The decision makers achieving membership among this select group consist of those who are unqualified, have their own agenda, are influenced by emotion and popular opinion rather than fact, or have a strong desire to be popular with as many groups and individuals as possible. Needless to say, some decision makers are infected with more than one of the above mentioned maladys and numerous others that I have not mentioned. The racing commissioners who hired or continue to approve stewards meeting this criteria are to blame. They alone have created these monsters. They also have the means and responsibility to correct problems of this nature.
January first of this year seems a proper starting date. The first inductees of this year are the Maryland Stewards for their work in the matter of Dr. Delp and Trainer Rick Dutrow regarding administration of Lasix/Salix after the appointed time frame. The fine imposed on Dr. Delp was far below a reasonable standard for effectiveness.
The Santa Anita Stewards found Trainer Paul Aguirre guilty of fraudulent alteration of information on the back side of a foal certificate (reflecting on eligibility). Their ruling of February 17th of this year states that his punishment was a settlement agreement, the facts of which I do not have, a fine of two thousand dollars and a suspension of five calendar days. This adjudication and others similar to it are a large part of the reason for much of the criticism leveled at the regulators of horse racing. Rulings of this nature do not adequately punish the offender, do not instill confidence in racing’s regulators on the part of licensees and do not reassure those who wager that they have an advocate in the stewards’ stand. Look to those who created these monsters for your deserved satisfaction.