Taking My Money Elsewhere: California Gets It Wrong On Lasix

by | 08.26.2015 | 6:04pm

I'm not what anyone would refer to as a “major player” when it comes to betting on horses. I cut my teeth at the Chicago area tracks in the late 1970s, then spent eight years in Southern California while working as a handicapper and editor in the Los Angeles offices of Daily Racing Form. I bet, though never with both hands. Since moving to Kentucky in 1988, I'd have to call myself an occasional player who focuses mostly on stakes races, but I also enjoy betting every live race I can during the few weeks I spend in Del Mar, Calif., each summer.

One thing I've learned over the years about this game is you've got to take a stand. And that's what I'm doing today.

I'm sure my money won't be missed, but I can't in good conscience place any more bets on races in California – not after what happened at the California Horse Racing Board meeting last week.

The CHRB voted 5-2 against the recommendations of its own Medication Committee that a trainer's private veterinarian not be allowed to give race-day injections of furosemide, or Lasix, the diuretic used to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

The recommendation that Lasix be administered by a third-party veterinarian (and not by a trainer's private vet) is one of the four key elements of the National Uniform Medication Program developed by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. The program is endorsed by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Third-party Lasix administration is being conducted in Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Ontario, Canada, among other North American jurisdictions.

As California's equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur, said to one of the CHRB members who voted “no” to third-party Lasix administration, “you've been hoodwinked” by protesting veterinarians and trainers with “smoke and mirrors.”

Arthur steered the third-party Lasix administration regulatory language through the Medication Committee, a long process that involved challenges from private veterinarians and the California Veterinary Medical Board. The CVMB eventually signed off on the language of the regulations. Thoroughbred Owners of California supported the regulations. The CHRB approved third-party Lasix administration earlier this year, subject to a 45-day comment period.

When that public comment period came to an end at last week's CHRB meeting, one of the primary protesters was Dr. Don Shields, a racetrack practitioner who wants the CHRB to follow the rule that the Indiana Horse Racing Commission adopted in 2006 –long before the National Uniform Medication Program was developed. The Indiana rules call for private veterinarians administering Lasix shots to be escorted by a security officer working for the racetrack. Minnesota has a similar program that was developed before the National Uniform Medication Rules were adopted.

The RMTC, though it prefers that third-party veterinarians administer Lasix shots, includes Indiana and Minnesota among the states meeting the spirit of the National Uniform Rules when it comes to Lasix.

Joe Gorajec, the executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, thinks the program his commission put in place in 2006 is superior because all private vets are accompanied by security personnel during the time Lasix is administered. Gorajec believes it's a deterrent to keep vets from giving other drugs on race day, though it hasn't been foolproof.

Gorajec also thinks the Indiana program “is probably unworkable” in California because of the size and scope of California racing.

“We only have three (or four at the most) that we have to account for,” Gorajec said of the private veterinarians being shadowed by security personnel on race days at Indiana Grand racetrack.

By comparison, as many as 10 to 15 vets may be giving Lasix shots during a typical day at a Southern California racetrack.

Why is it so important to keep a trainer's private veterinarian out of a horse's stall on race day?

During the often-heated debate last week, Arthur told the CHRB that “drugs other than Lasix are being used on race day. We know that.”

Dr. Mary Scollay, equine medical director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, confirmed as much in presentations she's made at industry conferences. Since third-party Lasix administration began in Kentucky, she said, “Post-race testing has shown a significant reduction in what (Dr. Rick Sams of Kentucky's official drug-testing lab, LGC) calls background noise on drug screens. There also has been a substantial drop in average concentration of Lasix in post-race samples.”

Earlier this year, four equine veterinarians pleaded guilty to criminal charges in Pennsylvania after being indicted by a federal grand jury for illegally administering drugs to horses on race-day.

Yet, the CHRB voted to kick the can down the road for another three months, or six months, or another year or two. Commission chairman Chuck Winner and vice chairman Rosenberg, along with commissioners Madeline Auerbach, Jesse Choper and George Krikorian were, as Arthur said, “hoodwinked,” voting to maintain a status quo that facilitates any temptation by veterinarians and trainers to cheat. Steve Beneto and Alex Solis voted to approve third-party Lasix administration.

I'll kick the can down the road, too, betting on races in states that have regulators who care more about the integrity of the game than they do about keeping a bunch of trainers and veterinarians happy.

As former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said in the movies: “I'll be back.”

Once the CHRB fixes its mistake.

  • pequod

    Here’s the problem with Dr. shields proposal: CHRB security personnel are emphatically ineffective. For example, horses ship in and out of all of southern California’s racetracks without anyone checking the vans. They look at a piece of paper with names on it and never look inside. So any horse can ship off the grounds, have shock wave treatment, and ship back without anyone checking a tattoo number, coat color or even if the number of horses in the van matches what the transport slip says. These are the same security personnel that would be expected to check what went into a syringe and what was in the bottle the syringe was filled from. HAH! Dr. Shields should be aware of this. The CHRB is clearly not.

    • Naprovnik Naprovnik

      Bingo … and you think they are not? It would be interesting to see how many of them have off shore money.

      • pequod

        uh… what was I thinking???? LOL!

    • Liz

      Yes yes and yes.

    • Pebbles

      I thought the notion was to have the track vet administer the drugs on race day rather than a trainer’s private vet, not security personnel checking the drugs? Did I miss something?

      • pequod

        yes, you did. Shields wants private vet attended by security.

        • Pebbles

          Do we know that it is a private vet? My understanding is that it would be a third party vet who is either direct state employee or an indirect employee via independent contractor status.

          “The recommendation that Lasix be administered by a third-party veterinarian (and not by a trainer’s private vet) is one of the four key elements of the National Uniform Medication Program developed by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International.”

          Thus, the third party vet – a state employee in some regard – would be administering the Lasix and not the trainer’s vet. I think that is starkly different from a “private vet” administering it.

    • David Juffet

      Remember Sweet Catomine?

    • Scott Ramsay

      Why hold Shields responsible for something that Dr. Arthur as “Equine Medical Director” is responsible for? Just read the quote that Andrew A put up there from Dr. Arthur and let’s hear Dr. Arthur explain that away. How can the guy who is in charge of the lab say publicly that the lab can’t detect cheating drugs that they actually know about? What the hell?

      Better put someone in charge of stable security who can get a handle on all this stuff.

    • Alex

      Leadership starts with who is appointing the members of the CHRB. CHRB MEMBERS and Staff if they are doing their jobs, should be responsible for delivering high quality work in all areas of security.
      If security is lacking, then it will only get better if all that are not doing their jobs get replaced.
      Replacement of the California Equine Medical Director Dr. Rick Arthur should be first on the list to go.

      • ben van den brink

        Just put in 100% clean racing, than no problems are excisting.

        You must be an NAARV member.

        • Alex

          NAARV member no. However have a great appreciation of Veterinarians. At one time I taught both General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry at a University. The few students I had that eventually gained acceptance to a School of Veterinary Medicine are among the brightest I ever had.
          Later I worked for DuPont. Presently I am the Director of Labatory for Siemens Healthcare Global. As far as expensive with horses, I was an Amateur Flat & Steeplechase Jockey. I breed, own and train horses and have been doing this for more than 30 years.

          The CHRB is typical of the vast majority of regulators. They don’t have a clue when it comes to science. This is incredible dangerous because they make the rules.

