The Tree Frog Drug: Combating the Latest Racetrack Cocktail

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Dermorphin is a highly potent drug that only recently hit the pharmaceutical landscape of American racetracks – especially those in the southern regions of the country where Quarter horses race – but author and adventurist Peter Gorman has had first-hand knowledge of how powerful the substance is for nearly 20 years.

Gorman, an American who has spent much of his life exploring the South American Amazon forests, was introduced to dermorphin by Matses Indians during a trip to the Peruvian Amazon in the mid-1980s.

Called “sapo” by the tribesman, the dermorphin concoction is extracted from tree frogs found in the region. Gorman was invited to join the tribe on a hunt, and given a dose of the sapo by his guide, who rubbed a stick with the mustard-like substance on a freshly exposed piece of skin on his wrist about the size of a matchhead.

Writing in Omni magazine, Gorman said the sapo first made him nauseous, causing his heart to race and his head to pound. He lost consciousness for several hours, but after awakening felt almost super-human.

“My vision, my sense of smell, everything about me felt larger than life, and my body felt immensely strong,” he wrote. “During the next few days my feeling of strength didn’t diminish: I could go whole days without being hungry or thirsty, and move through the jungle for hours without tiring. Every sense I possessed was heightened and in tune with the environment, as though the sapo put the rhythm of the jungle into my blood.”

For years the Matses tribe had been using sapo from tree frogs to heighten their senses, increase stamina and give them additional strength during long hunting trips.

Apparently it can have similar effect on horses.

Larcenous horse trainers or dishonest veterinarians do not have the opportunity to visit the Amazon to extract sapo, or dermorphin, from the rare frogs. They rely on a synthetic version of the drug, which many are now calling frog juice and is said to be up to 40 times more powerful than morphine.

But where and how do they find it?

“That’s a good question,” said Petra Hartmann, director of the Drug Testing Services Laboratory at Industrial Laboratories in Wheat Ridge, Colo. “You can apparently purchase it over the Internet, which makes it a lot easier to get this kind of stuff. I’ve looked at a number of the human drug-user sites, and from what we’ve seen, some of it comes through China or Mexico. And a couple of people on these forums mentioned they were able to order it directly from research companies that failed to double-check whether the buyer has a valid business practice to purchase it.”

Industrial Labs made the testing breakthrough on synthetic dermorphin that has led to dozens of positive tests for the drug in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico. The first trainer to be named in the alleged abuse of the drug, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, is Alvin Smith Jr., whose Dashin Forward tested positive for dermorphin after finishing second in the Laddie Futurity at Delta Downs on May 26.

Sources told the Paulick Report the winner of that same $225,337 race, Coltins Fast Dash, is among the 10 other Louisiana runners (seven Quarter horses and three Thoroughbreds) to test positive for dermorphin. Those cases are waiting on confirmatory split samples to come back positive before formal complaints are filed. Smith waived his right to have a split sample from Dashin Forward tested by a second lab.

It was just last year that the Association of Racing Commissioners International added dermorphin to its list of Class 1 drugs. In its Uniform Classification Guidelines, the RCI said this of substances in Class 1:

“Stimulant and depressant drugs that have the highest potential to affect performance and that have no generally accepted medical use in the racing horse. Many of these agents are Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) schedule II substances. These include the following drugs and their metabolites: Opiates, opium derivatives, synthetic opioids and psychoactive drugs, amphetamines and amphetamine-like drugs as well as related drugs, including but not limited to apomorphine, nikethamide, mazindol, pemoline, and pentylenetetrazol. Though not used as therapeutic agents, all DEA Schedule 1 agents are included in Class 1 because they are potent stimulant or depressant substances with psychotropic and often habituative actions.”

Suggested RCI penalties for a first offense is a minimum one-year suspension for the trainer and a $10,000 fine or 10% of the total purse, whichever is higher.

Smith had two previous Class 1 violations for the cardio-vascular stimulant Aramine in 1999, the Times-Picayune reported. He was suspended seven months then and fined $3,500. For his most recent Class 1 violation, which Smith has appealed, stewards suspended him six months, the maximum allowed under Louisiana rules. Stewards, according to the Times-Picayune, called the penalty “insufficient” and are referring the case to the Louisiana State Racing Commission.

Charles A. Gardiner III, executive director of the Louisiana State Racing Commission, said the outbreak of dermorphin positives “is not news that we like to hear, but the Louisiana State Racing Commission is on the cutting edge of detecting drugs that are used to cheat and the commission expects swift and clear action.”

The Louisiana positive tests, from samples taken between May 16 until early June, were called at the Louisiana State University testing laboratory under the direction of Steven Barker. The LSU lab had earlier been asked to confirm the presence of the drug in split samples taken from horses racing in Oklahoma. According to published reports, 15 Oklahoma-raced horses tested positive for dermorphin. Those samples, first tested at Industrial Labs, were the first known positives for the drug. The New York Times reported that six samples from horses racing in New Mexico tested positive for dermorphin. Those positives reportedly were called at a California lab. It has not been reported how many of those positive tests were from Quarter horses.

When dermorphin was added to its Class 1 list of drugs last July, the RCI said investigators had discovered vials of the substance at racetracks. Those vials were given to labs to help develop tests.

 
“We had been testing (for dermorphin) and I’m sure other labs had as well,” said Hartmann of Industrial Labs. “We knew about it for almost a year and have been trying to detect this stuff in live samples. Due to the diligence of one of our clients who kept asking us for this after hearing reports that something was being used, we went back to the drawing board and redesigned the testing. The molecule itself is larger than a lot of the standard, more routine drugs. That brought some analytical challenges with it.”

The testing method used by Industrial Labs was LC-MS-MS, or liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Dermorphin has now been detected or confirmed in blood and urine, Hartmann said.

“I’m very pleased with how well everything worked in this case,” Hartmann said. “It demonstrates the importance of communications from the backstretch to racing commissions and among the labs in sharing their methods. In this case everyone worked together really well. I could pick up the phone and call several labs and ask for help in our methods or double-checking samples. It was definitely the way things should work all the time.”

Hartmann admitted that isn’t the way drug testing has always worked among chemists and testing labs.

“That is part of the nature of this business,” she said. “It is a competitive environment. Your business is obtained through competitive bidding, in what you have to offer to a jurisdiction. Your ability to get contracts often depends on how much better you are than your competition is.”

Hartmann said the competition among labs is not necessarily a bad thing.

“With all the talk about industry consolidation or consolidating labs, it is a huge advantage to have different labs employing different screening protocols,” she said. “That’s an advantage, and it’s important to realize that labs are as good as their jurisdiction or clients expect them to be. Anyone that accuses a lab of not being up to par should look at what the bid or the contract says is expected of them.”

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  • Tinky

    Good reporting, Ray. 

    Now, I’ll ask you again: Why don’t you find out whether other major jurisdictions (e.g. NY, CA, KY and CA) are a) are currently testing for this drug and b) considering testing frozen samples in an effort to expose those who were “ahead of the curve”?

    • Concerned

       California only tests for baking soda. Very dangerous drug.

      • Hopefieldstables

         Your intended sarcasm reveals your stupidity

  • Tinky

    Good reporting, Ray. 

    Now, I’ll ask you again: Why don’t you find out whether other major jurisdictions (e.g. NY, CA, KY and CA) are a) are currently testing for this drug and b) considering testing frozen samples in an effort to expose those who were “ahead of the curve”?

  • Big Red

    Simply amazing. This just goes to show that you can’t test for everything and the trainers will always be one step ahead of the authorities. 

    Just wondering….. why do casino’s (one of the most highly regulated industries) even want to be associated with a racetrack? One would think that ultimately the casino subsidy (handouts) would eventually end as racing is an economic liability to them and being associated with a game that stinks of corruption would not be good for their business.  

    • Skip Ean

      competition with other casinos–but the casinos attached to tracks are usually abysmal, except for the new casino at Aqueduct in NY, which is in a neighborhood that has been disintegrating for years.  The governor felt that putting a casino there would boost the area’s economy.  I don’t agree, but it’s too early to tell if his strategy is working

    • Don Reed

      Aren’t the trainers wasting their time?  Why aren’t they feeding these drugs to the casino machines, and getting them to pay off regardless of the software’s programming to pay off only at certain intervals?

      Don Reed (06/20/12 5:52 pm)

  • Big Red

    Simply amazing. This just goes to show that you can’t test for everything and the trainers will always be one step ahead of the authorities. 

    Just wondering….. why do casino’s (one of the most highly regulated industries) even want to be associated with a racetrack? One would think that ultimately the casino subsidy (handouts) would eventually end as racing is an economic liability to them and being associated with a game that stinks of corruption would not be good for their business.  

  • Tres Abagados Stupidos

    So first place finisher of the futuirty tests positive (alegedlly).  Second place finisher tests positive.  If those were the only two to go to the test barn then third place finisher gets the money AND probably has the drug in its’ system as well.

    • Lex

      Exactly. I’m STILL wondering about the Louisiana Derby winner? 

    • cepatton28

      The top three finishers in all LA stakes races are tested so if he is guilty he will be caught as well.  

  • Tres Abagados Stupidos

    So first place finisher of the futuirty tests positive (alegedlly).  Second place finisher tests positive.  If those were the only two to go to the test barn then third place finisher gets the money AND probably has the drug in its’ system as well.

  • Concerned

     California only tests for baking soda. Very dangerous drug.

  • Hopefieldstables

     Your intended sarcasm reveals your stupidity

  • Bookie Buster

    What an easy illegal way to land a gamble…Almost as good as the horse i saw WIN a race wire to wire and not come back sweating a drop as the tote was hammered right before the off. Same exact horse came back a few weeks later looking like it had been walked through the car wash before the race and did not run a lick as the tote was ice cold…

    Fair play?

    • May Flower

      If you don’t want to disclose the names of horse, owner, trainer, track, state and dates that horse ran on the PR, I hope you already have formally contacted the racing commission about it or you will. Those who choose to abuse and endanger jockeys and horses must be exposed, punished and banned from controlling horses.

