Combating A Culture Of Cheating: A Matter Of Trust

by | 01.18.2017 | 8:50pm

(First in a two-part series.)

Horse racing has a culture of cheating.

Its problem is drugs. It's what the public calls doping. The methods differ, as do the drugs.

At one end of the spectrum, horsemen and veterinarians inject horses on race day with a wide variety of drugs or other foreign substances.

This practice is one of racing's dirty little secrets, although it's no secret to those who work in the stable area of a racetrack.

There exists a thick, bright line in racing regulation known as the 24-hour rule. This rule prohibits the administration of any drug or foreign substance, other than the anti-bleeder medication Salix (furosemide), within 24 hours of a horse's race. A few states have specific exceptions. This bright line is crossed with such regularity that its practitioners have become blind to its existence.

Horsemen rationalize this cheating by convincing themselves that they are just “helping” the horse. Many of the race day injections are to manage pain, mitigate bleeding, or calm a fractious horse. Several of these drugs are endogenous to the horse and go undetected in post-race testing. The “helping” of the horse is code for “it's not cheating if you don't get caught.”

An example of this culture run amok is the investigation and prosecution of veterinarians and horse trainers at Penn National racetrack by the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

On March 27, 2015, The U.S. Attorney's Office issued a press release announcing that four veterinarians had been criminally charged (and had agreed to plead guilty) to conspiracy to unlawfully administer drugs to race horses. The release succinctly describes this activity as follows:

According to the charges, trainers allegedly placed orders for drugs and the defendants after administering the drugs, backdated the billing records to avoid detection. The defendants allegedly submitted false veterinarian treatment reports to the State Horse Racing Commission omitting from those reports any reference to the drugs administered to horses at the track on race day. The filing of these reports and the backdating of billing records were, allegedly, to further the conspiracy by concealing the illegal activity. These acts had the potential to defraud other owners and trainers whose horses were entered in the same race and defrauded the betting public as well.

This type of activity has been common practice on racetracks for decades.

A deterrent to this type of routine race day cheating exists in a national model rule requiring the administration of Salix by a third party. Under the model rule, a veterinarian employed or contacted by the state racing commission or the racetrack administers Salix. The rule is designed for the express purpose of keeping practicing veterinarians (who work for the trainer) out of the horse's stall on race day. Third-party Salix programs are effective in deterring widespread corrupting influences. It will not, however, stop anyone determined to get an edge on race day.

The status of the third-party Salix model rule is found on the website of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC): 18 states have adopted, 16 states have not.

Far more malevolent and injurious to the sport is what is likely occurring at the other end of the spectrum. That is the use of sophisticated performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) which taint the upper echelon of the sport. The methods for cheating at this level often do not involve simply sneaking into a stall on race day with an illicit drug in a syringe.

 

Best horses, best races
When it comes to major races, prominent Thoroughbred owner Bill Casner said, “I'll promise you that there will be some horses helped with PEDs (performance enhancing drugs).

Bill and Susan Casner

Bill and Susan Casner

“It would be incredibly naïve for anyone to think that this (PEDs) does not exist in our game. And especially at the high end because the high end is where all the money is at,” said Casner.

The “high end” to which Casner refers consists of approximately 450 Graded stakes races which are held annually at various tracks. These races make up less than two percent of the approximately 40,000 Thoroughbred races conducted annually. The purses for the Graded stakes, however, account for over $150 million, or 15 percent, of the $1 billion distributed annually.

Casner's path to the pinnacle of the sport is not well traveled. From galloping horses in the early 1960s at Sunland Park in New Mexico, to hoisting the Kentucky Derby trophy in the winner's circle in 2010 as the co-owner of Super Saver, he has witnessed the sport from the inside as few others ever have. His most memorable score, however, did not occur on U.S. soil. In 2009, his WinStar Farm homebred gelding, Well Armed, romped to a 14-length victory in the $6-million Dubai World Cup.

A member of The Jockey Club and the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA), and former chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA), Casner has long been an advocate for clean racing.

Casner claims that a small but significant improvement in performance from illicit drugs is sufficient to drive a trainer to cheat. Especially if they believe their fellow trainers are likely doing the same.

At the elite level of the sport, the incentives to cheat are at their highest, and the financial incentives go well beyond the traditional trainer's purse percentage.

“There is too much difference in the amount of money between a Grade I and a Grade II horse. Grade I horses are stallions. Grade II horses are regional stallions. And Grade III horses stand in [minor state-bred programs],” said Casner.

Nine of the top 10 stallions on Blood-Horse magazine's 2016 General Sires List won at least one Grade I stakes during their racing career; 2017 stud fees for these nine horses range from $60,000 to $300,000.

“The share values and the breeding rights that trainers receive become these huge portfolios for them. And this is where they really make their money,” said Casner.

“If EPO can give a horse two or three lengths extra – that is astronomical,” said Casner. “How many races are lost by a nose? How many races are lost by a head? A neck? A length? A length-and-a-half? Two lengths?”

“Performance enhancing drugs work. They make already great athletes, human or animal, even greater,” said Jeff Novitzky.

 

A matter of trust
Few people in the world have the gravitas and insight to opine on the culture of cheating in sports as does Jeff Novitzky. Once referred to by TIME magazine as the Eliot Ness of baseball's “steroid era,” Novitzky has been on the frontline of exposing the cheating of fallen icons such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, and Lance Armstrong.

Jeff Novitzky

Jeff Novitzky

Novitzky served as a federal agent for 15 years with the IRS Criminal Investigations Division, followed by seven years as a special agent for the Food and Drug Administration. He is now the vice president of Athlete Health and Performance with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world's largest mixed-martial arts fight promotion.

Novitzky spoke at the 2016 Jockey Club Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. One of the most salient takeaways from his presentation involved his personal interaction with users of performance enhancing drugs.

Speaking of the numerous investigations he conducted, Novitzky said, “Throughout those investigations, I got to interview 150 to 200 high profile professional athletes who chose to use performance enhancing drugs. In addition to asking them about where they got the drugs, how they paid for them, and how they were distributed, I always took the opportunity to ask them why they chose to use. It wasn't anything special about me, but I was in a position and they were in a position to be compelled to tell me the truth. In fact, we prosecuted several athletes for not telling the truth.

“So I think in the majority of those 150, 200 conversations I got the truth, and I always took the opportunity to ask, ‘Why did you choose to use performance enhancing drugs? What led you down that path?'

“And the answer I got an overwhelming majority of the time, it came down to one word, and that word was trust.”

Novitzky added: “They said, ‘I didn't trust that my teammates weren't using. I didn't trust that my opponents weren't using, and maybe, most importantly, I didn't trust that my sport's governing bodies cared enough because of the weakness of the program or in some cases total lack thereof.'”

A report titled Stakeholder Input, released November 2016 by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, contains a survey in which the issue of horsemen's “trust” is addressed.

In response to the statement “Doping with designer drugs is rampant,” 58.1 percent either totally agreed or somewhat agreed. By nearly an identical margin, 57.2 percent of the respondents indicated they either totally or somewhat agreed with the statement “Most people I know cheat.”

If horsemen's trust in the effectiveness of their anti-doping program is the determining factor that drives cheating, the racing industry has reason for alarm.

 

A lack of will
Horse racing in the U.S., to a large degree, is a sport that abides a culture of cheating.

The unwillingness of regulatory bodies to implement common sense deterrents has led to, in many states, risk-free cheating. A clear-cut example is out-of-competition testing.

Out-of-competition testing occurs days, weeks, or months before a horse's race, or between races. Its goal is to determine if horses are training on prohibited drugs that can enhance performance on race day.

Epogen from AmgenBlood doping drugs like Epogen (EPO) cause the body to produce additional blood cells that allow the athlete – horse or human – to increase their oxygen carrying capacity. The drug can only be detected for approximately three days after administration. The performance-enhancing effects will last up to 120 days – which is the life span of a red blood cell.

Many anabolic steroids are like blood doping drugs in that the performance enhancing effects far exceed the short time frame of detection.

States with little or no out-of-competition testing have invited their horsemen to cheat with impunity.

In November 2007, Blood-Horse published an op-ed column I wrote on out-of-competition testing. At the time of publication over a year had passed since the development of a method to test for the presence of the blood-doping agent Epogen. Only six states had moved forward to deter and detect this emerging threat by implementing out-of-competition testing.

In the commentary, I hypothesized why the industry had not moved more quickly.

Would some track owners prefer not to endure the inevitable publicity of a successful trainer charged with blood doping? Would some horsemen prefer to not be inconvenienced by the thought of testing anytime, anywhere, without notice? Are some racing commissions paralyzed by institutional inertia?

Now, 10 years later, we know the answers to all these questions are … yes.

In 2014, of the top 20 states ranked by the number of Thoroughbred races run, 15 conducted little or no out-of-competition testing. These 15 states account for almost two-thirds of all races. Our international counterparts are averaging 10 percent of their testing from out-of-competition sampling, while the U.S. is conducting only 1 percent.

The racing industry's assertion that this failure is due to a lack of funding is disingenuous.

For example, in Indiana in 2015, over 10 percent of the testing for the 120-day Thoroughbred and Quarter horse race meet at Indiana Grand originated from out-of-competition samples. All samples were analyzed for blood-doping agents, a broad spectrum of anabolic steroids, and repartitioning drugs (such as ractopamine and zilpaterol). Samples were taken from horses stabled at the track or at training centers and farms.

The total cost of this program, including sampling and testing, was less than $50,000. To place this in perspective, the cost is less than two purses for maiden special weight races, which at Indiana Grand in 2015 were $32,000 each.

Although Indiana's program is funded by the racing commission, it is also a reasonable expense to be borne by any racetrack or horsemen's association intent on protecting the integrity of its racing program.

The UFC's Novitzky says horse racing's out-of-competition program is a “green light” for cheaters.

When asked what would happen if horse racing's out-of-competition program was applied to human athletics, Novitzky said athletes “would be enhanced to the gills.”

Thursday: In the second of this two-part series, Gorajek examines the limitations and challenges of testing laboratories, weaknesses of the current state regulatory system, and a possible solution going forward.

Joe Gorajec served as the executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission for 25 years (1990-2015). He is also a former chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (2008).

  • Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

    Joe;
    I have tremendous respect in you for so many things, your dedication to integrity, your commitment to our industry. However, investigative journalism is not among those things. In this sensationalistic piece, you have lent credence to the “sour grapes” of the industry, perpetuating the fantasy that “if they are beating me, they must be juicing.” Lacking in your expose is any actual evidence that any of these forms of cheating exist. The case in Pennsylvania to which you refer has yet to go to trial, so the disposition of those accusations remains to be seen. Many of the violations which were successfully handed down in Indiana during your tenure were obviously environmental contamination, a “gotcha” violation for which the regulations leave the horsemen no way out. Not a single performance enhancing drug was identified, despite your protestations that these administations are rampant. So, if you have evidence that any of your points are true, and not merely the “sour grapes” of connections of beaten competitors, then trot it out and let”s go get them. If not, then please quit perpetuating the erroneous myths, and let”s work together to figure out how to get this negativity out of horse racing for the good of all.

    • mikec

      Agree completely. What illegal drugs are endogenous to a race horse as cited in the article

      • Chumsmo

        steroids and epo are produced naturally by horses and humans, therefore they are endogenous.

        • mikec

          But major venue testing have established baselines as to what is permitted and what is an overage. Would think someone cheating would got caught up in the baseline overage

          • Chumsmo

            Baselines return to normal rather quickly, but the long term effects on various systems in the body are prolonged (muscle growth, increased red blood cells, etc). Being at the upper level of the normal range could also prove to be very beneficial and give just enough of an edge, whether naturally or via enhancement.

          • mikec

            True and yet debated by different equine medical experts. Simple enough to stop fooling with 60 days out or whatever and just ban anything that has performance enhancing effects, doubtful they will do this

          • Chumsmo

            Agree!

        • Tinky

          Say what?!

          EPO is EPOGEN®, a prescription medicine that acts like the hormone erythropoietin.

          It certainly is not produced naturally.

          • Chumsmo

            Erythropoietin is the natural form that is produced in the body. EPO is just a synthetic version that can be produced in mass quantities.

          • Tinky

            Yes, and in case you weren’t aware of it, synthetic products are not produced naturally.

    • Peter Scarnati

      Couldn’t disagree more Clara.
      It seems pretty clear to me that the viewpoint of Mr. Novitzky is particularly pertinent here. Since there is no out-of-competition testing to speak of, there is no way to determine if agents such as EPO or anabolic steroids are being used to train horses. Apparently, from what I read above, these agents are long gone from the system of a horse by the time a post-race sample is taken, but the benefit of having trained on the stuff has likely enhanced performance. Without out-of-competition testing being used to any significant degree, there is no way to detect this behavior, which is, I think, the most specific point of this article.
      Besides, Mr. Novitzky has no skin in the game, while you, as practicing vet (I presume) obviously do. Nothing personal, but in light of this, I’ll attach a lot more credibility to what his opinion is as compared to yours on this topic.

      • Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

        Interestingly, some jurisdictions have implemented Out of competition testing, much like Joe did while in Indiana. Thousands of tests, no illegal performance enhancing drugs. So, other than the possibility of some individuals “working the system” in smaller jurisdictions, your argument still holds no water. Most major jurisdictions conduct Out of competition testing, which is even conducted on horses which are physically not within their borders. The expense associated with Epogen and designer anabolic steroids makes it highly unlikely that those things are being used in second tier racing states. I have no problem with your position, but please do not put forth opinion as fact.

        • Will Styles

          Go gettem Carla liberals hate facts.

        • You have no clue what you are writing about when you introduce EPO into the discussion. You are talking through your hat.

        • Lehane

          Clara, ‘out of competition testing’ is very broad. I mean what model is used to conduct such testing? Can you provide any evidence-base on the out of competition testing that you are obviously very familiar with?

        • billy

          Clara look up SEEKING THE SHERIF look at who the trainer was in so cal look up dates for races workouts vets list history and with the most recent masocistic saga you tell me steroids do nothing 12,500 claimer to breeders cup to 5,000 claimer at lousy penn cmon man

    • gus stewart

      Clara,,, hmmm the sour grapes and evidence response. I think i responded to you once. Respectively i do appreciate your chosen profession, but do you actually work on the backside of a track?. Im in so cal so i can only spreak to those facilities. Evidence, no i havent seen actual injections legal or within the guildlines of the chrb. So in court i would have no case. What i have seen is 35 years of horse racing, with freinds who i should say have their lives in order, are patterns of unexplainable improvement in an animal. Sour grapes, no we all still sit in a box at santa anita go over films sheets or whatever else is available, and then argue about how did that horse do that. I dont even try to figure it out anymore. I dont watch film anymore, i just sit in the paddock, watch the employee’s in suits from exec offices pass by me and think, will anything ever change with the private vets the chrb or the stewards. Now we have owned and wagered on horses for many of those years and never had those types of hmmm, where did that race come from discussions, until over the last 15 years. So if u really want to dig in and take the time to get evidence, i suggest to watch certain owners and trainers have thier horses improve without understandable reasons to people like us, who have seen thousands and thousands of races, dont say sour grapes or evidence, go talk to owners or fans that have left the sport, they may have more evidence then us. But i just try to enjoy the 70 degree weather and bet less every visit.

      • greg

        Gus, you are 100% spot on, you apparently know the circuit I reference very well, thus you may also know the trainers I refer to as well, it’s disgusting what goes on there today, believe me when I tell you the alphabet agencies were made aware of specifics, shown signed Fed-Ex, UPS receipts signed for by trainers, copies of invoices from Hong Kong compound pharmacies sent to homes of those involved, and so much more. As you see nothing of substance was done, I’ll leave it at that, enjoy as I now play Gulfstream daily and enjoy full fields, 6 turf races a day, and knowing there were 2, now 1 questionable trainer who I am fine making accommodations for in my wagering

        • gus stewart

          Are u reading greg some of the responses to this article and agreement with Clara’s post. Im thinking some of these people are going to their doctor’s, and no disrespect to doctor’s i have 2 in my family, saying doc im feeling a little depressed and having a lack of energy. Well no worries, here let me give you this and you should feel much better 2moro. Doc, what am i getting, oh just something thats perscribed and backed by the pharmaceutical companies to make you work, execise, and give u more energy and smile more. Many people are taking this now see you in a few months. As in racing, unfortunately not understood by many posting here, this is the pattern.

          • greg

            I have read some, not most, I will look closer now

          • It is a lot more sinister than you make it out to be.

          • gus stewart

            Yes, but i dont want to lump everyone together, to many people who really love the horses and sport of racing. Trust me at santa anita over weekend sitting in paddock behind talking heads tvg. Wrona calls hold tickets as the horses finish race,, there will be a inquiry or examination of finish. It took stewards at lesst 1 to 2 min to hit inquiry button wrona called during race. They looked at stretch drive 5 times at least on my screen in paddock,, i was yelling and saying what the..! And these fools continue to keep thier jobs, it was a 5 lane drift out and a head seperating the two at wire. They did take the winner down but these folk have no accountability for thier lack of judgment of abilities to judge a race as well as others could do in replacing them.. but nope not on the dime of the powers that run racing no change with stewards

      • Thoroughbred fan

        Gus; a brilliant example of your point is Effinex. Dr. Cohen will preach from the rooftops that he does not believe in medication, but had to put Effinex on Lasix, because it was costing him lengths. So, he put the horse on Lasix, and the horse’s form did not change….until several starts later, when he gave the horse a few months and a trainer change. Jerkens was clearly performance enhancing. Is it possible that better horsemen attract better horses? Or that better horsemen are somehow able to get better performances out of their better horses? I am doubtful that Cohen had a change of heart on the medication concept, and suddenly allowed Jerkens to put the entire pharmacopeia into the horse. I DO work on the backside, and see simple things like blinkers, equipment, as well as identifying that one little niggling veterinary problem that hadn’t been previously addressed turn horses’ inside out. No cheating, just good horsemenship.

        Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

    • Tinky

      So Clara Fenger is back in action, this time attempting to repeat her ludicrous claim that PED use is nearly nonexistent in American Thoroughbred racing.

      For some context, consider that after Dr. Fenger wrote an Op/Ed in the Thoroughbred Daily News on August 29, 2014, criticizing a study that had been published in the Equine Veterinary Journal, Dr. Christopher M. Riggs, Head of Veterinary Clinical Services, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, wrote the following in a subsequent edition of the same publication:

      Regrettably, Dr. Fenger severely misrepresents the study and her criticisms contain many errors and inaccuracies. The reputed falsities that she describes, as published by the Thoroughbred Daily News, are at the expense of the authors of the peer-reviewed scientific paper, of which Dr. Stephanie Preston was lead, of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) and of fair and honest debate on the pros and cons of the routine use of furosemide in Thoroughbred racing in North America.

      Dr. Fenger’s opinion is based on her interpretation of the paper, which reflects a misunderstanding of the statistical techniques applied, the way in which the data was presented and how findings were reviewed in relation to existing knowledge.

      Dr. Riggs went on to support his claims.

      Dr. Fenger has repeatedly also appeared in the comment section of this publication, attempting to defend the use of raceday Lasix, and was exposed on at least one occasion (by me) as having used bad, outdated and inappropriate data to support her position.

      She is, essentially, a reflexive apologist for drug use in horse racing, and all of her claims should be seen in that light.

      • Well done

      • Curt Muth

        BOOOOOM!!!

      • ben

        No she is making money distributing stuff hence their truck. With testing up to the letter, she will be finished as a vet. Not only she but a lot others

      • Thoroughbred fan

        Wow, Ray, you are really off the mark on the facts. Several other distinguished scientists, and the then-president of the HBPA, in addition to myself similarly found Preston and Riggs paper flawed and as a result of our scathing criticisms, the original paper was retracted. The scientific journal, the Equine Veterinary Journal, made Preston and Riggs REWRITE the paper before its final acceptance. So, Riggs protests in the TDN was nothing but more than an agenda driven smoke screen. It is an academic embarassment to be required to retract your original submission to a scientific journal.

        As for your “exposure” of my defense of race day Lasix…you will have to remind me, because I do not remember any substantive discourse between us on any subject.

        Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

        • RayPaulick

          I think you are confusing me with Tinky. That really hurts.

          • Thoroughbred fan

            Sorry, Ray, you share the same memories of Chicago, in the same era, and the same agenda. Easy mistake to make.

        • Tinky

          “Several other distinguished scientists”

          Wait – you’re including yourself in that category, or is does inclusion simply requite a certain number of acronyms after one’s name?

          “…and the then-president of the HBPA”

          Wow! There’s an unbiased, scientific expert if I’ve ever heard of one!

          As to the other, dubious past performance that I mentioned, you made the ridiculous claim that only 30% of Thoroughbreds in Australia make it to the races, as opposed to 70% in the U.S. (11/13/14) on this forum.

          I challenged you to back up the claim:

          [Tinky] “The percentages of those bred that make it to the races are considerably lower (30% in Australia)”

          I frankly don’t believe that statistic. Please link to a credible source.

          [Dr, Fenger] “The wastage described by the Queensland study did not include that which occurs prior to horses starting in a race. A widely accepted figure is that only 300 of 1000 Thoroughbred foals born actually end up racing (Bailey et al. 1999; Bourke 1995).”

          This quote is from a thesis by Ariella Hayek of the University of Sydney, published in 2004.

          [Tinky] So you’re using a 10 year old quote about a 15-20 year old figure relating solely to Queensland that was then, according to a thesis written, presumably by a student, “widely accepted”?

          “300 of 1000 Thoroughbred foals born”?

          There were over 14,000 foals born in Australia during the 2011/12 season!

          Really Dr, Fenger, you were trained in science, and yet you are comfortable using that type of source material? I’ll let the readers judge the significance of that for themselves.

          • Thoroughbred fan

            Tinky, the “300 of 1000” quote referred to “300 of 1000 foals born”, not that there were only 1000 foals born. I guess maybe you do need those extra letters after your name to read the scientific literature. Of course, you can say anything you want when you are too cowardly to identify yourself. For not being Ray, you have an incredible and immediate recall of anything ever posted on the Paulick Report.

            Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

          • Tinky

            I base my comments on facts. My real name is irrelevant.

            You attempted to pass off a 10 year old quote about a 15-20 year old figure relating solely to Queensland that was then, according to a thesis written by a student as the basis of your false (30%) assertion.

            Tellingly, you failed to address those facts.

          • Lehane

            Dr Christopher Riggs is one of the best in his field in the racing industry and Hong Kong is the best racing jurisdiction in the world, imho.
            So Riggs had to make some changes to his study in order for the EVJ to accept and publish, so what. A helluva lot of work goes into these studies and easy to make a mistake. The very prestigious EVJ has a very high standard and any study that it accepts and published speaks volumes.

          • Lehane

            The last report i read from the Keeper of the Studbook of Australia in 2013 disclosed that 55% of foals born made it to the races. This report was based on the Keeper’s figures for the 15 racing seasons up to 2006.
            The Racing Australia Fact Book states that in the 2005/06 season 18,758 live foals were born and in the 2015/16 season 6,407 live foals were born. It needs to be pointed out here that very recently Racing Australia brought in a new rule that breeders must register a live foal within one month of foaling date. Up until now there was previously no such requirement. So it seems to me that the true figures/statistics may not have been accurate.
            It appears that the RA Fact Book does not report on the number of foals making it to the races. However, with this new rule in place that might change.

        • Lehane

          Dr Christopher Riggs is one of the best in his field in the racing industry and Hong Kong is the best racing jurisdiction in the world, imho.
          So Riggs had to make some changes to his study in order for the EVJ to accept and publish, so what. A helluva lot of work goes into these studies and easy to make a mistake. The very prestigious EVJ has a very high standard and any study that it accepts and published speaks volumes.

    • RayPaulick
    • Will Styles

      Thank you Carla, you post is spot on. When one or two outfits win two many races and are getting to big a piece of the pie(aka purse money) the other trainers start to go broke and lose owners. They then start to saying it’s illegal meds giving these trainers that are winning an advantage. I’ve seen this to be the case at almost every track I’ve been to across the country. Losers making excuses for why their poor horsemanship can’t win any races. The fact is few people are great horseman on the backside today and few trainers have real deep pocketed owners that can get quality horses anymore for reasonable prices. Our foal crop was 20,600 nation wide last year. The rich in our industry can scoop up most of the best horses and corner the market. 25 years ago it was much tougher when 43,000 horses were foaled out. Anyhow you right on in your post. Jealousy breeds contempt and their is a lot of it out their today with the death spiral our sport is in.

    • Racing Fan

      Clearly Clara Fanger and her alphabet soup titles has never followed Parx trainers. Spend 6 months there watching races and then let me know if you think there is no EPO in play there.

  • mikec

    With doping running rampant according to this, why are there very few cases of meaningful positives detected. Why are there no dime droppers in this vast widespread industry. When will those crying rampant doping produce hard evidence so that all involved get caught and banished?

    • Peter Scarnati

      If what I just read is true, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t, the answer to your question is the fact that there is little to no out-of-competition testing taking place. The article states that if horses are given EPO and certain anabolic steroids to train on, the substances are long gone from their system for detection by race day.
      So, I surmise from the information in the article, there is little “hard evidence” you apparently seek because there is little out-of-competition testing.

      • mikec

        While not extensive, there is some OOC testing. NYRA does some unannounced and most of the major races now have OOC testing. Would like to see ONE Class 1 violation, just one. Thousands of people working backside and farms,not one has come forward with absolute evidence of use of prohibited substances, why?

        How are the move up trainers getting away with this right in front of many people?

        • Tinky

          Your questions are actually rather easy to answer. First, virtually no one outside of the trainer and veterinarian are privy to such information. So the grooms, hot walkers and exercise riders, etc., have no information to give.

          Secondly, the vets who promote cheating have been ahead of the testing for decades now. They know chemical signatures, they know how long drugs take to metabolize, etc. They are making a lot of money by nearly insuring that such methods will be undetectable.

          • mikec

            So now we have a secret group of trainer/vet co-conspirators that have the magic bullet and knowledge of the pharma which keeps them ahead of the testing curve!!

            …..okie dokie

          • Tinky

            Boy, you are naïve. And your response is a straw man.

          • mikec

            Naive is someone who knows nothing about a subject matter debating someone immersed in it for 30 years. Check the mirror

          • Tinky

            Ah, very good. A straw man followed by an ad hominem attack.

            Be sure to come back sometime when you have something substantial to say. I doubt that readers will be holding their breath.

          • mikec

            Don’t come here often but you are by far the biggest blowhard wann be that I’ve read

          • Mr. Blues

            Tinky your spot on as usually

          • The frigging daily double–straw man AND ad mominem! Hiyoooo!

          • Thanks for doing your straw man think pal. Made MY day!

          • mikec

            The blowhard without a shred of evidence speaks!

          • McGov

            He’s right. And anyone that doesn’t understand that this is going on EVERYWHERE, is living in a bubble. This is BIG money. Think about how much money we are talking about……and not the purse money hahaha….think about the BIG picture. I’m not going to elaborate more than that. Cheating is extremely rampant. From PED’s to stiffing and everything in between. Does it seem too fantastic to you?….right up there with 911….lmao. People don’t want to know the truth because then they would have to deal with it ;)

          • mikec

            Conspiracy idiots with no facts and pure innuendo should be ignored

          • McGov

            People are what they are…..easily manipulated….even when given the “facts”, as it were. 911 is a great example of something that is sooo fantastic….just TOO fantastic right? even when looking at the facts presented by top engineers? if someone tells you it is impossible for something to happen and they are an expert and then 50 other experts agree….but the GOVERNMENT says that these people are mistaken and this is a “conspiracy”…..is it THEN a conspiracy? What exactly is a conspiracy?
            Well, I KNOW THIS..in the case of horse racing….the fact is that cheaters cheat every day . Some cheaters are smart enough to stay ahead of getting caught….some are not. They are not idiots worried about a 50k purse.
            Nuff said ;)

          • togahombre

            i think my neighbors from another planet, maybe you two know each other from the old country

          • McGov

            I think my neighbour is from another planet too….what a coincidence….does your neighbours name same start with a U and end with an A ? ;)

          • Lawrence R

            What exactly does your rambling mean ? It makes no sense. Maybe I can help you. A conspiracy is two or more people agreeing to commit a crime in the future.

          • McGov

            Ummmm…it was rhetorical. And pretty sure you just need ONE person to conspire….just sayin ;). Done with my rant…you cannot convince some people even if they saw it for themselves

          • Lawrence R

            Nope ,it has to be at least two people or more. You can dance alone but you can’t conspire alone.

          • Ky Vet

            ignorant……you might try talking about something you know

          • Lawrence R

            I have no opinion on this subject that is referred to as doping.
            So I direct this question to Ky Vet if you are indeed a doctor of vet med. and I will take your word on that. Does the long term effect of using Epos and anabolic steroids have any meaningful detrimental effect on the horses well being? If not, why are they regulated? No law against sticking a horses legs in a bucket of ice water all night is there? How abut the various treatments for sore shins? Some of which I wouldn’t want on my shins.

          • Kathryn Papp

            you have a really boring useless response. please explain to the rest of us your expertise on what goes on on the backside? because i have video, documentation, pictures and testimony proving it does which i post publicly. what do you have and what is your status as knowing more than the average reply-er on this thread?

          • Lehane

            The ‘secret group’ has not been a secret for decades.

          • mikec

            Names? Evidence?

          • Kathryn Papp

            we do and i could name them. in fact some have already been indicted

          • billy

            How did sam Webb get away with having his wife Lucy train his horses while he was suspended same with murray and eduardo rojas David wells ran at Presque isle this past summer thought his license was revoked alot of what gill claimed is real including how many of his horses returned to penn and the same jockeys that complained about them being unsafe were riding them again otero pull in horses too

          • Kathryn Papp

            I believe that they had already separated at that point and have since divorce and she already had a trainer’s license and did take on those clients from him for her own. At least that is my understanding.

          • Lehane

            So very true.

          • Lehane

            So very true.

        • Kathryn Papp

          Training centers run rampant with drug use by trainers directly. No one checks up on them appropriately. Go look at fair hill for a day

      • Bobbie Irish

        Do these drugs, EPO and other “certain anabolic steroids” actually help the horse in a race, if they are “long gone from their system” by race day? If so, which ones are used most commonly? Don’t most stables have employees who stay with them year around? Not one has ever brought this behind the scenes cheating to light, or even accused anyone of doing so? Knowing how employer x employee relations can change on a dime, I guess I am somewhat surprised. Maybe the JC or TOBA needs to offer a reward for information leading to the conviction or sanction of any person using such drugs, for which an informer has first hand know ledge.

        • Ky Vet

          We will only let barry decide who needs them………

        • Kathryn Papp

          In PA veterinarians regularly administer and report dosing of horses with aqueous testosterone on their treatment sheets to state vet and commission. It is considered LEGAL. Only if horse tests positive on race day does the trainer get in trouble. FOIA requests for the drug testing that horses are undergoing will tell you what they test for and usually it is about 5 obscure things no one in their right mind would run on.

      • Ex-Racetracker

        EPO, brand name Epogen is a natural hormone that stimulates the production of O2 carrying red blood cells. It has been used on the track for over 25 years. There has NEVER been a positive test for it. The RBC’s it produces and its benefits can last a minimum of 30 days after administration. Give it 4 or more days out from a race and its undetectable and everyone knows this—Its the perfect hop. Its cheap and easy to procure–easily ordered over the internet. The only way you will ever catch it is with OUT OF COMPETITION TESTING as Joe Gorajek has stated. Kentucky ruled the Russian trainer off for life for not submitting his horse to an Out of Comp test–Rumor has it he had just given the horse EPO.
        Read the book WHEEL MEN if you want to get an idea about how effective its.

        • Tip of the iceberg.

          • Ex-Racetracker

            Agreed

          • Will Styles

            Go get yourself some full MGF or some IGF and go win some races. If you feel you can’t beat them join them. Just learn to cheat beater then the masses.

        • Kathryn Papp

          yep and now there are even more potent and stronger versions. Epogen was original. We are ten generations past that now. Aranesp. Darbypoetin and more are the current and im sure so many more i dont even see yet. I found only ONE lab in the US that would test for natural EPO antibodies found in horses that have been overdosed on EPO and it was NOT easy to find

      • Kathryn Papp

        You are right and every single time an article comes out like this RE-ITERATING the fact that EPO and its derivatives can be given with no repercussion bc of the small window of testing positive it encourages 10 more trainers to try it. I am currently treating a horse that crashed from Aranesp overdosing, 10 transfusions later, she is just barely surviving.

  • Steve Shahinian

    I think the key to this issue is contained in the language above: Novitzky added: “They said, ‘I didn’t trust that my teammates weren’t using. I didn’t trust that my opponents weren’t using, and maybe, most importantly, I didn’t trust that my sport’s governing bodies cared enough because of the weakness of the program or in some cases total lack thereof.’”

    I’m for Novitzky as Drug Czar. It would seem to me that the cost of out of competition enforcement should not be that difficult, and if owners, trainers, and veterinarians believe that they, as well as those against whom they compete, will be held accountable, then the incentive to cheat should decline precipitously. Further, if the betting public then perceives that racing has cleaned up its house, it may even increase handle.

    Finally, on a related issue, I’m not a WHOA member because I’m troubled by the idea of denying lasix to horses that may need it to avoid bleeding, but it troubles me that the vast majority of horses that haven’t exhibited a bleeding problem are routinely given lasix because it is perceived to be a performance enhancement. It’s been suggested by others that giving a horse a significant weight penalty to accompany the use of lasix might remove the incentive to use it on a horse that doesn’t bleed significantly, and that makes sense to me.

    • ben

      Why do you think that the runners in the Pegasus cup, which are competing without lasix are receiving 5 LBS jockey weight allowance.

    • Ky Vet

      what if i told you all horses bleed?

      • Kathryn Papp

        You would be lying. I scope thousands of them after every race and work

    • Kathryn Papp

      excellent point about horses being put on lasix as a vet, i 100% agree and since vets have to sign the bleeding form that makes them accomplices if the horse truly didnt bleed when form was submitted

  • Hamish

    The “culture of corruption” in horse racing is a difficult somewhat risky subject to openly discuss, so good work Mr. Gorajec. The horsemen are sworn to protect each other, so very few if any “snitches” come to the regulators or law enforcement. If they do, perhaps they are blackballed, suffer retaliation, or are just driven out of business. I suppose informants in the form of planted undercover workers that entice some to talk about the miscreants among themselves and their bad behaviors, maybe over a cup of coffee in the racetrack kitchen, would help.

    • Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

      Wow, Hamish, are you really suggesting that an entire industry of horsemen who range from a few horses to giant corporate operations are devoid of spurned lovers and disgruntled employees? A vast conspiracy unparalleled in the history of sports? Either this disparate group of horsemen (including three different and distinct industries, between Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horse’s and Standardbreds) is capable of subterfuge and confidentiality never before seen, or you and Joe simply have it wrong. Hmmm, I wonder which it is?

      • greg

        Dr Fenger, the ones who can complain and turn in the crooked trainers are of course other trainers, I have seen first hand (as I know you have as well) seen trainers all congregating, talking, sharing a laugh, etc. in the a.m., for some reason way beyond my comprehension the clean trainers (see the .08-.11% win rates) will not speak up. It’s like the street rule “snitches get stitches” afraid of retribution, afraid of getting a bad rep., afraid of being alienated (by the cheaters who are “friends). I know it sounds silly and appalling but it’s true. I am familiar with 1 circuit where there are 2-3 trainers with ~30% win rates year round, and the others publicly say how frustrated they are, and continuing to lose 90% of the time but when asked directly “why don’t you go to the stewards?” the response “they won’t do anything, they know what’s happening and beside, I have no firm proof.” Finally in the same circuit 4 trainers control ~25% of the horse population, you start suspending them and disallow their horses to run then they couldn’t fill an already thin race card

        • You are right. Clara is the nation’s leading advocate of so-called therapeutic drugs, so everything she says or writes must be taken with a grain of salt in discussions such as this.

      • ben

        Just read this article: I do not like lying people:

        Trust, But Verify: Fact-Checking A Few Of Racing’s Stump Speeches

        by Natalie Voss | 08.22.2016 | 3:26pm

        • Thoroughbred fan

          Ben;

          It is Natalie Voss in that article who misrepresented the facts, not I. Read my comments in response to her article. The RMTC lists scientific papers to back up their thresholds which speak nothing of thresholds. My facts are readily found, you just have to take the time to look for yourself, instead of eating like candy the propaganda that you are being fed by those with an agenda.

          Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

      • Hamish

        Which is it you ask? Joe and I are correct.

  • Casey Higgins

    It is simple really. If every jurisdiction in horse racing could give off the public perception that they are doing everything they could to curb cheating, this article would not be needed.

    I am aware that you will still have people trying to push the envelope. However the public perception needs to be that the powers that be are doing all they can. Until that day all the criticism is warranted.

  • Larry Sterne

    Great article . Betters and honest trainers must have beyond the doubt feeling racing is an honest gig. Why the protest by trainers and owners if they following the rules ? It cost so little to get the GRADE A STAMP for US racing.

    • Will Styles

      It’s called privacy and property. You don’t come to my farm I own and pay taxes on and start testing my property and invading my privacy with out a warrant. We dont the live in a communist society or do we? If the horse run clean they run clean if the test bad I’m punished, nothing more is needed in the way of testing outside the after race spit box.

      • Tinky

        If you choose to exercise that right to privacy, then you should automatically forfeit your right to race.

        • Will Styles

          Tinky have you heard of communism. You might like it in China. Personally the best races I’ve ever been to are private match races out west. I’m sure they implement that nonsense their will be a lot more of them.

          • ben

            If you do not like to have your horses tested, it should just beiing forbid them to enter in a race problem solved.

            The most rotten things are done at night time.

          • You, sir, are exactly what is wrong with racing. Racing is suffering because it has always been an “insiders’ game.” Out of competition testing opens it up. If guys like you don’t want to play by the rules, then restrict your sport to those match races you so dearly love.

          • Will Styles

            Barry,what’s wrong with our sport is last year around 20,000 horses were foaled out compared to 43,000 25 years ago. The numbers are going down year after year. Our sport is in a death spiral. How about working to correct that. You constantly complain and whine. How everyone is cheating with peds. Theres a lot more to worry about in our sport. No need for the federal government to be involved with horse racing you will run off more owners.

          • Marvin Gardens

            Buying a racehore is a guarantee loss of money. Way more downs than ups. Owners can only take so much abuse until they get out, never to return. I know as I’m one of them.

          • Will Styles

            Marvin not everyone loses money in this game. Just most. Jamen Davidovich started with 3k 4 years ago and has built a bank roll of over 350k in profit after he paid all his expenses and horses. Now I agree he is the exception training and running his own horses. But it can be done. It takes a good team with good horses and a great business plan to succeed.

          • Marain Gardens

            Sure, the odd person can get lucky but the overwhelming majority don’t.

          • Will Styles

            I agree.

        • Absolutely correct Tinkster.

      • Curt Muth

        Easy fix, you don’t allow your horses to be tested on your property, the racing tracks won’t let you run horses at their tracks on their property. Problem solved, no out-of-competition test no license.

        • Will Styles

          That’s fine then fields are smaller then they already are. I don’t need horse racing the sport needs me. Just look around you. More tracks closing less horses bred. Few new owners. Its called a death spiral. I’m sorry you don’t believe in privacy and property rights I do.

          • Tinky

            If the sport is to thrive, it needs owners who want to help clean it up, not make it more opaque. Unless you are trying to hide something, there is no good excuse for not allowing OOCT.

            If you are truly worried about privacy issues, your time and energy would be much better spent protesting Government intrusion on your personal information, rather than one or two syringes of blood being drawn from horses on your farm over the course of a year.

          • ofmyownaccord

            Don’t waste your words Tinky, from what I gleaned from previous posts…..he’s nothing more than a wannabe “jocks agent.”

          • Curt Muth

            “I’m sorry you don’t believe in privacy and property rights I do.”

            Yes, your rights you believe in , but what about the rights of the Race Tracks and their property and their rights to run clean races. What about the rights of the bettors to bet on clean racing?

          • Will Styles

            Curt anytime money is involved with anything something nefarious can happen. A lot of these racetracks are part of the problem with cheating. For example letting illegal immigrants on the backside earn a living that aren’t even liscensed. That’s cheating and breaking the laws isn’t it? That could affect the outcome of a race couldn’t it? From a gambling standpoint, I’m more worried about a favorite being doped to lose with ace then I am some one using a ped.

          • Larry Ensor

            “I’m more worried about a favorite being doped to lose with ace then I am some one using a ped”

            Ace, when given a proper dose more times than not will improve a horse’s performance. Not the opposite. It is pretty easy to see a horse who has been overdosed. I would like to think any paddock judge could tell.

          • Will Styles

            larry now your post is the silliest I’ve ever read. 1. Horses that are aced to lose aren’t given a proper dose. 2. No paddock judge I’ve met could tell in a filly or mare, maybe and I say maybe a male horse.3. My point was that the gambler should be more worried about favorites being doped to lose then they are to win.

          • ben

            No problem at all for the tracks, some of them are worth a fortune for developers.

          • Summer Thomas

            HAVE ANY ONE OF YOU GIVEN A SINGLE THOUGHT TO THE ANIMAL INVOLVED? I HAVENT READ ONE WORD ABOUT CONCERN FOR THE HORSES BEST INTEREST AND WELFARE UNLESS IT WAS FOR REPRODUCTION INTERESTS, I.E., $$ IN OWNER AND TRAINER’S POCKETS.

            Please don’t get me wrong. I grew up jockeying Quarter Horses in the 1970’s and my family owned them and top line halter Horses in Texas and surrounding states. My dad taught me many, many things along with my close friend, Quarter Horse Jockey Tad Over who rode to fame on Pass Over in 1973 and being the World’s Leading Money Making Jockey that year. Yes, they earned more in two races than Secretariat (whom I loved) and Ron Turcott. Tad was 18. One important piece of information they both instilled on my blonde head to was NEVER TRY TO CHEAT IN ANY WAY. You want your horse to be the best representative of what the Quarter Horse can be at whatever competition it is participating in on its own without drugs or having to find a way to “help” the horse with meds or buzzers, etc. You work, train, condition, etc.

          • Curt Muth

            You want to shout at someone, try Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM or Will Styles who are all for drugs in racing.

            As far as the welfare of the horses it goes without saying but talking here with people who either have an economic gain from injecting horses or someone who only refers to his horses as Private Property you kind of have to talk in terms they understand.

          • Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

            Wow, Curt, “all for drugs in racing”? Are you paying attention? I am in favor of having the ability to do my job…take care of the athlete, both in this career and the next…without risk of a positive test as a result of ill-conceived withdrawal recommendations. That”s hardly “all for drugs in racing.”

          • Lehane

            Exactly!

          • David Sullivan

            So you believe in quantity over quality?

          • Will Styles

            You make it sound like every barn in America dopes horses. Most trainers and owners I know couldn’t afford peds if they wanted to use them. I personally am not gambling on 4 and 5 horse fields. Are you? My Handel on twinspires this year was over 200k wagered, not counting what I played on track. If I though the game was so rigged with peds I clearly wouldn’t gamble at all on horses.

          • David Sullivan

            You didn’t answer either question I posed to you and then tried to camouflage it by impressing me with how much money you bet. I owned race horses in the past and I still go to several different tracks around the country every year for racing and I did it and I do it for only one reason. I love the competition of horse racing. I don’t bet often and I don’t care if I never do again. So the betting angle you are suggesting doesn’t hold any water with me. Horse racing has a huge integrity problem and just maybe that is part of the reason why there are fewer horses, owners, etc. Casey Higgins has it right. Perception is reality and as long as there is a perception that no one involved in racing wants to do anything about those who cheat then racing will have a big,big problem. And I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion and I have a very definite one about anyone who would bet 200K a year on horse racing but I will keep it to myself. There are enough insults flying around on here without me adding to them.

          • Will Styles

            I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m telling you there is no sport without gamblers and there can be no gambling with out horses to gamble on (aka entries). It’s called supply and demand. I buy and sell horses these days mainly to trusted clients who are also my friends. Im not in this for the love of competition like you are. While I like the animals in general. This sport is about money and turning a profit and I take it very serious. If your not making money in some fashion, buying horses, selling horses, Winning races as and owner or gambling on horses. You’ll be dead broke fast. The bills add up in this sport quickly. On a side note I don’t care what anyones opinion of me is, unless they are paying my bills or putting a roof over my head other then that I could care less.

          • David Sullivan

            You like the animals in general? Did you really write that? I apologize to my friends in the car business ahead of time for saying this but you sir should be selling cars.

          • Will Styles

            Yep my motto is and has always been if a horse is slow and won’t try get rid of him. Let him go be a pet some where. Those horses that want to run and love to train are right where they need to be on the track running. It’s what they are bred for. I do like the animals in general. They are animals aren’t they? You made me laugh on the car salesman comment it was funny.

  • Will Styles

    In 2002 I met a jockey named Brian Long, he had no money and no place to live. He asked if I could help him for a couple of weeks (place to stay, transportation,food) etc. just until he could get on his feet. He won riding titles and been a top stakes winning jock since 1978 at tracks like Hialeah, Oaklawn, Santa Anita and Mountaineer. Brian informed me that the jockey has the. final say as to where a horse places and finishes. Trainers and Owners virtually have no say in it at all.

    • Mike Connors

      Really? Brian Long is the source for your accusation? LMAO!!

      • Will Styles

        Huh, I was making a point. Not and accusation. Not all cheating is because of peds. By the way Brian is deceased. I’ve worked as a jocks agent for top riders at top tracks across the country. My riders never held a horse that I know of. We rode to win and my riders won plenty of stakes. Unfortunately I knew of some who weren’t as ethical as myself and my riders.

  • Will Styles

    Why is it always medicine and trainers that are attached to cheating? Why don’t they talk about the 2 year suspension David Flores received for holding a horse in Japan. Then California re liscensed him the next month here. Now that is cheating.

    • RayPaulick

      David Flores received a one-year suspension and it was in Singapore, not Japan. http://www.paulickreport.com/news/people/flores-gets-one-year-ban-from-singapore-stewards/

      • Will Styles

        Ray, my bad Singapore 1 year. My point was California re-liscensed him before suspension was up. Every time cheating is mentioned it can’t always be about medication. For the record a don’t condone or support peds in horse racing. However property and privacy rights I do believe in.

        • RayPaulick

          Doesn’t the fact we reported on the Flores story in Singapore disprove your statement that “every time cheating is mentioned it can’t always be about medication”? See our story about a jockey summarily suspended in New Mexico on Sunday after an electrical device was found in the jockeys room.

          • You liberals are always citing facts to back up your arguments!

          • Lawrence R

            Is that sarcasm ? Must be.

          • Belinda W

            Lol, I’m waiting for the first PR is Fake News !!!

          • Will Styles

            Ray, I love the Paulick report. You guys do a great job overall. Better then any of the competition. It’s why I read your articles and post on ones im passionate about. Both you and your staff keep up the good work.

    • Lawrence R

      The suspension was totally uncalled for. They put you in prison for spitting on the street in Malaysia

      • Will Styles

        Your opinion, clearly not theirs. Are you a steward? Did you know FYI that singapore racing is thriving. They handle more money each race day then our top three tracks combined. Why? It’s called integrity and ethics. Here we have ex jocks that are stewards. Talk about a conflict of interest.

        • Lawrence R

          Do you have any idea of the Oriental Psych? They thrive on any kind of gambling. They love to gamble. And why do you ask me these obvious questions? Race handles have nothing at all to do with integrity or ethics.
          Belmont, Santa Anita,, Aqueduct all use to pack the people in, ethics and integrity was not the reason, thats for sure. Racing fell by the wayside because they failed to embrace TV. Other sports shoved them aside. By the way I saw a rerun of the race and Flores was railroaded out of town. There are plenty of ex jocks that have been stewards and damn good ones.I see no conflict of Interest.Who better to judge?

          • Will Styles

            Lawrence, people who think like you have destroyed our sport. Ethics and integrity is not the reason? Are you serious? Ever here of Paige’s Prize and steward Darryl Parker? Think not. There’s your poor ethics sir. If that happened in singapore they would riot. Wait a minute they did riot at the track in Singapore at a much less nefarious attempt. Stewards reversed their desciion.

          • Lawrence R

            I cannot comment on anybody who would wager on any race in Pennsylvania. Viewed the race and that disqualification was a disgrace.
            Who were the stewards and were they ex jocks? Of course you are implying the stewards involved were to profit from that dq or was it more or less incompetence.I watch and wager everyday at Santa Anita and Del Mar. I watch the reruns , win or lose ,very closely. I have no problems with the stewards decisions. I sometimes disagree ,but not too often and those calls I do disagree with are close judgement calls and I would not contend . I am very open minded and my wager win lose or not involved does not influence my thinking.
            Go back to Singapore ,so the judges , as you implied ,do not have ethics
            It always seem to take forever for a race to be made official and a bad decision was made anyway or purposely??? Flores ??
            Get it through your thick skull what killed racing was TV, The NFL NBA ,NHL MLB.all embraced TV . Racing shunned it.

          • Will Styles

            It was Ohio track Beulah park not PA. Head steward made the decision to disqualify Paiges Prize and ex jockey named Darryl Parker. Deshawns dad made the call. There was a minus pool of 450k in show pool. Then they give this same goof the head steward position at Mahoning valley racecourse. By the way it’s not always about what goes on during the races. A lot of my problems with jocks being stewards are they never punish the rider for bad behavior even outside the track. One that comes to mind is Oswald Perreria, he Got caught cheating in black jack at mountaineer casino. They banned him for life at the casino but let him still ride races. Who steals from there employer and gets away with it? Who? Once again ex jock stewards gave him a pass
            Yes I do spend more money gambling on international tracks like Japan, Hong Kong, Australia on twinspires now. Why because I trust it more.

          • Lawrence R

            I thought it was the race at Parx where The Pennsylvania racing comm. reversed the disqualification. My mistake. That race is on Paulicks Report.

  • Doug Chambers

    I love that Paulick Report is not afraid of tackling such important topics and love that the horse racing industry is honoring such honorable work with an Eclipse award.

    I’ve always stated that I am not a fan of the sport, just particular horses that find a place in my heart at the time. I don’t beat up on those that are fans of the sport, or criticize them, but when I make a comment like that I am usually picked on by some. In one well-known place, I even had my comments deleted when I tried to defend myself against a stalker cyberbully after making such comment. My assumption was that this person was serving that place’s ulterior motives, doing their dirty work. I could be wrong, just how it came across because I never seen such a thing. I checked out of there because I have little tolerance for that.

    It’s nice to know there is a safe place where such topics can be discussed, and are even thoroughly investigated by their writers.

    • Doug Chambers

      As an afterthought, the way to deal with those concerned about horses’ welfare is not by shutting the door on them.

  • Figless

    Cheating will never be eliminated in any sport, but racing can go a long way toward making it rare, at least at the major league level, by increasing penalties for obvious non-therapeutic overages (aka real obvious cheating) and ruthlessly ENFORCING those penalties, including referral of evidence to law enforcement authorities where warranted for race fixing charges.

    Make the penalty fit the crime and crime will decrease significantly.

    • ben

      The industry lacks the will, to clean the house. Too many parties are depending on cheating, as long as they are not caught.

      • Eric

        I agree. I remember about a year ago that a track operator somewhere (I forget where) made an announcement giving 30-60 days warning that the track was going to start testing for elevated levels of Cobalt. They obviously could have set a trap by not warning trainers, and surely they would have caught some trainers red handed. Apparently they did not want to actually catch and punish anyone.

