Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 7 of 7
1

Developments in Ireland designed to bolster out of competition testing and the exclusion of certain horses underscores the need for the US racing industry to support ARCI's call last December for an expansion of regulatory authority over horses who have yet to come under the jurisdiction of a racing commission, according to the group's President. "We applaud Horse Racing Ireland and its chief Brian Kavanagh for their creative effort to get access to horses on unlicensed grounds," said ARCI President Ed Martin. Last December the ARCI made a general call to expand the government's authority in order to close what many regulators consider to be a major loophole in independent oversight of the un-regulated aspects of the race horse industry. The impetus for that proposal came from the reported widespread use of bisphosphonates in young horses despite government warnings that such use may not be safe. Consistent with this general call, ARCI President Ed Martin, in written testimony before a congressional subcommittee earlier this year, offered several suggestions to Members of Congress seeking to help the racing industry. Martin proposed: Requiring all horses bred to be racehorses be registered with and come under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Empowering APHIS to make rules affecting young horses not yet under the jurisdiction of a state racing commission Directing APHIS to contract with state racing commissions for the purpose of out-of-competition equine welfare and anti-doping examinations to determine adherence to the APHIS rules Authorizing APHIS to recover costs for such inspections from the owners of any horse inspected, consistent with state racing commission contracts entered into for that purpose Require that a portion of the existing funds - $9.5 million - appropriated by Congress each year for anti-doping programs through the White House Office of National Drug Policy be available to fund anti-doping research of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium consistent with anti-doping needs identified by the Organization of Racing Investigators or the ARCI The limitations on regulatory authority as well as equine welfare concerns about the use of Bisphosphonate drugs on young horses were main topics at the ARCI Integrity and Animal Welfare Conference last April in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The ARCI has not taken a formal position on Martin's suggestions but is open to working with appropriate industry organizations to develop ways to regulate young horses and address specific jurisdictional limitations where they occur. US Federal Law grants wide authority to licensed veterinarians to use substances in horses that have been approved by the FDA for other species. That authority continues even if the government has issued cautionary statements. This broad authority affects not only the use of bisphosphonates on young horses but also the steroids that have triggered the actions of Horse Racing Ireland. None of the federal bills proposed during the last decade affecting horse racing address this issue. From the Association of Racing Commissioners International      

