Quarter horse trainer Bassett banned 10 years for frog juice

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John H. Bassett, a past American Quarter Horse Association champion trainer and two-time winner of the sport’s premier event, the All-American Futurity, has been suspended a total of 10 years and fined $10,000 after two horses in his care tested positive for the prohibited Class 1 drug dermorphin. The drug, said to be 40 times more powerful than morphine, is widely known as frog juice because it is derived, in its natural form, from secretions of South American tree frogs.

Vince Mares, director of the New Mexico Racing Commission, confirmed Bassett’s suspension and fine, which was handed out Saturday after a stewards hearing at Zia Park. The penalties (five-year suspension and $5,000 fine for each violation) are the maximum permitted under New Mexico law at the time of the infractions. The New Mexico legislature has since passed stricter penalty guidelines for horseracing medication violations.

Bassett is the first of three trainers whose cases are to be heard by New Mexico stewards for positive dermorphin tests after the May 25 Ruidoso Futurity trials. Eight of the 25 trial winners (and one third-place finisher) tested positive for the drug. Hearings are scheduled next weekend for J. Heath Reed, who had five horses test positive for dermorphin, and Carlos Sedillo, who had two.

The two Bassett-trained horses were: Don’t Tell Lila, owned by Mason King and Kim Kessinger, winner of a trial heat; and Head Trauma, owned by Lyle Guillory, third in a trial heat.

The Maddy Laboratory at the University of California-Davis detected the dermorphin in the Ruidoso tests, despite the fact the New Mexico Racing Commission has a contract with the Iowa State University lab for its drug testing program. Split samples were confirmed at Texas A&M.

Fifteen dermorphin positives were detected from horses racing in Oklahoma this spring, though no complaints have been filed or individuals named in those cases. Louisiana has reported 11 dermorphin positives and Nebraska one. According to sources, dermorphin has been detected in at least one horse competing in Texas, but the racing commission there has not confirmed any findings. Industrial Labs in Colorado and Louisiana State University laboratory were involved in the Oklahoma and Louisiana cases that were believed to involve a synthetic form of the drug. Truesdail in California detected the Nebraska dermorphin.

Bassett, 63, was AQHA champion trainer in 2001 and a 2011 inductee into the Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame. He is one of Quarter horse racing’s most prominent horsemen. The son of Joe “Bear” Bassett, who died in 1973 when John Bassett was in his early 20s, he took over his father’s stable in Northern California. He has won nearly every major Quarter horse race at Los Alamitos and Ruidoso Downs, including the All American Futurity in 1999 and 2001, three editions of the Rainbow Futurity, the Ruidoso Derby, Los Alamitos Million, El Primero Del Ano Derby, All American Derby, and John Deere Challenge Championship, among others. Bassett’s son, Joe, is a successful Quarter horse trainer as well.

It was not immediately known if Bassett will appeal the suspension and fine.

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  • Meyer1127

    Hope this dones’t drag on in the courts for ever and ever

  • Meyer1127

    Hope this dones’t drag on in the courts for ever and ever

  • ASL

    Applause for the 10 year ban.  Wish the fine would have been greater.  Moreover, unless those owners had knowledge of the frog juice, they should be paid restitution for losing any and all purse monies. 

    • nu-fan

      I’ve always thought that the owners get off too easy by pleading “Gee, we didn’t know.”  Perhaps, if owners, regardless of whether they plead ignorance, had to face some sort of penalites as well, such as restitution, they will be more responsible in whom they hire to train their horses.  It goes back to the business world where company heads are held responsible for the actions of their employees.  They can’t use the ignorance defense–although many have tried–because they cannot transfer responsibility to others in their company.  They can transfer authority but not responsibility.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1002433998 Anne Pottinger

         This is something I’ve always said. The owner pays the bills, He/she has to ultimately shoulder some of the responsibility for the trainer’s actions.

        • tfly

          Speaking as an owner- do not believe that the trainer is telling the owner of his/her illegal activity.  Some trainers ignore the owner’s direction.  The PR recently had the NYT’s article listed-
          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/22/us/at-the-track-racing-economics-collide-with-veterinarians-oath.html?_r=1

          • Noelle

            Maybe, but having read the article, it’s clear the owners find out what’s going on as soon as they’re asked to pay the first bill.  Once that has happened, once they’ve seen a bill, there’s no excuse for any of them  allowing the drugging to continue.  From that point on, they’re as responsible as the trainer and the vet.

      • Lisa Wintermote

        Completely agree. Horse, trainer, & owner should be suspended/fined/banned equally. I believe that would be the easiest way to get owners in the face of trainers saying “do NOT drug my horses”!
        I am, mind you, referring to class 1 positives such as Demorphin which have no legitimate reason to be present in any sample. I view minor overages of therapeutic meds in a slightly different light.

        • guest

          The horses should be banned for a minimum of 6 months for their own protection. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/deb.olivas Deb Curtis Olivas

          I agree, the owners should bear some responsibility in this, there are some owners who want  to win, and they tell their trainers to win or lose the horses, those kind of owners help create this problem.

        • Ben K McFadden

           And what recourse does the owner have when the vet and trainer do it anyway? I have said in person to vets and trainers, “do not drug my horse!”  I don’t get a bill for a month or more after the fact, so the deed is done.  Yeh I know, that never happens.  Of course, I could move my horse to another trainer?  But… oh, by the time I find out you have already banned and suspended me and my horse. The horse is now useless except as dogfood or YOUR pet. Nice work do-gooders, punish the horse too by relegating it to oblivion.

          I have no problem with punishing the actual perpetrators.  Those that want to punish everyone associated, including the horse, are making it harder, not easier, to get anyone to take meaningful action.  I support throwing the book at the bad guys, but I would not support your approach; nor would a lot of others because it goes overboard and creates collateral damage.

          • Ray’sghost

            Here’s your recourse:  sue them.  It’s YOUR responsibilty to find a worthy trainer.  You screw up, don’t blame the rest of us or ask for a hall pass.

          • Ben K McFadden

            You are an idiot or an attorney.( Not mutually exclusive)

            Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

            —– Reply message —–

          • nu-fan

            Ben:  You keep revealing yourself for who you really are.

          • Ben K McFadden

            Nu fan explains your insight or perhaps you are Chinese Mr. Nu?

            Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

            —– Reply message —–

          • nu-fan

            And you’re a racist to boot!  You do keep exposing yourself for who you really are.  Give it up.  You’re wasting my time at this point.

          • Ben K McFadden

            Ni Hao? Maybe you are Greek, Nu?

          • Barney Door

             No one on this blog requires Ben’s (or anyone’s) help to waste their time.

            Did you ever consider that YOU are wasting YOUR time without blaming someone else?  For someone who demands personal responsibility and accountability from others, it seems an elusive personal quality.

          • Barney Door

            Exactly how does that exhonerate an innocent owner? what does the owner sue the trainer for? what is his compensation for loosing his horse and racing opportunity? Ben is right and too polite.

          • nu-fan

            Barney:  An “innocent” owner?  How about an unwitting one?

          • Barney Door

            It appears you have avoided the question.

          • nu-fan

            Read again. I didn’t avoid it but hate to keep repeating myself.  Innocent?  No.  Lack of abilities to do the responsible thing by doing background check is either laziness or ineptitude.  Take your pick. 

          • Barney Door

             Acting as judge, assigning blame, and pronouncing “shoulds” is not answering the original question.

            To clarify for you and Ray’sghost: What does the owner sue the trainer/vet for and what does he have to gain by doing so?  As a self-appointed expert jurist, please provide the possible grounds for the suit and the damages the owner might hope to be awarded.

            At this point, you have suspended his horse, and his racing license (the stewards will do that for you, as they act as bill collectors for vets and trainers).  A civil suit against the trainer/vet will not address that.  That would require a separate court proceeding.

            As an owner, I am looking for some skilled guidance from you, not dismissive remarks.

          • nu-fan

            Ben:  Here’s another option:  Do a background check, first, regarding hiring a trainer or a vet.  Employers do this all of the time.  Try it.  Check and ask for references.  The list goes on.  If you do not know how to do this, learn from other well-regarded owners.  This is basic business.  You cannot absolve your responsibilities by pleading ignorance.  If this is beyond your abilities, perhaps, being an owner of a racehorse isn’t up your alley.  And, talk about collateral damage:  What the heck do you think your horses have the potential for becoming if you do not do your job correctly?

          • Ben K McFadden

            Table fare to feed one of your choices of entre Mr. Nu. Ah so.

            Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

            —– Reply message —–

          • Ben K McFadden

             Lazy Fan Gets His

            Wealthy Chinese/African/Irish/Cambodian businessman, Mr. Fan Nu,
            leaves his field trial champion golden lab, Fluffy, at the local vet.  Dr. Lyle Fu is a recognized, inventor of the laser
            dog-pooh vaporizer and recipient of the ASPCA All Dogs Go to Heaven Award.  Dr. Fu is given instructions to board Fluffy
            for two weeks, give him his rabies and distemper shots, and bathe him the day
            before Mr. Nu returns.  Mr. Nu is also
            very clear that Fluffy is to eat only lean, cooked ground sirloin and steamed broccoli.  Under no circumstances should Fluffy have
            sugar.

            Ilene Lefft, vet assistant, likes Fluffy so much; she secretly
            takes him home with her and shares her dinner of Fruit Loops.  On a sugar high rampage, Fluffy eats the arm
            of Ilene’s leather sofa, chews the walls of her apartment, and breaks his left
            hind leg.

            Upon his return Mr. Nu is given bill totaling $4532 for the
            damages and $1113 for treating Fluffy’s injured leg.  He is also billed $200 for a poodle clip,
            $350 for birth control medication, $175 for aromatherapy, and $75 for a box of
            Fruit Loops.  When he refuses to pay,
            Ilene’s landlord sues; Dr. Fu “quarantines” Fluffy at $75/day and gives him
            anabolic steroids and tranquilizers” to keep Fluffy strong and calm”.  The matter goes to court.

            A civil jury finds Mr. Nu is liable for the damages and the
            vet bills because he is an attorney, he drives a Bentley, only pays 14.9%
            income tax, and his wife is 5’11 redhead and a Victoria Secret model.  He is also a wealthy dog owner and should
            have known better.  He failed to perform
            due diligence on Dr. Fu and he should have been aware in advance that Dr. Fu
            would perform unwanted services and ignore instructions.  Mr. Nu also jeopardized Fluffy’s
            welfare.  Therefore, the court
            confiscates Fluffy and places him in the permanent care of Ilene. Mr. Nu is
            directed by the judge, Captain Kangaroo, to surrender all of Fluffy’s field
            trial trophies to Project Head Start for use as educational toys.

