Nebraska: Six weeks for frog juice positive

by | 08.20.2012 | 8:17am

Frog juice has spread to another state. This time it's Nebraska, where owner-trainer Kim Veerhusen has been wrist-slapped with a $1,500 fine and a brief suspension that ends Sept. 19, 2012, after a horse appropriately named Cheatin Cowboy tested positive for dermorphin – a Class 1 drug also known as frog juice – after finishing second in the first race at Horsemen's Park in Omaha, Neb., on July 15.

California's Truesdail Laboratories called the positive and a hearing was conducted by stewards on Aug. 3.

Other trainers in Nebraska must now be terrified that they, too, can be hit with such a devastating penalty if they use one of the most serious, illegal drugs racing laboratories have detected in recent years. Imagine that: a six week suspension for a Class 1 violation, and a fine that amounts to less than one-third of what Cheatin Cowboy earned in five previous starts where a lab did not detect dermorphin in his system.

Cheatin Cowboy had finished off the board in five consecutive starts for owner-trainer Philip Oviedo at Turf Paradise in Arizona from January to March 2012. Apparently purchased privately after his final Arizona start on March 10 by Veerhusen, Cheatin Cowboy then rattled off two consecutive second-place finishes and two wins at Fonner Park and Lincoln Downs in Nebraska. After an eighth-place finish at Prairie Meadows in Iowa, Cheatin Cowboy returned to Nebraska where he finished second in the July 15 race where frog juice was detected.

Dermorphin, which is said to be about 40 times as powerful as morphine, has previously been detected in post-race samples in Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Only Louisiana has announced official rulings, suspending a number of trainers for one year, the maximum permitted under current racing law there.

Veerhusen, whose 2012 record stands at 28 wins, 31 seconds, and 16 third-place finishes from 156 starts, is not allowed to enter horses between now and the Sept. 9 conclusion of the current meeting at Columbus. In addition, he has been suspended a whopping 10 extra days, until Sept. 19. The case has been referred to the Nebraska commission for any further action it deems necessary.

This is Veerhusen's 11th medication violation in the state of Nebraska since 2005, according to, which tracks state racing commission rulings from around the United States. 

Did the punishment fit the alleged rule violation?

Followup: According to Tom Sage, director  of the Nebraska State Racing Commission, the maximum penalty stewards may give is “current meeting, plus 10 days,” along with a $1,500 fine. The commission, by statute, follows Association of Racing Commissioners International model rules and may suspend a licensee from one to five years for a Class 1 violation and fine the licensee up to $5,000. Gage said the commission has not yet set a date to consider the Veerhusen ruling. “We hope to do something by the end of September,” he said.

Law enforcement is not involved in this investigation at this point, Gage said. He would not comment further.

  • Barry Irwin

    If the Feds were involved in a cohesive national investigative and policing action and these events were coordinated, it would be much easier to track the movement of these illegal drugs and hopefully stop them in their tracks, so to speak. But this state-by-state mentality under which we currently operate is an open invitation for crooks to cheat, as it is easier to avoid detection.

  • Cliff

    I’m shocked…SHOCKED! To hear there’s chicanery going on at these tiny bullring meets in the middle of nowhere. Please Uncle Sam…come save us from the evil doings of master criminal Kim Veerhusen.

  • Cepatton28

    Mr Irwin as a trainer of a small string of horses without super wealthy owners I have been begging for some sort of national organization.  As an owner yourself you know how annoying getting a license in every state can be.   The time for owners like yourself to band together and push for a national org.

  • The Prof

    Ah, Nebraska.  Where a jockey was caught with a buzzer in his posession immediately after winning a race and was given a suspension and a fine:  the suspension was through the end of the meet, which amounted to about two weeks, and the fine was the proceeds of the $200 win ticket bought for him by the trainer.  If he had been caught in his home state (Illinois), where he was suspected of “plugging horses in,’ he would have been suspended for life.  

  • Cepatton28

    That penalty is ridiculous.  How can people playing by the rules compete?

  • Cliff

    Haha…so the Feds should spend resources used toward tracking other drugs in this country to stop the cheating of one gyp trainer at a bullring offering $5,000 purses?

