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N&V Timing of Cruelty & Drug Allegations an Attempt to Tarnish Triple Crown Luster


And they are making good on that threat, as they have already reached out to federal legis- lators for backing on a federal bill that would establish a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and they are in discussion with the United States Department of Agriculture regarding how to implement a federal uniform medication law. T e Stronach Group, which owns Laurel Park,


Pimlico, Gulfstream, Santa Anita and other tracks, is backing up the Jockey Club, and laying down the gauntlet. On April 16, owner Frank Stronach announced, “In order to be eff ective, these reforms must be adopted and implement- ed by all racing states no later than September 1, 2014. If this deadline is not met, T e Stronach Group will work together with other concerned industry stakeholders to begin aggressively lob- bying for federal legislation containing the same reforms outlined in the proposed National Uni- form Medication Program.” In addition to supporting the key principles


of the National Uniform Medication Program, T e Stronach Group said it is committed to implementing several key measures aimed at eliminating drug abuse and the mistreatment of horses at all of its racetracks–including the Maryland tracks. According to the April 16th statement, the Stronach Group will create a strictly regulated pharmacy to dispense all medications prescribed and administered on association property, and prohibit anyone from having any medications in his possession unless those medications have been properly prescribed for a therapeutic treatment program. It will institute random spot checks of veterinarians and all personnel who have access to the horse. Automatic drug testing for all horses that ship in to race will be enacted. T e Stronach Group will establish a program of random drug testing that can be administered at any time for


all horses, and the Stronach-owned racetracks will reserve the right to ban individuals found guilty of animal abuse from competing. It should be noted that, in addition to race-


track holdings and the Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida, T e Stronach Group also owns a variety of related businesses allow- ing it to be vertically integrated including (but not limited to) the HRTV cable network, the wagering technology company AmTote, the internet and telephone account wagering com- pany XpressBet, and the simulcast purchase group Monarch Content Management. In the meantime, the Jockey Club is asking that the veterinary records of every horse en- tered in a Triple Crown race this year be made immediately available for at least 14 days. Additionally, the Jockey Club is warning the trainer and his assistant featured by PETA to stay away from the Triple Crown races, so it is unlikely that we will see them in our state (we hope, anyway, as it would certainly distract from our Preakness festivities and our state). Based in Fair Hill, Maryland, the T oroughbred


Racing Protective Bureau off ers a free “Integrity Hotline” for the purpose of increasing awareness of matters adversely aff ecting the integrity of the sport and business of T oroughbred Racing, and to augment its investigative capabilities. Individuals are urged to contact the TRPB whenever they become aware of any information, activity, or improper practice that is against the best interests of T oroughbred Racing. Individuals may choose to remain anonymous: 1-866-847-8772 or integrity@trpb.com. We highly recommend our readers check out the Maryland-based nationally signifi cant digital racing newszine, T is is Horse Racing (hisishorseracing.com), and read their position statement “T e horses are all right, right?” and


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     


        


            


the op-ed piece by publisher Joe Clancy, “Of hidden cameras and no easy answers,” pub- lished on April 4. Meanwhile, the Retired Racehorse Training


Project, a national eff ort based in Maryland to increase the desirability of and the national de- mand for off -the-track T oroughbreds, issued this statement shortly after the scandal broke: The recently launched campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) calling on the public to stop attending and betting on horse races does not serve the interests of horses. T oroughbreds love to run and they depend on the resources of a vibrant sport to ensure that they are honored and cared for. Racehorses instill in Americans a connection to the natural world that cannot and should not be denied. It is a connection we share with our ancestors and one that we should preserve. As with all horse sports, racing must constantly


evaluate its rules, undertake research, and support progressive practices that benefi t the horses. T e work of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, T oroughbred Charities of America, and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation are a few examples of industry eff orts toward these ends. We encourage anyone interested in horse welfare to investigate what these organizations do and support them in their eff orts. T e Board of Directors of the Retired Racehorse


Training Project applauds eff orts by organizations and individuals inside the racing industry to protect T oroughbred horses from injury while training and racing at America’s tracks. When horses retire sound from racing, our mission of facilitating their placement in second careers is served.


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