The Int’l Fund for Horses have been calling for a national horse racing commissioner since 2010, working with industry members gathering support for it. It is encouraging to see that there are trainers in favor of a national commissioner to govern and regulate the sport of horse racing, and willing to say as much. For now at least!
In an article written by Steve Petrella for the Baltimore Sun he reports:
D. Wayne Lukas, whose horses have won at the Preakness five times, agreed, saying the sport needs to name a commissioner. That person also needs to have the clout to enforce rules and regulate the sport, he said.
“I cannot understand why all these state commissioners go to the national meetings, talk about all these problems, then go home and do their states different,” Lukas said. “Surely someone should stand up and say they should be uniform.“
Michael Matz, who trained Union Rags, a heavy Derby contender, and Teeth of the Dog, who will run in Saturday’s Preakness, also called for a commissioner to be put in place. He is frustrated with the way bans and violations become almost irrelevant because there isn’t a governing body to truly enforce them, and legal loopholes can extend the careers of trainers who break the rules.
We totally agree with Mr. Lukas. Even if the state racing commissioners were to come under one umbrella with uniform rules, they represent only one aspect of horse racing. There is also the Jockey Club who holds the breed book and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) who must be considered. The alphabet soup organizations can all go. In our opinion, they do nothing but take from the industry and give little or nothing back.