Romans ‘Sick Of What’s Happened’ To US Racing, Pursues Training In Hong Kong

by | 03.28.2016 | 12:29pm
Dale Romans

Trainer Dale Romans has won major races around the globe, from the Group 1 Dubai World Cup with Roses In May, the G1 Preakness Stakes with Shackleford, to numerous Breeders' Cup races.

After many years spent training horses, Romans has become disenchanted with the state of racing in the U.S., and appears to be eager to make a major change as he nears his 50th birthday.

In a recent interview with the South China Morning Post, Romans indicated that he would love to join the training ranks in Hong Kong, should a license become available. The Eclipse Award-winning conditioner also voiced his opinion on the current state of racing in North America.

“I'm ready for an adventure and I'm so sick of what's happened to the sport in the US. I'm done with it,” Romans said.

“I'm a horseman and I think races should be won by the better horseman, not something else. I was very impressed with what I saw in Hong Kong when I was there and I know that, because the vet side of racing is so tightly controlled there, it's the superior horseman who will succeed. They've never had an American trainer but if they want me, I'd love to train there.”

Read more in the South China Morning Post

  • Jocke Muth

    Go for it, better to try then regretting not trying later.

  • Sal Carcia

    Is he saying there is a large body of trainers where he trains that are using illegal drugs or using legal drugs illegally?

    Also, is he saying that there are cheaters in the meets he focuses on such as NY, Kentucky and SoFl?

    I follow the winter Gulfstream meet and except for one trainer there doesn’t appear to be any continuing unusual results.

    I could say the same for Belmont and Saratoga. I don’t know much about Kentucky racing.

    What is he saying? Maybe, I am just way off here.

    • Bev

      I think so. Seems that’s the big topic in most horse magazines this past year or so.

      • Sal Carcia

        Bev, what has been talked about in most national magazines is centered about the use of raceday lasix. There is also the proposed central drug agency backed by a federal law.

        Much of those proposals are coming from the breeding industry wanting to put our racing on par with International racing and breeding.

        But, until then, everyone has to follow the rules of their jurisdictions. He shouldn’t be at a disadvantage. That is unless cheating is widespread. He is implying that. I don’t see it being as bad as it once was.

    • Mary Dixon Reynolds

      I agree…a lot unsaid…

    • Jenhoven

      Dale brings horses all over the US…SoCal, Ark, LA…so he is talking ALL of the US.

      • Sal Carcia

        But, what is happening all over the U.S.?

        • Melann Johnston

          drugs violations and other not so pretty things. This sport is dying and people like Roman are running away from it. Stand and fight!!! Stop race day medications, and running horses that are not healthy!! So many breakdowns because of poor vetting. Vet’s need to be strictor with their raceday checks.

          • Sal Carcia

            Actually, the sport is growing and the equine fatalities were down 14% last year. I am not saying there aren’t any problems. It is just that Romans is not being specific here.

            The call for banning of Lasix is more about breeding than racing.

            Are the track vets the issue here??

          • Melann Johnston

            Growing, there are track closing everywhere!!

          • Sal Carcia

            The revenues grew in spite of fewer race dates and races.

          • youcantmakeitup

            If it is growing then they wont need the slot subsidies. You know, the money that keeps the game from tanking.

          • Sal Carcia

            Racing revenues have not translated to profits. Subsidies are still needed. But, because horseracing is regulated, then going back to the government for aid is not an uncommon option. Check your for telephone bill to learn that.

            I’d prefer the government would unregulate horseracing and let it do its own thing.

        • Jenhoven

          Not just drugs, but vets AND track officials turning a blind eye to some of the trainers antics and actions just because they are who they are. They think they are doing right by trying to make and keep reputations in a positive light, but in the end, the people getting the shaft ARE the good people AND horses! That’s not right. I’ve seen things first hand in this industry that make me VERY angry, but if you say something, people jump all over you cause it just CAN’T be true, or how dare you try to tarnish something people want to believe is wonderful. You learn to just shut your mouth and take greater joy when you see the GOOD guys and horses win! Karma will eventually catch up with the others.

          • Sal Carcia

            I am not in this industry. It is disappointing to read this perspective. But, I believe you.

            As a player, I don’t see it as much as in the past. It must be more subtle.

          • Terri Z

            That’s why Zenyatta and John Sherriffs have so many loyal fans. Sherriffs believes in hay, oats, and an occasional Guinness for his horses
            .

  • Bev

    Supposedly drugs are illegal in Dubai. ALL those horses seemed to do what they naturally do pretty darn good without any. they are HORSES. Steroids won’t HELP the horse. Only build him up and wire him out to the max. HE should work with other agencies about stopping it in the USA. Hell, concentrate on his own horses. The ones running with speed in them or other drugs will get caught. Don’t they do drug tests AFTER every race in the USA. They used to. AND should. Horses do not need anything. They are TB’s. AND love doing what they do. I don’t know who this trainer is really. I’m pretty busy myself and only follow One Team mostly. But I wish him luck if he does go abroad. BUT he should work with agencies in the USA to BAN them. Under the table, so to speak, too.

    • Steampunk Sweetheart

      Steroids *are* banned in basically all US jurisdictions on race day. And yes, even in cheap claimers, there are horses headed to the test barn. Romans sounds like some kind of sour grapes. If he can name names he shouldn’t make vague remarks, just own it.

      • Bev

        YES BUT I bet many of the good horses are on them right up until two days before a race. Well maybe not many BUT some do. It’s quite obvious too when you see other horses normally muscled up THEN a trainer who keeps his horse behind until two days before a race or something and that horse is built like Arnold Swatzenager!! LOL Horses don’t NEED sterioid. I thought Lasix wasn’t hurting the horse? Doesn’t just help keep the blood thin so there’s no clotting or something??? I don’t believe in giving a horse anything. Even a baby aspirin would CHANGE the horse’s insides. oh well, I have no clue about drugs anyway BUT oh yes….I SEE who cheats when I look at THAThorse they bring in. I just assumed Roman is talking about that. Cheaters. I heard steroids won’t show up after two days of not taking them BUT have already done their job with the horse for the race he’s going in. ?????

      • Bourbon Man

        Then you don’t know what reality is in racing.

