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On 7 February 2018, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) heard the application for review of former licensed trainer-driver Brian Sylvia in respect of the decision of the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board of 18 September 2017 to impose various penalties upon Mr Sylvia regarding breaches of the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR). The details of the HRV RAD Board hearing of 18 September 2017 can be viewed here. Mr Sylvia pleaded guilty to all charges at the HRV RAD Board hearing and his application for review was in relation to penalty only. Background The rule breaches relate to the observations of HRV Stewards at the registered stable of Mr Sylvia on 6 April 2017. Mr Sylvia was observed stomach tubing the horse ‘Elslatsy’, prior to that horse’s engagement in Race 1 at Mildura that evening. Mr Sylvia subsequently denied stomach tubing ‘Elslatsy’ and refused to produce stomach tubing equipment when requested to do so by HRV Stewards. Further directions to present the horse at the Mildura harness racing meeting at an established time on 6 April 2017 for the purpose of obtaining swab samples were also not complied with by Mr Sylvia. VCAT Hearing On 11 October 2017, Mr Sylvia applied to VCAT for a review of the decision of the HRV RAD Board from 18 September 2017. At the VCAT Hearing on 7 February 2018, the presiding member, Senior Member Gerard Butcher, heard submissions from Elizabeth Brimer, on behalf of the HRV Stewards, and Lance Justice, on behalf of Mr Sylvia. Upon consideration of these submissions, Senior Member Butcher affirmed the decision of the HRV RAD Board to impose the following penalties:    Charge 1 – AHRR 193(1) – 15-month disqualification    Charge 2 – AHRR 187(2) - $500 fine    Charge 3 – AHRR 187(2) - $500 fine    Charge 4 – AHRR 187(2) – 3-month disqualification (to be served concurrently with Charge 1)    Charge 5 & 6 - AHRR 187(3) - $1000 fine In handing down his decision, Senior Member Butcher stated that penalties for conduct such as this should be a deterrent and demonstrate to others that standards and compliance with regulations must be upheld. Senior Member Butcher also said that the integrity of the racing industry is vital and the public are entitled to understand that participants are competing on a level playing field. Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria Stewards ordered the scratching of the horse Carload from its scheduled engagement in Race 1 at Melton on 27 January 2018. The scratching followed a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards where Mr Justice’s conduct on this day was consistent with preparing Carload to be stomach tubed.   Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 193(1) reads,  A person shall not attempt to stomach tube a horse nominated for a race or event within 48 hours of the commencement of the race or event, and AHRR 193(4) follows to read, The Stewards shall order the withdrawal or disqualification of a horse that has been treated or attempted to have been treated in breach of sub-rules (1), (2) and (3). HRV Stewards interviewed John Justice, obtained blood samples from Carload and seized various items with investigations continuing into the matter. Harness Racing Victoria  

The U.S. Trotting Association announced Friday (Jan. 26) that all Fines and Suspensions Ruling Reports, which are searchable, are now available for free in Pathway (, the online harness racing database on the USTA's website. Previously, only weekly Fines and Suspensions Bulletins in pdf format were available at no charge but were not searchable. "We realized that our searchable integrity-related information would be highly valuable to our track members, horsemen and prospective new owners," said USTA President Russell Williams in making the announcement. "Although we're highly conscious of funding all of our activities at the USTA and this will decrease some revenue in our budget, we feel that it is a significant item for racing integrity." To access the Fines and Suspensions data, users must have a Pathway account. There is no charge to set up an account. In addition to these rulings and other free reports, users also can purchase a wide variety of Standardbred performance and pedigree reports. To create a Pathway account, click here or on the Pathway tab on the USTA website. Under the Rulings tab in Pathway, Fines and Suspensions can be searched by People, Facility or State. There are three separate reports available in the People section that includes career rulings for all data available to the USTA: Rulings Summary Report All Rulings Report Major Rulings Report Within both the Facility, pari-mutuel tracks and fairs, and State sections, there are two types of reports that allow the user to input specific timeframes by start and stop dates. For each category, the reports are either: Summary Major Rulings Report Summary Rulings Report The information provided in the USTA rulings reports rulings is submitted by the judges/stewards and state racing commissions. The USTA is not responsible for the accuracy or timeliness of the information. For further details on specific rulings, please contact the racing commission where the ruling was issued. For questions regarding Pathway, please contact Pathway support at or call 877.800.8782, ext. 4. Ken Weingartner      

Less than three weeks after an announcement about a new integrity initiative being launched by the Woodbine Entertainment Group and track owner Jeff Gural, leading trainer Ron Burke had a horse test high for blood-gas levels at The Meadows on Monday, Jan. 22, in a pre-race test. Per Pennsylvania’s rules, a horse which tests high is scratched and suspended from racing for 30 days. The trainer is also suspended for 30 days and is fined $1,000. A positive TCO2 test in Pennsylvania is appealable. Burke declined to comment. Besides the fact that a 30-day suspension would require his stable to be managed by another trainer if the positive is upheld, Burke’s TCO2 positive could also be a problem for his horses competing in stakes at Woodbine tracks and the Meadowlands, Tioga and Vernon Downs, which are owned by Gural. With the rules initially suggested for the new Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative, if a horse received a Class 1, II, TCO2 or steroid positive in 2018, the owner or owners of that horse would be banned from competing in stakes with any horse in which they own at least a 25 percent share. By Kathy Parker To read the full article in click on this link.  

