Janney On ‘Disgraceful And Sad’ Pennsylvania Events: ‘It Gives All Of Racing A Black Eye’

by | 08.14.2017 | 1:12am
Stuart S. Janney III, chairman of The Jockey Club

Following are closing remarks by Stuart S. Janney III, chairman of The Jockey Club, at Sunday's Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

My sense is that we are at a crossroads. There are many signs of hope, progress and accomplishment.

We are taking steps to make our horses safer as they run and train. We are making good progress on aftercare – more to do, but much is in place. Our big race days are working and TV coverage is more frequent, with better production values, and, finally, people are watching.

Creative thinking is producing events like the Pegasus Cup. NYRA is back in private control and a new management team has produced great results on and off the track. Support for a uniform regulatory system is growing. We see great growth in the ADW networks.

But now let's look at a darker side. Sadly, the list is just as long and the issues no less important. We have talked about many of these issues, either today or in previous conferences. The scope of some of these problems can be daunting and their persistence is disheartening.

We should be doing better because it's in our power to do better. Our problems are not going to be solved with lots of talk, or by others. It will take those in this room and elsewhere to produce the results we need.

What has happened in Pennsylvania recently is disgraceful and sad, especially when you consider that the state is the sixth leading producer of foals and that it hosted approximately 4,000 races and distributed more than $100 million in purses in 2016.

Let's start by focusing on the federal trial involving trainer Murray Rojas on charges of fraud, conspiracy and misbranding of drugs. I think it illustrates what we have to fix and how our problems interconnect.

Uncontradicted testimony described widespread, in fact, nearly universal, cheating; regulators asleep on the job; a corrupted and ineffectual testing system.

Almost as embarrassing was the unprecedented decision two months ago by the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission to declare two winners of the 2016 Parx Oaks after one of the fillies had tested positive for clenbuterol.

Try as you might, there were no heroes to be found and to anyone sitting comfortably in this room thinking Pennsylvania's problems are not yours, I would say, forget it. We own this problem.

It gives all of racing a black eye; it jeopardizes our share of slots revenue in all states; it arouses animal welfare groups nationally – as it should.

It suggests strongly that similar problems lurk in many other jurisdictions. Ironically, the gaming money being shoveled into undeserving hands in Pennsylvania has made it very difficult to fill cards in other Mid-Atlantic venues where one can argue that racing is being conducted properly.

Now to the extent that any of us may be disheartened, let's focus on the response to these sad events.

Mr. Tom Chuckas was the director of the Bureau of Horse Racing for Pennsylvania's State Horse Racing Commission during the Rojas trial and for the adjudication of the Parx Oaks matter.

He commended the U.S. Attorney's office for its successful prosecution in the trial, but this commendation offered little in the way of explanation about backdated invoices, fraudulent vet records and missed test results.

Similarly, despite widespread industry outcry and concern about the residual effects of having two winners of a stakes race that did not involve a dead heat, there was no official public response from the commission.

These are just a few examples of the dysfunctional regulatory landscape that surrounds us today. It was not a pretty picture.

And what about the HBPA's role in all this? Could we have expected them to marshal their resources to represent all the horsemen who have been wronged by cheaters? Well, we all know that the HBPA's Legal Defense Fund was used to help fund Murray Rojas' defense in the federal proceeding and that she was convicted on 14 different charges.

Further, their stated reason for doing so is a disgrace and will end up producing the exact result that they so wished to prevent: the intervention by the federal government to clean up racing.

We at The Jockey Club take a contrary view. We believe it is appropriate for the federal government to police racing. Those who cheat are corrupting the interstate wagering system – the very definition of federal responsibility and a system made possible by the federal Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978.

Second, the states, in so many ways, have demonstrated their inability to get the job done.

So, as you cast your eyes to the list of problems we face, think of how many would be addressed to some degree by a uniform system of regulation, good testing, and penalties with teeth.

Click here for a video replay, agenda and other information on the 2017 Jockey Club Round Table Conference.

  • McGov

    NOW, we are talking seriously.

    • Worldly

      No, this “serious talk” actually happens all the time. But as one of the top comments here state, it invariably dies out / goes away without any changes. I consider myself an optimistic by nature and applaud Mr. Janney’s efforts; yet at some point it is just too naive and plain stupid to continue to expect much improvement. Sad but true. For those who disagree, put this on your calendar to reasses the situation a year or two or five from now and then tell yourself honestly what has really happened since.