          • Ben van den Brink

            This part we are finding parts from both sides:

            I breed, own and train horses and have been doing this for more than 30 years. Only I breed to change in I bred etc.

            I do think that strict rules and by strong enforcement are easier to deal than liberal rules.

            I honestly hold the opinion, that on raceday, there is no place for the private vet, simply because out of protecting the public, bettors and other compititors. I have raced in Germany, and over there the IFHA rules are enforced to in detail, not ever had one problem with them. Racing can be done clean. It only differs to the way you have to train. You need to know your horse, and not your vet.

  • Andrew A.

    couple of months ago Arthur issued a press release bragging that there were
    only three positives last year. Now these guys are giving the horses
    illegal drugs every day.

    • RayPaulick

      He didn’t say illegal drugs on race-day. However, it is illegal to give any drug other than an anti-bleeder medication on race-day.

      • Andrew A.

        He implied that anything could be given on race day IMO.

        I agree with 3rd party lasix but Rick Arthur isn’t an honest man and is all about politics and his own power. Been that way for a long time and because of the way he gets paid he’s almost untouchable.

        • AngelaFromAbilene

          Only in your warped mind Andrew.

        • BILL CASNER

          If you are going to impugn the integrity of Dr. Arthur, by calling him “dishonest” then you should have the cojones to state your real name. Cowards easily bash reputations when they are able to hide behind pseudo-names in a blog.
          Dr. Arthur is a dedicated professional and has worked long and hard for what is right for the horse and our industry.
          What work have you contributed to the well being of the horse or our industry?

          • Andrew A.

            What the hell are you talking about? That is my name.

            @racetrackandy Figure it out Mr. Big Shot.

            You were wrong about synthetic surfaces and your wrong about Dr. Arthur.

          • LongTimeEconomist

            Looks like only half a name to me, Andrew.

          • Andrew A.

            Been posting here forever. Go to @racetrackandy on twitter.

          • LongTimeEconomist

            I’m not a Twit-terer. I and others are sorry that your unwilling to just type in your last name.

          • Andrew A.

            I can tell you that my last name isn’t “Economist”. LOL

          • Andrew A.

            Bill, if you are at Del Mar I’d be happy to show up and introduce myself.

          • Jerry


            I can tell you that Dr. Rick Arthur is an absolute cancer to CA horseracing, in my opinion. Besides being arrogant and untruthful he heel-nerved a horse (for Richard Mandella) and failed to disclose it to the state vet until I pressed the issue. He also has threatened the CHRB licenses of both Jerry Hollendorfer and Art Sherman on various occasions.

            These are some of the facts and call me if you want more!

            Jerry Jamgotchian

          • RayPaulick

            For more information on the subject of heel nerving (which was then permitted under CHRB rules), see http://www.drf.com/news/cant-go-wrong-full-disclosure

          • Andrew A.

            If I remember right the infraction was not reporting it to the CHRB that was the issue.

          • Fratman

            Wasn’t that a claiming race too — ??

          • 4Bellwether666

            Bet that would please Barry “White Shoes” Irwin Jerry!!!…Something has been smelling bad out there on the Left Coast for sometime now…When it comes to the fixing of T-Bred Horse races be it Left or Right Coast one has to believe a vet could be involved…

          • Naprovnik Naprovnik


          • Sal Carcia

            Bill, Andy Asaro has been a major force in advocating for the player/customer in horseracing not only in SoCal, but in the rest of the country as well. Not knowing who he is is just a reflection on how the player is totally ignored in this game.

          • Northern Dancer

            As a former Owner/Trainer it’s integrity issues like these that had us all leave and take our money elsewhere. I’m not even going to get into name calling or finger pointing, but 3rd party administration is the best way to reduce the potential for illicit performance enhancing drugs.

      • Andrew A.

        Here is Dr. Arthur’s quote from the audio:

        “We have found veterinary books in barn searches with instructions for veterinarians to administer undetectable drugs right next to the Lasix dosage administration. Safety Stewards and Investigators often hear whistles when they walk into a barn to give everyone a head’s up that the
        CHRB is in the barn. Why is that necessary? I could go into this
        further but I don’t think it’s necessary.”


  • David Worley

    If you aren’t protecting funny business on race days, it is hard to understand why clean trainers would care about 3rd party Lasix administration; they should welcome it. Good article Ray.

    • pete j

      I guess it depends upon whom they hire to do the third party lasix as I certainly had an issue with it in Florida where a trainers veterinarian(claiming trainer) wife was hired last winter……

      • pequod

        I am a horseman and I have nooooo problem with any authority visiting my barn at any time. in fact, I would love to see CHRB wandering around the stable area constantly. I, and trainers like me, have a very big problem. We are not protected by CHRB from trainers who cheat. They fail to enforce the rules they have already, such administering prescription drugs without a valid diagnosis- L-Thyroxine for example. One trainer, can’t think of his name, “voluntarily” stopped routine administration to every horse in his barn when he was investigated.

        • Naprovnik Naprovnik

          Only AFTER the CHRB exonerated him of ANY “wrongdoing”…

    • Charles Smith

      You’re right, Ray did write a very good article. He fingered the CA tracks, but there are some beyond CA that I will not wager on.

      1. Any track in Louisiana, due to overall lack of integrity.

      2. Any track in Pennsylvania, due to extremely high rake on exotic wagers.

      3. Hawthorne, due to high percentage of form reversals and shock winners.

    • Convene

      Exactly. And perhaps evidence that the horse actually needs Lasix might not be a bad idea either. If we have to have Lasix in the first place.

    • wildgirlyonder

      While I am not against it, I’ll say why I am cautious about third party admin of Lasix. We had a horse that was given two shots of Lasix by a state vet. There were cameras in the trainers barn and I have seen the video where the vet was there giving a shot and came back to the barn with another shot 15 mins later. We were considered live in the race and the horse was of course scratched. If the cameras hadn’t been there, the trainer would have been suspended for drug infractions. It has taken 6 mos for us to even get an answer from a roundabout route of what actually happened (2 shots or Lasix) or what happened to the vet ($2000 fine. Trainer’s questions weren’t answered, our questions and calls weren’t answered.) We still haven’t had any type of a phone call saying how it happened or why. We have no idea exactly how much Lasix was given, which is really bad. And since this is a state employee and a state issue, there is no recourse at all.

      The horse was never the same afterwards. I KNOW my trainers’ vets. I talk to them frequently and they know my horses. They know that this one doesn’t like his head scratched or that one has trouble with her feet. So NO! Unless there are some really good controls to protect the horses, the trainers and the owners-I won’t welcome it.

  • Jay Stone

    This are the same regulators who don’t even have surveillance cameras at stable gates. Enough said.

    • ben van den brink

      In all honesty, I think you have to change that into: The commissionairs do no want any surveillance cameras, because when something wrong, the commissionairs needs to act. Something they are avoiding, any time any place.

      • ben van den brink

        The bests is probably, make a decent website, with pure facts and this problem is one of them.

        Horseracing, a fraudulous buisiness.

        California should work with detention barns, without a doubt.

        • ben van den brink

          This at last I found at the NAARV website ( DR. Shields among others)

          The study with

          the highest sample size (n


          22,589) found that mean

          estimated mile-equivalent race times were 0.56 to 1.09

          second faster for horses receiving furosemide prophy-

          laxis compared to horses not receiving furosemide.

