McCarron: Barr-Tonko Bill Would ‘Rein In Thoroughbred Racing Abuses’

by | 12.11.2015 | 10:23am
Chris McCarron on Alysheba moments after capturing the Kentucky Derby

In a recent opinion piece for the The Hill, retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron voices his support for U.S. racing to adopt uniform drug rules.

McCarron urges the passage of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Andy Barr and Rep. Paul Tonko, which will establish national rules and penalties for medication/drug abuse in racing.

“For a sport so dependent on the integrity of those who participate, uniformity like this is long overdue,” McCarron writes.

“These changes will no doubt level the playing field for those who compete in thoroughbred racing and for the men and women who wager on our races.”

Read more in The Hill

  • SaratogaJ

    The governing bodies in racing also need the legal authority and subsequent will to impose penalties that are so harsh that trainers and vets won’t even consider crossing the line with banned or non-approved substances. Penalties starting at a year and quickly elevating to lifetime bans are the only things that will restore public trust. Whenever I see egregious violations accompanied by wrist slap fines or suspensions I just shake my head.

    • Figless

      Agree penalties mean nothing without punishment, blindly and equitably dispensed.

      PS – this bill for all its merits is not a top priority of Congress, a lot going on, so don’t hold out your hopes for imminent passage.

  • gus stewart

    Chris is a great guy rode my partners and i first winner in the 80s at hollywood park… question i always wanted to ask him and a few others riders who rode for some trainers that were known as the juicers or best meds in town… can u feel the difference when riding a horse from those stables,,, it wasnt his job to monitor that part of racing but i always wondered

    • We’re watching

      Better yet, if these jockeys stopped riding for juicers, maybe the juicers would stop. High percentage trainers should be evaluated.

      • guest

        Agree, however, the jocks do not have a lab at their fingertips. Too much leverage here.

  • guest

    I read the 4 comments below. Then I thought about the “vote” listed on this same page. NONE of the 4 choices individually or even all together will solve the problem. The PENALTIES have to be severe enough that NO trainer, owner, vet, jockey would even be tempted to take that chance. I believe united medication rules under USADA would be the most fair. It should NOT be a gamble for anyone involved in any way whatsoever for them to take that chance. If the penalties were harsh enough NOTHING would be worth the risk.

    • guest

      And then think about the poor horses. So far, this is a discussion about fame and money. Neither one do not address what it does to the individual horse, all horses, and all breeders. Everyone helps their own desire—the ONLY ones who don’t get to vote are the poor darn horses—who are sick to death of seeing another needle.

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