‘Common Sense Legislation’: Barr, Tonko Introduce Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015

by | 07.16.2015 | 12:46pm
Rep. Andy Barr (left) and Rep. Paul Tonko

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), the co-chairmen of the Congressional Horse Caucus, today introduced the bipartisan Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015.  Under existing law, the American thoroughbred horseracing industry labors under a diverse patchwork of conflicting and inconsistent rules governing medication policies and practices across 38 different racing jurisdictions. This lack of uniformity in the rules of horseracing has impaired interstate commerce and undermined public confidence in the sport.

By establishing an independent, nongovernmental anti-doping authority charged with the responsibility of implementing a national uniform medication program with input from the thoroughbred industry, the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act will encourage fair competition and a level playing field across state lines, assure full and fair disclosure of information to purchasers of breeding stock and to the wagering public and provide for the safety and welfare of horses and jockeys.  This, in turn, will enhance the popularity and international competitiveness of American thoroughbred horseracing.

“I am proud to represent Kentucky's Sixth Congressional District, the Horse Capital of the World,” said Congressman Barr.  “For well over a century, thoroughbred breeding and horseracing have provided good paying jobs, opportunity and entertainment to the people of our Commonwealth.  To build upon this proud heritage and to ensure an even more prosperous future for this signature industry, we must tear down the silos that divide the industry and replace the existing state-by-state system of conflicting and inconsistent rules with a national uniform medication program that facilitates interstate commerce, promotes safety, and enhances public confidence in the integrity of the sport.  By passing this bill and implementing these common sense bipartisan reforms aimed at uniformity, safety and integrity, we can lay the foundation for the future growth, popularity and international competitiveness of the American thoroughbred industry.”

“While the nation's sporting spotlight focused on American Pharoah this May and June, the Thoroughbred industry is a year-round enterprise responsible for a large number of quality jobs across the nation,” Tonko said.  “The racing industry has taken significant steps toward medication reform in the past several years, and this legislation will build on that progress by providing a uniform, national solution that sets the highest standards of independence, fairness and integrity – ensuring the future health of the sport and protecting thousands of jobs across the country.”

Arthur B. Hancock, III, a co-founder of the 1,200 member grassroots organization the Water Hay Oats Alliance said, “Senator Charles (Mac) Mathias, Jr. challenged the horse industry to clean up our sport in 1981. Now, over 30 years later, the horse industry has finally come together to work for meaningful drug reform and uniformity across its 38 racing jurisdictions. At last, we have a chance to revive our reputation and regain racing's prestige and proper place in the world of sport.”

The following statement is from the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity:

The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity announced today its support of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015, a new bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.). This legislation will grant authority for rulemaking, testing and enforcement of drug and medication use in Thoroughbred racing to an entity created by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

The Coalition represents a diverse group of horse racing and animal welfare organizations including The Jockey Club, Breeders' Cup Ltd., the Water Hay Oats Alliance, the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders.

“The Coalition thanks Representatives Barr and Tonko for issuing this common sense legislation,” said Craig Fravel, president and chief executive officer of the Breeders' Cup Ltd. “It is immensely gratifying to see the results of earnest collaboration among such a broad range of stakeholders. This bill is designed to bring long-needed reforms to the medication rules in Thoroughbred racing and provide a new level of certainty and trust for our participants and fans. We applaud these members of Congress for their foresight in regard to the future of an industry that contributes billions of dollars and generates hundreds of thousands of jobs to the American economy.”

The horse racing industry has been working to advance better rules pertaining to drugs, drug testing and penalties through the National Uniform Medication Program (NUMP) on a state-by-state basis, and while progress has been made, there still remain significant inconsistencies in standards and enforcement in the 38 states that permit pari-mutuel wagering.

“The horse racing industry needs a makeover, and this bill has the potential to deliver a new regulatory framework with a science-based program and provide better protection for all of the athletes involved,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to Representatives Barr and Tonko for wading into this debate, and we hope that they can find common ground with other lawmakers interested in racing reform to get a good, comprehensive bill over the finish line.”

As a non-profit, nongovernmental organization, USADA would create the Thoroughbred Horseracing Anti-Doping Authority (THADA), to be governed by a board of six USADA board members and five independent individuals from the Thoroughbred racing industry. This body would work collaboratively with state racing commissions and their respective staff members throughout the country, funded entirely by industry at no cost to taxpayers. Among the provisions in the proposed legislation, THADA would develop and administer a nationwide anti-doping program that would go into effect beginning January 1, 2017, following input from the Thoroughbred industry and the public.