      • Bruce Walker

        Federal yes yes we know once Feds are involved everything will be okay!!!You could have GOD THE POPE and anyone you want involved . Nothing will save racing. End of story. I wish that were not the case cause I love racing but I am not a dreamer.

    • Minneola

      Talk doesn’t cost anything and is cheap. I’ll take “action” any day of the week and twice on Sunday. No action, no real purpose in the talk.

    • McGov

      There are opportunities for change, right now, right in front of us. The more that people like Mr. Janney speak out and bring attention to the REAL problems….the more chance we have of changing things for the better.
      We can sit on sidelines and complain about those who are speaking up or we can at the VERY LEAST support those brave enough to grab the mic and rally the troops.
      I also am cynical. It’s impossible not be if you’ve been a fan for more than about 10 minutes. Never mind if you’ve been a stakeholder too.
      Kudos to Mr. Janney for bringing attention to the tumours that lie within our sport.
      The knife to cut this out is awaiting approval from the masses…..let’s make sure we get this done.

  • Gls

    Concentrate on the cheaters, and that means the ones in the front office and upstairs also. They Turn a blind eye to some events and tests.

    • Brent T

      Indeed. No better spot to start than Louisiana, plenty of coverup for the top trainers there. They need fined and banned immediately. I’m working on some stuff to turn in already, it’s totally sickening.

    • larry

      In the minds of those who vote for people like Donald Trump cheating is fine as long as l win lol

      • davecydell

        What ?? Huh ??

        • larry

          Would you throw a spit ball if you could get a no hitter and not get caught? Many people would in this world and its not just exclusive to horse racing in Pennsylvania or anywhere else. People who throw spit balls are everywhere . Mr Janney should look into the number of horse deaths at Saratoga so far this meet before throwing stones. he builds up what NYRA is doing while tearing down Pennsylvania but the facts are facts and given the number of deaths at Saratoga this meet Mr Janney your fake news! This whole article has more to do with a horse shortage in the mid Atlantic area than anything else. All politics and nothing more

          • Larry, there is a difference that you may not fully comprehend, which is that the real dividing line between the good guys and those who would throw a spit ball is “intent.” The good guys, like Janny, have the correct sporting intent to be fair, while the spit-ballers just want to take an edge. Introducing the unfortunate issue of Saratoga’s recent breakdowns has absolutely nothing to do with the conversation and you are trying to hijack like other trolls just like yourself.

          • longtimehorsewoman

            Horses are running with issues. Instead of the pathetic pre-race, but post medication “vet check” there should be an ultra sound of each horse’s legs, and then the truth could and would be seen. In addition, horses should be cross trained on footing that is more natural. Anyone who’s spent time walking or jogging on only smooth, level surfaces should know the muscle memory is being trained and even the smallest change in that smooth surface can cause a trip. Watch wild horses being chased by helicopters and note how smoothly they run over ground that a racehorse would have trouble walking over.

        • MsMoose

          Is there anyplace left where we can have a discussion without someone turning it into a diatribe against Trump ??? Please!!!

          • larry

            Nope sorry you can t. lm Canadian and find the whole idea behind the United States thinking they can build walls and still retain there place as a leader in the world very arrogant and hypocritical especially when you can t even run yourselves.

          • susan

            Just kept taking those immigrants. When they start practicing Sharia Law don’t come crying to us. We are talking about racing so go get a life!

          • JustJoe

            Yes, Canada just sent some of their joke army to watch the southern border. What are they going to do? Give out hugs?

            Canada is a joke.

          • larry

            No were going to take in all the refugees now pouring into are country to escape you thats what were going to do. You want to talk about a joke army? When was the last time you won a war 1945? You cant even win in Iraq when they don t fight back turning that into a never ending quagmire . So who s the joke?

          • longtimehorsewoman

            We could win if the politicians would let us. For some reason we are not allowed to really try to win. Anyone with intelligence can see that. Not since WWII has the goal been to defeat the enemy.

          • JustJoe

            Please Larry please stay in Canada and don’t go near our border.

