Donnally: The Story of ‘Electric Jockeys’ and How to Rid the Sport of Them

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Eddie Donnally in the winner's circle at Churchill Downs, May 5, 1978 Eddie Donnally in the winner's circle at Churchill Downs, May 5, 1978

Rev. Eddie Donnally is a former jockey and now an ordained minister. He is author of “Ride the White Horse: A Checkered Jockey’s Story of Racing, Rage and Redemption” as well as a former racing writer for the Dallas Morning News.

It’s the day before Seattle Slew will win the Kentucky Derby and start his successful trek to a Triple Crown victory. At Churchill Downs, some 47,000 fans watch as an assistant starter leads my mount Jubilist Jude around and around behind the starting gate in what seems like endless circles. The gate is parked at the sixteenth pole directly in front of the grandstand. In my right hand are a rein and a machine.

Machines, joints, batteries, buzzers are tiny two-pronged hand-held electrical devices designed to deliver an attention-getting shock to a Thoroughbred in the midst of a race. In my book, Ride the White Horse: A Checkered Jockey’s Story of Racing, Rage and Redemption, I admit to using a machine in at least 50 races. It is not a fact of which I am proud. But it is a fact. In this era of allegations of wholesale horse abuse by PETA and a gaggle of misinformation regarding machines, I felt compelled to talk about their use, something I know first-hand.

On this day, I’d watched my horse spit out his tongue-tie as he approached the gate and realized I was being exposed to a five-year or more suspension. At the time in Kentucky, only a trainer could retie one, and the track announcer had asked the trainer to come to the starting gate. A tongue tie is designed to keep a horse from swallowing its tongue during a race and the lump swelling in my throat caused me to repeatedly swallow.

While the machine was hidden in my hand, I feared a fan’s “harmless” photo would show the small portion housing the prongs that stuck out of my hand’s bottom. I had a vision of the blown-up photo sitting on a table before a trio of track stewards as I explained that what they saw protruding from the bottom of my hand was an optical illusion. As machine horses go, this one was the real thing. He’s a grandson of the great Citation, with decent conformation and was healthy and fit. But he’s extremely lazy. Suspecting as much, I’d ridden him in a workout, and without the trainer knowing it, touched him once with the machine. He’d responded with a burst of new speed. His previous start came at lowly Beulah Park. I’d bet $800, believing his odds would be high.

I flash back to the Jockeys’ Room at the then Florida Downs a few years earlier. Two Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau agents approached my locker, and I realized I was about to be searched. I was about to use a machine on my next mount. They escorted me and another jockey I picked to be my witness—a legality in those days—upstairs to the sleeping room. There, I completely disrobed, proving I had no machine on my body. A search of my locker proved fruitless. Had they searched me 10 minutes later, they would have found my machine. By then, I would have retrieved it from between the springs of one of the sleeping room beds—a few feet from where I had been searched.

I’d considered swearing off machines that day and now fear again crawled up my spine with the subtlety of a desert scorpion. By the time the trainer showed up, my hair was sweat-wet, and I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking. I’d ridden 16 years, broken a dozen bones, thrown up over 10,000 times and watched some five tons of my sweat run down the drains of some 54 Jockeys’ Room “hot boxes.”  I wasn’t a top stakes race rider and knew I’d never be one. Five years on the ground and my riding career was as dead as Man O War. By this time, I’d sold articles to virtually every major newspaper east of the Mississippi. Go out this way and no newspaper was going to hire me as a writer. Instead, I’d support my kids throwing them on people’s porches.

I was never so happy to be loaded into a starting gate. The horse won. Though no one except my wife knew I carried a machine, Jubilist Jude payed only $10.80 for a $2 bet. My $400 win and $400 show bet earned me about $2,200, not counting the $260 I received for winning the $4,000 purse.

This time, I vowed to never again use a machine. A vow I kept.


Machines: Fact and Fiction
I was a strong left-handed rider, knew how to snap the whip at the end of the swing and could lay stripes. But some horses, probably less than one half of one percent, learn to ignore the whip and loaf. This made those few powerful betting tools. Leave off the machine and ride hard, use the whip even, and the horse still runs poorly. Light him up at the top of the stretch with a little electricity, and he finds new life.

