing: They are watching.

    “PETA is putting Kentucky on notice,” warned a statement from Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has been protesting at Santa Anita in the wake of 23 horse deaths related to the track.

    Now, they are turning their attention to the Bluegrass state in the wake of the death of a horse Saturday at Keenelan

  • Kentucky equine medical director concerned for future of horse racing
    WKYT


    LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's equine medical director is warning the horse racing industry that its future is in doubt if California's problems make it to the Commonwealth.

    "California racing is having an existential crisis, and I think we all need to look closely and say, 'That could be us,'" Dr. Mary Scollay said. "We need to think very carefully about what we do, why we do it, and what we can do better."

  • Letter: Horseracing Integrity Act a good first step
    TimesUnion


    In recent years, we've seen multiple protests by animal advocates at Saratoga Race Course who recognize that the industry is not taking care of the majestic horses who are forced to compete within it. One major issue with the industry is that these animals are routinely given medication meant to help them fight through pain to race, resulting in training- and race-related deaths.

    Thankfully, Rep. Paul Tonko and Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky have co-sponsored the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754), aimed at improving conditions for horses by banning all race-day medications and putting the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in charge of drug oversight. While the bill doesn't address all of the animal welfare issues plaguing the horse racing industry, it's definitely a step in the right direction and I applaud Tonko for co-sponsoring it.

    Don Ferlazzo

  • 23 Thoroughbred Deaths Force Santa Anita To Change. Will The Racing Industry Follow?
    NPR


    In mid-March, U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill aimed at improving horse-racing safety by requiring a uniform anti-doping and medication control program. Medicating thoroughbreds has been a long-running controversy in the U.S. — some medications mask symptoms which critics say can lead to catastrophic horse injuries. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has assigned investigators to work with the California Horse Racing Board to try to figure what's caused the Santa Anita deaths.

  • Arthur To NPR: Racing's Focus Has Become Economics More Than Horses
    Paulick Report


    California Horse Racing Board equine medical director Dr. Rick Arthur had a slightly different view, however. Arthur sees a difference in modern racing from the sport several decades ago — it has become more driven than ever by economics.

    “Frankly, we shouldn't have run on some of the days that we had a bad track,” Arthur said. “And some of the days when the track wasn't as good as it should've been, trainers shouldn't have trained their horses.

    Arthur sees the track's continuation of racing and training on those days as a focus on the bottom line, which extends to a need for horses to fill races, perhaps resulting in more work for them than is healthy.

    “If we don't make racing safer,” he told Goldman, “I don't think the public's going to allow us to continue the sport.”

  • Dianne Feinstein calls for suspension of races at Santa Anita
    Los Angeles Times


    California Sen. Dianne Feinstein called for the suspension of races at Santa Anita until an investigation into what has caused 23 horses to die at the track since late December is complete.

    In a letter sent to California Horse Racing Board chairman Chuck Winner on Tuesday, the Democratic senator wrote she is "appalled that almost two dozen horses have died in just four months."

  • After another horse dies at Santa Anita, racing leaders lobby for reform
    The Courier Journal


    Horse racing is running scared. Fearful of the fallout from a spate of equine fatalities, industry leaders are lobbying for reform with growing urgency and increasing anxiety.

    “In horse racing, we say we have a public perception problem,” Claiborne Farm president Walker Hancock said Monday. “But we kind of bring some changes to the table and it’s ‘You can’t do that.’ I’m worried if we keep going down this road, how far do we have to go before significant changes are made?

    “... If we’re not going to change now, I don’t know what it has to take.”

  • Penn National, Pa.'s congressional delegation need to get behind this horseracing industry reform | Opinion
    Pennsylvania Capital-Star


    In an attempt to prevent any recurrence of this spate of horse deaths, The Stronach Group, owners of Santa Anita Park and other top tracks in America, made a forward-looking announcement to end the use of drugs and whips at the track.

    It’s a move certain to spark a reaction from unscrupulous trainers and veterinarians who profit from widespread doping, but it’s actually an attempt not only to help the horses, but to save the sport.

    The new policy to ban drugs and whipping came on the heels of the introduction of the Horseracing Integrity Act, (H.R. 1754), by U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Andy Barr, R-Ky., who represent two of the meccas of horse racing: Saratoga Springs, New York, and Lexington, Kentucky.

  • Congress should take action so President Trump can protect horses and the save the U.S. horse racing economy
    The Hill


    Hailing from two of the most important Thoroughbred breeding districts in the country, U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.) are again making a push to pass the Horseracing Integrity Act, which, when enacted, would take a tangible stride toward protecting American racehorses through the establishment of a national, uniform standard for drugs and medication in horse racing. It would also grant drug rulemaking, testing, and enforcement oversight to a private, non-profit, self-regulatory independent organization overseen by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) – the governing body that administers the Olympic anti-doping program.

  • Editorial: Return integrity to horse racing
    TimesUnion


    THE ISSUE:

    Horse racing is plagued by drug use and a poor reputation, and casual fans are turning away.

    THE STAKES:

    The Horseracing Integrity Act could rescue a sport that seems unwilling to save itself.

  • Now a racing fan roots for all of the horses
    Los Angeles Daily News


    While people in racing defend their life’s work and animal-rights activists seize the opportunity to campaign calls for its abolition, people like me face a challenge of our own.

    As a horse racing fan — before and since the years I covered racing for my newspaper — I wonder now if supporting the sport can be justified to family, to friends, to myself. If betting on horses, something I’ve done with varying degrees of seriousness all my adult life, is abetting cruelty. If even the usual rate of equine fatalities is acceptable.

  • Churchill Downs is one of the deadliest racetracks in America
    Louisville Courier Journal


    While stressing the causes of this carnage were “multifactorial,” track consultant Mick Peterson said the racing industry should respond with the singular urgency the U.S. space program showed after the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of the Sputnik satellite.

    “It really is one of those moments where we need to step back and say we’ve got to do this better, and we’ve got to change how we’re doing it,” said Peterson, director of the University of Kentucky’s agriculture equine programs. “Because otherwise the industry is not going to survive. People don’t accept (racing fatalities) the way they did.”

  • PETA Statement re the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians' Opposition to Santa Anita's Phase Out of the Medication Lasix
    PETA Press Release


    "THE NORTH AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF RACETRACK VETERINARIANS (NAARV) HAS ISSUED A STATEMENT IMPLYING THAT ONLY “SPECIFIC SECTORS”—THAT IS, PETA—AND A MINORITY IN RACING BACK THE END OF LASIX USE. BUT MANY PEOPLE IN RACING ADVOCATE FOR AN END TO THE USE OF THIS MEDICATION. LASIX IS USED NOWHERE IN THE WORLD BUT NORTH AMERICA, AND HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, EVEN IN 2014, NUMEROUS TRAINERS AND OWNERS, INCLUDING D. WAYNE LUKAS AND TODD PLETCHER, CALLED FOR A PHASE OUT OF LASIX. THE HORSE RACING INTEGRITY ACT—LEGISLATION BACKED BY THE JOCKEY CLUB AND MANY IN RACING—WOULD IMMEDIATELY ELIMINATE LASIX IF PASSED. THE “SPECIFIC SECTORS” THAT NAARV CLAIMS ARE INFLUENCING THIS DECISION ARE MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO WORK IN RACING. PERHAPS THE VETERINARIANS ARE NERVOUS THAT REQUIRED REDUCTION IN MEDICATION USE ACROSS THE BOARD AT SANTA ANITA WILL MEAN A DROP IN THEIR INCOMES."

  • Horse Racing's Rampant Problem Leaves Sport With More Questions Than Answers
    Sports Illustrated


    But it is fair to argue that the medication ban, as a response to the breakdowns, was at least in some part a misdirection. However, it is also possible that good can come from the ban. Both of these things can be true. Lasix was first made legal for U.S. racing in the 1970s and has been controversial almost from the start. It is the designated hitter of racing. I first wrote at length about Lasix in the mid-’80s—when there was a $5 million bonus for winning the Triple Crown—but New York, home of the Belmont Stakes, did not allow Lasix, creating a thorny inequality. It does now, as does every major racing jurisdiction in America.

    Yet its efficacy remains in question. Ken McKeever, professor of animal sciences at Rutgers, has done, and seen, studies that leave him unconvinced that Lasix effectively controls bleeding. "It’s a drug that really doesn’t work very well," says McKeever. Yet trainers use it in massive numbers. Motion is regarded as one of the cleanest trainers in America, yet he uses Lasix. "I’m not holier than thou when it comes to Lasix," he says. "I don’t want my horses to be at a disadvantage, if they’re running against horses who are using Lasix."

  • Racing experts discuss the future of the sport after rash of horse deaths at Santa Anita
    The San Diego Union-Tribune


    Santa Anita is inching toward its projected March 29 opening after having closed for live racing on March 5 following a dramatic increase in the number of horse fatalities. Since Dec. 26, 22 horses have died either in racing or training. What happened at Santa Anita has been a mystery that remains unsolved. When the track reopens, the stakes are very high and all eyes will be on horse safety.

    The Los Angeles Times gathered a roundtable of three well-known experts with more than a century of knowledge working in the horse racing industry to try and dig down into what went wrong at Santa Anita and where things go from here.

  • Association Of Racetrack Veterinarians, HBPA: Curtailing Lasix Won't Reduce Injury Rates
    Paulick Report


    The following statements were released Tuesday by the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians (NAARV) and Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), regarding the recent breakdowns at Santa Anita and the issue of Lasix.

  • Santa Anita Racehorse Breakdowns: Thinking Beyond the Track Surface
    The Horse


    Twenty-two Thoroughbred racehorses have died or been euthanized at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, California, during its current race meet due to injuries sustained while racing and training. The Stronach Group, which owns the track, has closed the venue to both live racing and training multiple times, most recently on March 14 after the 22nd fatality. The Stronach Group has also established a variety of initiatives for racing and training at the track and plans to reopen on March 29.

    So far investigation has reportedly been largely aimed at the track surface, with repeated checks finding that the footing is consistent. We at The Horse wanted to give the reader a look at this issue through a different lens: epidemiology, which the Centers for Disease Control defines as a “method used to find the causes of health outcomes and disease in populations … (where) the patient is the community and individuals are viewed collectively.”

  • How many horses have to die?
    Indiana Gazette


    It was extremely troubling that 21 horses died in relatively short order at the venerable Santa Anita Park in California before management finally closed its tracks to all racing or training on March 5. But it’s absolutely unconscionable that the park reopened less than a week later for training — only to have a 22nd horse die.

  • After 22 horses die at Santa Anita, Congress wants to ban dangerous doping
    Louisville Courier Journal


    “What’s happened out there at Santa Anita, it scares me,” said breeder Arthur Hancock, owner of Stone Farm in Paris, Kentucky. “It’s a crisis. ... I hope it has softened some of the objections from some people.”

    “It’s not an issue only in California,” Breeders’ Cup President Craig Fravel said. “It’s something that needs to be addressed nationally.”

    Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, says the state’s rate of race-related fatalities was “unprecedented” in 2018 at 2.39 per 1,000 starts. Veterinarians reports show Churchill Downs’ rate was higher still last year, with 16 race-related fatalities translating as 2.73 per 1,000 starts.

  • Pandolfo: Maybe it's time to stop legalizing juice
    Harness Racing Update


    This week, the Stronach Group announced that all race-day medication, including Lasix, would no longer be permitted at two of its thoroughbred race tracks, Golden Gate and Santa Anita.

    So I ask the question: should harness racing ban race-day meds? Harness racing legalized race-day Lasix years ago following the legalization of the drug by the thoroughbred industry. This is in North America alone. Horses don’t race on Lasix in Europe, Asia, or anywhere else, for that matter.

  • Another horse died and it will keep happening until horse racing is banned
    Los Angeles Times


    To the editor: What do you think it feels like to break both your legs being raced or even trained to death? The racehorse Princess Lili B broke her front legs at Santa Anita Park on Thursday. She was overraced and probably overdrugged and overwhipped.

    This happens at racetracks all over the world. These young horses are already injured before they are trained and raced following prior injuries not limited to stress fractures that no one knows about until the “fatal” event happens. This is not an accident. This is neglect and animal abuse.

  • John Campbell: Industry better prepare itself to answer animal rights activists
    Harness Racing Update


    John Campbell said the harness racing industry should be prepared to answer questions about horse safety following the tragedy at thoroughbred racing’s Santa Anita Racetrack in which 22 horses have died since the current meet opened the day after Christmas. 

    Campbell, the president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, said Saturday the Santa Anita issue is not officially on the agenda for today’s society meeting in Florida, but it needs to be.

    He said he doesn’t know what specific questions will be coming the harness racing industry’s way from animal rights activists and mainstream reports, “but there are going to be some and I think we better be prepared as an industry. It’s just a tragic disaster (at Santa Anita) and if you don’t think it affects us, you’re sadly mistaken. I think it’ll be a discussion and the industry has to take notice and see how the thoroughbreds handle it.”

  • Santa Anita To Resume Racing March 29 After Historic Agreement Reached On Medication Reforms
    Paulick Report


    Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) on Saturday reached an historic agreement to protect the safety and welfare of horses and riders in the state. This collective mandate enacts the most stringent medication policy in North America.

    Belinda Stronach, president and chairman of The Stronach Group (TSG), which owns both Santa Anita in Arcadia and Golden Gate in Albany, outlined these ground-breaking rules earlier this week in an Open Letter. Working with horsemen and internationally renowned veterinarians, TSG and TOC have discussed the best measures to put the horse first and appropriately enact these changes.

  • Santa Anita will reopen March 29 after track reaches deal over medication
    Los Angeles Times


    Initially, all race-day Lasix was to be prohibited, under a proposal by the Stronach Group, which owns and runs Santa Anita. But the compromise position is that it will be applied only to 2018 foals, or horses that won’t race until next year. Horses currently on Lasix will be allowed to continue to receive the medication on race day but in a maximum dosage of 5cc, instead of the 10cc currently allowed.

    “[Race-day Lasix] far and away was the biggest topic of conversation from top to finish,” said Greg Avioli, TOC president and CEO. “But [this compromise] was unanimously approved by the TOC board. And we had a call of 250 TOC members and no one objected to it.”

  • Santa Anita Bans Drugs and Whips After Spate of Horse Deaths
    New York Times


    One of horse racing’s most celebrated tracks, Santa Anita Park in Southern California, said on Thursday that it would ban the use of drugs and whips on racing days after the death of another horse there, the 22nd since Dec. 26, an unusual spate that has puzzled investigators.

    Santa Anita, a few miles east of Pasadena, Calif., would be the first racetrack in the nation to carry out such restrictions, an effort to restore public confidence in a sport that for decades has wrestled with drug and safety issues.

    Track officials did not say they had pinpointed the cause of the deaths, but drugs and whips are among the factors under examination. Track conditions and colder and rainier weather than usual have also been under inspection.

  • Impasse With Horsemen Over Lasix Ban Delays Resumption Of Racing At Santa Anita
    Paulick Report


    Racing at Santa Anita will not resume on March 22 as previously announced after officials with The Stronach Group – owners of the Arcadia, Calif., track – were unable to reach an agreement on a ban of the anti-bleeding medication Lasix with the Thoroughbred Owners of California.

    A ban on race-day Lasix, or furosemide, was one of several medication and welfare reforms put forth as “house rules” by Belinda Stronach, chairman of The Stronach Group, in response to the unusually high number of fatal injuries – 22 since the Dec. 26, 2018, opening day – sustained by horses racing or training at Santa Anita.

  • Los Angeles District Attorney to Investigate Horse Deaths at Santa Anita
    The New York Times


    ARCADIA, Calif. — The free coffee was flowing, the horses were already into their morning workouts, and the sun was not yet up over the San Gabriel Mountains. These mornings at Clocker’s Corner, a breakfast spot for horsemen and other hangers-on at the storied Santa Anita Park, are usually filled with gossip and banter.

    On Friday, though, there was only apprehension. A day earlier, the owners of the track announced strict new rules for their sport — no race-day drugs, no use of whips — in response to a spate of horse deaths, 22 since the end of December.

  • Santa Anita Implements Lasix Ban, Increased Restrictions On Therapeutic Drugs Following 22nd Fatal Breakdown
    Paulick Report


    What has happened at Santa Anita over the last few weeks is beyond heartbreaking. It is unacceptable to the public and, as people who deeply love horses, to everyone at The Stronach Group and Santa Anita.

    The sport of horse racing is the last great sporting legacy platform to be modernized. If we expect our sport to grow for future generations, we must raise our standards.

    Today, I'm announcing The Stronach Group will take the unprecedented step of declaring a zero tolerance for race day medication at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields. These Thoroughbred racetracks will be the first in North America to follow the strict International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) standards.

  • Santa Anita will reopen March 29 after track reaches deal over medication
    Los Angeles Times


    Santa Anita and the Thoroughbred Owners of California reached an agreement Saturday that will allow the track to reopen racing March 29. Santa Anita has been closed since March 5 after a dramatic rise in horse deaths, which is at 22 since Dec. 26.

    While speculation was that racing could resume as soon as Friday, there was always the issue of getting the deal approved by the California Horse Racing Board. There was a CHRB meeting originally scheduled Thursday, but these medication changes were not listed on the docket and did not meet a 10-day public notification period.

  • Santa Anita Implements Lasix Ban, Increased Restrictions On Therapeutic Drugs Following 22nd Fatal Breakdown
    Paulick Report


    The following statement was distributed to media Thursday afternoon as an “open letter” from Stronach Group chairman and president Belinda Stronach following the track's 22nd fatal breakdown during morning training at Santa Anita. 

    What has happened at Santa Anita over the last few weeks is beyond heartbreaking. It is unacceptable to the public and, as people who deeply love horses, to everyone at The Stronach Group and Santa Anita.

    The sport of horse racing is the last great sporting legacy platform to be modernized. If we expect our sport to grow for future generations, we must raise our standards.

    Today, I'm announcing The Stronach Group will take the unprecedented step of declaring a zero tolerance for race day medication at Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields. These Thoroughbred racetracks will be the first in North America to follow the strict International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) standards.

  • U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko and Andy Barr Introduce Horseracing Integrity Act to End Doping, Curb Horse Deaths
    Animal Wellness Action Press Release


    Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Andy Barr (R-KY), who represent two of the meccas of American thoroughbred racing – Saratoga Springs and Lexington – introduced the Horseracing Integrity Act, H.R. 1754, to end the doping of American race horses and create a uniform national standard for drug testing that would be overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

    “Horse should run on hay, oats, and water, not on a cocktail of performance enhancers and medications,” said Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action. “Our organization has already completed more than 150 meetings with key legislators on this issue in 2019, and we are pleased to join leaders in the horse racing industry and animal protection groups that have come together to end a shameful period where unscrupulous trainers have put horses and jockeys at risk.”

  • Morning Coffee: How horse racing was just forever changed in America
    Louisville Courier Journal


    On Thursday afternoon, horse racing was forever changed.

    Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of The Stronach Group, announced it was banning race-day medication at California tracks Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields.

    Huge step, this one. Let's not view it any other way. It was massive, not just for what was said but when it was said. This was a game-changer at a time that called for one.

    As noted in Stronach's letter, this was unprecedented, and it surely had to do with the run of tragic horse fatalities at Santa Anita and the negative, national light they were casting in this sport.

    "We have arrived at a watershed moment," Stronach said. "The Stronach Group has long been a strong advocate for the abolishment of race-day medication, but we will wait no longer for the industry to come together as one to institute these changes. Nor will we wait for the legislation required to undertake this paradigm shift. We are taking a stand and fully recognize just how disruptive this might be."

  • Part 2: Time for Jockey Club to Take Lead
    HorseRaceInsider


    To its credit, states that suffered a spate of catastrophic breakdowns in recent years have taken steps to address medication and safety issues. The problem is they are treating the symptom and not the root cause: Raceday medication. 

    Ending race-day medication is the key to cleaning up the Thoroughbred industry. All else is secondary. So, make that happen somehow, Jockey Club, and, while at it, tell the whole world what you’re doing. All of us could use some good PR.

    And then all of racing will see that transparency is not such a bad thing after all. 


    The effect that eliminating raceday medication would have is the ability to see the industry heal itself naturally, organically, giving itself, and the perception of it, a healthy cleanse. And what could be greener than that?
     

  • Racing at Another Crossroad, Part 1
    HorseRaceInsider


    Deep in the heart of every racetracker, devoted fan or horseplayer, is the knowledge that the sport, livelihood, and an entire way of life for generations of racetrack families, united by blood or love of the game, is now at peril.

    The time for hand-wringing and shooting messengers has long since passed. Racing’s present goes far beyond politics, far beyond the recent tragic events at Santa Anita Park, which sadly are symptomatic of a much larger problem: 

    Survival, at every level of racing society. 

    Stakeholders who believe that this premise is just more hyperbole, or fear mongering, doomsday preaching or just sensationalism for the sake of commerce, are in denial and far more out of touch with reality than they know.
    Survival, at every level of racing society. 

  • Jane Smiley: The deaths at Santa Anita remind me why I don't miss horse racing
    Los Angeles Times


    I first heard about the unusually high number of horses dying at Santa Anita Park — which led to the temporary closure of the racetrack last week — from a friend at the barn where I keep my horses. She is still interested in horse racing. I am not.

    Like a lot of former fans, I never loved racing for the betting — I loved it for the beauty of the animals. What drew me was their beauty, their individuality, their pleasure in their job, whether it was running, jumping or standing still. But after breeding some, sending them to an honest and caring trainer, and writing a novel about the racetrack — a microcosm of capitalism itself — I backed away.

  • Winning Without Lasix In 2018: McPeek, Rivelli Top All U.S. Trainers
    Paulick Report


    In 2018, according to records maintained by The Jockey Club, 10,146 starts were made by horses without Lasix in the U.S. out of a total of 279,774. That equates to only 3.6%.

    Lasix is the commonly used name for the potent diuretic furosemide (though its trade name was changed to Salix). This medication can mitigate the episodes of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) — otherwise known as “bleeding” — in racehorses. Compared to the majority of major racing centers across the globe, the United States is an outlier in permitting the use of this drug on race day.

    The mindset of Lasix as a necessity among many horsemen in the U.S. has not kept some from successfully racing without it.......

  • What Cheaters Use and How to Avoid Detection
    HorseRaceInsider


    Part II of Mark Berner's report on how betting and cheating issues threaten the future of Thoroughbred racing

    JAN. 16, 2019--According to research found at the website procon.org, here are some of the known methods that cheaters use, and the ways they can game the system...........     read the details

     

  • Japan's racing chief: uniform medication rules are needed worldwide
    TRC


    As President and CEO of the Japan Racing Association, Masayuki Goto is one of the most influential racing figures in the world, and a man whose views should carry significant weight for everyone in the industry.

    When asked by TRC: "What do you see as the biggest problem racing faces today?"   Mr. Goto replied:

    “Particularly, we need to introduce unified medication rules throughout the world. I personally feel the biggest challenge we are currently facing is the standardization of the rules of racing across the globe.”

     

  • Gorajec: Minnesota Racing Commission Has Some Explaining To Do
    Paulick Report


    Trainer Judd Becker recently received a 90-day suspension after Bushrod tested positive for cardarine following a victory in the $100,000 Mystic Lake Turf Express Stakes Aug. 25 at Canterbury Park in Minnesota.

    Writing in his InsideRacing Regs blog, former longtime regulator Joe Gorajec wonders why the trainer got such a light penalty for what he called a “serious drug that has no business in a racehorse.”

  • The new Democratic Congress has an opportunity to move legislation to help horses
    The Hill


    There is also the Horseracing Integrity Act, led by U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko(D-N.Y.), and Andy Barr (R-Ky.), which would end the doping of American race horses by creating a uniform national standard for drug testing overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a private entity that oversees testing at the Olympics, and many other sporting events. With dozens of horses dying on racetracks each year, the need for this legislation that’s supported by a vast array of industry groups and racetracks is great, and the future of horse racing hangs in the balance of its enactment.

  • Racing's Present and Future Danger, Part I
    Horserace Insider


    Horseracing’s reputation is on a collision course with Animal Welfare organizations. Animal welfare is the most popular cause for Americans, according to a Ketchum study released on April 19, 2018.

    Ketchum is a global public relations firm headquartered in New York City, and animal welfare has been a top-three concern in each of the three years that Ketchum has conducted its Purpose’s Causes Americans Care About survey. It is again on track to hit the top three on the list for 2019.

    Meanwhile, the collective blown mind of all things racing on Twitter last month shattered violently when the three contestants on Jeopardy could not name the 2018 Triple Crown winner.

    Newsflash, racing fans, horseracing is not close to being one of the most popular sports in the U.S. In fact, it is not in the top ten. But tennis and golf are.
     

  • The Week in Review: Retooled Version of Integrity Act in Works for 2019
    TDN


    “As the representative of the horse capital of the world, this legislation has been and will continue to be a priority for me,” Barr said in an emailed statement. “I continue to believe the future prosperity of Kentucky’s signature horse racing industry depends on national uniform medication standards and testing procedures. My colleague, Congressman Paul Tonko, and I plan to re-introduce this legislation early in the 116th Congress with the objective of holding another hearing and mark-up in the committee of jurisdiction. Last Congress, we secured over 100 cosponsors and I look forward to continue to build upon this bipartisan work to ensure the safety and integrity of this great American sport.”

     

  • Time to get tough on cheaters: Woodbine CEO Lawson
    Toronto Sun


    “We really have to go back to a grassroots culture where it’s not okay to cheat,” Lawson said. “When we talk about attracting that new generation of the public, we definitely have to put it as one of the top things on our agenda as an industry to eliminate the integrity concerns.”

  • Five crucial issues to keep an eye on in 2019
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    The New Year dawns with a host of initiatives underway full of important opportunities for the future of the Thoroughbred racing industry. Here are five that I will be focusing on particularly.

    1. Progress of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act

    The movement of this hugely important legislation through the two houses of Congress represents the most significant opportunity for the future of Thoroughbred racing and breeding in the U.S. in 2019. I encourage everyone to support it.

  • U.S. anti-doping agency eyes sports betting role
    ESPN


    The agency that spearheaded the takedown of Lance Armstrong has a new potential target: sports betting integrity.

    The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is interested in monitoring the expanding sports betting market in the U.S., potentially broadening its role to help pinpoint unusual betting activity with the same type of statistical detection methods it already uses to flag markers suggestive of doping.

    The possibility of a broader role for USADA -- which could be delegated the authority to serve as a central 'hub' for sports wagering integrity efforts -- took on a new level of importance after the formal introduction of comprehensive federal sports betting legislation earlier this week.

    "If legalized sports gambling and potentially match-fixing situations continue to come to light, it would be important to have a regulatory body to put rules in place and hand down any sanctions necessary," said Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of USADA in Colorado Springs. "USADA would consider expanding our scope.

  • Seven Months Later, No Consequences For Oklahoma Horsemen Violating 24-Hour Medication Rule
    Paulick Report


    There's an old saying in politics, originating I think in the Watergate scandal, that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. It's a phrase that may as well have evolved in horse racing. 

    When I recently reviewed 2018's top stories on the Paulick Report, I was reminded of Joe Gorajec's dogged investigation into post-race drug test detections in Pennsylvania that didn't result in positives or regulatory action.  But Pennsylvania isn't the only place where regulators have been presented with evidence of rule violations (or potential rule violations) and appeared to ignore it.

    More than six months ago, we brought you the story of Quarter Horse trainer Clinton Crawford, who entered ten horses on the June 2 card at Remington Park. On the evening of June 1, members of the independent AQHA Integrity Team observed a veterinarian in Crawford's stalls, treating horses inside the 24-hour pre-race window for the June 2 races.

     

  • Symposium on Racing: Assurance of integrity key to sports betting success
    DRF


    He also stressed that sports and racing need to develop the architecture and policies that will make whistle-blowers comfortable when coming forward. He said surveys that he has conducted among professional athletes show that most sports participants are highly reluctant to come forward with specific, credible information on fellow competitors. That recommendation has also been made countless times to U.S. racing interests by Travis Tygart, the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a non-profit company that runs drug-testing and integrity programs for the U.S. Olympic team.

  • Symposium on Racing: Three tools to fight cheating on the racetrack
    DRF


    TUCSON, Ariz. - What do a dog, a ratio, and a randomly generated test have in common?

    They are all tools developed recently by racing regulators to address integrity concerns at racetracks, according to panelists appearing on Tuesday afternoon at the annual Symposium on Racing.

    The panelists, which included a New Mexico steward, a New York regulatory veterinarian, and a New Mexico racetrack general manager, described the novel developments in a session called “Tools of the Regulatory Trade: Insuring Integrity in Racing.” Although it was the penultimate session of the day, and therefore was not as well attended as earlier panels, the session itself was well received by the conference audience, which included a large number of regulators and operational racetrack staff.

  • BALCO figures offer how to rid sports of doping 15 years after scandal
    USA Today


    Can the drug cheats be stopped? Is it worth trying anymore?

    The questions are being asked again 15 years after federal agents raided the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) and triggered a steroids scandal that ensnared the likes of Barry Bonds and Marion Jones.

    “Doping will always happen,’’ Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said last month during an interview with CNN Money. “This is one of the wars you cannot win.”