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is investigating an allegation of harness racing fixing at the racetracks in Leamington and Dresden. The ACGO regulates horse racing in Ontario under the authority of the Horse Racing Licence Act. AGCO spokesperson Ray Kahnert says “investigators in London did receive a call from a member of the public with concerns about racing at Leamington and Dresden.” “The AGCO review of this allegation is not complete,” says Kahnert. “AGCO Racing Investigators continue to gather information.” He adds the fairness and integrity of horse racing is of paramount concern to the AGCO. Wayne Martinuik, the general manager and treasurer of the Leamington horse racing group says “the allegations are false.” “The individual who made the allegation did this out of malice,” says Martinuik. The chair of the Lakeshore Racing Group, Tom Bain, says he only just learned of the investigation today and believes they will find no wrongdoing Bain believes the complaint has been filed by an owner of a thoroughbred, not a standardbred, which are raced in Leamington and Dresden. “It’s very frustrating, I'm really disappointed,” says Bain. “We had our best year in recent history in that we broke our attendance record and we broke our betting record with over $41,000 bet in one day.” Gary Patterson at Dresden Raceway says he is also disappointed by the allegation. Patterson tells CTV Windsor he is confident they will be cleared of any wrongdoing, and he hopes it doesn’t hurt their plans for the 2018 racing season. CTV Windsor received information that an investigation into race fixing during the 2017 seasons at Leamington Raceway and Dresden Raceway began in November. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the ACGO at 519-668-7558 or 1-800-522-2876. CTV Windsor

A Shelbourne harness racing trainer has been fined $20,000 for his role in fixing three races in country Victoria in 2014. Larry Eastman, 60, was sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to five dishonesty offences. A magistrate said Eastman’s conduct reflected poorly on the honest and hard working people of the local harness racing industry. Eastman came to police attention during their investigation of Mildura father-and-son harness racing figures Shayne and Greg Cramp, when Eastman was involved in intercepted phone calls. His conduct involved using the technique of drenching, involving placing a tube down the horse’s throat and adding a mixture of alkalising agents, sodiums and bicarbonate – illegal within 48 hours of a race as it gives horses an unfair advantage. Eastman was aware that the horse Cashiking was drenched four hours before Race 7 at Nyah at Swan Hill on December 2, 2014. Cashiking’s odds shortened from $35 the day before to $8.50 after a “noticeable betting plunge”. Two Queensland men bet on Eastman’s behalf in an attempt to disguise his betting activity. Cashiking won the race, and the associates of Eastman won $22,110. Eastman drenched the horse Waterslide three to five hours before Race 5 at Charlton on December 8, 2014. He planned for the horse to win the race, but not as “convincingly” as it did. The horse was held back for a blood test by stewards. Eastman attempted to inject potassium to mask the effects of drenching, but knocked the syringe down the back of the horse stall. An associate of Eastman managed to inject Waterslide.  Eastman pictured with Menin Gate in 2015.    Eastman told the associate that what they did “goes to your grave”. He also said the syringe would be found in 2060 when they are “pulling the joint down”. Eastman placed a successful $200 bet at three-to-one for a profit of $400. Almost three years later, detectives found the syringe in the stall. Eastman then told an associate to drench the horse Dynamite Dick three hours before Race 5 at Horsham on December 15, 2014. The associate was driving another horse, which was the favourite for the race. He was instructed to allow Dynamite Dick to win. Eastman told his Queensland associate that the horse would be “getting a bit of help”. Eastman bet $200 on the race. His associates won a combined $13,655. Three days later, Eastman arranged to make a number of losing bets in an attempt to hide his betting activity. Detectives started investigating Eastman at the time, but took more than three years before charges were laid. Eastman has since surrendered his racing licence after being involved in harness racing for 44 years. No one else involved in the race fixing has been subject to criminal charges. Defence counsel Robert Timms said Eastman fixed the races after encountering financial difficulty in 2014, and claimed he only had $400 left in his account for Christmas. No documents were tendered to court to prove his financial status at the time. Mr Timms said it was unfortunate because in 2015 Eastman had a number of group 1 winners. “The bizarre thing is that he engaged in this corrupt activity, and appears to have obtained less than $2000 out of it,” he said. “We have a man who has lead an exemplary life up until this time of extreme financial hardship. “He has now lost the opportunity for him to work within the industry, the only industry he has ever worked in.” Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Alan Walker said a prison term was within range for the offending. Magistrate Patrick Southey said the offending put the public’s faith in harness racing at risk. “If the public say ‘I don’t trust it, I’ve had enough of it, I’ll follow another sport,’ all those innocent hard working people will be impacted,” he said. “I’m sure you will accept that the racing industry employs a lot of good people. Honest and hard-working, with a genuine love of horses. “Their livelihoods will be put at risk if the public turn their back on it.” Eastman was convicted and fined $20,000, with $122.30 in court costs. By Adam Holmes Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Office of Racing Integrity (ORI) have received advice from the Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Victoria that Cobalt above the prescribed threshold has been detected in a urine sample taken from Destreos NZ prior to it competing in race 3, at the Carrick Park Pacing Club meeting conducted on 31 December 2017. The “B” sample has been sent to Racing Science Centre in Queensland for confirmation. In accordance with ORI’s Harness protocol, upon receipt of the first certificate advising of an irregularity, pursuant to Rule 183A, the Stewards have ordered that Destreos NZ shall not compete or be nominated to race until the inquiry is concluded. This is effective immediately. Trainer Mr Ken Rattray has been advised of the decision, and ORI will continue its investigations into this sample irregularity and the inquiry will be conducted in due course. As the matter is under investigation, ORI will not make any further comments. Reid Sanders Director of Racing (03) 6777 1900

Yesterday the Office of Racing Integrity (ORI) Stewards panel comprising of Mr R Murrihy (Chairman), Mr J Zucal and Mr A Crowther yesterday opened an inquiry into a number of matters that had been under investigation including: The running of Race 5 the SEA FM Mobile (2297metres) conducted at the Devonport Harness Racing Club on Friday 14 July 2017; The betting activities of Licensed Bookmaker and registered Owner Mr Stephen Walters and Trainer Mr Ben Yole during the course of the 2017 calendar year involving a number of harness races conducted in Tasmania; The procurement and use of unregistered products for the Ben Yole Racing Stable. Evidence was taken from Trainer Mr Ben Yole, Licensed Driver Mr Robert Walters and Licensed Bookmaker and registered Owner Mr Stephen Walters. The inquiry was adjourned to a time and date to be fixed to allow for the Stewards to obtain further evidence.   Reid Sanders Director of Racing (03) 6777 1900

On 19 January 2018, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board determined two charges issued by HRV Stewards against licensed trainer-driver Darren Cole. Charge 1, under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1), which states:      A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances It was alleged that Mr Cole presented the horse ‘Exciteusrubycee’ to race at Maryborough on 13 April 2017 not free of cobalt, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. Charge 2, under AHRR 190B(1), which states:      A trainer shall at all times keep and maintain a log book The particulars of Charge 2 were that Mr Cole was unable to produce a log book when requested to do so by HRV Stewards during a stable inspection on 17 May 2017. Mr Cole entered a plea of guilty to both charges and after hearing submissions on penalty the HRV RAD Board issued the following penalties: Charge 1: 12-month suspension of all licenses (to commence at midnight on 22 January 2018). Charge 2: $250 fine The HRV RAD Board have indicated that they will provide written reasons for the decision in due course. Harness Racing Victoria

As a result of continued instances where horses are presented to race with cobalt and arsenic levels above the respective allowable thresholds, trainers are once again reminded of their obligations under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) to present a horse to race free of prohibited substances. Trainers should ensure that their husbandry, supplementation and/or feeding practices do not bring about a breach of the rules. If trainers have a concern about their husbandry regime bringing about a contravention, notably in relation to the substances discussed below, they should consult their vet or the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Integrity Department on 8378 0200. Trainers are further reminded that under AHRR 190(4) that an offence is committed if a horse is presented with a prohibited substance in its system, regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse.  COBALT The presence of cobalt above a level of 100 µg/L in a raceday equine urine sample or 25 µg/L in a raceday equine blood sample, is a prohibited substance. Cobalt is a naturally occurring and essential trace element required for normal physiological functions. It is present in the horse’s normal diet and is present in small quantities in a number of oral and injectable vitamin and mineral substances administered to horses. Substances that contain cobalt include, but are not limited to, VAM, Tripart, Tri-Cal, Electropaste, Availa-4 and Vitamin B Complex. Action may be taken against trainers (or other persons) where evidence suggests the misuse of the substance cobalt. The threshold ensures that the legitimate use of routine products containing small quantities of cobalt will not result in action being taken against trainers (or other persons) under the AHRR. ARSENIC The presence of arsenic above a concentration of 0.30 micrograms per millilitre (µg/mL) in a raceday equine urine sample is a prohibited substance.  