  • Bookiebuster1

    What an easy illegal way to land a gamble…Almost as good as the horse i saw WIN a race wire to wire and not come back sweating a drop as the tote was hammered right before the off. Same exact horse came back a few weeks later looking like it had been walked through the car wash before the race and did not run a lick as the tote was ice cold…

    Fair play?

  • DavidB

    Wow – cool information. Way to go PR staff! You don’t get this kind of stuff at BH or DRF!

  • Perks

    HEY CHEATERS, TRAINERS & VETS.  YOU ARE SINGLE HANDILY RUINING OUR SPORT.  PUT THE NEEDLES DOWN & BACK AWAY FROM THE HORSES, WE ARE SICK OF THIS!

    • ASL

      Problem is, those people don’t care.  Classic sign of a sociopath. 

    • Erin Thompson

      Comment of the day!

    • voiceofreason

      Who is the “we” of which you speak? The “we” i know of (those people sick of the cheats and lack of integrity) make up the moral minority.

      Here is the VERY FIRST THING you learn, when learning to negotiate or effect change: Deal from a position of power. We, who care about such things, are sadly, the very, very minor minority. We have no voice for change, and those in power, for decades, could care less, even if we did. Those that own the sport continue to be corrupt, vision-less takers. The rest of us are pikers, ripe for fleecing (that includes owners, gamblers, etc).

      I love, and applaud the sentiment. However, we are doomed.

      • Tom

        I understand your feeling of despair. But your weakness and accepting that you can’t do anything is a loser mentality. History has proven that the minority and powerless, often find they have great power when they ban together and have conviction.

      • Don Reed

        Oui.

    • James Staples

      LOCK SOME @SSES UP NOW…& THROW AWAY THE DAMN KEY!!!…

  • DavidB

    Wow – cool information. Way to go PR staff! You don’t get this kind of stuff at BH or DRF!

  • Perks

    HEY CHEATERS, TRAINERS & VETS.  YOU ARE SINGLE HANDILY RUINING OUR SPORT.  PUT THE NEEDLES DOWN & BACK AWAY FROM THE HORSES, WE ARE SICK OF THIS!

  • The Cubs are in last place Ray

    No trainer who gets a positive for this will serve one day suspension.  Mark my words.  Why?  Because the horseman group will fight this instead of shunning the offendors.

    • Skip Ean

      you are so right…and if non-horse people read this and want to try a new high, this will be street gold!!!!!   just what we need in this country…

    • Stanley inman

      So true,
      the remedy is so simple,
      Hbpa kicks them out, ( have they ever kicked anybody out?);
      Interstate horseracing agreement with tracks could be amended in about 5minutes.
      add a clause that no class1 violaters can ever run again.
      Cheaters are out, now we have a real consequence.
      Hbpa and tracks could meet this weekend and amend their agreement, who would say no.
      Poof, cheaters only get one shot and they are gone.

    • Herewego

      Press Release

      NATIONAL HBPA,
      Lexington, Kentucky

      June 21, 2012

       

       

      DERMORPHIN
      IDENTIFICATIONS IN LOUISIANA AND OKLAHOMA RACING

       

       

      The National HBPA and its
      Affiliates have zero tolerance for trainers who use drugs like Dermorphin,
      which have no legitimate use in horses.  According to Phil Hanrahan, CEO
      of the National HBPA, “Dermorphin is doping.  Those who use Dermorphin
      should be severely punished.”

       

      Dermorphin is an opiate-like substance
      related to morphine.  In the horse, morphine has three important actions;
      it directly stimulates running, it suppresses pain, and it also suppresses the
      perception of exhaustion at the end of a race.  Morphine and related
      substances are classic performance improving substances that were significantly
      misused in racing until the advent of sophisticated testing in the late 1980s.

       

      More recently, a chemically different
      peptide group of opioid substances has been identified in venoms from the skin
      of South American frogs.  These substances, now named Dermorphins, appear
      to produce the same performance altering effects as morphine but with the
      advantage of being, until recently, undetectable. Now, however, thanks to the
      efforts of Mrs. Petra Hartmann and her colleagues at Industrial Laboratories,
      Denver, Colorado, a highly sensitive and specific confirmatory test for
      Dermorphin has been developed and brought online at Industrial
      Laboratories.  The test is also used by Dr. Steven A. Barker at the
      Louisiana State University laboratory According to Barker, “This drug in horses
      is an abuse of the horse.  It puts the horse’s life in danger.  It
      puts the jockey’s life in danger.  This is an attempt to cheat.  This
      is bad stuff.  THIS IS DOPING”. (emphasis added).

       

      The introduction of this
      Dermorphin test resulted in a finding of about 30 Dermorphin positives in
      Oklahoma and Louisiana.  Substances presented as Dermorphin are advertised
      as available from online suppliers, where it is presumably being supplied
      primarily for human recreational use.  In horses, Dermorphin is reportedly
      administered intravenously shortly before post time, with the goal of producing
      the various opiate-like effects described above.  In horse racing,
      Dermorphins are classified by the Association of Racing Commissioners
      International [ARCI] as a Class I drug.  It is a prohibited substance,
      which presumably will result in significant penalties for individuals
      associated with these positive identifications.

       

      The NHBPA and its Affiliates fully and
      unequivocally support a zero tolerance policy for trainers found guilty of
      Class I and Class II medication violations.  It
      should be noted that based on 2009-20011 data maintained by state racing commissions
      and compiled by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, 99.26%
      of nearly 300,000 post race tests were negative of evidence of drug or
      medication use.  During this same three year period, only a handful of
      drug test positives (82 out of 279,922, or less than 3/100ths of 1%) were for
      illegal substances (“dope”) generally having no purpose other than cheating,
      and only a handful of trainers were responsible for those positives. 
      Specifically, during this three year period, on average, 5,800 trainers were
      licensed by state authorities to train horses.  Only 12 trainers (1/5th
      of 1% of all trainers) can be considered to have possibly “doped” horses,
      according to state regulatory data.  After a due process determination of
      guilt regarding a Class I or Class II medication violation, the accused
      individual(s) should be subject to severe penalties for abuse of performance
      altering substances such as Dermorphin.    

       

      Additionally, we note that despite the
      fact that this substance is apparently available for use/misuse by humans; to
      our knowledge our racing chemistry colleagues are the first analytical chemists
      to develop a valid forensic test for Dermorphin and to report positives for
      this substance in either human or equine forensic science.

       

      • Stanley inman

        You guys don’t get it.
        WE WANT MORE THAN A PRESS RELEASE!
        We want action
        DO YOU have the courage to do ANYTHING
        (other than talk)

  • The Cubs are in last place Ray

    No trainer who gets a positive for this will serve one day suspension.  Mark my words.  Why?  Because the horseman group will fight this instead of shunning the offendors.

  • The Cubs are in last place Ray

    I heard Delaware is testing for it now too.

  • The Cubs are in last place Ray

    I heard Delaware is testing for it now too.

  • Jeff S

    Ray why are you afraid to go after the vets who are administering and getting these drugs? Are they too powerful or are they buying you off? You haters need to find away of making bigger fields for betters not making as mich bad press as you can!!!! I am convienced peta is in your pocket!!! go be a fan of Rugby or something. Hate them……

    • Nick Kling

       Ray,

      If you’ve got a Pita in your pocket it’s going to get messy.

    • The Cubs are in last place Ray

       This has to be one of the stupidest posts I’ve ever read on this site. 

      • Cubs Just Clobbered Da Sox Ray

        Agreed.  If Ray was interested in profting from the situation (under the table, etc.), why would he PUBLICIZE the existence of this new-found curse?

        I swear, sometimes the people who post stuff on this site have to be the incorrigible lunatics that the orphanages threw out into the street in the 1990s.

        Don Reed 06/20/12 5:33 pm)

    • RayPaulick

      Steven and Jeff…since you “both” are commenting from the same IP address, I’ll answer you at the same time. I don’t know who the vets are administering and getting these drugs, but I sincerely hope the state regulatory agencies go after them and hand out severe penalties. I also hope the state veterinary boards, along with the AVMA and AAEP, take action against any veterinarians found to violate medication rules. 

      Finally, that is not a peta in my pocket, though I am very happy to see you here. I love horse racing and could care less about Rugby.

      • race

        Ray–Hi–Glad to see that you are checking IP addresses, now how come both “Steven and Jeff” did not know how weird that would look like, since all our email addresses need to be entered to comment? I mean what were they thinking?–

  • Jeff S

    Ray why are you afraid to go after the vets who are administering and getting these drugs? Are they too powerful or are they buying you off? You haters need to find away of making bigger fields for betters not making as mich bad press as you can!!!! I am convienced peta is in your pocket!!! go be a fan of Rugby or something. Hate them……

  • Skip Ean

    you are so right…and if non-horse people read this and want to try a new high, this will be street gold!!!!!   just what we need in this country…

  • Nick Kling

     Ray,

    If you’ve got a Pita in your pocket it’s going to get messy.

  • The Cubs are in last place Ray

     This has to be one of the stupidest posts I’ve ever read on this site. 

  • Skip Ean

    competition with other casinos–but the casinos attached to tracks are usually abysmal, except for the new casino at Aqueduct in NY, which is in a neighborhood that has been disintegrating for years.  The governor felt that putting a casino there would boost the area’s economy.  I don’t agree, but it’s too early to tell if his strategy is working

  • Kermit

     its been rumored to be in Pennsylvania for the last couple of years.  I hope the arrogance of the testing lab there used the proper testing procedure to look for it before the trainers stop or already stopped using it.

    • Bristling

      The lab in PA couldn’t catch a cold

  • Kermit

     its been rumored to be in Pennsylvania for the last couple of years.  I hope the arrogance of the testing lab there used the proper testing procedure to look for it before the trainers stop or already stopped using it.

  • Chip Wiley

    Now if all of the people who are wasting their time trying to ban Lasix focused their effort on getting rid of illegal drug use such as this, then they can say they are doing something positive and proactive.  Otherwise…..

