When is a positive not a positive?
When you race standardbred horses in Pennsylvania, of course! (full story here)
Brad Irvine, Kevin Lare, and of course, the estimable Rene Allard had horses that, by whatever means of drug testing was performed, tested positive for Oxycodone, which to the best of my limited pharmaceutical knowledge does not ever appear naturally in a horse. Opoiods, synthetic or otherwise, never do.
However, after the positive tests are kicked around and run through the legal system, VOILA!!
They are no longer positive drug test results, nor is there any penalty or enforcement (editor’s note: purse money was returned).
It’s like they never happened!!! It’s magic!!! With of course, the aid of everyone’s favorite attorney. (Better Call Saul).
When asked for reason for the decision, we are told essentially that the State of PA doesn’t disclose or discuss decisions regarding drugs or medication. Really?
Seems like a good public relations decision here.
Could this be part of the reason that the three PA harness tracks’ combined handle on a race day/night will not come close to equaling that of the Meadowlands?
Lots of fan interest there, guys.
And now PA will license the greatest trainer of all time, Mr. You Know Who.
The man who showed all of us, past and present, how to go from obscurity in a third rate jurisdiction to the world’s greatest trainer, and all while flying east for four-and-a-half hours.
Congratulations, PA Harness Commission. Way to go.
Instead of enforcing a violation, (How did the Oxy get in their systems, airborne, water bucket residue, groom pissed in the hay?), you have wronged a right and at the same time have once again shown that integrity is not a part of this sport.
The track operators can ask them to leave and not come back, but that would make too much sense.
Pocono, for one, won’t miss the entries. When they race their ridiculous 16-race, mid-week cards and give out absurd money to supercharged horses, they could probably exclude some of these guys and card 14 or 15 races. The will still handle $300,000 for the entire card plus or minus a race or two. Now that’s screaming public demand!
They don’t get it, and seemingly they never will.
If my local pizza shop serves me a tainted product, then…. fill in the blanks.
— Vic Dante / North Caldwell, NJ
I am absolutely amazed that Pennsylvania, in an apparent closed-door session, waved the fines and suspensions of the three crooked trainers that broke the rules again (full story here).
There will never be any integrity in this sport as long as these spineless phony bureaucrats let these cheats off. How many owners, trainers, and betters are being screwed by these selfish self-serving weasels? They should be banned for life for stealing other peoples hard earned money. Every one of them have an attorney waiting to prostitute the law and allow these bums back into racing. As a breeder for over 30 years, I have always strived to produce the best possible off spring. It has now come down to who the best cheat is and not the best horse. I am surprised that animal activists have not gotten involved in a situation where trainers are feeding horses Oxycodone. This ruling just opens the door for more cheating, new drugs for speed advancement and a continued decline in a once great sport. If you all want to know why betting is down just ask these four disgusting individuals that are listed in this article.
— Jerry Giuliano / Solebury, PA
Make outside horses into trailers on half-mile tracks
I was thinking about a way to make half-mile racing more interesting. Since the seven and eight posts have small chances of winning or even being involved in the race, why not try putting them in the second tier behind the 1 and 2 horses? It would certainly make handicapping more interesting and probably lead to higher payouts. There would certainly be more strategy in the first quarter and perhaps make half mile racing more interesting. Seven-horse fields would have one trailer. Why not try something different in a few races and see what happens? It could be a pleasant surprise!
— Paul Vernon, MD / Hallandale, FL