    • Bourbon Man

      Bev, a real solution to catching the blood dopers would be out of competition testing.

  • Bella

    That’s exactly what he’s saying..all of it

  • Realz Elite

    article is not very clear….if you mean something…then just say it! Out with it!

    • oh_yes_yes_yes

      Like you, I’d love to hear the rest of the story. Consider however that he hasn’t crossed his bridge yet and would be a fool to torch it before then. He has already said more than the average man would in this circumstance.

      Good luck to you Mr Romans, and please keep good journals so that US racing can hear the truth when it is time.

    • Terri Z

      Romans can’t say anything, he has a family to support as well as a horse farm. He doesn’t want to be found dead in a canal like a jockey was found at the former Calder Race Track.

  • SPA

    In every racing jurisdiction around the world people are pushing the envelope and treating with something……yeah I know, that only happens in America….rubbish. Should a trainers license come available? You mean they limit the number of trainers? Who does the limiting….the government?? So if you are friends with a high up in the government you could get a license over someone else? It’s not just the U.S. government that is corrupt, it’s everywhere.

    This guy has had a few bizarre incidents recently, most notably with that blog journalist. Go ahead and try it, they may limit the number of horses you are allowed to train so the days of 100 head (and 100 owners paying a bill) may be over. Plus how is he going to get owners over there, he’ll have to start small.

    Anywhere there is money, there is corruption. Anywhere there is government, there is corruption.

    • equisam

      They do things different there. There are only a limited number of trainers issued licenses. One has to become available and then you have to be invited. Its very hard to get in, a trainer has to be fired, retire, wait or die for a spot to open up. That is basically the only time a license becomes available. It’s not like in the us. Its called the Hong Kong Jockey Club for a reason, It is a club with distinguished members. Thats whom you train for. You don’t take your owners with you. Its a chance of a lifetime to be able to get invited by them to train there.

      • equisam

        I meant “quit”…not “wait”

      • Meg Hiers

        I think the criteria also includes winning a certain amount or you are asked leave.

      • SPA

        So all horses are owned by the club and nobody new can play unless invited? And there is no corruption….. Yeah OK.

        • G. Rarick

          You have a lot to learn about Hong Kong racing, SPA. Do a little googling, educate yourself and then come back.

          • SPA

            I’ve been there….to Happy Valley, does that count?? The company I work for has a joint venture partner there and when he found out I liked racing he insisted we go. I believe it was a Wednesday night when we went. He and some in his circle told me many things, some I found hard to believe but much of it was interesting. Is that ok by your standards?

            I must say the entire culture seems to love gambling.

          • SPA

            Also, everyone fails to mention that the HKJC has a monopoly on gambling. Soccer and lottery bets occur through them and their shops but I believe lottery can be played elsewhere as well.

            It’s a different culture and they seem to embrace the challenge of actually using their brains to review data and invest their money based on their conclusions. The U.S. for the most part, wants instant gratification.

          • G. Rarick

            So you went. But didn’t learn about how it works, I guess. The horses are not owned by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, they are owned by owners. But the number of owners is limited, because there are only two race meetings a week during the season and obviously you can see that space to keep horses is in rather tight supply. There is a waiting list to get a license to be an owner, and once you are an owner, the Jockey Club makes sure you are treated like a king. Trainers licenses are also limited, as equisam said above. You are very observant in that the culture loves gambling. Yes, it does. And in order to keep those gambling dollars flowing, the Hong Kong Jockey Club believes in total transparancy. Everything has to be open and above reproach. No medication in a horse’s system on race day, and horses are tested and weighed before and after every race. Have a look at the Jockey Club’s web site, and you can see, in English, the entire vet file on every horse in Hong Kong. Read the steward’s reports. The jockeys are under a microscope the entire time to avoid cheating. Hong Kong racing is the antithesis of U.S. racing. I’m a little surprised that Dale Romans would want to try it, since he does seem to be quite attached to the medicine chest available in the United States, but I wish him the best of luck.

          • SPA

            The people I spoke to indicated corruption was rampant as far as who gets in and who doesn’t. Corruption in Hong Kong by the government and their Chinese masters is also rampant. The HKJC is not the way you paint it, maybe to the outsiders it is, but not to the people whom I was with. I found one comment from our business partner interesting “It all leads up to a central government who has their hands in EVERY till”

  • Jay

    Am a bit confused by this. Romans has always been a vocal advocate for the use of raceday Lasix and now he wants to race in a country in which Lasix is totally banned?

    • meaghanedwards

      I’m scratching my head over that one, too, unless he changed his mind about Lasix.

    • Concerned Observer

      He is a leading, and a most vocal trainer voice of the HBPA in fighting any new restrictions on drug usage in the USA racing. He is a strong race day Lasix advocate. Google it. So I am totally confused by his comments. The HBPA fights every attempt to change (improve) things. So what is he saying?????

      • Lkb

        Also seems odd this is the same man who was very unhappy about having to put Dullahan in the Detention barn at Belmont because he thought it was unnecessary .“Enough has been put in place to make sure the integrity is maintained,” he said. “We have state-of-the-art testing after each race.”

      • michael stapler

        He is saying he is a better overall horseman in this country and the cheats…………. Rudy, Navarro, Zadie and others(you know who they are) beat him without training, but through drugs. SO FREAKIN WHAT if he likes race day Lasix. He is obviously talking about other drugs.
        What try to know him down here????? Dios it make you feel better. You know what he meant!!

        • Mary Moore

          I think it would be a good idea to take deep breath and calm down.

          • michael stapler

            Is that what you think? Really. Gee wiz, thanks, Wally.
            I can’t help it, but the Chrome fans sicken my stomach. Most of them that are CLUELESS to racing.

          • Erin Casseday

            Just curious where Chrome came into this conversation? I thought this was about Dale’s talking out of the side of his mouth. But then, I haven’t read through all the new comments.

        • stockman9914

          Michael you do this for a living i believe, how can you bet with confidence when you believe so many are cheating?

    • Sal Carcia

      This fact does confuse the matter. What is his point? Or was he just having a bad day?

    • michael stapler

      Honestly, I think he just wants an OVERALL even playing field.