    • Noelle

       Why can’t people oppose BOTH drugs?  ALL drugs?  It’s not an either-or situation.

      • Chip Wiley

        Why do you think Lasix and Dermorphin are equivalents ?  Do you really beleive all of the BS propoganda being spewed by Irwin, Farmer, Phipps and the NY Times ? Do you not understand the difference between Legal, regulated, reported therapeutic medication, and illegal drugs ?

        Let me make it simple for you, it is the difference between you taking an Advil vs. Snorting a line of cocaine.

        If you have any understanding of the subject matter, then you should be able to understand the distinction. 

        • Michael J. Arndt

          Just watched a colt run 2nd in an $80,000 Stake in its third start. Won its maiden last out, time before lost by a nose in its first start at Keeneland. Never had Lasix. Apparently, its the only horse in America who can race succesfully and not need Lasix. Must be a pretty special colt….

          • Chip Wiley

            I have a guy in my office that has diabetes.  Should he not be allowed to do his job because he needs a shot of insulin so he can function ?  I have allergies, should I not be able to take an Allegra tablet so I can perform my job ? 

            Of course there are some horses that don’t need lasix, and of course it is overused, however, there is a psyiological weakness in many horses that is easily controllable with a therapeutic medication that is regulated and reported. 

            Use of it is a choice, no one is required to use it, and people like Barry Irwin who insist that a horse needs it or is at a competitive disadvantage are just excuse seekers trying to eplain why their expensive horses don’t win. 

            To make a statement like yours above, and extrapolating anything from it, other than that individual horse doesn’t bleed, and in all probability he will at some point, is as ridiculous as Phipps, Farmer, Irwin, Et Al claiming that Lasix is the root of all evil.

            If Phipps, Farmer, Irwin, The Jockey Club, and The New York Times, stopped their charade of blaming Lasix as the cause of the games ills, accepted reality that the users, abusers, and makers of the undectable, designer drugs, the ones the pathetic testing currently in use can’t seem to catch, are caught and prosecuted, then nothing will change. 

             Hopefully Froggate will be a wake up call for these zealots to get their heads out of the sand and take the positive, proactive steps to clean up the game once and for all.  Baseball got over some of its heros being exposed as cheaters, and so will racing.    

  • Chip Wiley

    Now if all of the people who are wasting their time trying to ban Lasix focused their effort on getting rid of illegal drug use such as this, then they can say they are doing something positive and proactive.  Otherwise…..

  • ASL

    Problem is, those people don’t care.  Classic sign of a sociopath. 

  • ASL

    People who use these kinds of drugs have sociopathic tendencies.  The rules don’t apply to them.  They don’t care about the welfare of the animal, the sport, etc.  No matter the industry, these people will always be around.  It’s a neurological dysfunction.  And as soon as you start pointing the finger at them for their cruel or dishonest behavior, they routinely start pointing the finger at your for attacking them. 

    • Ritis

       According to the latest news reports the Mexican DRUG CARTELS are involved in the S.West racing scene, form your own opinions.The big hitters in the racing industry have tackled the

      drug testing problem. Major venues like Araphoe Park in Aurora, Ajax Downs in Ontario and

      Aksarben have taken the lead in drug screening techniques. Anxious to protect

      the backbone of their economies, states like Minnisota, Oklahoma and North

      Dakota have joined the effort. Industrial Labs in Denver, Colorado, is training

      other interested labs in effective screening techniques. Lesser stakeholders

      with little known racing interests in New York, Kentucky and California will

      await the findings of these mid-west powerhouses. Lily Padz, a spokesperson for

      those latter three, and who is openly bug-eyed at the resources of

      Arapahoe, remarked (tongue in cheek) that they were small players in a big pond

      but that that they couldn’t wait to jump in and get their collective feet wet.

      Privately, Lily said, “test for da what? 

      It’s demorphine, Lily, demorphine.  

       

      • DC

        Aksarben has not run since 1996. Don’t need to go to Cartels to get frog toxin, do a little fact check.

    • Equine Avenger

      Sounds just like Gill and his gang of needle trainers!

  • May Flower

    If you don’t want to disclose the names of horse, owner, trainer, track, state and dates that horse ran on the PR, I hope you already have formally contacted the racing commission about it or you will. Those who choose to abuse and endanger jockeys and horses must be exposed, punished and banned from controlling horses.

  • ASL

    People who use these kinds of drugs have sociopathic tendencies.  The rules don’t apply to them.  They don’t care about the welfare of the animal, the sport, etc.  No matter the industry, these people will always be around.  It’s a neurological dysfunction.  And as soon as you start pointing the finger at them for their cruel or dishonest behavior, they routinely start pointing the finger at your for attacking them. 

  • Lex

    Exactly. I’m STILL wondering about the Louisiana Derby winner? 

  • McGov

    If you think that this drug, first identified in nature and then synthesized, is the only problem, you are living in the luxury of ignorance.  It is the tip of the iceberg.  There are chemists all over the world that are working on designer performance enhancing drugs for athletes that compete.
    The investigative reporting by Paulick illustrates the approach needed to combat the crooks.  Wherever there is money, there is corruption.  Ultimately, the crooks need to be sitting in jail cells and served with a real consequence and thereby producing real deterrence.  The current penalty system is little more than a joke.

    • Lex

      RIGHT! If you are unwilling to enforce the rules…..then you might as well not have any rules. It IS a JOKE!

  • McGov

    If you think that this drug, first identified in nature and then synthesized, is the only problem, you are living in the luxury of ignorance.  It is the tip of the iceberg.  There are chemists all over the world that are working on designer performance enhancing drugs for athletes that compete.
    The investigative reporting by Paulick illustrates the approach needed to combat the crooks.  Wherever there is money, there is corruption.  Ultimately, the crooks need to be sitting in jail cells and served with a real consequence and thereby producing real deterrence.  The current penalty system is little more than a joke.

  • Lex

    RIGHT! If you are unwilling to enforce the rules…..then you might as well not have any rules. It IS a JOKE!

  • Stanley inman

    So true,
    the remedy is so simple,
    Hbpa kicks them out, ( have they ever kicked anybody out?);
    Interstate horseracing agreement with tracks could be amended in about 5minutes.
    add a clause that no class1 violaters can ever run again.
    Cheaters are out, now we have a real consequence.
    Hbpa and tracks could meet this weekend and amend their agreement, who would say no.
    Poof, cheaters only get one shot and they are gone.

  • Erin Thompson

    TB racing needs to separate itself from the QHs. It needs to make that message loud and clear to the public with PR campaigns AND by running as clean and transparent a ship as possible (and because it should be anyway, of course). 

    Too bad there is no org with any teeth or real money to do so.

    • One Horse Stable

      So tired of all this crap. Used to have a small string but now my status is exactly what my posting handle says it is. Soon it will probably be zero horse stable.

      What this game needs is another Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.  We’ve needed him ever since the 1919 Sanford Stakes when Upset upset Man ‘O War in another Arnold Rothstein production as was that year’s World Series. Yes kiddos he was busy that year and probably the year before with the Cubbies as well.

      Baseball got it right 92 years ago. We are still waiting…and I’m afraid we will keep on waiting until it doesn’t really matter anymore. Such a shame!

    • cepatton28

      Some of the positive tests were on TBs

  • Erin Thompson

    TB racing needs to separate itself from the QHs. It needs to make that message loud and clear to the public with PR campaigns AND by running as clean and transparent a ship as possible (and because it should be anyway, of course). 

    Too bad there is no org with any teeth or real money to do so.

  • Erin Thompson

    Comment of the day!

  • Noelle

     Why can’t people oppose BOTH drugs?  ALL drugs?  It’s not an either-or situation.

  • Ritis

     According to the latest news reports the Mexican DRUG CARTELS are involved in the S.West racing scene, form your own opinions.The big hitters in the racing industry have tackled the

    drug testing problem. Major venues like Araphoe Park in Aurora, Ajax Downs in Ontario and

    Aksarben have taken the lead in drug screening techniques. Anxious to protect

    the backbone of their economies, states like Minnisota, Oklahoma and North

    Dakota have joined the effort. Industrial Labs in Denver, Colorado, is training

    other interested labs in effective screening techniques. Lesser stakeholders

    with little known racing interests in New York, Kentucky and California will

    await the findings of these mid-west powerhouses. Lily Padz, a spokesperson for

    those latter three, and who is openly bug-eyed at the resources of

    Arapahoe, remarked (tongue in cheek) that they were small players in a big pond

    but that that they couldn’t wait to jump in and get their collective feet wet.

    Privately, Lily said, “test for da what? 

    It’s demorphine, Lily, demorphine.  

     

  • Stevenf

    Ray, what needs to be done about the vets? Haven’t heard about this from you. Do you like horse racing ray? Please answer back……

    • RayPaulick

      Steven and Jeff…since you “both” are commenting from the same IP address, I’ll answer you at the same time. I don’t know who the vets are administering and getting these drugs, but I sincerely hope the state regulatory agencies go after them and hand out severe penalties. I also hope the state veterinary boards, along with the AVMA and AAEP, take action against any veterinarians found to violate medication rules. 

      Finally, that is not a peta in my pocket, though I am very happy to see you here. I love horse racing and could care less about Rugby.

      • Nick

        Just wanted to chime in that an IP address does not necessarily mean the same person. Here at work we have about 500 employees and all of them would appear to be posting from one of two IP addresses.

        • RayPaulick

          Thank you, Nick. 

          • The Hand That Fed Me Bit Me

            If there’s a company with 500 people in it with all arriving from one or two IP addresses, what are the odds – given racing’s fall from grace – that more than one of them would be a racing fan?

            Don Reed (06/20/12 5:40 pm)

          • Don Reed

            WOW!!! This Disqus system NEVER fails to amaze!

            The above and below identical comments (no, I didn’t physically post them twice):

            1) Posted comment #1 and changed my facetious “name” from what I had typed - “The Hand That Fed Me Bit Me” – to the previously used “Cubs Just Clobbered…”;

            and

            2) Simultaneously posted comment #2 (text identical to #1) – with the title intended to be the title of comment #1 (“The Hand That Fed Me…”).