          • larry

            i will theres no shortage of stupid people in Canada l don t need to come down to the states to find some

          • Brent T

            If you lived in somewhere like Arizona or Texas and possibly San Diego you wouldnt think like that about a wall, when illegals are flooding in daily and commit numerous crimes in your area. Plenty of people in these areas that DONT like Trump that would like a law.
            When your life may be at risk daily just walking out of your home, you could have a different view on things in a whole different country than you.

          • Doubtful, because his antics and corruption have invaded most sports in America.

          • Kevin Callinan

            Right, let’s blame a guy who wasn’t in politics for all of the lousy political appointments that create the climate for these incidents. You endorsed giving the PA Derby a Grade 1……….start by retracting that.

  • Michael Castellano

    The article speaks the truth. Unfortunately, no one trusts government to police racing, yet when there is corruption at every level, it’s hard to believe that anti corruption racing forces can unite enough support within the industry to effectively challenge the wise guys who may be lurking hidden in plain sight. The cheating has infected every level of racing interests at this junction, and has access to plenty of resources as well as unofficial wise guy threats in places like PA. So far racing has managed to avoid a scandal that makes the national headlines. But I suspect that some day, that will happen.

    • TwoBays

      Yes, there are plenty of people who think a level playing field, a la federal supervision, is the only way to fix the problem of the mass corruption at just about every local jurisdiction.

    • Hamish

      National scandal, horse racing history says these “spotlight” events do occur from time to time. So, I guess we’ll all have to wait and see if something truly scandalous happens. Hopefully then, our greatest thinkers will have a new plan in place that restructures the sport from top to bottom.

  • affirmed

    Great news.. to hear that the NYRA is now under private control, says this Article .. now I only have one question? which organization is now running the NYRA, and who are the players? are these Private operators consisting of the same guys who were previously on the NYRA board? because if they are, whats is the difference? my take is that the Horse racing in New York should be all business, not business with those who are in the business… as it will always be the same …to me a private operator should be a neutral body, not having in it’s ruling body Horse owners! if you are a Horse owner, you are exempt, and should not be on any board of directors. as what the NYRA had.. with that system , there are no transparency! because when criminals are into the mix, they still have ways to have things their own way! so who is the new operators of this private organization now running the NYRA?

    • Michael Castellano

      NYRA long ago demonstrated its incompetence and lack of imagination.

      • affirmed

        Thanks Michael for replying.. so it seems that no matter what they all do, it will revert to the same Chefs in the kitchens, serving up the same meals? meaning the same players will still be running the joint? so what is new? that is why I am inquiring ..who are the New Operators of the New York Racing, since they said it is now back to Private run operations! yet their arguments will be.. they need people from the Racing body to be part of the organization.. that is true, but those people who they select are the same people who are like the cancer in human Beings.. they hang around, and promise to do the proper things, yet they only want to get on the inside, and the same druggings, and pat on the back operations continue! ..when was the last time a published drug finding have been published in New york? I dont think we will ever read about those anymore! reason, the Present CEO believes that if they are published, then it drives away fans, and destroys the game, so with that, its open season for the wise guys, they know who they are, as they continue to win races, knowing that they have stopped publishing their drug findings.. what a game..

        • Michael Castellano

          I think racing has survived all these years despite itself. At one time it had a virtual monopoly on gambling along with the Casinos. And it had enough wealthy sportsmen and women to discourage the wise guys from moving in. That changed of course, and today both unsportsman like businessmen and wise guys hold sway.

          • Hamish

            “Unsportsman like businessmen and wise guys,” yes indeed, they have infested themselves in so many aspects of the horse industry, many times right in front of our backs. Our biggest challenges with these types are far, far greater than drugs and withdraw times, albeit that too is an important piece in the cleansing process.

  • Noelle

    Bravo, Mr. Janney! Frankly I’m amazed (though very pleased) to see the PA mess is still on the minds of at least some right-thinking people in positions of power. Most of the time, the mess happens, the aftermath is unsatisfying (punishments are meaningless and nothing changes), and racing keeps on destroying itself. Also glad Mr. Janney called Mr. Chuckas out by name.

    • ben

      At least someone who is not stucking his head in the sand and turn away..

      But lots of horseman will think and act otherwise like they have been dooiing for decades.

    • billy

      To bad not much has changed….. just add Presque isle to the list

  • Larry sterne

    many states have functioning morons in command of overseeing our lively hood and maintaining the integrety of the profession. I agree with the Jockey Club the feds need to regulate and put straight jackets on most state regulators .