Thus, the life of the rare “machine rider,” consists of meeting and testing many of those suspected under-achievers during morning workouts. Riders not first testing a horse and “hitting” him for the first time in a race are subject to their mounts sulking, bucking or even running into another horse or bolting over a rail. No rider without a death wish is going to habitually “hit” horses for the first time in their races. If a rider has not ridden a horse in a workout, it’s unlikely that rider will use a machine in a race. Every true machine horse I encountered was an older, well experienced, calm male. For me, two year olds, fillies, and very nervous horses weren’t even candidates for a morning test. Simply too unpredictable. This testing means a rider will often have a machine in his or her possession on the backstretch, a place where a body search is well within the purview of racing officials, so that rare animal automatically enhances the possibility of being caught.

I don’t want to cast trainers in a bad light because hundreds of them hired me. Almost that many fired me. Yet, I noted that many did not understand the basics of a machine and believed a lot of horses would improve with one. I actually knew one rider who had a fake machine, incapable of shocking a horse. He would take it into the saddling paddock, stand close to the trainer and quickly pull back the top of his riding pant’s top, flashing it.

I agree with severe penalties for riders caught with a machine in their possession, but not because I agree with PETA’s assertion that machine use is inhuman. I simply know a true machine horse is a gambler’s dream, creating an opportunity to cheat the betting public.

 

Machines: My Best Practices
While writing for the Dallas Morning News in the 1980s, I penned the article, “Electric Jockeys and their Juice Machines.”  In it, I quoted anonymously a rider who knew far more than me about machines and taught me much of what I had learned. Many readers thought this person was actually me, but it was not. I detail best practices here not as an incentive for other riders because I’ve already said, the reward does not justify the risk. Instead, I want racing authorities to know what to look for.

A machine administers a light but highly surprising shock. I used to practice on one of my arms or the heel of my palm so I wouldn’t be shy about handling one when it counted. If I knew it was coming, the shock was only mildly uncomfortable. Yet, it is something entirely foreign to a racehorse, and I am convinced it is the surprise and not the shock that causes the horse to react. When I used a machine in a race, I only touched their neck once or twice. Keep applying it, the surprise disappears, and it becomes useless. If I were a racehorse, I would much prefer to be touched with a machine than hit repeatedly with a whip.

buzzer

A typical ‘buzzer’ or ‘machine’

I never stored a machine in my locker but found safe places where it was not likely to be detected and could be retrieved after weighing out and before leaving the Jockeys’ Room for the paddock. I never had anyone pass it to me, such as a pony rider in the post parade or a trainer in the paddock. Too risky and easy to fumble. I kept it in the top of my jockey strap, prongs out and took it out during the post parade. I could do this without an accompanying pony rider even noticing. I never dropped it to the track after a race. That too can be seen, and when track maintenance workers find it, it could contain my fingerprints.

When I stood in the saddle after a race I used the normal move to pull down my goggles but continued my hand movement to my pants, used my pinky finger to make a space at the top and deftly dropped it inside. If stewards want to look for an identifying move to store a machine in a safe place after a race, this is it. When dropped inside my pants it was safely out of sight. I stung the back of my thigh once in the winners’ circle and fought to not grimace. Once back in the Jockeys’ Room, I would go inside a bathroom stall and privately retrieve it, store it away from my locker and get it only when I was about to leave for the day. If anything looked suspicious, it stayed in the Jockeys’ Room that night. Rarely did anyone but my wife and I know I was going to use it. Too easy, as they say, to “drop a dime.”

Once at Keeneland, a rider forgot he’d put his machine in his helmet after a race. Disgusted at losing, he threw his helmet into his open locker space. The machine bounced off the locker’s back wall and slid across the Jockeys Room floor, stopping a few feet behind the Clerk of Scales who was weighing riders out for the next race. In retrieving it, the rider moved faster than his losing mount.

I’ve read in recent articles stories of riders hiding their machines in blinkers or under their saddle towels. This would not only be an unreliable place to plant one, it would also require a movement that would be far too obvious. A rider with a machine in his hand does not want to attract attention of any kind. Still, there was a case in the 1980s when a rider was searched behind the gate for a machine. When nothing was found, he supposedly chastised the agents searching him, causing a disgruntled assistant starter to tell the agents that the machine had been neatly wrapped inside the knot riders always tie to shorten the excess reins.

I had the opportunity to buy a whip with an electrical device imbedded inside the handle. During the post parade, the rider took two tiny metal cylinders from his mouth and stuck them into the handle where they made contact with the coil generating the shock. I wasn’t interested. I was so afraid of getting caught that the night before I used a machine was often sleepless. Knowing that laying inside my Jockeys’ Room locker was a device that if discovered would have removed my paycheck for at least five years would have made all nights sleepless.