    Yet Travis Tygart, head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), told CNN, "It’s time to double down'' on efforts to ensure fair competition.

    With Monday marking the 15th anniversary of the raid on BALCO, Tygart and other central figures in one of the biggest doping scandals in history provide USA TODAY Sports five steps to crack down harder on cheaters:.......

  • International Authorities to Combat Gene Doping
    BloodHorse Daily


    Two leading world organizations, the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and the International Stud Book Committee (ISBC), are to work together on ways of combating gene doping in Thoroughbreds, which one expert has said could put the whole integrity of racing and the breed in jeopardy....

    ......The ISBC meeting heard from Kanichi Kusano, chairman of the IFHA gene doping control sub-committee, who in a presentation to the IFHA annual conference in Paris on Monday raised the specter of gene doping as a major threat to racing. "It will endanger the integrity of the sport and wagering, and will risk creating genetically modified Thoroughbreds," he said.

    Dr. Kusano added: "The worst-case scenario of gene doping will happen at the breeding stage, by modifying eggs, sperm, and embryos. If this happens, it could have a major impact on those racing jurisdictions that use Thoroughbreds.

    "The second scenario is if a horse was triggered by genetical medication, it would have possibilities to create genetically modified horses in the next generation."

    Detecting genetically modified thoroughbreds needs more studies, more time and more resources, Dr Kusano said. But, he added: "Gene doping is not a rumor anymore."

  • View From The Eighth Pole: Ingrid Mason Suspension Latest Example Of A Broken System
    Paulick Report


    Here we go again.

    Trainer Ingrid Mason has been suspended for one year and fined $2,500 by stewards at Arlington Park after Nuclear Option, winner of the first race on Aug. 23, tested positive for d-methamphetamine and amphetamine.

    Mason was suspended without having the benefit of a confirmatory split sample or being notified of the level at which the drug was detected by the Illinois Racing Board's official laboratory at the University of Illinois.

    Mason is appealing the suspension – which then gives her the right to have a split sample tested – and she received a stay, allowing her to continue to train while the case is heard.

    Mason contends, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt her, that this drug positive is a result of contamination. She's tested Nuclear Option's groom (the test was negative) but knows that contamination can happen in any number of ways.

  • BHA: 'It Would Be Naive' To Assume Cobalt Never Abused In British Thoroughbreds
    Paulick Report


    Robin Mounsey, head of media for the BHA, told the Racing Post that English racing's rulemaking authority is concerned about the threat to racing integrity there.

    “It would be naive to think this is the only time the substance has or will be used in Britain, and this is why detecting and acting on cobalt has formed an increasing part of our anti-doping strategy and we will continue to be vigilant about it,” he said. “The main outcome from this case from our point of view is that the individual who was responsible for administering prohibited substances on race day has been disqualified from the sport for three years.”

  • ARCI President Martin: Integrity Issues In Horse Racing A 'Red Herring'
    Paulick Report


    ....While you and I and many others are just going to have to disagree on whether H.R. 2651 is an improvement or not, it has no bearing on the cases you have referenced or inquire about. As you know, there is total uniformity that performance enhancing drugs are not allowed to be given horses when they race, and all commissions utilize the ARCI database to determine whether a violator has a pattern of non-compliance that would be considered an aggravating factor worthy of a progressive penalty.

    I concede the point that there are areas of inconsistencies, but they are few and relatively minor in the scheme of things. To telegraph them as an indictment of the integrity of an entire sport in a growing competitive environment (sports betting) is downright reckless, like telling the public that roads are unsafe because the speed limit is slightly different in the next town...

  • Integrity in sport: is it a hopeless ideal?
    Sports Integrity Initiative


    In a world where integrity might have different connotations, we must first ask what is meant by integrity in sport. According to the UK’s Sport and Recreation Alliance, ‘a defining characteristic of competitive sport is that the contest should be unpredictable and decided by the skill of the participants alone. Where sporting outcomes are determined by other, illegitimate means – such as doping or match-fixing- the integrity of the competition is called into question and confidence in sport is undermined.’ 

     

  • Kavanagh hails 'groundbreaking' lifetime bans for horses who have been doped
    RacingPost


    A new anti-doping policy that will trigger lifetime bans for horses who test positive for substances such as anabolic steroids has been hailed as groundbreaking and unprecedented by Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh.

    However, the industry-wide agreement, which was rubber-stamped at an HRI board meeting on Monday, includes the contentious provision for a one-day notice period for studs and yards that aren’t licensed by the sport’s regulatory body.

    Kavanagh has suggested that the policy, which will grant Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board vets the authority to access unlicensed premises for the purpose of testing horses not in training by dint of a service level agreement (SLA) with the department of agriculture, will be in place in time for the 2019 foal crop.

    “The policy was unanimously approved by the board,” he said. “It's unprecedented because it's an industry-wide approach to an issue that countries all around the world are tackling.

     

  • Current Regulatory System 'Not Deterring Cheaters - It Is Enabling Them,' Janney And Fravel Tell Congress
    Paulick Report


    Stuart Janney, chairman of The Jockey Club, and Breeders' Cup president and CEO Craig Fravel have written to the Congressional committee that recently held a hearing on the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 (H.R. 2651) in rebuttal to the testimony of several witnesses who spoke against the legislation.

    The Jockey Club and Breeders' Cup are members of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity that supports the bill, co-sponsored by Reps Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY). The Horseracing Integrity Act would create a private, independent regulatory board in association with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to oversee all medication regulations, testing and enforcement on a national basis. The bill would also eliminate the race-day administration of the anti-bleeding diuretic furosemide (Lasix).

  • Belinda Stronach writes Congress supporting Horseracing Integrity Act
    Horse Racing Nation


    With the addition of The Stronach Group’s support of H.R. 2651, track associations and organizations that support the bill now represent 59% of all pari-mutuel handle generated and 63% of all graded races run for Thoroughbreds in North America in 2017. This group includes Breeders’ Cup Ltd., Indiana Grand, Keeneland Association, and the New York Racing Association.

    “Frank and Belinda Stronach have been longtime advocates for uniformity and increased integrity in horse racing, and we thank them for their enthusiastic support of the Horseracing Integrity Act,” said Shawn Smeallie, executive director of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity. “As evidenced by the bill’s growing support among stakeholders in the racing industry and cosponsors in Congress, momentum is building to create a uniform and effective anti-doping program in horse racing in the United States.”

  • Belinda Stronach Writes Congress in Support of the Horseracing Integrity Act
    TDN


    Belinda Stronach, the president and chairman of The Stronach Group, wrote a letter to congress in support of H.R. 2651, the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017. Frank Stronach, founder and honorary chairman of The Stronach Group, previously expressed his support for the legislation in April 2017.

    H.R. 2651 would require that a uniform anti-doping and medication control program be developed and enforced by a private, non-profit, self-regulatory organization known as the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority.

  • Industry Voices: Lear on Horse Racing Integrity Act
    BloodHorse


    In testimony filed with the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection for its June 22 hearing on HR 2651—the Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2017—opponents of the measure characterized it as an unwarranted intrusion into the regulatory authority of the states. As stated by one witness, HR 2651 "strips the states of their ability to control their state legalized and regulated industries..." 

    This statement is demonstrably false. 

    Although medication matters have occupied a disproportionately large part of racing industry media attention in recent years, they represent a small fraction of the jurisdiction exercised by virtually every state over horse racing. Their powers generally extend to a wide variety of matters including: taxation; the rules of racing; licensing trainers, jockeys, and others; approval of wagers and the associated takeout; conditions of races; location of racetrack facilities; horse ages, weights and equipment; state-bred supplements; simulcasting terms and conditions; rules for advance deposit wagering; the appointment of stewards and other racing officials; and rules related to claiming races. Moreover, for at least two of the three witnesses appearing in opposition to HR 2651, any suggestion that Congressional intervention into matters affecting horse racing is unwarranted is the height of hypocrisy.

     

     

  • Mott Reaches Settlement With NY In Medication Case
    Bloodhorse


    Trainer Bill Mott has reached a court settlement with the New York State Gaming Commission after a nearly-four-year legal battle concerning a disputed medication overage from September 2014.

    Mott agreed to take a seven-day suspension, effective July 5-11, and pay a $1,000 fine to end the case, which began when Saratoga Snacks, a horse he trained, was found to have two alleged medication overages in tests conducted after an allowance race at Belmont Park on Sept. 20, 2014. The NYSGC originally imposed a 15-day sanction against Mott for overages of Banamine and Lasix that were for such excessive amounts that they seemed to defy logic.

  • Pennsylvania Racing Commission Responds To Questions Of Cover-Ups, Conflicts Of Interest; Attorney Pincus Calls It 'Hogwash'
    Paulick Report


    The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has responded to a June 27 article, written by attorney Alan Pincus and published in the Paulick Report, entitled “Pennsylvania Harness Regulators: Questions Of Cover-Ups And Conflicts of Interest.”  The article raised questions about why the commission failed to pursue disciplinary action after two positive drug tests  were reported to the regulatory board by the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory (PETRL), the state's official test lab.

    The following letter was submitted by Stephanie Pavlik of Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture on behalf of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, whose members are Agriculture Secretary Russell  C. Redding, Darryl Breniser, Salvatore M. De Bunda,  Dr. John Egloff, Thomas Jay Ellis, Russell B. Jones, Jr., Robert F. Lark, C. Edward Rogers, Jr., Michele C. Ruddy and Dr. Corinne Sweeney.

    Following the racing commission's letter is a response from Alan Pincus.

     

  • Condoning the cheats: that's what racing is doing by not supporting out-of-competition testing
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    It’s a subject TRC has returned to time and again. I have written about out-of-competition testing myself, and we have published the views of other industry experts on many occasions. For over a decade, the sports of cycling, baseball, track and field, swimming and others have developed and implemented effective out-of-competition tests. The racing industry will not survive without taking serious action now.

    Unfortunately, the U.S. State and national horseracing regulatory authorities have been very slow in implementing OOCT programs. As a result, the racing industry cannot effectively catch cheaters that are currently using drugs and other substances that cannot be detected by the traditional post race testing practices.

  • 'Races Are Won In Training': Arthur Expresses Frustration After California OOCT Measure Sent Back To Committee
    Paulick Report


     

    The California Horse Racing Board voted on Thursday to send a proposed rule governing out-of-competition drug testing back to committee. The Blood-Horses Jeremy Balan, tweeting from the meeting, noted last-minute opposition to the measure from the Thoroughbred Owners of California, who voiced concerns about responsibility for OOCT positives, as well as the California Thoroughbred Trainers. The rule language would have brought the state into line with RMTC recommended guidelines, which are already in place in other jurisdictions. Balan wrote the discussion became extremely heated at times as Dr. Rick Arthur, CHRB equine medical director, accused horsemen of voicing objections strictly as a way to avoid implementing testing.

    After the meeting, Arthur released the following statement to the media:  read the complete statement

  • The Friday Show : Conflicts Of Interest?
    Paulick Report


    The Paulick Report published a disturbing commentary this week from Pennsylvania attorney Alan Pincus regarding potential cover-ups of positive drug tests in that state's harness racing business.

    In this edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss the implications and broader impact of those developments.

  • Pennsylvania Harness Regulators: Questions Of Cover-Ups And Conflicts Of Interest
    Paulick Report


    I first went to work at a racetrack in 1965 as a teenager. I've always loved the game because it truly is the greatest game. People either understand this or they don't. You meet some of the most interesting people at the racetrack and the horses are magnificent animals. But as colorful as racing is, it also has its dark side. For the past 25 years, I have been battling with the Pennsylvania Racing Commission as an attorney. Every day I try to fight the good fight in a system that is fundamentally stacked against the horsemen. In hearings against horsemen, the Commission is the investigator, the prosecutor and the judge. To have any chance at a fair shot, you depend on the integrity of every person working for the Commission.

  • Anti-doping bill would hurt horses and racing
    The Herald Leader


    I was disturbed to see an article in the Herald-Leader about the Barr-Tonko bill, federal legislation dealing with race-day doping of horses.

    The article, written by a Washington reporter, was presented in a lopsided fashion and put out on the national wire as fact. Even worse, the local staff did not see through the false narratives in the article.

    First and foremost, if I told you that over 90 percent of people who work with these horses every day support the use of Lasix for horses diagnosed with exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), would you feel that this article fairly represented that fact? I doubt it. 

    Would you refer to people who take medication for blood pressure or heart disease, prescribed by a physician, a doper or dope addict? I doubt it.....

  • Does Horseracing Need An Anti-Doping Authority? One Kentucky Lawmaker Thinks So.
    WUKY


    As Justify returns to California after snagging the coveted Triple Crown, a debate lingers in the commonwealth over the rules governing the sport that thrust the chestnut colt into the spotlight.

    In 2017, Sixth District Rep. Andy Barr joined New York Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko in unveiling the bipartisan Horseracing Integrity Act. Supporters believe the measure is necessary to clean up the patchwork of laws that exists across the country and bring the sport under a single regulatory umbrella when it comes to medicating and monitoring Thoroughbreds.

    Under the bill, those matters would come before the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control. That entity would be governed by a board including the chief executive of United States Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees testing in Olympic sports. The measure also puts the U.S. on a similar footing with international standards by banning race-day administration of Lasix, a drug that reduces bleeding in racehorses' lungs.

    "A national, uniform medication program is not about more bureaucracy," Barr told WUKY. "Our bill creates a non-governmental anti-doping authority that actually reduces regulations because it replaces 38 different... state by state conflicting regulatory regimes with a single national, uniform set of standards."

  • Barr: My bill is about the integrity of racing, not banning a drug
    Herald Leader


    In a June 8 opinion piece, Dr. Andy Roberts, a reputable veterinarian for whom I have a lot of respect, asserts that my legislation, the Horse Racing Integrity Act, primarily aims to ban Lasix. 

    This characterization is imprecise and incomplete. In fact, this bipartisan legislation would allow the out-of-competition administration of Lasix and enact reforms to enhance uniformity, safety and integrity in horseracing. 

    The most recent draft of this bill was developed through a highly deliberative, bipartisan process, resulting in support from over 110 members of Congress and all facets of the horseracing industry, including breeders, owners, trainers, racing associations and jockeys. 

    I am honored to represent the Horse Capital of the World and have worked diligently to enact a wide range of polices that will promote growth in this key Kentucky industry. In addition to medication reform, I have worked successfully to broaden financial institutions’ acceptance of advance deposit wagering platforms to increase fan participation in wagering.

  • Kentucky horse trainer says Horse Racing Integrity Act would add bureaucracy and hurt business
    Spectrum News


    U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, is trying to gain traction in Congress to pass legislation which would add new requirements to horse racing across the nation. 

    Bentley Combs, a horse trainer in Kentucky who recently started his own business after years working in the equine industry, said the legislation sponsored by Barr and U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-New York, would hurt his business because of additional fees to pay for added bureaucracy. 

    “This bill affects me as a newer trainer because I don’t have right now what somebody might say are ‘Saturday horses’ like a Justify — my owners, typically, deal in claiming horses — it’s a hobby for them,” Combs said. 

     

  • The Week in Review: The Sport Goes to Congress
    TDN


    You only get one chance to make a good first impression. So which side’s message resonated most effectively at last Friday’s Congressional subcommittee hearing on HR 2651, the federal bill that would implement a uniform anti-doping and medication control framework upon horse racing in the United States?

    Neither side scored a landslide victory. But if you momentarily suspend whatever your personal position is on the Horseracing Integrity Act and take in the testimony through the eyes and ears of a newcomer to our complex industry (like the politicians on the Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee all are), the talking-point edge went to the side that wants to preserve the status quo.

  • In the ol' muck pit: On the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017
    Horse Racing Nation


    Whether you believe in the concept of only “Hay, Oats, and Water,” and are a resolute disciple of zero tolerance on race day medications (and, I would argue there is no such thing any where in the entire world), or you are a considerate soul that believes that therapeutic medicines allow both human and equine athletes to perform up to their capabilities is the humane thing to do (and, I would argue that it is), there is no argument about four major, over-riding principals and reasons that should condemn the so-called “Horseracing (should be two words, or at the very least, hyphenated) Integrity Act of 2017" to a death on the cutting room floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

     

  • Why are they playing hide and seek with important industry information?
    TRC


    It’s been like pulling teeth.

    I am referring to my quest to obtain information on the number of out-of-competition tests that each state in the U.S. conducts. Specifically, statistics from 2016.

    This is information that should made public on an annual basis by the end of the first quarter each year. In other words, 2016 information should have been available in April 2017. The statistics for 2017 should available to the public now.

    If you are interested in out-of-competition in British horse racing, you can simply go to the British Horseracing Authority website (it’s on page 38 of the 2016 Annual Report and Accounts). If you want to know about human athletics, you can go the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) website...

  • Horse interests spend millions in congressional fight to bar race-day medication
    Lexington Herald Leader


     

    WASHINGTON 

    Bitterly divided over a bid to bar race-day medication for horses, equine interests on both sides have spent close to $3 million lobbying Congress on federal legislation that would end the practice....

    ...The legislation, which would create a federal authority and uniform medicationstandards for horse racing, would replace what its sponsor Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky. says are “inconsistent rules” across 38 racing jurisdictions.

    It would also prohibit trainers from administering furosemide, commonly known as Lasix, which prevents bleeding in racehorses and represents the only race-day medication now allowed at most tracks.

     

  • Congress Considers Weighing In On Drug Testing For Race Horses

    There are the mint juleps. There are the fancy hats. There's all the money, those big bets people throw down. But behind the glitz of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, there is actually a debate happening in horse racing. It is all about doping and whether certain drugs should be given to horses on race days. As Erica Peterson from member station WFPL reports, this issue has made it all the way to Congress.

    Listen to the NPR broadcast

  • Protect racehorses: A bipartisan effort in Congress
    Washington Examiner


    Racehorses are incredible athletes, and for centuries, humans have been impressed by their brawn, beauty, and lightning speed. Unfortunately, there’s an important power they cannot exhibit: control over the substances that go into their bodies. 

    Human athletes who take performance enhancing substances do so, in most cases, by making a conscious choice to dope, to cheat, and to win at all costs. Racehorses cannot make that choice. Instead, they are at the mercy of their owners and trainers. The industry should therefore protect these athletes from those who place winning above the lives and wellbeing of both horses and the jockeys who ride them.

  • Letter to the editor: Horseracing Integrity Act deserves support
    TRIB LIVE


    Many racetracks and racing organizations support the Horseracing Integrity Act, U.S. House Resolution 2651, which would provide an independent, uniform national doping system for horse racing. Unfortunately, Penn National Gaming, based in Pennsylvania and owner of several racetracks, has not offered its support. Fans would think that doping horses to cheat during races in Pennsylvania is not an issue. But they'd be wrong. 

    Last summer, Penn National trainer Stephanie Beattie admitted to habitually and illegally doping horses she trained, testifying at the trial of another Penn National trainer convicted of doping racehorses that “almost everybody did” and “It was a known practice. We wanted to win and they weren't testing for those drugs at that time.”.............

  • Talking Horses: Timeform demand racing authorities get tough on drugs
    The Guardian


    Sport is losing its battle with drugs.” That statement by Timeform in their latest Racehorses annual* out this week may arguably be levelled at cycling and athletics given the recent lurid headlines but racing cannot afford to be complacent, according to the respected tipping organisation.

    While “efforts are still being made by a vocal minority in North American racing to prohibit the use of raceday medication on that continent,” Timeform point out “[that] drugs that are banned in nearly every other major racing jurisdiction are still being freely injected.”

    The widespread use of drugs in America leads Timeform to ask, in their essay on Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Talismanic, “can racegoers and punters really believe everything they see in North American racing?” The ubiquitous use of lasix prompts another poser: “What difference does its use make?” Their answer, based on the evidence of this year’s running of the Pegasus World Cup, is “that American trainers think it’s worth more than 7lb, seeing that was the allowance in the race conditions for running without lasix. None of the connections took it up!”

  • At the Heart of a Vast Doping Network, an Alias
    The New York Times


    The Swiss authorities notified the organization in the United States that investigates sports doping, the United States Anti-Doping Agency, and shared the return-address sticker. The packages were shipped by someone named Thomas Mann.

    His name drew puzzled shrugs from Usada investigators. That name had never crossed their radar, and they could not find a home listing for someone with that name in their database in Arizona or anywhere else.........

  • The bone disease treatment drugs that may be putting young horses at risk
    Daniel Ross, Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    Like all drugs, bisphosphonates are a proven fillip when administered to treat specific conditions in accordance with official guidelines. But like all drugs, bisphosphonates can be misused and abused.

    And it’s the potential consequences from misuse in racehorses — especially in young racehorses — that’s causing mounting concern among a growing number of respected veterinarians and regulators in the industry.

    “There’s no checks and balances on this,” said Mary Scollay, equine medical director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, about a group of drugs that are currently unregulated.

    “If the risk is as real as we perceive it to be, we can be facing a real problem in terms of racing injuries and racing fractures if we don’t as a community come together to decide how to responsibly manage this,” she added.

  • The country where stallions who have ever had Lasix are disqualified for breeding
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    On the whole, though, these regulations have strengthened the industry in Germany as they mean no “soft” horses will find a place at stud there. Breeders sending their mares to be covered in Germany can be confident the prospective mate will be healthy, have no defects and be drug-free. This is undoubtedly a major factor in the worldwide success of German-breds and helps account for the soundness, longevity, and stamina for which they are admired.

  • Op/Ed Feedback: Shawn Smeallie
    TDN


    I agree with Eric Hamelback in his Feb. 28 essay in Thoroughbred Daily News that a common thread among horsemen is that they are not cheaters and are dedicated to their horses. I also agree that racing faces problems and our regulation and testing system is broken and inconsistent.

    Unfortunately, I have a difficult time agreeing with much else he wrote.

    I will explain by giving you the facts.........

  • Op/Ed Feedback: Craig Bernick
    TDN


    I’ve read with interest the reasons that people I know and respect such as Graham Motion, Brad Weisbord, and Terry Finley have joined WHOA since the beginning of this year, and they all make very solid points. In my opinion there is no question the current system is broken and needs an overhaul. We must have uniform rules across all states with agreed-upon banned substances, limits and penalties. Our current system has different rules everywhere; it tests in picograms and makes obscenely strict rulings against honest horsemen while it’s almost certain that widespread cheaters use performance-enhancing drugs where the science outpaces regulation. The horsemen must be involved in the process of finding a solution instead of only using their platform to poke holes in the current proposed bill. And the WHOA group must understand that without horsemen getting on board, it’s unlikely that any meaningful change will be enacted.

  • Op/Ed: Horsemen Helping Horsemen Solves Industry Issues
    TDN


    I know and respect Craig Bandoroff, who penned an Op/Ed for the Thoroughbred Daily News on Feb. 21, and I join him in his congratulatory sentiment for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Marc Guilfoil. Bravo, well done, after a year of being in limbo, the innocent are exonerated and can return to their lives.

    The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association acknowledges racing faces problems, as does every other sport, business and industry. Similarly, I agree some of our regulation and testing system is broken and inconsistent, but my concerns diverge from Craig in this important respect: HR 2651 is not the answer. This bill does not seek to place our industry into the hands of anti-doping experts with the ability to make common-sense distinctions between performance-enhancing drugs and those that aren’t.....

  • Kentucky Stewards to Rescind 2016 Ractopamine Positives
    BloodHorse


    Based on an updated opinion from its testing lab on its findings, Kentucky stewards will rescind three ractopamine positives initially called at the 2016 Kentucky Downs meeting.

    Trainer George "Rusty" Arnold planned to appeal his two class 2 positives to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, but that move became unnecessary after the KHRC lab, LGC Science Lexington, reversed its initial findings. The lab also rescinded its positive found against trainer Joe Sharp.

  • Rusty Arnold On Pending Suspension: 'The System Has Failed Me'
    Paulick Report


    George R. “Rusty” Arnold II is a proud man. A third-generation Kentucky horseman, he's trained Thoroughbreds for more than 40 years, saddled 16 Grade 1 winners and ranks 38th on the Equibase list of all-time leading trainers by money won, with over $64 million in total earnings.

    Arnold, 62, is the first to admit he doesn't have the numbers or the “big horse” of a Hall of Famer, calling himself a journeyman who's been fortunate to train for some of the best people in the game. What he does have, he said, is “the respect of my peers. That's my greatest accomplishment.”

    That respect is based in part on running a clean operation and always putting the horse first. After 41 years and more than 11,000 starts, he's had two minor therapeutic medication overages – one a veterinarian's mistake in 2010 and an earlier violation in 2000 that was the result of an error in his barn. He's never been suspended.

    Until now.

  • Common Sense Takes A Back Seat?
    Paulick Report


    A Kentucky stewards' ruling nearly a year and a half in the making could have a profound impact on the career of highly respected trainer Rusty Arnold. Horses in Arnold's care in 2016 tested positive for ractopamine, a feed additive listed as a Class 2 drug by the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

    But given Arnold's almost pristine training record over several decades, what questions should be asked concerning this situation? In this edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss what happened, how officials have responded and what this might mean in the bigger picture.

  • Former Pennsylvania Testing Director Out At USEF After Testing Issue
    Paulick Report


    Less than two years after he started as Laboratory Director for the United States Equestrian Federation, a former official responsible for drug testing Pennsylvania Thoroughbreds is no longer employed by the Federation. Dr. Cornelius Uboh, former Bureau Director at the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory, took over the USEF Equine Research and Testing Laboratory in September 2016.

  • Penn National needs to support the Horseracing Integrity Act
    PennLive letters


     

    I am not a fan of government overreach. However, when government regulations have the potential to save an industry and the countless jobs that support it, I change my tune. The horseracing industry in Pennsylvania supports many jobs that include hay farmers, feed stores, breeders, trainers, transporters, jockeys, and backstretch workers.

    These Pennsylvanians, as well as fans of racing, expect the racing industry to maintain and grow the fan base by ensuring that the sport is not rife with cheaters.

    Penn National Gaming, which profits from horseracing, has an obligation to this industry, but refuses to support the Horseracing Integrity Act, a federal bill that would establish a uniform set of rules, testing procedures, and penalties, created by the non-profit U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to rid racing of unethical drugging and doping of horses.....

    Pamela Murray

     

  • It's time to clean up abuses in horse racing
    Indiana Gazette


    I used to be a fan of horse racing, but I am no longer a fan of a sport that refuses to address the issue of doping race horses.

    As much as I enjoy watching these equine athletes run, I am fearful of witnessing another breakdown on the track, as are many other former fans. Too many horses pay with their lives so that trainers and owners can win at the track. The sport has lost its soul because it refuses to adopt common-sense change to protect the integrity of the sport and the human and equine athletes who are too often seen as disposable.

    The Horseracing Integrity Act is a federal bill that will ensure equine welfare and protect the integrity of the sport by granting independent control over rule-making, testing and enforcement oversight regarding drugs and medication to a new authority created by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

     

     

     

  • Gural, WEG Implement New Drug Regulations Aimed At Owner Responsibility
    Paulick Report


    “I think it's going to shake things up,” Gural said. “I can't imagine any sane person, who owns stakes horses using anyone that is considered a drug trainer or someone who has had violations in the past because the consequences are so Draconian.”

  • Owners the focus of tough new WEG and Big M rule
    Horse Racing Update


    Owners and trainers take heed: one positive test in 2018 could result in all of your horses being banned from all stakes races at the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) tracks and the Meadowlands, Tioga and Vernon Downs.

    The new rule called the Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIAI) is a partnership between WEG-operated Mohawk and Woodbine and the three Jeff Gural-owned tracks and is already in effect for 2018.

    WEG chairman Clay Horner, a long-time proponent of enhanced owner responsibility, said he hopes the tough new integrity rule, announced Friday (Jan. 5), will force horse owners to make better trainer choices.

    “The objective here is for owners to be very vigilant and very careful,” Horner said Friday of the SRIAI that bans any owner, trainer or horse from participating in stakes races at the five racetracks in 2018 if they have been found by a racing regulatory agency to have tested positive for prohibited substances as defined within the Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification for Foreign Substances of Class I, II, TCO2 or steroids after Jan. 1, 2018.

  • 'Different Mindset': British Vets Question Volume Of Therapeutic Drugs Used In American Racing
    Paulick Report


    “I know the big debate in the States is can we run horses without medication. We seem to be doing quite well over here,” Barrelet said. “We don't run them without drugs, just without raceday medications. They're clean on race day within protection limits. Those times within forensic value are pretty well defined and from a pharmacological value are pretty well defined.

  • Hovdey: Black and white consequences for medication rules in shades of gray
    DRF


    Graham Motion does not consider himself a hero or a martyr. He is not taking a victory lap. Neither is he confident that the whole thing might not happen again, with another legal medication in another jurisdiction where hypersensitive testing and the absolute-insurer rule of Thoroughbred racing reign, and law-abiding trainers are caught up in the same flawed net intended to catch those who choose to cheat their way to success.

    “Ultimately, when it’s all said, the only conclusion is that we are crying out for a governing body in racing, so that we all know where we stand. If anything good comes from all this, I hope it would be to push us in that direction.”

  • 'Juice' Cleanse Needed to Remedy Doping Comments
    TDN


    This is one of those “guy walks into a bar…” jokes. Except the punch line isn’t even remotely funny.