  • Ida Lee

    Horse racing and all it entails is a Country wide enterprise …. why it’s not Federally regulated is beyond me …. not that I believe it will solve all horse racing problems….but it is a pretty good start …you get caught, you’re now dealing with the Feds ….and not with local regulators of the sport ….talking about conflicts of interests …and, when caught, the wallet needs to take a serious hit ….that’s what these people understand ….also, a central data base that will have background information on anyone working in the industry….owners, trainers, jockeys, anyone who has been accused and/or convicted of horse abuse in any way, including of course the administration of illegal drugs or substances…

    • Iowa guy

      Prairie Meadows just completed its 2017 thoroughbred meet. Two trainers won the bulk of the races, and just about everyone on the backside believed not only that they were cheating but that the racing secretary was in cahoots with them, writing races to advantage them and, some contend, betting on them and receiving a kickback on purses from one of them. The situation was so obvious that the racing commission finally has vowed to address it next year with out of competition testing if (a big if) money is available to do so. Furthermore the local HBPA’s triennial election resulted in a complete overhaul of the leadership, replacing those who were complicit and supportive of the status quo with some honest horsemen who really care about the quality and integrity of local racing and are demanding action and change from track management and the gaming commission. Can such concerted action by horsemen themselves make a difference? Keep your eye on Iowa next year. It could provide an answer to that question.

      • Ida Lee

        Thank you so much for your reply….you touch upon probably what is the biggest issue and what the biggest target should be….it’s the buddy system in the industry…the “I’ll rub your back, you rub mine” mentality…or “keep it in the family” kind of thing….and most certainly, it’s a great start getting rid of the old guard and bringing in more responsible folks who actually care about our wonderful sport….and IMHO, even better, they could have the Federal rules and regulations to fall back on and provide the hopefully, stiff penalties, on those who would hurt our industry. Thanks also for the heads-up on Iowa….I wish them all the luck in the world for success in their attempt to make a difference in our sport.

      • disqus_wZUB6w9ANy

        could’ve sworn your comments were referring to PA TB racing…. it is everywhere. PA is most notorious be/c a few of us honest horsemen complain and publicize it. However, one additional thing that contributes to lack of progress is our judicial system which allows for multiple counter lawsuits by disciplined trainers, which lead to ineffective punishments/deterrents.

      • I hope you are correct about the out of competition testing next year in the great state of Iowa. Prior to the meet I made a plethora of phone calls trying to get them to embrace what Oaklawn had just done through the second half of its meet. Although the sample sizes were too small to quantify it did produce some interesting results.

        • APauled

          You so funny – you make me laugh. What a crusader for clean racing you are – #not.

          • Brent T

            lol

        • Backstretch

          I made my living for over 50 yrs betting horses and now I can’t because of guys like you, and especially you. At how many tracks are you the leading trainer, 5,6 or more? Amazing how you can take a 3 legged horse and give him another leg. You may be the world’s best trainer by far. Christ, your probably better than Ness! You and those like you should be gelded rather than the horses!

    • Den

      Exactly, American racing does not work when amateurs run and own racecourses. It is unprofessional and the corruption makes them a laughing stock. It seems a race to find the newest drug there. You need racing there to have rules that cover every professional racecourse in the US. Our tote is the TAB, where each dollar waged is taxed around 14%, that pays for the prizemoney, after care of ex racehorses, charities such as Cerebral Palsy etc,etc,etc. Though we have the corporate bookmakers, we are not like the UK who have ruined their racing by being governed by corporates paying next to no tax. If it wasn’t for Coolmore and Godolphin racing there would be in a bad way. Because the UK and Ireland have let the corporates run wild you have Group races there paying a pittance in prizemoney. There is no hope of a private company or person owning or running a race course here.

      • John Murray

        Interesting comments, I had not heard your argument against serious negative private operation and effects of corporatization,
        is it commonly shared by the betting public, owners, trainer etc?

        Thanks.

        • Den

          John as for private ownership of racecourses here in Australia that would be viewed as too easy to compromise. As for the corporate bookmaking aspect, well we know we need some competition, though we seem to handle it better than UK/Ireland . They have raped their racing industry there, it would be a shell without Goldolphin and Coolmore. I think owners, trainers, racing people see privitisation as suspect. As for the punters i think those with racing knowledge would agree however a lot of punters just want to punt with who will give them the best odds even to the detriment of racing overall.