With its proven ability to protect the integrity of competition from athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs, such as the Olympics and Tour de France, USADA is uniquely equipped to provide independent oversight in setting uniform medication standards for Thoroughbred racing.

Recent studies show widespread support for legislation that would enable USADA to provide uniform drug and medication regulation. Five in six likely voters nationally (85%) support such reform, including 81% of Republicans, 86% of Democrats, and 87% of independent voters, according to a national survey conducted by Penn Schoen Berland. Wagering is the economic lifeblood of the sport, and this poll also showed such reform is supported by more than seven in 10 horse racing bettors.

Millions of people participate annually in American Thoroughbred racing as owners, trainers, veterinarians, and industry support professionals, and as fans and bettors. The industry contributes $25 billion to the U.S. economy annually and generates 380,000 domestic jobs, with 38 states participating in pari-mutuel racing and American Thoroughbreds traveling and racing overseas in Europe and on growing racing circuits in Asia and the Middle East.

Additional information, including a full summary of the polling results, stories from supporters and ways to contact Congressional members to express support for this legislation, is available at horseracingintegrity.com.

The following statement is from the Association of Racing Commissioners International, which opposes the legislation:

The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) is in the process of analyzing the full impact of the Barr/Tonko proposal announced today.   In response to media requests for an immediate reaction, ARCI President Ed Martin issued the following statement:

“The ARCI is unanimous in its opposition to shielding racing regulatory authority from public accountability by putting it in the hands of a private organization.

“We also note that the proposal provides absolutely no federal resources and not one cent of existing federal anti-doping monies to assist in chasing those who would dope horses.

“We find it ironic that many of the featured speakers at The Jockey Club's recent Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit who have been instrumental in the development and implementation of regulatory policy – racing commission experts like Dr. Mary Scollay, Dr. Rick Arthur, and Dr. Scott Palmer – would all be shut out or severely diminished under this proposal.

“Equine welfare and medication policy should not be put in the hands of an entity with no experience with such matters and no veterinarian involvement.    We strongly oppose the politicization of racing medication policies and are concerned that equine welfare policies will be trampled should this be enacted.”

The following statement is from the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which opposes the legislation:

In a statement released to address the “Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015” made by Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Congressman Andy Barr on July 16, 2015, The National HBPA voices strong opposition to this proposed bill.  The National HBPA represents the largest group of horsemen within North America among its 30 affiliates.  Each of the horsemen's groups are strong supporters of national uniformity in medication policies, and we all are aware of the significant progress made towards adopting uniformity.  In the last year and a half alone our industry has seen an increase in racing states adoption of Controlled Therapeutic Substances utilization, to include 70% of the nation's pari-mutuel handle.  However, we are opposed to any form of legislation that interferes with the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (IHA).  We plan to review and analyze the bill in order to understand the bill in its entirety.  At that time we will be prepared to issue further statements to ensure we stand for, and protect, the rights empowered to all horsemen by the IHA.

  • Mike Oliveto

    I didn’t yet read the entire bill. I only hope there are provisions for serious penalties for cheaters unlike the current toothless fines and suspensions we commonly see today.

    • Peyton

      There may be serious penalty recommendations, but no teeth to enforce them. “This lack of uniformity in the rules of horseracing has impaired interstate commerce and undermined public confidence in the sport.” I think the congressmen are barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps a better statement would have been ” This lack of enforcement of the rules of horseracing has impaired interstate commerce and undermined public confidence in the sport.”

      • Mike Oliveto

        Very well said!

    • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

      I didn’t yet read the entire bill.

      That’s OK Mike, you can rest assured that if somehow this bill manages to make it’s way out of committee and reaches a floor vote most of the members of the House of Representatives will not have read it either. :-)

      • LongTimeEconomist

        That’s why they need to be lobbied. I have already sent an email of support to my Representative. Have you?

        • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

          Yes, I always do – pro or con – regarding legislation that is of importance to me. I see that as one of my basic responsibilities as a voter and citizen.

  • we’re watching

    Hope this takes off. Start with the high percentage trainers, from top percentages on down. These guys did not discover how to be better trainers than their peers in the 30s and 40s and 50s. Yet they seem to escape scrutiny, start with them, they’re not hard to find. Maybe not all, but some cannot be following all the rules here.

  • Lynn

    There is Nothing the Federal Government does that is cost effective; and little other than the Military the Federal Government does well.

    • wabstat

      Yikes!, take off the blinkers.