Products that contain arsenic include, but are not limited to, Ferrocyl, Jurocyl, and Invigorate injections. It is claimed the use of these injectable preparations on horses may improve appetite and the appearance of the coat, and may aid in the treatment of anaemia or general weakness. However, there is no rational evidence-based indication for the use of arsenic in horses. Arsenic containing substances are not routinely used nor recommended as treatment for any medical condition in horses. Arsenic is an element that naturally occurs in the environment in very small amounts in rocks, soil, water, air (from volcanic eruptions) and plants. Therefore horses, like all species, may normally inhale or ingest very small amounts of arsenic. Arsenic is used in the production of pesticides and herbicides, although these applications are declining. Use of arsenic containing insecticides for management of cattle tick and lice problems in sheep was banned in 1987 yet soil around the site where the ‘dip’ once was on farms may remain contaminated with arsenic for many years. Arsenic is still used as chromated copper arsenate (CCA) and arsenic trioxide for its insecticidal properties to treat timber (ie. to prevent termite damage). This can give treated timber such as pine posts a greenish tint. During investigations into recent arsenic irregularities reported by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL), HRV in company with other racing authorities and RASL engaged the University of Melbourne to conduct a trial to research the levels of arsenic in horses that had ingested a known amount of CCA treated timber sawdust. This administration resulted in urinary concentrations of arsenic that exceeded the threshold concentration in some of the horses. Therefore, it may be possible that a horse could have a urinary level of arsenic that exceeds the threshold concentration if it chews and ingests a sufficiently large quantity of CCA treated timber. With this aspect of the research completed, trainers are placed on notice that an explanation of environmental contamination (through CCA timber or other means) will not necessarily be considered a significant penalty mitigating factor for anyone found to have presented a horse with urinary concentrations above the arsenic threshold in the future. Trainers are advised to take measures to ensure that racing horses do not have access to environmental sources of arsenic including treated timber products. Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry today into the apparent administration of a medication to the registered horse JACCKA TURK NZ which was engaged in Race 3 at Tabcorp Park Menangle on October 10, 2017, which the horse was subsequently scratched from by order of Stewards. An investigation was commenced on October 10, 2017, after HRNSW Stewards noted a smell emanating from JACCKA TURK NZ in the raceday stalls at Tabcorp Park Menangle. On that date evidence was taken from Mr Castles, the licensed trainer of JACCKA TURK NZ.  A urine sample was obtained from JACCKA TURK NZ for analysis and stewards took possession of a spray bottle containing a liquid for analysis as well as a jar of Vick’s VapoRub. An analysis by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) confirmed the prohibited substance menthol was detected in the liquid contained within the spray bottle.    Mr Castles attended the inquiry today and provided further evidence. Evidence including the ARFL sample analysis report and a report from HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian, Dr Martin Wainscott, were also presented. HRNSW Stewards issued two (2) charges against Mr Castles pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 192 (1)(b) & (3) as follows: AHRR 192            (1)  No person, unless he has first obtained the permission of the Stewards, shall have in his possession either on a racecourse or in any motor vehicle or trailer being used for the purpose of travelling to or from a racecourse any prohibited substance or a syringe, needle or other instrument which could be used – (b)          to produce a prohibited substance in a horse. (3)  A person who fails to comply with sub rule (1) or with a term or condition imposed under sub rule (2) is guilty of an offence. Mr Castles was found guilty of those offences and fined $500 for each offence. In addition, HRNSW Stewards issued a charge against Mr Castles pursuant to AHRR 193(3), (6) & (8) as follows: AHRR 193            (3) A person shall not administer or allow or cause to be administered any medication to a horse on race day prior to such horse running in a race. (6)  For the purposes of this Rule, medication means any treatment with drugs or other substances. (8)  A person who fails to comply with sub-rules (1), (2), (3) or (7) is guilty of an offence. Mr Castles pleaded guilty to this offence and was fined $750. Mr Castles was advised of his right to appeal these decisions. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; The nature of the substances involved; Pleas entered by Mr Castles; Mr Castles’ 1st offence of this nature during a 60-year involvement in the Harness Racing industry; Mr Castles’ licence history and other personal subjective facts. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 • Menthol Menthol is a covalent organic compound made synthetically or obtained from peppermint or other mint oils. It is a waxy, crystalline substance, clear or white in color, which is solid at room temperature and melts slightly above. The main form of menthol occurring in nature is (-)-menthol, which is assigned the (1R,2S,5R) configuration. Menthol has local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities, and it is widely used to relieve minor throat irritation.