            Fan never owns another dog. 
            Fluffy dies within six months from diabetic complications (Mr. Nu is required
            to pay for euthanasia and shipment of the remains via Fed Ex to Ilene’s family
            farm in downtown LA).  Dr. Lyle Fu
            receives the BBB Golden Finger Award and donates $100 to the ASPCA. 

            Mr. Fan Nu is an idiot and got what he deserved.  A negligent, complicit, owner has been held
            accountable and his dog has been properly taken care of.

            The world is a better place.

          • Lisa Wintermote

            Here’s another scenario, and its fact not fantasy.

            Keeneland 2012: Outrider is unable to legally obtain a trainers license because its a conflict of interest since he’s licensed as a racing official.
            Outrider puts the racehorse in the pony barn and trains it anyway.
            Outrider enters/runs horse in another trainers name. His girlfriend, the identifier, says nothing despite knowledge of what is happening.
            The owner is aware of the entire charade. Owner knows who is training the horse and that the person being listed as trainer in the entry box is NOT training his horse
            The horse races and comes up with a hot test- clenbuterol.
            The “paper trainer”, the identifier, and the outrider all receive fines &/or suspensions.
            The owner receives no penalties whatsoever and states publicly his intention to financially support the “paper trainer” during his suspension.

            Owners bear responsibility for their horses and the integrity of racing. They should be held to some degree of accountability as well.

          • Lisa Wintermote

            Ben,
            Race seems to be an issue w/ you so I will tell u the people involved in the scenario are Caucasian. I, myself, am half right-off-the-boat Irish and half Native American (Meskwaki) and born on a reservation.
            I’m totally not sure why this matters but it seems important to u! #HateRacismInAnyForm

          • Ben K McFadden

            Not so.  What has race got to do with any of my comments? (Please define race.)  I meant to imply that Nu-Fan was a dumbass because he was a new fanatic.  I then asked if I had misinterpreted his fake name and that maybe he was Chinese?  I should have thought to ask if maybe he was Greek, as in Sigma Nu, or Kinda Nu. 

            Seems to me You and Nuni are the “race” sensitive ones, which is why I made sure that while the ethnic identity of Mr. Fan Nu was clear, his race was ambiguous, and may not even be subject to definitiion.  Dr. Fu is Italian, which is not a race. Chinese is not a race either; nor is Irish, Cambodian, etc.

            I am also a Native American. My mother’s family where French Huguenots who landed in Charleston, and my dads family came from Scotland and Germany in the early 18th century. They did not cross the land mass over what is now the Bering Strait, as it was less convenient and too cold.

            I do not believe stupid is a racial or ethnic characteristic.  It is a common characteristic of individuals who take themselves too seriously on blogs.

          • Lisa Wintermote

            I generally disagree with Nu Fan on here and pointed out on one thread that I didn’t feel she/he was “new” at all. I took umbrage with the racial overtones of a couple of your posts- “table fare…Mr. Nu. Ah so…” & “Chinese/African….” .
            I’m glad to know you didn’t intend it that way.
            New or Nu does have a valid argument in owner culpability though IMO.

          • Ben K McFadden

             It is my impression that everyone who wants to punish the owner and/or horse without due process has either never been an owner, or are an owner who has never had a bad experience.

            I expect to have my guilt directly established by my actions, and not be punished simply because someone hired as my agent acted contrary to my wishes.  The horse should be left out of the argument altogether.  The horse did not ask to be drugged and may indeed end up as food for someone’s dog if not allowed to  justify their role as a racehorse.

            The Chinese do eat dog, and horses do become dog food.  That is reality.  Not ethnic or racial bigotry.  The response was an answer to what happens to horses that I, as a lousy owner, fail to protect from the bad guys. Some horses suffer worse fates which do not involve Chinese or dog food.

          • Lisa Wintermote

            In response to your well reasoned post, I would ask you what responsibility does an owner have? What would you consider due diligence in choosing a trainer?
            What if an owner puts horses with a trainer who has previous positives? Does that change things? Could owners ask trainers to sign a “no drugs” contract?
            I can see your point of view and I appreciate the reasonable tone you take. I do think the owners may be in the best position to effect real change as their money purchases and supports the horses the trainer needs to stay in business.

          • Lisa Wintermote

            It’s all about reason.
            If the owner and horse are at risk, the owner has greater incentive to choose his trainer wisely.
            If the trainer knows he will lose clients and face a lawsuit for a hot test, he’s probably not going to drug the horse in the first place.
            If the owner requests a “no drugs” contract, he now has legal recourse.
            I’m aware this is overly simplistic but change has to start somewhere.

          • Ben K McFadden

             It seems reasonable to believe that I would make an effort to select a good trainer when I send a horse in which I have invested tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.  I cannot understand how anyone would believe otherwise.

            We interview trainers in person, or by phone.  Examine their records and discuss them and their approach with various  knowledgeable third parties.  We also discuss at length our medication policies and expectations for level of care.  Almost every horse we race is a homebred that we have raised and in some cases actually foaled ourselves.  The notion proposed by Nu-Fan and other idiots that we would knowingly permit our horses to be mistreated is insulting and naive.  To punish us or the horse because we made a bad choice of agents is the same as shutting down our business because one of our employees did something stupid or dishonest.

            Are there cheats, and crooks in this business? Yes.  Punishing conscientious owners to “force change” will not make crooks honest or stop cheating.  It will only cause us to get out and let the do-gooders and the crooks fight it out.

          • Ben K McFadden

            The owner was the de facto trainer. Not exactly a rich fat cat without direct knowledge. Doesn’t correspond.
            Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

            —– Reply message —–

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000018955409 Lori Minkus

            A wee bit of due  diligence on part of the owner on any backstetch will quickly identify the trainers who are entirely above board and the ones who are shadey. The trainers also get to know which owners ere clueless rubes and which they best not screw around with. Everyone who lives at the track and this includes owners,  knows who the chemists are, who the hacks are and who the 1st class trainers are. If you are willing to pay the 1st class trainers then Hell No, they won’t run a horse so sore it needs synth opiodes to walk soundly even if you Tell them to. It puts the horse, jockey as well as  every other horse and jockey in the race in danger of a catastophic injury. It’s not IF that leg will fail it’s When. Every time that horse sets foot on the track he puts everyone in danger.  The greedy moneygrubbers, owner or trainer, just don’t care.
                The problem is that to do a full clean up NOW will require a full scale overhaul of the Entire industry, from the very top, all the way down to the very bottom. It will cost billions. Not One single person wants that money to come out of THIER pocket. But if it isn’t cleaned up Damn Quick the entire industry is on it’s way to collapsing anyway. Too much greed for short term profit right NOW and not enough concern for what if any legacy they were leaving for the future. Now it may be too late. If that is the case then then the trainers, owners and breeders screwed themselves.

          • Ben K McFadden

            Actually, we agree.  My point is that reform must be carried out in a manner that drains the swamp without leaving an empty wasteland devoid any remaining lifeforms.

          • Ben K McFadden

             Sorry, I was responding earlier from a touchscreen phone. 

            Owner is not responsible for failed clenbuterol test unless it can be PROVEN he was aware it was being improperly administered and allowed it.  If “paper trainer” is licensed and ran horse under his name the horse was raced legally, though it was trained by an unlicensed trainer.  The unlicensed trainer and the licensed trained should have been punished IF the licensed trainer did not supervise the training of the horse.  The owner should also be punished IF it can be proven he knew that his horse was being trained by the outrider without supervision by a licensed trainer.  The last part is key.

            There is nothing illegal about the owner indicating his support for the trainer of record; “paper trainer”.  The whole thing sounds stupid, but not exactly the same as an owner knowingly have a trainer run his horse on drugs.

            I have a casual aquaintance with the Keeneland outrider, and an even better one with some of his associates.  His actions were consistent with those of the associates I know.

          • Lisa Wintermote

            Hmmm… It would seem as though we agree on that one then! :-)

          • Lisa Wintermote

            Ben, I’m not unsympathetic to the plight of the honest owner. Nor am I ignorant of the effect this could have on racings ability to attract new owners to the sport. I do, however, believe this could be the most effective deterrent available to us. Owners would choose trainers VERY carefully if their racing license was on the line. Owners would leave a dirty trainer in droves after his FIRST violation.
            As to the horse, if he is in need of class 1 drugs…he’s undeniably in need of a vacation!

          • Ben K McFadden

            Thank goodness the fantasies are confined to the blogosphere.

            Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

            —– Reply message —–

      • guest

        This trainer knew. Days after the May positive tests he was flapping his lips telling people that “the vet” gave it and telling way too much information about the drug itself.  This was long before the split sample came back confirming the positive.  So he knew the horse had it and he shouldn’t have allowed it.  Questions are: Did the vet give it? and Did the owners know about it?  I believe that any owner who kept his horses in training after the positive tests came down had to have known something or else they would have been madder than h**l at being deceived and would have cut ties immediately. Shame on the owners too. Does the Commission have to do all of the cleanup? This behavior should result in criminal prosecution.

        • Guest

          Really sad part?? One owner MOVED THEIR HORSES TO BASSETT. AFTER the positives came out. Yeah, tell me some owners shouldn’t shouder responsibility??

  • ASL

    Applause for the 10 year ban.  Wish the fine would have been greater.  Moreover, unless those owners had knowledge of the frog juice, they should be paid restitution for losing any and all purse monies. 

  • Mstarseq

    Applause applause applause! Too bad be will just appeal it and continue training under somebody else’s name. Step in the right direction at least

  • Mstarseq

    Applause applause applause! Too bad be will just appeal it and continue training under somebody else’s name. Step in the right direction at least

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300210178 Carlene Wiser

    Hate to be ignorant.. but just what does this drug do????

    • Sean Kerr

      Dermorphin is a hepta-peptide first isolated from the skin of South American frogs belonging to the genus Phyllomedusa.[1] The peptide is a natural opioid that binds as an agonist with high potency and selectivity tomu Opioid receptors.[2][3] Dermorphin is about 30-40 times more potent than morphine but less likely to produce drug tolerance and addiction.[4]The amino acid sequence of dermorphin is H-Tyr-D-Ala-Phe-Gly-Tyr-Pro-Ser-NH2
      Dermorphin is not found in humans or other mammals and similar D-amino acid peptides have only been found in bacteria, amphibians andmolluscs.[5] Dermorphin appears to be made in these through an unusualposttranslational modification carried out by an amino acid isomerase.[6]This unusual process is needed because the D-alanine in this peptide is not among the 20 amino acids coded for in the genetic code and thus the peptide cannot be synthesized in the usual way from the encodings in thegenome of an organism.
      [edit]Illicit use
      Dermorphin has been illegally used in horse racing as a performance-enhancing drug. Due to dermorphin’s painkilling activity, horses treated with dermorphin may run harder than they would otherwise.[7]

      • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

         Basically, it’s a painkiller so strong you wouldn’t know you HAD legs much less care if they hurt. Your body doesn’t build up a tolerance for it, so the dosing doesn’t need to be increased for the same effect and it isn’t addictive so you can stop using it suddenly with no ill effect…except the horse will suddenly remember he HAS legs…and they HURT!!