 

Track Stewards: How Savvy are They?
I was amazed that stewards could seriously consider that Jose Santos used a machine in the 2003 Kentucky Derby aboard winner Funny Cide or Luis Saez used one on Will Take Charge in last year’s Travers Stakes. Jockeys are pretty handy on the backs of racing Thoroughbreds, but they are not magicians. In the latter race, I watched the tapes and was sure Saez was innocent and said so on Facebook. In the heat of the investigation, Bill Finley of ESPN.com called and asked why I was so sure.

First, it was reported that Saez had never been on the back of Will Take Charge before the race. For a jockey to “plug in” a horse he had never before ridden—even in a morning workout—in a $1 million race seemed ludicrous. The rider has no way of knowing how the horse will react or even if it will help. When I saw Saez switch sticks from his right to his left hand at the top of the stretch and then hand ride, (something Santos also did on Funny Cide), I was convinced he was innocent.

Virtually all riders switch whip hands the same way. When going from right to left— a common practice—the rider uses his left hand underhanded to lift the stick from the right hand holding the whip. This requires the rider hold the crossed reins with his right hand while using the left to lift the whip with the opposite hand. If a machine is in the rider’s right hand, he would also hold the crossed reins in his right hand, along with the stick. Conversely, if the machine is in the rider’s left hand when he switches the whip to that hand, he would have to reach for the stick underhanded with a machine in his palm.

If the rider then used the whip in his left hand, he would have to do it while holding the machine in the same hand, something I never came close to accomplishing. When the rider goes to a hand ride, as is typical during the finish, the rider with the whip and machine in his left hand would have to again grasp the left rein. Again, all three would be in the same hand. So in any scenario, the rider at some point would have to hold a rein, the whip and the machine in the same hand. A machine is at least the size of a roll of dimes and jockeys do not have giant hands. It is my considered opinion that to hold all three at the same time as well as change whip hands with a machine in either hand is virtually impossible.

And the question begs: If a rider risks using a machine, the rider must consider it a worthwhile source of motivation. So even if holding all three in the same hand while race riding were possible, why would the rider even go to the trouble of switching whip hands if using the machine would be easier and more effective? I, and all machine riders I encountered in nearly 20 years of race riding, always kept a machine in the same hand throughout the race and gently touched the horse’s neck with it, usually while whipping with the other hand to make any sudden acceleration seem caused by the whip. This, in itself, requires practice and dexterity.

I apologize in my book for my actions and I do the same here. Yet, I cannot change what happened. However, I can let racing officials know what I learned about machines in hopes that it will help keep racing free of machines. I am not opposed to a lifetime ban for riders caught with a machine on their person. And to riders, I ask them to compare the amount of money they will lose with a five-year or more suspension with what they may gain by using a machine. I believe that probably 98 or 99 percent of riders complete their careers without even seeing a machine.

 

How to Eliminate Machines
Perhaps I’m naive, but I think I have a simple way to forever rid the sport of machines. It’s my understanding that all license holders are subject to having their body, barn, and auto searched any time that person is on track property. While likely not invented when I rode, seeing a member of track security, either in the backsretch or the Jockeys Room, carrying a metal detecting wand—like those used by TSA agents inside airports—would have scared me straight.

Every machine I saw consisted of a battery, either triple AAA or several stacked hearing aid batteries, connected to a copper coil with two prongs at the bottom and generally wrapped with flesh colored tape. One prong is a ground and the other is built to retract when pressed against a solid object, such as a horse’s neck, completing contact between the coil and the actual battery, producing an electric current. I don’t think a shock can be administered without a metal coil, always copper in the machines I used. The battery itself contains metal. These, I am convinced, would be detectable with a metal detecting wand.

Rev. Eddie Donnally today

Rev. Eddie Donnally today

During a recent book signing at Tampa Bay Downs, a track security agent bought my book. I joked that the purchase price should be tax-deducible as a “Training Manual.” One book reviewer on Amazon, a vet at the New York tracks, wrote that my book should be required reading for aspiring jockeys. I made virtually all the mistakes and recorded them. Had I the opportunity for a do-over, I would never have touched a machine. But, alas I do not. However, through the grace of God I have changed. I have been in full time ministry for the past 17 years and am a professional hospital and hospice chaplain. Much of my life today is spent encouraging others to avoid the mistakes I made. That’s true of my use of machines.