    • norhymenoreason

      Agreed. This is another expensive and ineffective disaster.

      • So where is the expense?

        • norhymenoreason

          Is it funded yet? The legislation I mean. Where are the trillions unaccounted for now? When the bill passes, there will be all sorts of amendments passed. That is called pork. That is one expense. When the legislation passes, the additional expenses involved will be passed into more spending bills. That is a given. Once the legislation passes, it will increase in size. That will require funding. That will not come from the industry, but from tax payers. That is the nature of federal spending. Not just government, but spending.

          • Geez, too bad we were not aware of this beforehand, because we could have saved ourselves a lot of time, money and effort. We could have consulted you at No Rhyme or Reason, Know It All, Washington, D. C.

          • norhymenoreason

            I have not opened a consulting firm. If reading an opinion that is different from yours is such a frightful thing, please consider staying off the discussions areas.

    • bugweed

      Nonsense. I’m so sick of hearing this collective stupidity every time there is a proposal to clean up horse racing by federal involvement. Every time there is an effort, we have the nay sayers out in force claiming, as if it was a mandate handed down by the Pope himself, that the feds will screw it up. I get as frustrated as the next person with government from time to time, but it is time for this industry to stop its eternal whining about our problems and yet continue to do nothing. A lack of uniformity in rules, enforcement, licensing and testing is killing horse racing. And if you want it to die, continue with this infantile dismissal of Congressman Barr’s and Tonko’s bill or similar proposals. The states, with their crony appointed racing commissions can’t do the job alone. If you hate the feds so much, then what’s the solution that has the potential to fix it across the 38 jurisdictions that allow pari-mutual gambling? We are a gambling business, government is here because gambling is our base and regardless of what kool aid we have with our Fox News hour. This is it folks. Put away your confederate flag, take the tea party hat off and take up the challenge to fix this freaking industry. If you don’t like government, fix it. Fix this business now.

      • Lynn

        Facts seem to trouble you; such as more debt has been run up under the current President Obama than all other Presidents combined prior to him.

        From a practical point how under these new great federal laws could a federal law have an trainer absolute insurer rule, based on the other provisions of federal law regarding due process and the burden of proof?

        • johnnyknj

          A completely misleading statistic, much as it was when applied (accurately) to George W. Bush. And what does it possibly have to do with the issue at hand? BTW, NOAA, the USFWS and the NPS are all examples of Federal agencies that are “cost effective”, unless of course you are a libertarian (or simpleton) who rejects all government spending save the military.

        • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

          “Facts seem to trouble you; such as more debt has been run up under the current President Obama than all other Presidents combined prior to him.”

          Perhaps a basic civics lesson is in order. Congress creates the budget, sets and authorizes the amounts to be spent and also has sole control over taxation. In short, Congress controls the purse strings not the President, whether that be Obama, Bush or anyone else.

          • LongTimeEconomist

            Facts that less than 1% of the population understands, even after you explain it to them.

          • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

            It’s frightening isn’t it? So many know so little about even the basics of how our government functions.

      • Bill O’Gorman

        The problem is Vested Interests. If the will were there then racing could easily get an historian, a logician, and semi-benevolent dictator together to write a universal rule book upon the basis that all participants either conform to those rules or depart – however many horses they have. But, in order to ensure success, the onus to behave should apply equally to owner and trainer. That will is not there. Everyone involved in the decision making [or scuppering] process is terrified of proper sanctions against wrongdoers because they can visualise circumstances where it might catch them – or someone who is bending their ear – out. If the owners shared the ignominy then they would police the trainers.

      • BillMunny

        An extensive list of ad hominems at the end of an illogical rant do not make it more effective. Your statement leads one to believe you are not very familiar with horse racing.

    • There is no Federal involvement beyond naming a group led by USADA to oversee drugs in racing. The industry itself will fund this initiative.

      • nathan rotstein

        Barry, you have been around a long time. Did you know that northern dancer won the derby on lasix? New drug at the time. Brought in from france. The point being that the richest guys who spend the millions on yearlings and on breeding them will always have access to the best chemists. A few owners in north america like ramsey, calabrese, midwest and bruno shickendance at woodbine have the formula. They take 5% trainers and make them 25% win. Its their dirty little secret that everyone knows about.
        Drugs are part of the sport. No drugs equals no horses fit for racing. Clen is magic. Horses need it. Let them all use it. Same with lasix. Both are out of the system the same day. An equal playing field means all the little guys play by the same rules as the big guys. You have an honest trainer now. How is that working out for you?