    • RayPaulick

      I don’t know what it does to horses, but its original use by Amazon tribesmen was to increase their energy, awareness and stamina for hunting expeditions that lasted several days. http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/the-tree-frog-drug-combating-the-latest-racetrack-cocktail/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1300210178 Carlene Wiser

    Hate to be ignorant.. but just what does this drug do????

  • nu-fan

    I’ve always thought that the owners get off too easy by pleading “Gee, we didn’t know.”  Perhaps, if owners, regardless of whether they plead ignorance, had to face some sort of penalites as well, such as restitution, they will be more responsible in whom they hire to train their horses.  It goes back to the business world where company heads are held responsible for the actions of their employees.  They can’t use the ignorance defense–although many have tried–because they cannot transfer responsibility to others in their company.  They can transfer authority but not responsibility.

  • Sean Kerr

    Dermorphin is a hepta-peptide first isolated from the skin of South American frogs belonging to the genus Phyllomedusa.[1] The peptide is a natural opioid that binds as an agonist with high potency and selectivity tomu Opioid receptors.[2][3] Dermorphin is about 30-40 times more potent than morphine but less likely to produce drug tolerance and addiction.[4]The amino acid sequence of dermorphin is H-Tyr-D-Ala-Phe-Gly-Tyr-Pro-Ser-NH2
    Dermorphin is not found in humans or other mammals and similar D-amino acid peptides have only been found in bacteria, amphibians andmolluscs.[5] Dermorphin appears to be made in these through an unusualposttranslational modification carried out by an amino acid isomerase.[6]This unusual process is needed because the D-alanine in this peptide is not among the 20 amino acids coded for in the genetic code and thus the peptide cannot be synthesized in the usual way from the encodings in thegenome of an organism.
    [edit]Illicit use
    Dermorphin has been illegally used in horse racing as a performance-enhancing drug. Due to dermorphin’s painkilling activity, horses treated with dermorphin may run harder than they would otherwise.[7]

  • Sean Kerr

    The real question is why isn’t the federal department of justice or the DEA involved given that this a narcotics trafficking issue. 

    • ryan driscoll

      Why aren’t these people being arrested for the criminals that they are? They are “tampering with a sporting event”. This is race fixing, plain and simple. Racing in New Mexico should be given a “death penalty” like a college that buys players. Ban racing for five years in that cesspool and start over.

      • Tres Abagados Stupidos

        Easy there big fella.  If I remember correctly you worked in Louisiana for a while where they too have many dermorphin positives.  So should racing there be shut down as well?  Don’t get into a pot and kettle situation.  Though I do agree with you that these guys should be prosecuted for race fixing and possesion.

      • RayeSource

         I resent that remark driscoll.  There are lots of good trainers and good horses in NM.  Don’t be condemning a wonderful State for the actions of a few.  The article names a home based California trainer.    Cheaters are every where, including the white house!

        • ryan driscoll

          Good point. In addition to the horseplayers getting cheated by these criminals, the real horsemen are also getting cheated for playing within the rules. My comment about shutting racing down in New Mexico should have been— fire every regulator involved and start over. Look at the rulings, they have turned a blind eye to just about every form of cheating for years. They have created this enviroment by slapping trainers on the wrist and buring their heads in the sand. As for Louisiana, while not always perfect, they have been proactive in going after these crooks for the last ten years. They are the ones that introduced this testing for dermorphin. I apologize if I offended any legitimate horsemen. While I’m no longer working in racing, my heart, as it always was, is with the hard working, HONEST, people of the backside.

          • RayeSource

             Thank You.  I agree about the slap on the wrist.  NM racing commission is a political appointee job.  I think the new 2008 commission is trying.  They are handicapped by state statute and the judicial system.

          • Guest

            Like RayeSource said – there IS a new Commission. Mostly new, there is one holdover from the old Comm. Wish he was gone, too. This Commission really seems to be trying very hard and they inherited a big pile of road apples.

        • Marc

          That was a stupid, gratuitous comment about the White House. Stay on task please.

    • Marc

      Good question, Sean. I understand that dermorphin has not yet been classified as a scheduled narcotic (expect that will change soon) and therefore is not under the purview of the DEA. However, there may be other federal laws that would address dermophin use as it certainly is not an approved drug for human or animal use.

      What I’d like to see is effective undercover investigations on the backside so that the providers of drugs like dermorphin are identified and prosecuted.  Trainers are having whispered conversations with suppliers of drugs like dermorphin — someone is telling them about new performance altering drugs and whether they can escape detection.  Let’s put the heat on trainers to reveal who the pushers are. 

      • Stanley inman

        “let’s put the heat on the trainers to reveal who the pushers are”
        So funny
        Just google dermorphine and voila
        A Ton of places in Arizona and elsewhere
        will be more than glad to fill your order.

      • Mitcdegroot46

        There is one vet in the New Mexico circuit who is responsible for all of this. He has since retired and moved to Oklahoma. Trainers in the cases I know about should have asked more questions. I am a former trainer who was caught up in a similar situation thirty years ago. I love the sport and have been very successful as an owner over the years. I want it too be as clean a sport as possible. Where ever there is competition these things need to be policed. For a good man such as Mr. Bassett, who I have known for over forty years, this is a harsh penalty. But no excuses. But don’t let that vet off the hook!

    • Ben K McFadden

       Correct me, but I do not believe that demorphin is on the DEA controlled substance list. 

  • Sean Kerr

    The real question is why isn’t the federal department of justice or the DEA involved given that this a narcotics trafficking issue. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/SusanKayne Susan Kayne

    yes! as he should be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SusanKayne Susan Kayne

    yes! as he should be.

  • No Penalties in Horse Racing

    Hey Bassett, Burger King is paying $7.50 an hour.  Enjoy.

  • No Penalties in Horse Racing

    Hey Bassett, Burger King is paying $7.50 an hour.  Enjoy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1002433998 Anne Pottinger

    If this takes the course of most bans you read about, he’ll appeal the ban, claiming it takes away his livelihood and some half baked judge will reverse it.

    • Duck W.

      What Anne said.  Guaranteed.

    • nu-fan

      I do not have a law degree but wonder whether it is the local or state judges that have had a history of doing this?  If so, would a federal judge be more objective?  Is yes, then, all the more reason for federal laws to be implemented for horseracing rather than by state.  Also, I have never understood why we put laws–of any kind–on the books if they are not followed or if they cannot be enforced.  It makes a mockery of justice. 

      • Lou Baranello

        Judges are first and foremost, simply, people.  People take their own set of morals and values-or lack thereof- with them to the bench, should they be so appointed or elected.  Most court cases related to horse racing are decided in state courts.  Would a federal judge be more objective, if so not simply because he or she sits on a federal bench.  Laws are enacted and then not enforced because THE PEOPLE allow it.  Effectively resisting the actions of judges, politicians and racing commissions is ardous work and most people don’t care enough to make the effort or have nothing to offer, until it strikes close to home.  

        • nu-fan

          As I understand it, state judges may be appointed or elected; it depends on each state.  Federal judges are appointed.  I think that is one reason that people are not involved in the judicial system: They are simply eliminated from the process in most cases.  But, I wonder if local judges may be more inclined to be swayed by those who are influential in their locality.  They shouldn’t do so but, as you said, they are simply people.  From cases (mostly outside anything to do with horses) that I have seen, judges too often thwart the will of the people or the intent of the law.  Not always but even once may be too often.  And, the appeal process?  While it may based on good intentions, it is too often used to line the pockets of lawyers.  I wouldn’t want to be in the legal profession.  My sanity wouldn’t survive. 

    • Guest

      Criminal charges need to follow. I’ve heard from someone that this trainer told right after he got caught that the vet gave the drug. So he knew that the illegal substance had been given. Perhaps in his plea agreement a condition of it is that he doesn’t challenge the Commission ruling. Owner’s need to be held accountable for what they knew. Any horse with a positive test should be ruled off for a minimum of 6 months for it’s own benefit.

      • Ray’sghost

        Basset should go to prison for race fixing, never mind federal drug charges.  While he’s there, he can experience passion in all its forms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1002433998 Anne Pottinger

    If this takes the course of most bans you read about, he’ll appeal the ban, claiming it takes away his livelihood and some half baked judge will reverse it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1002433998 Anne Pottinger

     This is something I’ve always said. The owner pays the bills, He/she has to ultimately shoulder some of the responsibility for the trainer’s actions.

  • RayPaulick

    I don’t know what it does to horses, but its original use by Amazon tribesmen was to increase their energy, awareness and stamina for hunting expeditions that lasted several days. http://www.paulickreport.com/n

  • Smokedoliver

    It’s about time some of these (deleted) are made to pay for what they do to these horses to feed their greed.

  • Smokedoliver

    It’s about time some of these (deleted) are made to pay for what they do to these horses to feed their greed.

  • In Tears

    does not matter Basset will be back with someone else doing his dirty work. Any of you that are familar  with AQHA show pen should know how bad the pleasure classes are. Those horses suffer with what they do keep their noses dragging in the dirt

    • Lisa Wintermote

      Ida, I think you might be a bit behind the times…that was a problem in the ’80s & early ’90s. AQHA ruled on the issue around 1996 that a horses ears may not drop lower than their withers. It is considered a “major” fault. Most western pleasure horses topline is roughly eyes level with withers these days.
      I’ve been vocal in chastising the AQHA for not stepping up sooner on the drug issues in racing but to be fair, I will speak up here because they’ve fixed the nose dragging issue.

      • Sevencentsstable

        Yeah, but AQHA Pleasure (Eng and Wes) classes are still mostly  “slow” contests and they are still “troping” instead of cantering or loping

        • Lisa Wintermote

          Kris, they can’t all be Grayson’s & Hollywood’s! Lol!

          • SevenCentsStable

            Yeah, well, Gayson wouldn’t have gotten a 2nd look in a pleasure class ;-). Despite the fact that he was ultra smooth and ultra light he actually moved forward – that is frowned upon in AQHA pleasure classes, lol.

