Round Table Aftermath: ARCI’s Martin Calls Jockey Club Direction ‘Unfortunate’

by | 08.09.2015 | 5:11pm
ARCI president Ed Martin

Following Sunday's Jockey Club Round Table on Matters Pertaining to Racing, held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the following statements were issued by Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International. The ARCI is an umbrella organization of racing regulators in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica and Trinidad-Tobago.

For more on the Round Table, read Paulick Report's Natalie Voss article or The Jockey Club press release. To view a replay of the Round Table, click here.

Ed Martin: “While The Jockey Club is to be commended for its commitment to the sport and its efforts at promotion and marketing, its departure on some significant issues from a cooperative effort with industry regulators as to how to address equine welfare and integrity challenges is most unfortunate.

“Professional horse racing is not limited to Thoroughbred racing.   Equine welfare and integrity challenges should be addressed holistically, working with the entire community of regulators.  The Jockey Club possesses no regulatory authority other than as a breed registry.   The collection of data in Jockey Club computers that is not seamlessly integrated with regulatory data systems potentially undermines the benefits to be achieved from these efforts.”

Equine Injury Database
“The Equine Injury Database has been an important reform and tool.   It was developed by regulatory personnel working with The Jockey Club's technical staff.  It is not, however, made available to the regulatory commissions who require track-specific information in order to address track-specific problems which may contribute to equine injury.  It is time for this database to be shifted to direct regulatory control.”

STATS: The New Vision for Racing:
“While technology affords exciting opportunities for fans to analyze performance data, we question the extent to which fans will be being charged for data and whether this may depress the growth of the sport.   The management of racing data is currently a monopoly and it is a legitimate question to ask whether monopolies are the most effective way to service the sport and its fans.”

AAEP Recommendations:
“Veterinarians have expansive authority under various laws and federal regulations to utilize legal substances they deem appropriate for the treatment of horses.  The proposals Dr. Anderson articulated can be implemented immediately by veterinarians through the treatment decisions they make.  The regulation of legal medications used in training may require additional authority for state commissions over the practice of veterinary medicine on race horses.   We are already exploring this and are in the process of taking steps to require the regulatory registration of all racehorses.

“The remarks concerning time-based restrictions on drugs emulates a long standing policy in New York and is one that, in my opinion, makes sense.   The ARCI had initially included such restrictions in our Model Rules but removed them at the request of industry representatives.   Regulators are open to revisiting this matter.

“We welcome AAEP's desire to develop a non-raceday solution to treat EIPH and end the long standing and divisive issue surrounding a thirty year equine welfare policy.    Those responsible for the medical care of horses have urged us not to change the furosemide policy.  Given the 2015 consensus statement from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine concerning the seriousness of EIPH, the time has come for this issue to be de-politicized.”

Governor Beshear:
“We appreciate Governor Beshear's comments and praise his action in Kentucky by signing the Interstate Racing Regulatory Compact legislation which state regulators across the country have endorsed as a way to achieve the goals the Governor articulated.    It is unfortunate those who helped develop this concept have not followed through on their support in order to implement this.

“We also agree with the Governor that there are issues with the proposed federal legislative approach.    The ARCI, as it has historically, will continue to work with all interested parties to enhance the integrity of racing.   We note that no federal bills being proposed were written with the consultation of those involved on the front lines of policing this sport.”

Comments of Edwin Moses:
“To date, USADA has not accepted the ARCI invitation to collaborate with the existing network of racing regulators, lab directors, and research scientists who currently operate a program that meets the metrics Mr. Moses indicated were necessary for an effective anti-doping program.   The lack of USADA collaboration directly with its counterparts in racing may explain his unfamiliarity of the similarities that exist between the two efforts.

“If USADA wants to help horse racing, we can figure that out now absent the years it will take for a federal bill.   There are no impediments to achieving common goals.”

“It is unfortunate the “Roundtable” is not a roundtable discussion where the audience could benefit from an interaction between USADA and ARCI regulators on how to have the most effective ant-doping program for racing.”

Barr/Tonko Bill:
“Despite being well intentioned, this legislation is not workable.   Racing's equine welfare and anti-doping policies should not be placed in the hands of a private organization with no experience with horses that operates a program that is one thirty-seventh the size of what is done in racing.

“The legislation provides no federal help and may complicate an already difficult job.”

  • Tinky

    “Given the 2015 consensus statement from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine concerning the seriousness of EIPH, the time has come for this issue to be de-politicized.”

    Right, it’s so serious that prior to the advent of Lasix, and for many decades, American Thoroughbreds not only competed successfully without the drug, but were far more durable than they are today.

    It’s so serious that two-thirds of the world’s racehorses compete successfully without any raceday Lasix, have done so for decades (at least), and top European trainers report that only around 5% of their runners are difficult to manage without it.