  • Cepatton28

    Cliff their needs to be uniform rules and suspensions regardless of it is a fair meet or Saratoga.   The horse was injected with Dermorphin.  Regardless of the value of the horse it is inhumane.   Would it be worse if he was worth a million?

  • Jon Cohen

    An open invitation……

    Horse                         Purchased $                  Race Record

    Collegiate                   $ 400,000                      7-1-1-1  $ 74,095
    Old Ninety Eight           $ 400,000                      8-0-2-0  $ 11,148
    Knight’s Blade              $ 525,000                      4-1-0-1  $ 17,175
    Standing O.                 $ 250,000                     8-1-1-2  $  25,770
    Kinsella                      $ 2,200,000                    5-2-0-1  $ 65,505
    Phantom Avalanche       $ 230,000                     0-0-0-0   $ 0
    Nylons                        $ 220,000                     13-3-3-1  $ 41,421
    Carriage Trade            $ 1,500,000                    1-0-0-0   $ 0
    In This Life                  $ 400,000                      6-0-0-1  $ 4,923

    I personally am really, really tired of reading your ceasless negative commentary of what is wrong with this business.  You never offer a constructive solution, you just like telling people what THEY are doing wrong.  If you are in fact, the all knowing expert you present yourself to be then try presenting  a constructive solution to some of the issues.  By the small sample of statistics above, it is clear that you are no expert.

    Just for the record Mr. Paulick, there is nothing mean spirited in my above statement.  Too many people seem to be using your site to do nothing but bash and criticize the business, yet do not offer a single realistic, constructive solution.  I am tired of reading all the negativity from self proclaimed experts, and, as an advertiser of yours or not, Irwin is one of the biggest negativists on your site.  I didn’t make up the statistics above, they came right off of the Bloodhorse auction database, and Equibase.

  • Cubs Stink

    You completely miss the point.   This is a medication that has obviously proven to be widespread.  To think it – and many other drugs akin to it – have not or will not be been used in places like NY, KY or FL would be foolish.   The point Irwin is making is that cheating is without a doubt rampant and in this country, billions of dollars are wagered on a product that has some issues with integrity.  Involving the Feds would put a huge crimp on the temptation for trainers to cheat regardless of whether they are at Turf Paradise or Saratoga.

  • Cubs Stink

    Cliff must be one of the leaders of our sport in disguise.

  • Cliff

    I’m sure Omaha has animal control officers capable of securing warrants to arrest this gyp and put him out of business. But more people were hurt by drugs last night than were probably on hand for any of Cheatin Cowboy’s races. To send the DEA into racing on the faulty premise there’s an equivalence between Saratoga & Fonner is foolish, wasteful and won’t work anyway.

  • RayPaulick

    Jon Cohen.

    I’m not sure I see the negativity in Barry  Irwin’s comment. He is actually proposing a solution to a problem that The Jockey Club spent enormous resources discussing recently at its annual Round Table. Your position seems to be that it’s OK to cheat.

    I won’t say your comment above is mean-spirited, but it is completely irrelevant to the issue. You seem like a very sad person, and I feel sorry for you.

  • Cepatton28

    There is a push to ban lasix and I can’t see that being the most crucial problem racing faces.   

     My suggestions are these:

    Nationwide licensing

    Uniform medication rules

    Serious penalties for medication positives.

    Sales companies should have to publish the name of the owner at time of sale not farm name or agent.

    Equine clinics should be required to inform the jockey club and sales companies of any surgery done on a TB foal.

    2 yr old in training sales should be either revamped taking away the breezes or gotten rid of all together.   I have seen some of the things they do to those babies to get through the breezes.

    Too many races are run at tracks each day putting pressure on trainer’s from racing secreataries to run horses to often. 

    I have many many more

  • Cliff

    Your statement “cheating is rampant” can’t be proven. To this point the only frog juice positives are being found at marginal, low-level tracks, by gyp trainers who could never hope to compete on larger circuits. Involving the feds won’t put a crimp in cheating at any level. And even  if it did, folks like yourself would continue to point at ghosts, throw around unproven facts and say the fed wasn’t doing enough.

