Unrest In Kentucky


Many acts and omissions of decision makers in various environments are being scrutinized and challenged today like they have rarely been in the recent past.  Governments and Dictators in Egypt, Libya and other nations have already been toppled or are in the midst of great unrest or revolution.  The State of Arizona and numerous other States are in the Courts fighting the federal government over health care and immigration. 

Basketball referees from the Big East Conference have recused themselves from further participation in an important Tournament.   

Horse Racing Officials and a Jockey have been charged with failure to execute their responsibilities in a proper manner with regard to one of the Breeders’ Cup races in Kentucky, last fall. 

Horseracing: The “Life At Ten” Incident

 The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s Hearing Officer has apparently completed his/her investigation into the surrounding circumstances of a very poor performance by “Life At Ten” in a Breeders’ Cup Race in November of last year.  A report issued yesterday indicates that the Hearing Officer has released Findings Of Fact And Conclusions Of Law pertinent to that hearing and is considering possible sanctions against a number of Officials and the Jockey involved.  This raises several questions, but I will address the situation with regard to the Board of Stewards.  Only Chief Steward John Veitch has been cited for alleged violations.   I find that to be very irregular. I reached that finding because I was a Steward for twenty years and my experience has been that the Stewards function as a Board and absent two votes they do not act!     

That is not stated in the rules, however, if only by inference and the fact that it is the standard of the industry, it must be applied here.  This addresses both Acts and Omissions  by any individual Steward or the Board collectively.    Having said that, I am wondering why the Commission or their Hearing Officer chose to cite only Chief  Steward John Vetch and neither of his two colleagues.  Does the Hearing Officer believe that Veitch alone is responsible for the alleged violations?  The  Stewards’ Stands in Kentucky do function as a Board, do they not?  Someone please correct me if I am wrong.  Incidents of this type reinforce my strong belief that when there is dissent among the Board on any matter, the dissenting Steward should be required (by rule) to make his or her dissent a matter of record and write a dissenting opinion which includes the circumstances, facts and reasoning supporting such dissent.

 Apparently the Veterinarian at the starting gate saw nothing that would suggest lameness or lethargy on the part of “Life At Ten” or that Official would have contacted the Stewards and recommended the scratch.  After reviewing the information reported regarding this incident, there appears to be some smoke in the air.  Hopefully that will become clear.  I am anxiously awaiting the adjudication of this matter and I imagine several Attorneys are doing the very same.

My opinions are always based upon Established Facts, Personal Experience, and Common Sense.

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