Indiana: Gorajec Responds to Moss Commentary

by | 11.20.2014 | 7:58am
Joe Gorajec

The following article was submitted by Joe Gorajec, who since 1990 has served as executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

On Nov. 15, 2014, the Blood-Horse published an online commentary by Maggi Moss entitled “When Regulation Runs Amok.” In her commentary, Ms. Moss attempts to paint a picture of Indiana racing being out of control, particularly as it relates to drugs and prohibited foreign substances. Much of her editorial concerns national issues that are not unique to Indiana. Unfortunately, many of the Indiana centric claims are either false or misleading. Ms. Moss is an accomplished owner and a vigorous advocate. I respect her many accomplishments in horse racing – but I could not take greater issue with the claims in her commentary.

The Tom Amoss case
What Ms. Moss fails to disclose, and what is a likely explanation for the tenor and timing of her commentary, is the fact that she formerly provided legal representation to her trainer, Tom Amoss, in a three-year-old medication dispute with the Indiana commission staff. In that action, a motion has been filed by the commission staff seeking an administrative decision in its favor. That motion was the subject of an oral argument on Oct. 30, 2014, and is now ripe for decision. In that disciplinary action, Mr. Amoss potentially faces a 60-day suspension as a result of a positive test in 2011.

Tom Amoss, by the accounts of many, is a fine fellow and a hard-working horseman who strives to run a clean stable. As Indiana's perennial leading trainer, he is certainly an important part of the Indiana Grand racing program. None of that matters, however, when recommending penalties for a medication violation – nor should it.

Ms. Moss suggests that there is an issue of selective enforcement in Indiana. Nothing could be further from the truth. In Indiana, a leading trainer is subject to the same penalty for a medication violation as the trainer of a two-horse stable of $5,000 claimers. When a medication violation is involved, Indiana looks to the Association of Racing Commissioners' International (RCI) Model Penalty Guidelines when recommending penalties. Unlike some other jurisdictions, Indiana does not allow trainers to buy their way out of a recommended suspension for a drug positive. In such a scenario, a trainer would pay an increased fine in exchange for an agreement not to impose a suspension. A fine (even a substantial one to a highly successful trainer) can then serve as a routine cost of doing business. Based upon my extensive experience as a regulator, it does not serve as an effective deterrent.

Moreover, I believe that this practice erodes confidence in the sport and is unfair to those horsemen who race in full compliance with the existing regulations.

The proposed 60-day penalty for Mr. Amoss is not being recommended because the testing of one of his horses revealed one single Class 4 positive test in Indiana. That penalty is being recommended because Mr. Amoss had multiple positive tests within a 365-day period leading up to his methocarbamol positive on Oct. 21, 2011, at Hoosier Park.

The RCI Penalty Guidelines recommend an ascending stair-step approach to multiple drug violations that occur within a 365-day period. The seriousness of each foreign substance in question is built into the Penalty Guidelines by providing different classification categories. In addition to the positive test in Indiana, horses trained by Mr. Amoss tested positive for Class 4 foreign substances on Dec. 5, 2010 (Fair Grounds), on May 14, 2011 (Churchill Downs), on Oct. 7, 2011 (Keeneland), and again on Oct. 22, 2011 (Keeneland) – although the last infraction was not taken into account in my recommendation of the 60-day suspension or related fine because it occurred after the Indiana positive.

If the standard minimum RCI Penalty had been applied to Mr. Amoss for the preceding violations, he would have already served up to three separate suspensions – not counting the pending Indiana case. Instead, Mr. Amoss has served no suspension for any of the three preceding (admitted) violations committed in other jurisdictions.

Let's be honest. How many horsemen, racing fans or members of the general public (not acting as an attorney for an alleged violator) think it is appropriate for a person with five positive tests at four tracks in three states within one year to  serve not a single day of suspension?

I do not know what the outcome of the Amoss case will be. That will be decided by others. Win or lose, I am comfortable that Indiana has taken a principled approach in recommending his penalty. Regardless of the number of attorneys a horseman may have (in the pending case Mr. Amoss has very accomplished lawyers), or the likelihood of the prospect of time-consuming litigation, the Indiana commission staff remains steadfast. We will continue to consider and to recommend penalties we believe are appropriate and consistent with the industry's uniform standards.

Due Process
Ms. Moss's article expresses a frustration resulting from the media's failure to look into her (self-styled) “troubling allegations.” In fact, others similarly situated have on several different occasions leveled similar unfounded allegations against the commission staff in the press that have ultimately proven (under close scrutiny) to be nothing more than rhetoric. A good example is the oft-leveled claim of an asserted lack of due process. In more than 20 years of Indiana racing there has not been a single decision by a court reviewing an Indiana disciplinary action that has supported a lack of due process claim.

The Ross Russell case
Most recently, Indiana has been in the racing press regarding its prosecution of two cases – both involving the alleged administration of unauthorized race-day medication violations. The main actor is practicing veterinarian Ross Russell – who faces a possible 20-year suspension.

Some context is helpful. As reported in the Administrative Complaint against Russell, Indiana has a history of taking strong action when a prohibited race-day administration is discovered.

This dates back to 2001 when it was determined that a licensed practicing veterinarian had administered a race-day injection. This incident involved a single vitamin shot. The ultimate penalty imposed was a $5,000 fine and a one-year suspension. In 2005, another veterinarian was banned from Indiana racing for approximately two years for race-day administrations. Indiana's most recent case of this nature happened in 2009. In that case, a veterinarian provided a trainer with a syringe and needle containing a non-salix diuretic commonly referred to as “clotol” for the purpose of a race-day administration. That veterinarian was suspended for four years.

With respect to the Russell case, there has been conversation in some quarters regarding the penalties, or lack thereof, against others involved in the investigation. The Administrative Complaint clearly states that the investigation remains active. In other words, disciplinary action involving others will be forthcoming and will be initiated when appropriate.

A contact sport
I have come to learn that regulation can be a “contact sport.” Racing participants that run afoul of the rules (and sometimes their attorneys) are typically not very happy about it. Very often, that leads to a public attack on the regulator as a defense strategy (“the best defense is a good offense”). This tactic has been taken before in Indiana – and each time the charges against commission staff have proven to be unfounded as the process has played out.

Cobalt
Indiana's proactive approach to regulation has historically led to criticism. That's the cost of consistently challenging the status quo. That was the case when Indiana was the first state in North America to pass the RCI Model Rule to regulate anabolic steroids in 2007 and has continued through other initiatives including, most recently, being the first in the nation to regulate Cobalt.

Despite the initial criticism, those initiatives were well worth the effort. Case in point – since the commission began regulating Cobalt for the final five weeks of the Indiana Grand race meet, Cobalt levels for Thoroughbred racing have been near pristine. What other racing jurisdiction can make that claim?

Room for improvement
Ms. Moss does bring up one legitimate issue that is ripe for improvement. Indiana should improve the way it communicates positive tests and pending positives. I have already begun a dialogue with horsemen on this issue and hope to present a rule and/or policy change to the commission soon. This change hopefully will be in place prior to the beginning of the Indiana racing season next spring.

‘Picogram Hysteria'
Finally, Ms. Moss has opined about testing levels. She sets her sights on racing laboratories testing for drugs at picogram per milliliter concentrations. As stated in her commentary “[T]he media also should ask what our labs are doing to test as they never have before and trying to measure amounts that are simply immeasurable.” She goes on to add – “[T]he immeasurable amounts, by all scientific data, could not ever remotely affect the performance of the horse.”

This is simply untrue.

According to Richard Sams, PhD, Director of the LGC Science Inc. Laboratory in Lexington, Ky., such concentrations are measurable with modern instrumentation and are relevant for many drugs and medications. In fact, the availability of methodology that allows detection at picogram per milliliter concentrations allows testing of blood samples for these substances thereby improving the reliability of withdrawal time recommendations.

Moreover, a number of drugs could be administered on race day at effective doses that would be undetectable in blood samples if not measured at concentrations below a nanogram per milliliter (i.e., picogram levels).  These drugs include most corticosteroids, the anabolic steroids, glycopyrrolate, and clenbuterol.  Meanwhile, the RMTC (which independently evaluates information from the scientific community) has proposed and continues to propose model rules, which contain thresholds limits that are to be measured at varying picogram levels.