          • Lisa Wintermote

            Wonder what they’d think of Hollywood who mostly moves on only 2 legs at a time (bucking or rearing) unless he’s in a dead run! Lol!
            And, they couldn’t have known whether Grayson’s ears were below his withers because he carried them flat against his head! What a horse! ;-)

  • In Tears

    does not matter Basset will be back with someone else doing his dirty work. Any of you that are familar  with AQHA show pen should know how bad the pleasure classes are. Those horses suffer with what they do keep their noses dragging in the dirt

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Completely agree. Horse, trainer, & owner should be suspended/fined/banned equally. I believe that would be the easiest way to get owners in the face of trainers saying “do NOT drug my horses”!
    I am, mind you, referring to class 1 positives such as Demorphin which have no legitimate reason to be present in any sample. I view minor overages of therapeutic meds in a slightly different light.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Ida, I think you might be a bit behind the times…that was a problem in the ’80s & early ’90s. AQHA ruled on the issue around 1996 that a horses ears may not drop lower than their withers. It is considered a “major” fault. Most western pleasure horses topline is roughly eyes level with withers these days.
    I’ve been vocal in chastising the AQHA for not stepping up sooner on the drug issues in racing but to be fair, I will speak up here because they’ve fixed the nose dragging issue.

  • Nucky Thompson

    Will the son of “Bear ” Bassett now be known as “Frog” Bassett ? You certainly get all sorts in the horse racing business.

    • Tannerracestable

      Nucky……………………that’s darn funny. Maybe inappropriate, but funny never the less.

    • guest

      Or he could be known as “Spider” Bassett. LOL! 

  • Nucky Thompson

    Will the son of “Bear ” Bassett now be known as “Frog” Bassett ? You certainly get all sorts in the horse racing business.

  • Lory

    i would not be surprised if he is not also brought up on criminal charges on this. i heard the lincoln county sheriff is wanting  in on these cases as well.

  • ryan driscoll

    Why aren’t these people being arrested for the criminals that they are? They are “tampering with a sporting event”. This is race fixing, plain and simple. Racing in New Mexico should be given a “death penalty” like a college that buys players. Ban racing for five years in that cesspool and start over.

  • Tannerracestable

    Nucky……………………that’s darn funny. Maybe inappropriate, but funny never the less.

  • Duck W.

    What Anne said.  Guaranteed.

  • Tres Abagados Stupidos

    Easy there big fella.  If I remember correctly you worked in Louisiana for a while where they too have many dermorphin positives.  So should racing there be shut down as well?  Don’t get into a pot and kettle situation.  Though I do agree with you that these guys should be prosecuted for race fixing and possesion.

  • Beachy

    Any human volunteers for drug trials of frog juice?  I didn’t think so.  Thus, you shouldn’t be giving it to your horse.  :-/ 

    • AngelaFromAbilene

      Sign me up!  With arthritus, bursitus, tendonitus and all the other ailments from a lifetime of working with horses, I’d be more than happy to volunteer for dermorphin trials.  Hell, I’d be a prime candidate.

  • Beachy

    Any human volunteers for drug trials of frog juice?  I didn’t think so.  Thus, you shouldn’t be giving it to your horse.  :-/ 

  • Sevencentsstable

    Yeah, but AQHA Pleasure (Eng and Wes) classes are still mostly  “slow” contests and they are still “troping” instead of cantering or loping

  • nu-fan

    I do not have a law degree but wonder whether it is the local or state judges that have had a history of doing this?  If so, would a federal judge be more objective?  Is yes, then, all the more reason for federal laws to be implemented for horseracing rather than by state.  Also, I have never understood why we put laws–of any kind–on the books if they are not followed or if they cannot be enforced.  It makes a mockery of justice. 

  • RayeSource

     I resent that remark driscoll.  There are lots of good trainers and good horses in NM.  Don’t be condemning a wonderful State for the actions of a few.  The article names a home based California trainer.    Cheaters are every where, including the white house!

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Kris, they can’t all be Grayson’s & Hollywood’s! Lol!

  • FIVE2_THREE

    How does that old song go ? Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time……

  • FIVE2_THREE

    How does that old song go ? Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time……

  • Riders up

    It’s about time a racing comission did was right. Okalahoma hasnt gave the names of the trainers that had  positive. I believe we   all  need to contact the Attorney General before they the corrupt  OKLA comission tries to get out of this one. Thank you NM comission by doing was right to these cheaters, I believe LA comission will follow suit. Horses are the one the suffers. Enough is enoug. time to put these cheaters away for good.

    • Lou Baranello

      It is my hope that the Oklahoma Racing Commission is delaying these hearings in the interest of having the necessary time lapse needed to facilitate the enactment of recent legislation enabling the commission and stewards to impose longer suspensions than were authorized under previous legislation.   

    • La Paloma

       After due process has been served and if found guilty than horseman should have the right to know said ajudication of those trainers. Lets the betting public know the State(Oklahoma) is making a good faith effort to maintain the integrity of horse racing, protecting the betting public from cheaters, and foremost helping to insure the soundness of the equine athelete and safety of the jockeys and exercise riders. It also sends a loud message to other trainers if caught face humiliation (post a cheaters list in the racing offices[track sites]). As an aside I believe all race trainers should be held to a professional standard with mandatory continuing education(yearly). It will help to legitimize and modernize the profession and perphaps dismantle the final vestiage of the good ole boys club. Also if the State really wants to stop the drug traffic start at the 1st breach, the horsemans’ entrance.

  • Riders up

    It’s about time a racing comission did was right. Okalahoma hasnt gave the names of the trainers that had  positive. I believe we   all  need to contact the Attorney General before they the corrupt  OKLA comission tries to get out of this one. Thank you NM comission by doing was right to these cheaters, I believe LA comission will follow suit. Horses are the one the suffers. Enough is enoug. time to put these cheaters away for good.

  • tfly

    Speaking as an owner- do not believe that the trainer is telling the owner of his/her illegal activity.  Some trainers ignore the owner’s direction.  The PR recently had the NYT’s article listed-
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09

  • Lou Baranello

    Judges are first and foremost, simply, people.  People take their own set of morals and values-or lack thereof- with them to the bench, should they be so appointed or elected.  Most court cases related to horse racing are decided in state courts.  Would a federal judge be more objective, if so not simply because he or she sits on a federal bench.  Laws are enacted and then not enforced because THE PEOPLE allow it.  Effectively resisting the actions of judges, politicians and racing commissions is ardous work and most people don’t care enough to make the effort or have nothing to offer, until it strikes close to home.  

  • ryan driscoll

    Good point. In addition to the horseplayers getting cheated by these criminals, the real horsemen are also getting cheated for playing within the rules. My comment about shutting racing down in New Mexico should have been— fire every regulator involved and start over. Look at the rulings, they have turned a blind eye to just about every form of cheating for years. They have created this enviroment by slapping trainers on the wrist and buring their heads in the sand. As for Louisiana, while not always perfect, they have been proactive in going after these crooks for the last ten years. They are the ones that introduced this testing for dermorphin. I apologize if I offended any legitimate horsemen. While I’m no longer working in racing, my heart, as it always was, is with the hard working, HONEST, people of the backside.

  • Lou Baranello

    It is my hope that the Oklahoma Racing Commission is delaying these hearings in the interest of having the necessary time lapse needed to facilitate the enactment of recent legislation enabling the commission and stewards to impose longer suspensions than were authorized under previous legislation.   

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

    Let’s see if the QH industry is more serious about their suspensions than the TB industry. If this guy’s suspension sticks, will the TB industry follow suit?

    • http://www.facebook.com/deb.olivas Deb Curtis Olivas

      The same racing commission, in every state, over sees both QH’s and TB’s. Educate yourselves people!

      • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

         How delightfully snarky! Deb, it is unfortunate that the QH and TB commissions are the the same.  Were they separate perhaps one could shame the other into doing the right thing.  I don’t follow QH racing, they’re a barbaric group of monsters IMO, and most QH are so much TB it doesn’t matter. Perhaps a bit of communication education would improve your demeanor?

        • http://www.facebook.com/deb.olivas Deb Curtis Olivas

          My demeanor might improve if people would do a little research before they comment.

          • AngelaFromAbilene

            Exactly & thank you very much!

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

    Let’s see if the QH industry is more serious about their suspensions than the TB industry. If this guy’s suspension sticks, will the TB industry follow suit?

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

     Basically, it’s a painkiller so strong you wouldn’t know you HAD legs much less care if they hurt. Your body doesn’t build up a tolerance for it, so the dosing doesn’t need to be increased for the same effect and it isn’t addictive so you can stop using it suddenly with no ill effect…except the horse will suddenly remember he HAS legs…and they HURT!!

  • William Koester

    New Mexico needs to change their law, $10,000 and 10 years is not enough. Other racing jurisdictions, please take note, and do not allow this cheating animal abuser to race in your state.

    • Sevencentsstable

      99% of the time all states honor other states’ suspensions. KY didn’t SUSPEND Dutrow this last time (his infractions were in NY), they simply refused to license him.

    • Roisin

      Yes indeed, because he could just set up business in an other state. There is a need for national rules. Also, this trainer should never be allowed to train again, period.

  • William Koester

    New Mexico needs to change their law, $10,000 and 10 years is not enough. Other racing jurisdictions, please take note, and do not allow this cheating animal abuser to race in your state.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724561658 Gordon Calhoun

    Alert Joe Drape!!! oohh…thats right he doesn’t write about success in horse racing…only the dirt.

    • Noelle

      What should Drape do?  Pretend there’s no drug problem in racing?  Write happy stories like those in the BloodHorse and ignore the elephant in the room?  Drape keeps reporting on the “dirt” because racing is so unwilling to thoroughly clean house. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724561658 Gordon Calhoun

    Alert Joe Drape!!! oohh…thats right he doesn’t write about success in horse racing…only the dirt.

  • RayeSource

     Thank You.  I agree about the slap on the wrist.  NM racing commission is a political appointee job.  I think the new 2008 commission is trying.  They are handicapped by state statute and the judicial system.

  • visitor

    Maybe Bassett can race daschunds at the county fair. FPOS.

  • visitor

    Maybe Bassett can race daschunds at the county fair. FPOS.

  • visitor

    Now maybe we will find out who can REALLY train a horse. And now we can start giving credit to the gene pools that honesty can run.

  • visitor

    Now maybe we will find out who can REALLY train a horse. And now we can start giving credit to the gene pools that honesty can run.

  • Silvia

    What’s wrong with Oklahoma?  Are they protecting their “good ole boys?”

  • Silvia

    What’s wrong with Oklahoma?  Are they protecting their “good ole boys?”

  • guest

    The horses should be banned for a minimum of 6 months for their own protection. 

  • guest

    Or he could be known as “Spider” Bassett. LOL! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1568192669 Jamie Williams

    What a shame! Maybe they will REALLY clean up QH racing and get the cartels out? It’s all about cheating now, didn’t used to be….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1568192669 Jamie Williams

    What a shame! Maybe they will REALLY clean up QH racing and get the cartels out? It’s all about cheating now, didn’t used to be….