BEDFORD PA - The United States Trotting Association's District 7, encompassing Pennsylvania, was held on Saturday (January 13) at the Omni Bedford Springs Report in this southwdbriggsest Pennsylvania city. District Chairman Sam Beegle was joined by directors Russell Williams, Rich Gillock, Barry Brown, and Kevin Decker. Beegle asked Williams to guide the review of the USTA rule change proposals. Russell stated that the group would start with the series of proposals turned in by the Universal Rules Committee, chaired by John Campbell and including Pennsylvanians Williams, Brett Revington, and Anthony Clark; the other proposals were then discussed. Below are the recommendations of those attending the District 7 meeting for their Directors at the USTA national meetings in Columbus late this winter. The recommendations are presented as they were numbered; those marked with an asterisk (*) were the proposals of the Rules Committee. It was noted that at the beginning that the wording used in all of the proposals should indicated the rules should be applied only at "extended pari-mutuel tracks." 1. (uniform claiming allowance percentages) -- TABLED. 2. (head numbers) - APPROVED. 3. (define "length") - APPROVED. 4. (breath analyzer requirements)* -- APPROVED. 5. (vs. human illegal drugs)* -- APPROVED. 6. (officials at charted matinees) - TABLED. 7. (track condition, variant, wind indicator)* - TABLED. It was proposed that the "variant" should include both wind and weather factors, and that other track condition designations should be considered. 8. (identifier verifies males) - APPROVED. 9. (stable vs. corporation) - APPROVED. 10. (scratches due to date change) - TABLED. 11. ("fair start" pole)* -- APPROVED by a 14-4 vote. This proposal drew one of the most spirited participation, with the discussion basically dividing at the term "protecting the majority of the public" vs. the extra betting from "wagering whales" which often follows this triggering situation. 12. (driver in accident - medical clearance)* -- APPROVED. 13. (human disorderly conduct)* -- APPROVED. 14. (equality of substitute driver)* -- REJECTED, primarily because it was felt the decision should belong to the trainers, not the judges. 15. (whipping regulations #1) - REJECTED; several horsemen were concerned by "loose lining," especially in the stretch. 16. (whipping regulations #2) - REJECTED. 17. ("unnecessary" ontrack conversation)* - APRROVED WITH AMENDMENT limiting the objectionable conversation to range from "the start of the post parade to the finish." 18. ("change of sex" notification) - APPROVED. 19. (restricted trainers/"trainers")* - APPROVED by a 16-1 vote. 20. (pleasure horse registration) - APPROVED. 21. (correction of ownership transfer date) - APPROVED. 22. (non-reusable horse names) - APPROVED. 23. (embryo transfers) - APPROVED. 24. (dissolution of district meetings; by-law change) - REJECTED. There was also a discussion on the coming of chip implantation, with most favoring the move but some expressing a concern for hardship imposed on several groups, with the Amish particularly focused on, but the low cost of the scanners offset many of these concerns. Jerry Connors

Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. (NASDAQ:ISLE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. According to Zacks, “Isle of Capri Casinos is a developer, owner and operator of branded gaming and related lodging and entertainment facilities in growing markets in the United States. The company wholly or partially owns and operates gaming facilities under the name Isle of Capri. In addition, the company wholly owns and operates a pari-mutuel harness racing facility and owns interests in and operates gaming activities aboard a cruise ship based. “ Several other analysts also recently commented on the stock. Gabelli raised shares of Isle of Capri Casinos from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 2nd. Macquarie downgraded shares of Isle of Capri Casinos from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $23.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, September 21st. Stifel Nicolaus downgraded shares of Isle of Capri Casinos from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 20th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Isle of Capri Casinos from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Isle of Capri Casinos has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $19.33. Isle of Capri Casinos (NASDAQ:ISLE) traded down 0.61% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $24.38. The company has a 50 day moving average of $23.14 and a 200 day moving average of $20.28. The company has a market cap of $1.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.30 and a beta of 1.56. Isle of Capri Casinos has a 52 week low of $10.62 and a 52 week high of $24.79. Isle of Capri Casinos (NASDAQ:ISLE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 1st. The company reported $0.13 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.07. Isle of Capri Casinos had a net margin of 7.02% and a return on equity of 62.06%. The firm had revenue of $198.60 million for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.19 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down .9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Isle of Capri Casinos will post $1.21 earnings per share for the current year. Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Isle of Capri Casinos during the second quarter worth about $536,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Isle of Capri Casinos by 0.8% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 388,082 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,110,000 after buying an additional 2,954 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Isle of Capri Casinos by 0.5% in the second quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 64,046 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,173,000 after buying an additional 288 shares during the last quarter. Alambic Investment Management L.P. increased its stake in shares of Isle of Capri Casinos by 10.8% in the second quarter. Alambic Investment Management L.P. now owns 31,748 shares of the company’s stock worth $582,000 after buying an additional 3,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oxford Asset Management bought a new stake in shares of Isle of Capri Casinos during the second quarter worth about $524,000. 55.15% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors. Isle of Capri Casinos Company Profile Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc is a developer, owner and operator of branded gaming facilities and related dining, lodging and entertainment facilities in regional markets in the United States. The Company owns or operates over 10 gaming and entertainment facilities in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Pennsylvania. Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Isle of Capri Casinos (ISLE) For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Donald Glover Reprinted with Permission of The Bangalore Weekly