          It,s the outcome from a study.

          So who,s gonna say,lasix is not an perfomce enhacer.

    • Charles Smith

      I’m no fan of the concept of active licensees serving on horse racing commissions, but I’ve got to give Alex Solis credit. Solis was on the right moral side of this issue, even though his vote was in the minority. In racing, you never know, maybe a vote like this could cost Solis some business here or there, but he voted his conscience and I respect him for that.

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    Give ’em hell Ray! I love it when you get up on your soapbox.

  • qwerty12

    Pretty sure California doesn’t care about any bettor’s money, given the lack of quality in their product. But what can you do? Just boycott a rigged product run by people unconcerned with either integrity or, it should be added, a horse’s life.

    • Byerley Turk


  • Peyton

    Boycott is the answer. However, third party Lasix is not the answer. No Lasix is the answer. But I appreciate that you have taken a stand and that you believe baby steps are better than no steps. Bettors hold the ace in the hole to cause real meaningful changes in the sport. What’s ironic is they are the only ones who are left out when cheating is discovered and purses are redistributed. There is no refunding of the bettors money they were cheated out of.

    • Andrew A.

      I agree about the boycott. Hope one is coming to Cal Racing soon.

      • Peyton

        There is one now. Ray has started it, and I for one am withholding my meager wagers also.

        • RayPaulick

          I’m not encouraging anyone to do anything. As I wrote, I’m taking a stand on an issue that should have been resolved a long time ago.

          • Ernest Vincent

            True. You did not call for a boycott to follow your actions and stance. Yet, if one were to stand outside the track as all in attendance left the track, say Calf. track and Saratoga, one in a hundred people would have a remote clue or understanding to articulate about Lasix. Or that the horses were running on Lasix in the first place, or what its properties are.

          • Byerley Turk

            Red herring. Doesn’t matter what the novice, newbie, or uninformed may not know.
            What matters is doing the right thing up to and until lasix and any race day medication is not allowed.
            It’s called level playing field.
            But as this article shows, it’s going to be an uphill battle in the peoples Republik of Kalifornia.
            It will also be interesting how the BC plays out this year in Kentucky, vis a vis major negative performance changes (if any) on horses that should run lights out based on this yearls past performances.

          • Ernest Vincent

            I respectfully ask you to look at the number of people/attendees in the universe of horse racing. Then estimate the number of people who go to season meets.
            Ergo my comment about people today at say the Spa who didn’t know if it was a boy or girl race, how pools work etc.

            Then look at the number of elite people who are involved as players/fans/even in the business that are here. With comment and interest.

            States with jurisdictions (Governors, commissions, track employees top to bottom, etc. are not going to give it up)
            The future bettors/attendees are even more in the dark as you allude to. This also goes way beyond a Calf track.

          • Peyton

            Fair enough.”I” am calling for a boycott and taking a stand which includes not betting on their races, as I did earlier concerning the article where CHRB was sited as deferring the issue. If you will allow I will gladly take credit for calling for a boycott of CA tracks.

          • David Juffet

            I haven’t placed a wager at a California track since the Sweet Catomine ringer. Glad the BC is out of there this year.

    • Naprovnik Naprovnik

      There SHOULD be federal prison charges and someone serving hard time!

  • SteveG

    Agreed. Anyone who wagers seriously knows the gambling end is difficult enough when it’s on the up & up (with punitive takeout). I’ve pulled more than a fair-sized chunk of money off the table (as in, taken it out of circulation) in the last decade & more every year. Swiss cheese regulations adds insult to injury. If enough bettors realized how their dollars are being compromised & kept their money in their pockets, perhaps these obstructionist knuckleheads only out for their own good would sit up on their hind legs & take notice. Good move, Ray. I hope, for their own sake, many other bettors follow.

  • PJ Orlando

    I’ve taken that stance on Cal Racing for years now for their practices in general. Very good decision Ray and nice article.

  • Naprovnik Naprovnik

    PS Thank you, Steve Beneto and Alex Solis , for standing up to what I’m sure was some pressure to vote otherwise.

  • Robert

    LMedication Reform

    Ray – great points. I hope the CHRB listens to you. For that matter, I hope the industry listens to you as it pertains to your ideas re: medication/testing reform. Why? Because it is the right thing to do for the horses.

    All that being said, if we were to wave a magic wand and have a medication regulatory environment on par w/ Hong Kong (high integrity) – the US horse racing industry would not benefit in an economic sense. To be clear, the horses would benefit greatly and there certainly would be a “perceived” uptick in integrity – but make no mistake – the economic benefits of medication reform would hover somewhere around “0”. Why? Because the costs associated with horse racing are insanely high relative to other industries/alternatives.

    Economic Reform

    The Lasix/Medication problem is such a red herring for the most dysfunctional sport in the history of the world. The downward trajectory of the US racing industry will not be solved through medication reform. The house (the US racing industry) is on fire and burning to the ground because the economics are terrible for horse players and terrible owners. The primary culprit is The Jockey Club followed closely behind by the tote companies, racetracks (CHDN especially), and ADWs.

    In order, for the industry to extinguish the inferno TJC et al need to understand that jig is up. Get out of the way. For the horseplayers, TJC and TRC can’t push it’s [email protected] data products and usurious data rates anymore. Customers are king not the old guys who inherited daddy’s money and think they have a monopoly. The data needs to be reorganized and freed up. The registry needs to be freed up. Takeout needs to be brought down to a level in line with other forms of gaming (DFS). Most horseplayers that left are gone for ever, but in order to make some traction in terms of firming up the handle decline – takeout and data costs need to be addressed (lowered significantly) in a serious manner.

    Owners need to be cultivated and provided with a better chance of breaking even or even making a little. Owners are provided with almost zero service and appreciation and fleeced at every turn – where do I sign up!

    Just as a small example – if you own a horse and you want to see how fast your horse ran in a race – you have to fork over $ (pay equibase directly or indirectly) to pay for the past performances on your horse. Think about that for a second – how asinine is that? Imagine Bob Kraft wants to know, in granularity, Tom Brady’s statistics so he can make a good decision in contract negotiations. Can you imagine if the NFL said, “Not so fast Bob – since you are a business you owe us $6k month plus 15% of you top line for Tom’s stats!” Thankfully, Bob Kraft and every NFL fan get get all of Tom Brady’s stats for FREE. This is a just a small example of the lack care and service to the owners who put their hard earned money to work.

    At every turn – whether its the racetracks or TJC – they are not only getting poor treatment/customer service – they are getting the finger. The TJC and racetrack message to owners is simple “There is some idiot waiting to be treated (poorly) and have his/her $ lit on fire right behind you. Get lost.”

    Great journalism Ray – keep going.

    • Peyton

      Your comments are very much appreciated and have pointed out a major reason the sport is struggling. I do take thing illegal and unnecessary drug use is a big problem too so must disagree with the economic benefits hovering around 0. See SteveG comments above in regards to how cheating effects a gambler from which I infer will reduce handle.

      • Robert

        Peyton – I totally hear you and thank you for the reply.

        My counter in good faith:

        Assume you are a weekend warrior. You play 1 pick four a weekend or something like that.

        Horseplayer Scenario 1:

        If you are on a winning streak (breaking even – hard but possible) do you increase the amount that you bet? Probably not. Why because you know breaking even over an extended period is really hard to do so why double down on getting your money back.