    Imagine a baseball player walking into a sports bar located inside his team’s home stadium after he’s finished playing for the day. The player has a history of producing suspiciously off-the-charts home run numbers, has already served a suspension related to the prohibited use of pain killers, and has a separate drug abuse case currently under appeal.

  • Racing Integrity's Newest Threat: Human Designer Drugs?
    Paulick Report


    It's no secret the challenge of post-race drug testing has always been keeping regulators one step ahead of those who use illegal drugs or illegally manipulate medication. But with the advent of Internet sales and bitcoin, one laboratory director fears his job, and that of racing commissions everywhere, is about to get a lot more difficult.

  • ASPCA Throws Support Behind The Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017
    Paulick Report


    The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has announced its strong support for the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017...

    ...The ASPCA's support of the legislation was conveyed in a recent letter from Richard Patch, vice president of federal affairs for the ASPCA, to Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), who introduced the legislation on May 25, 2017.

    The letter read, in part, “By establishing a national, independent authority to govern medications administered to racehorses, this legislation will promote the safety of our equine athletes and encourage consistent enforcement of doping regulations across state lines.”

  • Commentary: USTA Lacks Understanding Of Federal Bill
    Paulick Report


    In short, the USTA opposes the provision in the bill requiring the elimination of race-day medications and it wants separate regulations regarding therapeutic medications for different horse breeds. The organization also took issue with the makeup of the board that would oversee the new anti-doping authority.

    While the members of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity respect the USTA's yearning for breed-specific, uniform medication rules for horse racing, the reasons for their opposition to H.R. 2651 are based on faulty arguments and a clear lack of understanding of what the bill would actually do.

  • How serious is racing about cleaning out cheaters?
    HorseRaceInsider


    The Jorge Navarro video scandal offers racing a golden opportunity to come down hard and demonstrate that it will not tolerate cheaters. Yet the reaction has been far less than decisive. Some jurisdictions have banned Navarro but others, including industry leader NYRA, have taken no meaningful action. This raises the question of whether the sport really wants to clean up its act or is just posturing when it says it does. 
     

  • WHOA, Nelly! Part 2: What's it About? Who's in, Who's out?
    Talk of the Track


    So this second installation of, “WHOA, Nelly!” is about WHOA,, itself:   those who are involved; and a curious sadness, as we take note of those who are conspicuous by their absence.

  • USTA announces opposition to HORSE RACING INTEGRITY ACT
    THA Press Release


    The United States Trotting Association Sept. 5 announced its opposition to the Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2017 for multiple reasons, including a proposed ban on race-day Lasix and the makeup of the authority that would oversee equine medication policy and a financing scheme for increased testing.

  • More Than Ever, Integrity Needed in Every State
    The BloodHorse


    As money generated by added-gaming has boosted purses and breeder funds throughout the country, it has become more important than ever for racing to maintain integrity.

    Jockey Club chairman Stuart Janney III made that point during his closing remarks at the Round Table on Matters Pertaining to Racing Aug. 13 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He noted that a scandal anywhere in the country can impact how racing is viewed and threaten the significant commitment state governments have made to the sport.

  • Always Dreaming Owners Support Horseracing Integrity
    The BloodHorse Daily


    "To help ensure the safety of the horses and the jockeys and to enable racing fans to take comfort in the integrity of the sport, it is vital that the industry adopt a uniform set of rules across the 38 jurisdictions regarding testing and penalties administered by an independent body," Viola said in a written statement. "We have an opportunity now to improve significantly the safety and fairness of this beautiful and proud sport that has brought joy to millions of fans. It is important that all of us act on it with a sense of urgency."

  • WHOA, Nelly! Horse Racing's Perceived Need for Speed at All Costs to Horse = Absolutely, Positively Unacceptable
    Talk of the Track


    WHOA (Water Hay Oats Alliance) is a brilliant organization of kind-hearted people who are focused on one thing:  the health and well-being of horses.   Period.   They love horses, and they know that healthy horses who aren’t doped are the only hope if horse racing is to flourish, and to grow.   Indeed, the health of the equine economy depends on WHOA’s campaign to wake up the industry, and get unnecessary medications off the table in the life of race horses.

    No horse ever should be given medications for reasons other than healing a situation, or stabilizing the horse during convalescence.  One of the meds that’s part of the dialogue is Lasix.

  • Why this is the only chance for America's broken regulatory system
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    The Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing is arguably the most important meeting on the annual Thoroughbred racing calendar in America. That has arguably never been more the case than at this year’s conference on Sunday, when powerful representations were made by some of the most respected people in the business in favour of the proposed Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2017.

  • Banke: 'Craft Our Narrative And Rebuild The Foundation Of Integrity' Through Federal Legislation
    Paulick Report


    Barbara Banke, owner of Stonestreet Farm and chairman and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines, delivered the following remarks in support of the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 at Sunday's Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

  • Janney On 'Disgraceful And Sad' Pennsylvania Events: 'It Gives All Of Racing A Black Eye'
    Paulick Report


    Following are closing remarks by Stuart S. Janney III, chairman of The Jockey Club, at Sunday's Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

    My sense is that we are at a crossroads. There are many signs of hope, progress and accomplishment...........But now let's look at a darker side. Sadly, the list is just as long and the issues no less important. We have talked about many of these issues, either today or in previous conferences. The scope of some of these problems can be daunting and their persistence is disheartening.

  • Jockey Club renews push for federal legislation to regulate medication, drug testing
    Daily Racing Form


    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The Jockey Club is doubling down on its support for legislation that would put in place a federal framework for the sport’s regulation of medication and drug testing, and it will do so without the support of large horsemen’s associations, according to comments made during the organization’s Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing on Sunday in Saratoga Springs.

    A succession of speakers to close out the conference focused on the legislation, which would appoint the United States Anti-Doping Association, a private, non-profit company, as the overseer of the sport’s medication and drug-testing policies. The speakers included Barbara Banke, the prominent horse owner and breeder; Shawn Smeallie, executive director of the Coalition for Horseracing Integrity, a group supported by the Jockey Club and founded to push for the adoption of the bill; and Stuart Janney III, the chairman of the Jockey Club.

  • View From The Eighth Pole: In Rojas Trial, HBPA Plays The Part Of Enabler
    Paulick Report


     

    It must be disheartening at times to be an honest Thoroughbred owner or trainer, especially one that happens to race in Pennsylvania.

    It's bad enough, as we learned last week in the federal trial of trainer Murray Rojas, that widespread and systematic cheating has been going on at Penn National racecourse in Grantville, Pa. for more than a decade.

    Making matters worse is the financial support provided to Rojas by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association through a legal defense fund the horsemen's organization established last year. The Pennsylvania HBPA, the representative horseman's organization at Penn National, also helped pay her legal fees.

    This adds insult to injury.

  • Letter to the Editor: Where's the Swamp?
    TDN


    The flip side of all this is we do have a problem here. Being a racehorse trainer is a tough gig these days. Most of your employees are undocumented, you barely break even on the day money–that’s if you get paid on time–and the pressure to win is overwhelming. Trainers take an edge, often too much of one. In the Paulick Report Friday Show, Editor-in-Chief Scott Jagow glibly referred to “the cesspool of PA racing.” If Jagow or anyone else thinks this is just a PA problem, then I’ve got some nifty dockage in the Mojave to sell them. The trouble with the view from the eighth pole is the angle stinks. The Rojas trial testimony was just a window in to a national issue because in every track in the land the motto exists: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.”

  • PA REGULATION 'SUSPENDS' HORSES AFTER MOST POSITIVE TESTS
    THA


    The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission July 26 approved a new regulation that will make racehorses that test positive for a prohibited substance ineligible to compete for a period of time.

    The regulation, which is expected to take effect Sept. 1, calls for such horses to be placed on the stewards’ list for Thoroughbred racing and the judges’ list for Standardbred racing. The PHRC, which falls under the state Department of Agriculture, at its monthly meeting approved the measure with little discussion.

  • CORRUPTION AT PENN NATIONAL RACE COURSE, PART 2
    Horse Racing Business


    A trainer at Penn National Race Course testified under oath that 95 to 98 percent of the trainers at the racetrack used illegal drugs on their horses within 24 hours of races in which the animals ran.  The trainer said it was well known that laboratory testing was not done for the drugs.

    Assume that the trainer was testifying truthfully.  That means that virtually every trainer at Penn National Race Course was flagrantly violating rules and regulations.....

  • CORRUPTION AT PENN NATIONAL RACE COURSE, PART 1
    Horse Racing Business


    Start with the working premise that most people are honest, depending, of course, on the rigidity of one’s concept of honesty.  Implicit in the premise is that if most people are honest some are not.

    Proof is readily available on a weekly and daily basis.  One hears and reads of insider-trading convictions, wealth managers defrauding their clients, lawyers making off with escrow money, doctors overbilling Medicare, school teachers cheating to elevate their students’ scores on standardized tests, world-class athletes using performance-enhancing drugs, accusations of footballs being deflated in the NFL, possible fixed matches at Wimbledon, pump-and-dump stock schemes, and so on ad infinitum.

  • Federal Legislation Still Best Route to True Uniformity
    The BloodHorse


    I found it more than a bit ironic that a slew of damaging headlines preceded and followed the May 25 announcement of the reintroduction of Reps. Barr and Tonko’s sponsored federal bill, the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017.

    If anyone needed further convincing that the medication regulation system in the United States is broken beyond repair, the stories behind those headlines reiterated one message loudly and clearly: The status quo is unacceptable.

  • Op/Ed: Yes, the AAEP is Protecting the Horse
    TDN


    The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP)’s recent decision to oppose the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 has been met with both support and criticism, depending on one’s perspective within the industry. As chair of the AAEP Racing Committee, I’d like to address why we believe our position best represents the health and welfare of the racehorse.

  • Racing vets oppose Barr's bill to ban equine anti-bleeder drug
    Lexington Herald Leader


    The veterinarians who treat racehorses are not backing U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s bill to ban all race-day medications. 

    The American Association of Equine Practitioners on Tuesday released a statement opposing Barr’s “Horseracing Integrity Act,” which would place the regulation of horse racing’s drug rules under federal jurisdiction. The vets oppose it because it would include a ban on furosemide, known as Lasix or Salix.

    The group supports the uniformity of medication rules in U.S. horse racing but its current policy endorses the use of the anti-bleeder medication “to help mitigate the occurrence of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage in the racehorse,” according to the statement. “This policy is based on the overwhelming body of international scientific and clinical evidence.”

     

  • Barr strives to bring integrity, transparency to horse racing
    Ripon Advance News Service


    U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced legislation on Thursday to pave the way for the creation of a national uniform medication program that would govern various horse racing organizations.

    Currently, different medication policies and practices are used across dozens of horse racing jurisdictions in different states. In addition to eroding competition and public confidence in horseracing, inconsistent and contradictory rules have hampered interstate commerce under current rules. 

    The Horseracing Integrity Act, H.R. 2651, which Barr introduced with U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), would authorize the establishment and implementation of a national uniform medication program that would be developed with input from industry stakeholders.

  • U.S. Trotting Association: 'No Official Position' On Horse Racing Integrity Act
    Paulick Report


    The HRI has had firm support from The Jockey Club since it was first introduced. However, as Bill Finley points out in his column for Harness Racing Update, the United States Trotting Association “is not ready to commit one way or the other” on the legislation.

    “Since the proposed legislation was introduced just last week and there hasn't been an opportunity to convene the USTA Board or even its executive committee, we have no official position on the bill at this time,” Mike Tanner, the USTA's executive vice president said.

  • Barr, Tonko To Reintroduce Updated Horseracing Integrity Act
    Paulick Report


    “With growing momentum and support, the time has come for uniform medication rules in American horse racing,” said Congressman Barr.  “Uniform rules will ensure the integrity and competitiveness of American horse racing and lay the groundwork for the future success of this great American sport.  I am grateful for Congressman Tonko and our coalition for their work over the last two years to improve this legislation which has broadened our base of support and will help us to pass this bill into law.”

  • New Version of Federal Oversight Legislation Introduced
    TDN


    The legislation, an updated version of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 that never came up for a federal vote, would establish an authority to create and implement a national uniform medication program with input from the horse industry.

    The authority would be governed by a board composed of the chief executive officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), six individuals from the USADA board, and six individuals selected by USADA who have demonstrated expertise in a variety of horse racing areas.

  • Tonko pushes updated Horseracing Integrity Act
    Times Union


    Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, is again pushing federal legislation that would create a national uniform anti-doping program for the horse racing industry.....

    “A single, national approach to medication testing with strong independent oversight and enforcement is long overdue,” Tonko said in a statement. “This will help ensure the long-term viability of horseracing by bringing greater integrity to the sport and enhancing the care and welfare of the horses. Much is at stake here, especially in regions like ours with long historic ties to an industry that contributes $4 billion to the New York economy each year, much of it at and around the Saratoga Race Course.”

  • CHRI announces strong support for Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017
    HorseRacingNation


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI) today announced its strong support for the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017, introduced by U.S. Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) earlier today.

    The bill, designated H.R. 2651, would require that a uniform, anti-doping and medication control program be developed and enforced by a private, non-profit, self-regulatory organization known as the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority.

     

  • Barr-Tonko bill gets overhaul
    Daily Racing Form


    A bill that would create a federal authority responsible for racing’s drug and medication policies and their enforcement has been amended to include an explicit ban on the administration of any medication within 24 hours of a race, a provision that likely will perpetuate opposition from major U.S. horsemen’s organizations.

  • No race-day meds, more feds in horse racing under new bill backed by Barr
    Lexington Herald Leader


    “With growing momentum and support, the time has come for uniform medication rules in American horse racing,” Barr said. “Uniform rules will ensure the integrity and competitiveness of American horse racing and lay the groundwork for the future success of this great American sport.”


     

  • Ahead of Kentucky Derby, Udall Demands an End to Doping of Race Horses
    Udall Press Release


    WASHINGTON – Ahead of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, U.S. Senator Tom Udall released the following statement reiterating his persistent calls for the horse racing industry to end its widespread abuse of performance-enhancing drugs and painkillers used on horses. Udall called for reform or the repeal of the federal law that makes horse racing the only sport specially permitted to offer online gambling and interstate betting:

  • Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity Welcomes The Stronach Group's Support of Impending Bill
    CHRI Press Release


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI) applauds the decision of Frank Stronach, the founder and honorary chairman of The Stronach Group, to strongly support the Horseracing Integrity Act, legislation that will create a uniform, nationwide, conflict-free drug testing enforcement program for horse racing. 

  • ARCI's Martin: Let USADA Bid To Do Equine Drug Testing
    Paulick Report


    Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, closed out the racing regulators' equine welfare and integrity conference Thursday by urging his member organizations to extend an invitation to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to bid on their equine drug-testing contracts.

    USADA is the national anti-doping organization in the United States for Olympic, Paralympic and Pan-American sport. Some prominent people in horse racing believe USADA has a contribution to make in regards to drug testing.

  • How would U.S. racing work in a brave new drug-restricted world?
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    Arguably the most significant changes look like this:

    • Elimination of furosemide on race-days and in training (as in Hong Kong),

    • No anabolic steroid use both in and out of competition,

    • Tighter restrictions surrounding corticosteroid joint injections (I get into the particulars further down)

    • Elimination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in racing.

    This is, of course, a hypothetical reality. The legislative, bureaucratic, financial, logistical and political hoops that would need to be jumped through to reach such a point are, to say the least, considerable.

    But, with no inconsiderable weight behind the call for uniform medication rules, and with the likes of the Water Hay Oats Alliance pushing to eliminate the use of performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing, this idea alone raises all sorts of questions, including a vital one:

    How would the tightened medication regulations outlined above affect the way U.S. racehorses are trained, raced and managed?

  • Recap of Friday's medication panel at the National HBPA Convention
    Horse Racing Nation


    Dr. Andy Roberts, a long-time racetrack veterinarian in Kentucky, believes testing horses for illegal drugs outside of a race can be an important step in getting rule-breakers out of the game. However, he does not want to see horsemen asked for a muscle biopsy, hoof trimming or even a semen sample from a young colt in training.......

     

     

  • Pennsylvania: The FBI Agent And The Trainer
    Paulick Report


    Bruce Doupe is a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who has spent the last five of his 13 years at the FBI's Harrisburg, Pa., office investigating what he calls ”allegations of criminal wrongdoing in the conduct of Thoroughbred racing at Penn National Race Course.”

  • 'Beaten Down By The PR Machine': Bramlage On The Best Prescription For Racing
    Paulick Report


    Firstly, Bramlage said the sport needs to eliminate race-day furosemide – not because it doesn't work or he has serious concerns about its use but because the ship has sailed on convincing the public it is safe and necessary ...
    Secondly, Bramlage encouraged attendees to support the Barr-Tonko bill creating uniform oversight for the sport ...
    Lastly, Bramlage said veterinarians and the racing industry need to get better at communicating with the public about improvements in welfare policy ...

     

  • ARCI's Martin: Cheating Not 'Ubiquitous' In Racing
    Paulick Report


    Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, submitted the following as a rebuttal to a recent two-part series in the Paulick Report, written by former Indiana Horse Racing Commission executive director Joe Gorajec. Those articles, dealing with what Gorajec referred to as a “culture of cheating,” can be read in WHOA press.

  • Inside the Desperate Battle against Sports Doping
    SPIEGEL


    USADA headquarters is located in an office complex in the town of Colorado Springs at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. The men and women who work here are considered the most tenacious doping investigators in the world. In recent years, the agency has uncovered the doping practices of some of the biggest names in sports, including cyclist Lance Armstrong and the world-class sprinters Tyson Gay and Marion Jones.

  • Gagliano: a system change we can't afford to pass up
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    Polling of  U.S. horse racing bettors has repeatedly demonstrated that drugs and integrity issues are two of the top three issues facing the sport, and 92 percent of them say they want to see uniform medication policies implemented faster than they are being adopted now.

    We all know the problem. But what is the best solution?

    The members of the Coalition for Horseracing Integrity believe we need a systematic change in the way Thoroughbred racing is regulated.

    • We need better and more uniform rules.

    • We need harsher penalties for integrity-related violations.

    • And we need improved drug testing, including much more out-of-competition testing and more robust investigations.

       

  • Tonko proposes anti-doping rules for horse racing
    Times Union


    U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko wants to ban doping of race horses.

    The congressman is proposing an anti-doping bill that penalizes breeders, owners and trainers who feed or inject their horses with performance- enhancing drugs. Co-sponsored with Republican Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky, the bill would also standardize rules, which currently vary state-to-state.

    "There is concern that the equine athlete is not abused," said Tonko, D-Amsterdam. "Doping is disturbing. We want to make sure it doesn't happen."

    Tonko went onto say that unlike human athletes, equine athletes don't have a choice or an opportunity to say no.

  • The Friday Show Presented By Woodbine: A Gaping Hole In Drug Testing?
    Paulick Report


    There are several areas in which the Thoroughbred racing industry has made progress in recent years. Random, out-of-competition drug testing isn't one of them.

    In this edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss why out-of-competition testing is vital to racing and why it's been such a struggle to put it in place in many jurisdictions.

  • Renewed Calls for Strict Federal Oversight of Thoroughbred Horse Racing
    NBC Washington


    Animal welfare groups, industry officials and political leaders are renewing their calls for stricter federal oversight of thoroughbred horse racing, after a series of reports by the News4 I-Team.

    Supporters of two different pieces of legislation have cited the I-Team’s findings in championing their proposals for change.

    The I-Team investigation in August revealed at least 160 horse deaths at the Charles Town Races track in West Virginia since 2014. Though the rate of horse deaths at Charles Town is nearly average the rate of thoroughbred breakdowns nationwide, the investigation also detailed dozens of positive drug tests by horses at Charles Town and an ongoing dispute over the positioning of race stewards at the track by the West Virginia Racing Commission.

     

  • Coalition For Horse Racing Integrity: In Wake of Vitali Case, 'We Need Better Regulation'
    Paulick Report


    The Paulick Received the following Letter to the Editor from the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, whose members include national and local organizations representing breeders, owners, sale consignors, racetracks and veterinarians 

    As a group that shares the common belief that the Thoroughbred racing industry is in serious need of medication reform, we would like to commend the Paulick Report for its insightful, ongoing coverage of a saga involving a Florida-based trainer with numerous medication violations (“Vitali License Reinstated, Despite Record That Includes Complaint Of Cruelty.”

  • Stronach Ban is News to Suspended Trainer Vitali
    TDN


    An investigative piece by the Paulick Report Monday detailed Vitali’s voluntary relinquishing of his Florida training license earlier this year to avoid sanctions for multiple medication violations, an aborted attempt to relocate his racing operation to Maryland, and a complaint about alleged animal cruelty involving a claimed Thoroughbred that was closed by Florida authorities because of “insufficient proof.”

    According to that article, dating to 2011, Vitali has had 23 equine medication violations in Florida alone. The piece also reported that under the terms of a July 1 “settlement agreement,” Vitali is currently sitting out a 120-day license suspension from the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering and has been assessed a $7,000 fine.

  • Ritvo: Stronach Tracks Bar Vitali, Hunter From Entry Box
    Paulick Report


    Trainer Marcus Vitali, currently serving a 120-day suspension for multiple medication violations in Florida, has been told by officials with The Stronach Group – owners of Gulfstream Park in Florida, Laurel Park and Pimlico in Maryland and Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields in California – that they will not take entries from him in the future and asked Vitali to leave the Gulfstream Park property.

    Trainer Allan Hunter, in whose name Vitali's horses have been running over the last two months, has also been told his entries will not be accepted by Stronach Group tracks. Hunter has been given 10 days to remove all of the horses currently under his care from Gulfstream Park. Hunter has one former Vitali horse entered on Friday's Gulfstream Park program that will be allowed to run, according to Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer of The Stronach Group's racing division.

  • 'The Optics Are Horrible': March Of Out-Of-Competition Testing Is A Slow One
    Paulick Report


    One of the familiar themes at the Jockey Club's 64th annual Round Table Conference held Aug. 14 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. was the usefulness of an out-of-competition drug testing program (OOCT) in horse racing. Jeff Novitzky, vice president of athlete health and performance for Ultimate Fighting Championship, pointed out the importance of OOCT to anti-doping efforts at the UFC and for Olympic athletes. One thing that wasn't presented was a comparison of how horse racing is doing with OOCT.

    Out-of-competition testing was once heralded as the future of horse racing regulation — and critical to making and keeping the sport cleaner. Ten years in, it isn't catching on with much urgency.

  • UFC's Novitzky gets in the ring at Round Table
    Daily Racing Form


    Horse racing may not appear to have much, if anything, in common with mixed martial arts. Still, an official with that sport’s most prominent league will attempt to lay out its common ground with racing on Sunday as a guest of The Jockey Club at its Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in Saratoga Springs.

    Jeff Novitzky, the vice president of athlete health and performance for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is scheduled to speak just prior to the Round Table’s keynote speaker, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the chief executive of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Novitzky’s placement near the end of the program telegraphs The Jockey Club’s estimation of his message, which will focus on the UFC’s recent hiring of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to design and enforce the sport’s drug-testing program.

  • Call Issued for Consensus on Medication Plan
    The BloodHorse


    The need for consensus among major stakeholders in horse racing in regard to drug testing and enforcement of penalties again was a major theme during The Jockey Club Round Table Conference held Aug. 14 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

    There were, as expected, endorsements for the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015, which would grant the United States Anti-Doping Agency authority over a uniform equine medication and testing program. But there also were subtle suggestions the industry could, if it bridges a rather large divide, accomplish its objective perhaps without help from Congress.

  • Jockey Club Round Table Encourages Reform, Exchange Of Ideas
    Paulick Report


    The exchange of ideas was a central theme at The Jockey Club's 64th annual Round Table Conference, which took place at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Sunday morning. Two of the speakers on the schedule brought inspiration for improvement to American racing from other businesses: Jeff Novitzky, vice president of athlete health and performance for Ultimate Fighting Championship (better known as UFC, the leading mixed martial arts organization), spoke about anti-doping, while Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, spoke about customer service and integrity.

  • Medication Reform Heads Jockey Club Roundtable
    TDN


    Though many other issues were discussed Sunday morning, the principal theme of The Jockey Club’s 64th annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing was medication reform in the United States.

  • The Real Problem With Drugs In Horse Racing
    TDN


    Last week, this space discussed and theorised about the potential impact of drugs that seek to enhance the peak performance levels of racehorses. Unsurprisingly, the piece generated quite a bit of comment given just how hot a topic performance-enhancing drugs in sport is right now. However, while drugs such as anabolic steroids and cobalt chloride that bid to enhance peak performance levels are the ones that many people fear the most, horse racing arguably has far bigger problems with another medication-related issue, that of an over-reliance on and abuse of therapeutic medications.

  • Let's Talk About Drugs In Racing
    TDN


    The issue of drugs in sport has never been bigger than it is now. There have been so many performance-enhancing drug scandals in recent years that it has bred a culture of scepticism of sporting success amongst the public. Brilliant performances are immediately questioned as being too good to be true, with the trainers/coaches that oversee the success of athletes often coming under as much suspicion as the athletes themselves.

    Horse racing has not escaped such scrutiny, with both legal and illegal drugs being a constant subject of controversy and debate. Around the major racing nations of the world there have been steroid scandals and cobalt controversies, not to mention ongoing entrenched debates about what the medication rules should allow on a day-to-day basis. This, combined with the omnipresence of drug scandals in the wider world of sport, has led many to have a heightened scepticism about just how level the playing field is in the high-stakes world of horse racing.

  • Hundreds of racehorses die at the track each year. Their deaths may be preventable
    The Washington Post


    “In the rest of the world, horse racing is more of a sport. In the U.S., it’s got a little bit of a business aspect to it,” said Rick Arthur, the equine medical director at the California Racing Board. “Horse racing needs to become drug-free, and when I talk about drug-free, I’m talking about international standard. I think we need to do that to be able to convince the public that the horse is our primary interest. I think that’s absolutely imperative for horse racing to succeed in a very changing environment.”

  • Q&A with Wayne Pacelle and Joe De Francis
    The BloodHorse


    On June 22, 2016, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) chief executive officer Wayne Pacelle announced the formation of its HSUS National Horse Racing Advisory Council. The chairman of the council is Joe De Francis, the former CEO and controlling shareholder of the Maryland Jockey Club.

    Pacelle and De Francis recently answered some questions from Blood-Horse about HSUS and the new council. 

  • What we know about cobalt - and, worryingly, what we don't
    Daniel Ross, Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    One reason for the enduring interest in cobalt lies in the public’s voracious appetite for drug, and drug-related, storylines – especially in horseracing. Another reason, however, belongs to a dearth of empirical data into exactly what effect cobalt has on the physiology of a racehorse, and why.

    A number of studies launched in the wake of the scandal have taught us much. But can cobalt make horses run faster? 

    Known since the middle of last century, cobalt does stimulate the production of Erythropoietin (EPO) in mammals. But, as a paper recently published in the Veterinary Journal, points out: “Currently there is no evidence to suggest that cobalt chloride can enhance human or equine performance.”

     

  • Travis T. Tygart: Come Clean, Russia, or No Rio
    The New York Times


    Colorado Springs — FOR those who love clean sport, discovering the extent of Russia’s state-supported doping program has been a nightmare realized. Russian whistle-blowers have come forward with evidence of shadow laboratories, tampering by state intelligence officers andswapped samples at the Olympics. This is a violation of the very essence of sport and — only months from the Summer Games in Rio — an assault on the fundamental values of the Olympic movement.

  • A Push to Improve Welfare of Horse Racing's Involuntary Heroes
    The New York Times


    The powerful Jockey Club is working with the Humane Society to eliminate the scourge of doping and, in the process, get the fragmented racing industry to play by a single set of rules.

    The two groups are supporting federal legislation, the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Anti-Doping Act of 2015, that would put the United States Anti-Doping Agency in charge of monitoring the administration of race-day medication at the track. The organizations hope to put USADA, an independent agency, in a position to police the sport’s deeply rooted doping culture.

    Race-day doping is particularly troublesome. It can give horses an advantage, but it can also put already injured horses, who should not be racing, at risk of greater, even catastrophic, injury.

  • Gary Contessa Op/Ed: Patchwork System Needs to Change
    TDN


    When it comes to achieving true uniformity of medication and drug rules in our sport, we can’t continue to have a patchwork system of regulation. It is time for a change and to me the Barr-Tonko bill is the best option for our sport.

  • Drug use may threaten horse racing's future
    The Baltimore Sun


    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.

  • A year after American Pharoah, U.S. horse racing faces uneasy future
    Reuters


    A year after American Pharoah became the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown, U.S. thoroughbred racing officials have struggled to build on that excitement or agree on whether the sport needs a commissioner to rein in its disparate players.

    Saturday's running of the 142nd Kentucky Derby, the most famous race in America and the first in the Triple Crown series of three races, puts horse racing at the center of attention for many sports fans, a place it only rarely occupies.

    Some who see dark clouds for the industry advocate placing it under the control of a single person, at least as it comes to drug testing for the horses to crack down on cheating. Others question the need to horse around with a formula that has worked for decades in a $25 billion industry.