  • Jon Cohen

    I appreciate the quick reply Ray, but I have to disagree with you.  My position is absolutely that it is not okay to cheat, and I like most people think that cheating, the use of illegal drugs, like demorphin, should be dealt with swiftly and harshly.  I do however strongly disagree with anyone that continues to obfuscate the very issue by deliberately trying to blame legitimate horsemen, veterinarians and anyone trying to do their level best to keep their horses racing successfully using therapeutic medication within the bounds of the rules. Wasting time demonizing the use of lasix is just one example.  The absolutely irrefutable fact is that a large percentage of horses bleed.  Instead of coming up with a way to stop horses from bleeding, Mr. Irwin insists that Lasix is the root of all evil, and bashes anyone that disagrees.  It is ironic that someone who says there is such an urgent need for uniformity and federal regulation, that they choose to demonize the one uniformly regulated and reported therapeutic medication out there. Insist there is a better, realistic way, then tell people, don’t just tell them what is so wrong, without a useful suggestion of what is better.

    I appreciate your concern for my personal well being, fortunately, I am not the least bit sad. Opinionated at times, but most definitely not sad.

  • Stanley inman

    Make the game better dept;

    Let’s not overlook the horse
    as we get tangled up
    in the myriad issues
    connected to class 1 violations.

    All trainers guilty of class1 violations should have ALL horses removed from their care;
    ALL horses in their shedrow placed on vets list;
    (Look what happened in new Mexico)

  • James D. Jimenez

    Hell, you don’t need any more. If you could get half of the above suggestions approved we’d be headed in the right direction!!!!

  • Tinky

    Cherry-picking a small sample of failed purchases reveals either a complete lack of seriousness or intelligence. One could easily do the same for EVERY SINGLE OWNER who has acquired and/or bred many horses. To suggest that such a list somehow reflects either expertise, or a lack of it, is the height of ignorance.

    It is also ignorant to attack those who offer serious criticism as “negative”. Of course it is helpful to offer specific suggestions of how problems might be solved, but Irwin has done that in far more cases than almost any other high-profile owner.

  • Tinky

    “Mr. Irwin insists that Lasix is the root of all evil, and bashes anyone that disagrees.”

    That is complete crap. 

    And speaking of “irrefutable” facts, two-thirds of the horses racing around the world do so successfully without race day Lasix. So on what basis do you imagine that it is so absolutely necessary?

  • LL

    Check out the horses that did well during the Arlington Festival this week end. Jakkalberry, Lake Drop, and Bayrir did not race on lasix.

  • Jon Cohen

    What exactly is the point you are trying to make ?  No one said that EVERY horse bleeds and NEEDS Lasix, there are however, a high percentage of horses that DO BLEED, and DO NEED LASIX.

  • Caroline

    Got to feel sorry for those suffering from extreme siege mentality. It really is pretty sad to watch.  

  • Jon Cohen

    What a surprise,

    An AD HOMINEM attack by the site’s resident expert on everything, yet who is someone who hides behind a fake screen name.  Ironic.

  • SteveG

    “Did the punishment fit the alleged rule violation?”

    Rhetorical flourish aside, over and above the insignificant punishments & historically speaking, the industry unwisely chose & continues to choose to routinely cast a veil upon, turn a blind eye to, actively sweep under the rug & in general, minimize incidents of cheating in a (failed) effort to maintain a superficial facade of integrity.

    Even now, the response to the demorophin positives has been desultory & apathetic given its severe nature.

    It turns out that what amounts to a kind of tacit complicity has been & continues to be extremely corrosive & much more costly than dealing with the problem of cheating, head on, those many moons ago when the present course was plotted.

    As profoundly ignorant it makes them appear, I’m not sure the powers-that-be get that yet. 

  • Tinky

    No, the point is that a big majority of the horses racing around the world do so successfully WITHOUT Lasix. So it is obviously NOT true that a “high percentage” need the drug.

  • Jon Cohen

    And yet another surprise,

    The STRAW MAN ARGUMENT.   Is this “expert” predictable, or what ???

  • Tinky

    You apparently don’t have the slightest idea of the definition of “ad hominem”.

    The real irony is that you have just launched such an attack, and are entirely unaware of it!


  • Stanley inman

    So true,
    No accident that veerhusen ended up with a horse
    Named “cheatin cowboy”- he’s rubbin it in your nose.
    For testing positive for a class 1violation.
    His barn should be treated as a crime scene behind yellow tape.
    We would all learn a lot.

