Sunday, June 22, 2008


Racing is in BIG trouble. We have Senate hearings where the invited guests can't agree if government regulation is needed - and isn't it interesting that you can almost draw the line between the wants and the want-nots by distinguishing between those who put their money in racing and those who take their money from racing? We have invited guests that don't show up; maybe the Senate should have set up a detention hotel for Dutrow then he could have gotten his meds and felt well enough to testify! What did they expect him to add to the proceedings anyway? Wouldn't you want persons of proven character to testify as opposed to those that don't have that quality? Well, no matter, he spit the bit anyway; a true testament to his character. And we have positive tests for a trainer who has never had a horse in his charge test positive. I have never felt so low about the future for the sport.

As far as Larry Jones and the Two Buck Stable horse Stones River are concerned I believe Larry Jones 100%! He has never had a positive in his 25 year career and if he says that Stones River was at least 96 hours out then I believe him. And I'm glad Jim Squires, owner of Two Buck Stables, has the confidence to defend Jones. I have it from a believable source that there is suspicion that some in the gaming industry are behind this infraction. Money is dirty business and big money is really dirty business so I am also inclined to believe these suspicions. In any case I feel for Larry Jones as he has been a target since Eight Belles' catastrophe. It also wouldn't surprise me if PETA had something to do with this. I don't trust those people one bit. I believe they would do anything to promote their agenda. I think their agenda is more important to them than the cause they promote. That's what happens when a good idea becomes a good organization; money becomes more important than the ideal and having an enemy is necessary and an enemy that that is high profile means good profits. There are remoras everywhere just waiting to feed off of the good intentions of others. Ask Michael Blowen about that situation.

I think if this situation points to anything it points to the need for a zero tolerance policy. That way a positive is a positive. If there is an issue it is an issue of lying or tampering, period. I do believe in the absolute insurer rule, however, more needs to be done by the tracks as far as security and recognisance. Training and caring for horses at the track is a 24/7 business and the window for opportunity is great for those who have a desire to open it. As race fans, I believe, our interests are more served by the owners and horsemen. CDI, Magna, NYRA etc... don't have the same interests as us. They would be just as happy -more happy, in fact- if the fan was betting on a virtual race. They are just interested in keeping as much of the take as possible! The more they are able to take the less value you, the fan, will get back. Ditto for those in the gaming industry. That's why they are the GAMING industry not the Racing Industry.

I have a great disagreement with some industry friends in regard to government intervention. Most believe that the bureaucracy that would be created and the cost of that bureaucracy will cripple the industry. I think it will challenge the industry but in the long run will better serve it than the greed that rules it now. Also, with intervention more transparency is inevitable. Transparency of industry finances will, hopefully, bring misrepresentation of funds (fraud) into the light of day and more than make up the difference.

There are so many good people in this sport, I believe Larry Jones to be one of them, and they and the industry's legitimacy are being impugned by opportunists. The sport is not perfect, none of them are, but the impost the racing industry is forced to carry is a burden Seabiscuit couldn't overcome. Most sports are given tax breaks and exemptions, racing saddles the full load and more. It is time that the sport gets to run at even weight with the other sports and then we will see how healthy it can be.

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