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Marketing relies on integrity says Jockey Club; 98.5% of trainers clean

WHAT THEY SAY

Cross-posted from The Blood-Horse
WRITTEN BY TOM LaMARRA

Jockey Club Logo US

The Jockey Club intends to continue with its efforts to market Thoroughbred racing and develop new patrons, but the organization’s leader said Aug. 12 those efforts must go hand in hand with medication and penalty reforms.

Jockey Club chairman Ogden Mills Phipps presented information designed to send the message that racing is being greatly damaged by drug violators — even if the number of them is relative small. The data gleaned by McKinsey & Company shows that 98.5% of about 12,800 trainers had no medication violations from 2005-11.

“Is anyone satisfied with that scenario?” Phipps said. “Is anyone satisfied with a situation in which 1.5% of the population is shaping 100% of the perception of our sport? Should we be satisfied with medication rules that arguably protect about 1% of the trainer population–the 1% that repeatedly demonstrate under disregard for the rules?

“Those 12,000 trainers should have no issue with the (Reformed Racing Medication Rules), because they were already adhering to them, as evidenced by their regulatory history.”

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WHAT WE SAY

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First of all taking a cynical look, the word “marketing” sends a warning that this could be nothing more than a high-priced public relations exercise. Use of the word “integrity” may indicate that this is the focus of that exercise.

Secondly, does the Jockey Club seriously believe that the number of horse dopers in U.S. racing is “relatively small”? How accurate is that 1.5% figure?

For example, if we take a look at the latest horse doping scandal (I think, it is hard to keep up) involving dermorphin, numerous horses are testing positive in a significant number of reported States. However, there seem to be very few medication violations being handed out.

Plus Racing Commissioners International, a trade association for racing regulators, say they simply cannot keep up with it all. So how many of the 98.5% of trainers they claim have clean records actually have them?

It seems to us the percentage of horse dopers among trainers must be a lot higher if for no other reason they just do not get caught to start with.

Is that the “integrity” they intend to market?

RELATED READING

Overall rule and radical reform not damage control required in horse racing; Tuesday’s Horse; Jul. 18, 2012

6 thoughts on “Marketing relies on integrity says Jockey Club; 98.5% of trainers clean”

  1. As a further comment, as long as slaughter ends first, racing can go away forever. At this point, I don’t care if racing ends. Racing industry jobs can be replaced with other jobs but something has to exist to go to. Since racing personnel follow circuits, there have to be jobs nationally so we dont see innocent personnel made homeless. The most severely affected would be the lowest paid–grooms, stall cleaners, service staff at hospitality sites near tracks or on tracks, barn management staff etc. If jobs can be replaced, hopefully the jobs will be with far more humane conditions than any low level track job. Even jockeys are treated as disposable.

    The big money will be fine and go on selling to overseas markets as they are now.Until we see breeders held to some kind of basic ethical standard with genuine enforcement, horses will continue to bred and destroyed and DNA research will continue to be funded by outside and domestic interests. Ky is already doing genome research and I would assume for the purpose of the racing frankenstein who can make the biggest money.
    The artificial creation of a TB would destroy the breed (IMHO).

    Looking at all of this, I remember Ferdinand and Eight Belles and all those who have died for our “entertainment” in the Thorobred and Quarter Horse industries. Gary Stevens was right.

    If we want racing, the feds would have to step in and oversee it with our tax dollars. Anybody want that option?

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  2. Well said.
    If you don’t already read Indian Charlie, try it out. It’s free online. I think you 3 would enjoy it greatly. If there is any better skewering of the racing industry (and “industry” is the word for it, not “sport”) I haven’t seen it yet.
    Emailing Indian Charlie re racing issues, including slaughter, will get a response. Generally, it is a good heads up on some of the more unsavory aspects of racing especially lately with Fasig Tipton.
    Some of the nicknames for notables in racing may not be obvious. I don’t recognize some of the figures until I see the actual news article or report later on.

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  3. 98.5%???

    Utter nonsense. Horse sh*t.

    The North American Racing Industry and it’s dependence on, and abuse of, drugs is a huge ugly wart on the face of horse racing. Unfortunately it is the horses that are the sacrificial lambs of the incredible deceit and lies that make up it’s core.

    The whole NA way, needs to go away.

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  4. I agree: a trainer having a clean record is not the same as a trainer not doping! Especially if the RCI “can’t keep up with it all.” Those lucky trainers have “dodged a bullet” so far… but, as usual, it is the horses that suffer.

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    1. As much as we followed the whole I’ll Have Another story during the Triple Crown races this year, I was still stunned (if that is the right word) that an examination of his veterinary records later showed that he has the joints and bones of 20-year old horse at 3. And all of this doping and whatever went on with the “eyes of the world” on this horse and his “trainer”, and still they got away with it.

      That individual (keep me from swearing please) had no medication violations for that time period. So he is not in the 1.5% of doping trainers for this year (not yet anyway), but in the 98.5% they claim as “clean”. He may be according to their very broad definition. But he is still a doper for all intents and purposes.

      They all are. Every one of them (except for a handful) dope their horses with lasix whether they need it or not.

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      1. I am of the opinion that drugs or none, the joints and bones of any three year old TB that has been aimed at the triple crown since he was a yearling would look the same…like they are 20 years old… Horses joints are not mature enough to race at 20 months and from then on. I believe that the drugs are used to cover up damage that the excess training at an early age has already caused.

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