  • Tinky

    What a surprise that you would fail to answer a simple, straightforward, and relevant question.

  • Dc

    Followup: According to Tom Sage, director  of the Nebraska State Racing Commission, the maximum penalty stewards may give is “current meeting, plus 10 days,” along with a $1,500 fine. The commission, by statute, follows Association of Racing Commissioners International model rules and may suspend a licensee from one to five years for a Class 1 violation and fine the licensee up to $5,000. Gage said the commission has not yet set a date to consider the Veerhusen ruling. “We hope to do something by the end of September,” he said. 
    I would be guessing that he will get more than a slap on the wrist, they ruled off a trainer for 3 yrs for class 1 violations and still after 3 yrs will not re-license him. So before everyone gets their pants in a wad, see what the commission does

  • Dc

    Ahh Nebr. where trainer with class 1 violations gets 3 yrs and then some as they still won’t license him. And the trainer involved with the jockey you referred to got ruled off from Nebr for yrs. if he is even allowed back now.

  • Dc

    I take it, you think Saratoga trainers like their horses better than Fonner trainers?

  • August Song

    Ray, I’m kind of a bit surprised that you did not jump all over this story that broke from Florida, pretty incriminating to say the least.

  • RayPaulick
  • Cubs Stink

    Sure it can be proven.  Go to and start searching away.  Then look up the definition of cheating and rampant then report back what you find.

  • Rayghost

    If you or someone you know is paying too much at a sale, maybe you should save your cobra venom for the breeders that have successfully distorted the purse structure in this country and have inbred and speed bred the breed into fragility.

  • Roisin.

    That is precisely why there needs to be a national commision on racing with rules and penalties strictly enforced across all states. All these sorry excuses for trainers get is a slap on the wrist. Violaters like this should be out of business, period. The whole situation is a NATI0NAL DISGRACE. It makes me and many others furious.

  • DianeTPelletier

    this is so discouraging that someone would be that greedy have no conscience whatsoever he is not being punished near enough

  • Joe S.

    Yes indeed !!! And will there be a big surprise when Uncle Sam does step in? Eventually this will come to an end, one way or an other.

  • Cliff

    Rampant: occurring or flourishing unchecked
    Thoroughbred Rulings: a compendium of official actions by various racing commissions or authorities.
    So you wanted me to go to a place listing where cheaters have been caught (checked) to get the idea that cheating is somehow unchecked in American racing?
    You can’t prove a negative.
    And we will leave aside the fact that most of the database is filled with instances not of “cheating” but mundane rule violations and fouls. A lineman who holds isn’t cheating. He’s blocking in an illegal way. Now holding is rampant in the NFL. Should we call in the Fed to regulate the game? Or can we leave it up to the local refs to handle it?

  • Capail

    The industry needs more Irwins and less Cohens. Did you forget The Green Monkey ?

  • Cliff

     Wait…you mean this “joke” of a racing commission is just following some kind of uniform model rules? And they have statutes telling them to do it that way?
    I don’t believe it. These hick Nebraskans can’t be trusted and my pants are already wadded up. Send in the Federal Government to untangle them.

  • Joe S.

    Well said !

  • Nebraska now leads the nation in wrist slapping.  This is criminal!  How long will the Regulated continue
    to accept the incompetence of the Regulators?  Dermorphin has now shown its presence in
    Nebraska and Doug
    O’Neill has been suspended for
    forty days in California.  (Don’t be
    concerned, his assistant has everything under control.  Including “Richard’s
    Kid”).  Do you know what that
    means? It means that the regulators of horse racing still have not given the
    criminal type trainers anything to fear.  In plain english, that means the bad guys and now
    gals are still running the show and the usual  permissive efforts to control things continue
    to fail.   I fully realize that the commissioners and their
    sponsors pay no attention to their critics, but eventually I will get through
    to someone who cares and can lead a cause for reform.

    In the very near future several other states will demonstrate
    their abilities to deal with these scum bag trainers and I am sure that a great
    many stakeholders in the business await these adjudications. If results are
    business as usual, like Nebraska, demonstrations in front of the offices of
    Governors would not be out of place.   

    Where is the HBPA on this issue? Have they revoked the memberships
    of any trainers?  What about the
    ARCI?  Have they revoked the membership of any commission? 