        Horseplayer Scenario 2:

        Same person. Losing streak this time. It hurts. Are you going to blame lasix or medication or are you going to blame a 25% rake? Probably a 25% rake because it directly effects your wallet? Will you double down and bet more – no way – you are already getting fleeced and the game is not much fun when you are losing.

        Horseplayer Scenario 3:

        Same person. Having some luck and treading water. The industry has come together and will phase out lasix and create comprehensive medication reform. Great for the horses. Great for the industry that they tackled an obvious problem. Is the weekend warrior going to increase his weekend bankroll? No. Why? Because he/she is still donating to the racetrack and equibase in the hopes of breaking even.

        Bottom Line: Medication reform is needed for the horses and for the industry. Make no mistake though, the economics are atrocious compared to other forms of gaming and entertainment. Horse racing costs too much and is in large part completely irrelevant in the US because of its backward/upside-down value propositions.

        • Peyton

          Agree the economics are atrocious. Some of why gamblers think it is better than casino gambling has to do with a mental misconception that by betting against others instead of a mafia type house, they are more on equal ground. As they see illegal drugs being used by those involved in the business, not other gamblers, they start to view the sport being controlled by a mafia type system and loose that misconception of one gambler against another gambler. IMHO

    • Robert, can I make two points. One owners should not expect to make money – particularly owners of poor horses [if that were the case trainers would own their own horses and avoid all the b******* that goes with the job]. Two, no-one obliges anyone to bet, and the vast majority of those complaining that they would be more inclined to bet if the takeout were altered are delusional and seek to blame something for the fact that they lose. However sorting out the drugs problem ought to benefit owners [if they can identify a non-dependent trainer!], and should have no effect upon bettors other than those who routinely follow the currently suspected trainers.

      • Robert

        “One owners should not expect to make money” – Agree. That is why I said break even. Given the current dysfunctions with in the industry, breaking even is great but elusive. Some how owners lose touch with reality that “it” has to be this way. It doesn’t – why? Because in other industries owners actually can do quite well in an economic sense.

        Horse racing is so backward that everyone expects defeat. What I am saying is that it does not have to be such drain on an owner’s resources. Business models have evolved, the world continues to evolve but racing is stuck in this quagmire. Until everyone realizes it does not need to be this way – the race to zero will continue.

        “Two, no-one obliges anyone to bet, and the vast majority of those complaining that they would be more inclined to bet if the takeout were altered are delusional and seek to blame something for the fact that they lose.”

        This tells me you have no understanding of wagering or math for that matter. Here are two quick, simple examples for you to ponder.

        I bet $10k over the course of a year. Takeout + data costs = 25% or $2500. So I am left with $7500 that is going into pools. Over the course of time I make back the $2500 or 33%. My net is 0. I have win 33% in order to get back to even from the 25% that was taken away by the track and equibase.

        Same scenario except takeout + data costs are lowered to 10%. I am now left with $9k going into the pools. I earn the same $2500 bucks and low and behold I am up $1500 or 15% for the year.

        Don’t worry Bill you are not alone in not understanding the deleterious effects of excessive takeout + data costs. This is why horseplayers want to pull out their hair out. This is exactly why the economics of horse racing are so terrible.

  • Jerry



    You will probably NOT make another bet in CA UNTIL THE TOC AND CHRB have both been eliminated by the Governor’s office!

    Many of us Owners, Bettors and Breeders left CA many years ago so what took you so long? You should have been a better listener Ray!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway, just forget about CA Horseracing, let all the tracks to close and be replaced by shopping centers!

    It will just get worse because the cheaters (with the white hair) control a majority of the CHRB and TOC votes!

    JUST MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • A real, full name would be appreciated.

    • Northern Dancer

      Agreed. Like you my Owners left this game a long time ago. How can anybody invest in this cesspool except the multiple drug violating high win rate Trainers and their Owners that support them?

      • Would you vote for European rules?

        • Northern Dancer

          Yes. How about you?

  • gus stewart

    wow ray, can I now call you by another name, ray trump paulick!!!! Its nice to see a media venue which depends on advertisers, take a stand on a clearly corrupted CHRB…. just like mr ego maniac trump, he can say what he wants, and he isn’t going to get fired, or have his last check sent to him in the mail.This reminds me of the USA 70 years ago when freedom of speech and opinions were accepted because it was your constitutional right. so if you take a hit from one of your advertisers, let us know so we can stop buying or supporting their products etc!!! Also on another note, i was touting super majesty as the next potential star,, i admit looks like i was wrong,, it happens!! But ray what a terrific stand based on only whats right , not whats politically correct,, kudos!

  • 4Bellwether666

    Why do U think they refer to it as the Left Coast???…

    • roseann cherasaro

      Umm because it’s on the left side of the country..why does everything turn into politics?Plenty of liberals on both coasts.

      • Not necessarily. As Steven Wright once said, “I like to skate on the other side of the ice.”

      • 4Bellwether666

        In this case Left Out!!!…

  • Kathy Young

    California gets it “wrong” on a lot of things. This is one more area to put on the list.

  • Northern Dancer

    As a former Owner/Trainer/Steward there’s no doubt in my mind, unequivocally, that there’s more going into that needle than Lasix. I allege that certain private vets have their concoction down to a fine art to evade positive tests, and that Owner/Trainers with repeated high win rates, including repeated Stake wins are the beneficiaries of this vote to block the passage of third party administrators. That said, the California racing scene is controlled by a group of people it seems. The other 90% starve, and fill races for them.

    • Jennifer Decker

      While I agree with you that there’s certainly a degree of smoke-and-mirrors going on behind the scenes, I feel your assertion that “Owner/Trainers with repeated high win rates, including repeated Stake wins are the beneficiaries of this vote” is a bit harsh. Winning at a high percentage doesn’t mean they’re Lance Armstrong, and to imply as much is insulting.

      • Northern Dancer

        I’ll tell you what’s insulting? Owners who invest millions into this business (myself included) with the notion that there’s a level playing field. Based on my experience – there isn’t, and anybody that thinks otherwise is believing a delusion. Lack of neutral oversight in the drug testing process for one, and private Vets administering a needle into a racehorse 4 hours prior to racing. Both these issues were raised by the Racing Integrity Commission, and the Drug Consortium so, obviously, I’m not the only person addressing this. I find it equally disturbing that the majority of Owner/Trainers defending this Private Vet administration are those with the high win rates especially in Stake Races. If there is nothing to hide then why are they defending it? Now that’s insulting.

        • Jennifer Decker

          Oh, I absolutely agree that the CHRB screwed the pooch on this ruling, and should be ashamed of themselves for doing so! There needs to be transparency and oversight if we hope to achieve any meaningful medication reform, which the sport desperately needs.

          My point was that painting ALL California-based trainers currently conditioning a string of winning horses with the “cheaters” brush is unfair at best, and slanderous at worst.

          • Northern Dancer

            Oh here you go again – throwing around the slanderous threat and lawsuits in a subtle way of course which you could be perceived as a bully. So typical of California. It’s a fact that the majority of high rate win Trainers are multiple drug violators. So what kind of credibility is that? Just look at this years race card on Derby Day or the BC. Most of the winning Trainers had past drug violations so what message does that send? It’s a message that cheaters prosper, and honest Trainers don’t which is precisely why my Owners left the business and took their money with them including myself. Now we have gamblers exclaiming that they will no longer wager on a product that they deem dishonest. So my viewpoint is more common than rare. Like we are all saying if there’s nothing going into a Lasix shot then why the resistance? If they had nothing to hide, then why are many of the winning Trainers Owners vehemently opposing this change?