            I hope I explained this clearly.

            Do you realize: That if Disqus were doing the horse drug testing, Dutrow could run for President this year - and win?

            Don Reed (06/20/12 5:48 pm)

      • Don Reed

        Da Cubs Fan put on his sunglasses
        and then RayBanned “Steven” & “Jeff”!

        • Don Reed

          Good to see that Disqus has made up it’s mind, I’m back to being Cubs Just instead of The Hand.  Would prefer, however, to be signed in with my normal old dull name.

          We need a Wisconsin recall election for Disqus (a successful one, this time).

          Don Reed (06/21/12 3:02 pm)

  • Stevenf

    Ray, what needs to be done about the vets? Haven’t heard about this from you. Do you like horse racing ray? Please answer back……

  • Jimmy

    I do agree the size of horse fields and quality is the biggest issue. Any competitive sport is not perfect. If you don’t like racing go watch what you do like. Haters bred haters. Write about something positive and let that feed our fans that actually like horse racing.. Just saying……….

    • RayPaulick

      Steven, Jeff, Jimmy-

      Third time is the charm. One of the things that result in being banned is posting under multiple names. Goodbye.

      • The Cubs are in last place Ray

         More like

        Goodbye…….

      • The Hand That Fed Me Bit Me

        Ray, you are SO cruel to the orphans.  Tsk Tsk.

        Paint’s dry.  What comes next?

        (Don Reed 06/20/12 5:37 pm)

  • Jimmy

    I do agree the size of horse fields and quality is the biggest issue. Any competitive sport is not perfect. If you don’t like racing go watch what you do like. Haters bred haters. Write about something positive and let that feed our fans that actually like horse racing.. Just saying……….

  • RayPaulick

    Steven and Jeff…since you “both” are commenting from the same IP address, I’ll answer you at the same time. I don’t know who the vets are administering and getting these drugs, but I sincerely hope the state regulatory agencies go after them and hand out severe penalties. I also hope the state veterinary boards, along with the AVMA and AAEP, take action against any veterinarians found to violate medication rules. 

    Finally, that is not a peta in my pocket, though I am very happy to see you here. I love horse racing and could care less about Rugby.

  • RayPaulick

    Steven and Jeff…since you “both” are commenting from the same IP address, I’ll answer you at the same time. I don’t know who the vets are administering and getting these drugs, but I sincerely hope the state regulatory agencies go after them and hand out severe penalties. I also hope the state veterinary boards, along with the AVMA and AAEP, take action against any veterinarians found to violate medication rules. 

    Finally, that is not a peta in my pocket, though I am very happy to see you here. I love horse racing and could care less about Rugby.

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    I agree the offenders here will probably get off with a slap on the wrist or a lesser suspension they will serve when it is convienent for them to serve it.  I think there can be two ways of going after these people, other than the racing jurisdictions.  First, have humane officers get invovled in this, as depending on how the cruelty laws are written in the state, they could be nailed for animal abuse.  Second, and probably the more likely.  Just have the tracks ban the trainers from the grounds.  Forget about all this hearing stuff and appeals and all that.  The tracks are private entities that have the right to bar whomever they chose from their backside.  Ban them and enforce the ban.  When enough have no where else to go or train, they will find something else to do, and owners will start looking towards responsible trainers for their horses again. 

    • Michael J. Arndt

      Might want to read the article – “Indiana Courts Overturn Ed Martin Jr. Ban from Indiana tracks” on Paulick site..

      • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

        That is a slightly different scenario, but I understand your point on it, and if you read my comment on that article, I said that these jurisdictions just need to spend the proper amount of time and effort, as well as proper legal representation, on these issues to make sure they are not overturned on technicalities.  There is also a difference between overturning a ban because of failing to get a license and drugging horses…or at least there should be.

    • cepatton28

      According to the LA rules of Racing they will all get a one year suspension.  People need to contact the LA racing commission and let them know that the public wants these people to answer for what they have done.

      • cepatton28

        That will be more effective than talking on here.

    • LL

      Trainers have a way of using assistant trainers when they are suspended but I don’t know about a banned situation. You would need to ban the horses from the tracks also. That would affect the owners’ pockets. With everyone cutting back, where are you going to get the required humane officers? Several years ago my friend had her trainer buy her a horse in NE. When he broke down severely she found out he had been nerved. Luckily it happened right after the finish line and the jock was able to jump off and the horse was out of the way of other horses. The bans should be universal if the trainer is caught more than once. 

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    I agree the offenders here will probably get off with a slap on the wrist or a lesser suspension they will serve when it is convienent for them to serve it.  I think there can be two ways of going after these people, other than the racing jurisdictions.  First, have humane officers get invovled in this, as depending on how the cruelty laws are written in the state, they could be nailed for animal abuse.  Second, and probably the more likely.  Just have the tracks ban the trainers from the grounds.  Forget about all this hearing stuff and appeals and all that.  The tracks are private entities that have the right to bar whomever they chose from their backside.  Ban them and enforce the ban.  When enough have no where else to go or train, they will find something else to do, and owners will start looking towards responsible trainers for their horses again. 

  • RayPaulick

    Steven, Jeff, Jimmy-

    Third time is the charm. One of the things that result in being is posting under multiple names. Goodbye.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    THEY NEED TO LOCK their @SSES UP…GET REAL HEAR RCI???…SICK & TIRED OF THIS BS!!!…GET OFF YOUR @SSES NOW!!!…ps…reply to Ray got shuffled down some how???…ty…

    • RayPaulick

      James,

      I assume you know that RCI has zero regulatory authority. All it can do is propose model rules to state racing commissions. It is up to each state to change its rules.

      The only alternative to that would be federal legislation to dictate medication regulations and penalties or to create a national regulatory body to oversee that aspect of horseracing.

      • The Cubs are in last place Ray

        Imagine the handle potential for a track or state that takes a pro-bettor standpoint and gets serious on the issues.

        -  No Drugs
        -  24 hour video surveillance of barns
        -  Out of competition testing
        -  Low Takeout
        -  Thorough pre-race exams
        -  Lame horses are scratched
        -  Harsh penalties for offendors (6 months first offense, 2x you are out)

        I would be willing to bet (pun intended) that track would be a destination for the sports players and clean trainers.   Don’t think you’d see certain trainers applying for stalls at this venue.

        • Lex

           UNFORTUNATELY, The ONLY place that will EVER happen IS in our imagination. Also like to see pre & post race testing for every horse in a race.

          • Michael J. Arndt

            Lex, are you willing, and will other bettors be willing to pay for that through takeout? It will have to be paid for somehow. Take the total number of starts last year and multiply by $ 100, and its a very big number for total cost.

          • Lex

            I think if the JC/NTRA/BC/Grayson & ALL State racing boards, powers that be, & authorities were really serious about actually doing something….they would stop spending money on studies, marketing campaigns, ect,ect. and start spending money to upgrade testing and detection. I would LOVE to see the first guy who comes up pre-race negative & post-race positive try to LAWYER his way out of it! The fact is….everybody wants to bemoan the problem…but nobody wants to put forth the effort & resources to get something done. This is why it only gets better in our imaginations.

      • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

        yes i do…but they need to hand out stiffer recommendations to make all think twice before they CHEAT/FIX A HORSE RACE…national regulatory is what “THE GAME” needs NOW!!!…its going to happen in the very near FUTURE!!!…ty Ray… 

        • May Flower

          Change will happen but not before outside forces threaten to shut racing down following a huge tragedy, scandal and/or lawsuit.

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    THEY NEED TO LOCK their @SSES UP…GET REAL HEAR RCI???…SICK & TIRED OF THIS BS!!!…GET OFF YOUR @SSES NOW!!!…

  • RayPaulick

    James,

    I assume you know that RCI has zero regulatory authority. All it can do is propose model rules to state racing commissions. It is up to each state to change its rules.

    The only alternative to that would be federal legislation to dictate medication regulations and penalties or to create a national regulatory body to oversee that aspect of horseracing.

  • The Cubs are in last place Ray

     More like

    Goodbye…….

  • The Cubs are in last place Ray

    Imagine the handle potential for a track or state that takes a pro-bettor standpoint and gets serious on the issues.

    -  No Drugs
    -  24 hour video surveillance of barns
    -  Out of competition testing
    -  Low Takeout
    -  Thorough pre-race exams
    -  Lame horses are scratched
    -  Harsh penalties for offendors (6 months first offense, 2x you are out)

    I would be willing to bet (pun intended) that track would be a destination for the sports players and clean trainers.   Don’t think you’d see certain trainers applying for stalls at this venue.

  • Lex

     UNFORTUNATELY, The ONLY place that will EVER happen IS in our imagination. Also like to see pre & post race testing for every horse in a race.

  • RayPaulick

    Thank you, Nick. 

  • Swamp Fox

    Thank God for Royal Ascot…..

    • cepatton28

      There is drug use on horses in Europe as well.  Don’t kid yourselves.  The Queen’s own trainer used an illegal bleeding medicine on one of hers.

      • Hopefieldstables

         The horse was disq, the trainer fined £40,000 (about $60,000), his vet was struck off (ie licence revoked) for an “indefinite period” for “disgraceful conduct”

        The drug in question is actually legal on race day in several US states e.g Maryland.

        So yes there is drug use in Europe.

        • Hopefieldstables

           and the trainer was suspended for 3 months as well

          • cepatton28

            That is a proper punishment and I hope the trainers and vets here are subject to the same sort of disipline.   My point is that people cheat all over the country.  The horse was not racing in Maryland therefore it was an illegal drug period.

  • Swamp Fox

    Thank God for Royal Ascot…..

  • SteveG

    Gardiner claims the testing in Louisiana is “cutting edge.”
     
    Good one!

    • cepatton28

      Louisiana’s testing is state of the art.   They have actually managed to catch trainers using illegal drugs.   What has the labs testing KY and NY caught?   They only got Biancone because he had the drug in his possession and was able to keep all the purse money he made blocking crippled horses.   