  • Racin’ Girl

    I think it is time to change the rules that if a trainer receives a positive test on ANYTHING he is banned pending adjudication of the matter.  In this case, if Mr. Bassett chooses to appeal, which is his right, then he should remain banned from racing and any track until his appeal is complete.  I think this will assist in all of the “feet-dragging” that appears to take place.  I would imagine they would want their cases handled much more quickly if they are ruled off pending the outcome. 

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

      ‘Girl, you owe yourself a little more education about the legal system in this country!  Due Process Of Law is a precious right that thousands of American men and women have given their lives to protect.  Find out what the term means, how it is applied and why it is in place.  I’d like to hear from you if and after you research the situation.  The problem can be corrected without denying people their rights.  Yes, even the scum bags we are talking about.  I can explain that to you as well if you really care to know. 

  • Racin’ Girl

    I think it is time to change the rules that if a trainer receives a positive test on ANYTHING he is banned pending adjudication of the matter.  In this case, if Mr. Bassett chooses to appeal, which is his right, then he should remain banned from racing and any track until his appeal is complete.  I think this will assist in all of the “feet-dragging” that appears to take place.  I would imagine they would want their cases handled much more quickly if they are ruled off pending the outcome. 

  • nu-fan

    As I understand it, state judges may be appointed or elected; it depends on each state.  Federal judges are appointed.  I think that is one reason that people are not involved in the judicial system: They are simply eliminated from the process in most cases.  But, I wonder if local judges may be more inclined to be swayed by those who are influential in their locality.  They shouldn’t do so but, as you said, they are simply people.  From cases (mostly outside anything to do with horses) that I have seen, judges too often thwart the will of the people or the intent of the law.  Not always but even once may be too often.  And, the appeal process?  While it may based on good intentions, it is too often used to line the pockets of lawyers.  I wouldn’t want to be in the legal profession.  My sanity wouldn’t survive. 

  • Marc

    Good question, Sean. I understand that dermorphin has not yet been classified as a scheduled narcotic (expect that will change soon) and therefore is not under the purview of the DEA. However, there may be other federal laws that would address dermophin use as it certainly is not an approved drug for human or animal use.

    What I’d like to see is effective undercover investigations on the backside so that the providers of drugs like dermorphin are identified and prosecuted.  Trainers are having whispered conversations with suppliers of drugs like dermorphin — someone is telling them about new performance altering drugs and whether they can escape detection.  Let’s put the heat on trainers to reveal who the pushers are. 

  • Marc

    That was a stupid, gratuitous comment about the White House. Stay on task please.

  • La Paloma

     After due process has been served and if found guilty than horseman should have the right to know said ajudication of those trainers. Lets the betting public know the State(Oklahoma) is making a good faith effort to maintain the integrity of horse racing, protecting the betting public from cheaters, and foremost helping to insure the soundness of the equine athelete and safety of the jockeys and exercise riders. It also sends a loud message to other trainers if caught face humiliation (post a cheaters list in the racing offices[track sites]). As an aside I believe all race trainers should be held to a professional standard with mandatory continuing education(yearly). It will help to legitimize and modernize the profession and perphaps dismantle the final vestiage of the good ole boys club. Also if the State really wants to stop the drug traffic start at the 1st breach, the horsemans’ entrance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deb.olivas Deb Curtis Olivas

    The same racing commission, in every state, over sees both QH’s and TB’s. Educate yourselves people!

  • http://www.facebook.com/deb.olivas Deb Curtis Olivas

    I agree, the owners should bear some responsibility in this, there are some owners who want  to win, and they tell their trainers to win or lose the horses, those kind of owners help create this problem.

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

     How delightfully snarky! Deb, it is unfortunate that the QH and TB commissions are the the same.  Were they separate perhaps one could shame the other into doing the right thing.  I don’t follow QH racing, they’re a barbaric group of monsters IMO, and most QH are so much TB it doesn’t matter. Perhaps a bit of communication education would improve your demeanor?

  • Noelle

    Maybe, but having read the article, it’s clear the owners find out what’s going on as soon as they’re asked to pay the first bill.  Once that has happened, once they’ve seen a bill, there’s no excuse for any of them  allowing the drugging to continue.  From that point on, they’re as responsible as the trainer and the vet.

  • Noelle

    What should Drape do?  Pretend there’s no drug problem in racing?  Write happy stories like those in the BloodHorse and ignore the elephant in the room?  Drape keeps reporting on the “dirt” because racing is so unwilling to thoroughly clean house. 

  • Nucky Thompson

    No point in Bassett appealing. The commission has got all the evidence on video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eshPx7EzWQc

    • Yo soy fiesta

      Nucky “king of the one-liner” Thompson, I will never get that 6 minutes back. My mind must be elsewhere today because it took about 4 minutes till I said “what in the world am I watching”. Even worse I kept watching. You know it’s Monday when you have watched a video of a person in a horse costume dancing gangnam style with a stormtrooper at Emarald downs and chase it with a video of a geriatric basset hound, a weenie dog, and a frog.

      • Nucky Thompson

        Sorry Yo, even I didn’t watch the whole thing. What happened in the end ? Did the frog survive…. or did he croak ? 

        • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

           His legs gave out…

        • Yo soy fiesta

          Nucky, I have always wanted to commend you on your mastery of the lost art of schtick. You have provided the most positive ROI as far as time to read vs. laughs had. Thanks.

  • Nucky Thompson

    No point in Bassett appealing. The commission have got all the evidence on video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
     

  • Yo soy fiesta

    Thanks for clearing that up Mr. Driscoll. We would all love to see a more level playing field down here, and if have ever been through here in too much of a hurry to get somewhere you know one thing, NM state cops don’t give warnings, I think Vince Mares is off to a good start. I also agree 100% that many of the past “regulators” have been an embarrassment to the sport, I spoke with a few state appointed people aka somebody in power’s cousins and the lack of knowledge and level of incompetence was breathtaking. No matter ones feelings about the New York Times political persuasions, their decision to put NM racing on blast has done quite a bit of good as far as bringing problems to the forefront as well. It would be nice to see a positive story about NM racing on Paulick Report, I would recommend a piece about trainer Joe Ray Chavez’s story, I truly admire that man’s toughness, resillience, and resolve.

  • Yo soy fiesta

    Thanks for clearing that up Mr. Driscoll. We would all love to see a more level playing field down here, and if have ever been through here in too much of a hurry to get somewhere you know one thing, NM state cops don’t give warnings, I think Vince Mares is off to a good start. I also agree 100% that many of the past “regulators” have been an embarrassment to the sport, I spoke with a few state appointed people aka somebody cousins and the lack of knowledge and level of incompetence was breathtaking. No matter ones feelings about the New York Times political persuasions, their decision to put NM racing on blast has done quite a bit of good as far as bringing problems to the forefront as well. It would be nice to see a positive story about NM racing on Paulick Report, I would recommend a piece about trainer Joe Ray Chavez’s story, I truly admire that man’s toughness, resillience, and resolve.

  • 870 express

    Should any horse test positive for anything, the trainer AND HORSE (owner) should be fined and banned from the track. This will prevent the horse from being worked, force the owners to turn out the horse, hopefully, allow the owner to sue the trainer for ruining his animal, and destroy the reputation of the needle happy trainer. Ultimately, putting the trainer out of business. It also keeps the “dirty” trainer from handing his/her horses over to another trainer and running them under someone elses name. Ed Allred and RD Hubbard both have made huge claims of cleaning up their tracks. Let’s see if they are going to walk or just talk !!  

    • voiceofreason

      YES! Blame owners! They are the ones enjoying the unlimited wealth and prize money that this sport keeps shoving down their pockets! They are the ones paying for horses, trainers, entries, information, vet bills, jock fees, regulatory fees, and just about everything else in the business! It’s too easy on them!

      Let’s blame the one that spends 10 minutes with their horse, and NOT blame the trainers or vets who spend 99.9% of the time charged with the welfare of said animals! Why make them responsible, when we can blame the owner? Woo HOO!

      • voiceofreason

        We should fine the horse!

        • Ben K McFadden

           You may be the only person on this blog that knows what they are talking about and has a lick of sense.

      • 870 express

        While your reply is unclear, by fining the owners (I happen to own several horses), AND by setting the horse down for 6 months to a year, that forces the owner (myself included) to direct the trainers to NOT give their horse anything. AND it takes money away from the trainer. Who wants to pay a training bill on a horse that can’t run for the next 6 -12 months. Should the trainer go against the owners orders and give something that shows up on a test, than the owner can hold the trainer liable in civil court as well as the stewards office. This then will force the needle happy trainer out of the business !! 

  • 870 express

    Should any horse test positive for anything, the trainer AND HORSE (owner) should be fined and banned from the track. This will prevent the horse from being worked, force the owners to turn out the horse, hopefully, allow the owner to sue the trainer for ruining his animal, and destroy the reputation of the needle happy trainer. Ultimately, putting the trainer out of business. It also keeps the “dirty” trainer from handing his/her horses over to another trainer and running them under someone elses name. Ed Allred and RD Hubbard both have made huge claims of cleaning up their tracks. Let’s see if they are going to walk or just talk !!  

  • Yo soy fiesta

    Nucky “king of the one-liner” Thompson, I will never get that 6 minutes back. My mind must be elsewhere today because it took about 4 minutes till I said “what in the world am I watching”. Even worse I kept watching. You know it’s Monday when you have watched a video of a person in a horse costume dancing gangnam style with a stormtrooper at Emarald downs and chase it with a video of a geriatric basset hound, a weenie dog, and a frog.

  • Ben K McFadden

     And what recourse does the owner have when the vet and trainer do it anyway? I have said in person to vets and trainers, “do not drug my horse!”  I don’t get a bill for a month or more after the fact, so the deed is done.  Yeh I know, that never happens.  Of course, I could move my horse to another trainer?  But… oh, by the time I find out you have already banned and suspended me and my horse. The horse is now useless except as dogfood or YOUR pet. Nice work do-gooders, punish the horse too by relegating it to oblivion.

    I have no problem with punishing the actual perpetrators.  Those that want to punish everyone associated, including the horse, are making it harder, not easier, to get anyone to take meaningful action.  I support throwing the book at the bad guys, but I would not support your approach; nor would a lot of others because it goes overboard and creates collateral damage.

  • Ben K McFadden

     Correct me, but I do not believe that demorphin is on the DEA controlled substance list. 

  • Nucky Thompson

    Sorry Yo, even I didn’t watch the whole thing. What happened in the end ? Did the frog survive…. or did he croak ? 

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

     His legs gave out…

  • Ray’sghost

    Here’s your recourse:  sue them.  It’s YOUR responsibilty to find a worthy trainer.  You screw up, don’t blame the rest of us or ask for a hall pass.

  • Ray’sghost

    Basset should go to prison for race fixing, never mind federal drug charges.  While he’s there, he can experience passion in all its forms.