          • Jennifer Decker

            Firstly: I’m not in California, so please do not lump me in with your “West Coast Bias” bullshit. It’s embarrassing.

            Second: I’ve been politely agreeing with you while playing devil’s advocate, and reminding you that not all trainers in the state are criminals. There are good and bad seeds on every circuit. Please acknowledge that.

            Finally: If you cannot take honest counterpoints to your broad-stroke claims, without interpreting it as me “bullying” you in some way, then my conversation with you is finished. I wish you well, but I will not engage further.

          • Naprovnik Naprovnik

            So which of the high percentage winning trainers of SoCal are clean, Jennifer? You went from saying all the high percentage winners aren’t cheats to just making a general defense of ALL SoCal trainers, when the original complaint, to which you responded, targeted the top echelon of trainers. So which is it?

          • Jennifer Decker

            I apologize for failing to carry forward the “high percentage of winners” prefix in my previous reply. Mea culpa.

            The spirit of my comment remains, however: To say that ALL of the high-percentage trainers are cheating is ridiculous.

            As for which of them are clean? A few names come to mind right away. But since I’m not interested in debating hypotheticals or hearsay, I cannot list them in good conscience without doing a little digging first. Good thing I like research! :)

          • Naprovnik Naprovnik

            Of course … you go do your homework.

          • Northern Dancer

            Point is the bad seeds (multiple drug violators) are winning about 90% of the purse money so any policy (3rd party administration) that will reduce the possibility of cheating is a good one and should be implemented. For an industry to continue business as usual while expecting people to invest money is an antiquated business model at best. Sadly, it’s the racehorses that pay the ultimate price.

          • we’re watching

            Anyone with a high start rate of horses and win percentages of 45, 40, 35 or 30 percent are certainly up to something and should be the first ones investigated. They’re millionaires from our money, the bettors.

          • Northern Dancer

            Not only your money, but Owners and Trainers who invest huge amounts of money. Every single Owner that I know who left this business said: they would have stayed and infested more IF IT WAS A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD! Some of these comments here are ridiculous instructing us to fight. Well let me tell you something? The honest people in this game have been fighting for far too long only to get drowned out by the Lance Armstrongs. This is unacceptable not to mention a dishonest racing product for the wagering public. In addition, the racehorses pay the ultimate price. This is no longer horse racing. This seems to be an organised drug den.

  • jubie

    Thank you Ray.

  • Noelle

    Great article. Thanks for making a stand. CHRB’s baffling rejection of a no-brainer like third-party Lasix administration, already implemented in other racing jurisdictions, is certainly a strong argument for national rules.

    • Scott Ramsay

      Again, someone who did not listen to the meeting.

      They did NOT reject it. Their Medical Director put them in such a bad spot they apparently felt they had no choice but to get it to committee first where it should have been before so all these matters would be addressed and the board could pass it knowing it would get through the administrative review.

      Crazy. No wonder people are so ill-informed. Maybe Paulick didn’t mean for this to happen but his reporting is very misleading.

  • The one common denominator cited when any reputable vet or regulator is asked what is the one thing they would recommend to curb illegal drug use on race day is to keep veterinarians out of the stall. Dr. Don Shields pretty much sums up why California racing has been in the toilet for so many years.

    • Fratman

      Mr. Irwin hasn’t California been cleaned up pretty well the last couple years ?? I bet some SoCal racing and have noticed a change to a lot of the miracle turn around plays that used to happen 3 to 5 times a day and it seems better.

      This sounds more like a plot for one group to takeover the actions of another, and, of course, the billing of such services. So by many of the comments here it seems that SoCal racing HAS NOT BEEN CLEANED UP — ??

      I want clean and fair racing but also understand that Dr. Arthur has been instrumental in the clean up process so my question is — if we are testing and the results are coming back within legal limits why the need to make another change ??

      Serious question and not taking a sides — a business question.

      • Roger

        Well stated.

      • Allie Lindsey

        No it hasn’t!
        You, like every other racegoer or horseman fail to look at the death statistics! Listening to this back and forth narrative is both uneducated and profoundly ignorant. Horseracing KILLS every day! Death, Death, Death, Death, Death, and more Death! The statistics don’t lie and they are astounding. Risk of injury and death to a horse “in this industry” is inevitable and inescapeable.
        Mr. Fratman, would you subject your child, wife, or dog every day to risk of injury and death for the almighty dollar? You wouldn’t unless you don’t have a soul but I’m thinking you do. But, you can justify it because it’s a horse?
        Paulick, why don’t you ever report on the horse death statistics and the “true and correct” stories behind them? You’ll then find ALL of your answers. Horseracing is a bloody mess! You will NEVER “clean up” wicked! You have to end it!!
        Being comfortable with an industry that justifies death at all costs — well, you will have to answer for it — if not on earth — at a time and place when we ALL will have to answer for what we do…

      • RayPaulick

        My opinion is that California racing is better off today from an integrity standpoint than it was before testing was moved to the Maddy Laboratory. TCO2 testing appeared to make some of the miracle trainers mere mortals. Tighter restrictions on anabolic steroid use has helped, too. So has tighter security on selected Grade 1 races. I’m very happy to see all this progress.

        Third-party Lasix administration is an important part of the National Uniform Medication Program. It is not a plot by anyone to “take over” the actions of private vets. It has worked very well in other states. As Dr. Scollay of Kentucky Horse Racing Commission said, post-race tests are much cleaner since private vets stopped administering Lasix.

        Good testing isn’t enough. Third-party Lasix administration isn’t enough. Racing commissions, in conjunction with racetracks, need more security personnel roaming stable areas, and they need security cameras in barns.

        Third-party Lasix administration is simple. The vets and trainers who object are trying to make it complicated.

        • Roger

          What is surprising is that as a journalist you didn’t pose that question in a interview with the CHRB Chairman Winner than go commando route.

          • Naprovnik Naprovnik

            As a layman, perhaps its better to NOT second guess how a journalist treats his subjects, especially if they(the subjects) would probably be “snitty” and refuse any attempt at interviews if the journalist insists on putting them “on the spot” .

        • Fratman

          You mentioned whining by trainers and vets earlier but of course you know business people all whine especially when you attack their profits and I’m sure that the good intention folks will make a buck. Also you claimed the need for more security and all of your thoughts of course cost money.

          We want the same thing — happy, healthy horses with a level playing field but after being a part owner of a few less than average horses and knowing several owners this cost usually seems to get passed on to them or the betting public one way or another.

          My only problem with a lot of these ideas is that we create bigger and bigger bureaucracies that take longer and longer to get things done and feed off themselves to the point of ruining what they were trying to protect.

          Good thread and debate though and wish we had more of them.

        • Stopping it altogether would be more simple.

    • Scott Ramsay

      Wait a minute. That’s not what Shields was saying.

      Shields was saying to have security with the vets and all syringes used to be collected and tested. That’s what they do with stakes security in California, I think. They log the vets and everyone else in and out of the stall and collect syringes. I think that’s what Breeders Cup does too.

