Crying For The Feds


What is it that causes large numbers of people to believe that regulation of horse racing (or anything else) will benefit from intrusion by the federal government?  Have these people ever looked at the federal government PP’s?  Or perhaps that is the only alternative they are aware of.

The problems presented by “bad guys using unauthorized drugs on race horses” are well known to any student of the business.  The means for behavior modification of bad guys is to make them aware of penalties that strike fear into them.  The best vehicle for creating fear of this type is to have them read and discuss among their peers recent rulings by stewards that state very clearly, IT ISN’T WORTH THE RISK.  I am aware of only one such recent ruling that leaves one with that feeling.  The ten year suspension of Rick Dutrow was very appropriate.  It would have been appropriate ten years before the sanction by NYSR&WB but stewards continued to allow him to renew his license and slap him lightly for successive violations.  Business as usual!  I would be remiss if I failed to mention the Kentucky commission’s action declaring Dutrow ineligible for licensure.  Now we are up to two.  The uninformed are now whining about the due process being provided Rick Dutrow.  Why does business as usual continue?  Because incompetent stewards are hired or approved and allegedly overseen  by  racing commissioners not equipped to do so.  Racing commissioners are gubernatorial appointments.   This is not a blanket indictment of stewards or racing commissioners but the exemptions are few.  To imagine that these problems should be removed from state governments and placed in the hands of the federal government is ludicrous on its’ face.

The changes needed here can only come from the racing commissions.  They determine who works as stewards in their state.  Will one commission step up and demonstrate some leadership?  In all fairness, most racing commissioners do not have the knowledge or experience necessary to properly evaluate the work of stewards. So, when all else fails, try common sense.  Sorry for the error, I forgot that common sense and truth are no longer part of our culture.

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