  • Marc

    Those who use dermorphin are attempting to fix a race.  Opiate drugs, like dermorphin, are very powerful stimulants in horses. In people they may be used used a pain killers, but the physiology of horses is very different and the drug works differently.  With dermorphin, the horse becomes extremely agitated and energetic.

    Dermorphin positives should be treated as a serious race fixing attempt. Evidence collected should be shared with state and federal law enforcement officials as a possible racketeering violation and a criminal investigation should be requested. If convicted, the individual could receive a lengthy prison term, forfeiture of the horse, the entire purse and a huge fine.

    It is time that we look at the regulation of racing as a law enforcement task and take it out of the exclusive hands of state political appointees who are too often beholding to those they are supposed to oversee.

    An afterthought: There is no such thing as a “therapeutic medication”.  There are drugs that should be administered for therapeutic purposes – which is to allow healing. Giving drugs to enable injured horses to compete is NOT therapeutic, it is ethical misuse and it is  contrary to the avowed standards and practices of veterinary medicine. There is no excuse for pre-race drugs.

  • Cliff

    I don’t know enough trainers in either location to say positively. But to indict the entire sport based on the actions of players at the game’s lower levels and margins is foolish.

  • August Song

    My great faith in you as reporter covering the sport and the biggest stories remains unshaken, Ray.

  • Roisin.

    Originally Lasix was intended for known bleeders. Now every horse is routinely given the drug even though not All horses bleed. They are given the drug because it is believed it enhances performance. Further, there are many possible causes of EIPH and Lasix does not help all bleeders.

    Lasix is intended to treat diseases like conjestive heart failure and pulmonary edema and is never used in healthy people. It is not the benign drug one might believe. It has many undesireable and even dangerous side effects….too much info. to go into here. Healthy animals should not be routinely given this drug.

    One of many questions/concerns: I seriously doubt anyone has considered how long the horse takes to regulate his electrolyte balance (very important) following lasix and some horses race with as little as 6 days between races and IV Lasix. The simple matter is, although the drug is legal it is abused in race horses.

  • Dc

    Quite a few tracks follow the RCI rules, including “bigger tracks”, Cliff you sound a bit like a elitist,  is that how you mean to sound?

  • Stanley inman

    “Lineman holding”
    meets the definition of “cheating”, ( for about everyone who familiar
    With the sport;
    And, as you say, is rampant.
    So to your first part cheating is rampant;

    Your second point about fed intervention;
    It’s does appear overkill for Feds to police minor infractions;
    (the final draft Of that legislation is a work in progress;)

  • Barry Irwin

    I must be doing something right if my comments can bring out such venom from somebody like Mr. Cohen, especially when his response misses the mark by such a wide distance.

  • Stanley inman

    The horsemen have boxed themselves into a corner;
    Their multiple grades ( grade 1-5) of medication violations leaves them a difficult task, trying to make artificial distinctions in what constitutes a rule violation; or “cheating”
    since the public makes no distinction in degrees of cheating;
    Grade 5 violation- cheating is cheating like grade I “cheating” to all sportsmen; only difference is magnitude of penalty.
    Finally, the term “cheater”, is extended beyond grade one violations to include all rule violations;

  • Cubs Stink

    Your replies are so stupid they speak for themselves.

  • Cubs Stink

     My reply was for Cliff, not you Stanley inman.

  • Marc

    Excellent points, Lou. The problem with state regulators is that they are part and parcel of the problem – seeing their roles as primarily serving the public relations interests of the racing industry but not protecting the wagering public and certainly NOT the horses or jockeys.

    It’s not too late to bring in state and federal law enforcement professionals on these dermorphin cases. And its not too late to demand that the state veterinary practices boards look into the unethical and unprofessional behavior of those track practitioners who use drugs inappropriately to enable injured horses to race. 

  • Lisa Wintermote

    I’m in total agreement. Wagering on horse racing crosses state lines and the rules, regulations, and licenses should as well.

  • Barry Irwin

    My first job in racing was as a staff writer for The Blood-Horse back in 1969. The editor was Kent Hollingworth, but for the first few months, I rarely if ever caught sight of him. Then one day he walks into the office and announces that he has successfully completed a task that took him the better part of a year. He had achieved uniform licensing in the United States. Well, sports fans, here is it 43 years later and we still don’t have it. Reason? States rights.