      It’s sounding more and more to me like Dr. Arthur is some kind of empire builder who wants to hire a bunch more vets and have them all report to him. He couldn’t even answer the commissioners as to how the third-party vets would be hired and who would hire them! Or if they are vets at all or only vet techs. He was saying basically anyone can give a Lasix shot so why worry.

      • ben van den brink

        The AAEP do not have any issues with third administration from lasix.

        The NAARV is having, we call that an splinter group. Some vet,s fear for their income.

        • ben van den brink

          should be third party administration.

  • RayPaulick

    I listened to the CHRB meeting online. Some of the vets who spoke came across as nothing more than whiners (“First you took away our anabolic steroids and now you take away our Lasix?”)

    Trainers like Jim Cassidy, president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers, suggesting the third-party veterinarians will be unprofessional is absurd. His comment “Third-party Lasix will not work” flies in the face of reality and how well it works everywhere else.

    As to your question: What will third-party Lasix do to prevent someone else at some other time during the day from giving a horse one of those undetectable drugs? My response is why even try if you cannot stop all cheating. Don’t have drug testing. Don’t have security. If you can’t stop 100 percent of the cheating, just throw up your hands and put everyone on the honor system.

    • Scott Ramsay

      No, the obvious answer is to do the third-party Lasix correctly and increase stable security. And I didn’t hear any vets talk about steroids but I guess I could have missed that — is that a real quote?

      Cassidy talked about problems administering Lasix elsewhere. I don’t know how much of that is the case, but as I understood him, he was asking who is responsible if things go wrong? Arthur answered that the vets or the vet techs would be insured. That didn’t seem to be his question. I think he was talking about as to penalties and responsibility for the horse. I guess the trainer is ultimately responsible no matter what.

      Your last comment is absurd. We need to do everything we can in stable security. The labs must obviously be better. If Dr. Arthur is saying that he knows of drugs being administered that are undetectable, and he’s in charge of the lab, that’s amazing. Why hasn’t he gotten the tests?! What would stop the cheaters from giving them except preventing it through security of the stalls all day race day? Drug testing has to be better and security has to be better and third-party Lasix is just part of the solution and certainly doesn’t help the perception problem if things are as Dr. Arthur says they are.

      • ben van den brink

        The position from Dr. Arthur is political influenced and what,s more it is for certain timeframe.

        Two yrs ago someone tried to introduce a much shorter period. 4 instead of ten yrs.

        But dooiing that kind of rubbisch no one will take that position, but iam sure without knowing that a lot of whealing and dealing has been done, when positives were on the table.

        Within a very short time racing can be clean. It only takes some money, some people with courage and not afraid to take some actions

        Betraying the bettor and the public is not the way it should be.


      • RayPaulick

        My apologies. The exact quote is “there have been other rules changed where we lost certain treatments.” Among other things, anabolic steroids and clenbuterol treatments have been more tightly regulated. The public commenter made no specific reference to anabolic steroids.

        • Scott Ramsay

          Thank you.

          And what does this show, in a positive sense?

          It shows that when Dr. Arthur has his act together, that rules are passed by this commission for the betterment of racing, as least as he and the commission see it. No doubt others disagree that they were good changes.

          The steroids, clenbuterol, whip, claiming, and all kinds of other things have been passed in the same administrative process that Dr. Arthur and others are now blaming on stalling and cheating! Plenty of people must have objected to those things and now they’re in the rules. Didn’t I read something on The Paulick Report about California “leading the nation” on these things?

          This is strong proof that Dr. Arthur didn’t have the will or take the time to do this one properly. Or that there are some problems with it that need to be worked through. Something is wrong with this picture in this case. I can’t figure out exactly what.

          I just think it’s totally unfair to blame this Lasix situation on the commissioners or “California” in general.

  • Roger

    So Ray’s taking a stand on this Lasix issue after the CHRB fully explained their decision to delay their vote. Hmmm….where does the Stronach Group stand on this issue as the most powerful entity in CA?
    Geez…back in 2011 when Brackpool-led CHRB secretly pushed through SB-1072 to raise TAKEOUT RATES significantly that negatively impacted horseplayers/customers where was Ray then? HANA and others were calling for boycotts,etc. and Ray stood quietly by and sometimes clashed with anti SB-1072 readers.
    The CHRB at times does delay votes much like the Senate,Congress,School Boards,City Council’s,Federal Judges…..so why take such a radical position now? The CHRB delayed their vote on the AmTote contract [another Stronach Group entity like SA,GGF,Xpressbet,Monarch Content Management] so is this what’s behind Ray’s “no betting” stance?

    • RayPaulick

      I see a difference between integrity issues and financial decisions made by regulatory bodies.

      • Roger

        So you’re questioning the integrity of Chairman Winner and others that voted to delay their vote. Did you listen to the audio recording of that CHRB meeting?

        • gus stewart

          roger, delays is what they always do. out here in calif, i have threatened them with media exposure,.. radio shows, newspaper racing coverage reporters. would have liked to get espn radio or tv to show what a joke this dept is. this is been going on for over 25 years, of certains vets trainers and wealthy owners paying for the best meds money can buy,,, so any delay at this point in changing vets on the backside, is simply, how do i cover my own wallet, and hope this goes away and fans forget like many other sports have done….

        • Ray Paulick

          I’m saying this is an integrity issue (although the veterinarians may see it as a financial one)

      • Fratman

        Has anybody commented on what Andy Serling has been talking about on air during the NYRA telecasts where jockeys don’t seem to be putting out full efforts while horses jog on the lead and no one seems to care about the pace of the race or how about the racetracks love of the Pick 6/Carryover that seems to have some strange results with many big favorites missing the break etc………

        Seems like politics and advertising make strange bedfellows.

        • Andrew A.

          In Ca. they have a whip rule that prevents Jocks from making their best effort.

  • Richard C

    Wearing blinkers is the best way for appointed politicos to learn the direct path to smiling lobbyists.

  • PTP

    I think this is a good example regarding why things don’t get done in California. It’s always about someone who does not like someone.

    The story here is that we have a relatively easy policy, one that has been in place for many years in other states and countries, which has been due diligenced to death, which has been studied over and over, which has empirical evidence associated with it where any problems have been corrected.

    And it’s taken years in California to pass? Excuse me, not pass 5 to 2?

    This is the kind of policy that should take months not years. It’s beyond a no-brainer.

    Sometimes I wonder if California starts a program to land on the moon, they’d start from scratch and argue about it for a decade, rather than read a how to book published in 1969.


    • Scott Ramsay

      This just shows how few people actually listened to the meeting and are instead relying on Paulick’s reporting.

      They sent it back to committee, to be convened immediately. They said that would be the quickest path to implementing it. The commission director even said it had been a mistake not to have all these things ironed out first. If Arthur has been working on this for years, as he said, why didn’t he get everyone in a room and work them out before going to the commission. When anyone had a question he said they were just stalling. If he had answered the questions in a professional manner, my take was that it would have sailed right through. But some of the questions and issues were solid and they got worried it would not get past administrative review.

      There has to be a lot more to this story. The commission gets put in a bad light and their own Medical Director put them there.

      • Naprovnik Naprovnik

        I thought the points of the ruling had been worked out and there was the 11th hour, “…but what ifs…” from certain trainers: “what ifs” that are NOT an issue in the states where third-party Lasix implementation has already been successful. That is why it went back to committee – not because of objections raised by Rick Arthur and how in the heck was he supposed “round everyone up”, as you mention?

