At Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, the former executive director of the Indiana Racing Commission, Joe Gorajec, lays out the “the good, the bad and the ugly” of horse racing regulation from the past year.
Among the positive developments, according to Gorajec, are changes in IRS withholding rules that deserve a “standing ovation” from horseplayers around the country. He also noted the continuing decline in fatalities on the track and the increasing support this year in Congress for the Horse Racing Integrity Act, which would bring independent oversight to anti-doping efforts in racing.
On the down side, Gorajec's Ugliest Regulation Award goes to the Pennsylvania horse racing industry, which this year witnessed the conviction of trainer Murray Rojas and a trial where witnesses revealed the widespread use of illegal race-day medication. Furthermore, Rojas' defense was in part paid for by the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
“The conviction reinforced the perception in the minds of many racing fans that the culture of cheating is a routine business practice,” writes Gorajec. “The horsemen only add to this perception by coming to the defense of soon-to-be-convicted Murray Rojas.”
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