      • Perks

        MAYBE THEY CAN GO BACK AND RETEST THE INVENTORY OF SAMPLES, NOW THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING… MORE NAMES COMING OUT IN OTHER STATES SOON…

  • SteveG

    Gardiner claims the testing in Louisiana is “cutting edge.”
     
    Good one!

  • Bristling

    The lab in PA couldn’t catch a cold

  • Gangbust

    Can the commissions go back on every frozen sample from winners associated with the trainer who turned up with a bad test? Order purses returned if demorphine comes up in those samples??!! Some of the accused trainers Hav been winning races at very hi rates since before the testing for demorphine commenced!!

  • Gangbust

    Can the commissions go back on every frozen sample from winners associated with the trainer who turned up with a bad test? Order purses returned if demorphine comes up in those samples??!! Some of the accused trainers Hav been winning races at very hi rates since before the testing for demorphine commenced!!

  • Kpapp

    Just wondering if they saved blood samples from the triple crown runners and if they could be retrospectively tested for demorphine?

  • Kpapp

    Just wondering if they saved blood samples from the triple crown runners and if they could be retrospectively tested for demorphine?

  • Lory

    kpapp do you always jump shadows if so try a shadow roll. drugs of this type do not work as well on TB due to fatiage factor

    • cepatton28

      Lory from the little research i have done it appears that this drug either increases or does not decrease stamina in TBs

      • Lory

        my point is you ive this to a TB and with race ran over distance if horse had a problem it would break down rather than run well. with the shorter QH distances and straight away racing they may tire but would be less likely to break down. QH seldom break one off. or bow they tend to suffer different types of injuries,

        • cepatton28

          I trained QH’s in the 90′s and when they had a breakdown in a race it was usually catastrophic.  Also with this medicine if the leg doesn’t come apart mechanically it is feasible that they would finish the race with a fracture.

  • Lory

    kpapp do you always jump shadows if so try a shadow roll. drugs of this type do not work as well on TB due to fatiage factor

  • Cubs Just Clobbered Da Sox Ray

    Agreed.  If Ray was interested in profting from the situation (under the table, etc.), why would he PUBLICIZE the existence of this new-found curse?

    I swear, sometimes the people who post stuff on this site have to be the incorrigible lunatics that the orphanages threw out into the street in the 1990s.

    Don Reed 06/20/12 5:33 pm)

  • The Hand That Fed Me Bit Me

    Ray, you are SO cruel to the orphans.  Tsk Tsk.

    Paint’s dry.  What comes next?

    (Don Reed 06/20/12 5:37 pm)

  • The Hand That Fed Me Bit Me

    If there’s a company with 500 people in it with all arriving from one or two IP addresses, what are the odds – given racing’s fall from grace – that more than one of them would be a racing fan?

    Don Reed (06/20/12 5:40 pm)

  • Don Reed

    WOW!!! This Disqus system NEVER fails to amaze!

    The above and below identical comments (no, I didn’t physically post them twice):

    1) Posted comment #1 and changed my facetious “name” from what I had typed - “The Hand That Fed Me Bit Me” – to the previously used “Cubs Just Clobbered…”;

    and

    2) Simultaneously posted comment #2 (text identical to #1) – with the title intended to be the title of comment #1 (“The Hand That Fed Me…”).

    I hope I explained this clearly.

    Do you realize: That if Disqus were doing the horse drug testing, Dutrow could run for President this year - and win?

    Don Reed (06/20/12 5:48 pm)

  • Don Reed

    Aren’t the trainers wasting their time?  Why aren’t they feeding these drugs to the casino machines, and getting them to pay off regardless of the software’s programming to pay off only at certain intervals?

    Don Reed (06/20/12 5:52 pm)

  • One Horse Stable

    So tired of all this crap. Used to have a small string but now my status is exactly what my posting handle says it is. Soon it will probably be zero horse stable.

    What this game needs is another Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.  We’ve needed him ever since the 1919 Sanford Stakes when Upset upset Man ‘O War in another Arnold Rothstein production as was that year’s World Series. Yes kiddos he was busy that year and probably the year before with the Cubbies as well.

    Baseball got it right 92 years ago. We are still waiting…and I’m afraid we will keep on waiting until it doesn’t really matter anymore. Such a shame!

  • Equine Avenger

    Sounds just like Gill and his gang of needle trainers!

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    yes i do…but they need to hand out stiffer recommendations to make all think twice before they CHEAT/FIX A HORSE RACE…national regulatory is what “THE GAME” needs NOW!!!…its going to happen in the very near FUTURE!!!…ty Ray… 

  • Ron Crookham

    Way to go Ray !! Awesome reporting. I just wish the thoroughbred industry could separate itself from the Quarterhorse debacles,it’s not like we don’t have own problems.

    • May Flower

      QH racing cowboys are more abusive and corrupt but especially at crappy tracks that race QH and TB together, one quickly infects the other.

      • cepatton28

        Money breeds corruptness.   Cheaters and abusers are at all levels of the sport regardless if they are QH, TB or standardbred.

    • Charlie Davis

      There were positive tests in QH and TB’s. 

  • Ron Crookham

    Way to go Ray !! Awesome reporting. I just wish the thoroughbred industry could separate itself from the Quarterhorse debacles,it’s not like we don’t have own problems.

  • free reign

    Ah, So luckily they have a test for “The Mexican.”  Until the rule book is edited and enforced, looks like tracks are going to have to stick with other trumped up charges to keep certain trainers off the grounds, and their horses out of the entry box.

    • Lory

      free in the majority of NM bad tests you will see a trend  there are Latinos who have been here born here and raised here and there are the dregs mexico is so willing to export to us like these folks. they way they layer themselves helps them hide in plain sight.

      • free reign

        Lori, “The Mexican” refers to the drug itself, not the people of Mexico. You are so right. Proper documentation, and forcing everyone to follow American rules, while in America, is the key. BTW, look at Canada and the history with clenbuterol.

        • May Flower

          Please share what you know about Canada and clenbuterol. TY!

          It would be a good idea to start tracking all race horses, especially the Quarter horses based in Southern and Southwestern states to prevent some of them from being taken into Mexico –including to visit a Zeta drug lord in Nuevo Laredo– then their being returned to the United States under the radar, on foot, without proper health documents, importation records and quarantine if needed to prevent doping and additional EIA outbreaks.

  • free reign

    Ah, So luckily they have a test for “The Mexican.”  Until the rule book is edited and enforced, looks like tracks are going to have to stick with other trumped up charges to keep certain trainers off the grounds, and their horses out of the entry box.

  • Michael J. Arndt

    Those who oppose use of illegal drugs of this caliber need to STOP LOOKING FOR SUSPENSIONS (which generally mean nothing) and start pressing LOCAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS around these racetracks to CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE these trainers. Every single rider in ever race these horses run in is a victim of reckless endangerment from an injured horse being rendered unable to feel pain and therefore at much greater risk of breakdown. THIS is the answer to stopping this, along with racing commissions changing the rules to not only suspend the trainer, but everyone on down to the hotwalker when this happens. They will find folks much more willing to cooperate with investigations below the level of head trainer if they are risking losing paychecks as well.

    • May Flower

      MJA: I agree with you.

      Why is racing allowed to operate above the law?

      Track owners have bought local law enforcement and politicians?

      Horse owners have bought local, state politicians and the governor?

      The Dinnies have bought the Attorney General and the FBI?

      The NTRA, AQHA and AAEP lead by the AHC have bought silence re. cruelty, drugs, injury and slaughter?

      Industry leaders make sure that lawsuits that would expose horror and corruption are settled out of court to delay needed reforms?

    • Sharon Smith

      Seems to me that federal prosecution would be appropriate, what with interstate wagering, transportation of horses, etc. Some kind of fraud charge, perhaps? This might be a good way to assure consistency between racing commissions in terms of drug enforcement.

      • Tom

        Today’s races through simulcasting, cross state lines, the fore are involved in interstate commerce. At a minimum, RICO statutes should clearly apply. As the trainers that are cheating, must be telling someone to bet their roses, thus defrauding everyone else. Prosecute them all. They are stealing the pools of the legal gamblers. This is to just about purses.

  • Michael J. Arndt

    Those who oppose use of illegal drugs of this caliber need to STOP LOOKING FOR SUSPENSIONS (which generally mean nothing) and start pressing LOCAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS around these racetracks to CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE these trainers. Every single rider in ever race these horses run in is a victim of reckless endangerment from an injured horse being rendered unable to feel pain and therefore at much greater risk of breakdown. THIS is the answer to stopping this, along with racing commissions changing the rules to not only suspend the trainer, but everyone on down to the hotwalker when this happens. They will find folks much more willing to cooperate with investigations below the level of head trainer if they are risking losing paychecks as well.

  • Michael J. Arndt

    Lex, are you willing, and will other bettors be willing to pay for that through takeout? It will have to be paid for somehow. Take the total number of starts last year and multiply by $ 100, and its a very big number for total cost.

  • Michael J. Arndt

    Might want to read the article – “Indiana Courts Overturn Ed Martin Jr. Ban from Indiana tracks” on Paulick site..

  • Francis Bush

    Here we go again. Is there no end to fixing horses to improve performance. Now, someone has nearly killed himself, killed some the hapless tree frogs, and is now exposing some thoroughbreds to toxic doses of frog venom. Have we have no heart?

    • RayPaulick

      You don’t have to kill the frog to get the juice.

      • May Flower

        Relief!

  • Francis Bush

    Here we go again. Is there no end to fixing horses to improve performance. Now, someone has nearly killed himself, killed some the hapless tree frogs, and is now exposing some thoroughbreds to toxic doses of frog venom. Have we have no heart?

  • RayPaulick

    You don’t have to kill the frog to get the juice.

  • voiceofreason

    Who is the “we” of which you speak? The “we” i know of (those people sick of the cheats and lack of integrity) make up the moral minority.