    • It is not federally regulated because the governors in most racing states want to reserve the prized plum of naming racing commissioners to their political supporters. Sad but true.

  • Chris sucks

    Penn National’s Corp VP of Racing, Chris McErlean, should have been kicked to the curb given everything that has happened in Grantville. Too many excellent employees left due to them not caring, while the scumbags stayed and look what ended up happening in the end result.

    Penn National is down $50 million in handle from 2013 ($212 mil) vs 2016 ($162 mil)

    And in that 2016 year only $4.7 mil was bet ontrack and $2.8 mil in the entire state elsewhere.

    Chris McErlean is the ulcer in the gut of racing and why he is still apart of the game after all this I’ll never know. He and all of PA racing turn my stomach with the balant disregard of this sport, all to line their pockets

  • whirlaway

    I hope something is agreed upon and changes take place, it seems the talk and problems just
    continue across the country and at many levels. As one of the old racing families I am a fan of
    the Janney/Phipps horses. Hope we see some changes it will not be easy it would take undoubtedly tough steps and action as well as a real desire throughout the industry to change
    has been coming to a boil for a long time and not sure that can happen, only time will tell.

  • C.E.Butler

    The PA Horse racing commission is an unfunny joke. Every member should be fired and replaced by people who have some ethical standards. This will be the only way the cesspool led by Juan Vasquez can be cleaned up.

    • Untapped potential

      Juan Vasquez has 60 day suspension coming soon.

    • Barrmorr

      Several months ago I posted the names of the people on the Pennsylvania Racing Commission here with comments about the corrupt practices and rampant misconduct involved. This does not make me a genius just someone who pays attention. The Paulick Report saw fit to remove my post I suppose in an attempt to protect the people involved. They covered the Rojas trial in depth as it drew major headlines in the racing industry but that did not include the authorities in charge of the sport in Pennsylvania but the federal government. To think the illegal practices at Parx and Penn National will be addressed by the current Commission, and I will say it again, that are in bed with the crooks, is naive at best, and downright moronic at worst. The solution is to shut down racing in Pennsylvania and hold those responsible for this situation accountable. This includes jail time including the unethhical members of the Commission. I am a racing fan that lives in Philadelphia and it does not make me happy to say that racing in PA should be shut down but that appears to be the only solution that will work, for as long as the wolves are guarding the hen house nothing is going to change.

      • Kevin Callinan

        You are making a bad situation worse by claiming everyone on the commission is corrupt. It’s sad that you can’t see the reason why Americans don’t condemn an
        entire group w/o a hearing. The current commission has moved on Preciado; they were not appointed when Rojas was active.

  • horsepower

    Mr Janney Leaders like yourself and Ms Banke are deperately needed to make racing and breeding great again. Thank you for enouraging words. Lets hope Our Industry is paying attention. Please continue to lead us in a better direction.

  • raebzan

    Seems simple to me: don’t race in Pennsylvania. Hit them where they’ll hurt the worst: Penn Derby Day. It’s obvious no one can trust racing in PA, so don’t race there. Put your mouth where their money is, and avoid their big day of racing.

    Unfortunately, though I think there are a good many sporting people willing to call out the shoddiness of the racing commission, I doubt the big names will pull out. This is a shame, as it would show PA that the sport is willing to cut them free if they don’t shape up. At some point, someone has to be willing to look past their own pocketbooks and tell PA that as long as the product they put out is shoddy, and as long as the people in charge of oversight are shady at best, corrupt at worst, their business will go elsewhere. It’s not like the mid-Atlantic is lacking for options in September, right?

  • Drama the Llama

    It’s quite obvious that everyone involved in PA racing is corrupt. The fact that the HPBA is putting up funds for guilty people proves it to me. High time to just ban racing in that state. They can’t be trusted. Anyone who had a license there should either not be licensed in any other jurisdiction, or they get licenses with serious conditions attached to them until they can prove they aren’t corrupt.

    And, most definitely, bring in North America-wide rules regarding medications. As it is right now, the piece-meal rules are a joke and are not being adhered to. Enough is enough.

  • Condor

    Very heartening to read the comments from mr janney, lets hope like minded people will finally start sorting racings problems. Many times before we have had positive talk but most authoritys have just swept problems under the carpet for a short term fix, perhaps now they realise that its time for a root and branch clean up even if it knocks racing back abit short term because long term it will reap massive rewards.