Imagine a scenario where a race day cocktail of dexamethasone, betamethasone, methylprednisolone, stanozolol and clenbuterol went undetected in a post-race test if the laboratory is not permitted to test and report findings below a nanogram per milliliter. This becomes reality when these drugs are no longer measured in picograms.

That scenario would be abhorrent to almost all industry stakeholders. But for those in the “anti-picogram” crowd, it might just be a dream come true.

Editor's Note: The original version of this article stated that Maggi Moss is currently representing her trainer, Tom Amoss, in an ongoing case with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. Moss withdrew from the case over a year and a half ago.

  • Ben van den brink

    People like amoss, should be flagbearers instead of cheaters.

  • Mimi Hunter

    Sounds familiar.

  • The unfavorable drug culture fostered by legalization of raceday medications in the late 70s continues. As long as legalized raceday medication continues, the mindset that horses require drugs to race will continue, and horses will be drugged to race both legally and illegally. Drugs will be injected by veterinarians and trainers to enhance performance in order to win.
    Horses do not need raceday or day-before drug treatments to race. The safest racing in the world exists where drugs are not permitted in the days before a horse races. The Hong Kong Jockey club racing at Happy Valley and Sha Tin reflects how safe, successful, and popular medication-free racing can be. Everyone should take a look at the racing in these drug-free venues, and attempt to adopt at least some of their policies to enhance American horseracing.

    • Peyton

      Very well put.

    • Old Timer

      FYI if you think horses just magically began getting drugs in the 1970’s I have some land for you in Florida!!!

      Where do you come up with this stuff.
      1. Drugs in all sports been around since the beginning of time!
      2. Drug testing really has only caught up in the last 30 years
      3. My horses don’t live in Happy Valley, but here in the US. Maybe China should first start letting their people have access to an uncensored internet and then I would consider following their design on anything.

  • Hamish

    When I first read the Bloohorse commentary by Ms. Moss, even though I disagree with her on many of her positions, I thought what the heck, this is America and she is speaking freely about her convictions. Now, as Mr. Gorajec points out, to think her writings may have had additional “professional” motives is disturbing.

    • togahombre

      mr gorajac omitted some of his own dealings, dismissal of the head equine medical director and confusion in the handling of samples,they both make some strong arguments, but neither is perfect, even when she hasn’t been defending a client maggie moss has stood by her position that limited resources should be used to go after real cheating(PED’s) and not therapeutic (class 4 in this case) overages

  • Bellwether

    Ms. Moss is a Lawyer right…Need I say Moe???…Mr. Gorejec laid it out plain and simple and his response was real strong to say the least…

    • Karl Bittner

      Strong for who? All the bureaucrats who attempt to run this sport and don’t have a clue?

      • Ben van den Brink

        The sport does not wan,t to clean itself up, in order to survive. Someone has to do that. Call it self protection.

        • Bellwether

          TY!!!…

      • Bellwether

        NO BODY is running ‘The Game’ and that is the REAL PROBLEM…That CLOWN/PHONEY Alex Waldrop needs to step down or be run off @ the NTRA and replaced by someone with some BRAINS/COMMON SENSE and a BACKBONE!!!…Many Moons Ago Moe!!!…

  • KARL Bittner

    The integrity of the accused should not be considered when considering punishment? That’s not the American way. Have you ever heard of three strikes your out? I have never heard one strike your out? I think he is the one who is confused and needs to reread Ms. Moss’s letter. Lawyer or not she presents some very compelling arguments. Every time I have heard Tom Amoss speak I think to myself there is the first person I would call if I needed a Trainer. Why? Because he comes across as being straight forward and no nonsense. You might not like what he has to say but he is going to give it to you unadulterated and you will know exactly where he stands. Honesty, what else could you ever ask for.

    • Racing Fan

      And that is the culture we’ve created. We all thought Douggie O’Neil was a good guy for his “barn mistakes” but that act also got tiresome when it just kept continuing. One positive test for a therapeutic medication is too many in a barn that does it right. There is no such thing as a barn mistake. You push the limits of therapeutic medications, you pay the price. Here’s a novel concept. Why not train the horse and rub the horse instead of relying on the needles. Would Tom Amoss disclose his veterinary records to the public? What is his avg vet bill per active horse who is racing per month? I’ll bet it’s a lot more than Graham Motions…

      Your attitude quite frankly is why people are walking away from the game, both bettors and horseman. The backbone and future of the industry is on a clean game where real horseman succeed.

      • Karl Bittner

        Are you suggesting a system that bans people from the sport just because of reputation with no due process. We can just assume that guy with the gun killed that man so we will put him to death by lethal injection? It does not matter that the real killer handed off the gun and ran off? What happened to the RULE OF LAW. I think what people want is fairness across the board from state to state with laws that benefit the welfare of the Horse. And Neither YOU or I are in a position to say what those rules would look like. But I do know what DUE PROCESS looks like and it obviously is not happening in Indiana. My attitude is just fine. I just find it interesting that as soon as someone gets a little too successful people have to start taking shots at them. I call that jealousy which is also a motivating factor in some of these cases.

        • Racing Fan

          I get that someone who is on death row gets thirty appeals. My issue with due process in horse racing is that it drags out way longer than it should, thanks in large part, to idiot lawyers who know how to game the system and underfunded state agencies who are told to back down so the state saves money in the courts.

          • togahombre

            you realize that most tracks are private property and can exclude anyone for minimal reasons, regardless of their”diot”lawyers

          • Racing Fan

            You realize that most racing commissions have a hearing process that can overrule the “private property” privilege, right?

          • Racing Fan

            See Charles Town. If you need help googling, I can do it for you.

          • togahombre

            i understand that once the commissions get involved the tracks tracks for the most part have to let the process play out but after that it their call, by charlestown are you meaning the c grove case

        • Racing Fan

          And there is no jealousy. I root for the horses I like in this sport, not the needle men and women who tighten the girth. Golden Cents is one of my favorites and his trainer can’t seem to keep a clean barn. Not the horse’s fault.

        • Lawyers and drug cheats have made a mockery of the system by exploiting due process.

          • KARL Bittner

            Get off your high horse Barry. (No pun intended). I guess we should trash the whole American system and just go to whatever system Czars such as yourself see fit. And Besides are you Questioning everyone’s integrity as soon as they have a positive drug test? Who died and left you in charge to decide? The American way is DUE PROCESS and THE RULE OF LAW! It may not be perfect, but it’s worked for a number of years.

          • KARL Bittner

            Incidentally, your a lawyer right? What does that say about you?

  • Jay Stone

    I believe the facts as stated by Mr. Gorajec take on an almost historic meaning as we’ve never before seen a state regulator lay out the facts like this before. He spelled out all the controversial subjects and gave in detail his answers. He should have silenced most of the critics of his actions with this statement. If every state had this gentleman regulating the industry racing would be far better off and the public perception would be improved.

    • KARL Bittner

      Sir, Did you read what she wrote? He only addressed a very small portion of what she wrote. The “Picogram Hysteria” as he put it was a very small portion of her complaint. I think she was looking for logical set of rules, put into place before the game starts, and to be uniformly followed with an open to the public due process for appeal followed by all. Changing of labs, changing of protocols, and secrecy in punishment with no clear due process meets none of those ideals. And not only that I can tell you that and I am hardly a lawyer or legal type!

      • Ben van den Brink

        Some lab,s are showing much more positive tests than other. Depends on the equipment and on the money availible.

      • Lynn

        If you Don’t have uniform testing, and we do not, uniform rules are far from being uniform.

      • Jay Stone

        Karl, my point is that this is the first person acting in a regulatory capacity, who has shown any hint of enforcement ability. When every state has its own rules and every lab shows inconsistencies he stands out in trying to right the ship. Most states take no action, slow action, or slap on the wrists when it comes to activities that hurt the game. Public perception is more negative every day and that
        Impacts handle negatively. The game needs some leadership to survive and despite criticism
        Mr. Gorajec is providing some. When track ownership takes a stand like Jeff Gural and Frank Stronach have the public will respond favorably. If the states that are mired in political patronage and incompetency follow there will be a positive response by the betting public.

    • Racing Fan

      Exactly. Most are just highly paid pencil pushers who don’t care though.

    • Horse Vet

      Jay;

      You don’t see it the same way I see it. Start with:

      “…being the first in the nation to regulate Cobalt”

      Joe claims that Indiana has adhered to the RMTC’s recommendations on guidelines. And yet, based on lack of sufficient scientific evidence, the RMTC has failed to make a recommendation on a cobalt threshold. Where, then, did Indiana get the threshold? Out of thin air? It can’t possibly have been from the RMTC.