    • Noelle

      Exactly – he claimed over and over that without Lasix the horses would suffer, they’d all be bleeding, etc. etc. Now he says he likes Hong Kong because “the vet side of racing is so tightly controlled there.” His support for a Lasix raceday ban here would have been valuable.

    • JSR

      Didn’t Dale speak on behalf of Rudy Rod at the Racing Comm in 2013 when RR had a derby horse, I was there and you would think they were life long friends but now he wants to complain about the same cheaters he has help get lisc in ky. I don’t think he cares about cheating as lng as they stay in NY sounds real convenient to me,he don’t care who the cheaters are as ling as he don’t have to run against them ..

      • Stacey Jo White

        As Barry stated above, Romans believes RR was railroaded to this day. RCI needed a poster boy and they made sure RR was just that. RR wasn’t a cheater just bad at paperwork. The only thing he used to enhance performance was a steroid that WAS legal at the time and HE stated it on National TV. RR actually got the ball rolling for reform.

  • greg

    Dale, once you go please make public the problems you know exist

    • Terri Z

      Greg, Dale Romans would like to stay alive to support his family. He knows about people who have “disappeared” or found dead because they talked. I live nearby the former Calder Race Track where a jockey was found dead in a canal right on the backstretch.

      • michael stapler

        Did the horse drown??

  • David Ramirez

    He’s right. It’s the vets who are licensed to provide medication when necessary. Apparently many are like Michael Jackson’s doctor; give the client anything they want for a price.

  • Eden

    Bye Felicia

  • Honniest

    Sorry Keen Ice is a Rat. Optional Claimer would be too Tough for him right Now…

    • Bourbon Man

      Honniest, only a nasty jerk uses the term “rat” for a horse

    • Mary Moore

      Disgusting.

    • Bourbon Man

      I said this and they took it down – really, PR?
      Honniest, only a disturbed person would refer to a horse as a “rat”

  • Jack Frazier

    If, and it is a big if, Roman’s has information about the rampant cheating in the racing jurisdictions he participates in, he should be subpoenaed and under oath with an promise of immunity, to tell all he knows. He won’t do it though. It may be just sour grapes on his part after getting Keen Ice handed his hat in a basket in Dubai but it is not secret to anyone who races horses in America that there is cheating going on, and that some vets and trainers have mastered the art of deception.

    Until racing has the balls to stop all race day medication and vets are checked each time they drive into the track to ensure they only have the medications that are approved, it won’t happen. While at Hollywood Park, Santa Anita and Del Mar, I saw vet trucks parked in front of certain trainers’ barns from early until late. Visit any one of these tracks on any given day and you will see them parked in front of certain barns. One assistant to a top hot shot said they spent an average of $1,500 per month on each horse in training. This particular trainer had about 100 horses, so using simple math, if he was telling the truth and I have no reason to not believe him, is that the vet is making plus or minus $150,000 per month treating horses in that barn. True or false? Does anyone really think vets want the status quo to change if they are making the much money just treating horses for things they don’t need? I don’t know but I do know that this trainer’s horses seem to re-break at the quarter pole too often to be by accident. Is it good training or good medicine? A lot of folks think medicine. If racing investigative units do not want to catch them, they won’t be caught either. I really don’t believe racing authorities are looked upon as anything other than a nuisance by those cheating either. There are some very good folks in the racing enforcement whose hands are tied so they can’t do their jobs and at a time when we need someone like Melvin Purvis in charge we have Barney Fife.

    • Bourbon Man

      The establishment doesn’t want to anger Mr. Hop Trainer’s Big Bucks Owners, who chose him in the first place because of his ROI status. I suspect that every now and then, they get thrown a bone when a surprise horse “re-breaks” at the quarter pole and wins going away, just to keep them quiet. I could be wrong, but there is so much turning of the heads to avoid finding something they don’t really want to see or address.

      • Jack Frazier

        Too true and nothing I can ad.

    • tony a

      You know what the problem is. They are afraid that if they take down these trainers who have 100 horses, 8 entries a day, sometimes 3 uncoupled betting interest in one race that has a field of 5 how are they going to fill the races,

      • Jack Frazier

        In my opinion the opposite would occur. Many folks are getting out of racing because the playing field is so lopsided.

        • Bourbon Man

          The powers that be in racing were never known for their intelligence at solving problems. Why won’t that square peg go in a round hole?

          • Jack Frazier

            Most likely because they have never been on the other end of racing and therefore they have no clue about the problems and obstacles the trainers they deem unworthy or not needed, much as the group that heads the Ca. Trainers group looks down on the little folks they desperately need to fill races. A big problem in California is that there are not enough CalBred races in the condition books and when there are, they overfill very quickly. What genius decided to only write just a few CalBred races? Each day there should be at least one race designated for them. They do give a bonus to win an open race but everyone knows that the majority of CalBred horses are a step below open horses. This is just one example but there is a litany of problems that could be fixed if they wanted to, with wanted begin the operative word.

        • horsepower

          agreed

      • Allison

        So simple Transfer the horses to another trainer

      • greg

        Agree, 100%, in So Cal the trainers whom I strongly believe cheat control 22-23% of the horse population, they have an avg. of 50 entries a day, take out 23% -10-11 and you have an 8 race card with 44 horses. Glad you said that Tony as I have for awhile, good observation

    • Terri Z

      Jack, Dale knows where the skeletons are located and which closets they are in. However, he wants to stay alive as he does have a family and a horse farm. And he doesn’t want something to happen to his farm or animals at his farm as well.

  • kmunster2015

    I think that it is very important for a trainer of Mr. Roman’s stature speak about this subject and i am surprised no other major trainer has. His win percentage is about average 12-15% with reasonable quality of horses. He cannot compete against the ‘super’ trainers who win at rates from 25-35% . Although i do not know him personally I am sure he is a fine horseman Like Barclay Tagg, Pat Kelly, Bill Mott etc who dont win at 25-35%
    Clearly some trainers have an edge especially “off the Claim” or first time private acquisition. The improvement is often remarkable belying any reasonable “good” horsemen ship. Jack Van Berg, a hard working Hall of Fame trainer, said “it’s chemical warfare out there” when he was winning less than 5% for multiple years. I can definitely feel for Mr. Romans when he runs second to a horse he knows is “juiced”. We need security cameras on the backstretch with comprehensive drug screening( obviously cost is a problem especially in a sport whose handle has declined 30% from peak).