    Here is the VERY FIRST THING you learn, when learning to negotiate or effect change: Deal from a position of power. We, who care about such things, are sadly, the very, very minor minority. We have no voice for change, and those in power, for decades, could care less, even if we did. Those that own the sport continue to be corrupt, vision-less takers. The rest of us are pikers, ripe for fleecing (that includes owners, gamblers, etc).

    I love, and applaud the sentiment. However, we are doomed.

  • Lex

    I think if the JC/NTRA/BC/Grayson & ALL State racing boards, powers that be, & authorities were really serious about actually doing something….they would stop spending money on studies, marketing campaigns, ect,ect. and start spending money to upgrade testing and detection. I would LOVE to see the first guy who comes up pre-race negative & post-race positive try to LAWYER his way out of it! The fact is….everybody wants to bemoan the problem…but nobody wants to put forth the effort & resources to get something done. This is why it only gets better in our imaginations.

  • Herewego

    Press Release

    NATIONAL HBPA,
    Lexington, Kentucky

    June 21, 2012

     

     

    DERMORPHIN
    IDENTIFICATIONS IN LOUISIANA AND OKLAHOMA RACING

     

     

    The National HBPA and its
    Affiliates have zero tolerance for trainers who use drugs like Dermorphin,
    which have no legitimate use in horses.  According to Phil Hanrahan, CEO
    of the National HBPA, “Dermorphin is doping.  Those who use Dermorphin
    should be severely punished.”

     

    Dermorphin is an opiate-like substance
    related to morphine.  In the horse, morphine has three important actions;
    it directly stimulates running, it suppresses pain, and it also suppresses the
    perception of exhaustion at the end of a race.  Morphine and related
    substances are classic performance improving substances that were significantly
    misused in racing until the advent of sophisticated testing in the late 1980s.

     

    More recently, a chemically different
    peptide group of opioid substances has been identified in venoms from the skin
    of South American frogs.  These substances, now named Dermorphins, appear
    to produce the same performance altering effects as morphine but with the
    advantage of being, until recently, undetectable. Now, however, thanks to the
    efforts of Mrs. Petra Hartmann and her colleagues at Industrial Laboratories,
    Denver, Colorado, a highly sensitive and specific confirmatory test for
    Dermorphin has been developed and brought online at Industrial
    Laboratories.  The test is also used by Dr. Steven A. Barker at the
    Louisiana State University laboratory According to Barker, “This drug in horses
    is an abuse of the horse.  It puts the horse’s life in danger.  It
    puts the jockey’s life in danger.  This is an attempt to cheat.  This
    is bad stuff.  THIS IS DOPING”. (emphasis added).

     

    The introduction of this
    Dermorphin test resulted in a finding of about 30 Dermorphin positives in
    Oklahoma and Louisiana.  Substances presented as Dermorphin are advertised
    as available from online suppliers, where it is presumably being supplied
    primarily for human recreational use.  In horses, Dermorphin is reportedly
    administered intravenously shortly before post time, with the goal of producing
    the various opiate-like effects described above.  In horse racing,
    Dermorphins are classified by the Association of Racing Commissioners
    International [ARCI] as a Class I drug.  It is a prohibited substance,
    which presumably will result in significant penalties for individuals
    associated with these positive identifications.

     

    The NHBPA and its Affiliates fully and
    unequivocally support a zero tolerance policy for trainers found guilty of
    Class I and Class II medication violations.  It
    should be noted that based on 2009-20011 data maintained by state racing commissions
    and compiled by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, 99.26%
    of nearly 300,000 post race tests were negative of evidence of drug or
    medication use.  During this same three year period, only a handful of
    drug test positives (82 out of 279,922, or less than 3/100ths of 1%) were for
    illegal substances (“dope”) generally having no purpose other than cheating,
    and only a handful of trainers were responsible for those positives. 
    Specifically, during this three year period, on average, 5,800 trainers were
    licensed by state authorities to train horses.  Only 12 trainers (1/5th
    of 1% of all trainers) can be considered to have possibly “doped” horses,
    according to state regulatory data.  After a due process determination of
    guilt regarding a Class I or Class II medication violation, the accused
    individual(s) should be subject to severe penalties for abuse of performance
    altering substances such as Dermorphin.    

     

    Additionally, we note that despite the
    fact that this substance is apparently available for use/misuse by humans; to
    our knowledge our racing chemistry colleagues are the first analytical chemists
    to develop a valid forensic test for Dermorphin and to report positives for
    this substance in either human or equine forensic science.

     

  • May Flower

    MJA: I agree with you.

    Why is racing allowed to operate above the law?

    Track owners have bought local law enforcement and politicians?

    Horse owners have bought local, state politicians and the governor?

    The Dinnies have bought the Attorney General and the FBI?

    The NTRA, AQHA and AAEP lead by the AHC have bought silence re. cruelty, drugs, injury and slaughter?

    Industry leaders make sure that lawsuits that would expose horror and corruption are settled out of court to delay needed reforms?

  • May Flower

    Relief!

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    That is a slightly different scenario, but I understand your point on it, and if you read my comment on that article, I said that these jurisdictions just need to spend the proper amount of time and effort, as well as proper legal representation, on these issues to make sure they are not overturned on technicalities.  There is also a difference between overturning a ban because of failing to get a license and drugging horses…or at least there should be.

  • cepatton28

    Louisiana’s testing is state of the art.   They have actually managed to catch trainers using illegal drugs.   What has the labs testing KY and NY caught?   They only got Biancone because he had the drug in his possession and was able to keep all the purse money he made blocking crippled horses.   

  • cepatton28

    According to the LA rules of Racing they will all get a one year suspension.  People need to contact the LA racing commission and let them know that the public wants these people to answer for what they have done.

  • cepatton28

    That will be more effective than talking on here.

  • cepatton28

    Some of the positive tests were on TBs

  • cepatton28

    The top three finishers in all LA stakes races are tested so if he is guilty he will be caught as well.  

  • cepatton28

    Lory from the little research i have done it appears that this drug either increases or does not decrease stamina in TBs

  • cepatton28

    There is drug use on horses in Europe as well.  Don’t kid yourselves.  The Queen’s own trainer used an illegal bleeding medicine on one of hers.

  • race

    Ray–Hi–Glad to see that you are checking IP addresses, now how come both “Steven and Jeff” did not know how weird that would look like, since all our email addresses need to be entered to comment? I mean what were they thinking?–

  • Lory

    my point is you ive this to a TB and with race ran over distance if horse had a problem it would break down rather than run well. with the shorter QH distances and straight away racing they may tire but would be less likely to break down. QH seldom break one off. or bow they tend to suffer different types of injuries,

  • Lory

    should you want to see a correlation review the number of trainers in QH racing that are from Mexico . Just one more example of our porus southern border affecting the U.S.A while some of these people are good hands most are not and their value system is different from most trainers that were raised on the backside. the prevalence of cheaters is in a direct line with this and for other trainers to survive it is now not keeping up with the milk toast jones but with the Gonzaleses. When you are able to run to get an appeal before a judge that has little or no knowledge of racing the legit trainers lose.
    the result is that the legit trainers overuse permissable meds just to try and keep up with the cheaters and the downward spiral continues.  the tracks are at fault as they keep giving stall to these guys to get races filled. the track are then shutting out smaller stables
    that might run clean. racing commissions are seldom effective as the courts keep taking on appeals on rulings. While New Mexico has serious problems the quality of  some of the people involved makes it appear worse. and for those of you that might think this  racist rant it is not. The point is i worked many of these people years ago and they were of a different class than the ones coming here now. Whether it is snake venom-tree frog slime orm a designer drug they have no remorse or care in using it.

    • Tinky

      Right. Not a “racist rant”, you say, so we’ll just agree to ignore the fact that the vast majority of cheating trainers who share your exalted “value system” were/are pure-bred Americans.

      • Lory

        tinky the vast majority of trainers do what is right. In any cross section of any business type there are honest and dishonest people. in any population you have people of all types in all ethnic populations you have good and bad. on blogs you have apologists ,optomists,realists, followers and of course your style haters . if you posted anything positve enlightening or helpful you would probably shock yourself. i was pointing out that from a long association with migrant workers that goes back to picking spuds in the San Luis valley to working in many states and working people of all ethnic groups that the recent importies are not the same type or class of people that were coming across years ago.You will find that even in my states hispanic population the Latino communitee as a whole is against this type of people coming here. should you want to see disparity look up the outgoing president of Trinidad State College then compare him against the Tremors

        • Tinky

          I’m not disputing your personal experience, but the relative “class” of immigrants has nothing to do with the broader issue of cheating in horse racing.

          • Lory

            wrong tinky when people that have no regard for human life come into racing from mexico horses are of no value

      • Lory

        tinky you really cannot seperate good from bad. most of the high profile folks you call cheaters may shade the rules to lump a milkshaker in with the druggers is insane.  know your you can’t be a little bit pregnant rant will come but the difference between a guy like O’niel and Biancone is like a jay walker compared to a guy that rapes and murdewrs children. yeah they both may break the law or rules but which one would you spend the night with ?

        • Tinky

          You are sadly mistaken. Many of the high-profile cheaters over the years abused horses with EPO, to use just one example. Have you ever been around a horse that has crashed from such abuse? Not a pretty sight.

  • Lory

    should you want to see a correlation review the number of trainers in QH racing that are from Mexico . Just one more example of our porus southern border affecting the U.S.A while some of these people are good hands most are not and their value system is different from most trainers that were raised on the backside. the prevalence of cheaters is in a direct line with this and for other trainers to survive it is now not keeping up with the milk toast jones but with the Gonzaleses. When you are able to run to get an appeal before a judge that has little or no knowledge of racing the legit trainers lose.
    the result is that the legit trainers overuse permissable meds just to try and keep up with the cheaters and the downward spiral continues.  the tracks are at fault as they keep giving stall to these guys to get races filled. the track are then shutting out smaller stables
    that might run clean. racing commissions are seldom effective as the courts keep taking on appeals on rulings. While New Mexico has serious problems the quality of  some of the people involved makes it appear worse. and for those of you that might think this  racist rant it is not. The point is i worked many of these people years ago and they were of a different class than the ones coming here now. Whether it is snake venom-tree frog slime orm a designer drug they have no remorse or care in using it.