  • Richard C

    Any professional sport – any business – is only as strong as its weakest link…..and ignoring what started out as a minor problem that’s “not” in your department only means even more days, weeks, months and years for the sickly rot to ooze into the entire operation.

  • This news is the best we’ve got to look forward to,… no it’s likely not going to sit well with many of our horsemen, but they’d been given ample opportunity to get things cleaned up, but the bad apples don’t want to be bothered. This is excellent strides taking this first step. Get ‘er done! Go on with the laid out laws these crooks won’t be able to dodge this go ’round. Lots of luck, and God’s speed!

  • Bryan Langlois

    The commission did uphold the track ejections that occurred of Rojas and Beattie at their most recent meeting. They need to make an effort to better publicize these things. That being said…there is still a lot to be done and YOU need to make your voice heard. Write into the commission and attend their meetings to comment. Ask them to pull up PARX executives to have them answer to the commission why Juan Vasquez still has stalls there. You have to speak up en mass and keep at it. Just commenting here does nothing.

    • Untapped potential

      Vasquez has stalls there because he has Sam Elliott in his hip pocket !!!!! Sam protects Juan, you want to clean Parx up start with Sam Elliott.

      • ridingtowin

        Yep, the word is that he gets his palm greased to allow certain trainers stalls.

    • susan

      Many years ago if there was a ruling against someone, that ruling applied in every jurisdiction. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I’ve seen rulings against trainers/owners and they’re given stalls at another track!

  • mato

    Positive comments but as many of you have stated, all heard before and no follow up. The only way to stop all this damage / potential cheating is to have continuous and random out of competition testing. From the moment a foal drops there should be continuous monitoring of where each horse is , and subject to testing at any and all times. A horse should not be off the radar for months , or a year, at any age. This applies to all racetracks and private farms and training centers . In this microchip age, this should not be difficult to set up, what is difficult is the desire .

    • Diana Baker

      Agreed. Microchips should enable us to determine everything about a horse’s history. As long as the information is entered in the database.

      • ben

        Biopasports are better, as it has been proven that microchips are not 100% safe, if freud is the reason.

  • Diana Baker

    They should also adress the still prevalent issue of horses going from the track to low end auctions, like New Holland and Sugarcreek, or shipping directly to slaughter. The industry has made progress in aftercare, but none of the horses should end up slaughtered. It’s a huge black eye for the industry.

    • David Burris

      So, who takes care of them after their useful lives as a racehorse? There are only so many places a retired racehorse can go. For some reason we quit treating horses as livestock and turned them into pets and therefore exempt from slaughter. Hopefully this won’t translate to cows since I like a good steak.

      • TwoBays

        Lots of us, David – lots of us take care of them after their racing careers. And yes, we quit treating horses like livestock – glad you are able to keep up.

        • David Burris

          Unfortunately, one of those changes that doesn’t make any sense.

      • ziggypop

        If there are too many to take care of at the end their careers, racing or having babies, then too many are being breed. It is that simple.

        • David Burris

          Sort of like the tail wagging the dog.

  • gus stewart

    Mr janney deserves much respect as a complete participant in every arena in this sport. That being said, the feds getting involved in policing of sport would currently be better then whats going on. But eventually because of cost and corruption, it would drive racing out of business. So we have one choice, and really the one that has been asked without getting any action, one or two people who will oversee racing without any motives then to change the business brand. So if some trainers or jockey club or chrb or ntra or any group that feels it doesnt help them individually, tough, it’s done to get the sport across the board, moving in the right direction. And im sorry mr janney, the general publuc isnt watching racing more, just your inner circle of, yes men saying, mr janney media coverage is growing,, not!!!

  • Racing Fan

    Maryland is the wild west right now. Although Parx is still out of control. Running at Parx is like engaging in chemical warefare.

    • soulcat

      Just curious why you described Maryland racing as the wild west? Thanks

      • ridingtowin

        Actually, I’ve noticed win percentages coming back down to Earth in Maryland over the last couple of years.

        • ridingtowin

          This was actually meant for Racing Fan.