        I also get the sense that the industry treats trainers have have reached a certain stature to be “too big to fail”. Across all breeds (TB, QH, harness) sometimes you read about the trainers that do get hit with lengthy bans, and the trainer is often a person running a small, modestly successful operation, and hardly one of the trainers that you would most suspect of cheating. You wonder if they make an example of the little guy, rather than casting negative publicity by announcing a major penalty on one of the top trainers in the sport.

  • MsMoose

    In the forty years since I first worked at the track, I have seen a light-years difference in the industry. Gone are those guys with fedoras and cigars…..and the track I am familiar with is filled with people dedicated to keeping the sport honest and safe. Maybe Penn National, which is featured in this article, is not …..but PLEASE don’t extend that to the industry as a whole. Not our track! Rigorous pre-and post race exams, thorough testing, strict adherence to vets’ and stewards’ lists ….and a very safe surface: our professionals work hard at this.

    • we’re watching

      I looked up the word naive in the dictionary, and your picture was next to it.
      You are being facetious, right!

    • I love your sense of humor.

      • Mr J

        you sound like an azzhat with this response

  • carlo

    What we need is a racing commissioner like the NFL NBA OR NHL uniform nationwide medication rules and strict penalties for violators

    • Bobbie Irish

      Well I am sure that they cannot test for PED’s in humans and better than they can for horses, so why would those rules and penalties even make a difference?

      • Right, it’s not about rules. We have rules coming out of our anus. What we need is the will of those charged with enforcing and adjudicating them to do their frigging job!

  • Kay

    Articles like this disappoint me as a horseman. It makes it sound like the whole industry is doing something wrong. As I have worked inside racing and I have worked in Corporate America I can say that there is a BAD apple in every business you go. What makes this happen is GREED and it is simple as that. This is a sad commentary on humans but it is not all of them. Just like racing, the majority of trainers are honest hard working people. Yes there are a few bad apples in horse racing but not everyone gives their horses all these various drugs to win races. Some trainers never even heard of them. Basically don’t believe the whole industry is “cheating” just because a few BAD apples.

    • Craig

      That’s simple not true Kay…every race track has trainers that are cheating, EVERYONE! The game has no commissioner or rules to follow and it shows. All you need to do is open a racing form and it becomes obvious of the horses being drugged. I don’t care if it’s Santa Anita or the dumps of Penn National they cheat and cheat daily and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. The problem is the animal has no voice in the matter and is the one suffering the most. The horse racing high ups don’t care about the betting public and it shows, the sport isn’t dying it’s already dead!

      • Kay

        Hi Craig. I did not say there was not a bad apple or 2 at each race track..it is true. However the majority of trainers do not give their horses performance enhancing drugs. I know because I am a small trainer at a small track and I breed my own horses, raise them and train them myself and retire them to my farm. I know that the majority of trainers at my track do not give these to the horses mostly they don’t know about them nor can they afford them. Also you cannot tell by racing form horses that have been drugged. Horses are flesh and blood and cannot speak to you. Like people horses have bad days or horses r sick and show no signs and u don’t find out until after the race..when the horse does not compete the way they should so the trainer must figure out what happened. Sometimes horses require equipment changes at well that trainers find out after race. There is a lot more to training race horses than it appears on surface and it is not as easy either because horses cannot talk to u. If they could talk horse racing would be much easier. Having said this, I do agree that there should be one group in charge and making rules that every track in the US should follow. That would back everything a little more fair for all parties involved.

        • ofmyownaccord

          You said it yourself. Small trainer at a small track, your perspective is extremely limited and naive.

          • Belinda W

            I’m a small trainer at a small track and I will never defend the sport as a whole as having more integrity than what can be contained in a thimble. I’m so small none of my horses run on drugs. If they get Bute for what ails them, they rest at home and they do not go to the races with it. I scope the hell out of my horses. Win or lose , never a drop of blood to be seen….wait lightly raced , hell no we are 20 plus starts . One mare and a formerly 50 plus start 8 year old gelding taken OFF lasix raced drug free and won. Yes for cheap but good God aren’t these the poor souls trainers cry and bemoan the use of bs therapeutic drugs for. All of it is utter bs. WHOA for much of that membership is just as full of bs. Run your freaking magnificent high dollar worthy of retiring to breeding shed at 4 beasts drug free and put your money where your mouth is. This sport is rampant with drug abuse. Unfortunately a great deal of it is “legal ” . So who cares, why bother. At least my damn horses won’t run through fracturing sesamoids bc they can’t feel the extent of the pain thanks to “legal” therapuetic use.

          • Lehane

            Good on you, Belinda.

          • billy

            Awesome absolutely awesome comment so true and so to the point you just named the biggest problems in racing and why people especially young people as myself look down upon it

          • Belinda W

            Who wants to see a horse break down? No one. But when you know there are a myriad of things that can be done that just aren’t being done, and it’s not for lack of funds, it’s disheartening and disgusting. As it stands right now it deserves nothing less than to be looked down upon. I have fun, but not at the expense of my animals . They either like their job or we find another one. They are either 100% naturally sound and capable or we don’t race. It’s not rocket science but so many ppl look at them like lemons….just keep squeezing and squeezing til there isn’t anything left, toss it and get another one.

          • Ky Vet

            only you care more about horses than everybody…..heres a tip…….slow horses dont get as injured…………..they dont put as much stress as fast ones do……

          • Kathryn Papp

            do you own some fast horses mr. vet wannabe?

          • billy

            Fatigued horses do though how slow are you talking here can you tell me the difference in rotational g forces in a 1000 pound animal from say 20 mph to 40 you should also know being a vet that horses have very little laterial flextion in their. Ankles are you even aware of how a horse takes a turn racing

          • Belinda W

            Obviously I do care more than most. Bc my slow horses who somehow posted bullets in groups of 20 plus other horses, must know something you don’t. Or maybe they actally get to communicate they are hurting bc god forbid they can actually feel pain. A fast horse is only as good as it’s legs before they snap.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            Agree. What is WHOA really doing. So many people join, but what do they DO? What example do they set?

          • Belinda W

            They set no precedent. They are weak money grubbing sets of flapping gums who say one thing and do another. All you have to do is look who trains for them and look up the horses owned and what they race on, and you will easily know money is still the main priority.

          • Kay

            Being a small trainer plus CPA plus being on board of directors for HBPA as CPA and involved in national HBPA and on another board for horse racing and breeding my own horses I guess would make me naive about horse racing and whats going on. You r amazing correct.

          • Ky Vet

            idiotic statement…………..the TRAINER speaks the truth…………you are all making up this stuff…………..

      • Ky Vet

        you talk about something you know nothing about……..bad info…………

    • Nobody ever says that all or the majority of horsemen cheat, but enough high profile ones do and that is the problem, because they win more races than they should by tilting the playing field. What the vast majority of horsemen are guilty of, however, is not banding together and taking action against the cheaters, because the actions of these crooks have the very real possibility of ending racing as we have come to know it. I would start with the HBPA. These clown are not helping rid the sport of cheaters, they are supporting them.

      • Hamish

        Your local HBPA/THA organization motto: “Horsemen helping horsemen.” That slogan needs some serious amending!

        • takethat

          Next we will be hearing the ‘Horsemen’ blaming the Russians.

          An attorney for Mario Serey Jr. on Tuesday argued at a hearing in front of the stewards at Penn National Racecourse that a recent spate of positives in the trainer’s barn for the regulated medication clenbuterol was the result of sabotage, the attorney said.

          Alan Pincus, who has represented several trainers in Pennsylvania in medication cases over the past several years, said that he told the stewards on Tuesday that Serey had strong reason to believe that an employee he fired late last year had administered clenbuterol to the horses without Serey’s knowledge.

          “An employee he fired threatened him, said he was going to get him, and the exact horses [the employee] galloped were the ones that came back positive,” Pincus said. “We believe they are sabotage.”

          • Hysterical.

          • Ky Vet

            Barry……..would the trainer know and run these horses if they would come back positive?…….would a horse actually run better because of the levels?
            What is exactly hysterical? Do you think the trainer cheated? Did he try to cash a bet? You are over rating the effect it has on horses…….not a perfect crime, because if you knew anything about this, those horses were not likely to run any better……..but you call this “cheating ” don’t you?

          • Some of these trainers are so hooked on Clenbuterol they cannot help themselves. Plus they are lousy record keepers. If you truly are a vet, then you know the additional side benefits of the drugs aside from its originally intended use.

          • Ky Vet

            you are over rating this whole thing………..

          • Kathryn Papp

            right, ramon preciado, what 11 clenbuterol positives, all fake? uh huh ok

          • Kathryn Papp

            They used to not have the equipment in PA labs to pick up clenbuterol closer than 7 days. trainers took advantage of this and made educated guesses about using less and that the new rules wouldnt be enforced. then the testing improved! wow, no vet ive ever known would even speak as daftly as you do

          • billy

            Do you know who ramon preciado is….are you aware of what he did he was suspended for what he did and had his license revoked for him cheating what makes this even better is that within 2 weeks his girlfriend took over and started running horses he trained or bought at auction on a side note the horse Lucy and ethel won a stakes at Saratoga for j.a.g racing for Chloe bradley preciados girlfriend formerly trained by preciado do you know why the horse was ran in her name because preciado was possibly facing sanctions what makes it more interesting is that Lucy and ethel was transfered to Tom amoss to avoid all this and the good part do you know how many horse j.a.g racing has with preciado keep an eye on the entry box for ms bradley now is this not all cheating and corruption

      • Thoroughbred fan

        Barry, you are sounding a lot like a sour grapes owner. What’s the matter, you are not having enough success buying made horses for extravagant prices, charging your clients a huge management fee and then, when you reach the pinnacle of the sport by winning the Derby, you waste your 15 minutes of fame running down the rest of the Industry? Your behavior after the impressive contest by Animal Kingdom revealed your true character, and your statements in this forum only reinforce it. You are an HBPA member, if you are so disgusted, run for office. Attend the conventions. Get on the program as a speaker. Write for the Horseman’s Journal. That’s how things are changed, not by spouting off whenever and whereever you are provided a platform, but by grassroots hard work. I have been impressed with how hard the HBPA works for horse racing. If we all put in a little effort supporting the organization, the entire industry would benefit. Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

        • I guess the only way people like you can hope to make a point is by trying to run down my character. Good luck. WHOA is a true grass roots organization, not like the HPBA. Look what the HBPA has done to Florida racing right now today, for just one example. I have been writing OP-ED pieces for more than 35 years and I think I have moved the ball a bit. I had a choice to make several year ago: whether to join/run for office in various organizations or whether to use my writing to generate progress. I chose the latter. I am pretty sure that I am on the right side of the drugs issue. I support the horse and the sport, not the denigrating of either. A horse and the sport are not tools, they are living, breathing things not there to be exploited.

          • Ky Vet

            calling trainers “cheaters”……..that is “character?”…….maybe there is something you do well, but the “drug” issue is not one of them……it’s not hard persuading people “no drugs ever”……..sounds good! Not many people know anything about this……..

          • greg

            If calling a cheater a cheater is a flaw I don’t see it. It’s funny, I have called and named several trainers out by name on many public forums, I get a warning “Greg, be careful or you’ll get sued for slander or libel, the thing is no cheater is going to sue because that would require them to produce evidence that would make my point without question, a lawsuit is the LAST thing they want

          • Kathryn Papp

            What exactly do you do well KY VET??

      • Ky Vet

        What do they cheat with barry? Name the way they are cheating……

        • Kathryn Papp

          Darbypoetin – aranesp – have one recovering from natural erythropoetin aplasia right now on the mend 12 transfusions later moron

          • gus stewart

            I didnt respond to the legendary ky vet poster. I think sometimes in such an open forum as this which is good, ya gotta just turn the page on some comments. Hope the recovery goes well

      • longtimehorsewoman

        Exactly!!

    • Ex-Racetracker

      You know what they say “One bad apple spoils the barrel”. The lack of will within our industry to effectively deter and catch the cheaters is causing us a slow death. People will not gravitate or participate in a sport that is known to “abuse” animals with drugs. I have been in this industry continually since the 60’s—Joe’s assessment of the state or our industry is dead on.

      • Ray S. Fine

        Not according to Ky Vet. According this a-hole everything is fine and dandy. That’s the biggest problem with this “sport”: the people in it.

    • Ky Vet

      People think they know the game……….they ignorantly call people “cheaters” when they are not cheating……….they dont know that running lame horses is bad for business…..they don’t understand that a trainers job is to “manage” a horse, “manage” his problems etc………..racing a horse once every couple months, because he has problems, IS humane…………these people diont know that these horses are treated unbelievably great………its good for business…….

      • Kathryn Papp

        Guess what, before i knew better, I supplied the cheaters you ignorant POS. I KNOW for 110% fact it goes on every single day on our backside

        • billy

          I have tremedious respect for you standing up the way you have for the horses and I have the ultimate respect for admitting your wrongs for what you’ve done and doing what you have to move forward

          • Kathryn Papp

            I will never be able to undo what was done, but I will spend the rest of my life and energy trying to make up for it. I have since founded an OTTB rescue and only work for owners who prove to me that they truly have their horses’ interest at heart. I also try and educate and offer alternatives with better long term outcomes whenever possible. Hopefully, one day we will improve

          • billy

            You have a great mind and a good heart I appreciate the fire you’ve brought to penn your the only person ive seen to speak up for the horses there I’ve seen and read the rulings from there and I’m sure they don’t like being told how it is by you.

      • Kay

        Thank you! Yes being a trainer is doing the best possible thing for your horse and protecting them and keeping them as healthy and happy as you can so that horse can compete to the best of their ability and come out of the race in one piece so that they can run again:)!

  • Rene Lawand

    The goal for the industry is a level playing field. I
    have always believed that anabolic steroids do not make the horse run faster. They
    make the horse happier and stronger.

    According to EquiMed:

    Recent
    scientific studies show that anabolic steroids have not proven to be of benefit
    to the horse.

    Have you ever seen a clinical trial on Anabolics and
    performance enhancing? I haven’t!

    The major bad effects of these drugs may have a dramatic
    effect when the horse is used in breeding. Trainers with horses expected to be
    valuable in breeding must be cautious.

    Level playing field must be the goal. Although the
    wealthy and wealthy trainers are a minority, they have the ability to use
    masking agents when using these drugs. I am not branding all as there are some
    fantastic wealthy who love the horse and the industry. When the wealthy cheater
    can be stopped, then and only then will the industry be able to chart a course
    toward parity.

    I will conclude that anabolic steroids in my opinion are
    not the devil, they should be banned until we have clinical trials supporting
    my opinion.

    • BeastBob

      Steroid treatment doesn’t directly improve performance. It enhances horses’ recovery and help them keeping their weights, thus steroid + EPO = training machine!!!

    • You are dead wrong. Stronger horses with more muscles run faster.

  • BeastBob

    Steroid treatment (because it enhances recovery and reduces weight loss) is recommended when using or training on EPO!!!

  • I sadly predict that the only action that will possibly change the culture of cheating by horsemen, vets and owners is if an organization(s) like PETA gains enough traction with politicians to threaten regulatory cessation of racing. Anybody that thinks this is not possible is a fool.

    • Will Styles

      We don’t need the federal government in horse racing. How about buying better horses or building a better team. Why is it when someone’s horse can’t win it’s always the other guys fault. It’s always the guy that is winning is to blame for using peds. I’ve heard this excuse at tracks all over the country.

      • I have been complaining about this crap for more than a dozen years and I have won a few races in the interim. Where in my comment was the federal government mentioned? You must be a troll or somebody hiding behind a new screen name, because you don’t pass the smell test fella.

        • Will Styles

          I’ve been posting here for years. Love me or hate me. I speak the truth as I know it through my eyes and my own experiences. Some good some bad. I’m sorry if my opinion doesn’t fit your perfect world. But I still love racing. The real problem with the decline in racing is greed and what goes on at the sales. Like when Casse paid 800k for and Adios Charlie at OBS for Conquest Stable. We were all laughing behind the scene. Knowing just how the owner got took on that one. Guess what he got beat for 60 million with little to show for it. Now he’s out of the game for good.

          • Bobbie Irish

            He got beat with 60 million?

          • Lawrence R

            Relax Bobbie, Conquest Stable dispersed their stable recently for $62 mill.They will not miss any meals and can still pay the rent.

          • Erin Casseday

            First, Conquest Stables was not owned by Eugene Klein as Will Styles stated. Mr. Klein passed away in 1990. Now he did own the San Diego Chargers and a couple of really nice race mares, Winning Colors and Lady’s Secret.

          • Bobbie Irish

            60 million what? Horses? Expensive horses?

          • Will Styles

            Eugene Kline owner of Conquest Stables lost close to 60 million in 4 1/2 years of buying and racing horses. His trainer was Mark Casse, who also picked out the horses purchased. Do I need to say anymore?

          • Erin Casseday

            Well first off, Eugene Klein was not the owner of Conquest Stables. It was owned and started by Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell when they bought their first horse in 2012.

            Now, Eugene Klein, who passed away in 1990, did own a football team a couple of pretty nice race mares.

            So, lets see, that makes you just about as believable a KY Vet.