  • DC

    Aksarben has not run since 1996. Don’t need to go to Cartels to get frog toxin, do a little fact check.

  • Elktonstable

    I think I spilled some on myself once. I felt like a giant super bull frog that wanted to squeeze the eggs out of every female within croaking distance. I fought off the urge by jumping into a pool.

  • Elktonstable

    I think I spilled some on myself once. I felt like a giant super bull frog that wanted to squeeze the eggs out of every female within croaking distance. I fought off the urge by jumping into a pool.

  • Don Reed

    Da Cubs Fan put on his sunglasses
    and then RayBanned “Steven” & “Jeff”!

  • Don Reed

    Good to see that Disqus has made up it’s mind, I’m back to being Cubs Just instead of The Hand.  Would prefer, however, to be signed in with my normal old dull name.

    We need a Wisconsin recall election for Disqus (a successful one, this time).

    Don Reed (06/21/12 3:02 pm)

  • cepatton28

    I trained QH’s in the 90′s and when they had a breakdown in a race it was usually catastrophic.  Also with this medicine if the leg doesn’t come apart mechanically it is feasible that they would finish the race with a fracture.

  • Wishfulthinkingfarm

    We all know the horse will suffer a horrible breakdown on this drug.
    Skip the race  put the horse down and save the animal the miserable end. Cheaters crooks and miserable humans, how could look in the mirror at what you are doing to a innocent animal, that has no choice in what is happening to him or her. You make me sick

  • Wishfulthinkingfarm

    We all know the horse will suffer a horrible breakdown on this drug.
    Skip the race  put the horse down and save the animal the miserable end. Cheaters crooks and miserable humans, how could look in the mirror at what you are doing to a innocent animal, that has no choice in what is happening to him or her. You make me sick

  • Tinky

    Right. Not a “racist rant”, you say, so we’ll just agree to ignore the fact that the vast majority of cheating trainers who share your exalted “value system” were/are pure-bred Americans.

  • cepatton28

    We need a national organization with stronger disciplinary actions for the rule breakers.
       Veterinarians need to have there vehicles searched to see if all the meds they carry are legal.   Owners need to decide if they want to enjoy the sport or win at all costs to the animals.  One license should be good in every jurisdiction.  If a horse has a positive test that horse should not be allowed to run again for six months.There needs to be one set of national medication rules to follow.Only state vets should give lasix.24 hour security for horses that are in a race.Jockeys should have to actually ride at the weight in the program.

    • May Flower

      First and foremost, racing must prevent abuse and doping. All competitive horses should be protected with 24/7 surveillance, security and tracking at least one month before each race. Those who touch a competitive horse should do so in a designated area under video camera except for the groom. Therapeutic meds should be provided and administered by regulatory vets who would be assigned to different racing jurisdictions every year or two by a central authority. All equine health records from birth should be publicly disclosed. All abusers and cheaters should be investigated, fined and banned by a central authority.

      • cepatton28

        Why exclude the groom?   The breeders should also be denied the right to do corrective surgeries on foals.   All yearlings sold at public auction should be tested for steroids at the sellers cost.  The whole industry from top to bottom is to blame for the mess we are in.   Make no mistake trainers have been using illegal drugs in all countries since the beginning of racing.

        • May Flower

          Because grooms need frequent access to their horses. Special security measures could be used for them.

          I agree with you re. assorted manipulative, deceptive and painful practices used to make babies look correct and mature to sell them as quickly and as high as possible. Most horses don’t last, that is if they even reach the starting gates once.

      • Lory

        #1 cost of having 1000-1200 cameras operating at one time .
        #2.cost of 24 hour security 3 shifts of guards per 10 horses=300 guards not counting fill ins on days off -astronomical would you not say . who likes moving who knows where each year any vet would likely be a recent grad with little or no experience.
        disclose what? vaccinations treatments for illness? any examination ?any treatment?  boy i would pity the poor fellow that had to keep thoses records and a full team of nerds to read them. mayflower do you read your posts before you submit them ?
        only sentence that made ant sense was last one!

        • May Flower

          Lory:

          First, I wanted to thank you for approving the last sentence!

          Security cameras are already everywhere (streets, stores, subways, airports, corporate and government buildings, parking lots, schools, banks, etc.). Surveillance on a grand-scale is being conducted seamlessly around the clock and around the world, and acts as a powerful deterrent against criminal activities.

          The number of competitive race horses is small next to the millions of people who are being screened each and every day.

          The Hong Kong Jockey Club manages its equine security very effectively and gamblers are rewarding clean racing handsomely.

          If a strong central authority would offer adequate equine protection against abuse and doping by mandating transparency and accountability, orderly, quality and fair competition would soon follow. The culture would change for the better and security would become easier with miscreants and most drugs gone… If drugs were no longer being routinely used and abused to train and race horses, traffic around barns and access to horses would be greatly reduced  and equine health/medication records much shorter and easier to disclose.

  • cepatton28

    We need a national organization with stronger disciplinary actions for the rule breakers.
       Veterinarians need to have there vehicles searched to see if all the meds they carry are legal.   Owners need to decide if they want to enjoy the sport or win at all costs to the animals.  One license should be good in every jurisdiction.  If a horse has a positive test that horse should not be allowed to run again for six months.There needs to be one set of national medication rules to follow.Only state vets should give lasix.24 hour security for horses that are in a race.Jockeys should have to actually ride at the weight in the program.

  • Sharon Smith

    Seems to me that federal prosecution would be appropriate, what with interstate wagering, transportation of horses, etc. Some kind of fraud charge, perhaps? This might be a good way to assure consistency between racing commissions in terms of drug enforcement.

  • Lory

    tinky the vast majority of trainers do what is right. In any cross section of any business type there are honest and dishonest people. in any population you have people of all types in all ethnic populations you have good and bad. on blogs you have apologists ,optomists,realists, followers and of course your style haters . if you posted anything positve enlightening or helpful you would probably shock yourself. i was pointing out that from a long association with migrant workers that goes back to picking spuds in the San Luis valley to working in many states and working people of all ethnic groups that the recent importies are not the same type or class of people that were coming across years ago.You will find that even in my states hispanic population the Latino communitee as a whole is against this type of people coming here. should you want to see disparity look up the outgoing president of Trinidad State College then compare him against the Tremors

  • Lory

    free in the majority of NM bad tests you will see a trend  there are Latinos who have been here born here and raised here and there are the dregs mexico is so willing to export to us like these folks. they way they layer themselves helps them hide in plain sight.

  • Lory

    tinky you really cannot seperate good from bad. most of the high profile folks you call cheaters may shade the rules to lump a milkshaker in with the druggers is insane.  know your you can’t be a little bit pregnant rant will come but the difference between a guy like O’niel and Biancone is like a jay walker compared to a guy that rapes and murdewrs children. yeah they both may break the law or rules but which one would you spend the night with ?

  • May Flower

    Change will happen but not before outside forces threaten to shut racing down following a huge tragedy, scandal and/or lawsuit.

  • May Flower

    QH racing cowboys are more abusive and corrupt but especially at crappy tracks that race QH and TB together, one quickly infects the other.

  • Hopefieldstables

     The horse was disq, the trainer fined £40,000 (about $60,000), his vet was struck off (ie licence revoked) for an “indefinite period” for “disgraceful conduct”

    The drug in question is actually legal on race day in several US states e.g Maryland.

    So yes there is drug use in Europe.

  • Hopefieldstables

     and the trainer was suspended for 3 months as well

  • May Flower

    First and foremost, racing must prevent abuse and doping. All competitive horses should be protected with 24/7 surveillance, security and tracking at least one month before each race. Those who touch a competitive horse should do so in a designated area under video camera except for the groom. Therapeutic meds should be provided and administered by regulatory vets who would be assigned to different racing jurisdictions every year or two by a central authority. All equine health records from birth should be publicly disclosed. All abusers and cheaters should be investigated, fined and banned by a central authority.

  • Tinky

    I’m not disputing your personal experience, but the relative “class” of immigrants has nothing to do with the broader issue of cheating in horse racing.

  • Tinky

    You are sadly mistaken. Many of the high-profile cheaters over the years abused horses with EPO, to use just one example. Have you ever been around a horse that has crashed from such abuse? Not a pretty sight.

  • cepatton28

    Why exclude the groom?   The breeders should also be denied the right to do corrective surgeries on foals.   All yearlings sold at public auction should be tested for steroids at the sellers cost.  The whole industry from top to bottom is to blame for the mess we are in.   Make no mistake trainers have been using illegal drugs in all countries since the beginning of racing.

  • cepatton28

    Money breeds corruptness.   Cheaters and abusers are at all levels of the sport regardless if they are QH, TB or standardbred.

  • cepatton28

    That is a proper punishment and I hope the trainers and vets here are subject to the same sort of disipline.   My point is that people cheat all over the country.  The horse was not racing in Maryland therefore it was an illegal drug period.

  • LL

    Trainers have a way of using assistant trainers when they are suspended but I don’t know about a banned situation. You would need to ban the horses from the tracks also. That would affect the owners’ pockets. With everyone cutting back, where are you going to get the required humane officers? Several years ago my friend had her trainer buy her a horse in NE. When he broke down severely she found out he had been nerved. Luckily it happened right after the finish line and the jock was able to jump off and the horse was out of the way of other horses. The bans should be universal if the trainer is caught more than once. 

  • Stanley inman

    You guys don’t get it.
    WE WANT MORE THAN A PRESS RELEASE!
    We want action
    DO YOU have the courage to do ANYTHING
    (other than talk)

  • Michael J. Arndt

    Just watched a colt run 2nd in an $80,000 Stake in its third start. Won its maiden last out, time before lost by a nose in its first start at Keeneland. Never had Lasix. Apparently, its the only horse in America who can race succesfully and not need Lasix. Must be a pretty special colt….