      “.. a race day cocktail of dexamethasone, betamethasone, methylprednisolone, stanozolol and clenbuterol went undetected in a post-race test if the laboratory is not permitted to test and report findings below a nanogram per milliliter

      ..”
      Actually, a race-day cocktail of any combination of these substances would test over the nanogram per milliliter level. What Joe is referring to, is the therapeutic use of these substances days to weeks prior to raceday, resulting in picogram quantities. This is exactly what Ms. Moss is referring to. Days to weeks after a therapeutic substance is administered is GOOD for the horse, because it is a living breathing animal which occasionally required therapeutic substances. When those substances drop below a nanogram level, they no longer have any effect on the horse’s performance. But these are the levels at which horses are triggering “positives” and trainers being penalized. Imagine taking a couple of Advil yesterday and being taken down in a race today. This is what is going on.

      • dox diablo

        Bozo joe picks his fights badly. Indy DOES have a problem with selective enforcement. Years ago vets were giving race day dexamethasone in Indy. The result, a few, primarily out of state guys got MASSIVE penalties. There should have been HUNDREDS of positives, but just a few called. HMMM? The IHRC has been investigated previously. I wonder why? Another trainer around the same time got an ergonovine positive, NOT APPROVED NOT THERAPEUTIC NOT LEGAL IN US, slap on the wrist. Horses from out of state routinely specialled and harassed. I’m anxiously awaiting Prez Obama’s speech, hoping he pardons the horsemen and deports Gorajec, Foreman, the RMTC, and Barry Irwin.

        • Lynn

          dox diablo; You correctly pointed out how Gorajec has done the “slap on the wrist” for an Ergonovine positive.

          I would like to know and Ray Paulic could help us find out what penalties will the trainers face that ADMITTED to using RACE DAY MEDICATIONS in addition Lasix? Do those trainers get off free of everything because they snitched on Dr. Ross Russell? Shouldn’t all horses that received the race day medications other than Lasix be taken down regardless of weather the trainers took a plea deal?
          Gorajec left all of this out in the article he summited.

          • RayPaulick

            As I mentioned on a different thread in response to the same questions, Lynn, Joe Gorajec addresses your questions about the “snitches.” I don’t know what penalties they face, but I do know in the real world that informants who help prosecutors convict bigger targets usually get reduced sentences. (One example: You can look at the recent probation given to a Pennsylvania clocker for a felony guilty plea, which was done in exchange for cooperating with the FBI).

            Here is what Gorajec wrote (above): “With respect to the Russell case, there has been conversation in some quarters regarding the penalties, or lack thereof, against others involved in the investigation. The Administrative Complaint clearly states that the investigation remains active. In other words, disciplinary action involving others will be forthcoming and will be initiated when appropriate.”

          • Lynn

            Thanks

        • Fairrace14

          Absolutely Dox

      • Barbara Bowen

        Funny how some trainers have more of these innocent positives than others, right?

        • Horse Vet

          Barbara;
          The RMTC has made withdrawal recommendations that are fallacious. Many trainers and vets took them at their word, and followed the recommendations, resulting in positives. If a trainer fields a large number of horses, especially in multiple jurisdictions, with these random positives, it is a game of numbers. Racing Commissions across the country, such as Indiana, have adopted the RMTC recommendations believing that the science is sound…when in fact, it is not. Now that the deficiencies of the recommendations have come to light, ALL adopting jurisdictions need to rethink the Model Rules, and demand accurate science. It’s very simple. Jurisdictions are penalizing horses and horsemen for following the rules. Imagine getting a ticket for going 55 mph in a 55 mph zone, and being told at your hearing “the sign was just a guideline.” This is what is happening. A large number of Harness horsemen lost their purses because of a 6 day previous treatment with an antihistamine. Can you imagine that the Claritin that you took a week ago has any impact, in any way, on your system today? We desperately need to inject rationality and common sense into the medication rules. They are horses first and competitors second and we MUST be able to treat them.

        • Lynn

          Maggi Moss has done a great job of pointing out how
          “REGULATION HAS RUN AMOK”.

          The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) has a very extremely poor past performance record for setting withdrawal times and threshold levels. If the RMTC were a horse they would be ruled off for POOR PERFORMANCE.

          The The RMTC, ARCI, and The Jock Club working together have produced withdrawal times and threshold levels that are inaccurate, inexact, imprecise, wrong, careless, faulty, flawed, unreliable, and defective. This has resulted in Horsemen who followed these rules to the letter being punished with loss of purses, fines and suspensions.

          Much of this was pointed out in The Fall 2014 Horseman’s Journal WANDERING WITHDRAWAL TIMES AND THE RMTC MODEL RULES
          TIME FOR THE RMTC TO GET “DAYS”

      • thoroughbred watch dog

        You think that a cocktail of these FOUR drugs is therapeutic??? You, Horse Vet, have your moral compass pointed TOTALLY in the wrong direction.

        • togahombre

          i think he’s taking issue with testing thresholds as the commissioner stated it, i don’t see any reference to him justifying the treatment with these four meds together

        • Horse Vet

          TWD and BVDB;
          A traumatized joint, be it from overextension, stepping in an uneven part of the racetrack, injury from “cutting up” because the horse feels good, predisposition due to the way a horse travels, conformation, what have you, starts a cascade of events which release inflammatory mediators that ultimately result in damage to the cartilage and subchondral bone, leading to osteoarthritis. The faster you can shut down those inflammatory mediators, the better you can preserve the integrity of the joint, not just for the health of the joint today, but for the health of the joint in the future. This involves injection with corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory), hyaluronan (joint fluid replacement) and sometimes other therapeutic substances. If you fail to take care of the athlete as these events occur, your moral compass is wrongly directed. And, no, “turn out” without treatment does not replace appropriate targeted therapy. It only sends the animal down an irreversible path of longterm unsoundness. As a Track Vet and racehorse owner, I can assure you that I am unafraid to immediately jump on a joint injection when necessary, and many of my retired racehorses remain in my practice as hunters, eventers and Dressage horses: competitive athletes well into their teens. On the other hand, it is the un-injected older athletes, wherein the owners thought they were doing the right thing by NOT injecting, where I see relatively young crippled competitors for whom there is nothing I can do to provide them comfort.

          • Thoroughbred Watch Dog

            Injecting a joint leads to a domino affect that will end in a dry socket. Once you tap a joint, that horse will, more than likely, have to be tapped again. How about promoting good horsemanship. Work on these horses. Ice, poultice, sweats, and, the greatest healer – TIME OFF.

          • Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

            I’m sorry, but the science simply does not support your point of view.

          • betterthannothing

            Science more than likely bought and paid for by pharmaceutical companies and the vet industry, directly or indirectly. Neither industry profits from horses being well with patient horsemanship and getting well with ice, poultice and time off.

          • thoroughbred watch dog

            I don’t need science to tell me what I have seen occur in my time as a groom and an assistant trainer. Would you agree or disagree that the production of synovial fluid in a horse’s joint lessens over time? Eventually, the horse stops producing it completely. Every time you tap a joint, you’re removing the natural joint lubrication. I don’t give a crap what you are “injecting” for “therapeutic” reasons.

          • Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

            TWD;
            No, the synovial fluid production does not lessen over time. Done properly, the joint injection stops the production of inflammatory mediators, improving the quality and health of the joint and synovial fluid. If using legitimate FDA approved therapeutic medications, you are improving the horse’s health, happiness and soundness.

          • thoroughbred watch dog

            Haven’t seen it happen yet – perhaps you would like to present an example. I can present quite a few. If what you are stating was true, dry sockets wouldn’t exist. Oh, guess what – they do.

          • Steve G.

            If you have a horse with a puffy ankle, do you think it’s a good thing to inject the ankle and run the horse? It’s a great thing if you like seeing horses break down. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not claiming that most horses will break down the first time you inject their ankle. But when a horse has a bad ankle and there is swelling, there is a reason for it. I’m a runner. It would be the same if I had a sore and puffy ankle. What would I do in that situation? I would rest it. I may ice it. I may even possibly take some anti-inflammatories. But I certainly wouldn’t inject it and then go run as fast as I can. We know what the result be. Whatever injury I had would be worse.