    Baseball and cyling have addressed their pharmocological enhancement problems and i hope one day horse racing will. However, it is a sport which moves with glacial speed and i am not overly opportunistic. Take care. Kevin M.D.

    • Bourbon Man

      Add tennis to that list. You are spot on with the trainers who have such spectacular percentages. The problem is that the authorities don’t really want to change the status quo in racing – they benefit.

  • Tinky

    I’m looking forward to Indian Charlie’s take.

    • Charles Smith

      After the lesson Dale Romans tought Indian Charlie not that long ago, I don’t think IC will have any incentive to get out of line again.

      • Tinky

        Perhaps, but it sure will be tempting to make a reference to everyone’s favorite, cold and creamy, ice-cream based drink…

      • Matthew Hood

        Romans got pants and fell over a picnic table. I don’t think he’s going to look back at that as one of his finer moments in life.

  • Connie Hampton

    Guess Dr. Allday has stopped doing his Vet work.

  • Ida Lee

    Who, when, where and how ??? Generalities don’t help anyone. But if you’re not happy working horses here, then by all means go where you will be happy doing what you want to do. Considering some of the horses Romans has trained, I’m sure there are trainers out there that would consider it heaven on earth to have horses like Dullahan and Shackleford to train. Maybe he’s just feeling sorry for himself cause of Keen Ice doing so badly in DWC.

  • Matthew Hood

    Romans seems frustrated right now. He’s been in the single digits all year winning percentage wise and it may be getting to him a bit. The Keen Ice fiasco can’t be helping either.

  • BluePedal .

    “I’m a horseman and I think races should be won by the better horseman, not something else.”

    Like Brad Cox striking at a 33% clip??? The nature of the US game makes me think something is fishy with Cox. Can someone here assuage my fears and confirm that Brad Cox is indeed a “better horseman”?

    • kmunster2015

      He used to train for MIdwest Throughbreds, that’s all you need to know. Just bet him off to claim automatically (h0ld your nose when doing so), Ness, Gargan, Amoss all train or have trained for that barn. Enough said. Take care kevin

      • Jerry

        These trainers are pretty much everywhere…from zaidie down south to preciado at parx and RR at The Big A, nothing new really they bust one, and two more spring up to take there place. Heck I remember back in the late eighties early nineties Marvin Johnson at small tracks in Neb, was winning with anything he claimed. Claim low win 3 or 4 in a row someone else claims the horse… Surprise, Surprise horse can barely walk now.! But I agreed when you see these cheating trainers have a horse in a race you don’t even need to see the pps just put them in.

  • Jesse

    One word…….Pletcher

  • Concerned Observer

    Horse racing is the only sport I know of where the stars are asked how to increase the audience for the sport. Ask Tiger Woods how to increase the fan base…how would he know…he drives and putts…and parties. Ask Jeter, how to increase the Yankee fan base….”not my job, I play and they come to see it”. Ask a Pro-bowl NFL center…how can we increase TV audience….”Huh..no opinion”.

    But ask a grade 1 horse trainer…..and he becomes a business and marketing expert…no facts, no data, no market studies, no demographic understanding….but lots of BS opinions. Most of them self-serving, and sadly,..a rehash.. mostly same old,… same old.

    Feeling legs for filling and filling the stands are very different talents.

    • Peter Scarnati

      What a perfectly spot on comment. It has been this way for years. And it’s not just “Grade I trainers,” it’s nearly all of them.
      You hit the nail squarely on the head! Very impressive.

  • Sampan

    Like many other trainers Dale Romans is looking for a fair and equal playing field within the rules of racing. The Racing Commissions in the USA are muddled like a duck’s dinner.

  • gus stewart

    Look at what he is saying, it not about lasix, its about vets being allowed to bring anything onto the backside, also in hong kong u dont get an advatage of better meds because you are a wealthier owner and can afford it. They all can afford them. We have a big problem with money owners that the industry wants to keep buying horses and winning stakes races,, and the little owners that cant afford all the vet bills needed or not needed

  • Nancy B

    If horse racing is to survive, someday they are going to have to be on par with the international racing drup rules.

  • Vivian York

    get rid of Baffert, andit would vclean up big time

    • Bourbon Man

      my , my ,my …..

    • Erin Casseday

      Just Baffert? And why? Why not Pletcher also? Or O’Neill?

  • Mary Moore

    He’s just upset because his “best bred and fasted three year old old” colt isn’t living up to his hype.

  • jack

    NYRA is virtually impossible to bet. It’s not uncommon to see a horse get claimed for 40k, drop down to 15k in their next start, show little, get claimed, step up to 30k and win in a gallop at 6/5. It defies all logic….unless they’re being drugged. It’s also an unintended consequence of slots fueled purses.

    • Bourbon Man

      The Racing Form is becoming a joke. Why buy PPs at all? They tell you nothing, really.

  • Carrie Brogden

    there is way more to this story. way more that does not involve horses

  • C.E. Butler

    I think he is running away from his brothers lawsuit. May be hard to supbeona him in Hong Kong! What if Tammy doesn’t like H.K.?

    • Ky Race Fan

      He has had his share of problems lately,he may want to shut up. Do not think he is on the poster as a model for horse racing. Let him go,he will not be missed.

  • michael stapler

    I’ll start the ball rolling just to see how far downhill it goes…….. Maybe he is talking about Chrome and how his “clean” horse lost. After all, it is the last big race he was in and “something” set him off, RIGHT? Maybe he thinks something fishy went on. I don’t, but everyone duck & take cover…..Here they come out of the woodwork.

    • You sound like somebody that wants to start a fight based on a rumor that did not exist until you brought it up.

      • michael stapler

        Yes, I stated that. Can you not read? Now …………………………………………………….. I can take or leave California Chrome, as he is only a wagering possibility to me. Most here know this of me if you ever read my posts. Actually, Actually, EVERYONE here knows it. My interest is in the wagering only. It is rare when a horse comes along that spikes my interest…… Chrome has burned up money over the last two years , but the Chromies still love him. Great for the horse, great for the fans, and really great and PROFITABLE for me. ……… when I point out his losing, they berate me, KNOWING that I am talking from a handicappers standpoint………………………………………………………………………………………………….. I don’t know who Romans is talking about, but……..I really think that Romans thinks something is amiss. Probably why trainers get there so early….. To find out how to do what they did. Good for him, speaking his mind!!! I wish him the best in Japan if he goes.