  • larry

    To outcomes from one race? Woodbine does this all the time by allowing owners to appeal the stewards decisions. The public gets the fixed outcome the stewards imposed and the owners get it the way it ran on the racetrack when the Ontario Racing Commission undermines its own referees by putting Humpy Dumpty back together again when the appeal is successful. Conditional wagering is blatant tote manipulation that serves no ethical purpose at all and why tote companies that do not offer it do not take issue with it is beyond me. Many of horse racings biggest problems are unethical processes that is ingrained and are totally ignored by insiders like Mr Janney who s blinkered obsession with the issue of drugs in the sport blind him to these other issues that are just as worthy of solutions as any other. Don t hold your breath for any changes on these issues because who cares about the fans when theres slots and slots of slot revenue. In a day and age when one frivolous DQ on fifth place can keep a million dollar hi 5 pool building l would encourage Mr Janney to consider getting rid of the stewards altogether, if there decisions to not apply to the owners then why should they apply to the betting public? lm betting on the outcome of the race not the rules of racing, as it stands right now we have a system that potentionally can create to outcomes from one race so why don t you try just giving the public the consistancy of paying it the way it ran on the racetrack. l will repeat it once again I am betting on the outcome of the race not the rules of racing.

  • Elliott ness

    The system is broken. The only entity that has the absolute power to stop the abuse are the owners. Top tier owners lead by example, no more speeches, action. Call your trainers and relate the following, if you have a needle jabbed in my horse your fired. If you squirt a liquid in my horses mouth, your fired. If you feed my horse a powder or granule , your fired. WHOA was supposedly going to remedy all the issues, but all of the top tier owners horses are still pincushions. If one has the pulpit and the inclination to opine, then please state your case about what you have personally done. Bute free? Lasix free? Threshold drug free? Lead by example, don’t wait for others to clean it up, you the owners can lay down the absolute law. Clean it up with keypad on your phone, one call, that’s all😄 peace

    • I understand, but I think the known meds that are in daily use are a sidelight to the problem that his killing our game. I am all for cleaning up these things, but that will follow if owners and racing officials take care of the real problem first, which is ridding the game of trainers that take an edge by using illegal drugs or substances that are known or unknown. Two things can facilitate this eventuality: a) police work to find the crooks and the court system to deal with the miscreants and b) owners stop sending horses to trainers that are known cheaters or are thought to be taking an edge. If we don’t institute this plan sooner rather than later, we are all sealing our own fate.

      • TwoBays

        I would add, Barry, that some real hard consequences, such as prosecution using the RICO laws be employed to send an example of long Federal prison sentences for those involved in defrauding the American public.

      • Elliott ness

        Until the lust for winning at all costs are overwhelmed by integrity, forget about a honest sport. Why do the WHOA folks still needle their horses, because if they don’t they can’t compete. People in this game have been forced to a win at all costs attitude, due to a failed regulatory system😄peace

      • John Murray

        Good post, yes, “sooner rather than later”, and I would recommend stronger words for “taking an edge”, which minimizes the crime. I’m sure you are too polite to use them. Thanks.

      • Brent T

        Barry, can you let us know who are some of the trainers taking/using an edge in your mind? Can you name a few from say New York area, a few from the Kentucky area, California area, and Louisiana area? Thanks ahead of time, this could help some owners now and some in the future perhaps.

  • larry

    Woodbine creates two outcomes from one race all the time by giving owners appeals to steward decisions. So what is the point of the stewards? When this industry learns to respect the public is betting on the race and not the rules of racing by getting rid of the stewards l will believe those who preach integrity really are people who have integrity . One frivolous DQ on the fifth place and there goes your million dollar hi 5 down the drain. Time to pay it the way it runs RACING!

  • larry

    Mr Janney states money flowing into underserving hands has made it difficult to fill cards in the mid Atlantic area where arguably it could be argued racing is being run right. OK lets argue the point Mr Janney. How about the tote manipulation going on with conditional wagering through a tote that has racing interests in the mid Atlantic area. Any one ever wonder why you bet a horse at at 4 to 1 and it ends 2 to 1 half way around the track when it wins ? conditional wager perhaps? In a day and age where multi horse and multi race wagering is becoming more popular its time to see the ruse the inquiry sign is as well and get rid of it. The owners want to appeal the stewards any way so what is the point of stewards?. Its time to reboot this industry by just paying it out to the public the way it ran on the racetrack.

    • larry

      Mr Janney are you there? you said you could argue the point racing is being run right in the mid Atlantic area. l want to argue the point are you there Mr Janney?