  • voiceofreason

    YES! Blame owners! They are the ones enjoying the unlimited wealth and prize money that this sport keeps shoving down their pockets! They are the ones paying for horses, trainers, entries, information, vet bills, jock fees, regulatory fees, and just about everything else in the business! It’s too easy on them!

    Let’s blame the one that spends 10 minutes with their horse, and NOT blame the trainers or vets who spend 99.9% of the time charged with the welfare of said animals! Why make them responsible, when we can blame the owner? Woo HOO!

  • voiceofreason

    We should fine the horse!

  • Stanley inman

    “let’s put the heat on the trainers to reveal who the pushers are”
    So funny
    Just google dermorphine and voila
    A Ton of places in Arizona and elsewhere
    will be more than glad to fill your order.

  • Guest

    Really sad part?? One owner MOVED THEIR HORSES TO BASSETT. AFTER the positives came out. Yeah, tell me some owners shouldn’t shouder responsibility??

  • Guest

    Like RayeSource said – there IS a new Commission. Mostly new, there is one holdover from the old Comm. Wish he was gone, too. This Commission really seems to be trying very hard and they inherited a big pile of road apples.

  • SevenCentsStable

    Yeah, well, Gayson wouldn’t have gotten a 2nd look in a pleasure class ;-). Despite the fact that he was ultra smooth and ultra light he actually moved forward – that is frowned upon in AQHA pleasure classes, lol.

  • Sevencentsstable

    99% of the time all states honor other states’ suspensions. KY didn’t SUSPEND Dutrow this last time (his infractions were in NY), they simply refused to license him.

  • Yo soy fiesta

    Nucky, I have always wanted to commend you on your mastery of the lost art of schtick. You have provided the most positive ROI as far as time to read vs. laughs had. Thanks.

  • Ben K McFadden

    You are an idiot or an attorney.( Not mutually exclusive)

    Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

    —– Reply message —–

  • Barney Door

    Exactly how does that exhonerate an innocent owner? what does the owner sue the trainer for? what is his compensation for loosing his horse and racing opportunity? Ben is right and too polite.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Wonder what they’d think of Hollywood who mostly moves on only 2 legs at a time (bucking or rearing) unless he’s in a dead run! Lol!
    And, they couldn’t have known whether Grayson’s ears were below his withers because he carried them flat against his head! What a horse! ;-)

  • nu-fan

    Ben:  Here’s another option:  Do a background check, first, regarding hiring a trainer or a vet.  Employers do this all of the time.  Try it.  Check and ask for references.  The list goes on.  If you do not know how to do this, learn from other well-regarded owners.  This is basic business.  You cannot absolve your responsibilities by pleading ignorance.  If this is beyond your abilities, perhaps, being an owner of a racehorse isn’t up your alley.  And, talk about collateral damage:  What the heck do you think your horses have the potential for becoming if you do not do your job correctly?

  • Lemming

    I’ve heard he is heading to train in Texas ?   Can he really just walk away and be allowed to train in another state?

    • AngelaFromAbilene

      Absolutely!  Our fine Racing Commission has allowed Mr. Bassett to move his stable to LOone Star.  In fact, he ran a horse Thursday, September 27th in the 2nd race and one.  I haven’t bothered checking entries and results for the rest of the week.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if our Commission completely ignores the New Mexico ruling.  Also note that Heeth Reed ran 4 at Will Rogers yesterday. 

  • Lemming

    I’ve heard he is heading to train in Texas ?   Can he really just walk away and be allowed to train in another state?

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Ben, I’m not unsympathetic to the plight of the honest owner. Nor am I ignorant of the effect this could have on racings ability to attract new owners to the sport. I do, however, believe this could be the most effective deterrent available to us. Owners would choose trainers VERY carefully if their racing license was on the line. Owners would leave a dirty trainer in droves after his FIRST violation.
    As to the horse, if he is in need of class 1 drugs…he’s undeniably in need of a vacation!

  • nu-fan

    Barney:  An “innocent” owner?  How about an unwitting one?

  • nu-fan

    Ben:  You keep revealing yourself for who you really are.

  • Ben K McFadden

    Nu fan explains your insight or perhaps you are Chinese Mr. Nu?

    Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

    —– Reply message —–

  • Ben K McFadden

    Thank goodness the fantasies are confined to the blogosphere.

    Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

    —– Reply message —–

  • Ben K McFadden

    Table fare to feed one of your choices of entre Mr. Nu. Ah so.

    Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

    —– Reply message —–

  • Barney Door

    It appears you have avoided the question.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deb.olivas Deb Curtis Olivas

    My demeanor might improve if people would do a little research before they comment.

  • nu-fan

    Read again. I didn’t avoid it but hate to keep repeating myself.  Innocent?  No.  Lack of abilities to do the responsible thing by doing background check is either laziness or ineptitude.  Take your pick. 

  • nu-fan

    And you’re a racist to boot!  You do keep exposing yourself for who you really are.  Give it up.  You’re wasting my time at this point.

  • Ben K McFadden

     Lazy Fan Gets His

    Wealthy Chinese/African/Irish/Cambodian businessman, Mr. Fan Nu,
    leaves his field trial champion golden lab, Fluffy, at the local vet.  Dr. Lyle Fu is a recognized, inventor of the laser
    dog-pooh vaporizer and recipient of the ASPCA All Dogs Go to Heaven Award.  Dr. Fu is given instructions to board Fluffy
    for two weeks, give him his rabies and distemper shots, and bathe him the day
    before Mr. Nu returns.  Mr. Nu is also
    very clear that Fluffy is to eat only lean, cooked ground sirloin and steamed broccoli.  Under no circumstances should Fluffy have
    sugar.

    Ilene Lefft, vet assistant, likes Fluffy so much; she secretly
    takes him home with her and shares her dinner of Fruit Loops.  On a sugar high rampage, Fluffy eats the arm
    of Ilene’s leather sofa, chews the walls of her apartment, and breaks his left
    hind leg.

    Upon his return Mr. Nu is given bill totaling $4532 for the
    damages and $1113 for treating Fluffy’s injured leg.  He is also billed $200 for a poodle clip,
    $350 for birth control medication, $175 for aromatherapy, and $75 for a box of
    Fruit Loops.  When he refuses to pay,
    Ilene’s landlord sues; Dr. Fu “quarantines” Fluffy at $75/day and gives him
    anabolic steroids and tranquilizers” to keep Fluffy strong and calm”.  The matter goes to court.

    A civil jury finds Mr. Nu is liable for the damages and the
    vet bills because he is an attorney, he drives a Bentley, only pays 14.9%
    income tax, and his wife is 5’11 redhead and a Victoria Secret model.  He is also a wealthy dog owner and should
    have known better.  He failed to perform
    due diligence on Dr. Fu and he should have been aware in advance that Dr. Fu
    would perform unwanted services and ignore instructions.  Mr. Nu also jeopardized Fluffy’s
    welfare.  Therefore, the court
    confiscates Fluffy and places him in the permanent care of Ilene. Mr. Nu is
    directed by the judge, Captain Kangaroo, to surrender all of Fluffy’s field
    trial trophies to Project Head Start for use as educational toys.

    Fan never owns another dog. 
    Fluffy dies within six months from diabetic complications (Mr. Nu is required
    to pay for euthanasia and shipment of the remains via Fed Ex to Ilene’s family
    farm in downtown LA).  Dr. Lyle Fu
    receives the BBB Golden Finger Award and donates $100 to the ASPCA. 

    Mr. Fan Nu is an idiot and got what he deserved.  A negligent, complicit, owner has been held
    accountable and his dog has been properly taken care of.

    The world is a better place.

  • Ben K McFadden

    Ni Hao? Maybe you are Greek, Nu?

  • Gfpowell

    I would like to remain positive and say FINALLY something is being done. I’m an honest TB owner/trainer and it sickens me that I probably was running against trainers using this drug. I worked hard, 7 days per week, 80 hours per week, and I’m a good horseperson. It doesn’t matter how hard you work it is impossible to win and make a living against these cheaters. I feel for my owners who invest thousands in this business who are victims of the 1.5% of cheaters who hold the rest of us hostage. I want the best horse to win and the best horse to go to the breeding shed, NOT a horse winning on drugs. I think I speak for many people. I also agree with some posts here that they should be criminally charged.

  • Gfpowell

    I would like to remain positive and say FINALLY something is being done. I’m an honest TB owner/trainer and it sickens me that I probably was running against trainers using this drug. I worked hard, 7 days per week, 80 hours per week, and I’m a good horseperson. It doesn’t matter how hard you work it is impossible to win and make a living against these cheaters. I feel for my owners who invest thousands in this business who are victims of the 1.5% of cheaters who hold the rest of us hostage. I want the best horse to win and the best horse to go to the breeding shed, NOT a horse winning on drugs. I think I speak for many people. I also agree with some posts here that they should be criminally charged.

  • Barney Door

     Acting as judge, assigning blame, and pronouncing “shoulds” is not answering the original question.

    To clarify for you and Ray’sghost: What does the owner sue the trainer/vet for and what does he have to gain by doing so?  As a self-appointed expert jurist, please provide the possible grounds for the suit and the damages the owner might hope to be awarded.

    At this point, you have suspended his horse, and his racing license (the stewards will do that for you, as they act as bill collectors for vets and trainers).  A civil suit against the trainer/vet will not address that.  That would require a separate court proceeding.

    As an owner, I am looking for some skilled guidance from you, not dismissive remarks.

  • Barney Door

     No one on this blog requires Ben’s (or anyone’s) help to waste their time.

    Did you ever consider that YOU are wasting YOUR time without blaming someone else?  For someone who demands personal responsibility and accountability from others, it seems an elusive personal quality.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Here’s another scenario, and its fact not fantasy.

    Keeneland 2012: Outrider is unable to legally obtain a trainers license because its a conflict of interest since he’s licensed as a racing official.
    Outrider puts the racehorse in the pony barn and trains it anyway.
    Outrider enters/runs horse in another trainers name. His girlfriend, the identifier, says nothing despite knowledge of what is happening.
    The owner is aware of the entire charade. Owner knows who is training the horse and that the person being listed as trainer in the entry box is NOT training his horse
    The horse races and comes up with a hot test- clenbuterol.
    The “paper trainer”, the identifier, and the outrider all receive fines &/or suspensions.
    The owner receives no penalties whatsoever and states publicly his intention to financially support the “paper trainer” during his suspension.

    Owners bear responsibility for their horses and the integrity of racing. They should be held to some degree of accountability as well.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Ben,
    Race seems to be an issue w/ you so I will tell u the people involved in the scenario are Caucasian. I, myself, am half right-off-the-boat Irish and half Native American (Meskwaki) and born on a reservation.
    I’m totally not sure why this matters but it seems important to u! #HateRacismInAnyForm

  • Roisin

    Yes indeed, because he could just set up business in an other state. There is a need for national rules. Also, this trainer should never be allowed to train again, period.