  • LongTimeEconomist

    Breeders only breed horses that people who race want to race.

  • voiceofreason

    Your talk of logic falls on deaf ears in this business. No one cares. The fact it (as you have clearly stated) if a trainer MUST use “therapeutic medication” for help their horse, allow them to do it OFF THE TRACK.

    Watch how “magically” every horse becomes mush healthier.

  • LongTimeEconomist

    You’re right, Barry, though I do believe there was some sort of multi-state plan worked out by Joan Pew of Pennsylvania a while back

  • Cliff

    Being sarcastic. Ray called the Neb. commission a joke in a tweet this morning and this dog whistle of a column brings out the likes of Irwin with calls for Federal oversight. In fact it was a small racing state (Colorado) that found how to test for frog juice and it has been small racing states that have cooperated to find, remove and prosecute the criminals using it. I fail to see how a Federal board would have done better. Especially when the best funded and most government-infused jurisdiction in America can’t make a 10-year ban stick to Rick Dutrow.

  • Tinky

    Actually, commercial breeders breed horses that people want to buy at sales, which, unfortunately, is not the same thing. It also accounts for a good deal of the degradation of the breed over the past 30 years or so.

  • Cliff

     Adorable. Was that last reply the internet equivalent of the raspberry and stomping off?

  • LongTimeEconomist

    Tinky, that’s basically my point. Either way, it’s the people who buy (and home-bred) and then race these unsound horses that are the real problem. 

  • fb0252

    i agree by and large with substance of ur post though welcome Irwin’s point of view which I consider wrong for the sport and primarily much ado about nothing on which we are wasting resources..

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    Hmm…you know…I would like to think if someone is going to try and cheat in this game…that they would at least have the smarts not to do it with a horse named “Cheatin Cowboy”.  That is just asking for a karmatic kick in the (word that I would use but otherwise would get me sent to the abyss of moderator land).

  • Dc

    Well said thank you!

  • Jonmax

    Somebody has to re-write Nebraskas rule book for penalties and fines.This punishment is not in line with the use of this substance.It is a real joke,with happenings like this horse racing will never improve their attendance and handle.

  • Dc

    Apparently nobody bothered to read the whole article, the Stewards are limited (in most if not all states) on the punishment they can give, they refer the case to the commission who then has the authority to give out harsher punishment and I have no doubt the Nebr. Racing Commission will do just that. I expect Mr Veerhusen will be looking for a new job.

  • Marc, I agree with your suggestion to call in law enforcement on these serious drug violations.  Whose call do you think they will respond to?  That call should come from the state racing commissions.  When I was the commission steward in Pennsylvania we were assisted by the state police in several matters.  Successfuly, I might add.

  • Marc

    Ideally, racing commissioners should call for law enforcement assistance – not only when they have evidence of an attempt to fix races, but preemptively. Placing undercover operatives on the backside would yield a treasure trove of intelligence about the current undetectable drug-of-choice for horse doping.  Other crimes such as money laundering, illegal drug sales, even animal cruelty may be revealed.

    Drugs like dermorphin appeared on the scene before the Drug Enforcement Administration knew of their potential use and abuse and so the drug has not even been added to the Schedule of Controlled Substances.  Cooperative investigations and information sharing will hasten the process.

    If state vice investigators and federal drug and law enforcement officials don’t immediately respond to a call from racing commissioners, then I’d do an end run and call the state Attorney General to request support. 

  • Marc

    The Miami Times story was an eye opener for many who might have assumed that the Division of Pari-Mutual Wagering was doing its job.

  • Joe S.

    That is exactly what is needed. However, I can hear the howls of protest now !

  • TTownTony

    I happen to agree with Barry Irwin…it seems to me that the only cure for horseracing IS federal intervention. No one is doing anything, and this kind of crap just keeps going on, and on……….Why are people happy with the status quo? Why dont people want to clean up the sport. It breaks my heart to see what horseracing has become!

  • TTownTony

    Apparently I can only read the happenings at this site, most of my posts are wiped out. All I did was agree with Barry Irwin, and state that I thought that federal intervention is the only cure for what ails horseracing, while denouncing those that want to see things stay the same.

  • TTownTony

     My bad…I had posts sorted wrongly! My apologies.