Since the 17th century man has dabbled in making the racing horse go faster. Methods were simple: shouting, brandy was the best tipple for speed, stamina and courage, or a lick of caffeine. Now milkshakes, spiced with sodium bicarbonate, also known as TCO2, are the flavour of the month, with the whiff of Vicks VapoRub , contributing to one of our greatest drug scandals of recent times. Yes, the cobalt debacle in the south figures prominently but the 271 charges laid this week by Racing Victoria stewards against trainers, including 115 fired at the prominent Robert Smerdon, and stable employees over a considerable period makes it a standout. Yesterday Smerdon and another trainer involved Stuart Webb agreed to stand down pending hearing. Aquanita Racing, billed on its internet site as "one of Australia's largest racing operations, with five trainers over three locations", has past and present connections with those charged, but no other involvement in the issue. Smerdon has been charged with being "a party to the administration of alkalising agents and/or medications to a horse or horses on a race day" from 2010 until last year. Thus milkshaking is a focal point. Sodium bicarbonate is legal when used at times outside race day threshold treatment periods, and Smerdon has won countless races without the hint of the inappropriate recipe. For instance, Nature Strip, prepared by him, bolted in at Sandown on Wednesday for his third win from four attempts and contributing to Smerdon's 43 successes this season. Aquagate opened with the scratching of Smerdon's Lovani from a Flemington event prior to racing last October when stewards suspected treatment in breach of the rules. "Milkshaking is a mixture of baking soda, sugar and water. The concoction is designed to reduce the build-up of lactic acid," Andrew Beyer, the esteemed US turf scribe, described in 1999 in a piece "Milkshakes leave a bitter taste". The potency of milkshakes has been questioned so the opinion of Thomas Tobin, author of Drugs and the Performance Horse, was researched. "Another approach to the improvement of performance is to render a horse's blood more alkaline than usual by the administration of sodium carbonate," he wrote. "This method is effective because formation of lactic acid by working muscle and its accumulation in the blood plays an important part of signs of fatigue". Like cobalt, milkshakes were tried and tested successfully in harness racing before making the big time but were regarded as beneficial only in staying races. Fortunately for one the greats of our time, with no connection to Aquagate, frozen milkshake samples don't stand up to testing now. The gelding's TCO2 reading, like his ability, was sky high. In those days officialdom was more inclined to issue a private warning rather than public scandal in the best interest of the turf. But seemingly simple treatment, such Vicks, can create havoc, and appears in the charge sheet of the Aquagate, relating to the administration of it to the nose of a horse at Bendigo in 2012. Remember Aliysa in the English Oaks in 1989? Aliysa, owned by the Aga Khan, returned a positive to camphor, the Vicks ingredient. The filly lost the Oaks and British racing lost the Aga Khan for four years in retaliation. "It appears that camphor in the horse is not likely to have any useful stimulating actions and its standing in equine medicine should probably be close to human medicine which is just about zero," Tobin opined. A simple mouth wash before the race was long odds-on to bring Tierce undone after he scored in the 1991 Golden Slipper at Rosehill. Tierce proved positive to lignocaine contained in the rinse. In one of the most controversial decisions regarding a positive sample, Australian Jockey Club stewards under John Schreck decreed it "did not affect performance" and took no action against the colt. "It is the best decision that could have been given, an excellent one, a courageous one," the late Percy Sykes, the legendary horse doctor, declared. "The analysts are working on the basis that everything is black and white and that is wrong. What I would like to see brought in is a body of practical professionals to assist stewards in that grey area …." By Max Presnell Reprinted with permission of The Brisbane Times

Here we go with another view on the proposed new rule for Harness Racing. Another one of many interesting letters sent to Harnesslink; As a participant in this industry for the better part of my 36 years on this earth (I started scrubbing buckets and washing boots when I was 4), I can tell you harness racing horseman are a jealous, fickle bunch of people. Yes, there are many genuine good-hearted people in our industry. Many are sincere and jovial and hardworking, but we are also competitive. We compete to make a living. Competing drivers some people to look for advantages. It happens in all major sports, in every level of competition. From little league and pop warner football straight up through the professional ranks. Why would our sport be any different?  The most recent efforts being made by to ensure the integrity of the harness racing industry are all well and good, but let’s face it, it far from fixes the problem. We must first be completely transparent about what hinders our industry before we can start making rules to try and fix it. The harness racing industry has been plagued with black eyes and scandals that lead people outside our industry wondering why they should even give it a second glance. Our fan base is dwindling rapidly, our bettors are leaving in droves and the owners are beginning to look for other investment opportunities. What have we done to remedy any of these problems? The first attempt was simulcasting. We sold our soul to keep bettors gambling on our product. We decided it was a great idea to let the betting public stand in small, drab establishments and gamble on our horses instead of coming to our venues to do it. Oh, and we’ll give these establishments a huge piece of the handle to accommodate our bettors.  