Being outside racing has given me outside eyes. My training as a type of counselor (I hold a Doctorate in Ministry with a minor in counseling) has caused me to understand that a patient’s perception of their illness is their reality. Correct or incorrect in medical terms, perception has the power to affect their health. Right or wrong, good or bad, PETA has changed the world’s perception of Thoroughbred racing and that perception has damaged its health. Sadly, the perception of sickness will remain no matter how many racing writers insist the patient’s diagnosis is not so dim after all. I always said there is nothing worse than a reformed reformer, but here I go. I believe racing must return to the “Hay, Oats and Water” mentality of a past era if it is to return to its past glory or even survive into the next century.

I hope this article forever ends the use of machines. I acknowledged the mistakes I made. I changed for the better. I pray racing will also.

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  • Hamish

    Powerful revelations from Donnally. Seems he was involved buzzing horses in races in which the notorious Winter Hill Gang from Boston were allegedly manipulating for betting purposes. It sounds like on the well buzzer trained horses that this tactic really does work. Jocks mentioned and appearing on the current PETA tapes might take Donnally’s lead, perhaps becoming the jock ambassadors of NO buzzing, visiting the various jock colonies and teaching them right from wrong, and informing them of the potential consequences.

    • nu-fan

      My concerns are that there are some people who have no morals, no values, and no standards. They are motivated by greed. I agree with Mr. Donnally. Those found using this device need lifetime bans–nothing short of that. Maybe, this will instill fear (of being caught) and will win out over that greed.

    • Vudu

      Its good to have someone stand out & clearly say this is wrong & that the consequences are in fact dire. Vs everyone being on board, so long as they don’t get caught.

      In Donnally’s case, it sounds as though he was quite anxious about the behavior at the time he was using it. Perking a “lazy” horse.

      Teaching the jockeys “right from wrong” is a little too paternalistic, however. They already KNOW what is legal & what will get them in serious trouble, or else they wouldn’t be hiding it, correct?

      Caught twice should definitely be a lifetime ban, if this is as serious as implied.

  • Jay Stone

    Met Mr. Donnally many years ago and was impressed by his knowledge and honesty. I’ve read his book and once again was impressed by someone admitting as many mistakes as he has. This is a good education on exactly what a machine does. I knew some of the people who tried to entice him into holding horses and so on and can attest to their brutality. I met them years later and the stories are similar.

  • Alex

    excellent.

  • Lexington 4

    Excellent read.

  • Michael Dempsey

    Maybe you could use the proceeds of the book to pay back some of the horseplayers you cheated.

    • Lexington 4

      15 comments by this profile on various articles and not a single one of them with anything even remotely positive to say.

      Must suck to have your life.

      • http://www.turfnsport.com Michael Dempsey

        Nah actually have quite a nice life. Just not a big fan of cheaters.

        • Black Helen

          WANT CHEATERS- GO AFTER THE WHITE BRIDLED GANG.
          PLETCHER RUNS MORE DOPED HORSES IN A YEAR THAN THE WINNERS THIS MAN EVER RODE.

    • slewcat

      I agree, a Mea Culpa moment on this behalf to sell books. Robert McNamara did his Mea Culpa moment, didn’t raise the dead. Is Madoff going to write a NYT best seller?
      People like him did more to harm HR than one can imagine. Found it boring, Freshmen writing. Glad he found peace. I would rather purchase a book on how I can date and get the Enola virus than his book.

      • Barry Irwin

        Racing is such a tiny little world that it is virtually impossible to make a buck selling a book. With Madoff, of course, the potential audience is enormous. But with the Rev. it is unconsidered.

    • Barry Irwin

      If this guy makes ANY money on this book I for one will be surprised. I am sure that the prospect of making a dollar was not the motivating factor in the Rev. writing this book.

      • Eddie Donnally

        I’ve sold over a thousand copies in six months which is great for a self published book and given away at least a hundred. I am still about $3,000 in the red and Barry, bless your generous heart, my purpose is not to make money but to get the book into the hands of whose who might understand that they do not have to go through what I did before, by the grace of God, I came out the other side.

      • IrishMick

        Hey Barry – Check out the work by Hip 471 at the most recent OBS APR Sale….I wonder if this is what the Rev meant when it comes to 2 YOs.

        • Barry Irwin

          I am too lazy to look it up. Can you just tell me?