  • fb0252

    if there is a shred of evidence for rampant cheating would someone provide a link.

  • Ssk12955

         I personally have owned nine of the above mentioned horses. In racing you need one or two good one’s to support the loss of eight or ten bad one’s. I have been a client of Barry’s for more then ten years. A few of my good ones. Bred a filly, sold half based on a million and a half dollars. Multiple grade one winner, we still own her. Bought another filly for a reasonable price, won a grade one the next day, sold her for three million. Bred the winner of the Kentucky Derby, who is now worth how many millions. Bred the winner of the Breeders Cup juvenial, sold for three million. So while you can disparage Barry, very few have had his success. remember in racing if you win one out of five, you are doing well. In addition we race for the sport and the enjoyment. Great relationships, and travel. What have you done of any significance in racing, except shoot off your big mouth. The world would be a better place without haters like yourself.
    Steve K

  • fb0252

     this — a gross lack of knowledge of the rules enforcement in almost every jurisdiction.

  • fb0252

     txs. beat me to it.

  • danzig

    Federal oversight with a national set of penalties will be the only way that we can ensure these cheaters will be punished.  We can not depend upon individual states to properly sanction against the cheaters that are destroying this wonderful sport.  Enough is enough.  Give the feds 1% of all handle ($110 million) and let them enforce uniform medication policies, drug testing protocols, licensing and one set of penalties to put these people out of the horse business forever (and in jail where they belong).

  • fb0252

    this is an unbelievable comment. ever been to Nebraska Cliff?  Been on a Nebraska backstretch?  Have any understanding of the history of horse racing in NE??? 

  • fb0252

     please read the OP before posting.

  • fb0252

    Anybody besides me like to see some “evidence” that:

    1. cheating is “rampant”.
    2. the frog juice positives are being mishandled by the racing commissions.
    3.  that horse racing is doing a worse job than any other sport in dealing with illegal drugs–see Melky Cabrera.
    4.  that a “national commissioner” solves this problem–see M. Cabrera, Ryan Braun, et. al.

  • Jon Cohen

    There is absolutely no venom whatsoever, just a simple statement of FACT.

  • I don’t see any negativity in Mr Irwin’s comment He just was stating that horse racing needs a national governing body All other major national sports have such It helps to keep the rules of the game and the penalties uniform,consistent,and swiftly dealt with when violations are incurred How this would hurt a legitimate horseman or vets I fail to see

  • Nowhere in the article or in Mr Irwin’s statement did I see a mention of Lasix/Salix or a ban of such The article was about frog venom and trainer with a positive test and his punishment Mr Paulick simply asked did the punishment fit the crime 

  • Marc

    Spot on, Danzig and Barry Irwin. This is a law enforcement task that requires insight into the minds of cheaters and criminals. We need trained officers who are NOT appointed by racing industry insiders or politicians to aggressively oversee the investigation and prosecution of criminals in racing.  

    Only the federal government can bring the expertise and resources necessary to achieve uniformity of rules and enforcement. Those of us who see federal oversight as a principal solution to racing’s drug and integrity issues ought to call our U.S. Congressman and Senators urging them to so-sponsor and support the Interstate Horse Racing Improvement Act.

  • It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” Thomas SowellDespite this excellent advice, horse racing is regulated by people who do not answer for their mistakes. They are not even required to acknowledge or explain them. This lack of supervision lies at the feet of thirty- eight Governors who have more important things to attend to. “This block of people have little or no effect on my ability to be re-elected”. This industry’s stakeholders, despite having large memberships in numerous organizations, have not been able to generate a sufficient effort to bring attention to this problem. Can anyone recall an incident where a sitting Governor reprimanded his appointee(s) on a state racing commision, let alone fire one? As a result “Incompetents With Impunity” continue to regulate (?) the business.

  • Joe S.

    Too many people making money at all levels with the status quo.

  • No Mark Ups

    Paulick and Tinky – two more Irwin disciples – obviously have not been subject to his ridiculous mark ups and fees. And be careful Jon, you will get banned for not agreeing with Ray’s idol Barry.  

  • No Mark Ups

    If you mean doing something right is charging “investors” ridiculous mark ups and playing big shot owner with other people’s money, then yes, you are doing something right.