        • Horse Guy

          What do you mean when you say clean is magic? It’s not by any means. We see horses drop dead from clenbuterol that is too strong and is given by trainers that just want to win. There are several cases and studies that suggest that prolonged use leads to all kinds of digestive and respiratory issues. There is no need for extensive use of ventipulman and there are several alternatives that provide relief and have much fewer side affects. These guys are using it as a steroid replacement plain and simple.

    • 4Bellwether666

      Military cost effective???…Please…

      • Lynn

        If you actually read what I posted “there is Nothing the Federal Government does that is cost effective “.I also stated ” and little other than the Military that the Federal Government does well “.

        • Tinky

          You believe that the military “does well”?

          If by “well” you mean squandering trillions of dollars, ultimately losing to far weaker opponents, creating widespread, deep resentment and countless new enemies, then yes, I would agree completely.

          • Bill O’Gorman

            Now now Tink – this is hard enough work without going there!

  • Alex

    The Federal Government who among other things has veterans waiting months to years to be seen or get treated at Hospitals run by The Veterans Administration. The same Federal Government who more than doubled the national debt under President Obama. Now the Federal Government jumps in to be more involved horse racing?????

    • LongTimeEconomist

      The USADA is not a federal or state government agency.

      • Peyton

        Very astute observation and to carry that thinking farther, they have no enforcement powers. This is just kicking the can back to the industry and its regulators in a way that appears the Federal government is involved and will miraculously fix the problems.

        • LongTimeEconomist

          The email I received indicates that the bill provides for enforcement powers for the USADA. No mention of how it would work, so we need to get further details.

          • Peyton

            If they do have enforcement powers, then I am all for this. I just can’t for the life of me understand how that could be possible.

          • LongTimeEconomist

            The related question in my mind is “Could federal legislation give that authority to an independent agency, trumping each individual state’s doing so?”

            Additionally, the enforcement process may not be spelt out in this bill but would need to be defined later.

          • Peyton

            Exactly my concerns since this has first been talked about. They could in effect give USADA control of Olympic competitors but that to me is an entirely different situation from states’ rights gambling.

        • Say what?

    • CircusTicket

      So go ahead, cut taxes because who wants to pay them anyway. Cut spending and force it with sequestration and you’ll see how well government agencies can operate without enough funding. Our old computers are being hacked!!! Start some wars, why don’t you, and borrow from the Chinese to do it. Just downsize the government without any consideration to how it will affect us. And then criticize how badly everything is going.

      As for horse racing, there’s nothing to brag about how the private sector has managed it.

    • Fed government has no involvement other than granting authority to an independent body to oversee drugs in racing. Read the bill.

  • Charles Smith

    Well, the racing community waited and waited and waited and practically dared the feds to take action, and now they have.

    You can grumble about how inefficient the federal government is, but once the feds get involved, the dynamics of the situation change dramatically.

    As a owner of racehorses, it’s my hope that USADA eventually becomes responsible for drug enforcement in horse racing nationwide. It’s time for the witch doctors to be held accountable, and no one implements accountability better than USADA.

    • 4Bellwether666

      Thank U Mr. Smith…

  • Racing Fan

    Will never make it out of committee. I don’t know why there is even discussion about a bill until it at least passes the House. This bill has no chance to move forward because Congress is paid for by the pro-drug leaders in horse racing.

    • Peyton

      All you say is true in my opinion. The harm that is done, is that those hoping the bill will save the sport are mislead and their efforts to make changes are sidetracked.

    • And as a Racing Fan you know this because?

    • LongTimeEconomist

      That’s why you need to contact your Representative that you support it.

  • Charles Smith

    It’s not enough to scream ‘Obama, Obama’ when the federal government looms in an enforcement position.

    This is a bipartisan bill, Democrats and Republicans proposed and wrote it.

  • David Worley

    This is a positive step forward and I hope it passes both chambers.

    One additional issue, beyond uniform medication rules, is enforcement. It seems to me that horseracing (in most places) runs as a ‘good ole boys’ network. If you are liked by your jurisdiction you tend to either not be investigated or get off with a wrist slap, if you are an outsider or disliked you get more serious penalties. I also want to see (relatively) uniform enforcement of penalties from jurisdiction to jurisdiction with similar penalties for trainers regardless of stature.

  • Ernest Vincent

    Strange bedfellows NY & Ky racing, although this is two Fed Congressmen.steering a bill.

    The STATE of NY presently is the final law and authority for entire NYRA circuit.