    Finally, a reminder of a recent statement made by one of the best and most sophisticated trainers in the world:

    “I have been a trainer in France since 1977. In our country race day medication is completely banned and I have never felt the need to use any medication to train a horse. If we have a bleeder, we train the horse lightly and don’t offer food on the day of the race. If a horse is sore, then we are patient and training takes longer. We don’t hide or mask problems with drugs and as a result we have fewer horses breaking down on the track. When I take my horses to run in the USA I don’t run them on medication, they don’t need it. The ban on medication in Europe also helps to maintain a high standard in the breeding shed. When we breed our horses we know their natural talent.”

    – Criquette Head

  • Alex

    The Jockey Club cares little anout the majority of those in horse racing. Time after time it seems as if the long term goals of the Jockey Club is to only have racing at a very flew tracks. Just Club members can have race horses as is done in places like Hong Kong. Just Club members racing at Belmont & Saratoga, for part of the year, Gulfstream Park in the winter, a little limited racing in the spring at Keeneland & Churchill, and some racing at Delmar & Santa Anita. All other tracks must be closed in order for the only betting to be done on the horses at the hand full of tracks where Club members have horses. Great if you are in the Club.

    • mr veritas

      Pretty soon the club members will be cutting their own throats, while the public continues to get nothing. Club trainers running against themselves. Pletcher running against himself. Look at Case in point, Look at Detroit ( DRC, HAZEL, Northville, Jackson, Windsor, Saginaw, Sports Creek, Pinnacle, all either closed or filthy rat holes. Now in Chicago it appears to be starting, a lot of these club trainers started at either place. Take a guy like Billy Mott started right in Detroit working for Van Berg. Top jocks leaving too. Can see writing on the wall. The public can always go broke betting football, the lottery, and an enormous casino influence will always be present. Really, what has racing ever done for the public in the last 50 or so odd years???? besides stiffing them. When has NYRA had a real racing fan appreciation day. How many racing fans, true racing fans are in the hall of fame. Got lots of crooked club members there, but when has any fan ever been recognized. Club members have been conducting business for 100’s of years at Saratoga, and nothing is going to change that. Nobody is bigger than the game. Seen trainers and jocks come and go, but the game will remain. Just new investors/faces getting sucked in with big dough to blow. Except the racing public is staying away in droves in certain venues. Where do people get the money to pay 100 times stud fees on unproven sires in the sales ring. Sounds like club dues are going up just like hotel prices and admission and seating at Saratoga. Charge what the public can bear so the club members can continue to perpetrate racing activities. The racing looks more like bumper cars, and who can bother whom on the racetrack with 3 blind mice in the stand (with no balls) who STRONGLY APPEAR to be manipulating the tote. Let the licensed thievery continue. Carry on.

      • longtimehorsewoman

        Well said!

      • LongTimeEconomist

        May I suggest that you consider finding another form of entertainment that might make you happy.

  • Hamish

    Is Mr. Martin the elected or self appointed spokesperson on behalf of those that reject TJC’s initiative? And, if Mr. Martin doesn’t see that our current system is ineffective, antiquated and a big failure, then why listen to his rhetoric at all? Let’s move on with or without his sanction.

  • Ben van den Brink

    I,ll give up. Clearly there is no wish to take the bull by the horns. Everyone is fighting for his own job, and make them look more important than somebody else.

    • longtimehorsewoman

      Exactly. As it always has been. The same old same old.

  • Rachel

    Of course the Jockey Club should ” seize control” of its own brand! It’s the breed registry, every breed registry I’ve belonged to, horse or dog, set the standards and rules 100%.

    Just one mention on micro-chipping a horse. It’s not a cure all for identity. I’m not opposed, all my dogs, cats are chipped, but in such a large animal as a horse, there will be problems finding the chip so I hope they tattoo as well. My 13 lb Rat Terrier’s chip has migrated down his shoulder and actually I can’t find it right now so we have to rescan him to find it’s current location…totally useless if he ever got lost unless a truly methodical scan was done to ensure he wasn’t chipped.
    I have a pit-lab who has 2 chips. Evidently she was chipped as a puppy, but the rescue who took her in scanned her, found nothing and rechipped her for adoption. My vet found both chips, so I called the micro-chip registry to have a note on her records of both chips only to have them tell me the first chip was registered to a cat (not my cat)! Haha!

    • Ben van den Brink

      In the Netherlands, the warmbloods and the TB,s are microchipped for ages and no problems.

  • Racing Fan

    Ed Martin and Alex Waldrop are both very similar. They issue press releases as if they are important when in reality their influence (and ideas) toward advancing thoroughbred racing is tantamount to a flea.

  • IronMaidens

    “While technology affords exciting opportunities for fans to analyze
    performance data, we question the extent to which fans will be being
    charged for data and whether this may depress the growth of the sport.
    The management of racing data is currently a monopoly and it is a
    legitimate question to ask whether monopolies are the most effective way
    to service the sport and its fans.”