        • Scott Ramsay

          He could and should have convened a meeting of the Medication Committee, which is required to be held in public after public notice, with all stakeholders having an opportunity to speak and be heard.

          Which he did not. Very simple.

          If, after that meeting, there wasn’t a consensus, he could truthfully say he had done everything he could to reach one.

          • RayPaulick

            The rule was approved unanimously in February 2015. It was put out for 45 days public notice in June. The board caved to pressure from trainers and veterinarians, unnecessarily delaying implementation of a very simple program that other states have successfully adopted.

          • Scott Ramsay

            It was approved by the BOARD to be put out for “public comment.” Now they don’t like the comments they got. It should have gone to the committee for its evaluation, which it never did, and then they wouldn’t be in this spot. If everyone gets their views aired out in the committee, then things go forward smoothly, as they have apparently done on many other controversial issues. The Medication Committee never took up this version of the rule, so far as I can tell.

      • Byerley Turk

        Okay so now it’s back in committe.
        Is there a timeframe for this?
        What happens in committe?
        When they’re “done”, what next? Does it go to a vote again?
        Please enlighten us on these (and other pertinent questions that I may have left out) so those of us as uninformed as I am can understand.
        Thank you.

  • ben van den brink

    From the website of NAARV:

    However, one of the driving forces in the creation of this group was th
    e endorsement by the AAEP of the requirement for third party Salix administration at racetracks.

    As Dr Shield (s) is member of the NAARV, he and CTT are putting their income first and long after that IMHO the real welfare of the horses.

    But these groups are sorryful influential.

  • Good call, Ray. For an equally insane decision made by a business management, we cancelled our NY Daily News subscription today after they coldly exploited the murder of a TV reporter and cameraman (their front cover photographs. WARNING: they are the most gruesome thing seen on a newspaper cover since the execution of a Viet Cong prisoners in the 1960s. View at your own risk).

  • Of course! As if there aren’t already ten electronic regimes to which we are chained, let’s add yet one more.

  • Scott Ramsay

    One more thing on this Mr. Paulick, since you’re obviously campaigning on behalf I guess of your WHOA advertisers and The Jockey Club, as well as your own personal opinions, through Twitter and otherwise.

    Your “coverage” is glaringly incorrect on the statement that the California Board voted against its own Medication Committee’s recommendation.

    That was among the big problems in Dr. Arthur’s presentation of this. The Medication chair is on the commission. She hadn’t been properly informed. This was NOT a committee recommendation. This was apparently Dr. Arthur’s staff recommendation and had not taken the track through the proper committee where all the questions and procedures could have been squared away.

    In fact, it looks to me from the CHRB web site (which is actually amazingly good with all kinds of transcripts and agendas and audio of meetings — very transparent, to use everyone’s favorite word) that Dr. Arthur didn’t see fit to take this rule through the committee AT ALL for the last couple years. As near as I can tell, this version of the proposed rule had never even been to the committee. The commissioners and staff said as much at the meeting.

    Now why would that be?

    The other rules that have been passed in California, and plenty were controversial, like Claiming and Whips and Clenbuterol and Steroids — they all went through the committee system and all were enacted deliberately and properly. The people you seem to diss all had their chances to stall and mislead at those meetings, didn’t they? Why didn’t that work on those issues?

    Something’s wrong with this picture. And it doesn’t seem to be with the commission itself or their procedures. Or even the people you disagree with like those vets and trainers.

    • gus stewart

      scott look we all know what the problem has been for the ladt 25 years. uneven playg field for payg higher vets fees for the best meds on market. some can afford it others cant. so if transparentcy is what ur defense is, then how many year do u wait 30 years before u just become brain dead and accept getting jacked as an owner or by the books trainer… no just dont participate in the smoke and mirrors until those folks dont get any checks anymore..

    • Naprovnik Naprovnik

      Man, Scott, this is about the FOURTH long diatribe that the gracious Mr. Paulick has allowed you to post about how he is a poor journalist with an agenda, and how Rick Arthur is to blame for the whole fiasco…

      • Scott Ramsay

        I respect “the gracious Mr. Paulick” and have followed his career and writing for a long, long time. I know his journalistic principles, so I think when he states an opinion he expects disagreement, some of it as strong as mine is. And as a good journalist, he certainly expects to be corrected when it’s merited, and he’s already recognized one of mine. And as a good journalist, this is not his finest hour, sorry to say. His opinion may be right, but not on the basis of what he’s written.
        When or if he checks this again, I have a feeling he’ll make at least one more correction. But I know he has other things to do besides monitor this board.
        So maybe I protest too much, that could be true. But it might not be.
        When I read his opinion, I might have been inclined to agree with him until I read Andrew A’s posts, and thought to myself, “that can’t be right.” It takes some guts to stand up to Bill Casner. But I decided to find the audio of the CHRB meeting and listen to it myself.
        Andrew A WAS RIGHT, and everything else followed from there, because most of the readers at that time didn’t check it out for themselves, decide for themselves, and everyone was beating up on the commissioners of the CHRB and automatically taking Dr. Arthur’s side. I thought then and I definitely think now that that’s wrong.
        Naprovnik, now it’s your turn to think: do you know the backgrounds of the commissioners who questioned Dr. Arthur? Are they/could they be as clueless as Dr. Arthur stated or implied? Anyone, no matter how smart, can be “hoodwinked,” which means tricked or deceived according to my dictionary.
        And that includes Mr. Paulick. And you.

        • Naprovnik Naprovnik

          So … bottom line ( with or without the mistakes or failures of Dr. Arthur ) are YOU a proponent of third-party Lasix delivery? I believe it would take ONE of the tools out of the hands of the cheaters and I am for it. The bureaucracy involved is cumbersome and that is a smaller issue.

          • Scott Ramsay

            Since it wasn’t clear enough in my very first post, I guess, YES, I favor intelligent third party administration of Lasix as long as it is joined with serious major increases in stable security.

            By itself, if what Dr. Arthur has said is true, third party Lasix is a wasteful and foolish half measure, or worse.

          • Naprovnik Naprovnik

            It certainly is a step in the right direction, or there wouldn’t be all the hand-wringing opposition to it and the weak, “what if” arguments. “Or worse”…? I don’t find it “wasteful” to take the needle on race day away from potential conspiring private DVMs.

          • Scott Ramsay

            Oh, please.

            How long does it take to give a Lasix shot? Five minutes or less? What’s happening the rest of the race day in that stall?

            And why doesn’t having a security officer witness and collect the syringes for testing accomplish the same goal with a lot less hassle?

          • Naprovnik Naprovnik

            Uh, huh … well, better than having it all conveniently packaged in one syringe. At least the “other” performance enhancing substances WOULD have to be administered separately, opening up the chance for detection. What, exactly, are you arguing against?

          • If it were banned then who gives it would no longer be an issue.

          • Scott Ramsay

            And if Lasix were banned, according to The Jockey Club’s own study, then we would have many, many more bleeders at all levels, and that’s not in the interest of horse welfare.

            But that’s a whole different argument that’s been raging forever.

            And it doesn’t address stable security.

          • Naprovnik Naprovnik

            That, my friend, is what Scott fears and why he is making all this noise here.

        • Northern Dancer

          Between all your smoke and mirrors about this and that it seems obvious to me that you are against the administration of Lasix by 3rd parties. If I’m wrong, state your position instead of ranting and raving.