        • Bourbon Man

          Hong Kong. Sheesh! Now Chrome was doped. Okay. But you like the horse. You really do.

          • michael stapler

            Opps…. China. And I suspect that I bet more on Chrome than any 10 people on this site, and he was my second choice, even though he was the likely winner in my eyes. Gambling and being a fan do not mix.
            Yes, sometimes I like to stir the pot of the fans, as they are mostly clueless to the horse and his abilities and his racing. The comments are so far-fetched by some of them that they are just plain crazy…….. Now, take someone like Pebbles (sorry if I use you as an example, Pebbles) that really follows the horse and I have no problem, as her comments are realistic, and knowledgeable. Some people here post stuff that is so stupid, one have to poke the stick into the cage and start a fight.
            You are reasonable, so back off and let me have my fun. Only the wierdos need answer.

        • kcbca1

          Now that you mention it I still remember his Belmont Stakes. One of my best scores 11-8 exacta for $348.00. But then again, us handicappers are always looking for value. I did not have him on Saturday for the DWC.

        • Whatever, but Romans’ comment have nothing to do with Chrome.

  • Caesar

    I want to move to Hong Kong, too, maybe my wagering luck will change ……………..

  • Vicki

    Would love to hear what racing had done to disenchant him. Easy to make broad statements but what does he have to back it up

  • Dale Romans is a friend of mine. We talk about this stuff all the time. There is nothing new in any of this. He was venting his frustration. What’s he so frustrated about? He is sick and tired of seeing owners, both new and old, flock to trainers that take an edge to win races. Why would a guy that is pro Lasix want to race in a venue where it is banned? Romans has a lot of confidence in his own ability to compete with any horseman in the world. Therefore, he would rather go at it on a level playing field, then race locally with Lasix while others are using rocket fuel. Dale is not alone in his thoughts and, I would say, he represents the majority of horsemen, regardless of what any of the so-called “horsemen’s organizations tell you.. The irony of it, however, is that by backing the HBPA in order to keep Lasix, he has failed to realize that supporting initiatives to clean up the sport is the only way to cease a status quo that is ready to drive him out of the country. I feel for Dale and I share his pain. But he owes it to himself and the game to take a sober look around and strongly consider making a truly valiant attempt to right the ship before jumping off at the next port. We all do. Thanks for listening and good night now.

    • Mimi Hunter

      I said basically the same thing, and I agree

    • Steven Hill

      In NYRA we had Oscar (Teriaki Stake won 6 races in one month) Pete Ferriola Gasper all under suspicion but little proof…Oscar caught at the end of his career for steroids…but many trainers use steriods

      • Steven, behind the scenes NYRA officials eventually took care of this situation as I recall and have been told. It did last for awhile, but I believe they took care of it.

        • Fratman

          Sir — asking an opinion. Santa Anita seems to have cleaned up the drug issue to some extent but now we have weak fields, less expensive maidens and Pick 6 flavored racing for carryover purposes only.

          Question is — what is the down side of this cleanup ?? Less tracks and less racing ?? I don’t support drugging horses but this seems to be a “lose/lose” proposition.

          • Bourbon Man

            Well, just let money rule the day, then! Why not make ANY drug legal in racing? Yes, see how many folks gravitate to the sport.

          • Fratman

            Not supporting drugs and horses — have owned pieces of a few but I’m watching many people I know who play stop playing because it is lack luster and uninteresting.

            Most fixes to problems aren’t all or nothing but the way racing is going it may not be around in 10 to 20 years.

          • Mary Moore

            Don’t think the sport is going anywhere anytime soon. People should not be so negative.

          • Naive.

          • Concerned Observer

            You did not ask me, but let me chime in. Small fields are a result of too few horses. Too few horses is due to too few owners.
            So…. Do we really believe that more people would want to own race horses if drugging horses to win was the real objective of the sport?

            Controlling costs for owners is a big factor, and making the game fun and fair for owners is another.
            Neither of these is improved by more liberal drug policy.

          • Re Santa Anita: you are dreaming. The down side is short term and painless. The upside is that more young trainers would pick up the slack from the old cheaters, more owners would be encouraged to play the game and more horses would race.

          • greg

            No disrespect intended Fratman, however look at D’Amato, Miyadi, Miller, and tell me it’s cleaned up. Occasionally I play what I call an “all cheater pick-4” I use those 3 plus O’Neill (who I do believe has cleaned up his act a bit) and 1 other whom I’ll keep to myself, Not Baffert, and I’ve won without a form, program or looking at any past performances. Try it 1 day this week and best of luck

          • kmunster2015

            Greg; You make an excellent point into modern handicapping(last 15 years). One has to bet the ‘super” trainers like you’ve mentioned in California. TVG praises them Like they are a cross between Woody Stephens/Charlie Whittingham and Sunny Jim fitzsimmons. I laugh at my television screen when Hoover or Paul la Ducca heap praise.
            as an example the other day at the OTB i saw a race at laurel with 8 horses(4 known juice trainers) and i told the guy dont bother handicapping one of the 4 will win. Of course, they run 1-2-3 . I feel for the other trainers in that they have no chance . They are there to “round out the field” as was said in the movie The Sting. Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania , the so-called midatlantic are teeming with “juice” trainers ‘. Stay clear!!! take care Kevin M. M.D.

        • Steven Hill

          Probably right owner James Riccio now uses M Nevin as trainer used many suspicious ones in past such as DRF paper seller @ MTH, and others

          • AtTheRacesNoisemaker

            Took care of it? After how long. Decades?

          • kmunster2015

            I have followed NYRA facing since 15(1980) and i have seen them all. Owner Ricciio has used Ferriola, R. Dutrow, M.Nevin. He certainly knows where to go to improve a horse off the claim!! Two quick observations Nevin went 0 For saratoga . Do you think they were watching her barn? Secondly about 4 or 5 years ago Dutrow claimed a Ny Bred for 25,000 won 3 in a row and then took a Grade 1 at saratoga at 11-1 . The horse then ran once more and disappeared off the face of the earth. Poor horse was so juiced never recovered. Take care Kevin

    • Mike Smith

      LOL. Barry Irwin has friends. I’ve heard it all now.