          I love the Alfred E. Newman. I have his bobblehead on my desk and have regular conversations with him, especially after reading some of this stuff on the Paulick Report!

          • IrishMick

            I don’t exactly know what it looks like when a two year old gets plugged-in, but I am guessing it must looked something along the lines of this.

    • http://www.digitalhearingoutlet.com/ Michael J. Arndt

      Michael, so you are telling me if you walked up to my betting window and you said “boy, I don’t know who to bet here” and I punched you a $ 50 win ticket on Donnally’s horse and said “You want this ticket – he’s carrying a buzzer and he’s gonna win for sure” you would have told me “OMG, no, cancel this immediately”? If so, you would be in a small minority of horseplayers. A VERY small minority.

      • http://www.turfnsport.com Michael Dempsey

        Seriously, that’s your response? I actually have some integrity. I’d probably pick up the phone and call the stewards. Then again, I always use the self-service machines when I am at the track.

        • http://www.digitalhearingoutlet.com/ Michael J. Arndt

          Michael, you wouldn’t get a busy signal if you called the stewards, thats for sure.

  • equine avenger

    Squared off horse shoe nails have been used too, and the rider CAN drop those on the track after a race with no worry of them being found.

  • G, Rarick

    Absolutely fascinating – and horifying – read. Thank you Mr. Donnally.

  • Bellwether

    A few humans do come clean…You know what I mean???…Life time bans and jail time will not stop all the cheaters but it damn sure will thin their the ranks…Big time…And by the way…Thank you PETA…

    • http://judgebork.wordpress.com Lou Baranello Former Steward

      Bellweather, See if you can get that message about lifetime bans and jail time to the stewards and racing commissioners of this industry who have so egregiously failed stakeholders and horse players alike in their -so called- regulation of this industry. It was and remains their responsibility and that of no one else.

      • Bellwether

        Lou…You sure know a ton about “The Game” and what it will take to fix it…Things are about to change for the better…Period…Sure am glad we have folks like you on our side…ty…

        • http://judgebork.wordpress.com Lou Baranello Former Steward

          Thank you, Bellwether.

          • Bellwether

            My pleasure Lou…

  • Barry Irwin

    I love me some Rev. Donnally. I also love the Racetrack Chaplaincy. They are the best organization in horse racing.

  • FastBernieB

    I met Rev. Donnally at Tampa Bay Downs in March where he was MC at a benefit for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. I’ve also read his book and recommend it highly. The latter part of Rev. Donnally’s life has been devoted to helping his fellow man. Perhaps this is why he was spared what should have been a certain death at the hands of the “Winter Hill Gang.” I’m sure God has forgiven him for earlier wrongdoings – who are we to not do the same?

  • guest

    WOW what a great way to promote your book because you were sub par as a jockey and should have been ruled off years before you ever gave up. I am very glad you have found redemption. However that doesnt take away form the fact you knowing committed a felony when you cashed those bets and plugged in those horses.

  • Flag Is Up

    Several things in this story that don’t sit quite right:

    - I’ve been shocked with a machine and it is anything but a light shock.
    - Mr. Donnally obviously benefited by using a machine because he was gambling on the horses that he rode so isn’t that essentially race fixing?
    - Mr. Donnally is now benefiting monetarily by selling a book where he comes clean about his illegal practices.
    - How about some discussion about how some horses were warmed up at the barn with cattle prods before races.

    Glad you found the Lord and have changed your ways, too bad for the horses that you rode that it didn’t happen MUCH sooner!

    • Barry Irwin

      Flag Is Up, but Brain Is Down.

      People like the Rev. don’t write books like this to make money, they write them to instruct, teach and enlighten.

      It is a shame that you do not extend any credit to a former loser that had the courage to change his ways.

      When you grow a pair and decide to write under your own name, be sure to let us all know that you were the Poster Formerly Known As Flag Is Up, so that we can ridicule you for what you wrote and not cut you any sort of slack at all.

      • Flag Is Up

        Respectfully disagree.

    • Jay Stone

      This book will make Mr. Donnelly nothing but might help
      Another lost jock thinking of these things.

    • Lexington 4

      So go ahead and discuss the cattle prods yourself, Flag. We are all waiting on the edges of our seats for your great insights.

      On second thought…. never mind.

    • Eddie Donnally

      In 28 years on the backstretches of all kinds of tracks, I never saw a horse hit with a cattle prod and don’t know what its purpose would be.