          • Lawrence R

            What an incredable , stupid, ignorant remark by Mr. Styles. Eugene Klein
            of the garment industry, the San Diego Chargers, Winning Colors and Wayne Lukas. A true sportsman long gone.

          • Erin Casseday

            Agreed.

          • Will Styles

            My bad, I always get those two owners confused. Either way he lost 60 million with little to show for it.

          • Lawrence R

            Obviously you are totally uniformed on the subject of Conquest Stable.The stable was dispersed recently for $62 million dollars. Whether the 2 partners came out in the black or not is of no consequence They won a lot of Stakes and had a lot of fun along the way. Be careful when you laugh at people as it shows your true colors…GREEN.

          • Will Styles

            Lawrence Conquest Stables got next to nothing at dispersal at the sale for their horses. 62 million? That’s a joke. The highest priced horse they sold was Conquest Enforcer for 785k to my man Looch. I know I was at the sale. They took a bath at the dispersal sale. Guess what? The minute it left Casses barn it won two stakes one was even graded. They one next to nothing with Casse. He paid 800k for and Adios Charlie at OBS, we were all laughing behind the scenes how Conquest Stables got took on that one. Yes Ernie and his partner lost close to 60 million in 4 short years. By the way where do you get your facts from CNN? Cause your posts show you know little about racing. Especially when you think losing 60 million with few stakes wins is having fun.

          • Will Styles

            Get your facts straight. It’s on keenlands website they did and article after the sale. Conquest Stable sold 46 horses for a total of $6.8 million. Not 62 million. Wake up and stop making things up.

          • Lawrence R

            I stand corrected. Typo, I meant 12 million . My point being That is still a lot of change and that figure did not include all of the horses to be sold,
            tax consequences and money earned. Sure he lost some money, so what? No reason for you and your friends to go snickering behind his back. what is $60 million to a billionaire? Thats the kind of money you can’t even dream about. Did he in some way hurt racing ,take money out of your pocket? You mixed him up with Klein. I suppose in your mind he was a stupid sucker too. Since you take joy in insulting and making fun of people.Here comes my insult. What were you doing at the sale? walking around with the shovel and bucket?

          • Will Styles

            You made me laugh quite hard Lawrence. I wish I were shoveling poo then at least I would have a guaranteed check. I’m on commission. If I don’t find horses to buy I don’t get paid. I work hard finding good horses to buy, whether I’m buying horses with form or broodmares in foal or yearlings. My clients make money. Or they don’t come back. But it’s nearly impossible to buy anything of quality when our foal crops are abismal and a dozen outfits hold everything above a wooden nickel. Thank god I own my own company and don’t depend on buying or selling horses to pay my bills.

          • billy

            70 percent of the foal crop don’t even make it to the track for numerous reasons and you think more horses should be bred don’t you believe we already have issues with unwanted horses people involved say horses are bred to race and love to run if that is the case racing wouldn’t have a horse shortage

          • Will Styles

            Well in my opinion people aren’t breeding racehorse like they use to because of several factors. 1. The costs of hay, feed,vet bills to general care are way to high. It’s become a real financial burden to the little breeder. 2. There Isn’t enough of a demand to buy thoroughbred horses at the sale or privately. 3. The purses at most tracks aren’t enough to pay the bills on the horses when they eventually reach the track. You make a good point about them not reaching the track. I think it’s a lack of qualified horseman working with the animals. Either way we’re in a death spiral.

        • Will Styles

          I’ve met you twice hustling book. Once at Gulfstream and once at Palm Meadows training center. Sorry you don’t remember me I must have been a fly on your shoe. Its ok at least you can’t fire me like all the others. Last I checked we haven’t banned free speech yet in our industry but I’m sure your working on it.

          • ofmyownaccord

            So the guy who bragged about gambling 200K last year is a nothing more than a lowlife jocks agent? haha no wonder you bragged about match races in the desert being better than sanctioned racing….what a joke.

          • Will Styles

            When did a jockeys agent become a low life? You have no idea how hard it was to get on horses at premium meets. I once walked the soles literally off of my tennis shows with in a week. To boot the agent gets paid hardly anything if the rider doesn’t win and has to take abuse from trainers and owners quite often when we don’t win. I don’t agent anymore because I make way more money buying, selling and gambling on the horses and running my own company. Yes match races where owners are putting up 100k or better heads up against another owners horse is far more exciting then what the regulated tracks put on today. To bad you have never seen it in person. You might actually like it.

        • greg

          Barry, complaining doesn’t carry much weight if nothing is done, I have a saying “If you know something’s wrong and do nothing about it, you lose the right to complain” Please don’t mention the 1st amendment (I know Barry won’t but other’s may) make a commitment and use the information to attempt to make a change, in our previous conversations you said you were in the process, any progress??

          • For a guy that was as discreet as you were, I am stunned you would ask that question in a public forum. You know how to reach me if you really want an answer to that question.

          • greg

            I apologize, seems generic enough, wasn’t my intent

          • Ky Vet

            He has done alot for the “no meds ever” movement…….

          • Ky Vet

            spreading bad info….

      • Love the Game

        The Federal government is already in our business dummy. The Interstate Horse Racing Act ( IHRA) passed in 1978 legalized simulcast wagering across state lines and gave our industry a monopoly on interstate wagering. Where do you think this industry would be without It???? You want it repealed??

      • paulferschke

        oh yea lets put them in charge ask a vet waiting at the va how that’s working

    • gus stewart

      Correct barry we finally agree.

    • Ky Vet

      Anyone that thinks “no meds” in this sport, is the way to go…….is IGNORANT! You want to forget technological advances in care?……..
      Why do you call this “cheating?’…..It’s a joke how you call these non performance enhancing drugs cheating. When you sprain an ankle, do you use ice? compression? Cooling paste?…….is this cheating? You are taking an injury, and taking out the swelling right? How is that not cheating?……you STILL are injured right?…….So…..can a horse use these things? Is it running an injured horse?….Do you NOT KNOW inflammation causes pain?…. so how are these treatments different than using a drug for inflammation?……..CAN YOU NOT FIGURE OUT that if you outlaw lasix, you just go back to the old way of withdrawl?…..
      Do you not know steroids have saved many lives? Human and horses?
      Steroids are bad?…..you are bad for the sport sir, because you pass along BAD information, and call trainers “cheaters”…..SHAME ON YOU.
      Racing is made up of people that love the sport, why don’t you stick to what you know, losing money for your investors……..You don’t know about vet care………….

      • Ky Vet

        peta?……….not gonna happen………….another case of ignorant bad info…………..it will never ever happen…….how you can try to sell that shows what you know……..

        • Patrick Kane

          You may be just as ignorant; the PETA comment is not implausible, never thought I would be forced by law to by a product (obamacare). Anyway, injecting ankles may be ok, but injecting a racing soon thereafter is unethical and dangerous, in horses and humans.

          • Ky Vet

            that is small minded…………

          • Bobbie Irish

            Young group here, eh? You were actually forced to “buy” a product, not “by” it. And not sure what you mean by “injecting a racing soon thereafter is unethical and dangerous…..” What? In English, please

          • Patrick Kane

            Missed the ‘u’ and left out “a joint and…” Sorry mr perfect, or should I say Richard Cranium

          • Bobbie Irish

            Say whatever you want. Just clean it up.

        • Kathryn Papp

          why don’t u share your real identity with us? Only cowards and morons stand behind fake names

        • Peter Scarnati

          Hmmm. PETA not gonna happen. That’s what folks in the greyhound industry said about 20 years ago..
          How’d that work out?

          • Bobbie Irish

            If PETA happens, you can say goodbye to all activities with horses. That is the end game of PETA. To stop the use of ALL ANIMALS by humans, even your little puppy dog and kitten. Let them go freeeeeee……

          • longtimehorsewoman

            That is true. PETA does not believe people should even have pets.
            They admit to taking in puppies and killing them, because it’s better for then to be dead than to be pets. Hopefully their leader will die eventually and whoever takes over may have a better perspective.+

          • Bobbie Irish

            I doubt it. That philosophy
            is in their by laws. It is what the organization is structured on.

      • Larry Sterne

        If they need a pain med 2 run they should not be racing.

        • Ky Vet

          Are you joking?……..have you ever played sports? all athletes deal with pain………where do you draw the line? Horses break their legs EVERY time they run…..thousands of micro fractures. Pain is caused by inflammation……EVERY horse therefore is in pain……….your comment is a joke

          • Doug Chambers

            The thing that makes these athletes unique is that they cannot speak for themselves. This is the biggest issue I have with the sport. The lives they are subjected to is unnatural, and they don’t have word in the matter.

            We are told they love to run, but wouldn’t you if the rare time you were let out of your stall was to run?

            At times there comes a horse that captures my attention and heart, and I watch its races, but a fan of the sport I am not. Not here to beat on anyone that is, I’m just saying that I wish it were more natural, but that would mean a whole overhaul of the system and I just don’t see that happening.

          • Ky Vet

            do you know the mortality rate of horses out in the wild? Or how about on a farm?……do you know they step in holes? on rocks? etc? Your view is laughable……..like you’ve never seen a backstretch before……go wrap yourself in bubble wrap…………be safe……….

          • Ray S. Fine

            And you’re in “growing” the sport while you enrich yourself speaks for itself, genius ,as does your explanation for why so many other jurisdictions don’t see the need for your drug addled bs.

          • Ky Vet

            How about some knowledge?……..what drugs? what drugs are you against? Name them……….

          • Bobbie Irish

            That’s what I am waiting to see. What drugs? If there is no trace of a drug in the horse’s system, such as a previously used steroid, how does it help the horse? Please, would like to know.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            Do you? Yes, the mortality rate in the wild is so high that there are too many mustangs. On farms where horses are out 24/7 mortality rates are much lower than for farms where horse spend a good portion of the day in stalls. Colic rates are higher with horses who are stalled. Horse who are out all day are not running around like lunatics, It is horse who have been stalled for hours who injure themselves because they are so excited to get out and have so much pent up energy. I see you as a person who should not be a vet, because you don’t really seem to care about horses.

          • Bobbie Irish

            A good example of horse torture happened next to my ranch. A guy bought a bunch of colts at auction, just western bred horses, to break, train and sell for a profit. He was then busted for a serious crime. So there are (were) still 5 horses left in his tiny corrals. There was suppose to be someone taking care of them. Their weight looked fine. The hay they put in for them were large bales, one per pen, and the hay was black. I wouldn’t feed it to ANYTHING! Apparently they were watered. Anyway, they lived through all that. Last week I drove down to get my mail. Since the horses are right across from my mail box, I could see that it looked like one was cast, up against the fence. I just had foot surgery, so knew I couldn’t do anything, but drove over, so I could see how bad it was, so I could call the property owner. The poor colt was dead. Frozen stiff. Made me physically sick. Called the owner, left a message about what I thought. Called Sheriff’s department. That was it. They came with a tractor and took the dead horse out. Dragged him out for the coyotes and bald eagle to eat, once he thaws out. This is the “real life of common horses”, in most of the west. Horses die all the time because of lack of food or water. When it’s -40, they have to be taken care of. All horses, other than race horses, are NOT well cared for. In fact, I would dare to say, the opposite is true.

          • Doug Chambers

            Do you know how many horses die on the tracks? Or how about in training?…On the rest, right back at ya.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            One of the biggest lies told is that horses love to run. Meaning in races. Yes, Thoroughbreds love to run. For FUN. I’ve had a herd including several TB’s for many years. They live a natural life out 24/7. They do not run every day. And when they do run – for play – they run for about 5 minutes and then get back to eating. They do not run as hard as they would in a race, except for maybe a quarter mile. They are just running for the sake of feeling their power and enjoying themselves. That is very different from loving to race. There ARE horses who love racing, but they are pretty few and far between. I owned one – he was 21 at the time. His name was Gran Judgement. I rescued him from starvation. Once he was healthy, he would get the other horses running, he would slip far behind them, then when he determined the time was right, he would turn on the afterburners and fly by all of them. He is the only horse I knew personally who appeared to have loved racing. At the track, the reason horses “love to run” is that they are basically like border collies that have been in a crate all day. They are in an artificial state of being.

          • gus stewart

            Ok, i can agree with your comment for most parts. But we are living in today and where we are at today. Just like immigration problems,, so how do we take care of existing horses, it all cost money, who is going to pay for feed and vet bills and farm up keep. I guess we could shut down breeding farm or limit breeding ect, im a racing fan 40 yrs, rode a little as a kid, and part owned a few. So i get your point but it a difficult situation to fix.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            I agree, but just because something is difficult is not a reason to discard the idea. Things are done differently in the UK. There are not horses stabled at the track, they are stabled in training yards and shipped in to race. They manage it. If I had the money, I would open a training center with multiple tracks – synthetic, turf, dirt. I would have training on hills,etc There would be paddocks for the horses and for those braver souls, like myself, fields where horses could live out together. There are a lot of known issues caused by horses living in stalls, from loss of bone density to colic, to air quality, ulcers, and depression. Horses develop things like stall walking, cribbing, weaving, etc. – those are caused by horses not being cave dwellers, but plains dwellers. Horses are hardwired to live in social groups. I truly believe that horses raised and cared for in a more natural way would race better. I have a 2-year-old who was born in my herd (with geldings and mares) and has lived in that herd ever since. He was gelded just before he turned 2. He was not allowed to breed any mares, because horses in nature are not allowed to breed at 2. The mares themselves keep it that way. My plan is to not race him until 4 or even 5, but to start ponying him on trails and open fields to get him conditioned without bearing weight – because horses should not be ridden until age 4 at the earliest So he will be at his full strength before he races. He will not already have bad ankles because his bones, ligaments, and tendons will be mature and hardened.. He will continue to live in the herd for his entire life, shipping in to race. It’s my hope that he will race at his full potential, aided by true conditioning, not what passes for conditioning today, and that people will see that there are better ways to raise and race horses.

          • Bobbie Irish

            Good idea. People will not be able to race their stallions this way, however. And your comment about how the mares kept your colt from breeding them, because apparently, they KNOW it’s too young; you were just plain LUCKY! I know of quite a few cases, where colts bred mares when the colt was a yearling, usually a long yearling. Working for a large animal vet in the west, one is exposed to that kind of thinking. It’s not true people, for all horses, so don’t go leaving your 22 month old colts out with your mares. You might be in for a surprise!

          • Bobbie Irish

            Allowing all horses to be taken back to their perspective
            “yards” would seem to increase the chance of “drugging”, especially with all the designer “drugs” that people here say are in use. Surely they can get the same thing in Britain?

          • longtimehorsewoman

            It is different when horses are in a natural herd. Horses that come into stalls and then go into turnout for the day are not the same as horses who live together 24/7. When Oz was interested in More Oysters, in the spring before he turned one by birthday, he would stand near her and sniff the air, curling his lip, etc. She would give him a look that in no uncertain terms told him to get lost. As did all the mares. They do understand he was a baby. The mares conditioned him to leave them alone. However, I knew that at 3 he would not be so easy to discourage and had him gelded. At least one study has proven that mares are not attracted to stallions with high voices – read babies.. In the wild colts are not gelded and live in the herd without breeding until 3 or 4, at which point they have to move out and form bachelor herds. So it was not “luck”, it was knowledge. Yes, a gamble, but a small one. There were 9 mares in the herd at the time, yet not one was interested in him, How do I know the horses realize he’s a baby? They let him eat their grain if he wants, and they all share hay with him. None of the horses, including the most food aggressive mare, ever lay teeth on him or kick him. His dam died when he was 2 days old. My mustang mare, adopted him and raised him. Shortly before he turned 2, Roxanna (the mustang) figured she had done enough and actually moved herself to a different herd. My lead mare, Shadow then took him on, and he eats with her – the only horse allowed anywhere near her hay, and even grain when they get some. Eventually the horses will start to treat him like an adult, gradually educating him as to what is correct horse behavior. I have seen this with a filly raised in the herd. As for stallions, the Lippizan stallions in Austria live together in herds until they are 4. This includes time in a very large “stall” where they all live together. I had a stallion with a gelding and it worked out quite well. Stallions live together in bachelor bands in the wild. Horses are horses whether they are TB’s or not. They are 65 million years old and it’s in their DNA to be herd animals and have strict social rules. No matter what people think. The lack of understanding of horses’ true nature at the racetrack is pretty sad. For example, horses, by nature do not want to be first in the herd (except for rare alpha horses) and they do not want to be last either. Those are the 2 most dangerous spots in the herd. We have all seen horses that finish 2nd or 3rd consistently by never seem to win. that is not an accident. The horse does not want to be first, he or she is in a safe spot so to speak. And other horses who are more alpha will actually “tell” another horse not to pass them. People think of horses as stupid and not caring about things, but that is not the case. Horses have their ways, and those ways are in their DNA. If more people understood horse nature, they could be much more successful. People are just uneducated. Well, of course some are stupid.