Who ever thought that was a good business model besides OTB and Roberts Communications?  So, after years of allowing our fans and bettors the opportunity to avoid coming in person to watch and wager, we needed flashy new enticements to get them through the doors.  SLOTS! Slots at the tracks will bring people in the doors. We’ll allow casinos and track owners to put slot machines, or Video Lottery Terminals (as they are called in the legislation in New York) to draw patrons to the tracks. Years of increasing state lotteries and Indian casinos has been one of the downfalls of our industry and then we decided to just put them in our facilities. Again, we only get a fraction of the proceeds, but at least people are coming back to the track. Walk into almost all the VLT parlors/casinos in the industry and see if anyone can tell you where the racetrack is--  it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  We’ve gotten people back to the track, except they don’t even realize it’s a racetrack. This worked for a while until the governments realized they could just have the slots without the horses. Canada was one of the first jurisdictions to have the benefit of slots, but it was also the first jurisdiction to be crippled by it as well. Now that we all got a wake-up call to what could really happen to our industry we decided to try and figure out a long-term solution. What will that solution be? Marketing? Advertising? Sponsorships? Social Media Campaigns? Cleaning up our drug riddled industry? Here lies one of the major problems in our sport, drugging to gain an advantage.  It is also one of the most confusing and ambiguous aspects of our sport. These solutions take one thing our industry fears, CHANGE.  We have no universal governing body that determines competition rules pertaining to what drugs are allowed and what drugs are deemed unacceptable, like the MLB, NFL, or NBA-- or any other professional sport.  Rules vary from state to state even for drugs that are deemed acceptable, such as Lasix.  Lasix in one state is given 4 hours prior to competition, in another state it is given 3 hours prior to competition.  Same drug, different rules.  Same goes for Bute, you can race on it day of the race in Massachusetts, but in other states you must administer at least 24 hours prior to race day.  Some trainers have decided to push the limits of drug testing and continue to look for new and improved drugs to gain competitive advantages. They win more races, they make more money, they get more owners and the owners buy more horses. It’s a fact.  To change that cycle we need to not only improve our drug testing, we need to improve the penalties that go along with these violations.  These changes are meant to improve the integrity of the sport, but the integrity needs to be improved across the board.  From racing commissions, to racetrack owners to horse owners, to trainers and drivers. Complete transparency should be the goal.  Judges and Racing Commissions are supposed to protect the betting public. That’s laughable. They are gamblers; if you want to protect them, give them a rock-solid set of rules that are abided by at every track. That’s the protection they should have. Its like playing blackjack. It is an industry standard that 17 is a hand that dealers stand on. Yes, there are some exceptions on how they get to it, but 17 is the number. We have racetrack owners preaching integrity and throwing trainers out of their tracks because they have had positive tests. But the same racetrack owner casts a blind eye when it comes to a business partner that gets a positive.  Why isn’t the racing commission or USTA protecting the betting public from that scenario? Jurisdictions have made rules to suspend trainers and horses with positive tests which I believe is a step in the right direction.  The new rules which they want to put into place suspending owners as well is, in my opinion, going to far. In this day in age, where owners are buying big ticket yearlings in partnership groups, it seems detrimental to take this step. The industry has in the last few years made an attempt to become more “Owner Forward”. The USTA has been pushing owner seminars, fractional ownership groups have become a growing trend; owners are being encouraged to have their own personal owner colors worn in high dollar stakes events. How is suspending owners going to help any of those situations? Its basically a ploy by certain tracks to stop owners from putting horses in trainers barns they deem undesirable.  Why stop with owners? Why not include the drivers of horses who test positive on post-race tests? It is being claimed that it’s the owner’s fiduciary responsibility to put horses in the barns of trainers who don’t drug their horses.  Why isn’t it the driver’s fiduciary responsibility to not drive for trainers who are know drug offenders?  Having been a catch driver, I know first hand that drivers have the ability to choose who they drive for. They could very easy not drive for the known drug-using trainers. However, being that our livelihood is based on driving horses that make money, we choose to drive the drugged horses. Why? Because if we don’t there will be someone else who will. Remember, we are a fickle group.  A horse tests positive, the owner, trainer, and the driver must return the money they made. Why then does the driver get absolved for any suspension in these new rules. They made the choice to drive for that trainer just as the owner made the choice to put the horse in that trainer’s barn. Our industry is performance based, the better you preform, the more opportunities you get.  The rules in our industry aren’t helping to fix the integrity in our sport.  Strip it down to the base and work out the problems. Start with a governing body that has clout when it comes to rules, not just keeping records. Work with state racing commissions to develop a universal rulebook.  Make fines and suspensions high dollar amounts and multiple years, not a couple hundred dollars or 10 to 15 days. We worry about shadow trainers. How about making it harder to get a trainer’s license? Any Tom, Dick or Harry can order the trainers guide, get a few signatures and presto, they have a trainer’s license. Institute year long apprenticeships before getting licensed. In order to get a driver’s license, you need to have a certain number of qualifying drives. An apprenticeship would work in the same way. Make trainers go through re-evaluations to keep their license. Make other practicals besides going a mile in 2:25. Most people used to have to work their way up in this business; now all you have to do is be willing to put your name down as a beard to get a barnful of horses. We are focusing solely on drugs as a detriment to the animals, but it is not the only problem: lack of knowledge in the advancement of feeds, veterinary care, and rehabilitation and training methods are just as big of a detriment to the horse.  