      • Flag Is Up

        At over 70 years of age and having worked at over 30 tracks I’ve seen lots and maybe too much. Long ago the use of three size D battery cattle prods was not uncommon. Haven’t seen them for years but it was a common practice.

        Mr. Donnally, I’m glad you’ve changed your life around but the truth is you were involved in race fixing.

      • Jord

        I’ve been told people will use an ac cord with the end cut off to apply the current to “light up” a “lazy” horse Can’t imagine the circumstance where this would help.

        • Flag Is Up

          There was a tale of a horse killed at a Northern California racetrack using this method.

    • bangem andleavem

      You know, MANY years ago , someone told me about that ‘pre race’ warmup and I was horrified. Didn’t really believe it.

      So when all the PETA bashers read this, let them chew on it for a while.

  • Mimi Hunter

    In a profession that is as dangerous as being a jockey, I can’t imagine anyone using a thing that would make it even more so. I had a quarter mare who had put in a stint on the a race track – and appeared to have had one used on her. Anything that made a noise resembling a spark would be reacted to – and badly. I’ve been watching horse racing quite a lot in the past few years, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that reaction a couple of times on the TV.. Jockeys who play this game [with machines] must have a death wish .

    • Eddie Donnally

      That’s likely true. In my case, shortly after I stopped riding and went though a divorce, I gobbled down 36 Xanix, drank a fifth of Crown Royal and lay down on my floor to die. Only through a miracle I talk about in my book, am I alive today.

      • Mimi H

        I’ve got a Guardian Angel, too – has saved my hide on several occasions – and I mean that very literally. A pair of car wrecks lead the list. But they pale compared to intentionally zapping a horse that you are sitting on.

  • Another retired jock

    Thanks Eddie for opening the public’s eye on another dark-side of racing. I am a former jockey also, and like anyone who has spent time in jockey rooms, there are many tales of machines.

    A couple stories that stick out in my mind. I was playing cards in the kitchen of a jockeys’ room when a man in a three-piece suit I did not recognize walked in from an exterior door and stood there holding a utility belt. I mentioned this to one of the other jockeys playing who had his back to the door. He was very astute and said most likely he was there to search of the jockey room. He instructed us to act like the game was over and casually get up and tell all the other jockeys in the room. When I informed one of the older jockeys of the likely search, he made a bee-line to his box, where he grabbed his machine and placed it in the cup of coffee he was drinking. Within moments several other security offices came rushing in and instructed all jockeys to the kitchen while they would search the room. We sat on the pool table with the older jockey toasting his coffee to the security personnel. No machines were found.

    Another time it was one of the last races of the night it the dead of winter. The temperature was around twenty degrees when we started loading into the gate for a six furlong race. I was in the two or three post in a field of ten or so. The third to the outside horse was lead in and the assistant starter jumped out. It was at this time everyone in the gate could hear a buzzing sound. The jockey on the horse just lead into the gate, started hitting his left hand against the side of the gate. It was very apparent he had a machine in his glove and it was stuck on. Several of the horses started acting up. The starter shouted on the PA system to the jockey with the buzzing machine if he was having a problem. The jock respond that he just needed the starter to start the race so he could get away from the bees in his stall. And that is what we did.

  • we’re watching

    I lost out on the third race of a big pick three to a horse whose rider was found to be carrying and using one. I’ll not say his name, but I’m still pissed off. But I forgive him and the Reverand. Continue your good work Rev and we’ll hope and pray for the best, and that my next photo finish foes my way.

    • Eddie Donnally

      I hope it does my friend. You have a win coming.

  • Bobby Stovall

    Eddie,I must congratulate you on your article, I rode for 25 yrs and never used a machine but have come across some that did. I felt like they were stealing from me when beaten by a head or so and got into a few scuffles. I have served as a Steward, now semi retired for 26 years and have caught a few riders with machines. Yes the suspension does not equal the money they might of made if they rode those 5 yrs or so. Again well written article and God bless, Bobby Stovall. P S We rode together back in the good old days.

    • Eddie Donnally

      I remember you well. Thanks for the kind comments.

  • Michael Castellano

    Excellent article. But probably the tip the iceberg on the efforts of crooked trainers and jockeys.

    • bangem andleavem

      Crooks are everywhere, or didn’t you notice? Try Wall St.

      • Michael Castellano

        Tell me something I don’t know. It’s still a good article.

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