     

  • Supporters of legislation to reform horse racing regulations speak out
    Daily Racing Form


    Members of the Congressional Horse Caucus held a hearing-style discussion of a bill seeking to restructure the regulation of U.S. racing on Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C., with supporters vowing to continue to press for adoption of the legislation.

    The meeting was put together by Reps. Paul Tonko of New York and Andy Barr of Kentucky, the co-chairs of the Congressional Horse Caucus and the sponsors of the legislation. Five panelists were invited to provide comments about the legislation, with four of the panelists clearly in support of the bill. The fifth, a representative of a national horsemen’s organization, urged legislators to keep the current state-by-state approach to regulation in place.

  • Horse Caucus Takes Testimony on Drug Bill
    BloodHorse


    Members of the Congressional Horse Caucus April 28 discussed the pros and cons of legislation that would grant the United States Anti-Doping Agency oversight of equine medication policy, testing, and enforcement during the first hearing on a bill introduced in the United States House of Representatives last spring.

  • DeFrancis Emerges as Powerful Voice for Reform
    TDN


    WASHINGTON–A new day, another hearing, a familiar story. That’s often been the case over these many years as reform-minded politicians have held several hearings to discuss efforts to bring reform to horse racing, particularly in the area of drugs. Thursday’s hearing of the Congressional Horse Caucus, which has been pushing for passage of the Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2015, didn’t exactly crack the mold as it failed to accomplish much in the area of breaking new ground.

    But it did feature a relatively new player in the debate over federal intervention and drugs and one who came with a powerful message. Joe DeFrancis, the former chief executive of Pimlico and Laurel who is currently advising the Humane Society of the United States, brought his A game to the nation’s capital Thursday. DeFrancis was unwavering and unapologetic when he warned the racing industry that if major changes are not made, the sport could suffer dire consequences.

  • Fravel: Barr-Tonko Bill 'Creates A System That Makes Sense'
    Paulick Report


    In his statement, Fravel said, “We should not confuse progress with success and we who profess our commitment to integrity, uniformity and transparency should not be content with any system so long as there is room for major improvement.” He continued, “The system contemplated by H.R. 3084 shrinks 38 rulemaking and enforcement bodies to one. … It creates a system that makes sense, and I want to thank Congressman Barr and Congressman Tonko for their concern for our industry and their support for an effort to make a great sport as good as it can be.”

  • Former Jockey Club chief says racing has reached 'critical state' over drug policies
    The Baltimore Sun


    The public's dwindling confidence in American horse racing's medication policies "has reached a critical state" bordering on an industry "crisis," former Maryland Jockey Club chief executive Joseph A. De Francis told members of Congress Thursday.

    Speaking before the Congressional Horse Caucus, De Francis said that the industry has failed "to address on a national level" the issue of abuse and misuse of racehorse medications.

  • Vitali Case Gives Congressional Horse Caucus Real-Life Example Of Broken System
    Paulick Report


    It's time for the Congressional Horse Caucus members to go on a field trip. May I suggest they take a break today from their hard work at the U.S. Capitol and make the short drive up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to spend an afternoon at Laurel Park in Maryland? They can see first-hand how badly the current structure for regulating medication policies in horse racing is broken.

  • Horse racing industry divided on need for federal oversight
    The Hill


    The Thoroughbred racing industry is divided over whether Congress should create a national regulatory body to monitor the use of drugs in racehorses competing in races all the way up to the Kentucky Derby.

    “I’d be willing to publicly debate anyone who has the nerve to stand up and take the stance that racing is better with drugs,” racehorse owner and celebrity chef Bobby Flay told lawmakers on Thursday.

  • Medication Reform Best Way To Honor Memory Of Dinny Phipps
    Paulick Report


    Cleaning up racing has been a life-long mission that, ultimately and unfortunately, Dinny Phipps was not able to complete.

    His death on Wednesday at the age of 75 is a profound personal loss for his family, friends and associates. His passing is also enormously significant to those of us who want horse racing to overcome the stigma of a game where cheating is often perceived to be as important to winning as superior bloodlines and good training. Though others will carry the torch forward, it is difficult to see how anyone will be as committed to the cause of clean sport as Dinny Phipps has been for decades, both as one of the game's leading owners and breeders and as a fearless industry leader.

  • Letter to the Editor: Russell S. Cohen, DVM
    TDN


    Thoroughbred racing has a drug problem and, collectively, we hold the blame, yet we can fix it. I personally do not care about semantics, misinformation, mischaracterizations and hurt feelings. Let me restate: I do not care one bit. I care about horses, horse racing, and the owners who have skin in the game, who put up their money, their hopes, their desires, their time and their dreams.

    Jockey Club Executive Vice President and Executive Director Matt Iuliano had the guts to speak out in a recent letter to the editor to the TDN [click here], arguing that those opposed to medication reform base their position on “the bedrock assumption that everything is totally fine in the realm of Thoroughbred medication regulation.” I agree with Iuliano. That assumption is totally false.

  • Letter to the Editor: Eric Hamelback
    TDN


    The Thoroughbred Racing Integrity Act of 2015, or HR 3084, has recently been brought back into the Turf Media among certain proponents...

  • Ray Paulick: What Good Is A Model Rule In Horse Racing If No One Follows It?
    Paulick Report


    Imagine, for a minute, that the rules governing the National Football League were developed the same way as horse racing regulations.

    During an annual meeting, personnel from the NFL league office would discuss and approve “model rules” for the game, then team owners around the league would be encouraged – but not required – to adopt them. We might have instant replay to help officiate games in Chicago but not in Green Bay. The Houston Texans may decide they don't want to follow protocol for concussions. The Seattle Seahawks could develop their own definition of pass interference. And the New England Patriots might thumb their nose at the league's “model rule” for inflating footballs.

  • Iuliano: H.R. 3084 Best Opportunity For Meaningful Reform
    Thoroughbred Daily News


    I read with great interest the comments expressed by the chairman of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission and Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) stalwart, W. Duncan Patterson, at the annual meeting of the Organization of Racing Investigators held recently at Delaware Park (Delaware Regulator Argues USADA in Racing a Mistake, TDN, March 15, 2016). 

    Mr. Patterson’s comments fall in line with the campaign of misinformation waged against H.R. 3084, the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015, by opponents of the bill over the past several months.

  • Press Release: Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act Earns 25 House Cosponsors

    “I’m grateful for the members of Congress from both parties who have stepped forward to support the goals of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act,” said Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY). “Achieving this milestone is evidence of the growing support for uniform medication standards which will enhance the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred horseracing in America.” 

    “I am energized to see this critical, bipartisan legislation approach 25 cosponsors,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), “and I look forward to working with Congressman Barr to push this closer to the finish line.

  • NYRA joins push for USADA oversight
    Daily Racing Form


    NYRA, which operates Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga under a lease from the state, is the most prominent racetrack operator to join the effort to support the legislation, which is opposed by most racetracks, horsemen’s groups, and state racing commissions. Last year, the Keeneland Association, which runs two prestigious three-week race meets and conducts North America’s largest Thoroughbred auctions, also endorsed the legislation. Several harness tracks and other minor tracks have announced support for the bill.

  • Judge: CHRB can't enforce Los Alamitos Hair-Testing House Rule
    Paulick Report


    On March 10, 2016, in Department 85 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Honorable James C. Chalfant, Judge presiding, granted Quarter Horse Owner Gustavo De La Torre's petition for a writ of mandate directing the California Horse Racing Board to set aside its approval of the Los Alamitos Race Course “house rule” providing for disqualification of horses resulting from hair testing for albuterol and clenbuterol, both authorized medications in California. Additionally, the court ruled that De La Torre is entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief against both the California Horse Racing Board and Los Alamitos regarding enforcement of the illegal “house rule.”

  • What We Know About Cobalt - And, Worryingly, What We Don't
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    The start of the New Year didn’t precipitate an end to the long conversation surrounding cobalt, the little trace element that just won’t go away.

  • Irish Clamp Down on Cheats
    Sporting Post


    Horses found to have been administered prohibitive substances, including anabolic steroids, are set to be handed lifetime bans in Ireland.

  • HBPA Convention Rolls On
    TDN


    The Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives appears stalled, without a sponsor and companion bill in the Senate to date, faces constitutionality issues raised by the Congressional Research Service and lacks co-sponsors on the committee with jurisdiction, the lobbyist for the largest coalition of owners and trainers said Saturday.

  • HBPA Told To Fight Back Against 'Elitists' In 'Environment Of Poison'
    Paulick Report


    Eric Hamelback likes to focus on the positive in horse racing. Running his first winter convention as chief executive officer of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the former general manager of Frank Stronach's Adena Springs in Kentucky put together several panels on Thursday's opening day designed to give HBPA members reassurance that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't an oncoming train.

  • Ireland: Lifetime Ban For Horses Administered Prohibited Substances
    Paulick Report


    Horses found to have been administered prohibited substances, including anabolic steroids, will be banned for life in Ireland.

  • Beshear: Challenges Remain for Horse Industry
    Bloodhorse


    Steve Beshear, the former two-term governor of Kentucky whose run ended in December 2014, said the recent winter storm that dumped about 10 inches of snow in Lexington and twice that much in eastern parts of the state drove home the point he didn't have the same responsibilities.

  • Kiaran McLaughlin: The Day I Realized Horses Don't Need to Run on Medication
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    In the first part of his recent Q&A with Karen M. Johnson, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin talked about his exciting prospects for 2016, especially his Kentucky Derby hope Mohaymen and his star older horse, the Dubai World Cup-bound Frosted. Here, in part two, he looks back on his days training for the Maktoums in Dubai and what he learned there, and he talks about his views on Lasix, coping with multiple sclerosis, and the best horse he has trained - so far.

  • McLaughlin on Lasix: 'We Should Be Able To Be Without It In America'
    Paulick Report


    Kiaran McLaughlin spent 10 years training racehorses for the Maktoum family in Dubai, where horses cannot be given any medications within seven days of a race. The trainer referred to the ability to run horses without Lasix or other race-day medications as “eye-opening” in an interview at thoroughbredracing.com.

  • Trainer, Vet Relationships Discussed at ARC
    TDN


    The relationship between trainer and veterinarian was among the topics of conversation during a panel yesterday at the 36th Asian Racing Conference that included Australian owner Terry Henderson, who pulled no punches when criticizing what he viewed as his country’s over-reliance on vets. “It concerns me that in Australia, vets seem to have a free hand to treat horses in the stable without daily reference to the trainer,” said Henderson.

  • Putting More Bite Into Drug Enforcement Rules
    Horse Racing Business


    Minutes before the kickoff of the 2016 National Football League playoff game between the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers, an announcer casually reported that Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had a separated shoulder, had been injected with a painkiller so he could play.  Imagine the outcry if such an announcement were made during a Kentucky Derby telecast about one of the entries.

  • New Research Could Put Regulators on Trail of Horsemen Using Synthetic Steroids
    Paulick Report


    The fight against illegal drugs in horse racing may have gotten another boost on Monday, when the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council voted to approve funding for a new kind of drug test. The Council approved a proposal to spend a total of $195,474 over two years (if the first year's research proves successful) to develop an biochemical test for the equine sex-hormone binding globulin. This blood protein attaches itself to androgen and estrogen to help them move through the body of horses, people, and other vertebrates.

  • Hong Kong: Lab Chief Sees Need for 'Game-changing' Approach to Testing
    Paulick Report


    Sunday's Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin race course will, from a drug control standpoint, be among the cleanest anywhere in the world.

  • Medication: Is America Actually Asking Too Much of the NUMP Initiative?
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    Recently, I spoke at a continuing education conference for racing officials. The focus of the presentation was whether our expectations of what the National Uniform Medication Program (NUMP) can do to “fix racing” are realistic.

    From my perspective, the progress made towards writing and adopting uniform rules and recommended penalties in the last five years far exceeds that made during the last five decades combined.

  • Commentary: Results of Uniform Medication Rules 'Appear Confusing at Best and Disingenuous at Worst'
    Paulick Report


    Dr. Jennifer Durenberger wonders if Americans are “asking too much” of the National Uniform Medication Program in an editorial on Thoroughbred Racing Commentary.

  • Oaklawn to Continue With Lasix-free Bonuses
    TDN


    Even though a 10% purse bonus for winning races while not running on Lasix failed to yield an increase in the actual number of Lasix-free winners at last year’s meet, Oaklawn Park will continue the program in 2016, the track’s director of racing, David Longinotti, confirmed Wednesday.

  • Op/Ed: Lasix: Why the Effinex Team Just Said Yes
    TDN


    The 2014 GI Wood Memorial was approaching and Dr. Russell Cohen not only wanted to win the race with Effinex (Mineshaft)–he wanted to make a statement. Cohen is a veterinarian who practices at the NYRA tracks, is a breeder and manages Tri-Bone Stables for his mother, Bernice, and he’s an outspoken hay, oats and water advocate. He was determined to succeed without any drugs, particularly Lasix, and prove that it could be done.

  • Is The Barr-Tonko Bill Doomed to Never Get Off The Ground?
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    On the eve of this year’s Breeders’ Cup, Representative Joe Pitts (R-Pa) posted on his website a report put together by the Congressional Research Service — an organization that provides policy and legal analysis to committees and members of both the House and Senate — into the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 (H.R. 3084), which is currently working its way through Washington.

  • Letter to the Editor: Lloyd Wickboldt, MD
    TDN


    In reading the charges and fines against trainer Steve Asmussen in the Nov. 24 issue of TDN, I was upset to read that the administration of the thyroid hormone, thyroxine, T4, (a thyroid hormone molecule with 4 attached iodine atoms), was being referred to as a thyroid “supplement”. A supplement, in the truthful sense of the word, is/are the building blocks, which when administered to an animal/human allows the body to make its own natural chemicals and structures.

  • Mark Casse: The Reasons Race-day Lasix is Essential in America
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    In the second part of Karen M. Johnson’s interview with Mark Casse, the trainer, winner of two Breeders’ Cup races and nearly $13 million in prize money this season, gives his views on one of the most controversial subjects in North American racing today.

  • Crist: A Lasix Argument That Doesn't Hold Water
    Daily Racing Form


    The results of a Daily Racing Form survey on medication last month attracted scant attention when published Oct. 26, understandable since entries had just been taken for the Breeders’ Cup races later that week. They are worth another look, however, as they contained a key finding that contradicts a theory that many in the industry have been promoting for years.

  • Time For A Change? Veterinarian's List No Safe Harbor For Racehorses
    Paulick Report


    On Jan. 27, 2015, six Thoroughbreds went to the post for the second race at Turf Paradise, but only five came back. Four-year-old Time for a J fractured the sesamoids in his left front leg and was euthanized on the track.

  • Coalition For Horse Racing Integrity: Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Now On Board

    The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced today that it will become a member of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity and support HR 3084.

  • Commentary: Lasix Industry an Out-of-Control Juggernaut
    Paulick Report


    Now that the dust of American Pharoah's Classic victory has finally settled, it is time to take a look at the underlying story at this year's Breeders' Cup: the Lasix issue. The seemingly endless debate over the pros and cons of race-day medication was brought into sharp relief at Keeneland with the decision landing decidedly in the cons corner.

  • McGaughey Talks Lasix, USADA Oversight
    Paulick Report


    “I think a lot of us use Lasix as a crutch."

  • Commentary: Horse Racing Regulators Should Not Be Promoters
    Paulick Report


    Should horse racing regulators be promoters? Not according to former Indiana Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson, who wrote in the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind., that “promoting and regulating are two different functions that at times can be at complete odds with one another.”

  • Irwin: Indiana Commission Actions Don't Pass Smell Test
    Paulick Report


    Absent a smoking gun that would lead to evidence of unethical behavior on the part of Joe Gorajec, the dismissal of the former executive director of the Indiana Racing Commission sends the wrong message to regional and national participants in horse racing.

  • Racing Board Out of Bounds With Firing
    The Journal Gazette


    Recently, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission unanimously voted to remove its executive director, Joe Gorajec, who had held the position since the commission’s inception. Thomas Weatherwax, the commission’s chairman, told the Indianapolis Business Journal that Gorajec was fired because he was too focused on enforcing regulations and he was not focused enough on marketing and promoting horse racing.  In other words, Gorajec was fired for doing his job.

  • Gorajec: Barr-Tonko Bill Only Path Toward Uniformity
    Paulick Report


    The following commentary was written by Joe Gorajec, who on Saturday was relieved of his job as executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC), a position he held for nearly 25 years... Gorajec was advised, in no uncertain terms, that he was not to have the article published.

  • Barr Thanks Keeneland for Support of Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act
    Barr Press Release


    “The support of Keeneland, my home racetrack and home of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, is a significant sign of momentum for our legislation and further evidence of the broad and growing coalition on our efforts,” said Congressman Barr.  “I thank the Keeneland Association and all those who are fighting with us for the future success, integrity, and competitiveness of the thoroughbred industry.”

  • Beshear Should OK Lasix-Free Races
    Lexington Herald-Leader


    There's no way to know how many Thoroughbreds would go to the post free of a controversial, but popular, drug until more tracks offer some Lasix-free races. That's why Gov. Steve Beshear should open the door to such races in Kentucky, even though a legislative committee recently turned thumbs down on the proposal from the Racing Commission.

     

  • New York Adopts Rule to Limit Use of NSAIDs
    Bloodhorse


    The New York State Gaming Commission Sept. 24 passed several rule amendments related to equine medication, including further restrictions on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and a total ban on stanozolol, an anabolic steroid.

  • New York Commission Approves Cobalt Threshold, Additional Drug Rules
    Paulick Report


    The New York State Gaming Commission unanimously proposed a series of updates to the state’s codes for post-race drug testing Thursday, including adding a threshold for cobalt.

  • Arapahoe Park Joins Groups Supporting USADA
    Bloodhorse


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity announced Sep. 24 that Arapahoe Park has joined as a member. The addition of the Arapahoe County, Colo. track is the sixth to join the coalition.

  • Horseplayer Thoughts on USADA Oversight
    Horseplayer Monthly


    You Said Yes to US Anti-Doping Agency Oversight in Horse Racing – But Tentatively So... In July, the Horseplayers Association of North America commissioned a survey of its membership, with regards to the Tonko-Barr Bill. 

  • Kavanagh Hit With Nine-Year Ban
    TDN


    Australian trainer Sam Kavanagh has been banned from the racing industry for nine years and three months for his involvement in 23 offences related to cobalt and race-day medication, according to Racing and Sports.

  • OP/ED: Mary Scollay
    TDN


    As someone with longstanding personal and professional commitments to equine health and safety, I found the recent “Where’s the Positive” commentary by Eric Hamelback, the chief executive officer of the National HBPA, in the August 20, 2015, edition of the Thoroughbred Daily News to be disappointingly misleading.

  • The Furosemide Debate: Why It's Not Such a Big Issue in Europe
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    With debates currently raging on the pros and cons of the use of furosemide (commonly called Lasix or Salix), and both camps putting up compelling arguments, the fact that the drug is banned on race days in all racing countries other than the United States and Canada gives rise to the question, how do those trainers cope without it?

  • Integrity Coalition Continues To Grow
    Standardbred Canada


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity recently announced that Centaur Gaming – which owns and operates Indiana-based Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and several off-track betting facilities – has joined as a member.

  • Standard Issue: Drug Testing Far From Uniform In American Horse Racing
    The Guardian


    After American Phaorah’s colors were lowered in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, the sense of shock and awe still bristling the packed grandstand, the Triple Crown winner was led over to the post-race test barn where samples of his blood and urine were taken. These samples were then numbered before being sent to the New York’s Equine Drug Testing Program at Morrisville State College for analysis to ensure that no medications in his system exceeded threshold levels.

  • Grayson Jockey Club Announces Funding For Two EIPH Studies
    Paulick Report


    Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation today announced that it has launched the funding of two projects aimed at in-depth investigation of the pathophysiology of Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) and the effect of the medication furosemide on that condition. The American Association of Equine Practitioners’ AAEP Foundation is playing a prominent role in funding the projects, and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has reached out to racetracks to complete the funding.

  • Racing Commentary with Bob Barry: Fear Of An Unknown Planet
    Bloodhorse


    Throwing a Hail Mary. Pulling the goalie. Desperate measures are all right, if they are taken in desperate times. Thoroughbred racing has lately added a new one. Taking an intractable problem to Washington so that Congress might fix it.

    If House Resolution 3084—the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015—can complete the steeplechase from "bill" into "law," New Year's Day 2017 will ring in a new era for American racing. Whether race-day Lasix will be a part of that brave new world is anybody's guess, and that is putting the knickers of more than a few trainers into an awful twist. Nothing strikes fear into people quite like the unknown. 

  • Restoring Integrity to Horse Racing
    Gagliano in The Hill


    Beyond the Triple Crown races each spring, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships each fall and the occasional feature film profiling legendary horses like Secretariat or Seabiscuit, the American public has limited mainstream exposure to thoroughbred horse racing.

    In fact, recent polling found that while the vast majority of adults in the U.S. called horse racing both exciting and fun to watch, only 14% had a very favorable view of the industry.

  • Anti-doping Agency Just What Horse Racing Needs
    Lexington Herald Leader


    This commentary is signed by Craig Fravel, president and CEO of Breeders' Cup Ltd.; Arthur and Staci Hancock, owners of Stone Farm and Water Hay Oats Alliance supporting members; Bill Lear, vice chairman of The Jockey Club; and Chauncey Morris, executive director of Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders.

    The opinion piece published Aug. 31, "Barr's drug-testing bill unnecessary for racing," perpetuates various myths about the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act. 

    It's not the first time that Ed Martin of the Association of Racing Commissioners has stretched the facts rather than constructively engage on the goals of the legislation or the proposed role of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in improving existing regulation of medication use and testing

  • USADA Contributes to Steroid Crackdown
    Blood-Horse


    The United States Anti-Doping Agency assisted the Drug Enforcement Agency in a nationwide series of enforcement actions targeting the global underground trade of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, the DEA said Sept. 1.

  • New York Horsemen Commit $450,000 To Purchase New Drug Testing Equipment
    Paulick Report


    The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) today announced its commitment to acquire state-of-the-art testing equipment for the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Program at Morrisville State College.

  • California Trainers Pledge $150k To Race-Day Surveillance
    Paulick Report


    The leadership of California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT) has voted unanimously to pledge $150,000 from its reserves to initiate and assist in leading a comprehensive race‐day camera surveillance and security program in stable areas at Thoroughbred tracks in California.

  • Taking My Money Elsewhere: California Gets It Wrong On Lasix
    Paulic Report


    I’m sure my money won’t be missed, but I can’t in good conscience place any more bets on races in California – not after what happened at the California Horse Racing Board meeting last week.

  • Use of Lasix on Horses Raises Issues at New York Racing Commission Forum
    Times Union


    Banned for use during race days in most other countries, horsemen, veterinarians and others are starting to ask if the drug, should be disallowed in the U.S. due to questions about its efficacy and long-term safety.

  • Louisiana Adopts Therapeutic Drug Schedule
    Blood Horse


    The Louisiana State Racing Commission Aug. 24 adopted the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule of 26 commonly used substances. Under the schedule only the anti-bleeding drug furosemide, also called Lasix or Salix, is permitted on race day.

  • Stating The Case For Medication Reform
    Paulick Report


    In major industry forums supporters of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 (THIA) methodically laid out our case. In response, detractors are now throwing far-fetched arguments against the wall to see what sticks.

  • Hayward: Anti-Doping Agency Would Be 'Single Most Important Development' In Racing In Over A Decade
    Paulick Report


    In a recent column for the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, former New York Racing Association president Charles Hayward voices his support for U.S. racing to have an independent agency in charge of handling medication policies and enforcement.

  • Report: CHRB Delays Decision on Third-Party Lasix Administration

    At its meeting held Thursday at Del Mar, the California Horse Racing Board postponed making any decision on third-party administration of Lasix, or furosemide, instead deciding to send the proposal back to committe for further review.

  • How Cheats Cheat: Why Dopers Have the Edge on Athletics' War on Drugs

    From micro-dosing to the latest drug that circumvents WADA testing the athletes are in the ascendancy according to the experts in the field, who concede: ‘Drug testing has a public reputation that far exceeds its capabilities’

  • Arthuer: CHRB Delay on Third-Party Lasix an 'Embarrassment'
    TDN


    A rule to require third-party administration of furosemide (Lasix), which has been debated and tweaked in various forms by the California Horse Racing Board since 2012, was picked apart and batted back and forth for 90 minutes Thursday at the board’s monthly meeting before finally being remanded back to the Medication and Track Safety Committee for further clarification.

  • Where's the Positive?
    TDN


    Recently, I reconnected with a good friend over lunch. He too works in the Thoroughbred racing industry and has been a very high-profile executive. During our meeting we spoke openly about issues challenging our industry and asked ourselves, what areas are our positives? I am very happy to say the positives were plentiful and, while there are negatives, none of them seemed insurmountable.

  • RCI Chairman Takes Hypocritical Stance on Federal Racing Bills
    Paulick Report


    Mark Lamberth, a member of the Arkansas Racing Commission and chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, turned the dial on the BS Meter all the way up on Tuesday in a press release on RCI letterhead stating: “Entire Arkansas Horse Racing Industry Opposes Federal Bills.”

  • National Anti-Doping Agency Would Be The Most Important Development In U.S. Racing In Over A Decade
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary
    Charles Hayward, former President of NYRA


    Every racetrack executive, owner, bettor, trainer, breeder, jockey and industry participant should inform themselves and support this important federal legislation giving USADA the control of the U.S. equine medication rules, drug testing, research and enforcement policies.

  • Federal Horse Racing Bill Applauded
    Brereton C. Jones Commentary
    Courier Journal


    Legislation proposed by U.S. Reps. Andy Barr of Kentucky and Paul Tonko of New York is appealing to me. The main thrust of the new bill is to appoint the United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA) to oversee drug policy in American Thoroughbred horse racing.

  • Horse Racing Needs an Independant Anti-Doping Agency
    Times Union


    Horse racing has been wrestling with the question of how to handle anti-doping regulation for what seems like ages.  That's why today, many of us at the forefront of the sport have come to the conclusion that in order to settle (and end) the question of doping, we must actually take it out of horse racing's hands.

  • Andy Barr: Legislation Helps Ensure Integrity, Economic Future of Thoroughbred Racing
    Rep. Andy Barr in the Lexington Herald Leader


    With renewed public interest following American Pharoah's amazing run to the Triple Crown, now is the time to build on the progress made by the consortium and finally achieve uniformity in the rules of racing. That is why I, along with my co-chair of the Horse Caucus, Rep. Paul Tonko, D.-N.Y., have introduced the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act, legislation that would establish an independent, nongovernmental anti-doping authority charged with implementing a national uniform medication program with input from the industry.

  • Debate Over Drugs in Horse Racing Persists
    Post Star


    If there is one issue that won’t go away in horse racing, it’s the use of drugs for the equine athletes. People have argued — and will continue to — over which drugs should be used, if they should be used, how much of each drug should be used and when they should be used.

  • Debate Over Federal Bill Begins in Earnest
    Blood-Horse


    A co-sponsor of federal legislation that would authorize oversight of equine medication and drug-testing said he believes members of Congress could schedule a committee hearing on the bill this fall.

  • Gloves Off at Institute on Equine Racing & Gaming
    Thoroughbred Daily News


    There was another Battle of Saratoga Tuesday in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It involved verbal salvos from both sides over proposed legislation in the U.S. Congress to form a national authority to develop, regulate and enforce uniform medication policy for Thoroughbred racing in America.

  • We Have a Trust Issue in Horse Racing
    Courier Journal


    Gov. Steve Beshear, having presented the Kentucky Derby and eighth and final time this past May, on Sunday reiterated his desire Sunday for uniform medication standards in horse racing across the nation.

  • Federal Legislation to Reform Medication Rules Discussed
    The Horse


    Thoroughbred racing should continue its pursuit of federal legislation for the purpose of reforming the industry’s medication rules...

  • Round Table Conference Recap
    Thoroughbred Daily News


    There was no mistaking the theme to the The Jockey Club’s 63rd annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing Sunday morning: support for federal legislation to put in place uniform national medication rules with oversight by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

  • USADA Under the Microscope
    Daily Racing Form


    Under the bill, USADA would control a federally created governing board that would set medication policies for the entire U.S. In turn, USADA would ensure that those policies are enforced by monitoring the drug-control programs of state racing commissions while also directing a national Thoroughbred racing drug-testing program.

  • Round Table Aftermath: ARCI's Martin Calls Jockey Club Direction 'Unfortunate'
    Paulick Report


    Following Sunday’s Jockey Club Round Table on Matters Pertaining to Racing, held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the following statements were issued by Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International. 

  • Jockey Club Round Table: Glass Half Full Or Half Empty?
    Paulick Report


    The sixty-third annual Jockey Club Round Table conference took place on Sunday at the Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Depending upon your perspective, it was either a marker of tremendous positive change for the racing industry, or a reminder of just how slowly things progress in the sport.

  • Independance Day?
    Blood-Horse


    Believing his organization would benefit horsemen if allowed to guide a new approach to medication oversight in racing, United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief executive officer Travis Tygart is asking trainers to evaluate what an independent agency would mean for them and the sport.