    This is entirely true. I collaborated on a new product for potential sale to the public and wanted to purchase data regarding freshmen sire progeny from the Jockey Club. We were given the run around and stonewalled for a year, first by Equibase, and then by Equineline. They came up with one requirement after another, excuses that “I didn’t get your email” all sorts of hoop jumping and refused to give me a price until I agreed to sign a contract for the data. I’ve had an easier time dealing with governmental agencies. Could you imagine going to purchase a car or house and be told that if you sign a contract, they’ll tell you how much the item will cost?

    Statistical information freely found on other countries websites is hoarded by the JC and unless one pays dearly for the information, the data never sees the light of day.

    • Larry Ensor

      Don’t know what the new president is being paid but according to the PR from several years ago;

      “Now-retired Jockey Club president Alan Marzelli had a total compensation package of $1,241,934 in 2008”

      To pay his salary alone, not sure what he does for that kind of money, it takes registering over 5,500 foals a year to pay for it. Or selling 69,000 pedigrees at $18 per.

      At least with governmental agencies that give a round around when asking for information that we the tax payers give them. You have the “Freedom of Information Act” to force their hand.

      • Tinky

        And as a reminder of the current corrupt state of the U.S., pretexts (e.g. “National Security”) can and are used by the Government in order to ignore FOA requests.

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    Question: Did anyone at the Table ask Martin about his thoughts on the whole Pletcher fiasco when ARCI could not provide any data to back up drug amounts on Princess of Sylmar in the Del Cap? Seems he is pretty good at criticizing everything but his own organization.

    • Alex

      The ARCI thresholds and withdraw times were developed by the RMTC. Than the ARCI put these wrong thresholds and wrong withdraw times into the Model Rules.
      The RMTC in setting these thresholds and withdraw times only did this research on a small number of horses that were not in training. Only the carpal joint was injected to establish thresholds and withdraw times. It didn’t occur to the RMTC that different joints would have a different volume of fluid, different distribution of medication due to blood supply of the different joints. Physiology knowlege is in short supply at the RNTC. Another blunder apparently the RMTC failed to realize a horse may have an injury in multiple parts of the same joint or more than one joint such as both hocks, stifles, or fetlocks etc.
      These thresholds and withdraw times were established for a single joint only. If more than one joint needs treatment you are as far as thresholds and withdraw times out of luck. Plan and simple the RMTC’s science or more like lack of science in establishing thresholds and withdraw times are now proven unable to stand up in a court of law.
      What is even worse I heard yesterday at the Jockey Club’s Round Table Dr. Kathy Anderson of the AAEP talk of support more for the RMTC.

  • Ernest Vincent

    Ah.. the new and casual players don’t know what the conditions of a race are (who & what, why), (how) the pools work, and how to wheel an exotic. (Where) distance/surface.

  • Ernest Vincent

    There are about 72,000 vets in the entire United States. A medical degree Doc profession. Median pay $85,000.
    Labs have to be certified for all their various qualified work. Just create a chain of custody and a fire wall between the parties who do the science and the judges.

    • Ben van den Brink

      But the financial contracts are negoiated with the racing commissions, and that,s were the pinnacle lies.

      • Ernest Vincent

        The state has a purchasing / contract dept under the State Comptroller/Atty General auspices. They bid and select. Then the science / findings are ruled on by judges of the testing. Some states are tight.

        • Ben van den Brink

          The conclusion made about that last sentence, is that testing en enforcement can not be part of a level playing field, as maximise lab testing can not be quaranteed.

          And even after that, while rare, the Delaware case 2014.

          • Ernest Vincent

            Noted.
            The system is not in reference to any cases or conclusions in the past.
            It is simply the available scientific testing equipment available, then, the applicable laws and racing laws and they will overlap.
            Ergo grey areas.

            This equals / finds, good, bad or indifferent when law and science are part of the equation.

            Lab testing equipment today can extract to the finite level what a horse or human or organic or inorganic substance had deposited within it millions of years ago.

  • Hamish

    Here’s what I don’t get. If the ARCI chief is so uninspired by the Barr/Tonko bill, and if TJC and the Coalition For Integrity is intending to replace/overrule the ARCI and RMTC with USADA, then why are the ARCI Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedules developed by RMTC the starting point for drug acceptance in the Barr/Tonko Bill supported by TJC and accepted by USADA? Sorry to make it sound so confusing, but what’s up with this deal?

    • Alex

      Why are many supporting Federal Legislation and USADA with the RMTC thresholds and withdraw times both which have been wrong. Thresholds and withdraw times thrown out by the Virginia Racing Commission, thresholds that the RMTC couldn’t produce how they were established, RMTC thresholds
      that recently caused a case to be kicked out of court in Delaware, why so much support? They probably haven’t read the bill and need to pass the bill to find out what is in it.

  • Garrett Redmond

    As I have said many times, The first step toward saving racing is to get the New York Jockey Club out of everything. It can be done and it is easier than is commonly believed.
    No one has ever been curious enough to ask me to explain.

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