  • James Staples

    LOCK SOME @SSES UP NOW…& THROW AWAY THE DAMN KEY!!!…

  • Chip Wiley

    I have a guy in my office that has diabetes.  Should he not be allowed to do his job because he needs a shot of insulin so he can function ?  I have allergies, should I not be able to take an Allegra tablet so I can perform my job ? 

    Of course there are some horses that don’t need lasix, and of course it is overused, however, there is a psyiological weakness in many horses that is easily controllable with a therapeutic medication that is regulated and reported. 

    Use of it is a choice, no one is required to use it, and people like Barry Irwin who insist that a horse needs it or is at a competitive disadvantage are just excuse seekers trying to eplain why their expensive horses don’t win. 

    To make a statement like yours above, and extrapolating anything from it, other than that individual horse doesn’t bleed, and in all probability he will at some point, is as ridiculous as Phipps, Farmer, Irwin, Et Al claiming that Lasix is the root of all evil.

    If Phipps, Farmer, Irwin, The Jockey Club, and The New York Times, stopped their charade of blaming Lasix as the cause of the games ills, accepted reality that the users, abusers, and makers of the undectable, designer drugs, the ones the pathetic testing currently in use can’t seem to catch, are caught and prosecuted, then nothing will change. 

     Hopefully Froggate will be a wake up call for these zealots to get their heads out of the sand and take the positive, proactive steps to clean up the game once and for all.  Baseball got over some of its heros being exposed as cheaters, and so will racing.    

  • free reign

    Lori, “The Mexican” refers to the drug itself, not the people of Mexico. You are so right. Proper documentation, and forcing everyone to follow American rules, while in America, is the key. BTW, look at Canada and the history with clenbuterol.

  • Lory

    wrong tinky when people that have no regard for human life come into racing from mexico horses are of no value

  • Perks

    MAYBE THEY CAN GO BACK AND RETEST THE INVENTORY OF SAMPLES, NOW THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING… MORE NAMES COMING OUT IN OTHER STATES SOON…

  • Cass

    frog juice!!   I am so disgusted by what certain people will do to their horses in order to win a race and make money.  They are humans with no morals whatsoever.  I hope the money they do make from this brings them no joy whatsoever

  • Cass

    frog juice!!   I am so disgusted by what certain people will do to their horses in order to win a race and make money.  They are humans with no morals whatsoever.  I hope the money they do make from this brings them no joy whatsoever

  • Lory

    #1 cost of having 1000-1200 cameras operating at one time .
    #2.cost of 24 hour security 3 shifts of guards per 10 horses=300 guards not counting fill ins on days off -astronomical would you not say . who likes moving who knows where each year any vet would likely be a recent grad with little or no experience.
    disclose what? vaccinations treatments for illness? any examination ?any treatment?  boy i would pity the poor fellow that had to keep thoses records and a full team of nerds to read them. mayflower do you read your posts before you submit them ?
    only sentence that made ant sense was last one!

  • http://twitter.com/longballlefty kevin p. reynolds

    Could major league baseball players use dermorphin (frog juice) to replace steroids without detection?

    • Perks

      bet some have already tried it, but who knows. some will try anything if they think they will have an edge. Im sure getting the dosage right would be tricky.

    • Don Reed

      Yes, but one drawback: A princess kiss is then required to change them back into what they once looked like.

  • http://twitter.com/longballlefty kevin p. reynolds

    Could major league baseball players use dermorphin (frog juice) to replace steroids without detection?

  • Perks

    bet some have already tried it, but who knows. some will try anything if they think they will have an edge. Im sure getting the dosage right would be tricky.

  • Tom

    I understand your feeling of despair. But your weakness and accepting that you can’t do anything is a loser mentality. History has proven that the minority and powerless, often find they have great power when they ban together and have conviction.

  • Tom

    Today’s races through simulcasting, cross state lines, the fore are involved in interstate commerce. At a minimum, RICO statutes should clearly apply. As the trainers that are cheating, must be telling someone to bet their roses, thus defrauding everyone else. Prosecute them all. They are stealing the pools of the legal gamblers. This is to just about purses.

  • Don Reed

    Yes, but one drawback: A princess kiss is then required to change them back into what they once looked like.

  • Don Reed

    Oui.

  • Charlie Davis

    There were positive tests in QH and TB’s. 

  • May Flower

    Please share what you know about Canada and clenbuterol. TY!

    It would be a good idea to start tracking all race horses, especially the Quarter horses based in Southern and Southwestern states to prevent some of them from being taken into Mexico –including to visit a Zeta drug lord in Nuevo Laredo– then their being returned to the United States under the radar, on foot, without proper health documents, importation records and quarantine if needed to prevent doping and additional EIA outbreaks.

  • May Flower

    Because grooms need frequent access to their horses. Special security measures could be used for them.

    I agree with you re. assorted manipulative, deceptive and painful practices used to make babies look correct and mature to sell them as quickly and as high as possible. Most horses don’t last, that is if they even reach the starting gates once.

  • May Flower

    Lory:

    First, I wanted to thank you for approving the last sentence!

    Security cameras are already everywhere (streets, stores, subways, airports, corporate and government buildings, parking lots, schools, banks, etc.). Surveillance on a grand-scale is being conducted seamlessly around the clock and around the world, and acts as a powerful deterrent against criminal activities.

    The number of competitive race horses is small next to the millions of people who are being screened each and every day.

    The Hong Kong Jockey Club manages its equine security very effectively and gamblers are rewarding clean racing handsomely.

    If a strong central authority would offer adequate equine protection against abuse and doping by mandating transparency and accountability, orderly, quality and fair competition would soon follow. The culture would change for the better and security would become easier with miscreants and most drugs gone… If drugs were no longer being routinely used and abused to train and race horses, traffic around barns and access to horses would be greatly reduced  and equine health/medication records much shorter and easier to disclose.

  • voiceofreason

    Whatever. Med du jour. The amount of money being made by trainers and vets is in direct correlation to money being taken from fair owners and gamblers. No one cares.

    • May Flower

      Voice: don’t be discouraged. Many people care deeply but up until recently we had very few opportunities to be heard, much less hope to make a difference together.

      Tragically, the industry made the wrong choices. It selected “leaders” who were joined at the hip and created no waves. Evil became normal, justified and  rewarding. Meanwhile, those of us who broke the code of silence were called emotional, anti-racing and animal rights activists. Caring people are becoming invigorated. Good people will win. Horses will win. There is no turning back now.

  • voiceofreason

    Whatever. Med du jour. The amount of money being made by trainers and vets is in direct correlation to money being taken from fair owners and gamblers. No one cares.

  • May Flower

    Voice: don’t be discouraged. Many people care deeply but up until recently we had very few opportunities to be heard, much less hope to make a difference together.

    Tragically, the industry made the wrong choices. It selected “leaders” who were joined at the hip and created no waves. Evil became normal, justified and  rewarding. Meanwhile, those of us who broke the code of silence were called emotional, anti-racing and animal rights activists. Caring people are becoming invigorated. Good people will win. Horses will win. There is no turning back now.

  • Cepatton28

     I am a trainer who follows the rules.   I always truthful with my owners and keep all the bills reasonable.   My stable is small and I pride myself on the quality of care we give the horses.   You watch these guys horses training sore in the mornings and moving as graceful as a gazelle in the afternoons.   The really sad part is the owners know these guys are cheating and still flock to them in droves….

  • Cepatton28

     I am a trainer who follows the rules.   I always truthful with my owners and keep all the bills reasonable.   My stable is small and I pride myself on the quality of care we give the horses.   You watch these guys horses training sore in the mornings and moving as graceful as a gazelle in the afternoons.   The really sad part is the owners know these guys are cheating and still flock to them in droves….

  • texas

    Do people really think that this drug has a super human affect on horses?!  No doubt its wrong, but common sense dictates that if it were that good, not a trainer I know could afford to be giving it. It would be selling for thousands and thousands on the street. It is bad enough on our industry just as a pain killer, it does not need to be sensationalized into some kind of super powered opiate.

  • texas

    Do people really think that this drug has a super human affect on horses?!  No doubt its wrong, but common sense dictates that if it were that good, not a trainer I know could afford to be giving it. It would be selling for thousands and thousands on the street. It is bad enough on our industry just as a pain killer, it does not need to be sensationalized into some kind of super powered opiate.

  • texas

    Most vets I know understand that this is some watered down version of frog juice that you can buy over the internet.  Wrong just the same, but not like getting it from the frog like the guy in this story.
     

  • texas

    Most vets I know understand that this is some watered down version of frog juice that you can buy over the internet.  Wrong just the same, but not like getting it from the frog like the guy in this story.
     

  • Peckawood

    Maybe I’m overlooking the obvious here…but why are they using this drug if they are being tested for it & will knowingly get caught?  What’s the point? 
    Or do they think they are masking it somehow, and hoping against hope that the masking agent will work?  

    • Perks

      To answer your question, this verison of drug is a synthetic copy of the tree frog venom created in someones lab. There was not test for this until recently, as to why all these positives are showing up now.  I think they will  be going backwards and retesting older samples from previous Stakes races.

      Unfortunately…. there are always newly invented drugs that dont test – until there is a test for it.  Its very hard to keep up with them  in the labs.  Very Few labs and lots & lots of chemists here & in other countries trying to invent the next wonder drug that wont test.

  • Peckawood

    Maybe I’m overlooking the obvious here…but why are they using this drug if they are being tested for it & will knowingly get caught?  What’s the point? 
    Or do they think they are masking it somehow, and hoping against hope that the masking agent will work?  

  • Perks

    To answer your question, this verison of drug is a synthetic copy of the tree frog venom created in someones lab. There was not test for this until recently, as to why all these positives are showing up now.  I think they will  be going backwards and retesting older samples from previous Stakes races.

    Unfortunately…. there are always newly invented drugs that dont test – until there is a test for it.  Its very hard to keep up with them  in the labs.  Very Few labs and lots & lots of chemists here & in other countries trying to invent the next wonder drug that wont test.

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