            It’s the same with horses. I’ve been in the business for over 30 years as an owner and a racing manager. I’ve dealt with hundreds of horses. Not only do I speak with my trainers a few times a week but I speak to the vets all the time too. From my experience I would unequivocally say that I am totally against injecting ankles. I think it is very dangerous. If the practice was totally banned I think we would reduce the number of breakdowns by 80%. I’m not necessarily against injecting knees, stifles, or hocks if it’s done judiciously and with proper oversight. I think the US should adopt a policy like Hong Kong where no vet work is allowed without the approval of the state vet.

          • What about when you use steroids or other things along with the hylauronic acid? What does “the science” tell you then?

          • Cyndi Robertson

            I completely disagree with your initial statement that once a joint is injected it will “most likely have to be tapped again” & the following absurd comment that joint fluid productions ceases! I do agree there is a broad spectrum of “horsemanship” or lack there of in the industry trainers, assistants, and grooms. Appropriate therapy (including joint injections or surgery & preventative medicine such as routine adequan) followed by time off or turn out has been the secret to success for the majority of our 6 year old and up racehorses still competing at the class level established as 2 or 3 year olds.

      • Ben van den Brink

        Any use of any medications are affecting. Steroids for instances will have effects for yrs and yrs, after stopping the use. It does not matter which amount as only zero will do enough

      • Fairrace14

        Great point Horse vet! Is anyone doing anything to push the facts with the RMTC on the “picogram of theraputic meds has no effect on performance”?

  • Racing Fan

    I enjoy when someone puts the perennial blowhard Maggi Moss in her place. This is an owner who doesn’t practice what she preeches in my opinion. Just check the rulings on her trainer C. Richard who she employed and the lady from Penn National she also employed. Practice what your preech maggi.

    • Horse Vet

      Mr. Gorajec fails to recognize that (1) the RMTC published guidelines WILL result in a positive test in many circumstances, and this is a now well established fact. The RMTC recommendations appear to be, at best, sloppy or incomplete studies and review of the same and at worst, an intentional set-up of the horsemen and veterinarians. (2) why has Indiana instituted a Cobalt threshold while even the RMTC has failed to find enough science to back up any threshold?

    • Karl Bittner

      Racing FAN – Before you go spouting off about blowhard Maggi Moss read what she says above. You, Sir, obviously have no clue about what you speak to when you start calling names!

      • Racing Fan

        So, you are saying C. Richard has a clean medication history?

        • Karl Bittner

          No, what I’m saying is name calling is not an argument or if for some other reason you just don’t like someone. Remember it’s about “the rule of Law”. That’s what counts in our system. But in order to have that you have to have clear and understandable guidelines that everyone can follow with a system of Due process. How hard is this to understand????? Indiana clearly does not have these things!

          • Racing Fan

            I don’t like hypocrites. That is all.

          • Racing Fan

            Kudos to Indiana for having balls. I’m going to start playing Indiana Grand.

  • gregrobertson

    This is the problem, multiple infractions and still training, a permanent ban should be aplied for all repeat offenders.

    “” If the standard minimum RCI Penalty had been applied to Mr. Amoss for
    the preceding violations, he would have already served up to three
    separate suspensions – not counting the pending Indiana case. Instead,
    Mr. Amoss has served no suspension for any of the three preceding
    (admitted) violations committed in other jurisdictions””

    • Gina Powell

      There seems to be a pattern here. Attorneys who are racehorse owners whose Trainers have Multiple Drug Violations while the Attorney/Owner represents their Trainer. This is outrageous, and conflict of interest, . As far as I’m concerned ALL Trainers with Multiple Drug Violations should be banned from this industry. Period. No wonder they win stake races year in and year out while honest Owner/Trainers watch from the sidelines while their Owner/Attorney plays the system to the hilt. How can honest people compete with this unfair competitive advantage? They can’t, and this is precisely why this business is in trouble. The middle class Owner has left the business over frustrations regarding these Trainers, and the fact that this industry does not clean itself up.

      • Ben van den Brink

        If US racing want,s to clean up the house, in order to survive and eventually blossoming, they need to enforce the rules.Otherwise they whole industry will sink into the swamps

  • maggi moss

    For the record, I do NOT represent Mr. Amoss in Indiana. If my editorial, which I passionately stand by, was written on Mr. Amoss’ behalf, I would have written it in 2011, not almost four years later.

    This was written 4 years after Mr. Amoss’ case, due to what is occurring IN 2014 In Indiana. This was written for all the small horsemen and breeders in Indiana that are being treated unfairly and cant fight back. This was written due to the lack of transparency to the betting putblic. Most of it , it was written to differentiate between the trainers out there that are abusing horses, endangering jockeys by the use of dangerous illegal drugs that we can not test. vs. the ” admitted work in progress” of picograms of therapeutic medications being lumped together and calling everyone “cheaters”.

    It was written for a 70 year old woman with the small breeding operation who just sold all her Indiana breeding stock due to her treatment of losing all her purse money 4 months after she participated at Indiana Grand for immeasurable therapeutic medication administered by a reputable vet. Her treatment by regulators was far more aggrecious and she simply did not have the resources to fight back. It was written for the 40 plus emals of those participating at Indiana Grand that were in my opinion treated unfairly. Most of all, due to what will be tantamount to over 60 so called postives in Indiana, no one in Indiana chose to inform the betting public of what was going on as it was occurring untl the meet was over.

    Albeit, I have known Mr. Amoss for 15 years, I stand 100 percent behind him as one of the most honest decent individuals I have met, in and out of racing. He is currently one of my only trainers due to his impeccable care of my horses and my trust in him. I have no question he is being treated unfairly in Indiana, but stand by that he is fighting for what he feels is fair and right.

    Mr. Amoss or his case is not mentioned in my editorial, for it was not about him, in that happened years ago. It was written due to what is happening now not only in Indiana but elsewhere. For Mr. Gorajec to comment on a pending case that will ultimately go in front of his commission is unprecendented and ethically wrong.

    Since, Mr. Gorijec chose to comment on a pending case, I guess that does open the door. The gross unfairness’ in Mr. Amoss’ case, is his livlhood is being threatened by a so called positive now measured to be 1.0 nannograms or less of methacarbanol. Under the new rules in Indiana, and the current science available now, that is NO longer illegal or considered a positive in Indiana. It was indeed Mr. Gorijac in passing the new RCI drug rules that was quoted “that we cant have the horsemen run the risk of getting positives that should no longer be called postives”. It does tear at my fabric, not as a lawyer, but as a person that cares about equality, that Mr. Amoss is still being persecuted for what is not even illegal anymore in Indiana based on the new rules and the most current science.

    • Racing Fan

      If it was illegal at the time it’s a positive. Period. If a state makes a DUI a .08 instead of .10 should we go back and prosecute all the people who blew 0.9 ?

      • Racing Fan

        Also, every horseman knows the perils of using an oral medication like Robaxin. So, the best course of action is to NOT USE IT AT ALL. PERIOD. That’s what you do when you don’t want to get a positive test and play the game right.

        • Karl Bittner

          I guess Robaxin is good enough for humans in pain but not horses? God knows we don’t want to start treating horses humanly. Let them live with pain!

          • Ben van den Brink

            Do not run them period

          • Racing Fan

            Did you ever hear of treating a condition with medication and letting it heal before the athlete competes? Crazy notion, I know !

          • AngelaFromAbilene

            Sorry Karl but if your horse is so sore that it needs ANYTHING to compete, your horse needs to stay in the barn. It’s called HORSEMANSHIP… get some!

          • Racing Fan

            They just can’t seem to grasp this concept. Patch it up and “run em”

          • AngelaFromAbilene

            “Horsemen” like Karl make me want to simultaneously puke and throttle them. It is his mindset that is the root of all our problems. Perhaps Karl should race cars.

          • KARL Bittner

            See comment above

          • turffan

            NYRA & Santa Anita are home to the super trainer/ super huge vet bill/ WAY ahead of the curve, well moneyed & Backed. You are betting on the very best of the “walk the fine liner’s”.

          • AngelaInAbilene

            I see that you’re a bettor and not a horseman at all. Being a lifelong horseman, I believe I have just a little bit more knowledge about this than you do.

            You “want what’s best for racing?” That most assuredly is NOT using muscle relaxers, NSAIDS or any other pharmaceutical to get a sore horse in the gate. Period. Suggesting such a thing is not only ludicrous on its face but shows just how deeply you do not understand what you said.

            My sister is a nephrologist, that certainly does not qualify me to diagnose kidney ailments…. and I’m smart enough to admit it.