Earlier this month Harnesslink publiished opposing articles that indicated that the ARCI and the PA Racing Commission had some explaining to do on certain cases handled by that jurisdiction. While the ARCI will normally defer to individual regulatory entities to explain why matters were handled the way they were, the author of the opinion piece specially asked the ARCI President to look into the matter and respond accordingly. What follows is the response from ARCI President Ed Martin.  To: Joe Gorajec, In response to your recent "opinion" piece concerning actions taken by the old Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission in 2016, I find it interesting that your focus is on overages involving Class 4 medications, those deemed to not have a high possibility of affecting performance, although one can exist. Unlike the WADA/USADA policy in human sport, these drugs are not permitted to be in one of our equine athletes when it competes under any circumstance. I find it telling that the USADA annual report says they actually gave approval to athletes seeking permission to use glucocorticoids 156 times last year. That's 41% of all the exemptions they granted. For what it's worth, USADA approved 90% of the requests received to use prohibited drugs requiring their OK. No matter how you cut it Joe, if someone asked a commission for permission to use a glucocorticoid on a horse about to race, the answer would uniformly be "no". I have looked into the actions of the Pennsylvania commission with regard to the cases you referenced affecting Shawn Johnston, Rick Gillock and Ron Burke. You neglected to mention these instances occurred during a time when the ARCI Model Rules had been adopted for thoroughbred racing but not yet for standardbred races. The PA Commission can and should speak for itself on individual case matters, but from where I sit the cases affecting both Mr. Gillock and Mr. Burke appear to have been handled consistent with the rules in effect at that time for harness racing in Pennsylvania. While you and I share the desire that the ARCI Model Rules apply universally, you must concede that unless they have been formally adopted, they are advisory and cannot supersede the actual rules of a jurisdiction. The good news is that since these 2016 instances occurred, the harness rules in Pennsylvania have been adjusted to reflect the thresholds contained in the ARCI Model Rules and controlled therapeutic schedule with one exception, clenbuterol. With regard to Mr. Johnston's case, he appears to have been penalized under the thoroughbred rules even though his case involved a harness race. I am told this happened because of an unfortunate human error during a time of agency and management transition. I am told this matter has since been rectified to be consistent with the applicable harness rules at the time. While you and I and many others are just going to have to disagree on whether H.R. 2651 is an improvement or not, it has no bearing on the cases you have referenced or inquire about. As you know, there is total uniformity that performance enhancing drugs are not allowed to be given horses when they race, and all commissions utilize the RCI database to determine whether a violator has a pattern of non-compliance that would be considered an aggravating factor worthy of a progressive penalty. I concede the point that there are areas of inconsistencies, but they are few and relatively minor in the scheme of things. To telegraph them as an indictment of the integrity of an entire sport in a growing competitive environment (sports betting) is downright reckless, like telling the public that roads are unsafe because the speed limit is slightly different in the next town. Perhaps the quickest and least controversial way to have uniform rules would be to adopt the ARCI Model Rules by reference in federal (not yet) or state statute (Florida) or by regulation (New Jersey). But that's not going to address those who would cheat by using designer drugs or a strain of EPO that nobody - even Hong Kong - can detect. The NUMP, albeit desirable, does nothing to address this challenge, which is not limited to horse racing. It's a shame that money has been cut from the RMTC and their research in order to fund lobbyists, consultants, PR firms, ads, and bloggers in a Don Quixote effort to convince people racing is really bad in order to pass a long shot federal bill that is divisive to an industry. Those who police this sport are well aware of the possibility of infractions, but one needs evidence, not public pronouncements of opinion presented as fact. Someone once asked me about a regulator who couldn't pursue a Class 1 doping violation after creating a situation that made prosecution impossible. They wanted to know if it were deliberate. suspecting he was on the "take" from the owner or trainer or even a bettor. My answer was "I guess it's possible, but what I think actually happened was a major screw up". The person responsible is no longer employed by that commission. To create an unfounded innuendo against this individual would have been wrong, just as leveling broad brush unsubstantiated innuendos against the overwhelming numbers of horsemen who adhere to the rules. Unfortunately, this was recently done in a letter to Congress by two prominent racing leaders claiming that cheaters were being encouraged by the rules which you helped develop. No proof. No substantiation. A significant partner of the so-called Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI) just posted a damning video about horse racing on YouTube implying that everyone is abusing their horses. It amazes me that some industry organizations continue to monetarily support this effort. I am equally amazed by those who pontificate against Lasix while using it on their horses when they really don't have to. There's a word for that, but my manners prevent me from using it. Racing will soon face competition with widespread betting on human sporting events. These events are not policed as well as horse racing. Concerns about this are already being raised and were noted clearly at this month's conference on sports betting held by the National Conference of Legislators from Gaming States. Right now is the time for this industry to get its act together to impact on sports betting legislation moving forward in the states to ensure that horse racing is not left in the starting gate or limited as to how it can compete effectively (i.e. existing fixed odds wagering restrictions). This was my advice in June to the American Horse Council's Racing Advisory Committee. Everything else is a red herring. Ed Martin President, ARCI              