    • horsepower

      Spot on Barry. Most credible horsemen can live with NO LASIX if everyone plays by the same rules. The issue is the rocket fuel not the Lasix. HKG is well respected for Drug Integrity. Would be a great place for a trainer with skills and ability but no rocket fuel.

    • Munson

      Mr. Romans needs the backing of a courageous owner like Mr. McIngvale of Runhappy fame who requires no drugs/no Lasix in the training of his horses. Runhappy easily whipped anyone who may have been on rocket fuel throughout the 2nd half of 2015. Of course, he wasn’t confined to a stall 23 hours a day and subjected to powderpuff 5F/1:02 breezes either. Romans wouldn’t sign off on that regimen in his lifetime, in my opinion.

      • You are missing the point. It is about cheaters, not legal meds.

        • JSR

          Didn’t Dale vouch for RR to be lisc in ky in 2013 ? I was at the Comm meeting when he spoke about him like a upstanding guy being wrongly accused, he don’t mind cheaters unless he has to run against them !!!

          • Dale actually does believe that Rick Dutrow was railroaded and was innocent.

        • Jack Frazier

          Some of the legal meds mask the illegal ones. That is the accepted notion about lasix from many people who would know. Without total transparency, which will never happen because of the money being raked in, all we are doing is talking and as they say, talk is cheap. It won’t do anything except maybe make us feel like we put our two cents in. You don’t race in California anymore, I take it, because of the unlevel playing field. Is that right or wrong? For people trying to do the right thing it is like trying to avoid being blown up in a mine field.

    • Romanella

      I always trust what you have to say and this not only explains Romans decision but makes me very, very sad
      I got to see a show and tell at Santa Anita with Shakleford, Dullahan and Little Mike the year that he won the Eclipse as trainer. What a delightful experience and Tammy Fox is a favorite of mine
      I wish them the best and we are losing a great trainer and barn. Such a shame because he has been a big part of our industry

    • stockman9914

      What is this special “rocket fuel”, for years now people talk about cheating but no one says with what or how. Please someone explain this to me. Thanks.

  • Mimi Hunter

    To give the benefit of the doubt – maybe he’s just tired of competing in the chemical warfare game. In a place where nobody can use anything, the playing field is level, and how well you do is dependant on the quality of the horses and your skill as a trainer. I wish him well.

  • 1947goldenjet

    Open letter to any insider with a knowledge of racetrack operational financing.
    Back in the early 70s I read somewhere that it took a handle of 100-150 thousand a day to maintain profitability. Certainly, that amount has increased. Here are some of the mathematics as I understand them.
    1,000,000 handle with an average 20% take out = 200,000.
    200,000 divided by 9 races is an average purse of 22,222.
    How many tracks offer purses in excess of 200,000 per day?
    Now I know that the tracks make money from admissions and parking, food and drink sales, souvenirs and program sales, etc. I have to believe that most of that is eaten up by employees including starters, outriders, stewards, announcers, etc.
    Would somebody with more knowledge of the intricacies of racetrack financing please tell me how much handle it would take Churchill, for example, to maintain profitability.

    • 1947goldenjet

      I just read the article about Sunland which has a daily purse structure in the 200,000 bracket. That might be a better example than Churchill.

    • Mimi Hunter

      I think you’re on the wrong topic

      • 1947goldenjet

        Slightly, but further down the line you’ll see comments that question horse racing’s economical viability. There were several comments made by people who’s insight into various aspects of horse racing I have come to respect. I’ll mention 2 just for example–Tinky and Sal. That is why I chose this discussion for my interrogatory. I apologize for offending you.

    • Concerned Observer

      Track share of takeout is not even close to 20%. Simulcast location gets a big cut. ADW’s take an even bigger cut. Tracks (running the race) end up closer to 11-12% than 20%. The track and horse owners putting on the show are getting screwed by the middle men.
      Off track handle is now 60 to 80 % of total handle.
      That is why the game is dying. And when this game is gone, the ADW’s will switch to sports betting which will be legal by then.

      • 1947goldenjet

        Which just goes to further my point, which is that most race tracks cannot survive on handle alone. Thank You.

  • Peter Scarnati

    Unfortunately, Mr. Aitken (the author of the piece) missed a juicy journalistic opportunity to press Mr. Romans for more detailed information to further illustrate his rather cryptic point.
    I suppose it’s an open question if Mr. Aitken actually asked the tougher questions and Mr. Romans declined to provide answers. I guess we can’t know for certain. My instinct tells me the truly probing questions weren’t asked. It seems Mr. Aitken’s angle with the story leans more toward the novelty of someone such as Mr. Romans being invited to train in Hong Kong, as opposed to the problems with U.S. racing.
    Too bad. We’re all left to wonder exactly what it is that Mr. Romans is thinking.

  • Machiasman

    Can I help him pack?

  • kcbca1

    I’m just a lousy amatuer handicapper who has reduced his wagering to just about down to zero due to the inability of the HR industry to clean itself up. So I don’t have anywhere near the same stake in it that Dale does. But it’s a sport I have a deep love for and I can still feel his pain. It does not have to be that way but for more reason than I could possibly discuss here it is.