  • TRA Board Has Newfound 'Sense Of Urgency' on Medication Policies
    Paulick Report


    At their meeting on Friday, August 7, in Saratoga Springs, the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA) Board of Directors reiterated their firm commitment to the implementation of uniform medication policies with a sense of urgency throughout the United States.

  • USADA Chairman Edwin Moses, Governor Beshear to be Featured Speakers at 63rd Round Table Conference
    Jockey Club Press Release


    Edwin Moses, Olympic great and chairman of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky will be the featured speakers when The Jockey Club holds its 63rd annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing Sunday, August 9, at the Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

  • Equine Vets In Push to Develop Raceday Alternatives to Lasix
    Horse Talk


    The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) says it is committed to identifying non-raceday treatment alternatives to Lasix to reduce the chances of racehorses bleeding into their lungs.

  • Next Up For Antidoping Regulators: Horse Racing
    Associations Now


    Organizations in the sport of horse racing appear to be mostly ready to embrace a new antidoping bill that would replace a patchwork of rules governing what drugs horses may be given on race day. While a broad coalition is starting to form around the measure, not everyone’s convinced.

  • Federal Lawmakers at Odds on USADA Bills
    Blood Horse


    Federal lawmakers who support the United States Anti-Doping Agency providing oversight of drug testing in all forms of horse racing have blasted federal lawmakers who support the United States Anti-Doping Agency providing oversight of drug testing just in Thoroughbred racing. Welcome to Washington.

  • Salix-Free Race Proves Popular
    ESPN


    A race-day medication-free race proved so popular at the entry box July 15 that the over-subscribed field of 2-year-old fillies was split into two divisions for the July 18 program at Gulfstream Park.

  • Gulfstream's First Lasix-Free 2yo Race Splits
    Thoroughbred Daily News


    Gulfstream Park’s first foray into writing Lasix-free races for juveniles drew enough interest from horsemen Wednesday that a 4 1/2-furlong $65,000 maiden special weight for fillies–to be run Saturday–was split into two divisions of 11 and 12 runners.

  • Congressmen Proposing Uniform Drug Rules in Horse Racing
    FOX News


    Two congressmen are introducing a bill that would establish uniform drug and medication standards in thoroughbred racing in 2017.

  • Handicapping the D.C. Medication Push
    The Courier Journal


    The effort to put horse racing's drug testing under the agency that coordinates testing for Olympic athletes is sure to draw objections from usual sources; but what will be most interesting is where a Louisville-based industry behemoth stands. And that, of course, refers to Churchill Downs Inc.

  • Progress Made in Adoption of Uniform Medication Program
    Horse Racing Nation


    In the last six months, the horse racing industry made significant progress toward the uniform adoption of a national medication program, as regulators in a number of additional jurisdictions adopted reforms developed by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and enacted as model rules by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI). 

  • Thyroid Medication Could Be Banned in Sports
    Wall Street Journal


    Amid suspicion of abuse, members of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and U.K. Anti-Doping ask the World Anti-Doping Agency to ban synthetic thyroid medication.

  • KHRC Delays Action on Medication Rules
    The Blood Horse


    The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on June 29 delayed taking a vote on proposed rules on medication testing, withdrawal guidelines, and disciplinary measures and penalties that included rules on the mineral cobalt. 

  • An Unlikely Ally? Getting to Know the Humane Society of the United States
    Paulick Report


    The announcement last month that the Jockey Club and Breeders’ Cup would join forces with the Humane Society of the United States to back a federal anti-doping bill was a surprise to some in the Thoroughbred world.

  • Florida: Race-Day Medication Limited To Lasix Starting July 1
    Paulick Report


    Beginning July 1, the anti-bleeding medication furosemide – commonly known as Salix or Lasix – will be the only therapeutic agent that can be administered on race days at Florida Thoroughbred tracks, including Tampa Bay Downs.

  • Horse Deaths At Race Tracks Should Be As Rare As Triple Crown Winners
    Bradenton Herald


    Seeing the video of the fourth race held the day of the Belmont Stakes, when a horse named Helwan broke his leg and was euthanized, reminded me of the very first time I saw a horse break down during a race. It was many years ago, and I thought it would be the only time. I thought that a death on the track was as rare as a Triple Crown winner.

  • Maryland Steroid Positives Raise Questions For Veterinarians
    Paulick Report


    In a recent commentary for DVM 360, Dr. Ed Kane wrote that the anabolic steroid positives detected in Maryland at the end of 2014 and 2015 raise a number of questions about the responsibilities of veterinarians on the backstretch. Although experts agree that there are appropriate applications of anabolic steroids in the treatment of certain ailments, the hormones should not be used as performance enhancers.

  • Proposed Bill Calls for Federal Anti-Doping Racing Rules
    The Horse


    Administering race-day medications to racehorses would be banned a under proposed bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week. The legislation would also put an independent anti-doping agency in charge of enforcing rules and penalties for violators.

  • Counterpoint: Clearing Up Thoroughbred Racing Misconceptions
    Star Tribune


    Article missed the mark on horses, drugs and abuse. 

  • American Pharoah: Triple Crown Win Rewrites Racing History
    The Wall Street Journal


    With the historic win, horse racing has the opportunity to capitalize on the sport’s increased spotlight

  • NBA'S Stern, WADA Chief Howman, Stronach Highlight Pan American Conference
    Paulick Report


    The two-day Pan American Conference, co-hosted by The Jockey Club, the breed registry for Thoroughbreds in North America, and the Latin American Racing Channel (LARC), concluded Friday afternoon at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City with presentations from prominent individuals from inside and outside the Thoroughbred racing industry focusing on anti-doping, globalization and marketing.

     

  • Medication Reform Focus at Pan Am Conference
    BloodHorse


    The second day of the inaugural Pan American Conference in New York City June 5 was heavy with presentations regarding medication regulation and reform in horse racing.

  • New Federal Medication Bill Introduced
    Thoroughbred Daily news


    A week after New York congressman Paul Tonko introduced federal legislation to establish uniform drug and medication standards in Thoroughbred racing, three other representatives introduced similar legislation Thursday.

  • Horse Sense Needed to End Doping in Horse Racing
    Humane Society


    In the run-up to the Belmont Stakes tomorrow, I participated in a discussion yesterday on public radio about the rampant doping of racehorses and the need for reform within an industry that has failed to take responsibility for its problems and runs through its athletes as if they are expendable commodities. 

  • International Racing Body Aims for Drug-Free Sport
    HorseTalk.co.nz


    A global anti-doping policy is at the forefront of plans by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, after its chairman and vice-chairmen were voted in for a further three-year term.

  • Thoroughbred Race Horse Trainer William White Leads Florida Horsemen In Heralding Race-Day Medication Reform Law HB 239

    Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 239 relating to Medication and Testing of Racing Animals today, June 2, 2015.  Effective July 1, 2015, the bill will dramatically change Chapter 550.2415, Florida Statutes, which has governed the use of Florida Thoroughbred race-day medication for more than 25 years.

  • I Love Animals, How Can I Love Horse Racing? It Requires Denial
    The Guardian


    Sometimes, the answer is that by being part of it, I can hope to be a small part of improving conditions for horses.

  • Ontario Testing for Cobalt Effective August 1, 2015
    Ontario Racing Commission


    At its meeting on May 28, 2015, the Board of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) approved a General Directive ordering that all horses that have been selected to provide an Official Sample (blood) as defined by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) will also be tested for cobalt. Once the CPMA has completed the official testing, the ORC will subject the samples to enhanced testing for the presence of cobalt.

  • Florida Governor Signs Race-Day Medication Legislation
    Paulick Report


    Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 239 relating to Medication and Testing of Racing Animals today, June 2, 2015. Effective July 1, 2015, the bill will dramatically change Chapter 550.2415, Florida Statutes, which has governed the use of Florida Thoroughbred race-day medication for more than 25 years.

  • Hundreds of Delegates from More than Two Dozen Countries Descend on NYC for Pan American Conference
    The Jockey Club


    More than 300 representatives from over 27 countries will converge on New York City this week for the two days of business presentations focusing on the sport of Thoroughbred racing as part of the Pan American Conference.

  • WV Racing to Have Role in Legislative Review
    Blood Horse


    The West Virginia Racing Commission June 2 authorized creation of a committee that will be charged with providing information to a legislative select committee that will undertake a comprehensive study of the state's racing and gaming industries.

  • Breeders' Cup Announces Safety, Security Initiatives
    The Horse


    The Breeders' Cup announced a series of safety and security initiatives extending through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series on June 1.

  • 2015 Breeders' Cup Safety & Security Standards Extend to Challenge Series
    Breeders Cup Press Release


    The Breeders' Cup announced today a series of safety and security initiatives extending through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. A prominent element of the program, developed in consultation with tracks participating in the Challenge Series, will focus on extending the Breeders’ Cup out-of-competition testing program throughout the Series.

  • Change Needed In New York's Drug Testing Policy
    Paulick Report


    The New York State Gaming Commission was none too happy with a Natalie Voss article published in the Paulick Report earlier this year calling into question the state’s drug testing program under Dr. George Maylin.

  • Khalifa Issues Law on Horse Racing
    Emirates 247 News


    The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued Federal Law No. 7 of 2015 to combat the trade or use of banned substances in horse racing and equestrian sports events in the UAE. The Cabinet has also issued the Implementing Regulations of the new law.

  • Tonko Seeks Anti-Doping Regulations For Horse Racing Industry
    WAMC Radio


    Capital District Congressman Paul Tonko is introducing legislation to crack down on illegal doping in thoroughbred horse racing. 

  • Drug Research Council Advances Cobalt, GABA Guidelines For Kentucky Racing
    Paulick Report


    At a meeting on Tuesday, the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council voted to advance threshold recommendations for cobalt and GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid, also known as Carolina Gold) for consideration by the state’s racing commission. 

  • KEDRC Agrees on Cobalt Thresholds

    The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s Equine Drug Research Council (KEDRC) yesterday approved threshold levels for cobalt and sent the measure on to the KHRC board for full consideration.

  • CHRB: $1.2 Million Added To UC Davis Drug Testing, Research Budget
    Paulick Report


    It was announced at the monthly meeting of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) Thursday that $1.2 million had been added to the budget for drug testing and research at the U.C. Davis Maddy Laboratory.

  • WADA Op-Ed: "Media - the 4th Estate in Anti-Doping"
    World Anti Doping Agency Op-Ed


    WADA Op-Ed piece by Ben Nichols, WADA Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications

  • Indiana Ousts Widely-Used Drug Testing Lab For 'Continued Failure to Detect Substances'
    The Paulick Report


    Officials at Truesdail Laboratories in Irvine, Calif., said they plan to contest a May 12 decision by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission to terminate the company’s equine drug testing contract after Truesdail failed to detect high levels of commonly used corticosteroids in three samples taken from harness horses competing at Hoosier Park in late March and early April.

  • Arapahoe Park Gearing Up For Start of 2015 Racing Season
    The Paulick Report


    Horse racing in Colorado is in the midst of a renaissance.  With Colorado’s live horse racing season in 2015 scheduled to begin on May 22, Arapahoe Park is launching the theme of “Where Horses Come First” to reflect the growth of the Aurora, Colorado track.

  • Los Alamitos Owner Urges AQHA To Adopt Hair Testing 'To Save The Sport We All Love'
    The Paulick Report


    Dr. Edward Allred, owner of Los Alamitos, has written an open letter to Quarter horse owners, trainers and nominators to races at his Orange County, Calif., racetrack about the hair follicle testing program he has implemented for some high-profile races to stop abuse of performance enhancing drugs like clenbuterol, albuterol and zilpaterol, including off-label varieties.

  • Horse Fails Drug Tests in Consecutive Starts
    The Blood-Horse


    F and F Stable's Best Play failed drug tests in back-to-back starts for trainer Luis Miranda in late 2014 and early 2015 at Aqueduct Racetrack, a circumstance New York's state steward said he can't recall ever previously happening.

  • ARCI Rule Would Put Trainers, Vets, On the Hook For "Excessive" Overages
    The TDN


    The most egregious abusers of performance-enhancing equine drugs and those who load up on supposedly therapeutic medication regimens might soon face more intense scrutiny and the threat of drastic penalization based on a new rule modeled on whole-horse health that is being drafted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI).

  • Australian Equipment To Test Racehorses For 8,000 Drugs
    The Paulick Report


    Australian racehorses will soon be screened for more than 8,000 drugs from a single drug test.

  • Racing's Staring Down the Barrell of Politics and Public Perception
    Horse Race Insider


    Question: When does a “shameless publicity stunt,” a proposed piece of legislation that would shut down the Internet to horse racing, stop becoming the sucker-punch by which it was delivered?

    Answer: When, in the long term, the end result compels the Thoroughbred racing industry to finally get its entire act together, once and for all.

  • RCI Officially Adopts Cobalt Policy
    TDN


    The Association of Racing Commissioners International Board of Directors, which voted last week to make it illegal to administer cobalt to a racehorse, is now formally notifying regulators and their testing labs of its new policy, according to a release from the organization.

  • Cobalt Policy Adopted by Regulators
    Horse Racing Nation


    The RCI Board of Directors last week voted to sanction trainers of horses that were found to have a cobalt level of 50 parts per billion (ppb) or greater of blood plasma or serum with a “B” penalty, which calls for a minimum 15-day suspension, a minimum $500 fine, and 4 points on the trainers Multiple Medication Violation record. 

  • Kentucky Derby Runner a 'Clean' Crusader

    And what will make his presence so special - particularly to the members of the emerging anti-medication group WHOA (Water Hay Oats Alliance) - is that Mubtaahij will run clean of any raceday treatment but, specifically, the anti-bleeding medication furosemide. It is legally permitted across the US but banned in every other jurisdiction on the planet.

  • Tarnishing American Racehorses
    HorseRacingNation.com


    The American public has been hoping for a Triple Crown winner for thirty-seven years now. According to some, it hasn’t been won in a long time because it is simply harder to win. These knowledgeable people say that with bigger and fresher fields, it’s harder to win all three races, and that the limited amount of time between the races (five weeks) is not enough. However, it has been enough time for eleven horses, and nearly enough time for forty-seven more. The reason we haven’t seen a Triple Crown in decades? No one knows for sure, but two leading reasons may be the use of drugs on race day and the breeding of American racehorses.

  • Mubtaahij to Race Medication Free in Kentucky Derby
    ESPN


    Mubtaahij has never raced on the anti-bleeding medication furosemide (Salix, commonly called Lasix) and the U.A.E. Derby winner will run without it in the May 2 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the first horse in 10 years to do so.  "He's never run on it, he doesn't bleed, and I'm not prepared to take my chances running him on a substance he's never run on before," de Kock said. "He's good enough without it."

  • Testing, Testing: How Strong Are Racing's Drug Testing Programs?
    The Paulick Report


    When the state of Maryland released a call for proposals from laboratories interested in taking on the state’s post-race testing, Dr. Rick Sams, director of the HFL Sport Science Lab in central Kentucky, read over the rules carefully. The request had a number of requirements regarding the ideal candidate’s certifications but left the actual description of the testing to be done fairly open.

  • Field Looks Strong Going into Kentucky Derby
    GamingToday.com


    I don’t know if it has to begin with breeders or trainers or a national racing board or what. But it has to start somewhere or the breed will just continue passing on the genes of less durable horses that have their performances based on the right medication rather than talent.

  • American Racing's Slow-Moving War On Cobalt
    Paulick Report


    The majority of regulatory agencies that govern the sport are the tortoise: conservative, slow moving, carrying too much of a burden to be nimble, ambling along while seemingly oblivious to the world around them.  The cheaters in horse racing, those willing to bend or break the rules to win, represent the hare: amoral and arrogant risk-takers but quick on their feet.

  • The Country Where Stallions Who Have Ever Had Lasix Are Disqualified For Breeding
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    It’s one of the great anomalies of modern racing - the bare figures tell you the German breeding industry is in decline, yet the horses being produced year-in, year-out tell a story of a flourishing and increasingly influential system envied more and more around the world.

  • Four Veterinarians Hit With Criminal Charges Over Pre-Race Drug Administrations
    Paulick Report


    Each defendant is charged with allegedly administering drugs to thoroughbred race horses within 24 hours of when the horse was entered to race. This conduct was in violation of the state criminal law prohibiting the rigging of publicly exhibited contests. The alleged activity took place at various times beginning as early as 1986 and continuing up to August 2014.

  • Kentucky Committee Approves Rule Allowing Lasix Free Races
    Daily Racing Form


    The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Monday approved a rule that will allow Kentucky tracks to offer races in which horses will not be allowed to be administered the anti-bleeding medication furosemide on race day.

  • KY Commission OKs Drug-Free Horse-Race Plan
    The Courier Journal


    A controversial proposal to allow Kentucky racetracks to schedule races where horses can't receive race-day injections of an anti-bleeding drug received approval Monday from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

  • The Friday Show: A Surprising Derby Trend, And Some Weight With That Lasix?
    The Paulick Report


    In this edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss a new proposal in Kentucky regarding Lasix.

  • Kentucky Committee Considers Rule Allowing Lasix-Free Races
    Daily Racing Form


    A committee of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is scheduled to consider a rule next week that would allow tracks to write races that prohibit the use of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide within 24 hours of post time, according to material distributed by Kentucky horsemen’s groups.

  • Where Are We Now: Amanda Simmons Luby Op/Ed
    TDN


    It has been a year since the New York Times published its article and the PETA video which painted then-Hall of Fame nominee Steve Asmussen and his assistant, Scott Blasi, as allegedly abusive operatives in the seedy world of horse racing. ...

    In response to the Times article, many people wrote heart-felt, impassioned pleas to the industry's "leadership" (whoever they are) to effectuate serious change for the long-term benefit of the sport. I jumped on Barry Weisbord's platform in response to his call to arms, as did Bill Casner and all of the other well- known, and not-so-well-known, members of the Water Hay Oats Alliance, calling for federal legislation requiring independent drug testing and a total ban on raceday medications. 

  • Jockey Club Offers Grants for Out-of-Competition Testing
    The Horse


    The funding is designed to encourage more out-of-competition testing for the presence of blood doping agents as well as Association of Racing Commissioners International Class 1 substances.

  • Kentucky Racing Commission Makes New Medication Push
    The Courier Journal


    The controversial question of whether horses should not receive medication on days they race — as is the rule in most of the world except North America — is about to be a battle again for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

  • British Horseracing Authority Issues New Anti-Doping Rules
    The Guardian


    New British Horseracing Authority anti-doping rules, which include a zero-tolerance approach to anabolic steroids, will come into force from Monday.

  • Trainer Sent to Prison in Penn National Racehorse Doping Case
    Penn Live: Patriot News


    The United States Attorney’s Office has charged three thoroughbred horse trainers and an employee of Penn National Racetrack in Grantville with fraud in connection with horse races at the track and doping.

  • Florida Senate Approves Bill for Uniform Drug Rules
    Daily Racing Form


    A Florida Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would require the state’s racing commission to adopt a suite of new medication regulations that is being pushed nationally by groups seeking uniform rules among racing states.

  • Moss: Get Rid of People Who Cheat and Hurt Horses

    I can’t say that anything we're trying to do to clean up the sport is bad. But the National Uniform Medication Program is an ever-changing landscape that will not resolve the problems of drug cheating or public perception of the sport, which are what I still see as the most serious problems when it comes to drug regulation.

  • FL Senate Committee Passes Medication Bill
    Blood-Horse


    Legislation governing racehorse medication policy unanimously passed the Florida Senate Regulated Industries Committee Feb. 18 and was reported favorably to the full Senate.

  • Two And A Half Years Later, Still No Action Against Vets in Louisiana Dermorphin Cases
    Paulick Report


    The culture of cheating that exists in some areas of American horse racing certainly includes trainers. But it does not begin and end with them.

  • Anabolic Steroids Still Issue in U.S. Racing
    Blood-Horse


    Through the first 10 months of 2014, U.S. horse racing appeared on pace to register its fewest positive drug tests for anabolic steroids since the industry moved to outlaw the drugs from racing in 2008-09.  But six positives for the anabolic steroid stanozolol from Nov. 19 to Dec. 19 at Laurel Park ended all that, revealing that at least some trainers are still willing to chance administering the substances to horses in training.

  • First Do No Harm
    Blood-Horse


    The role veterinarians play in drug positives is one important issue raised by the Maryland case.

    While trainers can be suspended and fined, what sanctions does the veterinarian prescribing and administering the drugs face? Under our current penalty system, none, because racetrack veterinarians are outside the jurisdiction of state racing commissions.

  • Maryland Trainers Cited for Compounded Drug
    Blood-Horse


    Three trainers have received suspensions and fines in Maryland in conjunction with positive tests for stanozolol, a synthetic steroid formerly known as Winstrol that is now available only through drug compounders.

  • Cobalt: How Big a Problem in U.S.?
    Thoroughbred Daily News


    Barely two weeks into 2015, horse racing already has a candidate for scandal of the year: cobalt.

  • Scandal Can Make Horse Racing Stronger
    Herald Sun


    This week’s horse racing claims speak to an age-old paradox. Sporting cheats trace back to the Romans and the pre-race drugging of chariot horses. Cheats will always wriggle into elite sports. The more horse racing reveals and examines any evidence of wrongdoing, the stronger horse racing will be. Other sports should bow to its lead.

  • Australia: Two More Trainers Have Horses Test Positive for Cobalt
    Paulick Report


    Just a day after it was announced that top Australian trainer Peter Moody was the subject of an investigation after one of his horses tested positive for the prohibited drug Cobalt, came the news that two additional trainers are also being investigated for the same thing.

  • Black Caviar Trainer Moody Facing Three-Year Ban
    ESPN


    The trainer of retired sprint star Black Caviar has vowed to “do everything possible” to clear his name after one of his horses failed a drugs test.

  • Ethics Probes Keep Asmussen off HOF Ballot
    Thoroughbred Daily News


    The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame notified members of its voting panel on Tuesday that trainer Steve Asmussen will not be allowed to appear on 2015 Hall of Fame ballots… “Our executive committee felt it didn’t send the right message for somebody who’s being investigated for animal cruelty and drug abuse violations to be eligible for the sport’s highest honor,” HOF communications coordinator Brien Bouyea told TDN.

  • No Hall Of Fame For Asmussen This Year
    ESPN


    Citing unresolved investigations in New York and Kentucky of Steve Asmussen following a video last year from an animal rights group alleging horse abuse and other violations, the trainer will not be allowed to be considered in 2015 for the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

  • New York Proposes Points System for Medication Violations
    Daily Racing Form


    The New York State Gaming Commission on Monday proposed a rule that would require specific minimum penalties for horsemen who commit multiple medication violations.

  • RMTC Plans Change but No Merger with RCI
    Blood-Horse


    The racing industry’s Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) plans to reorganize its own Scientific Advisory Committee but does not plan to merge with the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI).

  • Churchill Could Spark Change
    ESPN


    Imagine a run-up to the Triple Crown that didn’t include the Florida Derby or the Fountain of Youth or the Louisiana Derby. Such an upheaval to so traditional a road is unlikely, of course, but if it did happen, if an imperative forced the highway to take a dramatic detour, then after a few shocking moments and a few more aftershocks it would probably be good for racing. 

  • RCI Appoints Five to New Medication Board
    Blood-Horse


    The Association of Racing Commissioners International board has selected five initial members for its new Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee, a group that could eliminate or significantly reduce the current role of the industry’s Racing Medication and Testing Consortium in shaping medication and testing policies.

  • Do Racetrack Incentives Lead to a Drug-Free Future?
    Trainer Magazine


    While some horsemen’s groups, including the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, have drawn their swords in the fight against a race-day drug ban, Arapahoe Park in Aurora, Co., is sweetening the pot to entice trainers to race medication-free horses.

  • Racing Commissioners' Group Asks Medication Group For Merger
    Daily Racing Form


    The Association of Racing Commissioners International, an umbrella group for state racing commissions, has voted to ask an embattled independent medication research and advisory group to merge with it, the organization announced Tuesday.

  • Trainer Cannizzo Suspended 45 Days
    Daily Racing Form


    Trainer David Cannizzo will begin 2015 by serving a 45-day suspension after three of his horses tested positive for the illegal substance Propoxyphene, a painkiller also known as Darvon.

  • RMTC: 'Significant Progress' Made in Medication Reforms
    Paulick Report


    Read more from the Paulick Report, including this comment:

    “I just can’t take the RMTC seriously. Any organization that promulgates or suggests permissible drug use and then allows its Vice Chairman to act as counsel for horsemen that violate the rules/thresholds advocated by the RMTC is not the appropriate organization to be at the forefront of the raceday meds discussion. I can only hope that the WHOA folks and USADA supporters document this and other seeming conflicts of interest when promoting their agenda.

  • A Stumble Out of the Gate
    ESPN


    The sport of kings can’t seem to get things right when it comes to serious issues. … [The sport is] having yet another rife-with-acrimony-and-innuendo discussion about furosemide, the bleeding medication that’s allowed, while regulated, on race-day. But should it be allowed? Whether you think it’s important or not, and if only because some people won’t let it go, that’s the question that has knocked the sport into a morass of misunderstanding and negativity.

  • Sweeping New Drug Rules Approved in New York
    Blood-Horse


    New York regulators on Nov. 24 enacted the most sweeping set of equine drug rules in more than 30 years in the state, providing a more certain threshold for allowable amounts of medication from two dozen different drugs in Thoroughbreds prior to running in a race.

  • Federal Legislation Banning Medication in Racing Introduced
    Horse Council


    Today Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2015 to regulate/prohibit substances, drugs, medications, and treatments that may be used in racing.  The legislation is basically the same as the bill they introduced in the last Congress.

  • Gina Rarick: Lasix debate in the U.S. and Europe
    Paulick Report


    One comment that keeps appearing in the debate is that Europeans do use the same drugs just not on race day, writes Rarick.

    “This is completely, 100 percent false,” said Christiane “Criquette” Head, president of the European Trainers Association and a top name in French racing for years. “I don't use Lasix in training and no one I know uses Lasix in training.”

    Head continued: “Racing is about natural selection. In the United States, there are stallions that shouldn't be stallions, but you never know because the performance was achieved with medication. It is seriously affecting the breed.”



  • Gorajec: Open Letter To The Good People In Quarter Horse Racing Industry
    Paulick Report


    Do you remember the 2012 TheNew York Times(NYT) exposé on horse racing titled, “BREAKDOWN, Death and disarray at America's racetracks?”

    The lead photo accompanying the story was the dead carcass of a racehorse. The text beneath photo read as follows: “A 2-year-old quarter horse named Teller All Gone broke a front leg in a race on Sept. 3 at Ruidoso Downs Race Track in New Mexico and was euthanized. His body was then dumped in a junkyard next to an old toilet at Ruidoso, a short walk from where he had been sold at auction the previous year.”

    No group was taken to the woodshed with more fervor in the NYT series than the Quarter Horse racing industry, in general, and New Mexico racing, in particular. It was simply an embarrassment of international proportions.

  • Gorajec: A Way Forward On Regulators And Possible Conflicts Of Interest
    Paulick Report


    Yet questions remain, said Gorajec, who  suggests the office of California Gov. Gavin Newsome look further into the matter. Gorajec also asks whether racing regulators should divest themselves of any bloodstock ownership when they agree to serve on racing commissions.

    He then points out that the Horseracing Integrity Act, a federal bill that would create national oversight for horse racing medication rules, testing and enforcement and is supported by The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (which publishes the InsideRacingRegs blog), has strict conflict of interest rules for anyone who would serve on its board.

    Read more at InsideRacingRegs

  • Winds of Change: Tonko-Barr act aims to end doping In horse racing
    The Saratogian


    “This is about a sport that, again, is very engaging; there’s history here. It’s part of our culture and our economy in Saratoga and in New York State. So I want to make sure we everything we can to strengthen the sport and I would suggest that this Horseracing Integrity Act ushers the sport into the twenty-first century, which I think is very important."

  • 'The sport is at a tipping point': Inside US horse racing's deadly crisis
    The Guardian


    “I’m scared to death,” says Arthur Hancock, owner of Stone Farm in Kentucky. Hancock is part of the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA), a group of industry leaders pushing for a federal medication governing body, overseen by the US Anti-Doping Agency (more on this later). But Hancock says that his fears for the long-term health of the racing industry in the US are shared by some, but not all. “I think there’s sort of a general apathy, and I don’t know where it comes from,” he says.

    Medication reform is a prime example. Organizations like the Jockey Club and WHOA have thrown their weight behind the Horseracing Integrity Act, a federal bill that will centralize drug reform. Others, like the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), take the piecemeal approach though the National Uniform Medication Program (NUMP).

     

     

     

  • Racing without Lasix: Mid-year leaders and Del Mar v. Saratoga
    InsideRacingRegs


    Mr. Colebrook is the only trainer in the first half of 2019 with a non-Lasix graded stakes winner to his credit.

    He saddled 3-year-old filly Fancy Dress Party in the $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (G3) during Keeneland’s spring race meet. It was the filly’s fourth consecutive win in as many attempts — all without Lasix. Throughout her four-race win streak Fancy Dress Party never faced a rival that had not received Lasix.

