Derby Security: ‘A Better Public Image for Our Sport’

by | 05.02.2013 | 9:49am

The Kentucky Derby is the one time of year horse racing basks in the public limelight, good or bad. This year, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Churchill Downs are taking no chances, stepping up already tight security to ensure the Derby is a fairly-run race. The measures come as a potential legislation could put racing medication under the auspices of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. As the Paulick Report continues it coverage of Kentucky Derby 139 from Louisville, Ray looks at what's happening on the backstretch this year.

  • Tinky

    Thanks for the report, Ray, but as you know well, your closing assertion isn’t accurate.

    Perhaps we can have confidence that in this one race (out of countless thousands run in the U.S. each year) will be free of fast metabolizing PEDs. But this type of security cannot insure that performance enhancement as a result of the use of certain forms of blood doping and/or growth hormones hasn’t taken place. Until testing is improved further, and, most importantly, out-of-competition testing is regularly used, there cannot be any guarantees along the lines that you suggest.

    Keep up the (mostly) good work!

    • betterthannothing

      Exactly Tinky. Perform out of competition testing, 24/7 surveillance and tracking of horses,
      control of all medications and
      treatments, keep and disclose complete health records, mandate rest and retirement as needed. Also, biological passports need to be created for all horses early on to develop individual blood profiles and discover suspiciously high levels of red-blood cells before competition since EPO-type dope is hard or impossible to catch after 48 to 72 hour of injection.

  • BonnieMcDo

    Thanks for this report. Glad to see the extra security for many reasons. I must say you do a great job on your site reporting on the industry. Hope the people in charge continue to try and root out the cheaters. The horses have no say in what they are given and I hope there will be more of this type of enhanced security to keep the sport cleaner than it is right now.

  • Don Reed

    I’m going to watch this video as soon as I’m done reading “How To Lose 27 Pounds in 30 Days on Dr Oz’s Miracle Diet.”

    (I’m back. He told me how to do it in only 48 hours! “Go to Betfair and put 27 pounds on Lines of Battle in the Derby.”)

    • Ida Lee

      Thanks Don Reed – I needed the laugh!! My Derby horse Verrazano got post 14. I have a feeling I’m going to wish I drank alcohol on Saturday…But, may I refresh your memory with these 3 little words “Mine” “That” “Bird”. 50-1 It’s why it’s called a horse race…

      • Don Reed

        If V wins, my wife wins her 1st Future Pool Bet . You two will celebrate!
        I had War Emblem. She had Giacomo. We missed the boat with MTB. Fortunately, Cal Ripkin had it. Happy ending.

  • turffan

    What if all horses were required to undergo a pre-Lasix blood draw? And the rules were simply that those samples had to be clean, zero medication, perhaps traces levels of RCI approved non-PED’s. Of course top 2 plus a special would still go to test barn for post race but they would also have the non diluted samples to test. Would not have to test every horse but in the event that a top finisher received an overage, tracks would have the ability to test 3rd 4th ect. before handing them purse money. Trainers could still use up to 5cc of Lasix to help horses that benefit but they would no longer be able to hind behind it. This would not be expensive & would take about 60 seconds per horse. It may not stop all cheating but at least races would be run clean.

    • Don Reed

      You mean, voluntary pre-testing, financed by the connections themselves?

      Something along the lines of the mega-wealthy Dubai Godolphin barn, which
      could have spared themselves their most recent disgrace merely by…

      Spending 00.000001% of their national resources employing HONEST,
      independent testers –

      Who would be been guaranteed their jobs, despite whatever any trainer had
      to say about them (eliminating the poisonous role of politics)?

      • turffan

        Mandatory.. When the Vet walks into the stall (preferably with a security guard) to administer Lasix, they first draw a tube of blood. I believe the cost would be less than $100 per race depending on the discount they get from labs.
        I believe that Lasix, given at 5cc’s or less does help with the prevention of minor bleeding that over time damages the lungs. However that dose does not produce extreme weight loss or dehydration.
        It would bite the HBPA in the butt, but they would have their precious Lasix without being able to use it as a cover.
        Further more if the tracks were to actually fine or suspend violators horseplayers could have confidence that if they lost a wager to doping at least the cheater got what was coming to him/her.
        Again this would NOT stop cheaters (nothing will completely) but it would very much so deter it. Races would be sooo much more honest.

        • Don Reed

          Why aren’t the vets employees of the tracks, and not the owners?
          I wish the racing managements would take your opinions seriously.

  • Fairweather Fan

    I hope they take samples of the electrolytes provided to each horse, especially the ones who get a gastric tube. I also hope that they are actually testing the syringes taken as evidence in order to see what was used and then post the results for public viewing. I enjoyed reviewing the Travers vet records; however, I wonder what was true.

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