Please Show Me Where I Am Wrong

In the event this shoe fits, wear it!  If this is not the case, keep up the good work.

The horse racing industry has encountered great difficulty in effectively regulating itself in most of the states where pari-mutuel wagering is legal.  Most of that difficulty lies in the failure of regulators, stewards and racing commissions, to deter a small percentage of trainers from abuse of medication regulations.  The damage to the credibility of all regulators and the potential for serious injury to horses and riders is even greater when exotic pain killing drugs are used.    Whether it is excessive use of a permitted medication or any use of prohibited drugs, the problem is the same for regulators.  Some of the people they are there to regulate continue to violate the rules in spite of recent adjudications, the purpose of which was to deter such behavior.  The simple fact is that most stewards and racing commissions have failed, miserably, to control the behavior of certain participants.  They have failed to hammer home the message that this type of activity will not be tolerated.  Their rulings definitely do not send that message.   Conversely they have created a situation that almost tolerates the use of prohibited drugs as a cost of doing business.  They have a quasi judicial system at their command that works very effectively if properly administered.  These decision makers are the primary reason that the entire industry is in such a state of chaos.  Penalties for some of these violations should come in terms of years and some for life.  Not the customary slap on the wrist.

Anything less will not cause a change of behavior on the part of people who have engaged in the use of some of these drugs.  Some in the industry are beginning to see that and as a result there are numerous recommendations coming from several sources requiring that penalties for drug violations be made a part of the rule book.  That says a lot for the judicial abilities of stewards and racing commissions.  They just couldn’t get it right.  I suppose when you are in doubt, it is safer to do another slap on the wrist.  The stewards involved here are taking money under false pretenses and the commissioners and executive directors who allegedly oversee the acts and omissions of their stewards have yet to be heard from.  I have seen a great many appropriate  stewards’ rulings errantly modified in favor of the appellant and a miniscule number where the penalty was increased by a commission.  By their silence, racing commissions condone every ruling forthcoming from a Board Of Stewards.  Some of which are egregious.

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