    Following the Beaumont Stakes, her next race was a last place finish in the Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 8, 2019. Freshened up since her disappointing Acorn finish, Mr. Colebrook says that the $250,000 Prioress Stakes (G2) at Saratoga will likely be Fancy Dress Party’s next start and that she might possibly race with Lasix for the first time.

    “I feel like I might be at a disadvantage without it (Lasix),” said Mr. Colebrook.

    Mr. Colebrook races the majority of his 2-year-olds without the aid of Lasix.

    “It depends on the horse. It also depends on the owner. Some have a strong feeling on both sides of the issue. It’s a very divisive issue,” said Mr. Colebrook.

  • National horseracing doping regulation bill faces hurdles
    TimesUnion


    WASHINGTON – A bill that would set up national protocol for the doping of racehorses is working its way through Congress.

    The Horseracing Integrity Act, co-sponsored in the House by U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-Amsterdam) and led in the Senate by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would hand oversight of administering drugs to racehorses to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the governing body that runs the U.S. Olympic anti-doping efforts.

    The act will eliminate the current patchwork of state-by-state rules and align the nation's tracks with the much of rest of the world, said Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, which has pushed the legislation for more than three years.

    New York Racing Association, which manages the Saratoga Race Course as well as Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park, supports the measure.

    "NYRA has expressed its support for the Horseracing Integrity Act since its original introduction and we continue to support the legislation today," said NYRA spokesman Patrick McKenna.

  • Horseracing Integrity Act Backers Meet With Lawmakers
    BloodHorse


    Individual CHRI members are meeting with senators to educate them on the legislation, which recently was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat; and Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican. The Senate bill is the companion legislation to the House bill, which was introduced earlier this year by Reps. Andy Barr, a Kentucky Republican; and Paul Tonko, a New York Democrat.

    "The Horseracing Integrity Act is gaining momentum with the introduction of the Senate bill, and prominent members of the horse racing industry have flown in from all over the country to help educate senators and members about the need for reform," said Shawn Smeallie, executive director of CHRI. "We've already had 127 members of the House co-sponsor the bill, and we're confident that a majority of senators will get on board as well."

  • Let's revisit the U.S. medication penalty structure
    InsideRacingRegs


    Regulators in the U.S. have a poor record in dealing with multiple violations for therapeutic medications. I use the term therapeutic medications to differentiate these drugs from those that possess a greater ability to enhance performance. I believe the reluctance to suspend trainers who repeatedly violate therapeutic medication rules enables a mindset that leads to the overmedication of horses.

    Simply stated, stiff suspensions for repeated violations would instantly change trainers’ behavior. Paying a fine for a positive test has become a routine cost of doing business for many trainers.

    Nothing screams leniency louder than the RCI model rule that purports to crack down on trainers with multiple medication infractions. Let’s take a closer look at the rule.

  • Gorajec: RCI Medication Penalty Structure Needs Overhaul
    Paulick Report


    In his latest blog post at horseracingreform.com, Joe Gorajec takes on the penalty structure from the Association Racing Commissioners International (RCI). Gorajec, the former executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, points out that common medication overages are placed in the RCI penalty classification C. Those “points” accrued by trainer violations are erased every year, so technically a trainer could have eight or nine annual medication violations and not face any additional punishment.

    “Most often these class 4 drugs positives carry a half point on a trainer's record,” Gorajec writes. “Additional penalties begin when a trainer reaches five points. So, a trainer could have nine positive tests in a year for these common drugs (4.5 points) and serve no additional time…

    “A trainer accumulates eight or nine positive tests a year. The penalty points then expire. So, he or she can repeat the same behavior year after year.”

  • EQUINE ADVOCATES TO HONOR WHOA'S CO-FOUNDER & SUPPORTERS TO END DRUGS IN RACING AT ANNUAL SARATOGA GALA
    Equine Advocates Press Release


    Equine Advocates will throw its biggest party and fundraiser of the year on Thursday, August 1 at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, NY. Kentucky is this year’s theme as Staci Hancock and Carol & Tracy Farmer will be Equine Advocates 2019 award recipients. Terry Finley, CEO of West Point Thoroughbreds and a supporter of WHOA, was last year’s Safe Home Equine Protection Award honoree. He is chairing this year’s gala:

    Staci Hancock and the Farmers epitomize the best and most honorable aspects of our industry which include their immense compassion for horses,” said Finley. “It takes courage and tenacity to speak out and do the right thing, especially when some people consider ‘the right thing’ to be controversial. It’s not! Staci, Carol and Tracy have been steadfast in their views of what is needed to help improve the lives of Thoroughbreds. They are determined to do all they can to effect positive change for the horses and for those of us who work within the industry by elevating fairness and creating a level playing field. These aspects are essential for the survival of our sport and also includes public confidence that we are operating in an honest and ethical fashion.”

  • Dr. Ferraro New Member of California Horse Racing Board
    EquiManagement


    California Governor Gavin Newsom announced June 26 the appointment of WHOA Supporter Dr. Gregory Ferraro to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB). Ferraro was the director of the University of California, Davis, Center for Equine Health from 1997 to 2011 and associate director of the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital from 2011 to 2014. A well-known surgeon and Thoroughbred racehorse specialist who earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Ferraro was among the first to adapt human arthroscopic surgical techniques in horses.

  • Gorajec: RCI Kicked To The Curb By California Horse Racing Board; Who's Next?
    Paulick Report


    Now we are zeroing in on the crux of the matter.

    Then Rick Baedeker said this, “The ARCI board has been pretty vocal in its support of the current use of Lasix throughout the industry. That also is at odds with the direction this board has gone recently and has talked about going further.”

    Yep. Right there. That's it. Bull's-eye.

    I can take a very educated guess on what Mr. Baedeker was referring to when he used the phrase “pretty vocal.”

    I wrote about it last month in a column published by the Paulick ReportI called, “RCI's scare tactic press releases on Lasix ban: disingenuous, ill-informed and just plain shameful.”

  • Sen. Martha McSally bill aimed at race horse deaths prompts debate over race horse 'doping'
    Arizona Republic


    A bill co-sponsored by Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., to ban the "doping" of race horses nationwide is drawing support from animal welfare activists and industry groups, but faces criticism from veterinarians and a national association for horse trainers and owners.

    The Horse Racing Integrity Act would create a uniform national standard for drug restrictions, testing and enforcement at horse racing venues that now operate under varied and conflicting state regulations. A U.S. Anti-Doping Agency would be created to establish and enforce drug bans and rules.

    The bipartisan measure, co-sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, was introduced this week after a spike in race horse deaths at multiple tracks elicited outrage from animal rights groups.

  • New York's U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand moves to clamp down on horse race doping
    Rockland/Westchester Journal News


    U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing for a law that would set up an independent anti-doping agency to oversee drug use in the horseracing industry.

    New York’s junior senator and 2020 presidential candidate is the lead sponsor of the Horseracing Integrity Act, which was introduced in the Senate Wednesday.

    If made law, the act would set up national laws for drugs used on racehorses. Today, there are 38 different state racing jurisdictions in the country, each with its own policies.

  • Gillibrand, McSally Introduce Horseracing Integrity Act In U.S. Senate
    Paulick Report


    “We applaud Senators Gillibrand and McSally for their leadership. The introduction of a companion bill in the Senate shows tremendous momentum on this issue,” said Shawn Smeallie, executive director of CHRI. “A significant part of the racing industry, as well as all of the major animal welfare organizations, support the Horseracing Integrity Act. We call on the rest of the industry to come together and support this common sense legislation and be on the right side of history.”

    The Senate bill is nearly identical to the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019 (H.R. 1754), introduced by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY), but the Senate version includes the requirement that horse sellers notify buyers if a horse being sold has ever been treated with bisphosphonates, a medication that may be harmful to bone development in young horses.

  • Senate hearing looks at good, bad of horse racing
    TimesUnion


    WHOA Supporter Sheila Lyons, founder and director of The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation — and an expert on racehorse health and safety — testified that veterinarians in the sport are allowing trainers to dictate the drugs the animals are administered with little or no medical examinations, and that other states have criminally prosecuted veterinarians who do it.

    "There is no exception under the law for veterinarians who practice with racehorses allowing them to deliver drugs upon trainer request, and yet this practice is prevalent at New York racetracks today," Lyons testified. "The abuse of drugs has been directly linked to racehorses becoming permanently injured and dying on racetracks in New York."

    She suggested the Legislature consider enacting reforms that include having independent monitoring of veterinary practices to ensure that medications are being administered "solely to improve or protect the health of the horse."

    Lyons also called for a reporting system that would monitor the medication and veterinary treatment of racehorses "at all times."

  • Should Racehorses Be Medicated?
    NPR


    John Ed Anthony has owned racehorses for nearly 50 years. He's been one of the few to resist using Lasix with his younger horses.

    "That puts us at a distinct disadvantage, no doubt," says Anthony.

    It didn't used to. Anthony's Arkansas stables have produced some great horses. Including Triple Crown race winners. In 1980, his thoroughbred Temperence Hill won the Belmont Stakes; in 1992 and 1993, Anthony won back-to-back Preakness Stakes with Pine Bluff and Prairie Bayou. All three won without Lasix. Even though he says he's at a disadvantage now, competing against horses on Lasix, Anthony continues the policy of keeping his 2-year-old thoroughbreds and most of his 3-year-olds, off the race day medication.

    "For the long term benefit of the horse," he says, "we're better off with a healthy developed horse without having his fluids drained, consistently, than we are otherwise."

     

  • The Shelf Life of the National Uniform Medication Program has Expired
    Gorajec,Horse Racing Reform


    I always have been, and now remain, a strong advocate of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). For all the fine work that the organization has accomplished, there remains a chasm of needed reforms that the RMTC has not and never will be able to accomplish.

  • Racing's new normal - "just one damn thing after another"
    Gorajec, Horse Racing Reform


    Many in the racing industry thought the respite of fatalities at Santa Anita was a turning point on this issue. Only now do we realize that around every corner lurks another equine fatality and another media storm.

    Welcome to racing’s new normal.

    What should the racing industry do about it?

    Everything!

    What I mean by everything is to leave no stone unturned to place the horse racing industry in the best possible light. That means no more whack a mole. It means that we put ourselves in the shoes of the American public and conduct our business in a way that is consistent with THEIR sensibilities and expectations.

  • John Ed Anthony Joins WHOA
    Paulick Report


    John Ed Anthony:

    “It's clear to me that since the era of limited race day meds to today's overuse of the same, much has changed and none of it is good for owners, horses or racing,” Anthony concluded. “You'll have to show me how the abundant use of medication has improved either racing or its public image.”

     

  • Gorajec: RCI's Scare Tactics On Lasix Ban Disingenuous, Ill-Informed And Just Plain Shameful
    Paulick Report


    I was incredulous.

    I couldn't believe what I was reading.

    The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) had just issued a press release warning its member commissions that any attempt to ban the administration of race-day Lasix could lead to the inhumane practices of administering formaldehyde as a Lasix substitute and have horses denied feed and water for up to 24 to 36 hours prior to post time.

    The release, issued on May 6, 2019, is titled “Commissions Put on Alert for Animal Cruelty Resulting from Furosemide Ban.”

  • 'Finn' Green Joins Water Hay Oats Alliance
    Paulick Report


    Our critical difficulty is the result of having no clear plan on how to deal with unintended consequences of multiple short-sighted decisions made over the past half of a century. We must have a uniform plan on dealing with unintended consequences moving forward. We cannot realistically go back to where we failed and make different decisions; however, we must look back over several eras and epochs to understand where we have failed as stewards to better the Thoroughbred in the United States of America.

    The United States of America's Thoroughbred Industry has perpetrated our own paradox. On the one hand many organizations in our industry don't want anyone to tell them, or us collectively, what our industry should do or not do. While similar to HPBA's Eric Hamelback, in certain instances, 'I like to think that we're acting in the horses' best interest and acting alongside with the veterinarian leadership community on this issue.' I disagree with his proposed solution of remaining status quo. We must learn internally from our long-standing short sighted mistakes or continue our slow death. I'm from the school of those willing to learn from our mistakes. We are begging for a change of direction, uniformity within our industry, and yes even intervention if it is needed to save the very soul of our industry – the American Thoroughbred.

  • Barr: New bill focuses on horse racing
    Winchester Sun


    I am honored to represent the Horse Capital of the World, and throughout my time in Congress I have worked diligently to enact polices that will promote economic growth and investment in this key Kentucky industry. I continue to believe the future prosperity of the sport depends in part on implementation of national uniform medication standards and testing procedures.

    For these reasons, last month, I reintroduced the Horseracing Integrity Act with my colleague and co-chair of the Congressional Horse Caucus, Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY). This legislation would lay the foundation for the future growth and competitiveness of racing by enacting reforms to achieve uniformity, safety and integrity.

  • Barry Irwin: Letters to the Editor
    TDN


    As a keen observer as well as a participant, I feel confident in saying that the ongoing contraction of the game is a direct result of cheating by the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs that tilt the playing field in favor of crooked trainers and owners interested in dominating over their rivals by illegal methods.

    All of the enterprises in which folks are involved within the industry: breeding, pinhooking, sales companies, racetracks, training, writing, advertising, acting as agents–all of it–is dependent on one simple thing: the integrity of the race. Horseplayers have to feel good about the honesty of a contest to want to bet on the outcome.

  • Letters to the Editor: Barry Irwin
    TDN


    The owners have been held ransom long enough by the HBPA, NYTHA and the TOC. Please–for the sake of the game–back the hell off and give the game a chance to right itself. Unless, of course, you would rather have animal rights organizations put measures on the ballot of every state where racing exists to end the whole shebang-a-bang once and for all.

  • Following South America's Lead On Lasix
    TDN


    There are fears from some camps that the removal of Lasix from American horses would result in higher incidences of serious bleeding attacks, and thus depleted fields, plummeting handle and the demise of the sport. It is worth looking as a point of reference, however, at South America which, within the last six years, has phased out Lasix in black-type races-and in some cases even beyond–in its Part I countries.

    And the general consensus? It’s been business as usual.....

    ....John Fulton, an American-born horseman and former trainer who has conducted international business from his base in Argentina for 35 years, said that South America’s medication-free races actually tend to draw larger fields than those where medication is still permitted.

    “What I’ve seen down here is that the field sizes haven’t decreased. Here in Argentina, 2- and 3-year-olds can’t run on medication and in no black-type races can you run on medication, yet we have full fields.

     

  • How to Save the American Racehorse
    The New York Times


    By WHOA member, Gina Rarick

    If racing in America can’t take these steps and end strings of fatalities like the one at Santa Anita, the animal-rights activists will shut the sport down, ultimately condemning the horses they want to protect to, at best, a forced retirement. What they don’t realize is that without a job to do, the racehorse will become nothing more than a fantasy character in children’s books.

  • Congressman Andy Barr: Horseracing Integrity Act Needed
    Bloodhorse


    The Horseracing Integrity Act is backed by the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, a diverse group of 18 members that includes racing organizations, racetracks, owner and breeder associations, and animal welfare groups that support adoption of a national uniform standard for drug and medication rules in horse racing. CHRI counts among its members BloodHorse owners The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. 

    Five days after the bill was introduced, Barr expressed optimism because he said there is more understanding that horse racing has become an industry that is national in scope. He said the current state-by-state regulatory framework has fallen short on uniformity and noted that the current legislation would be funded within the industry—not by horseplayers through added takeout.              interview follows

     

  • Barr reintroduces bipartisan bill to drug test racehorses
    Ripon Advance


    If enacted, H.R. 1754 also would require full and fair information disclosure to breeding stock purchasers and the wagering public; would ban the use of all medications within 24 hours of a race; and would increase the safety and welfare of horses, jockeys and drivers, according to the lawmaker’s statement.....H.R. 1754 is supported by The Jockey Club, the Water Hay Oats Alliance, the Keeneland Association Inc., and Breeders’ Cup Ltd.

     

     

     

  • THOROUGHBRED INDUSTRY OPINIONS ON PHASING OUT LASIX
    Horse Canada


     

    ......A similar proposal was launched by a group of prominent trainers back in 2014. The group included D. Wayne Lukas, Bill Mott, Todd Pletcher, Roger Attfield and 22 others who released a statement in support of a similar phase out of Lasix, but the initiative was ultimately not supported by the industry.

    In a letter to the Thoroughbred Daily News on Saturday, Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield, one of Canada’s all-time leading conditioners of racehorses, applauded the coming rules on eventual ban of Lasix by The Stronach Group:

    It’s about time!!!

    Congratulations to The Stronach Group for doing something about a subject that many of us have been talking about for a very long time. Hopefully all other jurisdictions will come on board to enable our industry to gain the respect that it deserves. I believe that the horse and the sport much loved by all connected will again be embraced and loved by many. We must have uniformity and integrity.

    This is why l joined WHOA (Water Hay Oats Alliance) many years ago..........

    Another successful US trainer, Graham Motion, also a member of WHOA wrote a letter calling for uniform rules across North America.

    This has been a strange week..........

     

  • Letter to the Editor: Roger Attfield
    TDN


    It’s about time!!!

    Congratulations to The Stronach Group for doing something about a subject that many of us have been talking about for a very long time. Hopefully all other jurisdictions will come on board to enable our industry to gain the respect that it deserves. I believe that the horse and the sport much loved by all connected will again be embraced and loved by many. We must have uniformity and integrity.

    This is why l joined WHOA (Water Hay Oats Alliance) many years ago.

     

  • Letter to the Editor from Graham Motion
    TDN


    This has been a strange week.

    What started as enthusiasm when I heard that California was considering taking a more aggressive approach against medication ended with a chaotic situation where nobody really knew what was going on. While I admire the efforts to limit medicating race horses in California, the way it is being handled is quite disturbing, including investigations by the state attorney’s office into the trainers who had horses fatally injured on the track. The affiliation with PETA, an organization who have clearly stated that their ultimate goal is to eliminate horse racing, is equally as troubling. California’s problems are our problems and we all should be extremely concerned.

  • Tonko, Barr Off to the Races with Horseracing Integrity Bill
    Tonko Press Release


    WASHINGTON—Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Horse Caucus, reintroduced H.R. 1754: the Horseracing Integrity Act today to establish a uniform national medication program, bringing the United States in line with international standards. 

    “Horseracing thrives when we put the majestic equine athlete front and center” Tonko said. “Our legislation creates a set of nationwide rules that are clear, consistent, and conflict-free. This will make horseracing safer for our equine athletes and jockeys while increasing confidence in the sport among the trainers, owners, horseplayers, and horseracing fans alike. This sport of kings has long supported good jobs and delivers billions of dollars in economic impact every year in my home state of New York and throughout the country. I am grateful to Congressman Barr for partnering with me on this common-sense legislation and look forward to advancing our measure through the House.”

  • CHRI Applauds Introduction of Bipartisan "Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019"
    CHRI Press Release


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI) today announced its strong support for the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019, introduced by U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) earlier today.

    The bill, designated as H.R. 1754, would create a private, independent horse racing anti-doping authority, the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority, responsible for developing and administering a nationwide anti-doping and medication control program for horse racing. HADA would be governed by a board composed of six individuals who have demonstrated expertise in a variety of horse-racing areas, six individuals from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, and its chief executive officer. USADA is recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping agency for the U.S. Olympic, Pan American, and Paralympic sports.
     

  • Barr, Tonko Reintroduce Horseracing Integrity Act
    Barr Press Release


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) today reintroduced the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754), which establishes an authority to create and implement a national uniform medication program with input from the horse industry.

    “As the Representative for the Horse Capital of the World, I have the distinct honor of fighting for the future of this great American sport,” said Congressman Barr.  “I continue to believe the prosperity of Kentucky’s signature horseracing industry depends on national uniform medication standards and testing procedures. I am proud to reintroduce this legislation with my friend and colleague, Congressman Tonko, and I look forward to building upon the great bipartisan work we secured last Congress, including more than 100 cosponsors, to ensure the safety and integrity of this sport is preserved for years to come.”

  • Whicker: Santa Anita desperately hopes Lasix ban can stop its own bleeding
    The Orange County Register


    In Houston, Jim McIngvale is known, very well known, as Mattress Mack.....

    ......Make no mistake. This is a metastasizing crisis that endangers every track where horses run. McIngvale points you toward track and field, a sport severely disabled by drugs.

    Banning Lasix might be like throwing a water bucket at Mt. St. Helens. It also might be a start.

    “If your horses keep bleeding, maybe you turn them out,” Jim McIngvale said. “Not everyone can play in the NBA. Maybe some horses shouldn’t race.”

  • Hancock: Put Hubris Aside, Rethink Position On Medication In Horse Racing
    Paulick Report


    I wonder just how long our wonderful sport can survive with our racehorses continuing to break down, causing them to be euthanized?

    The debate about the connection of these breakdowns on the tracks and the use of powerful drugs such as Bute and Lasix is irrelevant. Perception is reality, and it is quite clear what the perception of our sport will be if we don't clean up our act immediately.

    If you don't believe me, just ask the once-beloved and iconic Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the popular SeaWorld or, better yet, Greyhound racing. The perception was that animals were being mistreated … and the rest is history.

  • Letter to the Editor: David Powell
    TDN


    I can understand that the incessant rains may have loosened the track surface and increased the resonance from the hard base, and therefore contribute to the number and gravity of injuries. 

    However, there is a factor which everybody in the U.S. seems to ignore: that these injuries become fatalities could possibly be due to the fact that horses are training on bute. Pain is nature’s warning signal, and if you blunt or mute that voice, you are looking for trouble.

  • 'We Need To Be A Leader In Clean Sport And Uniformity': McPeek Joins Water Hay Oats Alliance
    Paulick Report


    “As a horseman who has been fortunate to participate in racing in many countries, I firmly believe we need to bring uniformity to American racing which will meet international standards. The world is getting smaller and we need to be a leader in clean sport and uniformity, not a follower........

  • Former NYRA Chairman Barry Schwartz, Wife Sheryl, Join Water Hay Oats Alliance
    Paulick Report


    “Sheryl and I would like very much to join WHOA. We have been in racing for more than 40 years now and never in that time has the need been greater for a regulatory bill to be put into effect. The general public is as skeptical as ever about drugs being used in racing and in many cases they are correct.

    “When I was Chairman of New York Racing Association (NYRA), I tried very hard to take back the penalty phase of dealing with violators. I was continually rebuffed by the state legislators. I believe if violations and penalties come under federal jurisdiction, we will take a major step in driving that element out of our industry. This is too great a game to be tarnished by a few bad apples.”

  • First in a Series: Spotlight on Pennsylvania's Drug testing Program - Playing Favorites?
    InsideRacing Regs


    It’s late 2016 and the track is the Meadows, a harness track outside Pittsburg.

    The Pennsylvania Equine Research Laboratory (PETRL) returns drug findings for a pair of trainers running horses at that track. Both of those reports are forwarded to the track from the commission’s headquarters in Harrisburg as violations of its equine drug testing program. Both findings are for betamethasone and the concentration for each is between 10 picrograms and 100 picograms. According to the commission, both individuals are penalized.

    Shortly thereafter, a drug finding for the same drug with a similar concentration is reported to the commission. This time things are handled differently. No violation. No ruling. No penalty. The trainer with this finding is Ron Burke, the all-time leading trainer in the U.S. in harness racing history.

    .......

  • Gorajec Unearths Six More Corticosteroid Tests In Pennsylvania; No Fines Or Suspensions Issued
    Paulick Report


    In his second installment in a blog series for Horse Racing Reform, longtime horse racing regulator Joe Gorajec writes his records search in Pennsylvania has revealed six more cases of positive corticosteroid tests which never resulted in sanctions.

    Earlier this year, Gorajec highlighted an incident from 2017 in which a harness horse tested for a 95.4 pg/ml concentration of flumethasone, which was inexplicably rescinded by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission because it was below 100 pg/ml.

    Flumethasone is not recognized as a therapeutic substance by the Association of Racing Commissioners International's National Uniform Medication Program, or indeed, by most other racing jurisdictions (including Pennsylvania), according to Gorajec. Typically, any concentration of a substance not specifically permitted by therapeutic drug guidelines in a state is considered a positive.

  • Gorajec: Rules Enforcement, Public Disclosure Lacking In Pennsylvania Betamethasone Cases
    Paulick Report


    A series of betamethasone tests from 2016 raise questions about drug rules enforcement in Pennsylvania — that's one of the takeaways from the latest commentary by former Indiana Horse Racing Commission executive director Joe Gorajec.

    Gorajec outlined three positives for the corticosteroid which resulted from races in 2016; the first two were between 10 and 100 picograms. A third test in the same range, from the top Standardbred trainer in the country, resulted in no violations or suspensions and soon after, the positives from the first two tests were rescinded.

  • Australian Racing Executive Amanda Elliott: 'What Is The U.S. Missing?' On Medication Policy
    Paulick Report


    Upon the eve of the internationally acclaimed Melbourne Cup Carnival, Mrs Elliott shared the following statement with the Water Hay Oats Alliance:

    “When I visited Kentucky for the first time in May this year, I was absolutely amazed at the fact that there was debate and resistance to supporting the Horseracing Integrity Act to ban race day medications.

    “There is no world-class sport anywhere that allows doping or performance enhancing drugs – it is absolutely fundamental.

    “What is the U.S. missing, that the rest of the world has fully understood for quite some time?

    “This world stage of racing with uniform international standards should have America at the forefront, not isolated at a time when global relevance is so important....."

  • Global Racing Leaders Weigh In On Drug Rules, Integrity Of Competition
    Paulick Report


    Delegates who attended the 52nd International Conference of Horseracing Authorities in Paris, France, Oct. 8 heard presentations relating to the health, welfare, and safety of jockeys, the harmonization of rules, and the stimulation of betting handle.

    In the days leading up to the conference, several of them took the opportunity to share their respective thoughts on Article 6 of the IFHA International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering.

  • The Horseracing Integrity Act Would Provide Racing with a More Independent and Experienced Governing Body
    Horseracing Reform


    Those who back the status quo are critical of the legislation on the grounds that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) lacks the necessary experience to participate in the regulation of medication in horse racing. Maybe they haven’t read the legislation, because under the HIA, all levels of regulating anti-doping would be filled from among the most qualified individuals in the racing industry.

    Simply stated, the HIA will have greater experience than any individual state racing commission, and without the baggage of conflicts of interest that now permeate the regulation of the sport in several jurisdictions.

  • Bringing True Independence to Racing's Anti-Doping Program
    Horseracing Reform


    Those of you who watched or read press accounts of the hearing on the Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA) on June 22, 2018, in Washington, D.C., know that the top three topics discussed were Lasix, Lasix, and Lasix. Lost in the fog of Lasix was a promise of the legislation to bring true independence to the regulation of all aspects of an anti-doping program.

    An argument was made in prefiled testimony by Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) President Ed Martin. This testimony is worth reviewing because it articulates a position that has been embraced by many of those who are championing the status quo.

  • Uniformity In Penalties And Drug Thresholds? RCI And Pennsylvania Regulators Have Some Explaining To Do
    by Joe Gorajec, Paulick Report


    To: Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI):

    I read with great interest your testimony before Congress last month in the hearing regarding the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017. In your remarks, you defended our current system of medication regulation in the United States and stated there is “total uniformity in the use of progressive penalties and substantial uniformity in adoption of testing thresholds for 30 appropriate medications deemed normal and appropriate for equine care.”

    You also stated, “horseracing does as good a job or as bad a job as the Olympics or any other sport.”

    Given your faith in the effectiveness of our model and your standing as the president of RCI, I would like you to review the following series of cases in Pennsylvania. Please let me know if the actions taken (or not taken) in these cases constitute the high praise that you believe our regulatory system deserves.

  • American Thoroughbred Racing, A Lone Wolf
    by Arthur Hancock, Paulick Report


    The pillars of commerce have always of necessity rested on integrity coupled with government oversight. Without honesty in dealing, commerce will begin to falter. Horseracing is not exempt from this principle. Today America stands alone at a crossroads in Thoroughbred racing and it must decide if it will choose to restore its image and integrity by legislatively banning the indiscriminate use of performance-enhancing drugs, including Lasix.

    Any such effort will require federal assistance. There is now a bill before Congress that will give the racing industry the respect it deserves by enabling racing to achieve national uniformity for drug and medication rules. This bill is called the Horseracing Integrity Act.

     

  • Class 1 Drug Found In Pennsylvania Stakes Race - No Action Taken
    by Joe Gorajec, Paulick Report


    This is a story of a positive test for a Class 1 drug that was lost for eight months, then ignored for a year, only to resurface now.

    Here's the short version.

    On September 11, 2016, a field of eight Standardbreds competed in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship at Harrah's Philadelphia in Chester, Pa.

    Ten days later, the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory (PETRL), the official racing laboratory, issued a report to Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission (PHRC) headquarters in Harrisburg with a finding of oxycodone in the blood and urine of a horse that won part of the purse money.

    What happens next is – nothing......

  • Hall of Fame Trainer Nick Zito Joins WHOA
    Bloodhorse


    On April 25, Travis Tygart, the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, was invited by the Coalition of Horse Racing Integrity to Keeneland in Lexington, to speak to a group of trainers interested in learning about USADA and its prospective involvement with anti-doping efforts in Thoroughbred racing.

