The proposed lasix fade out regulation that was before the Kentucky commission yesterday certainly caused some verbal controversy. There were abundant comments from both sides of the argument and of course the statements made by the bill itself. This proposal needs help. Lots of help! In my opinion, if this proposal was passed in its’ present form I would be awarding the KHRC an E for effort in the right direction. Then I would have to say that the proposal takes forever to achieve its’ stated goal and it reeks of political correctness. Reading between the lines, it also contains a thinly veiled apology for what the commission is trying to do. Can you believe this? Now let’s address the achilles heel of all of this. The true reason this medication problem exists at all is simply because stewards in Kentucky and elsewhere have not ordered penalties for violators that will stop this activity and set a tone for all to see. Now that these stewards have already proven they are not equal to the task of judiciously regulating the industry, the KHRC comes along and proposes penalties that might be a half length of improvement, at best, over those which have been imposed by these same weakling stewards in the past. Why would the commission expect to obtain different results from a rule change that states a negligible improvement over the status quo? A magnifying glass is needed to determine the difference between what stewards have already done and proven their efforts to be a failure and the penalties proposed by the KHRC. Some regulators just don’t get it. The trainers that commit rule violations today consider the Mickey Mouse suspensions issued by most Boards Of Stewards to be the cost of doing business, the cost of winning a race or the cost of winning a bet. There is no deterrent. The system created to deal with activities such as these is very effective in the hands of competent people. We just don’t have many. When the penalties increase in severity, the violations decrease. History contains proof of that, but it will not be found in recent history. Why do commissions tolerate these sub par performances on the part of stewards? In many cases because of too much reliance on Executive Directors who are not qualified to evaluate the performances of stewards. And that is most of them! No one else is assigned that task and as a result stewards are either not evaluated at all or not evaluated in a meaningful manner. Should any of my three readers care to comment on this posting, please, be my guest. You place the blame where you think it belongs and please explain your reasoning for saying so. This is really a simple problem with a simple solution. When weeds grow in the yards of reasonable men, they apply herbicide. Try a new brand called “Stewicide”. The larger containers are available at a considerable discount to any commission that is considering “Cleaning House”. At the risk of being redundant, “Commissioners if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.