Shouting from the rooftops that we need to fix the integrity of our sports isn’t working. These new rules coupled with the flawed system are basically putting lipstick on Miss Piggy and trying to pass her off as Marilyn Monroe. We need to come to grips with fact that our industry is basically a classic car.  It was the “be all and end all” at one point in time.  People came to the tracks for entertainment because there wasn’t much else to do. That time has passed, and we need to reinvent ourselves to the current society where people need to have their attention stimulated more frequently and in new exciting ways.  People are still interested in classic cars, but they need to be renovated and reconditioned to grab people’s attention again. Fixing our industry is much like refinishing a classic car, you need to strip it down to its bare bones and start with the frame. Making new rules and regulations works for a bit, but it’s basically like slapping bondo on a dent in a fender and covering it in cheap paint-- people can tell it’s a quick fix and it doesn’t add to the integrity of the car.  As an industry, from the USTA president and directors all the way down to the grooms, we need to work together to look at what we have; be transparent about it, and start fixing it.  Let’s face it, everyone stops and stares at the showroom quality, cherry red vintage Corvette that drives down the road.  Maybe we need to stop using bondo and start using elbow grease to fix the dents and give people something to be in awe of. A Concerned Horseman, Brian Connor

Here is a letter from Anthony MacDonald of TheStable regarding the contoversy around the pending new harness racing owners rule put together by Jeff Gural and Woodbine Entertainment. Here is the letter; I can't even go away for a week without all hell breaking loose. I woke up yesterday to the largest unread inbox I've had in a very long time. Those of you who know me, know roughly how many emails I generally receive, so the endless comments and questions about "the rule" drowned out even our clients for a good chunk of the morning. I think I even saw a dirty look from the guy wearing the goofy costume at magic kingdom who was surely judging me as that "guy" who answers emails at Disney world all day. My answer to the rule from Mr Horner and Mr Gural is simple, but not: Yes we have some dark corners of this game. What facet of life doesn't? We race for money, and there are going to be cheaters; how we combat this defines us as an industry. We will not be able to build any future in horse racing by looking to the past for direction. The past got us here, and it is not where we need to be. These "draconian measures" will surely lead to lawsuits and more black marks on our industry that we cannot afford. The overwhelming majority of this industry is not considered cheaters. Yet we are willing to partake in a witch hunt not seen since McCarthyism to smoke out this miniscule portion of the industry. The first time we get it wrong and someone is excluded only to be later exonerated you will find this story in the main stream news and in a court room only further validating the general publics reasoning for not investing in this industry. The stigmas most of us work hard to dismiss will only be affirmed by this direction. We cannot focus on growth and investment in this industry by shrinking it. If you have mice in your house you do not burn your house down. Extermination is handled in various forms but none damage the structure of your home. Under this rule our industry owners will inevitability claw back investment. They will not partake in group investing programs, (fractional or otherwise) and yearling sale revenue will most certainly drop. The smaller trainers who are already in peril will feel the pinch the most, and again our industry will contract. Do NOT think the governments will not notice this contraction, and as growth again slows and retreats as it has over the past decade, so to will government investment and subsidies. It was difficult to write this for me. My closet in not "Skeleton free". Many of you are well aware that my wife is in the final stages of class II medication violation proceedings for levels of alcohol found in a 2 years old filly this summer that were contamination level readings. I myself served a 7 day reduced suspension just after Christmas for an error made by our veterinarian regarding jurisdictional withdrawal times in Ohio. Neither would exclude our stable under the new rule but plenty of other trainers in the past have also found themselves in similar situations with the Aminorex positives of the past, the Glaucine and Ractopomine positives more recently. Of course you start under this rule with a clean slate, but contamination positives will not cease to occur and its only a matter of when not if improper exclusion will occur. I believe with proper checks and balances most of this industry would get behind a rule like this. But not in its current form. This rule has fallen short of what our industry should strive for. Inclusiveness and industry growth above all else should far outweigh the pursuit of a small group of bandits. I'm not saying turn a blind eye, I'm saying build an air tight policy that the industry can get behind. Through consultation with industry stake holders and regulators we can all take a stance together on behavior that is harming our industry. I'm not expecting, or asking to be invited to any consultation meetings, but I hope my words are noticed. I represent just under 400 owners in 10 countries and have introduced many people to horse racing over the past 3 years. I applaud the efforts and hard work of Mr Gural and Mr Horner on this. No one seems to be too concerned about integrity these days and this rule speaks for the people who didn't get their picture taken. The foundation of something great is before us, I ask only again that we use consultation from our own industry stake holders to ensure we get it right. With respect, Anthony MacDonald

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