    During the meeting, there was an open exchange of questions and answers centered around the Horseracing Integrity Act. Some of the trainers in attendance were members of the Water Hay Oats Alliance, some were not.  All of them were there to gain a better understanding of the proposed legislation and learn more about the ways it would affect their respective stables and their sport.

    Among those in attendance was Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito.....

  • Horsewoman, Broadcast Pioneer Charlsie Cantey Joins Water Hay Oats Alliance
    Paulick Report


    Charlsie Cantey has been actively involved in several aspects of Thoroughbred racing for more than 35 years and is best known as a racing personality for her on-air television commentary, including the Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup.

    She has a valuable perspective on the sport by virtue of that wide-ranging experience, having seen our sport over the years from a variety of perspectives.

    In a statement to WHOA, she said:

    “My career in Thoroughbred racing began in 1968, the year Dancer's Image was disqualified in the Kentucky Derby for Butazolidin. After four decades of breaking yearlings, galloping horses, training a small string and covering national racing broadcasts from coast-to-coast, I retired in 2005 from active involvement in an industry, by then governed by a patchwork of permissive medication rules I no longer recognized.

    “Today, I feel that it is imperative that the U.S. cease race-day medication and that we do so now; hence I fully support WHOA's efforts. Our decades of dangerously loose regulations are inexplicable to the rest of the world, and totally unforgivable for the safety of our horses.”

  • Tracy and Carol Farmer Join WHOA
    Bloodhorse


    Thoroughbred industry leader Tracy W. Farmer and his wife Carol have joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance.

    A member of the Jockey Club and former member and trustee of the Breeders' Cup Board of Directors, Tracy Farmer has long been active in the reform movement as a regulator serving as Vice Chairman of the Kentucky Racing Commission and head of its special committee on drug regulation and enforcement.

    "After many years as breeders and owners and now after my service on the commission, Carol and I are convinced that nothing short of strong, centralized and diversified leadership, made possible by federal law, will enable racing to survive and prosper as a sport and a business," Farmer said in announcing his support of the grassroots reform movement.

    "Our lack of consistent rules, and erratic enforcement of existing ones, has soiled our public image with fans and bettors and turned a beautiful and exciting endeavor into an endangered species.  The leaders of WHOA have done a marvelous job over the last 10 years uniting the industry to focus on our greatest weaknesses.  Now that we are out of regulating and back into racing, we are pleased to add our support to this cause.  WHOA is horseracing's most powerful supporter of uniform regulations and drug free racing."

     

  • Bid to ban race-day doping divides horse-rich Kentucky
    McCatchy


    The three races showcasing the nation's best 3-year-old thoroughbreds are the crown jewels of the racing industry. A push to bar race-day doping has the backing of the owners of Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, which hosts the Preakness May 19, and New York's Belmont Park, where the Belmont Stakes will be run June 9.

    But Kentucky's Churchill Downs, which holds the first leg of the race, the Run for the Roses, on May 5, is withholding support. So is most of the state's congressional delegation, though one of the state’s own, Rep. Andy Barr, has twice introduced the legislation.

    Barr, a Kentucky Republican, and his Democratic co-sponsor, Rep. Paul Tonko of New York, who together co-chair the Congressional Horse Caucus, have more than 100 co-sponsors for the legislation.


    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article208060164.html#storylink=cpy

     

  • WHOA's Gorajec: Why every day is Groundhog Day in U.S. racing's rulemaking process
    TRC


    You remember the movie ‘Groundhog Day’? Of course, you do! The one where Bill Murray is stuck in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He is living the same day over and over and over again. Every morning he wakes up, desperate to leave Punxsutawney.

    For every newly proposed model rule, U.S. racing experiences its own Groundhog Day. We wake up each morning only to confront the same ineffective rulemaking process over and over again, in 30+ different states........

  • WHOA's Irwin Op/Ed: What's It Gonna Be: Big Tent or Elite Circuit?
    TDN


    Legislation to install USADA to oversee drug policy and enforcement in American racing very well may come to a head by year’s end.

    If a bill can be enacted into law, the entire sport has a wonderful opportunity to succeed. If not, the game as we have come to know it will likely split into two distinct factions.

    Consequently, all of us involved in every aspect of our mini-world of racing and breeding must answer the key question: Do we want a big tent or an elite circuit going forward?

  • Dr. Gary Lavin Joins Water Hay Oats Alliance
    BloodHorse


    "After years of indecision, I have joined WHOA. The recent affairs of Rusty Arnold, Graham Motion, and earlier, Bill Mott, are the straws that have broken this camel's back.

    "All major league sports have a governing body responsible for oversight, administration, and enforcement. Not horse racing...we have 38 separate bodies (states) that have the same responsibilities, creating nothing short of chaos. When was common sense abandoned? Would anyone think that those three trainers would purposefully violate the rules? Something is needed to unite this industry or we will surely see it go the way of boxing, bull fighting, and dog racing."

  • Standardbred Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter Joins WHOA
    TDN


    "In order for horse racing to thrive, we need uniform rules/laws and uniform enforcement of these rules/laws in The United States. The Horseracing Integrity Act can give us that.

    I am very proud to be joining the efforts of WHOA.”

  • "WHOA," WHOA
    Horse Racing Business


    ....Whatever the reasons, the important point is that there is a glaring division within the North American racing enterprise pertaining to medication policy and regulation.  One or more provisions of the Horseracing Integrity Act is deeply troubling to virtually every leading trainer.

    It is unlikely that the U. S. Congress can be persuaded to enact a bill into law when the industry sponsoring the legislation does not present a united front.  The absence of the names of 98% of North America’s foremost trainers on a document supporting the bill is an overwhelming negative.....

  • Hovdey: Lasix issue keeps WHOA from moving ahead
    DRF


    The opening salvo of the recent letter crafted by the Water Hay Oats Alliance and signed by 64 trainers read like this:

    “As trainers of horses we love, in a sport to which we have devoted our lives, we have taken a stand for clean racing by joining the Water Hay Oats Alliance.”

    Hard to quibble with the sentiment. The alliance, better known as WHOA, has been working toward passage of federal legislation called the Horse Racing Integrity Act which would, among other things, ban all race-day medications and place racehorse drug testing under the jurisdiction of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

    The letter, released last week, was intended as a show of growing commitment to the WHOA movement, as well as an attempt to prime the pump for more trainers to join the alliance. Owner and breeder Staci Hancock, speaking for WHOA, said that in the wake of the letter at least a half-dozen trainers have been added to the voices advocating for the legislation.

    “The membership of WHOA is across the board, for anyone who has a stake in the game,” Hancock said. “But with some 75 trainers in the membership, we thought there was a critical mass to give them a chance to make a statement of support.”

  • Letter to the Editor: Arthur Hancock
    TDN


    CLEAN SPORT

    It is quite a wonderful feeling to watch the Winter Olympics, confident that every athlete in every event is competing without cheating. It is indeed moving and inspirational watching the win, place, and show recipients proudly and happily receive their medals, knowing that each Olympian competed without the use of performance-enhancing drugs. 

    We all owe a debt of gratitude to the governing body of the United States Olympic Committee for placing the rules, testing standards, and oversight in the capable hands of Travis Tygart and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to guarantee compliance. Would that the horse racing industry possessed such vision, integrity, and courage.

  • Craig Bandoroff Op/Ed: The Tipping Point?
    TDN


    Perhaps you are familiar with Malcolm Gladwell and his writings. They are pretty complicated and certainly not light reading. One of his most interesting books is The Tipping Point. Gladwell contends that there can be an event that results in action taken or behavior changed that is extraordinary and unexpected. To describe it in his words:

    “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

    “If you want to bring a fundamental change in people’s belief and behavior…you need to create a community around them, where those new beliefs can be practiced and expressed and nurtured.”

    “There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them.”

    I’d love to think Rusty’s situation could be our Tipping Point.

  • Hovdey: Motion gets in rhythm with WHOA movement
    DRF


    The movement toward passage of the ambitiously named Horse Racing Integrity Act picked up a gust of steam this week with the announcement by trainer Graham Motion, trainer of Derby winner Animal Kingdom and champion Main Sequence, that he was signing on as a supporter of the Water Hay Oats Alliance.

    Better known as WHOA, the organization has been working hand in glove with the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity in its two-pronged effort to gain support for the legislation in both the U.S. Congress and the Thoroughbred racing industry at large.

    The federal act would enable the industry to bring all racing jurisdictions under a uniform set of rules, testing, and penalties for the use of illegal substances in racehorses as well as standards for the administration of allowed medications, with procedures established by a Horse Racing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority. The authority, designed as a non-profit corporation, would be made up of board members of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a private entity, and racing industry representatives selected by the USADA board.

  • Trainer Graham Motion Joins WHOA for a Cause
    BloodHorse


    There were numerous times over the last few years when trainer Graham Motion considered joining the Water Hay Oats Alliance.

    Motion, who saddled Animal Kingdom to victory in the 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), found much to like in the grassroots organization's mission, which advocates on behalf of the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 and backs the federal law that would create national standards for medications through the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

    Yet he remained on the sidelines, even after his own legal battle over a finding of Methocarbamol in one of his horses that was ultimately overturned last August by a Kentucky court.

     

     

  • Graham Motion Joins Water Hay Oats Alliance
    The Horse


    Kentucky Derby winning Thoroughbred trainer H. Graham Motion has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA), the latest member in a growing list of trainers who support efforts for passage of The Horseracing Integrity Act.

    To date, WHOA's roster includes 65 trainers, including Hall of Famers Roger Attfield, Janet Elliot, Michael Dickinson, Neil Drysdale, and Jonathan Sheppard, as well as leading international trainers Ian Balding, John Gosden, Alec Head, Criquette Head-Maarek, and Gai Waterhouse.

  • Hovdey: Motion gets in rhythm with WHOA movement
    DRF


    The movement toward passage of the ambitiously named Horse Racing Integrity Act picked up a gust of steam this week with the announcement by trainer Graham Motion, trainer of Derby winner Animal Kingdom and champion Main Sequence, that he was signing on as a supporter of the Water Hay Oats Alliance.

    Better known as WHOA, the organization has been working hand in glove with the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity in its two-pronged effort to gain support for the legislation in both the U.S. Congress and the Thoroughbred racing industry at large.

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of U.S. regulation in 2017 by Joe Gorajec
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    It’s that time of year - to look back on the last 12 months, on the substantial progress and the serious missteps - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly - of the U.S. regulatory world. 

  • Farishes Join Water Hay Oats Alliance, Support Horseracing Integrity Act Of 2017
    Paulick Report


    Will and Bill Farish of the famed Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky., have joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) as supporting members.  The father and son shared their perspective in the following statement:

    “We are joining WHOA to hopefully add some momentum to the effort in Washington to pass legislation that would mandate uniform testing for all racing jurisdictions in the United States.

    “It should be obvious to all that true uniform testing and doping control will never come about in our country unless it is federally mandated.  Those who stand in the way of the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 are becoming increasingly isolated and their opposition to the bill harder to justify.

    “We would like to ask all owners and breeders to encourage your representatives in Washington to support this important effort and  once and for all, to achieve true uniform testing standards for our sport.” – Will and Bill Farish, Lane's End Farm.

  • The Horseracing Integrity Act has the Support of 100 Members of Congress and Growing
    Press Release


    Washington, D.C. – H.R. 2651, the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017, introduced by Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) now has the support of 100 members of the House of Representatives. In addition to Congressmen Barr and Tonko who co-chair the Congressional Horse Caucus, the bill has been co-sponsored by 98 other members representing both political parties and districts across the country. 

  • Why Horse Racing Wins With a Gold-Standard Anti-Doping Program: Travis Tygart
    TDN


    As the organization charged with administering testing, results management and education for U.S. Olympic sports, USADA was formed as a non-profit, non-governmental body in 2000 to stand for the rights of clean athletes. Over a 17-year history since our founding, our programs have brought uniformity and independence to a sporting landscape that previously fostered distrust among athletes, lacking both structure and integrity.

    Today, our programs, which now include developing and administering the Anti-Doping Policy for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the leading professional mixed martial arts sport around the globe, have revolutionized the reputation of anti-doping efforts worldwide.

    We work tirelessly to push for justice and reform wherever, and whenever, we are called, in order to preserve the integrity of sport. Policing and promoting sport are two functions that must have clear lines of independence.

  • Q & A on Horse Racing Integrity Act 2017
    Horseracing Insider


    WITHOUT WHOA, OR ORGANIZATIONS LIKE IT, SHOWING THAT THE INDUSTRY IS SERIOUS ABOUT LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD FOR ALL IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE HORSES AND RIDERS, WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF RACING SURVIVING IN THE LONG TERM?
    WHOA has raised the bar and encouraged industry groups to take a stand against the status quo. WHOA has given members a platform to share their common belief in clean sport and drug-free racing. WHOA has given members a voice by standing together for the common good.
    If WHOA can continue to push the boundaries, raise awareness and demand that U.S. racing eventually joins other international horseracing jurisdictions and IFHA rules of racing, our grassroots efforts will have paid off. 
    Horse racing will always be with us. But it will never be as popular or widespread as in the past, like many other forms of entertainment and gambling. Racing has encountered a number of things that have diminished its footprint.

  • Letters to the Editor: James Delahooke
    TDN


    WHOA.

    I have resisted previous temptations to ally myself with WHOA (the Water, Hay, Oats Alliance) on the basis that, as a Brit, I have no business pontificating about U.S. drug policies.

    Two recent events have decided me to strap on my guns and head into town to join the battle.

  • Letters to the Editor: Barry Irwin
    TDN


    Regarding T. D. Thornton’s Op-Ed Sept. 19: in a sport that sees weekly (if not daily) flaunting of current rules in which arrogant trainers appear to be using the known illegal drug EPO to gain an edge, I for one find it nothing short of comical that we are all up in arms over this silly video that served only to highlight the type of arrogance on display at America’s major racing venues.

    If those who play our game really gave a hoot, they would get deadly serious about cleaning it up, instead of paying lip service to the notion of clean sport and getting their knickers in a wad over this little sideshow. If cheaters are using EPO as many suspect, the best and perhaps only way to catch them is to have cops or surveillance. Hong Kong is able to thwart cheaters because they are on lockdown. Lockdown upset too many horsemen so it was abandoned in New York.

  • Commentary: In Wake Of Rojas Case, Racing Should Follow Lead Of USOC
    Paulick Report


    For anyone who might have missed it, Rojas, 51, of Grantville, Pennsylvania, was convicted last week by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania of 14 felony counts of misbranding prescription drugs on race day and conspiracy......For supporters of uniform and independent anti-doping testing, this is yet another sad confirmation of all that we have been contending for several years. Lax control at the state racing commission level, the ability for trainers and equine practitioners to flaunt and game the system for years on end without penalty or at least meaningful punishment, and the blind eye turned by regulatory officials, veterinarians, track owners and horsemen's associations all made this episode inevitable.

  • Beck: Is AAEP Protecting Horses ... Or Its Own Interests?
    Paulick Report


    Various members of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, the group of industry organizations promoting passage of federal legislation that would bring uniform standards to our sport under the direction of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, have spent a good deal of time with representatives of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) over the course of the past year, listening to their concerns and sharing insights about the revised legislation.

    So it was disappointing to see, on June 6, the AAEP Racing Committee stating its opposition to the legislation.

    The new bill includes a ban on the race-day medication furosemide (Lasix), and the AAEP's current policy on race-day medication administration endorses the use of furosemide to help mitigate the occurrence of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage in the racehorse.

  • Gorajec: What you need to know about the landmark Horse Racing Integrity Act
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    Ask a horse owner or trainer in the United States about racing’s anti-doping program and you’re likely to receive a quizzical look or a blank stare. That’s because ‘anti-doping’ is not a term most of us associate with horse racing.

    If you get any response at all, it’s likely to be, “We have a drug-testing program.” And indeed, racing does have such a program.

    Protecting the integrity of the sport, however, involves much more than just drug testing.

  • Longtime Owner-Breeder Brady Joins WHOA
    The BloodHorse


    In joining the Water Hay Oats Alliance, former U.S. Senator and active Thoroughbred owner and breeder Nicholas F. Brady called on the industry to come together.

    For Brady, the message was a familiar one.

    "It is becoming increasingly obvious that we are at war on the issue of medication, ... at war among ourselves. We will lose that war by default if every organization in racing continues to forge its own consensus on medication. The time has come for us to end our internal disputes and come together to find an equitable solution to this program. I recognize that it is a complicated program and that feelings are strong and polarized. But if our industry wants to control its own destiny, ... we must develop support for an industry-wide medication policy and then take effective actions to restore public confidence in racing."
     
    "I said this 37 years ago and it is even more important today," Brady noted.

  • Former U.S. Senator, Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady Joins WHOA
    Paulick Report


    Nicholas F. Brady, who served as a United States Senator from New Jersey and later as the Secretary of Treasury (1988-1993), has also been a prominent and active Thoroughbred owner and breeder for more than five decades.

    Mr. Brady became a member of The Jockey Club in 1966 and has been one ever since, with the exception of the time he was serving as Secretary of Treasury. He has also served as a steward of the breed registry (1972-1982), as vice chairman (1972-1974) and as chairman (1974-1982).

    Mr. Brady has bred and raced horses with his brother, James Cox Brady, Jr. and his two sisters, Mrs. Reuben Richards and Mrs. Eliot Stewart, in the name of Mill House. Among their graded stakes winners have been America Alive, Brilliant, Hour Glass and, most recently, Trappe Shot. He continues to race today in the U.S. and Ireland in partnership with his daughter, Kim Brady Cutler.

  • Stronach Group Supports Bill to Bring in USADA
    The BloodHorse


    With a pair of United States Congressmen planning to formally reintroduce legislation that would aim for uniform medication standards in horse racing by giving the United States Anti-Doping Agency oversight of equine drug polices in the sport, powerful racetrack owners The Stronach Group has announced it will support the legislation.

  • Frank Stronach Endorses Horse Racing Integrity Act
    The Stronach Group Press Release


    I, Frank Stronach, Founder and Honorary Chairman of The Stronach Group, am pleased to support the Horse Racing Integrity Act, sponsored by Congressman Andy Barr and Congressman Paul Tonko.

    Under the legislation, USADA should work together with state regulators and members of the horse racing industry to achieve the highest integrity at a reasonable cost.

    No race day medication is a giant step forward. I believe, in the long run, no race day medication is better for the horses and for the industry. I feel the horse racing industry has an obligation to the horses and to the public to see horses run without medication to ensure the health and safety of both the horses and the jockeys......... 

  • 'A Great Step Forward': Stronach Throws His Support Behind Horseracing Integrity Act
    Paulick Report


    On Tuesday, Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) announced the support of Frank Stronach for the Horseracing Integrity Act. Congressman Barr plans to reintroduce the legislation, to create uniform medication standards across the 38 different racing jurisdictions in the United States.

  • Stronach Supports Horseracing Integrity Act
    TDN


    Frank Stronach, the founder and honorary chairman of The Stronach Group, announced his support for the Horseracing Integrity Act, legislation that will create a uniform, nationwide, conflict-free drug testing enforcement program for horse racing, late Tuesday evening.

  • A Great Day for Racing
    WHOA Press Release


    Frank Stronach has been a staunch supporter of WHOA since 2013. His position against race day medication is legendary.

    Yesterday in a meeting held in Lexington, Kentucky with Congressman Andy Barr, Travis Tygart of USADA, and members of WHOA and the Coalition for Horseracing Integrity (CHRI), he added the formidable weight of the Stronach Group to our efforts in support of the Horseracing Integrity Act, which will be reintroduced in the coming days.

     

  • Op/Ed Feedback: Gary Biszantz
    TDN


    I don’t blame medication as the only cause, but the results are unacceptable for the average owner. Old timers like Cot Campbell and I saw the years when horses ran, trained, and gave the owner a chance.

    Hopefully, the new medication standards suggested by the majority of industry stock holders will help change the presumption that horses need five or six weeks between races!

  • Op/Ed: Runners Rarely Run by Cot Campbell
    TDN


    Our sport and industry has its bright spots. And certainly there are areas of great concern, and there will continue to be, as long as there is no central point of governance. The public perception regarding the use of drugs is one gigantic concern, of course. 

  • Gorajec Commentary - Out-of-competition testing: after a decade of neglect, what's next?
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    Excuse me for being skeptical. I assume you are, too. I am referring to the new model rule on out-of-competition testing. It was adopted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) at its December 2016 Board of Directors meeting in Tucson. This has been tried once before, and it did not go very well.

  • Racing's integrity? Some officials just don't give a damn
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    Although fans and horsemen can take issue with the length of the suspension, the true mockery of the sport is that Mr. Ness’s wife, Mandy, has been allowed to serve as trainer for her husband at Tampa Bay Downs while he is under suspension. To add insult to this mockery, the horses that Mr. Ness had been racing at Laurel Race Course in Maryland have been transferred to his assistant, Cory Jensen, for the period of his 100-day suspension.

  • Is the RCI's new integrity compliance panel just another gimmick?
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    Last month the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI), the trade association for racing regulators in North America and the Caribbean, announced the formation of an Integrity Compliance Committee.

    The announcement came amid survey results of patrons and industry participants that indicate an extremely negative perception of the integrity of horse racing in the United States.

    The results from a Daily Racing Form survey published in October 2015 should be an industry-wide call to action. When asked, “Do you believe states are currently effectively catching trainers or veterinarians who are using illicit drugs,” 78 percent said No......

  • Combating A Culture Of Cheating: Betting On A New Paradigm by Joe Gorajec
    Paulick Report


    As disturbing as it is, the greatest threat to racing's integrity does not lie in the widespread cheating that occurs in those states that have chosen to turn a blind eye to these corrupting influences.

    It is the trainers' ability to cheat in even the most conscientiously regulated states that is a greater threat. That's because in these states, where many of the Graded stakes are contested, horsemen still have an opportunity to cheat despite the best efforts of regulators.

    The main impediment to addressing this issue is the current patchwork system of regulation. The system has failed to provide the protection and tools to the most diligent and proactive racing commissions.

    Understanding these threats requires a better understanding of the limitations facing drug testing laboratories.

  • Combating A Culture Of Cheating: A Matter of Trust by Joe Gorajec
    Paulick Report


    Horse racing has a culture of cheating.

    Its problem is drugs. It's what the public calls doping. The methods differ, as do the drugs.

    At one end of the spectrum, horsemen and veterinarians inject horses on race day with a wide variety of drugs or other foreign substances.

    This practice is one of racing's dirty little secrets, although it's no secret to those who work in the stable area of a racetrack.

  • Key lesson to be learned from Russian 'tragedy' - Tygart
    RTE


    Speaking to RTÉ, Tygart again outlined his views on anti-doping regulations.

    “We don’t believe you can effectively promote and police your sport...The situation in Russia has shown the world that you can’t,” he said

    “We want to remove sport from regulating sport and allow clean athletes to prevail on the playing field.”

    Hopefully that tragedy [Russia] and the lives that were negatively affected, all the individual athletes who were essentially robbed, motivates sport to finally say, ‘We’re out of this game. We’re going to turn it over to independent experts’”.

  • Breeders Crown Horses Scratched For Refusal To Comply With Out-Of-Competition Testing
    Paulick Report


    The Meadowlands Racetrack has sent a formal request to the New Jersey Racing Commission asking to have both Breeders Crown horses trained by Chris Oakes to be scratched from this weekend's Finals for failing to cooperate with an agreed-upon surveillance and out-of-competition testing program.

    The two Oakes horses are Luck Be Withyou, owned by John H. Craig, and Split The House, owned by Crawford Farms Racing. Both were entered in the $421,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace.

    “Mr. Oakes had originally agreed to relocate his horses to White Birch Farm in New Jersey,” explained Meadowlands Chairman Jeffrey Gural. “The horses did not arrive by the Sunday deadline. I then compromised and gave them until Monday and then Tuesday. I even offered to allow the horses to continue to be stabled and trained at Mr. Oakes's farm in Pennsylvania provided I could have 24-hour surveillance on the horses at my own expense. Mr. Oakes and his lawyer Howard Taylor have refused to respond to these requests.”

  • CHRIS McCARRON'S RATIONALE FOR FEDERAL REGULATION
    Horse Racing Business


    Retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron is a vocal proponent of federal legislation to establish national medication rules and to certify an organization to uniformly enforce those rules in American horse racing.  In a speech to the Thoroughbred Club of America, he cited several examples to illustrate his conviction.  A trainer is still licensed in spite of having 46 medication violations in Florida in 23 years.  It is permissible in Oklahoma to race a horse on the anti-inflammatory drugs Banamine and Phenylbutazone.  A horse can run in a race in Arizona even though the animal is on the vets’ list in California.

  • McCarron: Federal Intervention a Must
    TDN


    Hall of Famer Chris McCarron became just the second jockey recognized as an Honored Guest by the Thoroughbred Club of America, and used his platform at Sunday night’s 85th annual Testimonial Dinner to urge the adoption of a federal bill to establish a Thoroughbred Horseracing Anti-Doping Authority.

    “The status quo is not working, folks,” said McCarron. “Uniform medication rules across the country is a must. I know most people in this room don’t want the federal government to get involved. But we don’t have another avenue. Every other effort has been exhausted and pushed aside.”

  • McCarron: 'Drugs Don't Kill Horses, People Kill Horses'
    Paulick Report


    To borrow and amend a slogan: ‘Drugs don't kill horses. People kill horses.'”

    There's a multitude of reasons why this is happening, but the number one reason is discretion: what to do with a horse that's infirm, what to do with a horse that needs rest instead of therapy,” he said. “There's a lot of horses out there running who shouldn't be running, and authorities in this business need to grab hold of those horns and do something about it, and soon. I don't want to see any more of my brethren hitting the deck. It's already dangerous enough riding sound horses in tight fields, and it's already difficult enough.

  • Barry Irwin: Are we ever going to get serious about drug testing in American racing?
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    So, as I see it, we have a simple choice: keep testing for drugs without the regulators knowing exactly what they are testing for, or hire somebody like USADA to conduct police investigations in order to uncover designer drugs and root evil out of the game that so many profess to love.

    Are we ever going to get serious in America? The entire world is watching.

     

  • TCA Honor Guest: Chris McCarron
    BloodHorse


    Uniform medication rules across the country is a must. I’ve been to Washington, D.C., six times walking the halls of Congress in support of HR 3084 which would give the government the right to assign USADA to be the governing body over all of the medication in this country. This bill is supported by Keeneland; it’s supported by the Breeders’ Cup; of course The Jockey Club is all over it. It’s supported by WHOA and supported by the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity.

  • Sheppard To Be Honored For Humane Work By Equine Advocates
    Paulick Report


    “Here is a Hall of Fame trainer who obviously knows how to be successful in training a horse to win important races but is also dedicated to the welfare of the horse. Jonathan is focused on the aftercare and future career for retired Thoroughbreds. He also has been in the forefront in the industry effort to eliminate drugs in racing. Jonathan Sheppard is a very respected and important voice in any industry effort.”

  • Derby Innovator, Industry Agitator: Q&A With Barry Irwin,
    Paulick Report


    Q The book ends on something of a hopeful note. that "the ranks of those insisting on integrity of competition, continues to grow." Do you honestly believe we will see the day when - as you first proposed - we will have an independent agency like USADA governing the drug regulations in all racing states?

    A Yes I do. I only hope that it does not come too late because once we lose our fans we will have nothing left except for a couple of rich guys getting together in a big field in Kentucky or Texas and racing one horse against another to find out which one is best, which is basically how it all started anyway.

  • Collins: Drugs and medication in racing: 'it's like the Mad Hatter's tea party'
    Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


    Yes I do believe Lasix should be banned for race-day use as it is a performance enhancer. I fully agree that almost all trainers in the States use it in order for their horses to be competitive.

    The paradox of Lasix is that it enables horses with a defect to outrun horses that don't have the defect, and therefore horses that do not have the defect have to have the medication as well in order to keep up.

  • Hancock: A Proud 'ELITIST,' and in good company
    Paulick Report


    Is it elitist to support a bill that would put the United States Anti-Doping Agency in charge of policing our sport, thereby attaining national uniformity?

    Is it elitist to attempt to protect our horses and our breed?

    Is it elitist to want the sport of Thoroughbred racing, to which we all dedicate our lives, to be clean, above board, loved and respected?

    Is it elitist to yearn to once again be proud of our sport?

    Is it elitist to care?

  • Looking Up ~ A little positivity can go a long way
    Sporting Post


    Last week, US Triple Crown winner and track legend, Secretariat’s owner-breeder Penny Chenery joined WHOA – the Water Hay Oats Alliance. The Water Hay Oats Alliance was founded in 2012 and is a grassroots movement of like-minded individuals (including our adopted American son, Barry Irwin) who support the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing in the USA.

  • Chenery Joins Water Hay Oats Alliance
    Paulick Report


    Penny Chenery has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA). WHOA is a grassroots movement of like-minded individuals who support the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing.

  • Chenery Joins WHOA
    TDN


    Penny Chenery, owner of 1973 Triple Crown hero Secretariat, is the latest member of the racing industry to join the Water Hay Oats Alliance. She released the following statement:  “It took me a long time to fully appreciate one of the benefits of owning a Triple Crown winner. All at once, you become a public figure and inherit a platform from which you can make your voice heard..."