    Wonder what the many State Racing Commissions and state lawmakers and Govs in those states with jurisdictional racing circuits ponder about this proposal.

    Hey wait, maybe in my retirement I can get a Fed job checking the clerk of scales and lip tattoo identification clerk. Should I help Tonko get re-elected or just say No Tonko U.

    • One of the main reason this bill was conceived and introduced is because of the failure of the states to get their collective acts together and clean up the sport. That is why an independent, nongovernmental authority is required to come in and bring order to the situation. Did you actually compose that entire post just to be able to end with that lame joke?

      • Figless

        Its not the Federal Governments job to appoint someone to oversee a particular industry unless that industry is essential to the well being of the nation (Utilities, etc), which certainly horse racing is not. If an industry chooses to self destruct it should be allowed to do so under free market principles.

        These same KY conservative politicians would oppose any such measure in any other non- Kentucky industry but will jump through hoops for their constituents. I suspect they will have a hard time selling this to the rest of the nation.

        • Tonko is not from Kentucky, he is from New York.

      • Ernest Vincent

        Barry: It was a very polite message, sir.

        Today, the social media (this is not Walter Cronkite or NBC Nightly News jargon here on the Internet blog pages.) Mainstream television uses comedy/wit…. even award winning national television comedy news shows to pronounce and speak its actual news and speak to this unusual world/universe we live in.

        Many today only use 144 characters to communicate as in Twitter.

        People like David Letterman and the Daily Show and others are in line for a TV media industry award. Emmy for communicating with a side of comedy some very serious and pressing world and USA issues.

        My entire message does not say this reader opposes the potential of improving racing on any or many levels. Never have.

        It does say, without trashing, that there is the political and governmental processes to this and everything else. And this issue before them ‘may’ not be what State and Feds want to commit their legislative powers. And the State levels have their own agendas – no matter what.

        Would you like me to say that was a lame pun?

        One of racing’s biggest problems is communication to its many publics and constituents. The language,complexity, depth of involvement and myriad of racing itself. Golf- easy, Barry, hit the ball until it goes in that hole. Under the flag. I don’t golf. Racing is it. My one and only love.

  • 4Bellwether666

    BOUT TIME!!!…Good day for the Horses and the Gamblers!!!…

  • nathan rotstein

    Same feds that make you yanks pay taxes on gambling winnings?
    Canadians pay ZERO. Even when winning on u.s. simulcasts.
    Tell the millionaire bluebloods to get their priorities straight.
    Less taxation first.. We know who the cheaters are. Take them out of the game next.

    • What comes first, the chicken or the egg. I say get the cheaters out, then the game becomes more robust. Dropouts in ranks of players and owners and trainers will swell with the cheaters eliminated from the equation.

    • KARL Bittner

      Your not a Canadian talking about taxes to us Americans are you? Have you checked out your own tax rates lately? With GST and PST your effective sales tax is over 15%. Must be why all those Canadians come here to do their shopping and buy liquor at the duty free at the boarder. And what is the effective income tax? Does 40% sound about right?

      • nathan rotstein

        Gambling taces. Not governmemt taxes. Why should the government be your partner when you gamble with after tax income. We pay way more taxes than the u.s BUT 40% go for FREE medical. Covers surgery.
        ALL surgery. Same as britain france italy germany spain etc. They have VAT . Value added taxes.
        200 vessels in south china sea. That’s your tax $$ at work.

  • Neigh Sayer

    No wonder the RCI is against this. They are trying to remain relevant, the problem is they have been toothless and ineffective for about forever.

  • Figless

    Sure this will be a top priority of Congress upon their return from summer break, nothing more important going on in this country that will deflect their attention.
    There are tens of thousands of Bills sitting around unacted upon, this will be at the bottom of the pile.

    • Another Capitol Hill insider speaks based on his considerable experience in Washington, D. C.

      • Figless

        Hard to argue the facts Barry so snarky remark instead. This is one of thousands of Bills introduced, 99.99% of which never make it to the floor for a vote. It is hardly a priority nor should it be with everything else going on in this country and around the world. But the sponsors will be smiling all the way to the bank with all their lobbying money.

        Maybe in a couple of years some version of this will be sneakily attached to some massive appropriations bill in the middle of the night, but will never happen on its own.

        • Too bad we don’t know your identity so we could throw it up in your face when the bill passes.

          • Figless

            You’re standard reply, don’t worry, God willing, I will be here IF it ever passes.