  • affirmed

    GREAT TO HEAR “BIG DALE ROMANS” VOICE HIS OPINIONS ON THE STATE OF AMERICAN HORSE RACING! WELL I DO SAY THAT ONE HAVE TO BE IN IT TO KNOW IT.. SO I AM NOT GOING TO ASK QUESTIONS WHY HE IS NOW AN ADVOCATE FOR OR AGAINST DRUGS, IN AMERICAN HORSE RACING! FOR ME I DO BELIEVE THAT DALE HAVE SEEN A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, SOME FANS MAY SAY, WHY IS HE DOING AN ABOUT FACE, AS HE WAS AN ADVOCATE FOR THE LEGAL POISON , LASIX, AND SALIX? WELL, WHY HE IS DISENFRANCHISED ABOUT THE DRUG USES, “TRAINERS DO USES ILLEGAL DRUGS, AND I BELIEVE NO MATTER WHAT REGULATIONS THAT ARE MADE TO STOP, OR CONTROL THEIR USES, THEY WILL NEVER STOP, AND CONTROL, THEIR USES! MODERN TECHNOLOGIES, NEW DESIGNER DRUGS, DRUGS THAT ARE COMPATABLE WITH THE RACE HORSE, WHICH WILL TEST CLEAN, NO MATTER WHAT DOSAGES THEY ADMINISTER! AND NO TRACES OF POSITIVES OR ILLEGAL SUBSTSANCES OR TRACE LEVELS, TO BE FOUND! THANKS TO NEW MODERN DESIGNER TECHNOLOGIES! THAT IS WHERE THE GAME HAVE GONE! ALSO THE SMART RACE HORSE TRAINERS ARE USING THE DAYS ALLOWED TO TRAIN THEIR HORSES ON THESE DRUGS, AND THE WITHDRAWAL TIMES IS FOR SOME 14 DAYS BEFORE RACE DAY! SO THEY PREPARE THEIR CHARGES BUILD UP THEIR SYSTEM AND RACE WITHIN THE 14 DAYS, AFTER WITHFDRAWING, WHEN THE HORSE IS WELL PREPPED, AND WINS LIKE A TRAIN! AND IF TESTED WILL TEST CLEAN ! BECAUSE THE SAME DAY RACE ADMINISTERING IS WHAT THEY USED TO PROJECT DRUG POSITIVES.. SO PROBABLY DALE ROMANS REALIZES THAT EVEN TRAINERS ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE A GREEN LIGHT TO DRUG RACE HORSES, THEY ARE STILL GETTING BEAT BY OTHER DRUG TRAINERS, WHO ARE BETTER AT THE DRUG GAME THAN MOST.. AND ALTHOUGH HIS CONNECTIONS MIGHT BE MILLIONAIRES, THEY STILL GET BEAT WHEN THEY PREPARE, AND RUN AGAINST OTHER DRUG TRAINERS! SO ITS HURTING THEM IN THEIR HEAD, WHILE NOT IN THEIR POCKETS!!! THERE IS A SONG BY THE CORNELIUS BROTHERS AND SISTER ROSE “TO LATE TO TURN BACK NOW I BELIEVE I BELIEVE I AM FALLING IN LOVE” WELL, AMERICAN RACING FELL IN LOVE WITH THE DRUGS, AND THE SAME DRUGS IS DRIVING THEM CRAZY… NO APOLOGIES ……..

    • Bourbon Man

      If you would turn off your caps lock, we might be inclined to actually read your posts.

      • affirmed

        So sorry Bourbon man, I am travelling on the road, i’ll re post my in the next 2hours, the original posts , thanks for advising me of the caps lock.

    • Jack Frazier

      Stop shouting. We can hear you

      • affirmed

        ok Jack, I am sorry to shout., I truly apologize..

        • Jack Frazier

          I was just ribbing you. I’m deaf since Vietnam so it made me read it better. Ha.

          Should Romans tell all he knows, he would be blackballed by those in power. He is a first class trainer but he doesn’t have the power or courage to level accusations without proof and he most likely doesn’t have it. It will take the little guys refusing to enter to get the attention of the elite and they won’t do that either. It is a no win situation.

          Libel laws would stop me because other than the fact they win most of the big races, which is not a crime, and just having heard rumors and innuendos which are not admissible in any court or hearing, and seeing vet trucks parked up to ten hours a day in front of their barns, there is no proof. They are too smart. I bet he does know but I doubt that other than bitching, he will do nothing.

          • gus stewart

            As i wrote on this forum a few months ago, all of us who love this sport and have been around for 30 years or more owning training breeding, as i would of carefully asked freinds to take part in horseracing at differnt levels,, 20 years ago,because of management and the unequal playing field that is today,, in good faith to freinds or aquantaices tell them dont get involved. I do the same with many other sports but racing has lost its attractiveness because its lost its ethics too.

          • Jack Frazier

            I agree with a caveat. I have two Square Eddie’s in training and have two friends involved. We have agreed that it is a losing situation so we expect to lose money. We have decided to use the days the horses run as a holiday and enjoy a nice meal, a glass of wine and good conversation. We have all been screwed in one way or another by unscrupulous folks taking advantage of people who truly love horse racing. Since we already know we can’t win, it is just a way to meet and have some fun. Probably ought to have an old hot rod but cars are not horses.

          • affirmed

            Thanks Jack, all is well, we are fans of this sport, and Game, and truly we hate to see a great Game as Horse racing takes a Downward Trend! especially here in America where this game was tops, and now it has Become a game of wondering? . wondering what we will get when the starting Gates open up, in a race? “Big Dale Romans” is probably onto something! however he probably cannot take this to Court, so he is Running away from it! he is on the inside, so he cannot spill the Beans, as then they would take him to court for as you mentioned Libel! what a game,.Years ago in the late 1990’S/early 2000, there was a CEO at NYRA , when the Horse drugging was rampart, and this CEO named “Nadler” I had placed a Phone call to him, , it took me a few months before I finally spoke with him, on the Phone, he told me he was disgusted with the Drugging, and he was retiring, as he was offered a Job to work in “HONG KONG” as a steward, he took that post! this is the truth, go google his name, and you will see that I am saying the truth, I believe he is still there, in the racing capacity! good for him!..even A CEO at the Nyra was fired, the one before the now CEO, he was involved in the takeouts on exotic wagers, taking more , paying less! they all do have a game! within the Horse racing game..take care Pal.

          • Jack Frazier

            That is the way it is. Those who know won’t say a thing for fear of reprisal. I remember Nadler too. I also remember a high profile trainer in New York who was winning races at at astonishing clip. He was using everything but drano to win races. When asked why and how he won so many races he replied that it was the way he looked at the game. He went on to say that a horse is a machine to make money so you run the horse until it can no longer race or is euthanized and get another machine. He was eventually ruled off for life. This was in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

            They don’t say it but there are many in the business that consider horses an ATM machine to be used until the money is gone. How do you combat that logic? I don’t know but as I said earlier, when and if the majority of trainers, those not in the top ten, form their own organization and refuse to enter their horses until the playing field were level, a change could be affected because it would hit the tracks in their pocketbook, which is the only way to change things. Will it happen? No because the little guys fear reprisal. In the time I have been in racing, it has declined and it no longer resembles the golden era.