          • KARL Bittner

            We can continue to go back and forth on who knows what and exactly what is best for racing and it’s for that very reason nothing gets done. It’s seems to me that in NY they have taken a very analytic approach to all of this and guess what? For the most part it is working. Breakdowns on the track are down. Now they are starting to look at other things such as aftercare and ensuring racehorses don’t end up at oversea slaughterhouses. Every step is done and backed up by statistical data. This has nothing to do with what YOU or I think should be done. Again, this conversation all started with Ms. Moss’s complaint of lack of transparency, lack of due process, lack of consistency, and a general hodgepodge of rules enforcement in the State of Indiana. Anyone could see by what is going on with a changing of labs and so on that these are all in fact true. You don’t need to be a horseman to know when the regulators are out of control. Why is it we do not have these issues in NY. Because we have people who are committed to Due process.

          • togahombre

            those last two sentences are a symptom of the nygc kool-aid

          • Indy snappy

            That’s what is wrong with horseman .. If it wasn’t for the bettor there would be no racing.. Especially at lower tracks like Indy grand!! The horseman need the bettor for the sport !!

          • KARL Bittner

            Firstly I am not a Horseman. I was defending the proper use of medication and until the ENTIRE country get’s it’s act together we are going to have these debates. We need uniform TRANSPARENT policy across all states that are clearly understood. A non bias regulatory committee to oversee policy in a TRANSPARENT way. We need due process for those accused which may or may not include recognition for those who follow the rules. Make up a committee that includes a cross-section of all those involved in racing including the bettors. Lock them in a room and tell them you have food long enough to get it done so don’t come out until your finished. My original point was defending Ms Moss that it was obvious that Indiana was no where close to any of those standards.

          • turffan

            What’s wrong with a state trying to do the right thing? IF they succeed it will only make easier for you to make $$$ gambling….Growing pains…they will get it right & others will follow…For your long term benefit & mine.

          • togahombre

            any of these states doing the right thing is as good as it gets, rules are rules but the authorities have a responsibility to apply them fairly and in the open to everyone, this case and this commissioner, i only know what i’ve read, since he’s been there over 20 years thats not much at all, but from where i’m sitting it’s starting to look like dutrow/sabini all over again,so it may not be a case of doing whats right but instead of one party taking it very personally, not always the right ingredient for making fair decisions

          • betterthannothing

            Stop the B. S. Karl. Horses that need meds should be given time to heal not be drugged and raced. That is the humane and ethical thing to do. Taking cortisone IA injections as an example, most humans use them very carefully and certainly keep track of them. In horse racing, that pernicious practice can involve multiple joints at once starting at two and is strictly done to exploit horses regardless of the immediate and cumulative catastrophic consequences. No one keeps track of those injections or disclose them to protect horses including claiming horses. Obviously nobody cares enough about the welfare and safety of those horses within our industry to prevent this and all sorts of abuse.

          • AngelaFromAbilene

            And there you have the BIGGEST drug problem in the industry. But nobody wants to talk about that.

          • KARL Bittner

            See my response above

          • KARL Bittner

            Read above

          • turffan

            It is good enough for horses but NOT competing horses. Humans can take pain killers & choose to run or not run a marathon,,,horses don’t get that choice. No one is advocating withholding pain-management from animals, just pain-MIS-management.

          • McGov

            We have a responsibility to these horses to both manage their pain and manage their overall welfare. They do not have a choice. Some trainers push and push and put the welfare of the horse at great risk. They use drugs to mask the pain and disregard their responsibilities to the horses overall welfare….NOT by USING the drug….but by TRAINING and RACING in the pursuit of continued income, etc.
            It is just a business to them.
            Nobody expects a horse to suffer through pain. But we DO EXPECT that horsemen start putting the horse first. There are so many options for trainers when they have a horse that is injured….from equine hydrotherapy ( swimming) to light training to rest. Drugs are the QUICKEST route when considering therapies….NOT THE BEST route.

    • Deb Hartman

      Mr. Gorajec is the biggest cheater in Indiana.

      • Indy snap

        Amen… People outside Indiana think he is a saint.. Kind of funny how he wants to clean things up the the last couple of weeks of he meet..

        • racehorse67

          screw it up

    • Karl Bittner

      Ms. Moss keep fighting the good fight. Don’t ever give up! You have supporters!

    • PTP

      Maggi,

      I don’t think Tom cheats, and I don’t know many who do.

      The more pressing question: What do you think the penalty should be for a stable – any stable, let’s stay with the hypothetical – that has three or four or five overages in that time frame? Sooner or later one must have a set of rules to abide by, and stable management is a very important aspect of a trainers’ worth ad responsibility, and clearly does have some effect on how the sport is viewed by statehouses and others who control the purse strings.

      You are not advocating no penalty for overages and withdrawal times are you?

      PTP

      • maggi moss

        No, I do not think ANYONE should be spared penalities for known violations of racing rules, including Tom Amoss. He fully admits to a problem he had in 2011, and once he was notified of these ( they all came in a short period of time and he was not notified of the problem until the 3rd one) he did fix the problem by discontinuing use of methacarabanol and figuring out how and why this occurred. This does not excuse the problem nor has he ever tried to escape punisment.

        THe original complaint called for 30 days, and when Mr. Gorijec was told that Tom was going to defend this and hire an attorney, the next day, Mr Gorijec filed an amended complaint and changed it to 60 days.. Now, the fact that you decide to hire an attorney and fight a case, does this justify, and for this reason only, doubling the penalty?

        Mr. Amoss never denied the problem and never asked to be given a free pass. Kentucky, pursuant to the rules, ruled that one must be notified of the problem when they come in quick succession, meaning, that if you get 3 in a short period of time, clearly showing there is a problem, you must have notice of this before you treat them as 3 separate violations. This is how it is treated universally, and is NOT being treated this way in Indiana singularly and only to Tom Amoss.

        IN Indiana this year, similar trainers that were not notified, with multiple violations were treated, like Ky and not treated as subsequent and harsher penalites.

        In Indiana, there were two exact cases, where a trainers had postiives THIS YEAR for drugs ( CLASS A’S carrying a year) that had changed classification, meaning, their penalties were less under current rules not old rules and they were sentenced under current rules. That means trainers with the most serious violations in INdiana that carried year suspensions were given breaks, due to the changing climate under the new rules. There is currently a trainer with a cobalt positive, which is a Class A, that carries a year, that will not be getting a year, due to the fact that INdiana recognizes that their levels may be incorrect. So, a Class A violation of Cobalt will now be penalized as no suspension or fine.

        So, you be the judge, is a Class A violation of Cobalt, carrying a year worse than under a nannogram of methacarbanol? Since it is admitted that perhaps they were wrong as to their classification of cobalt, that trainer gets a free pass. In Mr. Amoss case with the changing regulations on theapeutic drugs, and their rules now admitting that 1.0 nannogram or less of methacarbanol (which is the data in Amoss case) COULD NOT affect the performance of a horse on CURRENT SCIENCE of their own expert, he should get 60 days? In other words, there are documented cases that penalities are lessesed due to the current science in all cases in Indiana except in the Amoss case. Is it ok to admit that that under these rules and the most reliable science NOW availalbe, this, at a minimum should be mitigation , as the rules require, and the penalty should be less ?

        SO, yes mistakes were made and violations need to occur, including Mr. Amoss, but all that was ever asked is he be treated uniformly as other similar cases are being treated. All that was ever asked was that Indiana follow their own rules and Mr. Amoss be treated like everyone else. There is no question whatsoever in my mind that this has become personal to Mr. Gorijec. I have documented multiple trainers punishments for far more graver acts, and multiple violations in Indiana that are being treated differently Askng for equality and fairness and being treated like others similarly situated should not be unfair in any system of justice.

        I only request in any case, to any trainer, that there is uniformity, and fairness everywhere, and that one follow their own rules, in lieu of arbritray enforcement, and personal agendas.

        At no time, has Mr. Amoss made any excuses or denied the problem, he only has asked that Indiana follow their own rules and precedents, and like any other case, questions why there has been selective enforcement of those rules. I simply think everyone, no matter who they are should be treated equally as the rules promulgate and that has not happened with this case. Play by the rules, all the rules, and punishment should not be ignored to anyone as long as you treat everyone the same

        • Greg J.

          Bravo Maggi.

