Day At The Track

WEG / Gural integrity rule delayed until 2019

08:39 PM 09 Feb 2018 NZDT
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Clay Horner told HRU Thursday there are two major reasons the Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIAI) rule being proposed by the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and the Jeff Gural owned tracks will not be in effect until 2019. (Read previous stories: 2018-01-07 and 2018-01-12)

Horner, WEG’s chairman, had hoped the new integrity rule intended to increase horse owner accountability would be in place for 2018, but with February 15 stakes payment deadline looming quickly and Ontario’s regulator asking for more time to properly vet the rule, Woodbine at Mohawk Park president Jessica Buckley confirmed the decision has been made to hold off until next year.

“I think it’s going to take more time than we hoped, but we’re definitely not going to back away from what we’re trying to achieve,” Buckley said.

Horner stressed this is not a sign WEG, Gural or the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) that oversees racing in Ontario is giving up on the rule.

“That would be the wrong message to take away (from the delay in implementation),” Horner said. “There are two messages (to take away): this is highly constructive and we’ll be back.”

Burke issued penalty over TCO2

In semi-related news, judges at The Meadows have handed trainer Ron Burke a 30-day suspension and $1,000 fine after TJ Blast — a horse trained and owned, in part, by Burke — had a high blood gas reading (TCO2) prior to the third race on Monday (Jan. 22) at the Pittsburgh-area track.

At the request of the horse’s connections — and in accordance to an authorized procedure offered to others with horses with high TCO2 readings in the past — TJ Blast was sequestered for 72 hours after the initial positive and then retested.

The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has been told the penalty will likely be appealed, but no such appeal had been filed by Thursday afternoon.

To read the entire article on Harness Racing Update click on this link.

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