Gural: ‘National Oversight Only Way’ To Level Playing Field On Medication

by | 09.01.2015 | 12:11pm
Jeff Gural

The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity announced today that three of the leading horse racing tracks owned and operated by Jeff Gural – the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., Tioga Downs in Nichols, N.Y. and Vernon Downs in Vernon, N.Y. – have joined as members, adding to the growing support for national oversight of uniform medication standards in American horse racing.

“Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs are all known for having the highest testing standards possible,” said Gural. “We currently do our own out-of-competition testing and surveillance at our expense. We have utilized the Hong Kong Jockey Club Laboratories as well as others, and despite the current efforts of the states we have been able to detect illegal performance enhancing medication in horses entered at our facilities.  We believe that national oversight is the only way to ensure that everyone is playing fairly and that our animals are not subject to potentially harmful medications.  Our tracks are proud to join the Coalition and we hope that our participation will help broaden these positive reforms to encompass Standardbred horseracing.  The implementation of uniform policies throughout the U.S. and an industry-based, non-governmental solution will only help us grow the popularity and credibility of the sport and ultimately establish a level playing field across the board.”

The Coalition has already played an integral role in advocating for effectiveness and accountability reviews to ensure that uniform medication testing and enforcement regulations are successfully implemented throughout the United States' 38 racing jurisdictions.

Jeff Gural is the CEO of American Racing and Entertainment, LLC and chairman of commercial real estate firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.  He is a longtime proponent of medication reform and enhanced drug testing in American horseracing.

The Coalition – whose membership also includes the Breeders' Cup Ltd., the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Veterinary Medicine Association, The Jockey Club, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders, and the Water Hay Oats Alliance – supports the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015.  This bill, introduced in July 2015 to the House of Representatives by Congressmen Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), will direct the non-governmental, non-profit U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to create an independent, racing-specific, non-governmental and non-profit organization to work collaboratively with state racing commissions and their respective staff members throughout the country.

Additional information, including stories from supporters and ways to contact Congressional members to express support for this legislation, is available at

  • Jay Stone

    Jeff Gural has been and continues to be the most enlightened track owner in all of racing. He has at his own expense helped to clean up his tracks of individuals that were undesirable. The betting public as well as horse owners appreciate this and in the long run this will Be a movement that spreads. With a national governing group leading to a level playing field for all both the thoroughbred and harness industry will benefit. It will bring gamblers back as well as owners who have given up due to perceived lack of ability to compete.

  • Charles Smith

    Jeff Gural represents the gold standard of integrity in race track operation. If every TB, QH and Standardbred race track were operated with the high standards of the three Gural facilities, horse racing would be all the better for it.

  • Figless

    If Cuomo opens up bidding on Nyra Franchise I hope Gural puts a group together to bid.

    • Hamish

      He’s been a part of bidding groups in the past, so maybe…… But, if he got a casino at the Meadowlands that would hurt Aqueduct and Yonkers, so NY wouldn’t be so pleased. Would have to work through that.

    • Buckpasser

      He and his investment group were the under bidders on the Aqueduct Casino to Genting. In a Wall Street Journal article a while back Gural spoke about this.

  • He walks the walk.

    • Horse Guy

      Yes he does. And there’s another benefit of “national oversight” that people aren’t taking into consideration. If you look at the recent article in the blood horse, you see that not only has steroid use been reduced dramatically, but the Feds have gone after and prosecuted the suppliers. When was the last time that any racing jurisdiction has gone after the source of illegal meds or supplements? It’s very rare or unheard of. I believe this will happen if USADA becomes involved. We absolutely need to stop the supply as well as administration of these drugs.

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