          • Pat

            Greg, you and your FOB cult can’t see past the end of your noses. The treatment of Silver Nat and Northwest Hill was honorable?

          • Greg J.

            Pat, Yawn on the “cult” remark Pat, gets old and just idiotic. I choose to respect who I feel like, you can do the same, makes zero difference to me. Have a good day…

        • Peyton

          I hate to not commit on the totality of your post, but in the first paragraph I was given cause to pause when you said ‘how and why this occurred’ in reference to methacarobomal sp. I think this is a regulated drug which requires a bit of effort to obtain. Hopefully it didn’t fall out of the sky which would require Tom to spend countless hours looking to the heavens to understand how it landing in his stable. You have an image to us laypersons that you are in it for the betterment of the game. Careful about your self assessments because it influences a lot of innocent people who will rely on your integrity.

          • maggi moss

            realizing, I could make a day of attempting to comment to the choir, I do think your comment is worthy and fair. I fully support doing away with ALL race day drugs except lasix. I support running a barn drug free other than if a horse gets sick. The new RCI drug rules that are being adopted, however do approve therapeutic medications, such as metacarbanol, as long as the proper withdrawal times are used, may it be 2 weeks etc
            . I do not believe that trainers should even use therapeutic drugs anymore regardless of the withdrawal times, for I do not feel they can be protected from still having overages. Therefore I do support totally drug free racing other than lasix.
            SO, to answer your question, I do not feel any raceday drugs should be used and I think trainers are under great risk even using approved therapeutic drugs, on following approved withdrawal times.
            I do not trust the science surrounding these withdrawal times . As to the use of methacarbanol, years ago, it was a legal drug and was used legally. As to searching for how a horse tested an overage of this drug, any searching for how this happened, involved looking thru all food supplements, when if it was given in compliance with withdrawal time, and everything was done legally, how would horses come up with overages of it? That question was partially answered based on food supplements coming from a factory that was ultimately charged with comingling their products- hope that helps

          • turffan

            Maggi, The only RACEDAY drug that’s legal is Lasix, it’s the residual affects of Pre-race day drugs that are the problem. You’re a smart lady, I know you know this. It’s obvious you love your horses so start fighting for good old fashion rubbin & winters off to heal & ice & just plain horsemanship. Don’t defend the picogram, a picogram is code for cutting corners.. Your doing yourself. & your horses a disservice. Methacarbanol is for SORE HORSES.

          • thoroughbred watch dog

            Exactly, Turffan. If horsemen went back to the days of old when they would actually spend time working on their horses, instead of looking for a quick remedy to a soundness issue, we would not have a need for all of these “therapeutic medications”. When I was rubbing horses at Suffolk Downs, all five of mine would receive some type of hydrotherapy on a daily basis, whether it be standing in the ice tub, ice boots, whirlpool, etc. When we provided these daily treatments, the vets didn’t have much business to attend to in our barn.

          • Horse Vet

            TWD;
            Seriously, when were those days of old? There are a number of Times articles in the 1930’s about the “rampant doping of horses with ephedrine.” So, were you around before the 1930’s? The drug names change, but the headlines remain the same. There WAS no such time as the “days of old.”
            As long as humans are involved in competition, there will be cheating. The rational use of therapeutic medications is called “modern medicine” and is NOT equivalent to cheating. Nonetheless, the new RMTC regulations vilifiy modern sports medicine, and do nothing to advance the war against actual cheating.
            As Maggi pointed out in her article: Indiana Grand could be a sparkling gem in Midwest Racing, but the application of the new RMTC rules and the dogged adherence to the letter of these new laws, despite evidence that there is something seriously amiss in the recommendations has tarnished Indiana Racing. And this is all with not a single Dermorphin, Cobra Venom (or other Class A painkiller) positive. With the monumental number of positives in post-race samples, there is an equal likelihood that the UN-tested second place horse had just as much in its system. And yet the Un-tested horse is put up because of a lucky twist of fate.

          • thoroughbred watch dog

            Pardon me, Horse Vet, but no where in my comment did I mention cheaters. And, by your comments, it sounds to me as though you are insinuating that the people I worked for were cheaters. My concern is the welfare of the horse. Not putting money in a veterinarians pocket.

          • racehorse67

            yes your right that has all gone by the side i still own two nice wirl pools that i still use great tools allong with ice boots

          • Horse Vet

            Turffan;
            Methocarbamol is a PREVENTATIVE medication for horses prone to painful condition of muscle cramping called tying up. Some horses are sufficiently prone to muscle cramping that they are administered Methocarbamol daily during training. It is NOT for SORE HORSES, it is to PREVENT sore horses.
            The most common treatment for tying up used to be anabolic steroids, which were VERY effective at low doses to prevent muscle cramping. Then they were banned.

            Not defending anabolic steroids, but if we want to take the best care possible of the horses in our care, then we must do everything we can to prevent PAIN, such as tying up.
            As for ice, it works great, but not nearly as well as modern medicine. There is a place for both. And no amount of ice will prevent a horse from tying up.

          • turffan

            Thank You Horse Vet, your post supports exactly what I was getting at. I wasn’t specifically speaking of tying up ( by sore I meant muscle soreness not joint, bone ect) , but lets roll with it. A very small percentage of horses tie up yet entire stables are on it. Anabolic steroids have some good uses but everyone began to use them to turn My Little Pony into a Budweiser Clydesdale. Modern medicine is wonderful but has replaced horsemanship, trainers are skipping the half of treatment that cost time. It should be inject-heal NOT inject-run. How come every sports medicine MD in the country make their patients ice after PT or training but many barns have ice boots collecting dust if they even have them anymore.

          • Horse Vet

            turffan;
            Approximately half of fillies and an occasional male can chronically tie-up (this is a fact). The percentage is higher if you happen to train Standardbreds. No, modern medicine has NOT replaced horsemanship. Modern medicine has replaced ARCHAIC medicine (mercury blister, anyone?). Inflammatory mediators running around in a joint WILL NOT be eliminated by ice. Sore muscles will NOT be relieved by slathering on poultice. As for your hypothesis that “entire stables are on it,” I can assure you that not a one of the “entire stables” where I treat horses is on it. Maybe a few of the fillies, and an occasional male. Much higher percentage of my Standardbred filly patients. The level of horsemanship overall is higher now that it has ever been, with the occasional exception, usually of some old-timer, still clinging to “way we used to do it.” thank God they can’t find a red mercury blister, or we’d still be treating an occasional heavy metal poisoning.

          • turffan

            You take my words to literally….I must have been incredibly lucky, I never had a filly or colt tie up, not one. only a single gelding & only slightly, a management change & message was all it took to cure him.

          • thoroughbred watch dog

            I have only had one tie up as well. Also a gelding. My management change cured him as well. Boy, Turffan, we have both been incredibly lucky.

    • Andrew A.

      So Maggi, aren’t you speaking about Social Media at the symposium? I’m laughing from your comments on twitter. Keep telling the truth as you know it.

    • Jay Stone

      Maggi, I have the utmost respect for what you’ve accomplished in life and in racing. My question to you would be without sounding stupid how do you know there are so many illegal drugs out there that we can’t test for. Trainers that win very high percentages are accused of hoping horses but that isn’t necessarily true. A good owner can make a 20 percent trainer into a 35 percent winner. I believe unless you have zero tolerance that accrued positives of any medication deserve some punishment. Mr. Dutrow received a ridiculous punishment as an example for others. This is a very slippery slope when you talk about penalties for positives from state to state.

      • maggi moss

        a very good point Mr. Stone, I have talked to 2 lab direcotors in charge of drug testing. They are well aware of new boutique drugs that are currently being used, that are similar to demorphan and perhaps originating from China. There are, in fact, trainers and vets that are still taking an edge in using harmful dangerous drugs- that is the opinion of the labs that are doing current testing, not mine.
        Having a high win percentage does not equate to cheating. My issue now and all I have been saying, is the words of those trying to come up with the proper withdrawal times of legal therapeutic drugs, and calling it a work in progress. What that means to me is you cant use any drugs, even approved theapeutic drugs that are legal, for you run the risk, of having for many reasons ( even if you play by all the rules) a picogram overage. That is admittedly not capable of affecting the horse and therefore deceiving the betting public, ( a main reason we have rules) but regulators are all treating these overages differently depending on what state you race in, and in some states, there is an arbitray treatment of those participating,.