          • gus stewart

            I cant argue with your vision or remedies. As i stated racing needs to be rebranded and rethought. It must be more acceptable to people as a whole to insure in thier minds that horses are treated the best in the business of being a racehorse. I obviously can gather u do care. I also think as a fan or a gambling fan. there also is still a negative perception. I think this also needs to be addressed as other forms of gambling poker or betting on sports is somewhat more acceptable. Obviously not the case, as far who profits from those forms of gambling.. not many. so this can also be worked on.. thanks again

          • longtimehorsewoman

            I agree with you. People are tired of the perception of cheating, they are tired of seeing horses break down on TV. They are tired of seeing horses whipped. The fact is that the old ways are just that – old. We have so much more information on horses than ever before. we have a lot of science on conditioning and horse health, etc. Most of which appears to be ignored by trainers. We know what it takes to strengthen tendons and help prevent injury. Necropsies on horses that have broken down and been euthanized have proven that the horses had pre-existing conditions and the “bad step” is a myth. But racing continues to blame the bad step, which makes the general public believe racing is inherently dangerous and that it can’t be avoided. Just recently there was an article about bad steps. a soft spot was blamed. However, at Santa Anita, there is a big difference in surface where the horses must cut across the dirt portion of the track during turf races. If a change is surface is so deadly why are not horses falling left and right there? Racing is dishonest at it’s core. No one is ready to stand up and demand change. Racing officials appear to have no desire to get the cheats out of the sport. Which is really an improper description – it is a business, and an unkind one at that. I do believe racing could be a lot better and I would love it to be better. But there is no incentive for anyone to be honest, other than their own integrity. Punishments are a joke, excuses are rampant. What is the answer?

          • gus stewart

            Im always in spare time trying to get people to listen and adjust. I have put my thoughts on This blog several times so we will see. Now back to my other two businesses,, be well

          • Doug Chambers

            What a gracious guy, that Gus.

          • Doug Chambers

            I’m impressed. I do believe that would be good for the sport. Other attempts to attract outsiders into the sport, attempts that are not founded in a horse’s welfare, are a temporary fix that won’t last in the long run.

          • Doug Chambers

            The difficulty may be in the willingness of others to go along, especially if they are looking at their interests first.

            I agree that breeding should be limited, and would love to see other changes. Can the changes be funded with industry funds? Why not create legislation that requires an appropriate percentage goes to a horses welfare and improvement of living?

          • Doug Chambers

            It’s only common sense. One does not have to be an expert in the field, or a horseman/woman, to know that the “artificial state of being” is not an appropriate place to start when considering what a horse loves.

            And thanks for clarifying because loving to run and loving to race are two different things. It’s not the same.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            You’re absolutely right! And sadly, it is the average person with little to no horse experience that most clearly sees the abuse in racing. Horses kept in what with any other species would be seen as cages, rampant use of the whip, etc. I tell people to imagine a long barn with 12 foot cages along its length and then imagine tigers in those cages. There would be an outcry of protest at the animal cruelty. Just because something is widespread or has existed for a long time, doesn’t make it right. “This is the way we’ve done it” should not be an excuse. Ignorance of what horses (or any animal) needs to be mentally, emotionally, or physically healthy should not be an excuse to use and abuse animals.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            Yes, they do. But they are human and make a choice. Horses do not make a choice. You are defending the status quo and it is the status quo that is killing horses, and is going to kill racing in the end.

          • Bobbie Irish

            Racing is dying on its own. It has nothing to do with drugs. It is the lack of equine “stars”, the fact that when one appears, it soon disappears to the breeding shed, some after only a few races at two (before they lose desire, or break down). Don’t understand why a serious breeder would breed to any of these two year old flash in the pans? For what reason?

          • Bobbie Irish

            So you say that EVERY horse break their legs, with visible (on x-ray, US or whatever) every time they race? Every time? All horses?

          • Jim

            You can’t really be a vet

        • Ky Vet

          you dont use tylenol?

          • Gls

            There is treatment for healing and treatment for an edge, if you don’t know the difference then maybe you shouldn’t be a vet. If I sprain my ankle I don’t take Tylenol and run on it.

          • Richard Holmes

            GIs, You are exactly right. If you have an injured leg and you take a painkiller and run on the leg, that would be very dangerous. You could make the injury much worse. This is obviously common sense. It is amazing that anyone would argue with that.

          • Chumsmo

            And if I do injure or break that leg after taking the pain killer, they don’t have to put me down. Huge difference comparing an injured human playing on pain meds vs an injured horse running on pain meds. One gets surgery and a cast, the other meets its maker.

          • Bein

            Add to this that horses are extremely stoic about pain. They don’t talk about it and they don’t show it. Imagine trying to assess the seriousness of an injury with those traits and an anti-inflammatory involved.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            An excellent point! Horses, like birds and other prey animals hide pain as long as they can. It is a matter of survival, the weak are the first target of predators. When you do see pain in a horse, you can bet it has been there a while and they just can no longer hide it.

          • Jim

            Nailed it

          • ben

            I,am having scolliose, once and a while my back really hurts. My proffesional work is installing pavement blocks for more than 30 yrs.

            When my back really hurts iam visiting an accupuncturist and an osteopaat.

            Take 2 wks off and no medications. Painkillers making my situation only worse.

            25 yrs ago I was promised a hand driven wheelchair by an Prof. Dr Surgeon.

            I quarantee that the horsies can miss the flow from medications as well, but quite a few vet,s needs to search for another job.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            Tylenol will not help someone with a sprained ankle compete. Yes, let a horse with arthritis have an ASPIRIN. But horses are not being given aspirin.

      • SteveTG

        If you’re a vet, I’m an astronaut.

        • Ky Vet

          make a point!…..

          • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

            He did, and quite gracefully.

          • SteveTG

            Horses cannot advocate for themselves. There should be a bright line between ill or injured horses who should receive whatever therapeutic medication is required to aid in their recovery & healthy horses who should be able to compete without medication. That is the ethical position which has been blurred & in some cases, erased in order to feed the racing machine. Of course, treating horses humanely with conservative first practices will starve the racing machine. Therefore, when the choice presents itself to either do the humane, time-consuming & costly thing or the expedient thing, it’s necessary to stretch & stretch the boundaries of vet care beyond what we know is right. That’s the culture & since the practices are entrenched, have morphed their own rationale, right becomes wrong and wrong becomes right. That’s my “point”.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            Absolutely!

          • Bobbie Irish

            If it is true, as Ky Vet says, that EVERY horse has all kind of tiny breaks, EVERY time they run, then there is no use in worrying about racing or race horses. It will be stopped. That simple. Just like pit fighting with dogs. But horses will be harder to hide from authorities. The Thoroughbred breed will simply disappear.

          • billy

            Spot on couldn’t be more correct

        • Ky Vet

          well……..i’m sure you’ve been to ur anus

      • Will Styles

        Ky vet, your post is spot on. The ignorance of some of the people here is astounding. All these partnerships do is lose investors money. Worse part the people who have invested have little say if any in desicions that are made. They have to blame someone or something for why they lost their clients money. 99% of trainers run a clean program I’ve met. Most have a hard time just keeping up with paying for bute, banamine, depo etc. Thank you for your post.

        • Ky Vet

          yes! The people on the backside love these horses……..these “no drugs” people dont understand that medicine saves lives…….they want to go back to using “leeches?”

          • Lawrence R

            Actually they are used today, in modern medicine terms and are quite valuable for certain injuries and burns.

          • Kathryn Papp

            Drugs proven to help not hurt should be used and only in the presence of a accurate diagnosis which is missing 90% of the time! Depo proven to destroy cartilage. Triamcinolone and betameth help. it is NOT cut and dried AND medicating should not be done to make a race or base on racing dates

      • Richard Holmes

        Ky Vet, Do you equate icing an ankle to injecting an ankle? Do you deny that the number of horses breaking down would be cut dramatically if injecting ankles was illegal? I know that a ban on injecting ankles would hurt field size, but it would cut the number of horses breaking down dramatically. I’m not suggesting that we necessarily need to ban injecting ankles entirely. But if it’s going to be legal, it should only be done with the approval and oversight of the state veterinarian. If a trainer wants to inject an ankle, the state vet should be required to take an x-ray of the ankle and make sure that they think injecting the ankle would be safe.

        • Ky Vet

          what world do you live in……..too many regulations…….thats just dumb……..so, injecting is bad, ice, or compression not? How about other things that reduce swelling?…….how about draining of fluid ?….where is your line?……..ban something, then they use something else……….you want a vet to feed the horse too? and what can they eat? can they eat things that reduce swelling?

          • Richard Holmes

            Ice is obviously good. I have never talked to anyone that didn’t think ice was good. It is good and it is totally safe. Injecting an ankle with acid and a tiny bit of vetalog can be fine in some cases but it can also be very dangerous if you don’t know exactly what is causing the swelling. That is why I would recommend the state vet taking an x-ray and checking to make sure that there is no hairline fracture in there. Granted I realize that there could be a hairline fracture that is not detectable, but no system is perfect.

            The current system is obviously broken. We have hundreds of horses breaking down each year. You think that is fine? You think we should just continue with the current system? By the way, thousands of fans and bettors have abandoned the sport because of the lack of integrity. The sport needs to be cleaned up. I don’t know how anyone (who knows what’s going on) could deny that. You obviously don’t want major changes because it would hurt your bottom line drastically. I wouldn’t expect any track vets to want major changes when it comes to drugs. If major changes are made, track vets would probably lose over half their income. To say that track most track vets are a little bit bias on this issue would be an understatement.

          • Meg Hiers

            heck, just having a running log/database of when the joints of horses in training are injected would be a nice start. At least that way claimed horse A that was injected before the race isn’t injected again less than a week later because of the vet privacy laws.

          • Ky Vet

            Why do this? I’ve claimed many horses……most have……don’t need a data base……….what is it you think will change? Nothing will……if not injections, then we use other ways……….You all go crazy about lasix……it just makes a horse pee……..its quicker………if not lasix, you just take away water and food for longer…………..you people are funny!

          • Kathryn Papp

            right, we will let their electrolytes become so imbalanced to the point that the potassium and calcium disruptions will stop their heart and muscles from performing their normal functions

          • Bobbie Irish

            It has to be that ALL or most of you folks are anti racing. Because there is no way to race horses as most of you suggest. Just get on board with PETA.

          • Rhett Fincher

            No way that you know of. Treating horses as a tool is the way of todays racing. There are more efficient ways to get a horse to want to follow the humans lead minus the force, fear and intimidation used by most trainers. Take chains for example. How many racehorses get lead anywhere without one? If you really understand how horses think, you would never need a chain or tranquilizers and Lasix wouldn’t be on the menu.

          • Bobbie Irish

            Lasix is for horses that bleed, which is most of them, as it has been bred into them. It isn’t to change their temperament or disposition, or to get them to be more cooperative. I don’t know why they always use chains, even on the mares and geldings. I’ve had a couple stallions I’ve used chains on at shows and when breeding. Usually at a show, just for the initial excitement. A couple hours and they are fine without a chain. At a show or racetrack, you are responsible for your horse, and how it acts. Anything can go haywire where you have bunches of horses who don’t know each other. Have seen lose stallions running around, with people chasing them (more than once), lose foals, crazy mares, just about anything you can think of. Things you can’t duplicate at home or the training arena.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            Absolutely true! Sadly very few at the track actually understand horses, and it’s very much monkey see monkey do – things done for no other reason than that others are doing it!

          • longtimehorsewoman

            You cannot be a vet. It is a fact that using Lasix, and Bute, and keeping horses in stalls, all actually demineralize bone. How is that possibly good for horses – or for racing. Steroids also have negative effects. Breakdowns are still rampant, despite all the “benefits” of modern science. Because drugs are abused. Drugs can be good, they should be used to treat illness and injury, along with TIME. There is no magic drug that HEALS injury. But clearly healing is not the aim. The aim is greed.

          • Susanne Conway

            The wait is over.. Godot!!!

          • Erin Casseday

            Love it! :D

          • Richard Holmes

            Meg Hiers, They actually do have that in many states. When a horse is injected it is required to be reported. Most vets comply but there are a few unethical ones that don’t.

          • Ky Vet

            cheaters……unethical………you are a joke…….who? you just make assumptions………who?

          • Richard Holmes

            Ky Vet, You are right. There is no cheating. Everyone is totally honest. It’s the same in cycling. There was no doping. Lance Armstrong never cheated. No baseball players used steroids either. With regard to which vets will sometimes not report injections, I’m not going to name names on an internet message board. But I do know for a fact that it happens. I’ve been in the business for over 30 years. I am good friends with many trainers and many vets. I know a lot of what goes on.

          • Bobbie Irish

            Wonder what would happen if they outlawed all drugs and injections for American sports, such as football and basketball? What if they tested every player AFTER every game that their team wins? What would they see?

          • urisha

            I am curious: How do you determine exactly how many dots to use between each word or phrase? I am unable to discern any pattern or consistency.

          • Erin Casseday

            LOL! :)

          • Kathryn Papp

            yes but that information is presented to the commissions, not to the claiming connections

          • Richard Holmes

            Kathryn, Yes, that is true.

          • Sarah

            At Gulfstream it is reported to the claiming connections within 24 hours of claiming a horse.

          • billy

            Are you aware of how far back they go with the records just curious

          • Kathryn Papp

            that is fantastic, assuming ALL is actually submitted and reported as expected!

          • Ky Vet

            ice is the old days………..if you sprain your ankle…….you can use ice at first……..but use compression…….it is way better…….it allows good stuff in, bad stuff out…………..ice only does one of those……………..youre welcome!

          • Ky Vet

            you think more horses break down now?…..you are wrong sir! So just stop posting about things you don’t know about……..tracks are way better, trainers are way better, the horse has NOT changed………….There is NO system that has broken down………people left because they lost………integrity?…….of who? The people in horse racing have alot of integrity! Where do you “get” this stuff?

          • ben

            Just look at the numbers from the average lifetime starts, once it was thirty nowadays no more than 18.

            If integrity means the use of a lot of medications, than your right on bat in the USA.

          • Ky Vet

            You look at facts the wrong way………trainers are smarter than back then……less races is great……..they over raced horses back then………racing is what hurts horses…………youre argument was a joke……

          • longtimehorsewoman

            I disagree on that. They are not smarter, they are just medicating their horses more, Actual knowledge of horses, by trainers, is lacking. Which is why the Jockey club is offering continuing education for them.

          • togahombre

            i feel the push for continuing education is more of a legal maneuver like other industries have to blunt the “i wasn’t informed of that” defense in the event of a positive

          • longtimehorsewoman

            It’s not about drugs and rules, it’s about knowing about horses.

          • Bobbie Irish

            The only way to help the horses is the PETA wants to do it; outlaw all racing. Not my idea, but that’s the direction this topic is taking it.

          • Rhett Fincher

            I have to laugh when I hear about continuing education in racing because there is no standard curriculum.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            That is true, but the knowledge level of most trainers is very small – any education is an improvement.

          • billy

            Your right racing is what hurts horses but there’s still alot of horses running 20 to 30 times a year penn runs 297 days I believe

          • Bobbie Irish

            The number of starts is brought down by owners, who see a bright light over in the breeding shed. Horses are “retiring” after their two year old year, and not just because of injury. Because the owners, or those who own stallion interests, don’t want to take a chance. How there is room for the increasing number of stallions, like huge numbers of them, and all basically from similar bloodlines, I have no idea. Prices at the most recent auctions certainly ought to wake folks up. I am pretty sure sellers had more than $1,000 into the weanlings and brood mares that sold for that price.

          • billy

            Racehorses that are retired to the breeding shed represent maybe 1percent of all horses racing squeezing the lemon dry is the problem all the money is with 2 and 3 year olds so there is a small time frame to get back on your investment people are not looking for their horse to have a “career” so to say it’s about making money when and where you can

          • Bobbie Irish

            Mares are retired after earning their “black type”. Owners certainly should look twice at this, as according to recent published sales, black type means very little.

          • Richard Holmes

            Ky Vet, You are totally wrong about the breakdowns. Here are the facts: “At a rate of 2.00 fatalities per 1,000 starts, two Thoroughbred racehorses die (on average) every day in North America. That incidence rate is also higher than it was in 1992, when it was 1.60 fatalities per 1,000 starts. Neither of those rates include training fatalities. In states that track training fatalities, training accounts for nearly a third of the total fatalities.” That is from wikipedia. I can’t post the link.

            With regard to the integrity issue, not only do I personally know several people who have quit the track because of the lack of integrity, if you simply read the comments on message boards, you will see how disgusted people are with these so-called super trainers who can move a horse up 5 lengths overnight. It’s not from oats and water. These people didn’t quit betting simply because they lost. They still bet on football even though they lose money betting football. You are totally out of touch with what typical fans and bettors think about our sport.

          • Just saying

            Why are there more horses breaking down now than in 1992? It’s my understanding that medication rules are considerably tougher now than then. My trainer said in that era you could do joint injections whenever you wanted and a lot of horses were on anabolic steroids.

          • Richard Holmes

            Just Saying, I can’t tell you for sure why there are more breakdowns now than in 1992. I’m just going by the numbers. The statistics show that there are many more now. I’m not sure about 1992 but I can tell you there is definitely way more injecting of joints now than there was in the early 1980s. Back in the 1980s, there weren’t a lot of trainers injecting joints. On the west coast there were only a handful of guys doing it. Now it is commonplace. Everybody does it. I think in the early 1990s, it was probably somewhere in the middle. I think there was much more injecting in the early 1990s than in the 80s, but not nearly as much as now.

          • Bobbie Irish

            Did it ever occur to you that Wikipedia is not the most trustworthy
            of places to get your information? Or did you find it corroborated in another venue?

          • Erin Casseday

            The is copied from the Jockey Club website.