  • Ben K McFadden

    The owner was the de facto trainer. Not exactly a rich fat cat without direct knowledge. Doesn’t correspond.
    Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

    —– Reply message —–

  • Ben K McFadden

     Sorry, I was responding earlier from a touchscreen phone. 

    Owner is not responsible for failed clenbuterol test unless it can be PROVEN he was aware it was being improperly administered and allowed it.  If “paper trainer” is licensed and ran horse under his name the horse was raced legally, though it was trained by an unlicensed trainer.  The unlicensed trainer and the licensed trained should have been punished IF the licensed trainer did not supervise the training of the horse.  The owner should also be punished IF it can be proven he knew that his horse was being trained by the outrider without supervision by a licensed trainer.  The last part is key.

    There is nothing illegal about the owner indicating his support for the trainer of record; “paper trainer”.  The whole thing sounds stupid, but not exactly the same as an owner knowingly have a trainer run his horse on drugs.

    I have a casual aquaintance with the Keeneland outrider, and an even better one with some of his associates.  His actions were consistent with those of the associates I know.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    Hmmm… It would seem as though we agree on that one then! :-)

  • Ben K McFadden

    Not so.  What has race got to do with any of my comments? (Please define race.)  I meant to imply that Nu-Fan was a dumbass because he was a new fanatic.  I then asked if I had misinterpreted his fake name and that maybe he was Chinese?  I should have thought to ask if maybe he was Greek, as in Sigma Nu, or Kinda Nu. 

    Seems to me You and Nuni are the “race” sensitive ones, which is why I made sure that while the ethnic identity of Mr. Fan Nu was clear, his race was ambiguous, and may not even be subject to definitiion.  Dr. Fu is Italian, which is not a race. Chinese is not a race either; nor is Irish, Cambodian, etc.

    I am also a Native American. My mother’s family where French Huguenots who landed in Charleston, and my dads family came from Scotland and Germany in the early 18th century. They did not cross the land mass over what is now the Bering Strait, as it was less convenient and too cold.

    I do not believe stupid is a racial or ethnic characteristic.  It is a common characteristic of individuals who take themselves too seriously on blogs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lisa-Norman/100000151556184 Lisa Norman

    Get these cheaters out of business and make room for those that run fair.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lisa-Norman/100000151556184 Lisa Norman

    Get these cheaters out of business and make room for those that run fair.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    I generally disagree with Nu Fan on here and pointed out on one thread that I didn’t feel she/he was “new” at all. I took umbrage with the racial overtones of a couple of your posts- “table fare…Mr. Nu. Ah so…” & “Chinese/African….” .
    I’m glad to know you didn’t intend it that way.
    New or Nu does have a valid argument in owner culpability though IMO.

  • 870 express

    While your reply is unclear, by fining the owners (I happen to own several horses), AND by setting the horse down for 6 months to a year, that forces the owner (myself included) to direct the trainers to NOT give their horse anything. AND it takes money away from the trainer. Who wants to pay a training bill on a horse that can’t run for the next 6 -12 months. Should the trainer go against the owners orders and give something that shows up on a test, than the owner can hold the trainer liable in civil court as well as the stewards office. This then will force the needle happy trainer out of the business !! 

  • Ben K McFadden

     It is my impression that everyone who wants to punish the owner and/or horse without due process has either never been an owner, or are an owner who has never had a bad experience.

    I expect to have my guilt directly established by my actions, and not be punished simply because someone hired as my agent acted contrary to my wishes.  The horse should be left out of the argument altogether.  The horse did not ask to be drugged and may indeed end up as food for someone’s dog if not allowed to  justify their role as a racehorse.

    The Chinese do eat dog, and horses do become dog food.  That is reality.  Not ethnic or racial bigotry.  The response was an answer to what happens to horses that I, as a lousy owner, fail to protect from the bad guys. Some horses suffer worse fates which do not involve Chinese or dog food.

  • robertkachur

    “after two horses in his care tested positive for the prohibited Class 1 drug dermorphin. The drug, said to be 40 times more powerful than morphine”
    WHAT ARE THE CHARGES AGAINST THE VET?

    I’ll assume that you have to be a vet to purchase dermorphin.

    • Ben K McFadden

       or know a frog

  • robertkachur

    “after two horses in his care tested positive for the prohibited Class 1 drug dermorphin. The drug, said to be 40 times more powerful than morphine”
    WHAT ARE THE CHARGES AGAINST THE VET?

    I’ll assume that you have to be a vet to purchase dermorphin.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    In response to your well reasoned post, I would ask you what responsibility does an owner have? What would you consider due diligence in choosing a trainer?
    What if an owner puts horses with a trainer who has previous positives? Does that change things? Could owners ask trainers to sign a “no drugs” contract?
    I can see your point of view and I appreciate the reasonable tone you take. I do think the owners may be in the best position to effect real change as their money purchases and supports the horses the trainer needs to stay in business.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    It’s all about reason.
    If the owner and horse are at risk, the owner has greater incentive to choose his trainer wisely.
    If the trainer knows he will lose clients and face a lawsuit for a hot test, he’s probably not going to drug the horse in the first place.
    If the owner requests a “no drugs” contract, he now has legal recourse.
    I’m aware this is overly simplistic but change has to start somewhere.

  • Ben K McFadden

    To LisanKY1 and Lisa Wintermote:

    Instead of all the fussing about punishing owners and suspending horses, how about an industry wide standardized agreement between owners and their trainer and vet(s)?  It could be altered to clearly define who is responsible for what decisions, and what is and is not acceptable. Few owners are powerful enough to require such an agreement on their own.  Few trainers or vets would agree to it voluntary. 

    As an owner I would welcome it.  Fewer rules, more clearly defined responsibilities and expectations.

    • Lisa Wintermote

      When pseudonyms became an issue on this board, I stopped using Lisanky1 and began using my name, Lisa Wintermote. I flipped back through the comments to see if I had mistakenly used Lisanky1 but as far as I can see, I haven’t used anything but my name for many months so I’m not sure what you were inferring??
      As to your idea, I think it’s very good and could work quite well. I think it also underlines a need for a national racing commission or czar who could more easily institute this type of mandate.

      • Ben K McFadden

         Clicking on the “PR” next to your post brings up LisanKY1.

    • 870 express

      I am a bit bewildered at the point you make about owners not having enough power to demand who makes the decisions on what to give a horse and to come to this agreement. There is already an industry wide standardized agreement. It’s called the rule book. It just seems that nowadays trainers haven’t been to apt to adhere to this industry wide agreement. Thus all the bad tests. As for demorphin, well you can’t buy it from a vet. It is aquired in the little underground black market that exists at all tracks. It is synthesized in mexico, and delivered to the tracks via the cartels, which also deliver all sorts of other illegal substances to our country. That’s how they pay hundreds of thousands for yearlings all in cash. Now, back to the absence of power of the owners. Well, IF the trainer can’t respect your wishes of not running the horse sore, not “hopping” the horse, or not following the rules with your animal, then pull your horse and find someone that will. The trainer works for you – you are the one writing the chack at the end of the month. If your horse was set down for 6-12 months because some needle happy trainer gave it some illegal substance, against your wishes, it’s your duty as an owner; out of respect to your horse,out of respect to our sport, to put that trainer out of business. and you wouldn’t worry about the power issue if your horse was set down for  half a year – you would simply quit writing the check. 

      • Ben K McFadden

         Yes, it is clear you are bewildered. Rule books address the rules of racing, they do not define the terms nor details of a contractual relationship between owner and trainer.  The rule books I have read only state that the trainer is the agent of the owner. This gives the trainer almost unlimited leeway to “act on behalf of the owner”.  When the trainer does something detrimental “on behalf of the owner” there is nothing specified in the rule book to indicate whether the owner condones or condemns the practice. 

        The world is not as black and white as you and other equally bewildered parties would like to make it.  Your assessment of the owner/trainer/vet is  largely incorrect from both a practical and legal standpoint.  From reading your prior comments and others’ responses to you, it is highly unlikely you would accept information contrary to your beliefs.  Your eagerness to punish takes a shotgun approach.  Your screen name is apropos.

        • 870 express

          You are exactly right, the rules state the trainer is to act on behalf of the owner, and if I’m paying the trainer he had better act “on the behalf of what I tell him or her”, as I am the owner and I am paying him. If he/ she trainer acts on my behalf and gives my horse something I told him/her not to do. Then I can assure you there will be a serious discussion take place, followed by a trainer getting his ass whipped, and me loading my horses and going to another barn. I run good horses, I pay my bills, and I tip good when deserved. It’s only a phone call to the next trainer. If you are an owner, and you do not have any input on how your horses are handled, treated, doctored, doped or otherwise; than you might want to simply look at things from the perspective of one of your horses. If a horses owner won’t go to bat for the horse, then why own one ??

          • 870 express

            And as far as the shotgun approach to a serious problem like we have: ” ‘cept for the voice of god himself, nothing strikes fear in an outlaws heart; like the sound of these hammers being cocked” – Wyatt Earp

          • Ben K McFadden

             It is generally considered useful to have knowledge of and accurately identify the target beforehand.

          • Ben K McFadden

            You are truly a badass. We move horses but when vet bills get “lost” and when they arrive months late the damage is done. All of the bs by you and others automatically assumes owner knowledge beforehand. I know how to change trainers and have more than once. Have also filed complaints w racing and vet boards – guess the results. Also hired one of best litigators in u.s. If he worked pro bono the chance of meaningful recovery is remote. Can cite examples of lawsuits against agents. Not everyone is as f…g perfect and smart as you and your judgemental cronies.
            Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

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  • Ben K McFadden

    To LisanKY1 and Lisa Wintermote:

    Instead of all the fussing about punishing owners and suspending horses, how about an industry wide standardized agreement between owners and their trainer and vet(s)?  It could be altered to clearly define who is responsible for what decisions, and what is and is not acceptable. Few owners are powerful enough to require such an agreement on their own.  Few trainers or vets would agree to it voluntary. 

    As an owner I would welcome it.  Fewer rules, more clearly defined responsibilities and expectations.

  • Lisa Wintermote

    When pseudonyms became an issue on this board, I stopped using Lisanky1 and began using my name, Lisa Wintermote. I flipped back through the comments to see if I had mistakenly used Lisanky1 but as far as I can see, I haven’t used anything but my name for many months so I’m not sure what you were inferring??
    As to your idea, I think it’s very good and could work quite well. I think it also underlines a need for a national racing commission or czar who could more easily institute this type of mandate.

  • Ben K McFadden

     It seems reasonable to believe that I would make an effort to select a good trainer when I send a horse in which I have invested tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.  I cannot understand how anyone would believe otherwise.