        • Jay Stone

          We are in complete agreement that as long as we have 35 odd jurisdictions trying to control their small fiefdoms this danger to the trainer will exist. Without one controlling, regulatory body there will be the confusion that now rules. Withdrawal times on most medications are hazy at best and that is a danger. In the last two years depending on which state you train in the safe withdrawal time for Clem has changed many times. The manufacturer has even said they can’t be sure.

    • dox diablo

      Good for you Maggi. Anyone that has dealt with Bozo Joe knows the incredibly difficult situation you are in up there to try and “fight city hall”. Small people don’t have the resources to hire excellent legal representation (such as yours). I personally know 2 horsemen that have gotten the “sign on the dotted line or else” speech from the IHRC. They have served days for miniscule amounts of a therapeutic drug given using the “RMTC/IHRC” guidance scheme. I know another horseman of means, who has chosen to sue. Gov. Pence should give Gorajec the boot, and have the attorney generals office go hog wild at the IHRC.

    • racehorse67

      if the casinos could they would do away with racing thats why they keep coming up with bull crap to run the horseman out

    • Andy in the desert

      Excellent point by point response and explanation. Very well stated.
      And for the record I have never met Ms. Moss.

  • Tinky

    I haven’t dug into the specific issue in question, but here’s something I do know: Maggie Moss has, throughout her career as an owner, been a serial employer of trainers who – ahem – like to “push the envelope”. So when you hear her rise vehemently to the defense of trainers who have received positive tests, you’d be well-advised to take her opinion with more than a few grains of salt.

    • maggi moss

      I was so hoping that I would hear from the Jerry Springer of the Paulick report, I would be so disappointed if you did not take your usual tainted and ignorant swipe at me. Heres the good news, I sleep extraordinarily well each and every night that my horses are in the care of Tom Amoss, and Chris Richard, the only two trainers I use. May every horse in america get the care mine do. Thats what matters to me and I have put my efforts and money behind my philosophies on the animals that make up this sport. Open your eyes to the real atrocities in this sport, for there are many. So tell me Mr. Tinky, who simply refuses to ever use his own name, what was the last thing you did for this industry? or the last horse you saved? other than write stupid , uneducated swipes at those of us that atleast try and make a small difference? You have one claim to fame, writing uneducated and stupid comments about an industry that Im fairly confident you are not involved with in any fashion-

      • Racing Fan

        What about the trainer you hired at Penn National?

        • maggi moss

          to reply to both racing fan and Mr Tinky, I have made many mistakes in my life, both personally and professionally, and probably will continue to do so. My choice in men and past trainers in the past has not met the rules and standards I try and live by . The difference, like hopefully most in America, when we discover in our personal and professional relationships that they are wrong, we get divorced and move on and try and not repeat those mistakes. I will stand by my two current trainers as long as I remain in racing, one going on 15 years, the other 9 years. They are the right fit for me due to their honesty and integrity- like many of us, they are not perfect, but they fit every principle that is important to me in my personal and professional life.

          • Racing Fan

            Fair enough. You’ve earned my respect.

          • Elliott ness

            To clear it all up, Maggi , please post for the world to see, the last ten years of detailed veterinary bills that you have received and paid. Surely it would take one of your paralegals 20 minutes. This discovery would certainly shed all relevant light on the subject. Please, all other high profile owners, do the same. I would love to see if the top trainers are top trainers or top chemist, with just a few clicks of the mouse from your hard drives and other top owners, we shall all know the truth. Thanks in advance Maggi . With the overages at Indiana, you must admit Trainer Amoss likes to medicate.

      • Tinky

        To review the above exchange, I posted a fact (feel free to look up the “high-percentage” trainers who have been employed by MM over the years, and the names of those whom she has represented), followed by a word of caution. In response, the lawyer launches a furious ad hominem attack, based largely on the irrelevant point that I don’t use my real name when posting.

        Also, note that I never suggested that she didn’t do anything positive for horses or the game, so those points are simply straw men.

        How very lawyerly.

        From my standpoint, despite her loud objections to the contrary, those who care the most about the horses that they own underscore the fact by employing trainers who are above reproach (e.g. Clement, Motion, etc.).

        • togahombre

          your gonna give all elitist’s a bad name

        • jorge

          I see you finally tossed Mott from your list. You must have looked at last months KSRC rulings

          • Tinky

            Apparently you missed the “etc.” part.

          • I simply refuse to read any more Tinky posts if he not going to insert “straw man” or “ad hominem” any more. I only live for these instances.

    • Racing Fan

      Ding. Ding. Ding. the defenders of Maggi just don’t have a comeback for this.

      • togahombre

        it’s his fight, lets see what he’s got

  • edszepplin

    Can you explain why my info is not posted ?

  • Daniel Jividen

    Are “Indiana centric” actual English words?

    • I believe that William Shakespeare first used that phrase in one of his late plays. Get with the program!

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    3 years Amoss has been fighting this. Jeezus, 5 overages in 1 year! That tells me Mr. Amoss is too dependent on pharmaceuticals and pushes the envelope too far. Show some integrity and take the 60 days.

  • Steve G.

    Joe Gorajec is doing a great job and I would bet that 90% of fans and bettors would agree. I wish we had Joe Gorajec here in California. In fact, I wish there was a Joe Gorajec in every state. Cheating is so rampant these days and there is practically no deterrent. These guys rarely get caught, and when they do they usually get a slap on the wrist. There needs to be a strong deterrent. If vets and trainers knew they were going to be banned for 20 years, I think you would see a huge drop in cheating. Anyway, Joe Gorajec is doing a great job. Keep us the great work Joe!

    By the way, if every state got as serious as Indiana (when it comes to cracking down on cheating), and if most cheating stopped, I think you would see a huge increase in handle and you would see many of the fans and bettors that have left the sport come back. Don’t get me wrong. This wouldn’t happen overnight. It would take a few years for people to get their confidence back in the integrity of the sport. The lack of integrity in the sport right now is a huge problem and it is hurting business dramatically. We need to bring the integrity back to the sport.

  • RHF

    Interesting that Ms. Moss never mentioned Tom Amoss in her commentary, so Mr. Gorajec’s response comes across as desperate, especially given that he is commenting on a pending case that has yet to reach the commission for a decision. The facts are that Indiana has just issued rulings involving multiple positives that don’t follow the ARCI guidelines for multiple test violations. This is selective application that needs to be explained, but none has been offered. Saying that cobalt tests post-September 30th have been “near pristine” is Mr. Gorajec’s way of saying we have cobalt positives. Yet, Indiana will not be issuing the severe penalties for cobalt violations approved by the commissioners. This is also selective application. Even considering that Mr. Gorajec comments address issues not raised by Ms. Moss, his comments are still a selective application of all the issues raised by Ms. Moss in her commentary. But, that’s par for the course.

  • Happy Horse

    Very valid points by both parties. Unfortunately, the only conclusion I can draw from both pieces is the one which I resigned to myself to a long time ago – the various racing authorities seem to be unable or unwilling (or both) to create a rigid regulatory framework that has tough specific penalties for offenders and eliminates habitual offenders from the sport, The fact that unresolved penalties for 2011 positives are mentioned is ludicrous and shameful.

    In the spirit of transparency and communication , I urge Indiana to issue a report listing every positive for the last two years and the status/disposition of the case. Additionally, I would ask Ms. Moss to urge those that have called her to make their claims of disparate treatment available for public consumption. The only way we can confirm or deny that Indiana has treated similarly situated horsmen differently in regard to penalties is to see the facts. Indiana saying that it hands out penalties with an even hand or Ms. Moss intimating otherwise is, at this point, hearsay. Let’s see the cases and the penalties.

    I am always dubious when the ARCI and RMTC are mentioned as authorities. The ARCI went after Rick Dutrow with great zeal under the guise of cleaning up the sport. Tragically, that is where the ARCI reform movement appears to have started and ended. I have seen no effort from the ARCI to pursue the license revocation of other habitual offenders. If I am mistaken, and such action has been taken by ARCI, then it has been done in a far less public fashion. The RMTC has what appears to be a very troubling conflict of interest. The RMTC Vice Chairman is often mentioned as the defense counsel for those running afoul of the RMTC promulgated drug regulations. If the RMTC is to be taken seriously, then this potential conflict needs to be addressed immediately. Mr. Gorajec and other regulators should insist that any potential conflict of interest be rectified.