      • larry

        l will give you a fighting chance and expand the area to all of North America lol he heeheeheh

        • larry

          News flash Kentucky and New York just reinstated Patrick Biancone! Mr Janney you there?

          • larry

            Mr Janney do have any stats on how many horses have died at the Saratoga meet so far? Those who live in glass houses

  • Barrmorr

    The Jockey Club needs to bring the full weight of their authority down on the Pennsylvania HBPA beginning with, if possible, decertification. Also, do not include any results from PA tracks in the stud books or official racing records. If Parx and Penn National are members of the NTRA their membership should be revoked permanently and violators given lifetime bans and jail time. I am fully aware that I will be criticized heavily for these comments but I will always take the side of the horses and not the people who drug them. If a horse breaks down and is found to have been on illegal medication the trainer should be held responsible for the death of that animal, much as a drug dealer is held responsible on the street. Owners are equally responsible. Anyone who thinks they don’t know and condone their trainers actions only need to notice how many of them actually change trainers when they are caught doping their horses. The answer is very few. Attorneys such as Pincus, Mollica and others seem to think these violators are entitled to multiple chances to flaunt the rules with impunity. Everyone is entitled to a fair hearing and representation but after multiple violations the evidence is usually pretty damning. To anyone who thinks these comments are too severe show me evidence of one horse that has injected itself with an illegal medication and I’ll listen to your argument. While this may sound funny it certainly is not meant to be. Enough is enough.

    • Bristling

      Joe Wilson is president of the TRA.

  • Linda

    Thank you Mr.Janney!… for bringing truth and honesty to the forefront, and stepping up the fight for meaningful and effective regulations for horse racing in this country. I love horses and there nothing more beautiful than watching magnificent thoroughbreds in full flight. That’s the part of horse racing that I love. It sickens me to know that corruption, greed, and abusive treatment of horses directly and indirectly still runs rampant and unchecked in too many ways. It’s disgraceful, It’s high time that all horsemen in this sport and particularly those in power in the industry truly fight in every way possible for the safety and well being of the horse. I agree that federal regulations are necessary and I applaud your leadership.

  • Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    I think SJIII is grandstanding a bit
    If he was serious about doing something, then purses should be looked at when you millions of dollars away to a bunch of turkeys who can’t break 1:50 in a mile and 1/8 race, there’s a problem
    Also, there is no consistency in the sport.

    All tracks across America should have the same standards as best they can. It’s like the recreational fishing industry, along the entire East Coast, one state does one thing, another right next door takes another stance, it’s ridiculous.
    If your horse is slow, you simply do not qualify to run in the big race, tough apples if you win the race, if you don’t break 1:50, no soup for you.

    The thing is with all these alleged drugs these horses are allegedly being given, the horse still stinks!!

    • larry

      Of course he s grandstanding its all politics driven by the old guard and the Stronach group who want to control it all . They like to use drugs in the sport to discredit there competiton and suck up to peta to make themselves out to be the great holier than holy company. They can t get a foot hole in the mid Atlantic because of Pennsylvania so they will jump on anything they can to try and discredit them. Dont kid yourselves they are in no way lily white themselves

      • Lefty_Orioles_Fan

        Horse racing is an insiders game and the real corruption is in the tote (conditional wagering) and the inquiry sign.

        I agree with it being an insiders game, but the wagering I haven’t had too many gripes

        • larry

          Wait til you win a pick six or a high 5 and theres an inquiry you will then

          • Lefty_Orioles_Fan

            LOL, I haven’t had the guts to do that yet.
            I would rather poke fun at the TVG experts who do that.
            Although Rich P had a nice pick four on Sunday and someone else was red hot, but I forget who he was.

  • Gate To Wire

    Pennsylvania is not the only place this stuff is happening
    It’s pretty amazing that the Breeders Cup changed up their OOCT program….started extra testing in July and no one is asking any questions about all the sub par performances that took place.

    Until racing gets serious about regular, random OOCT and starts creating Bio Passports that constantly monitor the red blood cells of a huge number of horses, racing will never be able to move away from rampant PED use…not just at smaller tracks but in our biggest races too.

    • Bristling

      They can OOCT all they want they have NO clue what these people are using. NO CLUE

  • Steven Hill

    No race day Drugs Period No Lasix Period!

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