  • Barry Irwin: Tennis, Track and Field Scandals Support Racing's Path Toward Independent Oversight
    Op-Ed, Paulick Report


    ... Based on my revelation that even if cheating is exposed to racing officials that nothing will happen, I have come to one conclusion—and it is not a new one.  I now more firmly than ever believe that only USADA can make a difference in restoring the credibility of racing.

  • Penny Chenery: Legislation Would Enhance Equine Welfare, Integrity of Horse Racing
    Op/Ed, The Gazette


    Today, I firmly believe that the time for federal legislation of our sport has come... The Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 (HR 3084), introduced by Reps. Andy Barr, R-Ky., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., in June, would encourage the adoption of a national uniform standard for drugs and medication in American thoroughbred racing and grant rule-making, testing and enforcement oversight to an entity created by the U.S. Anti- Doping Agency, headquartered in Colorado Springs.

  • McCarron: Barr-Tonko Bill Would 'Rein In Thoroughbred Racing Abuses'
    Paulick Report


    In a recent opinion piece for the The Hill, retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron voices his support for U.S. racing to adopt uniform drug rules.

  • RunHappy... Horse Racing in America
    Horse Racing in America Magazine


    Sid Gustafson reports from the Breeders' Cup in America and gives an insight into permitted pre-race medication for the people and horses of Australia...

  • Chris McCarron: Rein In Thoroughbred Racing Abuses
    The Hill


    Relatively few jockeys are fortunate enough to have a career in thoroughbred horse racing as long as mine. I spent 28 years as a professional jockey and have been able to experience the horse racing industry from a number of other perspectives: as the general manager at Santa Anita Park, as a racing analyst for NBC, ABC, and the horse racing network TVG, and, most recently, as an instructor at the North American Racing Academy (NARA) in Lexington, Ky., which I founded in 2006.

  • Burt Kinerk: Horse Racing Needs Uniform Drug Regulations
    Arizona Daily Star


    This week the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program hosts its annual Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming, with racing industry leaders from all corners of the world in attendance. I take great interest in that program and symposium for two reasons: I received both my undergraduate and law degrees from the UA and I have owned Thoroughbred racehorses for many years.

  • Simon: Out-of-competition Testing Would Eliminate Need For Federal Bill
    Daily Racing Form


    Federal intervention is not needed to fix the problem of illicit drugs in Thoroughbred racing. It can be resolved in a matter of weeks if certain leaders really want to address the problem.

  • 'Enough Is Enough': Gural Urges Tracks To Step Up Drug Enforcement
    Paulick Report


    Pointing to an apparent lack of will and dwindling budgets from state racing commissions, harness track owner Jeff Gural called on his peers on the Thoroughbred side of American horse racing to take the initiative to combat the use of illicit drugs as he has done.

  • Top British Hopes Shun Lasix at Breeders' Cup
    Racing Post


    The highest-profile British-trained runners at the Breeders' Cup will not run on Lasix with their connections shunning the anti-bleeding medication at this year's event.

  • Letter to the Editor: Gary Biszantz
    TDN


    In 2002, The Jockey Club President, Dinny Phipps, asked me to address the Round Table, the topic being medication from an owner’s perspective. Mr. Phipps never asked to see or address what I was going to say. My address laid out quite simply what had happened to our sport since Lasix was accepted and the definition of “therapeutic” was rewritten by the veterinary community.

  • Barr-Tonko Bill Draws Additional Congressional Support
    Paulick Report


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI) announced today that six additional members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on in support of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 (THIA). They are Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), David Joyce (R-OH), Jerold Nadler (D-NY), and Joe Wilson (R-SC).

  • Gural: Racing Needs 'One Holistic Anti-Doping Approach'
    Paulick Report


    In an opinion piece for the New Jersey Star-Ledger, racetrack operator Jeff Gural offers his “wholehearted support” for the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act introduced by congressmen Andy Barr and Paul Tonko in July.

  • Gural Commentary: Stricter Racehorse Doping Regulations Are Key to Maintaining Integrity of Sport
    New Jersey Star-Ledger


    Ever since I was kid sneaking away to Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island, I have loved everything about horse racing. I loved the outdoor pavilion packed with a crowd of spectators, the lines of hungry risk-takers at the betting windows and, of course, the thrill of the race itself. I was hooked early.

  • Keeneland Joins Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity
    Paulick Report


    In a year that our industry and all of our participants are enjoying incredible excitement in racing, medication issues continue to dominate discussions. It is evident that a collective resolution to medication issues is essential for racing to continue the momentum we are experiencing in this historic year.

  • IFHA Joins Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity
    Paulick Report


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity announced today that the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) has joined the Coalition, expressing its support for the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015.

    The IFHA strives to coordinate and harmonize the rules of its 62 member countries regarding breeding, racing and wagering in a manner that ensures the quality and fairness of racing and protects the welfare of horses and jockeys.

  • World Racing Body Adds Weight to Anti-doping Movement
    Horsetalk


    Racing’s world coordinating body has added its support to the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, which is leading the fight for clean racing in the US.

    Louis Romanet, chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), said creating a uniform system for the regulation of medications in American horse racing is of “critical importance”.

  • Keeneland Becomes Coalition's Newest Member
    WHOA Press Release


    Earlier today, the Keeneland Association released the following statement.  In doing so, they pledged their support of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act (THIA) and the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI). WHOA, and our many members who buy, sell and race their horses at Keeneland, applauds them for their leadership and vision.

  • IFHA Joins Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity
    WHOA Press Release


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity announced today that the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) has joined the Coalition, expressing its support for the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015.  The IFHA strives to coordinate and harmonize the rules of its 62 member countries regarding breeding, racing and wagering in a manner that ensures the quality and fairness of racing and protects the welfare of horses and jockeys.

  • Runhappy Connections Join Water Hay Oats Alliance
    Paulick Report


    The connections of Runhappy, winner of the G3 Phoenix Stakes Friday and one of the leading contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, have joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance. Also known as WHOA, the organization advocates for medication reform in horse racing, including the elimination of furosemide, better known as Lasix, a drug developed to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage but now administered to more than 90% of all North American starters. Runhappy races Lasix-free.

  • Speedway Stables Joins Water Hay Oats Alliance
    Paulick Report


    Peter J. Fluor and Kane C. Weiner, which operate Speedway Stables, LLC, have joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance in support of horse racing medication reform in the United States.

  • Ted Bassett Joins WHOA
    TDN


    “There is no alternative.”

    With those four words, James E. “Ted” Bassett III–past Keeneland President and Trustee Emeritus, and former President of the Breeders’ Cup, Ltd.–signed on as a member to the Water Hay Oats Alliance in support of federal legislation.

  • Illinois Owner, Racing Board Member Kathy Byrne Joins WHOA
    Paulick Report


    Illinois owner, lawyer and racing board member Kathy Byrne has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA). 

    Byrne issued the following statement regarding her decision to join:  On August 27th, 2015, while most of the racing world was watching American Pharoah prepare for the Travers, the Illinois Racing Board quietly entered a death sentence for 150 healthy, working racehorses. Euphemisms like ‘sold to the Amish or otherwise removed’ were used to describe what would happen but the reality is that when Maywood Park shutters next month- without a placement plan or any regulatory supervision–the majority of horses racing there will not survive...

  • Owner-Breeder Marie D. Jones Joins Water Hay Oats Alliance
    Paulick Report


    Marie D. Jones, along with her late husband Aaron, is one of the highest profile owner/breeders in the past 40 years.  Together, the Joneses enjoyed the heights of success on the racetrack, in breeding horses and in the sales ring.  They bred or campaigned multiple champions, including Ashado, Speightstown, Riboletta, Lemhi Gold and Tiffany Lass.

  • Gai Waterhouse: Saratoga Summer
    TDN


    Another major difference between Australian racing and racing in the U.S. is the use of race-day medication. The Lasix issue is a hot potato at this point but the use of drugs in racing generally is cause for international concern. I was asked to be involved with WHOA (Water Hay Oats Alliance) by Staci Hancock and I immediately jumped at the chance because I fully support them in their endeavor to prohibit the use of performance enhancing drugs in horse racing. As a trainer of racehorses, I must stress how detrimental this practice is to the industry as a whole.

  • Drug-free Racing "just requires horsemanship", Says Gai Waterhouse
    Horsetalk


    Australian Hall of Fame racehorse trainer Gai Waterhouse is the latest high-profile figure to join the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA), a group support federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in US racing.

  • Commentary: How U.S. Trainers Can Win Respect
    Barry Irwin's Op/Ed in the Paulick Report


    When an American trainer, with some notable exceptions, wins a Triple Crown race, peers, fans and writers invariably shake their heads and question whether the triumph was accomplished on the up and up. This has been going on with increasing frequency for the last several years.

  • Simon: Owners Pay Tab While Leaving Bill To Others
    Daily Racing Form


    Who owns the racing game? The answer to that question should be the deciding factor when it comes to who makes the critical decisions on how the sport is managed – and that includes whether the sport should seek federal help to set up a national test lab and establish federal guidelines for all states that conduct Thoroughbred racing if those states want their tracks to be able to simulcast races across state lines.

  • Harness Horse Racing Tracks Join Anti-Doping Movement
    Horse Talk


    Three leading US standardbred racetracks owned by Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) Supporting Member Jeff Gural have joined as members to the Coalition for Horseracing Integrity.

  • WHOA Member, Jeff Gural, Commits Three Race Tracks to Join Coalition
    WHOA Press Release


    Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) Supporting Member, Jeff Gural announced today that three of the leading Standardbred racetracks he owns and operates - the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., Tioga Downs in Nichols, N.Y. and Vernon Downs in Vernon, N.Y. - have joined as members to the Coalition for Horseracing Integrity.  These newest members add to the growing support for federal legislation to appoint the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to create and oversee a national program for horseracing in the United States.

  • Testing The Limits
    ESPN Radio Podcast


    Travis Tygart (USADA) & Ed Martin (Racing Commissioners International) each presents his side of the controversial movement to involve the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in horse racing.

  • Gural: 'National Oversight Only Way' To Level Playing Field On Medication
    Paulick Report


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity announced today that three of the leading horse racing tracks owned and operated by Jeff Gural – the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., Tioga Downs in Nichols, N.Y. and Vernon Downs in Vernon, N.Y. – have joined as members, adding to the growing support for national oversight of uniform medication standards in American horse racing.

  • Harness-Track Owner Throws Support to Medication Bill
    Daily Racing Form


    Jeff Gural, the owner of three harness tracks, has signed on with a group lobbying for support of a bill that would grant control of Thoroughbred racing’s medication policies and drug-testing programs to the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the group said.

  • Citing 'Integrity And A Level Playing Field,' Amermans Join WHOA
    Paulick Report


    John Amerman has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance in support of federal legislation that would appoint an independent, non-governmental agency like the United States Anti-Doping Agency to regulate horse racing’s medication rules on a national basis.

  • Horseracing Rules Need Consistency
    Charlotte Weber's Op/Ed Piece in the Orlando Sentinel


    Unfortunately for competitors in the U.S., we can never be sure whether our horses are racing on a level playing field. That's probably why more than two-thirds, 68 percent, of all horseracing fans want to see drug and medications policies in our industry reformed.

  • NY Lasix Forum: More Questions Than Answers?
    TDN


    A day-long forum in Saratoga Tuesday was designed to shed some light on the policies and practices of furosemide (branded as Lasix or Salix) usage and the management of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging (EIPH) in racehorses.

  • Uniform Drug Test Rules Needed to Level Field for Horse Racing
    Jon Kelly's Op/Ed in The San Diego Union Tribune


    USADA has a proven track record of protecting the integrity of competition from athletes who abuse performance-altering medication, as in the Olympics and Tour de France. The truth is, no matter how well-intentioned, state commissions and industry participants cannot solve the issue of drug testing and enforcement on our own.

  • Drug-Free Racing Is Only Hope
    Tony Chamblin's Op/Ed in the Lexington Herald Leader


    As one who has been involved in the industry for more than half a century, I wholeheartedly endorse the efforts of so many to provide more integrity to the wonderful but wounded sport of horse racing. The Barr-Tonko bill is an important step in the right direction.

  • French Racing's First Family Joins US Anti-Doping Call
    Horse Talk


    Champion trainer, leading breeder and classic-winning owner of the Haras du Quesnay stable, Alec Head is joined by Criquette, Europe’s leading female trainer to support WHOA’s efforts in the US. The group which supports the passage federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in US racing.

  • France's Alec and Criquette Head Join Water Hay Oats Alliance
    The Paulick Report


    Father and daughter, Alec and Criquette Head, hailing from a dynasty of internationally successful trainers of champions and classic winners for three generations, have joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance in support of horse racing medication reform in the United States.

  • Creating Sharper Rules in the Horse Racing Industry
    Aiken Standard Op/Ed by Cot Campbell


    The Triple Crown win has had a stupendous impact, here and throughout the racing world. But horse racing in America must have more than a Triple Crown winner.  A real turnaround can’t take place until we credibly tackle the issue of drug testing and enforcement. Most horsemen, trainers, owners, and veterinarians play by the rules. But because we lack uniform, national testing and enforcement standards, we all get painted with a negative brush.

  • Racing Needs Federal Anti-Doping Control, Says HSUS Boss
    Horse Talk


    Federal anti-drugging rules are needed in horse racing to replace typically weak and highly variable state-based rules, the head of the Humane Society of the United States says.

  • USADA is Scary
    TDN Op/Ed by Barry Irwin


    I suggest, in the coming weeks as the fight heats up, that participants in our industry ask themselves what the true motivation is behind the push by the anti-USADA folks to prevent their being named to oversee drugs in our sport. The answer to this question should be obvious to anybody that thinks about it.

  • House Bill Would Create Anti-Doping Horse Racing Authority
    The Hill


    Lawmakers in the House want to do away with doping in thoroughbred horse racing.

    Reps. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation Thursday to simplify a patchwork of rules governing medication policies and practices across 38 different racing jurisdictions.

  • Congressmen Propose Antidoping Agency for Horse Racing
    The New York Times


    It took 37 years and a singular horse named American Pharoah to deliver horse racing its 12th Triple Crown winner at Belmont Park in June. On Thursday, a coalition of horse breeders, owners and animal lovers turned to Congress with the hope of ending another long-running drama in thoroughbred racing: its drug problem.

  • 'Common Sense Legislation': Barr, Tonko Introduce Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015
    Paulick Report


    Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), the co-chairmen of the Congressional Horse Caucus, today introduced the bipartisan Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015.  Under existing law, the American thoroughbred horseracing industry labors under a diverse patchwork of conflicting and inconsistent rules governing medication policies and practices across 38 different racing jurisdictions. This lack of uniformity in the rules of horseracing has impaired interstate commerce and undermined public confidence in the sport.

  • 2015 Horse Racing Integrity Act Bill Introduced
    Horse Racing Nation


    The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity announced today its support of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015, a new bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.). This legislation will grant authority for rulemaking, testing and enforcement of drug and medication use in Thoroughbred racing to an entity created by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

  • Horse Racing Drug Debate Goes to D.C.
    The Courier Journal


    The agency that oversees drug testing of American Olympians would be in charge of creating a testing program for thoroughbred racing if a push for federal legislation succeeds — something proponents say would standardize medication and testing rules and improve the sport's image.

  • Bill Casner: Op/ Ed TDN

    The American Thoroughbred industry is at the proverbial crossroads. The choice is ours: which direction will we choose? One path maintains the status quo with 38 dysfunctional jurisdictions that are underfunded, politically appointed, and lack the expertise to challenge the cheaters. The other road offers the choice of appointing a USADA-type organization having the mission, funding and expertise to meet that challenge. The pending House bill that will be introduced by Rep. Paul Tonko (NY) offers the opportunity to have that ultimate drug organization.

  • KTA, KTOBA Join Integrity Coalition
    Blood Horse


    "The Thoroughbred horse breeding and racing industry is a major part of Kentucky's economy and rich history, and we believe consistent medication administration and enforcement regulations are necessary to preserve this tradition," Chauncey Morris, executive director of KTA, said in a release from CHRI.

  • Lift Doping Shadow: Support National Drug Standards to Stem Racing's Decline
    Antony Beck Op/Ed, Herald Leader


    The lack of real and robust national, uniform medication standards has cast a shadow over fair competition in American Thoroughbred horse racing as a sport and as a professional industry.

  • Stopping Cheaters
    Op/Ed by Barry Irwin


    In the Olympic annals of Track and Field, for every Jesse Owens and Babe Didrikson there has been a Ben Johnson and FloJo. Every hero seemingly can be counterbalanced by a villain who tested positive for a banned substance.

  • American Pharoah the Best Triple Crown Winner? He's the Most Important Anyway
    The Guardian


    His win has arrived in the midst of positive and profound political change within the industry’s governing bodies. Through gradual implantation of the National Uniform Medication Program and the efforts of such organizations as the Water Hay Oats Alliance, drug use and abuse in the sport is gradually and inexorably being whittled away. At a time when horse racing in the US has lost its shine, the events of Saturday gave the sport a much needed boost.

  • David Stern Speaks at Pan Am Conference
    Thoroughbred Daily News


    National Basketball Association commissioner emeritus David Stern prefaced his candid remarks about Thoroughbred racing’s hot-button issues by joking Friday morning that Pan American Conference attendees might throw things at him. But he wasn’t kidding about what the sport needs to do to raise the industry’s profile, both within the United States and globally, like Stern did with the NBA during his three-decade tenure. 

  • Pan American Conference Concludes
    Horse Racing Nation


    The two-day Pan American Conference, co-hosted by The Jockey Club, the breed registry for Thoroughbreds in North America, and the Latin American Racing Channel (LARC), concluded Friday afternoon at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City with presentations from prominent individuals from inside and outside the Thoroughbred racing industry focusing on anti-doping, globalization and marketing.

  • Horse Racing Integrity Coalition Formed
    The Horse


    A group of horse racing and animal welfare organizations have announced the launch of a coalition to support uniform medication standards for Thoroughbred racing and the formal introduction of proposed bipartisan legislation that would grant independent authority over rule-making, testing and enforcement oversight to an entity created by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

  • Stronach Group Issues Statement Regarding 'Coalition For Horse Racing Integrity'
    Santa Anita Press Release


    In view of recent legislative efforts advanced by the “Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity,” which is supported by several industry groups, TSG reaffirms the following list of foundation principles it deems necessary for the continued growth and development of Thoroughbred racing on a national and international scale...

  • Statement from Keeneland on the May 29 News Release from the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity
    Keeneland


    Medication has been at the forefront of discussions in our industry for some time. Our collective response to these issues must be to pledge that we provide for the health and welfare of our athletes and assure the wagering public and all of our fans that every facet of our sport is conducted with the highest level of integrity and is subject to a heightened level of scrutiny.

  • Legislation Would Create National Coalition to Battle Doping in Horse Racing
    NJ.com


    Animal welfare and horse racing organizations are finally forming a coalition to bring about a uniform medication control system for all 38 states where Thoroughbred racing is legal.

  • As American Pharoah's Day Approaches, Congressman Drafts Anti-Doping Rules for Horse Racing
    Warner Cable News


    Along with his wife, Marylou Whitney, John Hendrickson has raced thoroughbreds at Saratoga Race Course and across the country for years. He's one of a growing group of owners who believe the sport is at a crossroads.  "We risk losing fans,” Hendrickson said. “We need to show that we are clean, transparent and we do crack down on the people that abuse the system."

  • NY Congressman Wants Uniform Drug Standards in Horse Racing
    USA Today


    A New York congressman plans to introduce a federal bill establishing uniform drug and medication standards in thoroughbred racing that would be overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and begin in 2017.

  • Proposed Law Would Give U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Power Over Thoroughbred Horse Racing
    The Wall Street Journal


    The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency could extend its purview to thoroughbred horse racing with national rules for medication, testing and drug-related penalties.

  • 'Much At Stake': Congressman To Introduce Anti-Doping Act For Horse Racing
    The Paulick Report


    Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), who serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Horse Caucus and represents New York’s 20th Congressional District, today announced plans to introduce the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Anti-Doping Act of 2015 to establish uniform standards for drugs and medication in the American Thoroughbred industry.

  • Bill Puts USADA in Charge of Drug Testing
    The Blood Horse


    The bill, called the Thoroughbred Horse Anti-Doping Act of 2015, would put USADA in charge of rule-making, testing, enforcement, and oversight. USADA apparently would determine which medications, if any, can be used in racehorses on race day, including the commonly used anti-bleeding drug furosemide, also called Salix or Lasix. Horsemen's groups across the country vehemently oppose any efforts to ban furosemide on race day.

  • NY Congressman Wants Uniform Drug Standards in Horse Racing
    The Boston Herald


    A New York congressman plans to introduce a federal bill establishing uniform drug and medication standards in thoroughbred racing that would be overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and begin in 2017.

  • 'Coalition For Horse Racing Integrity' Formed To Advocate For Uniform Drug Testing And Enforcement
    PR News Wire


    A diverse group of horse racing and animal welfare organizations today announced the launch of a coalition to support uniform medication standards for Thoroughbred racing and the formal introduction of proposed bipartisan legislation that would grant independent authority over rule‑making, testing and enforcement oversight to an entity created by the U.S. Anti‑Doping Agency (USADA).

  • Plan to Introduce Federal Legislation Revealed
    Thoroughbred Daily News


    The Thoroughbred Horse Racing Anti-Doping Act of 2015, which would establish uniform standards for drugs and medication in the Thoroughbred racing industry and turn regulation over to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), will be introduced in the next few weeks, according to Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY). The news was released in a press release on Friday morning.

  • Arthur Hancock: Commentary: Saving, Not Destroying the House
    Blood Horse


    In response to Ed Martin's false accusations published in May 23 issue of Blood-Horse and later on BloodHorse.com that the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) is "trying to burn down the house," let's be perfectly clear: WHOA is trying to save it.

  • Racing Identities Join Anti-Doping Movement
    HorseTalk


    Owner and breeder William Koester, past Chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission, has joined Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard and former Keeneland President William C Greely in support of the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA), a movement supporting the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in racing.

  • Barbaro's Owners Are Back for Another Preakness
    The New York Times


    Although Divining Rod will join the rest of the field in running on Lasix, Roy Jackson said all race-day medications such as Lasix should be banned, as they are overseas. He said he wanted more to be done in the United States to combat performance-enhancing drugs, including out-of-competition testing.

  • Sheppard Joins WHOA
    The TDN


    Hall of Fame conditioner Jonathan Sheppard has joined the Water Hay and Oats Alliance in support of federal legislation to ban race day drugs.

  • Casner Still Committed to Salix-Free Racing

    This feature story ran in the April 18, 2015 issue of Blood-Horse magazine.

    In contrast to North American racing's notable recent starts and stops on the race-day medication issue, owner Bill Casner hasn't wavered since his 2011 decision to race his Thoroughbreds without the widely used diuretic furosemide, or Salix (Lasix).

  • Gary Biszantz: TDN Letters/Feedback
    TDN


    In Response to Dr. Gary Priest's letter joining the Water Hay Oats Alliance (4/20/15)

  • Arthur Hancock: TDN Letters/ Feedback
    TDN


    In Response to RCI president Ed Martin's comments in Welfare, Doping Conference Kicks Off in Florida (4/21)

  • Vet Says Lasix 'Most Abused Drug' in Racing
    Horse Talk


    Kentucky veterinarian Dr. Gary T. Priest is the latest high profile equine identity to speak out about drugs in the racing industry, saying that Lasix has to be “the most abused drug” available to a racetrack veterinarian.

  • Hall of Famer Speaks Out On Racehorse Drugs
    Horse Talk


    Hall of Fame racehorse trainer Michael Dickinson says most trainers should have no problem taking their horses off drugs and going “cold turkey”.

  • Legendary Trainer Dickinson Joins Anti-Medication Campaign
    Racing Post


    USA: Legendary trainer Michael Dickinson has added his name to the list of supporters of the 'Water Hay Oats Alliance' (WHOA), a body of influential US industry figures campaigning for federal legislation to prohibit raceday drugs in American racing.

  • Saving Horse Racing From Itself
    Kentucky Sports Radio


    Within the past few years, a grassroots coalition of thoroughbred breeders and owners joined to seek the passage of federal legislation to ban the practice of race-day medication, and formed the Water Hay and Oats Alliance (the befuddling name is explained by its clever acronym: WHOA).

  • Why American Racetrack Owner Jeff Gural is Taking a Stand on Integrity

    David Briggs interviews Meadowlands Racetrack owner and WHOA Supporter, Jeff Gural.

  • Federal Bill Expected for Drug Regulation

    Racing industry officials in late March and early April said they again expect to see federal legislation filed this year that would authorize the United States Anti-Doping Agency to oversee equine medication and drug testing procedures.

  • Building an International Syndicate: The Man Behind Team Valor

    Karen M. Johnson interviews Barry Irwin of Team Valor International... He’s a passionate and outspoken advocate for the elimination of race-day medication in this country, and is one of the founders of the Water Hay Oats Alliance.

  • Barry Irwin: Pride of Ownership: TDN Op/Ed

    Racing needs to wean itself off race-day medication. Various reasons have been proffered for the elimination of drugs on race day, but there is one rarely mentioned that encompasses another major problem hurting the well-being of our industry–a lack of owners willing to play to game... Few prospects for racehorse ownership want to be involved in a sport that is perceived by the public to have cooties. 

  • Gosden: How the Great American Thoroughbred Could Become Increasingly Irrelevant

    I trained in America for 11 years and am conversant with the use of bute and Lasix. However, I now believe that medication administered on race-day, as happens in the States, is a problem. If you allow it, you degrade the breed in the end.

  • Gretchen Jackson: TDN Op/Ed Feedback

    In response to Bill Finley's Insanity, Stupidity, Cowardice, Call it What You Want, CHRB's O'Neill Ruling a Farce (10/10/14).

     

  • WHOA's Open Letter to the Industry

    Read WHOA’s statement in response to the National HBPA written by WHOA member Tony Chamblin.

  • Gregory Ferraro, DVM: TDN Op/Ed

    Recently completed research regarding the use, or non-use, of Lasix in Thoroughbred racehorses adds some pertinent new facts to the discussion... The results of both investigations should cause the U.S. racing industry to re-evaluate its position on the use of all bleeder medications.

  • Showdown on Race Day Medication

    The Water, Hay, and  Oats Alliance welcomes oversight from USADA, viewing it as the only way to right racing’s badly listing ship.  Founded in 2010 by a grassroots movement of like minded individuals, WHOA supports the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance enhancing drugs in horse racing.

  • Equestrian/Philanthropist Victoria McCullough and Team Valor's Barry Irwin to be Honored at Equine Advocates' Thirteenth Annual Awards Dinner & Charity Auction

    Barry Irwin will receive the Ellen and Herbert Moelis Equine Savior Award for his work to ban the use of performance-enhancing drugs in racehorses on race day. He has been one of the most outspoken and eloquent voices in the nation calling for the end of this practice in horse racing.

    Read more from Saratoga Today Newspaper.

  • Gary Biszantz: Letter to the Editor, TDN

    I applaud the TDN Publisher Barry Weisbord for his proposal for racing as a response to the ugly PETA expose on our sport of Thoroughbred racing. I know many of my respected colleagues, such as Arthur Hancock, George Strawbridge, Bill Casner, Barry Irwin and many other owners share Barry’s thoughtful response.

  • Gretchen Jackson: Letter to the Editor, TDN

    It is way over due that all the committees that have been formed and agencies, commissions, groups, clubs, etc stop talking and go about doing.

  • Advocates Call for Improved Safety, Reforms to PA Horse Racing Industry.

    In interviews with industry insiders, elected officials and safety advocates, FOX43 learned the case highlights a larger plight within the horse racing industry.  ”It won’t last 20 years. It really won’t. People can’t go on like this,” said Gretchen Jackson, who’s owned race horses since the 1970s.

  • Barry Irwin Honored by Equine Advocates with the Equine Savior Award

    The Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) congratulates Barry on this well-deserved honor as a champion for the horses and our sport.

  • John H. Adger: Letter to the Editor, TDN

    John H. Adger, owner and breeder, joins Water Hay Oats Alliance.  You can read his statement in his letter to the Editor of the TDN.

  • Paul E. Sullivan: Letter to the Editor, TDN

    Paul E. Sullivan joins Water Hay Oats Alliance. Read his reasoning in this letter to the Editor of the TDN.

  • WHOA Lament

    The founding ideas of the Water Hay Oats Alliance.

  • Stronach Supports Horseracing Integrity Act
    TDN


    Frank Stronach, the founder and honorary chairman of The Stronach Group, announced his support for the Horseracing Integrity Act, legislation that will create a uniform, nationwide, conflict-free drug testing enforcement program for horse racing, late Tuesday evening.

  • Racing Medication Debate Plays Out On NPR
    Paulick Report


    The report brought perspectives from PETA's Kathy Guillermo, owner and WHOA supporter John Ed Anthony, and trainer Dale Romans. Anthony starts many of his horses without furosemide, which he believes puts him at a competitive disadvantage. Romans believes it's just common sense to use modern medical tools to help horses, and also that appropriate medication use can prevent injury.


WATER HAY OATS ALLIANCE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


   SITE MAP