    • Jay Stone

      Very valid points. For states to take years to adjudicate positives is a disgrace. If there is a positive and a penalty then it should go into effect right after a split confirms it. The delays that now take years are ridiculous. The punishments handed out are minor for most infractions and take way to long because of appeal processes. A uniform and streamlined national commission would expedite this and bring some confidence back to the betting public who are backing off due to drug problems.

      • Quinnbt

        Currently there are four major groups that own the major racing venues, Stronach group, Penn Gaming, NYRA, and CDI.

        These groups would be foolish to allow a national commission that could/would dictate to them how to run their business which would be the case if a national commission were created and/or implemented.

        • Hamish

          Agreed, they would never “allow” their local authority to be trumped. The racetracks are indeed impediments to industry calls for national regulatory overhauls. Federal legislation that requires the racetracks cooperation is the only way. Sad state of affairs, but you hit the nail right on the head.

  • IndyWasUp&Coming

    Gorajec!?!…. More like Borajec… Get this clown out of his office INDY!!!!!

  • Chuck

    As a trainer, breeder, owner in the great state of Indiana I only have one or two comments.
    To the person who challenged Joe’s levels of Colbalt levels. Samples were taken of over 120 horses from both tracks in Indiana. I understand that this may be perceived as a low sample size study it was a fair an unbiased study. I applaud Joe’s efforts to keep Indiana Horse Racing both Standard bred and Thoroughbred racing in Indiana a clean sport for the Fans, owners of racing .
    Chuck Brown Trainer.

  • maggi moss

    This question is actually posed to anyone that think that they play fair in Indiana?
    This would be what Joe Gorijec didnt mention in his response to Maggi Moss.
    This case will be the first time in any tribunal in the United States that a property right or a license is attempted to be taken by summary judgement . (that in legal terms means, a party submits affidavits, like in a civil money judgment case, with no evidence being transmitted or any Due Process rights being exercised)

    Mr. Gorijec states he “he has filed a motion seeking a 60 day suspension and is awaiting a decision”. Why would he not point out that he appointed the administrative law judge that is hearing this case and,
    Why would he not state that in this case, it was heard and was submitted and will be decided ONLY on affidavits compiled by Gorijec in what is called a Summary Judgment motion? meaning:

    There has never been a live hearing on this case with testimony. No evidence has ever been presented or heard by the judge. Tom Amoss or any of his witnesses were never allowed to give live tesimony to a judge. There was never any cross examination, nor was Tom allowed to present any testimony or witnesses on his behalf.

    Indianas’ own rules of racing that specifically set out the rules for Due Process that must be followed in any disciplinary matter or the taking of ones license. They delineate a right to testify, the right to cross examine witnesses and to present evidence. Indiana and Gorijec ignored and discarded his own rules of Due Process in this case. There was never any evidentiary hearing or testimony heard other than affidavits Gorijec submitted IN WRITING.
    Due process, last I checked was you could not take a property right, ie, ones license without an evidentiary hearing where witnesses are sworn, testimony is heard, cross examination can be done, and the accused has a right to testify and be heard?
    I was not able to find a case in the United States where ones license or property can be taken without these basic Due Process rights, may it be your drivers license, A Drs license lawyer license etc.

    So, for the first time in the history of racing, or for that matter, any tribunal, ones livelihood, ones license, a property right, can now be taken by summary judgment in Indiana. That means that you do not have the most basic right to testify or be heard, you do not have the right to cross examine any of Indiana’s witnesses, ( all that was presented was written statements by Gorijec and his own witnesses. ) which is hard to cross examine. That Tom Amoss was never allowed to testify or ever be heard from. No witnesses were allowed to be heard on his behalf, and finally-
    This judge will rule against Amoss and will recommend 60 days- He will rule that in Indiana, one can now have their most basic property rights taken by summary judgment, not the Due Process rights set out in the Rules of racing and the most basic right given to all citizens by the US Constitution. He will rule that despite not ever hearing from the accused or anyone, that 60 days is appropriate because Joe Gorijec said so in an affidavit. All mitigation required to be considered under RCI rules, will not be considered for it was not allowed or ever heard in this case.
    so
    regardless of what happens, “winning” does happen no matter what it takes. and no matter whose rights are trampled. Dont believe me? Please let anyone in Indiana tell you that they did not submit this case under summary judgement and at no time, did any live witness or evidence ever to this date be heard. Tom Amoss was not allowed to meet this judge, face him and even be able to testify. He was not allowed to call one witness in a live courtroom. IF anyone can find in any USA forum, where ones license or livilood was taken by summary jugment, without one Due Process right, Please cite it for me.

    Perhaps, that is how to make quick work for all trainers in America, Hire an outside lawyer that costs the taxpayers about 100,000 dollars, try and break the one fighting the charges, and if all that does not work, simply file a motion for summary judgment with a judge you appointed and have him decide your fate on affidavits prepared by Joe Gorijec and his attorneys with no other testimony allowed from the accused or anyone else.

    I. at no time, commented on The Amoss case back in 2011 or now, in the editorial I wrote. Joe Gorijec has now commented on a pending case in front of his commission and submitted his biased and unproven comments about this case. This too is unprecedented, and under any set of rules , unethical and unprofessional. A regulator commenting on a pending case that has not been decided and givng his opinion to his commission that ultimately hears this case? IT is how Joe rolls- play only by the rules that suit your needs, and ignore those that do not suit your need to win- no matter what.
    yes, total chaos is having rules and than manipulating them and ignoring them if they do not fit what it takes to win. But, I guess the more imporant criteria is to be able to say, you have never lost in 20 years.

    • Happy Horse

      Your due process arguments raise serious questions that need to be addressed. As for treating trainers with similar positives in a disparate fashion, we need the facts. If trainers were bullied or threatened, we need facts. You, rightly, call for factual evidence but that standard should apply to all. It is obvious that you find the regulatory environment in Indiana racing to be repugnant. Is it safe to assume, given your distaste and due process concerns, that you will no longer race in Indiana ? I certainly would not patronize a place that I felt did not treat everyone equally and threw due process out the window. Given your strong words and emotions on this issue, I would be very shocked to see you participating in Indiana racing. If this is truly about the regulatory process in Indiana, then please vote with your feet and your entries.

    • Indy snapp

      First off I don’t really care for me Amoss. But he is good for Indiana racing. Believe me we need more top trainers like him to make Indy grand a better product..believe me the commission is picking and choosing who the pick fights with.. If Mr. Amoss was one of the good ole boys this would never be a issue.

    • Trainers and their attorneys have abused the sport of horseracing by exploiting the use of due process. It refreshing if nothing else to see a lawyer outraged for a change when somebody on the side of law enforcement does something that frustrates them as much as the use of due process annoys all the rest of us. The improper use of due process as a legal tool has ruined the image of horse racing in the public perception. Are you part of this problem? Do you even recognize this problem?

  • Joe Gorajec is a leader. He is smart, he is honest and he is in the forefront of trying to make sure the playing field is level in Indiana racing. He deserves respect, not ridicule. When somebody goes after him, it just might warrant closer scrutiny to figure out what their real agenda is.

  • Done With Indiana Racing

    Some of you have consumed the Gorajec kool-aid I see.

    • Some of you have the imagination of a gnat when it comes to your screen names I see.

      • Done With Indiana Racing

        Unfortunately Barry, many are done with Indiana racing and breeding. But I realize you have no idea what’s going on in this state.

  • Fairrace14

    OK “Joe” You want to comment now on the “deals”, bias Stewards calls and jockey manipulation that occurs repeatedly in Indiana. Why are Stewards rulings always changing according to which trainers horses do what? Need the evidence on it?

  • Fairrace14

    These tests should be performed on Blood instead of Urine or abide by
    the Nationally accredited research on urinalysis. The facts are: urine drug
    concentration cannot be reliably correlated to blood concentration. The
    presence of a drug or its metabolite in urine does not provide
    information as to whether the subject is actually under the influence of
    that substance at any particular time. Concentration at the Nanogram
    level introduces some level of substance engagement. The Nanogram is the
    nationally proven and accepted tolerance unit indicating substances in
    urine. Given the uncertainties of urine concentrations and highly
    questionable sample collection and analysis procedures, dropping to
    Picograms for therapeutic substances is absurd.

  • RHF

    Mr. Gorajec, do you think the public would also expect a trainer with four medication violations in Indiana in the span of seven weeks would serve a suspension or be fined? (Indiana rulings 14087, 14088, 14089 and 14090) Evidently, you don’t. Perhaps you should treat everyone the same.

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