            The following table presents the comparable fatality rates based on the
            updated analysis of data collected in the Equine Injury Database for
            calendar years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

            Thoroughbred Only

            Calendar Year
            2009
            2010
            2011
            2012
            2013
            2014
            2015

            Rate
            2.00
            1.88
            1.88
            1.92
            1.90
            1.89
            1.62

            Fatality rates have dropped. But that being said, would be nice to see the rates even lower. Also, would be curious as the the fatality ratio in European racing versus American racing.

            And, there are links to press releases on reports and/or articles about racing fatalities and injuries.

          • Richard Holmes

            Erin, That is good that the numbers have improved over the last 7 years. Some of the racing commissions have taken proactive steps to cut down the number of breakdowns. You will probably remember when they had all those breakdowns at Aqueduct in 2011 and then again in 2015. They did an investigation and were able to identify certain things that most of the horse who broke down had in common. Based on their findings, they took swift action and put new rules in place to prevent sore horses from running. The NY Times did a big story about it.

          • Erin Casseday

            I remember reading that article. Was an eye opener.

          • billy

            Those numbers are a bit false as they do not include training deaths, horses that died in their stall after racing,or deaths that occured off site due to racin ex: horses injured racing euthanized at clinic

          • longtimehorsewoman

            Exactly!

          • Carla Parrillo

            Could the brake downs be due to the pace and push to win is going beyond what any healthy strong horse should endure?
            Just like so many other issues that fall into this category, (the earth and species dissapearing)
            The human greed, always wants more. Top speeds and distances had to be topped over and over again. We forgot what damage will be placed on the horse and jockey. Human nature being what it is won’t care as long as the biggest win, the best of the best in the favor of the wealthy is in their favor, loosing a horse over and over again won’t matter.
            I am not pointing fingers at any particular individuals. I am just pointing out one more item on this earth could dissappear. Should and can the racing protocol be reviewed and turned back a few notches to save the athletes and the sport from becoming obsolete I’m sure it can. Someone will still return home with winnings, some will not that’s what the game is about. But our beloved athletes will be safe and healthier.

          • Bobbie Irish

            Where did you get your statistics? Please, would like to look them up for myself. Thanks

          • Bobbie Irish

            I mean, you have to be kidding, that you got your figures from “Wikipedia”?
            Anyone can make up anything, and post it there, are you not aware of that?

          • Richard Holmes

            Go to google and type in racehorse injuries wikipedia. The numbers they provide are not made up by them. They have a bibliography at the bottom that shows where they got the information from. The statistics I provided were from two sources. The Postmortem Examination Program which was conducted by the California Horse Racing Board and an NBC story from 2008 that showed that over 5,000 racehorses were put down due to catastrophic injuries between the years of 2003 and 2008. You can find the links to those in the bibliography on the wikipedia page. The stories are #28 and #29 in the bibliography.

          • billy

            Horseracing wrongs….equibase. Start reading the charts from the tracks look at results look up horses and there pp you can find an aweful lot of information in black and white

          • Bobbie Irish

            So the super trainers, who move horses up “5 lengths overnight”, how do they drug all their horses, especially at tracks with full time video feeds, and barn supervisors, etc. ? Just curious

          • Rhett Fincher

            Where are the full time video feeds? That would go a long way to shedding light on the subject of cheating and abuse

          • Bobbie Irish

            Well, I’ve read that they have them working at Santa Anita and that they were functional during the Breeder’s Cup. At other tracks, I agree, it is a great idea.

          • Kathryn Papp

            i have over 1000 necropsy reports in my position from racetrack catastrophic breakdowns. The words you speak are statistically just WRONG plain and simple. Support yourself with science not words

          • Bobbie Irish

            How did you come by those? Are they from a specific track, or part of the country? And are they from a specific time period? Or over a period of years?

          • Kathryn Papp

            Freedom of Information Act Request in PA. Can be completed online. Other states request must be written and mailed in. Currently I am reviewing Penn Nat submitted necropsies from 2014-current. 2014 is when they first started the protocol of submitting all horses that are euthanized on the track during racing. Kentucky has a similar protocol, but more extensive

          • billy

            Would you mind telling me where to look online to make the request im doing my own project from penn similar to yours much appreciated

          • Mr J

            This is your best post on the subject. I laugh anytime I see “fans” leave the sport because of integrity. They leave because they lose money gambling

          • Richard Holmes

            Mr J, Then why doesn’t everyone quit betting football? People lose gambling betting football but most people don’t quit. the reason is that people just want to get a fair shake. As long as they feel that the sport is honest, most people will keep betting, even if they usually lose money. I will tell you a personal story. I was never big on betting boxing, but I used to make a bet once a year or so. But after the Lennox Lewis/ Holyfield fight in 1999, I never made another bet again. Lewis beat the crap out of Holyfield and the judges ended up calling it a draw. It was the biggest joke I had ever seen. Holyfield literally did not win a single round. That was it for me. I was done. How could I bet on a sport that is so corrupt? I don’t know if your remember that fight but there was a huge investigation into the judging because the fight was so obviously fixed. During the investigation, they sat down with one of the judges (Eugenia Willaims) and showed her the replay of the fight round by round. After each round, they asked her how she could have given the round to Holyfield when Lewis so obviously won the round. She responded that her view was obstructed and she admitted that she made a mistake on the scoring in some of the rounds. The judges sit in the front row. How could her view have been obstructed?

          • Bobbie Irish

            People don’t quit betting football because in football, half the teams just don’t show up when they don’t feel like it. If that were the fact, people wouldn’t bet on football.

          • Mr J

            I bet 1 boxing match. Hagler vs Hearns.I had Hagler,local guy. I got lucky I couldn’t get down on Hagler v Leonard. From1984-1994 I scored big on football,only because I was on the Redskins,49ers,Dolphins,Raiders and Bears bandwagon. Especially teasers. The game changed with parity and ,though I didn’t go bad,I found it too difficult to figure out. Denver in last years Super Bowl was the first and only bet Ive made since 2001 Oakland/Pats snowjob

          • Bobbie Irish

            They leave because the fields are small to non existent, and scratches increasingly common.

          • Lawrence R

            A lot just get old and die and are not replaced .

          • longtimehorsewoman

            That is a joke. Integrity???

          • Larry Sterne

            Horses are better checked for injuries and scratched. ‘s that a half way decent trainer would never try to run. So sad they need a safety monitor to make them do their job

          • Bobbie Irish

            You do know, don’t you, that the only way to stop all this abuse you are speaking of is to totally outlaw horse racing? That’s it. The only way.

          • Bobbie Irish

            I think the point of most people on here is that racing should simply become illegal, everywhere. Simple as that. No need to worry about injections, drugs, etc., if there is no competition.

          • billy

            Hemp would be very beneficial being horses are foraging animals hemp is forage and is known to have many anti inflammatory properties and a plethora of omega 3’s and 6’s very benifical to a horses gut by the way did you pay attention in vet school or even read the oath…..

          • billy

            And my names Billy before you decide to go there I’m not sure if it posts under guest or not discuss comment thing won’t allow my password or change it

        • Ky Vet

          ice is not used like the old days……..people are smarter now…….and improved things available………..

          • Kathryn Papp

            What kind of vet are you?? Forget your oath? You are the moron. Maybe re-read your duty if you are such a professional, like the rest of us, advocate for the horse as your should, not for racing

          • K C Ferrazzano Singletary

            agreed. Money, and the desire for more of it, has put the racetrack Dvm’s moral compass in a spin. I am happy to be out of that circle. I sleep well at night.

          • Bobbie Irish

            So, any sore horse should not be given medication, of any sort? I am surprised they allow injections period. What is allowed to be injected?

      • joey

        Ky vet thank you very much. These people are all morons. They don’t have a clue. Keep up the good fight; but your probably wasting your breath.

      • Meg Hiers

        Well, the biggest difference is that if a human ends up competing/performing on a bad ankle/limb, they end up with a worse injury that at most ends a career, but usually doesn’t end a life. Not to mention, people are finally beginning to actually acknowledge the damage that longterm use of NSAIDs can cause to kidneys and liver. Steroids certainly help in moderation, but they too have bad side effects and outcomes when used longterm. And let’s face it, too many people out there administer meds on the basis “if some is good, more is better”.

      • ben

        Injuring them horsies, kill them off with medications, and run them in the ground is not by any means: love the horse, that does not mean love the sport.

        Love the sport does have a very different view point, than love the horses.

      • ben

        I have raced horses on the turf 100% medication free, they just got their vaccinations. You have to take notice if the horse fits for racing on firm ,good or yielding turf.

        When you races a horse that has a fluent stride on a yielding track, it will face pulled muscles. If you racing a mud plodder on a fast track, the bones and the joints will faces injuries.

        So you have to look at the conformation and the movement to prevent injury and pain for the horses. By dooiing that, the economics are against you, but the welfare for the horses is up.

      • longtimehorsewoman

        Boy you have drunk the koolaid. Your attitude is what is keeping racing where it is. Injured horses should not run. Lame horses should not run. It is not love of racing that makes people cheat. it is love of money. Love of success. Not racing and not horses.

      • Bein

        I’d say if you use ice, NSAIDS, and the rest for inflammation and when those treatments are withdrawn, the swelling/heat/whatever do not reoccur, you would then not still be injured, but healed.

        I don’t see anything wrong with going back to the “old way” and drawing horses before they run.

        How do steroids save equine lives?

      • ben

        If you are a vet, put your name on the comments. Screaming only, populism, does not help the horsies, just for a very short while the pockets from the vet,s, the trainers, and the owners.

        I have raced a couple of horses in Germany, without any medications or drugs. So the story that horses needs medications is far from the truth. The horsies are getting medications for upgrading their performance, yeah that is true.

    • mikec

      Only a fool would think that 38 State Govs would allow the Feds to shut down racing because of Groups like PETA which have zero credibility.

      • Peter Scarnati

        Horse racing revenue to the states has now been dwarfed by casino/slot revenue. Exactly what happened in the states which USED to have greyhound racing. Pressure from animal rights groups, combined with the explosion of casino revenue to the states, has led to the near complete shuttering of greyhounds in this country.
        The only question is WHEN this will happen to the horse racing industry, not IF.

        • mikec

          Not even close, the total economic impact of all facets of racing is far far greater than the impact of greyhound racing in USA. Old figure put horse racing as $40+billion industry with 1.5 million jobs in USA, going nowhere b/c of PETA lunatics. Racings demise will come from itself before any legislation eliminates it

      • Larry Sterne

        As a past member PETA does have credibility. You really don’t want PETA lobbying anti racing. Much better to work in conjunction to improve racing. I have been very involved in DU and minor involment un racing. So I am not what u call a bleeding heart.

        • mikec

          PETA discredited with Asmussen nonsense, have zero credibility in to Horse Racing Industry

    • ben

      PETA, does not understand this industry enough, to make the change.

      But if you take the WHO and combine that with PETA, and the bettors, things will change and fast.

      • Bobbie Irish

        You guys have zero idea what PETA is, and what their aim is, do you? Zero. Maybe, look it up?

  • Keith L. O’Brien

    Interesting article, and I believe particularly enlightening when Mr Casner referred to performance enhancing products used at the higher levels of racing, i.e. the graded races. It would seem the incentive to push the envelope would be greater in the higher purse races. At the same time, there is also a tremendous amount to lose, for example the “Masochistic,” debacle. I see it all as unadulterated greed. Pure and simple.

    Racing has always been a sport/business/game that has been divided between the haves and have nots. But in the past, the haves were more and less. What do I mean? There were a plethora of big money private stables. Names such as Whitney, Widener, Guggenheim, Arden, Phipps, and so on. All had sizable stables that did not number more than 30. They bred to race and in some cases there slower steeds became steeplechasers. But that is another story entirely. They understood competition and how to cultivate public interest, which ultimately drives the racing machine. The more even the competition, the greater the interest. And the stars that rise will be revered. Money will enable greater opportunity, for better horses, facilities, care, etc., and the successful are always deemed “better” at their job. I have spent my entire life involved in horse racing. I have heard rumors, dealt with jealousy and character assassination, all the result of perceived too much success.

    However, the millennium has ushered in a far more insidious and excoriating trend. The corporatization of racing stables, and with that a reliance on a program mentality. The knee jerk reaction will be, “they are just better than everyone else.” Attention to detail, placement, management, etc. Horsemanship 101 will inform you that horses tend to thrive on familiarity and routine. They are trained in the morning, fed at certain times during the day, grazed or turned out in the afternoon. All designed to keep a horse happy and healthy. A happy horse will run better. The ultimate objective being a better performance.

    But when drugs, such as clenbuterol were introduced, a dramatic change occurred. Every horse in the stable was trained on clenbuterol for “therapeutic” reasons as part of a “program.” In order to keep their airway clean, appetite keen and aggressive on the track. Every single horse! And this happened with numerous other drugs. Win percentages became paramount as indicators of acumen and we saw public stables jump from 30, 40, 50 to 150 or 200 horses. The more the merrier. As a few stables rose to great heights, the majority have floundered in obscurity. Is this due to the ineptitude of the less successful? I personally, don’t think so. I think it is a warped mindset, driven by complete avarice. Win at all costs! Win it all! Take, take, take. I have spoken to many people recently outside of racing. Locals who at one time enjoyed a day at Belmont. They no longer attend the races. Why? In their view there is very little excitement. It is the same few public stables that seem to dominate across the board, so to speak. There are constant accusations of criminality with drugs, and there is an overall lack of sport. Sport, that endeavor where human athletes, and in this case equine athletes, push the limits of their physical and mental prowess. That gives fans reason to cheer and celebrate their courage and ability! To entertain, and for a moment forget the struggles of everyday life. In order to ameliorate horse racing, it must be a sport first and foremost, founded in honesty and fairness! And then, may we all enjoy a piece of the pie.

    • Bein

      ” Sport, that endeavor where human athletes, and in this case equine
      athletes, push the limits of their physical and mental prowess. That
      gives fans reason to cheer and celebrate their courage and ability! To
      entertain, and for a moment forget the struggles of everyday life. In
      order to ameliorate horse racing, it must be a sport first and foremost,
      founded in honesty and fairness! And then, may we all enjoy a piece of
      the pie.”

      So excellent, Keith, it deserves to be repeated. Again and again.

      I have this conversation frequently with my fellow horsemen. The typical mindset in my neck of the woods is that simulcast dollars are king and racing revolves around gambling. I couldn’t disagree more! It is ENTERTAINMENT. Inexpensive family entertainment to boot. When racetrack managers refocus on bringing their local population to the racetrack because it’s fun, racing will thrive.

      The California Chromies and Zenyatta fan club are recent examples that prove your point as well.

    • Bobbie Irish

      The entries, even in Grade I Stakes races are too small. Who wants to bet on 4 or 5 horses? Watched Oaklawn the other day, where they are offering larger purses, and entries were up. Wish they were closer…

  • PTP

    Nice piece Joe, and thanks for writing it.

  • Gate To Wire

    Don’t expect anything to change on this front.
    The biggest trainer in America got caught with multiple horse deaths and horses with an Anti Coagulant in the their blood and it was passed off as accidental contamination.

    Until racing develops the will to actually catch and ban trainers racing will just be like cycling during their drug era. Lance never failed testing and people in charge were afraid to actually catch him.

  • Dan Camoro

    Yesterday, 1/16, the Second race at Aqueduct, the # 3 horse, Glotona Again, a 16 K Claiming event, going 6F. It’s races like this that drive people away from betting. I’m not saying there were drugs involved, how would I know that….There simply was an extreme style and form reversal like is dam near impossible. I think, as is the case in some other Countries, that a Trainer should inform the Stewards if they intend to employ a completely different running style, and the betting public should have access to this information. Karma will catch up with Cheaters of all sorts and their final days will be gruesome and miserable….

    • greg

      Dan, if you’re waiting for Karma to get them you’re a very patient and naive man, eventual payback in their final days hardly matters today. Until owners stop rewarding the cheaters with more horses the games will continue and until it does what is much easier today than ever before is to play tracks where there is an effort to clean it up, with that in mind I now play Gulfstream daily where I had been playing So Cal daily for over 25 years, at GP there are 1-2 trainers whom I deem questionable, but 1-2 in a 12 horse field is much better than 3 in a 6 horse field

    • Ky Vet

      ignorance………

    • Kathryn Papp

      Anyone wanting to read names and reports and radiographs and drug reports of cheaters just needs to read my facebook page where I list proof often!

    • Mr J

      Stupidest post I ever read here. Inform if you’re changing running style ?. Pathetic. You must be one of those guys screaming for a 4/5 to get up

      • Dan Camoro

        Respectfully, Mr. J. in some other Countries, informing the Stewards of a change in tactic is common place, and that information is passed along to the public. Also. I usually don’t scream unless the horse is even money….

    • Kevin Callinan

      WOW. I had to do a little research before responding; it turns out your premise is worse than I thought. The horse got a 7lb break w/ a new bug rider, added blinkers, came off a muddy track and cut back in distance……. at least 4 other factors that could’ve reversed form. Plus Parker trains at about 7% winners- not a stellar example of a cheater.