  • Judith Van Doren

    The proposed bill should not be accepted, if there are controls put in effect that will not aid in the illegal use of drugs. Racing does not need an obamacare policy, which will end up controlling racing not making sure laws or regulations are carried out. ARCI is right, and checked out what the terms meant, not what someone thought they meant. Devil is in the details.

    • So you think that if USADA is installed, they are going to be as inept at the RCI? Gimme a break please!

  • lexi61

    LOVE IT – much needed – hope it pass’s – lets get these horses cleaned up from the ridiculous & copious amounts of drugs they are “legally” allowed in their systems on race day

  • Dee R. Eff

    This needed to be done long ago. When and if they do bring in the USADA, it won’t be a day too soon.

  • Owners will wind up paying a nominal fee per race. It will be done in this manner to encourage Congress to pass it because it will not add to the burden of the Federal government and so that that the Feds will not be involved. It cannot come out of take out or money wagered.

    • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

      Barry, how is testing currently funded as administered by the individual state jurisdictions? Do owners currently pay a nominal fee per race or is testing funded through some other means? Perhaps it varies from state-to-state but how (for example) do NY, KY and CA deal with it? I would appreciate an education on this. Thanks in advance.

      • Each state is different.

        In California they fund the drug testing program with a portion of the states wagering revenue

        In New York I believe they have a per start fee that is combined with an appropriation from the state budget that covers the equine drug testing program

        Kentucky bills the individual racetracks at the end of each meet for the drug testing cost associated with their races

        New Jersey may have the racetrack fund it.

        • shiloh

          Maryland Jockey Club ( the Stronach Group) pays

  • Bill O’Gorman

    A waste of time as long as everyone involved with racehorses is mesmerised by the veterinary industry. The cult devotion to “necessary and humane” medication makes for too many grey areas – the farcical Lasix debate which ignores the fact that most racing is Lasix-free being a good example. Even the title is somewhat ironic: if there were any common sense in the business then the can’t-see-the-wood-for-the-trees confusion would be lessened.

    • Peyton

      Great synopsis of the situation.

  • Bill O’Gorman

    “Owners are losing 50c. on the $” – this is supposed to be a sport. If they bought a yacht they’d lose 100 c. on the $ – however bettors would not vicariously benefit from that purchase or be allowed to opine upon it!
    If it were possible to make it pay then trainers [those that know what they are doing] would train their own horses and spare themselves untold aggravation.
    By the same token, no-one forces anyone to bet. If they don’t like the takeout, which is what keeps the show on the road, then the remedy is in their own hands; in most cases the same result would be achieved quicker and more easily by putting the money in a biscuit tin and setting fire to it.
    Personally I preferred it when there was no OTB, and the whole thing was financed by owners who accepted losing money and by bettors who paid at the gate: Happy Days.

  • Sal Carcia

    I really think the horseracing needs to find it within itself to solve this issue. Outside regulation will forgo the possibility of the game coming together on any issue. Ultimately, it will have to in order to thrive.

  • June

    Any time the gov’t gets involved it gets worse not better and costs more.

  • KARL Bittner

    That’s easy then. For starters you should be supporting this bill. It may not be perfect but its a clear step in the right direction. But you continually through your own ignorance want to rant and rave that USADA will not have enforcement powers when clearly they will. Step on over to the correct side of this debate and get the bill passed by writing your congressman and you will be thankful you did.

    • peyton

      I wrote my congressman and yours also long ago and asked them to do what they can to help save a dying sport which I love.

  • norhymenoreason

    What bullshit. If you think that the government is sticking to mere wording, look around. Government bloat did not begin with legislation. That is the thin wedge.

    • Why don’t you move to a country that does things differently, or better yet, start your own country?

      • norhymenoreason

        Well, Barry, this is the comments section. So there is no need to start my own country. Or you could.

  • Richard C

    This announcement came hot on the heels of the arrest in northeast Ohio of a reputed member of the Gambino crime family — who was once married to John Gotti’s daughter — on a variety of charges….which includes the drugging of race horses.

  • Michael M

    Something HAS to change! How many , many times have you lost a bet on “super trainers” Some trainers have an advantage that has nothing to do with methods of training, Their has to be new rules, no matter how draconian!

  • Rob ebeling

    November 24 , 2015
    Turf Paradise/ 7th Race
    Number 9 , Hidden Edge never had the opportunity to race because the starters didn’t open the gate until the other horses were 5 lengths out from the start…
    Stewards did not refund the betting public claiming the gate opened…. Thievery. The government should regulate horse racing because it is controlled by thieves and druggies.

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