            I have a lot of opinions on this but I think and believe the main culprits are: year round racing which has saturated the nation. There is too much of a good thing. Also Internet wagering, which keeps people at home instead of going to the track. They don’t get gouged for food, drinks, programs and the like either. Also the way racing is promoted, which is crap. A free shirt or blanket doesn’t get it. Hollywood Park used to give shot glasses, beer steins and more and I have a collection. If racing were promoted like football or basketball, it would help. T-shirts, hoodies and items with the stars names emblazoned might help but the racing heroes are retired too early for that to be effective.

            There are good people who could help racing but racing won’t call on them to help because it might infringe on their attitude of keeping the status quo.

          • affirmed

            true Words Jack, we have seen it, and its very hard to believe it! very hard to accept it! seems they have reached the Point of no return! meaning that they are caught up into the Illegal drugs Doping this is what we have learned not accusing anyone, we all learn this from when they publish the Drug positives, also suddenly no more Press releases on drug positives found? the Race tracks believe if they publish them, then the fans will turn away , saying the game is flawed! while some trainers cannot try winning a race unless their veterinarians administer the Poison, and then the cat and mouse game begins! some trainers at times allow a Horse to win, while not theirs, they give owing a favour their paydays! say eg. a Trainer did a favour for a trainer, then his day will come for his payback, and every Jockey in that race is Jabbing for that Horse, as its an in House deal, they all know who they must not beat! and then when the Horse they Are protecting goes clear, then everyone is riding their boots off, trying to get second! and then the foolish race Fans screams acting like the second coming of Christopher Columbus! Take Care Big Brother, we can only be fooled once, however twice! dont know, as the patterns dont lie!

          • Jack Frazier

            Racing will end not with a bang but with a whimper. A sad state to a once great sport.

  • Karjo

    Say What?? (scratches head)…. Color me confused… If you have something to say, just say it. Don’t keep us guessing.

  • longtimehorsewoman

    Good for him!!!

  • affirmed

    WELL, WHEN I WON THE TRIPLE CROWN SERIES, LASIX WAS NOT PERMITTED, AND MY BLOOD WAS CLEAN!ND ALSO ANY OF MY RACING FRATERNITY WHO HAD TO GET LASIX WAS DEEMED A SICK RACE HORSE, AND BECAUSE THEY NEEDED LASIX WHICH IN THOSE TIMES WAS ILLEGAL TO RACE ON, THEY HAD TO BE RETIRED, AS RETIRED SICK…SO NOW ITS A REVERSE, SICK HORSES THAT NEEDS LASIX TO RACE , ARE ALL RACING WITH IT, AS A PREVENTION FOR THE BLEEDING! SO THIS TELLS ME THAT ANY RACE HORSE GETTING LASIX ARE SICK HORSES, EVEN WHEN THEY PAY 3.000.000 FOR THEM,. EVEN BABIES GETS FIRST TIME LASIX, AND THE ESCAPE ANGLE IS “THEY ADMINISTER LASIX TO PREVENT BLEEDING AS THESE HORSES ARE EXPENSIVE, AND COULD BE DAMAGED IF THEY RACE WITHOUT GETTING LASIX” WELL ITS A GAME IN A GAME! IT DOES PREVENT THE BLEEDING EVEN IF THEY NEVER BLED,M HOWEVER IT DOES HELP THEM IN THEIR BREATHING MEMBRANE, NOT BLUSTERBLEEDING, WHILE THEY RUN LIKE A ROCKET!!

  • Jim Fields

    Lasix and bute should be the only medications used within twenty-four hours of a race. If all others were banned, along with zero tolerance on Steriods, racing would get back to an evenly matched game. No more hall of famers on steriods.

  • gus stewart

    Nice photo of mike maker on paulick report,,, i dont think that he and some other 40 percent trainers in usa for a few moths every year are going to hong kong with romans even if their airfares and rent was paid for 6 months….

  • affirmed

    its great to hear” big Dale Romans” voicing his opinions on the state of American Horse Racing! I do say that one have to be in it to say things about it! I am not going to ask questions ..why he is now an advocate for or against drugs in American Horse Racing! for me, I do believe that Dale Romans have seen the light at the end of the Tunnel , some fans may say, why is he doing an about face, as he was an advocate for the legal poison, Lasix, Salix, and why he is now disenfranchised about those drugs, and their uses! as now it does appears that most Trainers are using something, along with Lasix, Salix? and as a result, he probably realizes that no matter what juresdiction and rules and laws regarding illegal drugs in Race Horses, he probably is now aware that as long as there is Horse Racing in America and drugs are being manufactured by Labaratories in america! then it will never stop! moreover, apparently all trainers have been given the green light to use drugs by the Racetracks, as they have instituted a withdrawal time eg.. 14 days before race Day, so those clever Trainers are using that to prepare their Horses, and withdraw 14 days before they race, while their charges are well prepped and ready with these drugs, and then given race day Lasix, salix, , and then they rocket to win when they race! and when tests are done everyone is clean, as the weeks of treating with the drugs does help certain race Horses, eg.. layoff Horses, as when they return from say 3 months , they are well prepped in training, and if they come ready, then they win at long odds! however some trainers may give them a race, and then look out the next race is when they will try all out! even this is not guranteed, however, the drugs is a problem, and although there are millionaires who owns Race Horses, they do get beat by other trainers using the illegal drugs, and it hurts them in their head, while not in their pockets!! There is a song by Cornelious Brothers and Sister Rose it goes like this “to late to turn back now I believe , I believe that I am falling in Love” well some American Horse racing trainers and some owners all fall in Love with the drugs, , and the same drugs are driving them crazy.. no apologies…

  • affirmed

    I am sorry Jack to shout, please accept my apologies

  • carate

    GOOD LUCK! SEE YOU BACK AT SARATOGA IN JULY!

  • conker

    Micro dosing with epo must be the cheaters edge in my opinion.

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