  • Ray Barry is right. This guy belongs in Prison.

  • QH Girl

    All race day medications should be banned including Lasix.  I say this as a trainer of Quarter Horses, my horses run drug free, or don’t run at all.  I do not see anything wrong with bute or any other drug given as a therapeutic medication but under no circumstances should it be given on race day. Anyone that uses a class 1 narcotic should be banned for at least a year and given a large fine and any purse money should be taken away.  If they get caught more than once they should be banned for life, this would get peoples attention then maybe people would start to realize that we will not put up with the abuse.  Until they start handing out stiffer penalties people will still try to cheat and look for ways around the testing procedures.  You can’t beat a cheater and winning without honor is a hollow victory. 

  • Bernieinocala

    If the Feds were involved in a cohesive national investigative and policing action and these events were coordinated……………Wow!  Isn’t this a triple oxymoron!  Let me get this right, we’re talking about that group in Washington with the 16% approval rating doing all these wonderful things?  Have you read their idiotic Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act?  That’s the one that gives you 3 bute overages in a lifetime before you are banned from racing, and the real doper gets equal justice too as he gets three dermorphins in a lifetime before he/she is banned.

  • DinkyDiva

    Right on!!!  I am so tired of hearing about the Doping, it’s making me want to stay away from the tracks and racing in general.  And, I’ve been a life long fan.  The trainers that are caught dopping need to have better regulation and stiffer penalties.  What these States are doing about the Demorphin is crazy!  A 1500.00 fine and a slap on the wrist.  They need to have their license suspended for at least a year for the first violators and purse money dispersed .  If that said trainer is caught again, they should be banned!!!! 
    This isn’t only cheating out the bettors and fans but, the Good Ole boys/girls too.  This should be a class 1 Felony!  Not only that but, they put every single horse in the race at risk and every jockey at risk.  Look at the breakdowns with the QH’s that have tested positive!  Is it really worth their lives and well being?  Owner’s that employee these trainers need to be fined as well.
    This is one instance, that I would welcome PETA to get involved!  This is abuse, plain and simple!

  • Rctueltime

    It is Lincoln Race Course, not Lincoln Downs.

  • Spud

    Hey Cliff. Jump off. I am one of those hicks from Nebraska. I also breed over 100 mares a year and have farms in Kentucky, Ohio, Ontario, and New York. What skin do you have in the game to make this statement. Moron

  • Guest

    At least something was done to this trainer, even if people do not think it was harsh enough. There still hasn’t been anything done to any of the people that had positive tests in New Mexico this summer or in the past few years! I primarily race in New Mexico and it is a free for all! The racing commission claims there are rules and consequences, but no one has yet too see anything happen to a huge majority of the cheaters! New Mexcio racing might as well advertise as the state that lets there horseman run on anything and everything! Welcome all CHEATERS!

  • Guest

    At least something was done to this trainer, even if people do not think it was harsh enough. There still hasn’t been anything done to any of the people that had positive tests in New Mexico this summer or in the past few years! I primarily race in New Mexico and it is a free for all! The racing commission claims there are rules and consequences, but no one has yet too see anything happen to a huge majority of the cheaters! New Mexcio racing might as well advertise as the state that lets there horseman run on anything and everything! Welcome all CHEATERS!

  • Sparkles

    What a bunch of crap. This guy’s brother owned the horse or at least part of it AND he is the president of the NeB HBPA

  • Equine Avenger

    One thing is sure about that list that you have listed there and that is the fact that Team Valor isn’t cheating. Thanks for pointing that out!

  • Guest

    And here I didn’t know that frog juice was a thing.

  • Guest


  • Robin Williams

    The National Racing Compact launched its national racing license program in 2000 at the Breeders’ Cup when I personally handed the first owner’s license to Virginia Kraft Payson and the first jockey’s license to Pat Day. The program is managed by RCI in Lexington, KY.

  • nu-fan

    Cepatton28 as well as Marc:  If I am not mistaken, the National Humane Society has come out against 2-year olds racing as well.  Should horses that young, and with their bones still developing, be exercised and raced strenously?  It seems that too many owners and trainers have unrealistic expectations of racing their 3-year old in the Triple Crown and start their horses early to prep them.  I know that the topic was frog juice and we are digressing but just wanted to get your input.  Thanks.

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