    • Northern Dancer

      What planet are you on?

  • gus stewart

    in the case of alex solis, he has been like family to the bruce and karen headley family fir over 30 years. the headleys are way over the top in being horse people and as trainers. i have seen training started in thier backyard in a pasadena, incredible communication with the animals. hay oates and water, and can you find him anywhere around these days,,, akex rode horses for them and my friends,, a standup guy,,, but i would say he wont be able to swallow the bs of his appt to chrb to much longer…

  • MarkofHeart

    When will the industry stop making decisions based on the short term! If we cleaned up the illegal medication and outright doping of our horses some big named trainers might “bite the dust” and even leave our state for easier pastures. That could mean lots of horses heading out of California with those trainers. That would hurt racing here in the very short term, BUT in the long term it would be great! I have been in racing for over forty years and thought I had “seen it all” in doping, but what’s going on now is ridiculous. Owners are being either forced out of the business or join the trainers with the ill gotten success. If we really put some teeth into testing and made the penalty for being caught severe we might turn this thing around. What about a 30 day suspension for the first offence and a LIFETIME ban for the second. Think any trainer would ever do it again after being caught the first time? Perhaps it’s time to appoint some people to the CHRB that know something about racing and CARE enough about it to take action!

    • mikec

      Who are the Cali trainers that are getting “I’ll gotten success” What are their names?

      • MarkofHeart

        Until they catch them, you will just have to use your imagination. Hint: I wouldn’t look at the bottom of the standings!

  • MarkofHeart

    When will the industry stop making decisions based on the short term! If we cleaned up the illegal medication and outright doping of our horses some big named trainers might “bite the dust” and even leave our state for easier pastures. That could mean lots of horses heading out of California with those trainers. That would hurt racing here in the very short term, BUT in the long term it would be great! I have been in racing for over forty years and thought I had “seen it all” in doping, but what’s going on now is ridiculous. Owners are being either forced out of the business or join the trainers with the ill gotten success. If we really put some teeth into testing and made the penalty for being caught severe we might turn this thing around. What about a 30 day suspension for the first offence and a LIFETIME ban for the second. Think any trainer would ever do it again after being caught the first time? Perhaps it’s time to appoint some people to the CHRB that know something about racing and CARE enough about it to take action!

    • Naprovnik Naprovnik

      Mark, i insist on ZERO TOLERANCE. You get caught cheating and you can go start a pool cleaning service or sell term life insurance.

  • Linda Doug Plaisance

    ban Lasix or make a state vet give it . trainers vets give more than 1 shot in front of others in the ship in barns imagine what they do in private barns

  • happyharry

    Go read an article from the Louisville Courier Journal titled “Dr. Fixit”. Cal racing has cleaned up a lot in the last couple of years as evidenced by other trainers winning more with cracking down on illegal drugs. Perhaps you have a handicapping issue Ray and will return with your wagers if you improve your handicapping!

  • nathan rotstein

    i stopped betting california 2 years ago when the owners voted themselves a 2% increase in takeout to fatten their 6 horse field purses. same with churchill this spring.
    no horseplayers=no racetracks. chrb have no interst in horseplayers. allow all the cheaters to keep on playing their games. they are 5 years from oblivion and extinction.
    del mar looks like finger lakes on a weekend. horrible fields. just awful.

    • Naprovnik Naprovnik

      Dontcha know? They are following the case in Australia, where the cheating trainer’s attorneys are objecting that there is no clinical “evidence” that cobalt does anything… by the time clinical, peer -reviewed studies are done, the cheats have moved onto the next big PE substance!

      • Northern Dancer

        Ever notice something? While the majority of Trainers struggle to survive, the approximate 10% of high win rate, multiple drug violating Trainers always have these high priced Attorneys defending their drug positives every step of the way. There’s a strong correlation between Attorney Owners and Trainers in some cases. It’s almost as if they are sending the message if we cheat, we will fight the system, and bide time for the next drug.

        • Naprovnik Naprovnik

          Oh, they cheat, alright, but out here in CA, they OWN the system. It’s called running a syndicate and being a kingpin.

  • Hamish

    The vet client-patient relationship that is required by all state veterinary boards in order for drugs like Lasix to be prescribed and administered to the horse must be preserved at all costs, particularly with any third party vet involvement. No waivers of this by any racing regulatory body or vet board should be permitted, otherwise the whole state vet board authority over the vets practice is breached and subject to further amendments for other drugs as well. This may be one of the complications that the CHRB is trying to work through with the CA vet board and private practitioners?

  • Naprovnik Naprovnik

    Hey, Lasix4Ever – having overning body vets works REAL good in Japan!
    Maybe that is exactly what you are afraid of…

  • Jack Frazier

    I “retired” from training in Ca. when it became evident to me that there is no way to “”out vet” the big boys. Why would they want it to change? I also see Mark Casse has decided not to keep a stable at Del Mar and is moving on. He wants a level playing field. I read this in this report a few weeks ago.

  • guest

    Couldn’t agree more! This is right up there with when Paulick demanded that the storm troopers of racing strap poor little Ricardo Santana in a chair and force him to take a polygraph test. However, I do hate that Paulick’s money will not be included in the pools, as the “Dumb Money” always helps my pay-offs!

  • ben van den brink

    The latest update from the front:

    Discussion and
    action regarding the
    proposed amendment to
    CHRB Rule 1845, Authorized
    Bleeder Medication,
    to require that authorized bleeder medication be administered by
    independent, third party veterinarians.
    and action r
    use of detention barns at California racetracks for the
    purpose of control
    theadministration of authorized bleeder medication

    Detention barns controlled with camara,s ,backlogs and security will do the trick. But the horses should be in 24 hrs before raceday to be effective.

    • ben van den brink

      These are the points for the next september meeting.

  • Jeff Culler

    The vets themselves should welcome the change to 3rd party administration–it’s one less thing that they have to do. Race day gets hectic. On a big backside like Del Mar there’s a lot of ground to cover. The vet might be treating a patient in Barn X near the grandstand then go over and administer Salix to barn way over by the training track. It seems that the private vet would welcome the state from taking that aggravation of his/her hands.

  • Mike

    Amen, Ray. CA had been making incremental progress in a wide area of reforms and took a step back and lost an opportunity for improvement here.

    There are lots of details and some issues involved, but for me it is real simple.

    The less transparency, the less money I will put in (as owner, buyer, or handicapper).

    Just by way of example, anyone want to plunk down six figures on a yearling at Keeneland in a month if you know the Sire or Dam’s record may not be legit or was improperly enhanced…

    Or how about throw in a mortgage payment a month to keep filly, colt or just average claimer on the CA circuit, North or South. Our groups bills run $2,500-$3,000 and up per horse.

    Or who simply wants to plunk down 2 bucks or 200 bucks (which creates the purses) on a wager if you can’t have some trust the horses’ form is not reliable or the field is not on a level playing field (with some adding something extra on race day).

    Or do you feel like a silly mark in a larger scale con game if you put in 500,000 for a yearling or 5 bucks for a win ticket…

    It is simple–transparency equals more confidence and that leads to longer term financial gains. This retention of an opaque and highly suspect practice makes me hold my wallet in California races.

    A few trainers and vets may benefit from keeping the practice–but CA racing as a whole loses (too bad, too because such potential). The two minority votes are heros and the rest need those private vets to do a spine replacement therapy….

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