The Paulickreport.com printed this following letter from Joe Gorajec who served as the executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission for 25 years (1990-2015). He is also a former chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (2008). To: Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI): I read with great interest your testimony before Congress last month in the hearing regarding the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017. In your remarks, you defended our current system of medication regulation in the United States and stated there is “total uniformity in the use of progressive penalties and substantial uniformity in adoption of testing thresholds for 30 appropriate medications deemed normal and appropriate for equine care.” You also stated, “horseracing does as good a job or as bad a job as the Olympics or any other sport.” Given your faith in the effectiveness of our model and your standing as the president of RCI, I would like you to review the following series of cases in Pennsylvania. Please let me know if the actions taken (or not taken) in these cases constitute the high praise that you believe our regulatory system deserves. I'll begin on Sept. 22, 2016, with a qualifying race at the Meadows harness track near Pittsburgh, Pa. Shawn Johnston trained a horse that day named Tremor Hanover. The Pennsylvania Equine Testing & Research Laboratory (PETRL) subsequently found that Tremor Hanover raced with impermissible levels of the drug betamethasone. Betamethasone is a corticosteroid and is listed as a Class 4 therapeutic medication. The Association of Racing Commissioners International's (RCI) Controlled Therapeutic Substance List indicates that betamethasone is impermissible at levels in excess of 10 picograms per milliliter (pg/ml) of blood. In other words, over 10 pg/ml is a positive test. The RCI's Penalty Guidelines indicate that the penalty for betamethasone (Class 4) overage for a first drug offense within a year is a minimum $1,000 fine and forfeiture of the purse. Mr. Johnston waived his right to a split sample and accepted the standard penalty of a $1,000 fine. No purse forfeiture was necessary as qualifying races do not have purses. On Aug. 30, 2016, approximately three weeks before Mr. Johnston's positive test, Rich Gillock trained a horse named Treasure Quest K that raced at Meadows. The PETRL subsequently found that Treasure Quest K raced with an impermissible level of betamethasone. The horse finished third. The purse was $9,500. On Nov. 26, 2016, at the same Meadows track, Ron Burke trained a horse named Atta Boy Dan. The PETRL subsequently found that Atta Boy Dan raced with an impermissible level of betamethasone. The horse won. The purse was $20,000. To read the rest of the article click here. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018 -  In the aftermath of the US Supreme Court ruling which clears the way for states to authorize and regulate wagering on sports other than horseracing, the ARCI will consider expanding its portfolio beyond wagering on pari-mutuel horse and greyhound contests to those involving human athletes and teams. When it meets next Tuesday and Wednesday in Omaha, Nebraska, the ARCI Model Rules Committee will consider taking the first step in this direction by working on a set of model regulations based upon the existing sports betting rules currently in place in Nevada. “Up until recently, except for Nevada, the only legal sports wagering authorized has been on horse or greyhound racing.   The regulatory structure in place for these sports and the processing of wagers can easily be adopted to accommodate wagering on other sports,” ARCI President Ed Martin said. The proposed rules to be considered parallel the rules currently in place by the only ARCI Member that has been regulating sports wagering – the Nevada Gaming Control Board.  He predicted that the Association would give preliminary approval to the interim rules to provide some level of guidance to state agencies being assigned this regulatory responsibility.  The ARCI Board will also consider an amendment to its By Laws creating a new class of member, government agencies that regulate sports betting.   While those ARCI members who are stand-alone horse racing commissions may have nothing to do with sports betting should it be authorized in their state, other ARCI member agencies in New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Iowa and South Dakota may have this added to their regulatory responsibilities.   The ARCI has considerable experience in working with affected constituencies in the development of model regulatory policies and it is anticipated that a process will be created and defined to ensure that any league, team, federation or individual athlete involved with the conduct of a human sport for which sports betting will occur will be given the opportunity to participate.   The ARCI has already reached out to the major sports leagues and gaming companies. The ARCI standards currently cover occupational and entity licensure, technology standards for the processing of wagers, consumer protections, and security matters.  Each of these has a degree of adaptability to sports wagering. The Model Rules Committee agenda and all pending items to be considered can be accessed through the committee’s website http://www.arcimodelrules.online/ The committee will also consider: A modification to the recently adopted Model Rules concerning concussion protocols in flat racing A proposal from the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB) concerning horse ID and chip technology A United States Trotting Association (USTA) protocol to combat “bearded” trainers From the Association of Racing Commissions International        

It's been 279 days since controversial California harness racing trainer Lou Pena last lined up a horse on race-day. One day after being granted permission to train and own standardbreds again Pena is now seriously thinking about switching codes.

Controversial North American harness racing trainer Lou Pena can train and own racehorses again. The 44-year-old had his licence reinstated today (Wednesday February 27) by the New York Gaming Commission.

The Board of Directors of Racing Commissions International has voted to move forward with a major revision of the association's model medication rules for horse racing.

1 to 7 of 7
1