    We interview trainers in person, or by phone.  Examine their records and discuss them and their approach with various  knowledgeable third parties.  We also discuss at length our medication policies and expectations for level of care.  Almost every horse we race is a homebred that we have raised and in some cases actually foaled ourselves.  The notion proposed by Nu-Fan and other idiots that we would knowingly permit our horses to be mistreated is insulting and naive.  To punish us or the horse because we made a bad choice of agents is the same as shutting down our business because one of our employees did something stupid or dishonest.

    Are there cheats, and crooks in this business? Yes.  Punishing conscientious owners to “force change” will not make crooks honest or stop cheating.  It will only cause us to get out and let the do-gooders and the crooks fight it out.

  • Ben K McFadden

     Clicking on the “PR” next to your post brings up LisanKY1.

  • Ben K McFadden

     or know a frog

  • 870 express

    I am a bit bewildered at the point you make about owners not having enough power to demand who makes the decisions on what to give a horse and to come to this agreement. There is already an industry wide standardized agreement. It’s called the rule book. It just seems that nowadays trainers haven’t been to apt to adhere to this industry wide agreement. Thus all the bad tests. As for demorphin, well you can’t buy it from a vet. It is aquired in the little underground black market that exists at all tracks. It is synthesized in mexico, and delivered to the tracks via the cartels, which also deliver all sorts of other illegal substances to our country. That’s how they pay hundreds of thousands for yearlings all in cash. Now, back to the absence of power of the owners. Well, IF the trainer can’t respect your wishes of not running the horse sore, not “hopping” the horse, or not following the rules with your animal, then pull your horse and find someone that will. The trainer works for you – you are the one writing the chack at the end of the month. If your horse was set down for 6-12 months because some needle happy trainer gave it some illegal substance, against your wishes, it’s your duty as an owner; out of respect to your horse,out of respect to our sport, to put that trainer out of business. and you wouldn’t worry about the power issue if your horse was set down for  half a year – you would simply quit writing the check. 

  • Racin’ Girl

    870 Express is exactly right!  As owners we have to take an active, responsible role in trying to clean up this industry.  I agree with everyone that we need to have tougher rules, hold the trainers’ feet to the fire, and punish them SWIFTLY when they are caught.  (I don’t think we need any czars in the racing industry, we have enough of them in government now and those are proving to be disastrous.)  But if you think there aren’t some owners out there who are absolutely aware of the drugs being administered then you are naive.  I know of owners who bought it for their trainers!  Both parties have to suffer the consequences in order to make this formula work and unfortunatley that means setting the horse down too.  At a minimum the horse should be set down for 45 days since that is the time you are allowed before having to have an approved work or race.

  • Racin’ Girl

    870 Express is exactly right!  As owners we have to take an active, responsible role in trying to clean up this industry.  I agree with everyone that we need to have tougher rules, hold the trainers’ feet to the fire, and punish them SWIFTLY when they are caught.  (I don’t think we need any czars in the racing industry, we have enough of them in government now and those are proving to be disastrous.)  But if you think there aren’t some owners out there who are absolutely aware of the drugs being administered then you are naive.  I know of owners who bought it for their trainers!  Both parties have to suffer the consequences in order to make this formula work and unfortunatley that means setting the horse down too.  At a minimum the horse should be set down for 45 days since that is the time you are allowed before having to have an approved work or race.

  • Ben K McFadden

     Yes, it is clear you are bewildered. Rule books address the rules of racing, they do not define the terms nor details of a contractual relationship between owner and trainer.  The rule books I have read only state that the trainer is the agent of the owner. This gives the trainer almost unlimited leeway to “act on behalf of the owner”.  When the trainer does something detrimental “on behalf of the owner” there is nothing specified in the rule book to indicate whether the owner condones or condemns the practice. 

    The world is not as black and white as you and other equally bewildered parties would like to make it.  Your assessment of the owner/trainer/vet is  largely incorrect from both a practical and legal standpoint.  From reading your prior comments and others’ responses to you, it is highly unlikely you would accept information contrary to your beliefs.  Your eagerness to punish takes a shotgun approach.  Your screen name is apropos.

  • 870 express

    You are exactly right, the rules state the trainer is to act on behalf of the owner, and if I’m paying the trainer he had better act “on the behalf of what I tell him or her”, as I am the owner and I am paying him. If he/ she trainer acts on my behalf and gives my horse something I told him/her not to do. Then I can assure you there will be a serious discussion take place, followed by a trainer getting his ass whipped, and me loading my horses and going to another barn. I run good horses, I pay my bills, and I tip good when deserved. It’s only a phone call to the next trainer. If you are an owner, and you do not have any input on how your horses are handled, treated, doctored, doped or otherwise; than you might want to simply look at things from the perspective of one of your horses. If a horses owner won’t go to bat for the horse, then why own one ??

  • 870 express

    And as far as the shotgun approach to a serious problem like we have: ” ‘cept for the voice of god himself, nothing strikes fear in an outlaws heart; like the sound of these hammers being cocked” – Wyatt Earp

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

    Sean, Rumor has it that the Department Of Justice and certain other federal agencies have been assigned a new top priority for the near future.  Divert all assets to the effort to re-elect O’Bama.  As for after the election, I’m afraid they will not undertake correcting horse racing’s problems because not enough people care.  Your suggestions for your recently formed  organization, http://www.Bladerunnersnhrc.org, or something similar, is the only hope I see. 

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

    Sean, Rumor has it that the Department Of Justice and certain other federal agencies have been assigned a new top priority for the near future.  Divert all assets to the effort to re-elect O’Bama.  As for after the election, I’m afraid they will not undertake correcting horse racing’s problems because not enough people care.  Your suggestions for your recently formed  organization, http://www.Bladerunnersnhrc.org, or something similar, is the only hope I see. 

  • wonder

    Is Oklahoma not going to do anything about all the test that came back on the same drugs?

  • wonder

    Is Oklahoma not going to do anything about all the test that came back on the same drugs?

  • Ben K McFadden

    You are truly a badass. We move horses but when vet bills get “lost” and when they arrive months late the damage is done. All of the bs by you and others automatically assumes owner knowledge beforehand. I know how to change trainers and have more than once. Have also filed complaints w racing and vet boards – guess the results. Also hired one of best litigators in u.s. If he worked pro bono the chance of meaningful recovery is remote. Can cite examples of lawsuits against agents. Not everyone is as f…g perfect and smart as you and your judgemental cronies.
    Sent via the HTC Vivid™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

    —– Reply message —–

  • Ben K McFadden

     You may be the only person on this blog that knows what they are talking about and has a lick of sense.

  • Ben K McFadden

     It is generally considered useful to have knowledge of and accurately identify the target beforehand.

  • Ben K McFadden

     The frog was licked before the race even started.

  • Ben K McFadden

     The frog was licked before the race even started.

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

    ‘Girl, you owe yourself a little more education about the legal system in this country!  Due Process Of Law is a precious right that thousands of American men and women have given their lives to protect.  Find out what the term means, how it is applied and why it is in place.  I’d like to hear from you if and after you research the situation.  The problem can be corrected without denying people their rights.  Yes, even the scum bags we are talking about.  I can explain that to you as well if you really care to know. 

  • Mitcdegroot46

    There is one vet in the New Mexico circuit who is responsible for all of this. He has since retired and moved to Oklahoma. Trainers in the cases I know about should have asked more questions. I am a former trainer who was caught up in a similar situation thirty years ago. I love the sport and have been very successful as an owner over the years. I want it too be as clean a sport as possible. Where ever there is competition these things need to be policed. For a good man such as Mr. Bassett, who I have known for over forty years, this is a harsh penalty. But no excuses. But don’t let that vet off the hook!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000018955409 Lori Minkus

    A wee bit of due  diligence on part of the owner on any backstetch will quickly identify the trainers who are entirely above board and the ones who are shadey. The trainers also get to know which owners ere clueless rubes and which they best not screw around with. Everyone who lives at the track and this includes owners,  knows who the chemists are, who the hacks are and who the 1st class trainers are. If you are willing to pay the 1st class trainers then Hell No, they won’t run a horse so sore it needs synth opiodes to walk soundly even if you Tell them to. It puts the horse, jockey as well as  every other horse and jockey in the race in danger of a catastophic injury. It’s not IF that leg will fail it’s When. Every time that horse sets foot on the track he puts everyone in danger.  The greedy moneygrubbers, owner or trainer, just don’t care.
        The problem is that to do a full clean up NOW will require a full scale overhaul of the Entire industry, from the very top, all the way down to the very bottom. It will cost billions. Not One single person wants that money to come out of THIER pocket. But if it isn’t cleaned up Damn Quick the entire industry is on it’s way to collapsing anyway. Too much greed for short term profit right NOW and not enough concern for what if any legacy they were leaving for the future. Now it may be too late. If that is the case then then the trainers, owners and breeders screwed themselves.

  • Ben K McFadden

    Actually, we agree.  My point is that reform must be carried out in a manner that drains the swamp without leaving an empty wasteland devoid any remaining lifeforms.

  • Priscilla Jackson

    I find it ugly what some people do to horses to win. If you are one of them I suggest you stop, you will be caught.
    You did it to win, is it worth it. Now many years of a good reputation down the tube. You never even considered what this will do to your family and colleques.
    Did it ever occur to you to think that maybe if the horse is to lame to perform that you should find another way to relive its pain. Shame on you. Before you started injection you should have remembered that he or she gave you everthing he or she had, and you turned to illegall drugs to keep the money coming in. I don’t grasp such unforgiven behaviour. Poor horses.

  • Priscilla Jackson

    I find it ugly what some people do to horses to win. If you are one of them I suggest you stop, you will be caught.
    You did it to win, is it worth it. Now many years of a good reputation down the tube. You never even considered what this will do to your family and colleques.
    Did it ever occur to you to think that maybe if the horse is to lame to perform that you should find another way to relive its pain. Shame on you. Before you started injection you should have remembered that he or she gave you everthing he or she had, and you turned to illegall drugs to keep the money coming in. I don’t grasp such unforgiven behaviour. Poor horses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink

    A live long ban, would be the best and some years in prison

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink

    A live long ban, would be the best and some years in prison

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    Sign me up!  With arthritus, bursitus, tendonitus and all the other ailments from a lifetime of working with horses, I’d be more than happy to volunteer for dermorphin trials.  Hell, I’d be a prime candidate.

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    Exactly & thank you very much!

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    Absolutely!  Our fine Racing Commission has allowed Mr. Bassett to move his stable to LOone Star.  In fact, he ran a horse Thursday, September 27th in the 2nd race and one.  I haven’t bothered checking entries and results for the rest of the week.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if our Commission completely ignores the New Mexico ruling.  Also note that Heeth Reed ran 4 at Will Rogers yesterday. 

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