  • gus stewart

    2 more cents and the sports entertainment biz.why have other sports addressed this issue. Why in other sports coaches gm,s. Scouts cfo and anyone not doing their job up to owners standards get fired, answer is owners of these franchises make money. Value of franchises go up every year and tv rev cable agreements..hmmmmmmm horse racing buying a horse, having marketing exec doing the same thing for 20yrs and never improving the bottom line, stewards inconsistant with calls and total biased decisions in some cases based on participants. Chrb and state vet unwilling to clean up sport because it may cost them owners, and thier job.. so lets see no ongoing marketing to get more contemporary media coverage, as owner of horse gonna more then likely lose money with 1000 people in stands. And no one getting fired when not doing a job of branding horse racing to new fans in 2017.. any questions

  • Ky Vet

    You people over-react to the “drug” cheating issue……..Almost every case, involved is just sloppiness by the trainer………almost all drug infractions, are slight excesses, timing issues etc…….they are not stimulants to enhance performance…..but shame on you guys for implying that cheating is rampant……..DO YOU SERIOUSLY BELIEVE a top trainer is blood doping? Or are you calling other things BLOOD DOPING?
    They are risking their jobs trying to cheat? To win a race?…….In this “sell out world” you don’t think grooms/other workers wouldn’t sell them out?
    You try and pass yourselves off as EXPERTS?
    You DO realize these are horses right? Why don’t you name a drug that will make a horse run and win for sure…………you can’t huh? Because there isn’t one………..

    • tony a

      I think you should stick to cats and dogs.

    • You cannot possibly be serious.

      • Tinky

        Ah, a tip of the cap to John McEnroe.

      • Ky Vet

        ok name the drug………come on…………..yes i am serious………call your “experts”……..you think you can drug a horse to win? name this drug………..

        • Kathryn Papp

          i just named about 25 above. I can list over 100 more

    • ridingtowin

      Now I am convinced that they will give a vet license to anyone these days.

      • Kathryn Papp

        he is NOT a vet

    • Tinky

      Presumably you’re small animal vet.

    • Lawrence R

      He might not win but he sure as hell going to run as fast as possible with a shot of cobra venom. Seen it. Trainer got caught too. Cost him plenty to avoid jail. I ‘m not referring to the famous trainer from France.

  • Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    If people really wanted to put their foot down……
    However, just like in Fishing (salt water) regulations differ by state.
    There’s no common sense in fishing, there’s no common sense in Horse Racing.

  • paulferschke

    I guess I am blind to it because we never put ourselves in that position. In my little world it would be more embarrassing to come up with a positive then it is to have my horses trained by a so called (low percentage trainer) sure it would be nice to have a picture more often, but I sleep real good at night and enjoy just watching my horses run

  • Saratoga dreaming

    There are plenty other types of cheating that should also be explored, mainly The racing office.

    • Jack Frazier

      How about a racing secretary that micro manages the tracks under his control and will not allow horses on the grounds that he doesn’t personally approve? I spoke to a trainer who has won the Breeders Cup on two occasions and since he is not a favorite, he had his stalls cut from 45 to 25 even though he has twenty two year-olds ready to bring to the track, and he is vindictive, petty, obsequious, condescending and actually isn’t as smart as he thinks he is about racing and is killing the Cal Bred Program by not offering more than two or three races for Cal Bred horses in each book. The current sale at Barrett’s shows that there is no incentive to breed in California because there are no races for them. Stupid is as stupid does, said the philosopher Forrest Gump.

  • Nucky Thompson

    Excellent discussion but as usual too much fenger pointing and not enough action.

  • David Worley

    I look forward to the next two installments of this series.

    The fact that this article has elicited such a varied set of comments is, in and of itself, an indicator of the problem in the industry.

  • Hamish

    Wow, I’ve read the Gorajec piece and read the comments 3 or 4 times now. It seems there are those that suggest cheating in the form of undetectable drugs and abusive permitted substances,along with vets that know how to prescribe medications that beat the system are the norm, versus those that say “no way” it’s all on the up and up and good for the horse. So, a draw. Let’s do this to flush out either side of the argument, place 24/7 monitors/guards on duty watching horses, grooms, trainers, vets and owners for say 3 months with all interactions reported. We can then observe and analyze the films and audio/visual recordings as well as the race results. At the end of the project we, the industry, will really know if we have a problem with perception or reality. Why not?

    • Denny

      Let’s start with Pletcher and Baffert.

      • billy

        Pletcher shouldn’t be allowed near a horse after coronado heights….like to us that guy as a pinata

      • Jack Frazier

        Good.

    • Ky Vet

      You should not believe any of that rubbish………fake news! Poor reporting……….

    • Bobbie Irish

      I read that Santa Anita has video cameras in all barns now, that are operational. Since and for the Breeder’s Cup. Isn’t that where Baffert hangs out? Surely, by all the comments on here, they’ve caught him doing something with those cameras.

  • Denny

    They gave Dutrow 10 years.
    Did that stop the cheating?
    Baffert, Pletcher, Brown. The biggest winners. The biggest cheaters?

  • kcbca1

    Super article. There is absolutely no legitimate reason for Congress not to pass HR2641 the horse racing integrity act. Until then I have cut my wagering down to practically zero.

    • gus stewart

      Well if that is the case i would nominate you to lead meetings at gamblers anonymous meetings. Because u sir or miss have more will power then 90 percent of race fans that continue to gamble. I have cut back for sure but truth be known we all could fix this problem by not betting. So kudos to u.

      • kcbca1

        No kudos necessary, I said practically zero. I better call my sponsor. LOL.

        • gus stewart

          Yep me to,,, its a strong addition lol… i just tell my freinds put me in for 10 percent,,, they have learned my veiw replay videos sheets, computer, with all the intangibles now involved in horse racing. My words to them, I say guys, if it meant to be its meant to be…

    • Ky Vet

      i am a horse owner, horseman and professional handicapper………..you don’t lose because of meds………trust me, i make a living at this………..

      • Kathryn Papp

        hahahahahhaha professional handicapper, as if you can put those two words together and call it a profession or applaudable! lmfao

      • Mr J

        I’ve seen your picks ,you’re not a very good handicapper.

        • Ky Vet

          where have you seen my picks…….i’m the best……

          • Mr J

            Sorry bro, I seen them on BH,and if thats professional,you dont have any problems with IRS forms

          • Cathy

            Are you related to Donald J. Trump? The best BS’er

      • longtimehorsewoman

        You didn’t say you are a vet. Because you are not a vet.

  • gus stewart

    Ray if you would do me a favor I would appreciate it. I’m waiting for someone to return from vacation who I know in executive offices at Santa Anita. Also a few trainers and jocks along with this person in the office that know my background are assisting Would you send this title of topic and email Belinda Stronach so she can see how many responses this topic received. Some friends of mine and myself are trying to arrange a meeting with her. Cleaning house with meds and private vets. and marketing and branding racing differently for the future would be our objective. I hope any of you whatever your thoughts are on this subject would also reach out to her also via email. We are in Arcadia, but this should be uniform across the US.. thanks

    • Ky Vet

      Cleaning house? What meds are you talking about? Name them…..what meds do you like?

      • Kathryn Papp

        let’s see, injectable albuterol, inhaled fluticasone, nebulized oxytet and gentocin, im oxytocin extended release, im GABA or carolina gold, estrone sulphate, estradiol cypionate, reserpine, magnesium sulfate, epinephrine, pseudoephedrine, cobalt chloride, n-butyl alcohol, carbazochrome…..would you like me to go on?

        • Belinda W

          I find it odd a ‘vet’ needs meds named lol

    • Kathryn Papp

      read my facebook page. i name names and post proof of what this thread is about often

      • gus stewart

        I don’t use facebook or Twitter, this would be the only place i use my voice or personal veiws. For me racing has been my biz and hobby for 40 years. As i put on this blog and will ask ray p again, send email of these many responses to belinda stronach. Im hopeful a woman with power can convince owners to start putting people in positions that actually want to reinvent racing for the future. To many just want to collect a check and not rock the boat as it sinks. If she really has the power to do whats right, i feel she could really force other tracks to follow her lead. Here in california we dont have the casino tie in. But we do have the best weather and enough people who spend lots of money on other sports entertainment. Also we have lots of mainstream media that would be happy to help promote this sport again if it was run like all other sports as sports entertainment and it became exciting to owners and viewer’s. But with no one being held accountable for years, even though it has made some progress, racing needs to be rebranded.. meds whips perception marketing,

        • billy

          Pa desperately needs this help majorly and no matter how bad it gets there I don’t think racing is going away anytime soon

      • billy

        My name is Billy I’m curious if you still work the backside I don’t have Facebook nor will I not my thing I’m close to the track and all I care about is the horses I usually go there sat for morning training if your ever there and would like to come to the front side I would love the chance to be able to speak with you I’ve read your pieces know where you stand im 100 percent on your side I just need some continuing knowledge to keep fighting this battle and who the right people would be to talk to you

    • Belinda W

      Stronach could have made the biggest statement ever….had he declared the Pegasus to be drug free…..but he didn’t. …makes me wonder why.

      • gus stewart

        I think that it would of been to difficult in the first attempt in this type of racing event/idea. I think that if everyone in the sport would have uniform rules in future, then owners who participate in this in future years, it would be equal to all participants. Now since im not a vet and really against meds, lasix even though its masks other meds, would be one i could maybe be convinced is helpful in some cases for race horses. I said maybe dont shell me with insults paaaaleese

        • Belinda W

          Lol, I’m not either I’ve just studied a ton of cases and literature on meds just to educate myself. When I started 9 long years ago I did it all , it was nothing to have a $300 vet bill just for ‘pre-race’ . It took me 2 long years before I said to hell with it. I had scoped my horses religiously, not a drop of blood post race or workout. The same finding still got me a bleeder certificate in MD on the premise my horses might bleed one day. The certificate is actually needed in order to get lasix….now that all sounds legit but vets on the back side hand those things out like candy. It was actually harder for me to declare off lasix. But the idea that is presented forth to the public is that horses have to be examined by a vet and documented to have bled…..yeah I actually had to stop the vet who was completing my bleeder certificate with a ” I’d actually like them to be scoped before you sign it” request.
          I come from a law enforcement background so I knew I needed to educate myself bc the backside is a monkey see monkey do circus more times than not. I just decided to stop being another monkey.

  • Audrey Gulla

    The reason most often given for using PED’s,etc was trust: suspecting that others were using them (drugs), so why not? I was very surprised thinking the answer would have been the desire to win……Well I guess the desire to win is there as well. Just shows how ignorant/naive I am about this issue……Greyt article.thanks

  • Mr J

    There is less cheating now than ever before. Testing is advanced as is technology

  • “Holding the Horse and Man, all God’s creation in High Esteem” is only way for true, lasting change to occur a sport plagued with many abuses.

  • gregrobertson

    While it is rare they catch a jock with a buzzer during the actual race, the place and time to find them is in the morning works. Why do you think those horses suddenly “take Off” at the 3 furlong pole coming home? They are trained with buzzers in the morning. Anyone who EVER spent time on the backside knows it. As far as drugs go it is just time for a regulatory body to come in and clean house. Trainers who have 3 or more positives a lifetime ban, now. Ruled off all race track grounds. No betting accounts, welcome to Walmart. I don’t care how rich the people they train for are Bye Bye.. Barry is right, this sport could, can and will be shut down. In fact I will stop calling this a sport till it gets cleaned up. Right now it’s a cross between Saturday night wrestling and illegal dog fighting. ,

    • Ky Vet

      right……..

    • Bobbie Irish

      Unfortunately “this sport” has always been “dirty”

  • ForLoveOfTheGame

    First of all, I love horseracing. When I was young, I had no idea this was going on. Now that I know (example: in my opinion Arrogate winning over CC in the 2016 BC — Arrogate was clearly a performance drugged horse) I can see it’s been going on all along.

    Re: some of the conversation below: why am I not surprised a KY vet from the horseracing capital of the USA is so PRO DRUGS? In my opinion, KY is the only state in the USA that has the most egregiously SHAMEFUL,irresponsible and UN-punitive animal cruelty laws ever! Healing is one thing. Horses that need healing should not step one hoof on the track to race. Everything else listed in this very informative well-documented article is about dirty rotten scoundrels making tons of money on the backs of young horses forced to perform in a drug-induced ways which not infrequently results in death. There’s nothing fair about it for the horses. These professional criminals (trainers, owners, go-along vets, double-talking track and commission officials) insult the public’s intelligence. Suggestion: Anyone having anything to do with a drugged horse on the race track should be permanently expelled from the sport forever. No further discussion. No appeals. The drugs do the talking. End of story.

    All avenues should be pursued to stop performance drugging of racehorses in our life time. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get it done in 2017? We should JUST DO IT! Race horses are not race cars. They don’t need any additives to race. Clean racing would do more to secure the future of the sport and supporting businesses than ANYTHING ELSE. Nobody wants to see any more animal cruelty or jockey injury. Case in point: Id. The future of Sea World and Barnum & Baily Circus. Personally I would love to see the “sport of kings” start putting on advertised, certified, clean races. Then let the public decide which races they want to support and bet on. Perhaps the criminals could be cleaned out faster than anyone believes. We who love horse racing should embrace this this DRUG-LESS change. We should TRY EVERYTHING! We (any and all of us collectively) REALLY need to make this happen.

    • Erin Casseday

      So what drugs are Arrogate on? EPO? Steroids?

  • sgvoak

    Seems like cheating is following this guy. Main guy stopping drugs in the ufc. THats a joke. Alot of those guys are the biggest cheats and the men running the show are the ones letting fighters like brock lesner cheat, take majority of the pay cut and leave the loser of the fight taking less $$ to have to sue their own companies

  • worldb.free

    I didn’t bother reading this story. It’s too long and more importantly it has been written repeatedly throughout horse racing – and sports – history. The problem is that the perps in the 1950s should have been expelled and in every decade since. There were still ballpark-type crowds at tracks then. Now, all they are left with are crooks and bustouts. The crooks win and the bustouts run the police horses to scrape out a meager living. It’s becoming a moot topic as nobody, at all, who isn’t a horseman or degen, are left in the grandstands. Cams cost $10. Put them in every stall. Pre and post race tests cost money – take THAT money from the purse account. Invite the state police to run scam operations at each track. Most importantly when a positive situation comes up, they are GONE FOR GOOD. The “good” of the dying sport.

  • Condor

    If only the chemists had been kept out of the sport years back we would now have a stronger more durable racehorse that could train harder and not need all the chemicals to compete. No wonder horses bleed and breakdown when there training is so soft because there to fragile from years of breeding from fast horses that needed drugs and not slower horses that didnt. Its a complete mess thats gone to far the wrong way to change. The horses need a miracle.

    • longtimehorsewoman

      Agreed!

  • Douglas Amos

    So many of these guys would be meat in a dog food can w/o meds. As with people, there are drugs and doctors everywhere. Nothing is free. There is no simple answer or inexpensive solution. Hong Kong stands out of course but it has little in common with N A racing. As for legislation, Hollendorfer has 3 horses pulled up in graded races in a year while Dutrow is barred. Really? You could give your family to Rick Violette for a year and have nothing to worry about. Mike Venezia was the best of mankind. The game has many people of integrity. The simplest shortest answer may just be saturation. Tv has too much sports, racing has too many dates.

  • Figless

    Oh, I am sorry, of course no one in this game, or any sport, cheat. LMFAO. Seriously, just go away with your ridiculous comment which is so ridiculous it doesnt warrant a response, but I will for kicks and giggles.

    How about snake venom? Anything illegally introduced to a horse in order to mask injury, or help its breathing, or increase its athleticism (Steroids) is cheating, and can easily be construed as race fixing in a court of law, whether the horse wins or not. You go to jail for ATTEMPTED bank robbery, don’t you?

    If you have injected a joint, without disclosure and in violation of the rules, you have inside information that the horses current form will improve. Its not foolproof, but over time you have an advantage as a gambler, but more importantly you will win more in purse money. If this wasn’t the case no one would do it.

    • Figless

      Here is another one. A horse has run Salix free in all its starts. Without notifying the authorities, someone injects Salix prior to its next start. Would you consider that cheating?

      Of course in your Utopian world no one would ever do such a thing.

  • Mimi Hunter

    I really do hope they come up with something to ‘level the playing field’ for horse racing. And most here talk of 100 year old traditions etc. If that is all it was, it wouldn’t be near the battle it’s going to be. I would take a good guess that looking for that ‘extra edge’, whether it be legal or not, has been going on as long as there have been horse races, or any contest for that matter. Used to be hiding the breeding of the entrant – now they can do genetic testing. Add that to the tattoo system and it’s probably the correct horse running in the race. Probably. Big advantages were had by the horses who got a ride to the race instead of being ridden there. Horse vans and railroads – even flying. Used to dehydrate the horse almost to dangerous levels. Now, there’s Lasix [ Sasix, whatever ]. Steroids also help breathing, and build muscle mass, and rob calcium from the bones, and some suppress pain. Regular NSAIDS kill pain. I have chronic pain, and as I get older, some chronic breathing problems. You will NEVER convince me that ALL these meds aren’t performance enhancing. When I can’t move very well, and my breathing is a bit labored, I sure as H*ll don’t do very much – and it makes almost no difference how much I want to get done. So, I do hope they get all this straightened out. I enjoy horse racing very much – I’ve watched it nearly my whole life. So, I really hope this drug problem gets fixed and soon, but I also hope someone has ‘their ear to the ground’ to stay ahead of whatever comes next.

  • Bein

    Maybe it’s a matter of trust for the people who use PEDs, but for those of us who don’t, it’s a matter of having no protection from the cheats. The cards are stacked against clean barns. So backwards.

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