Lisa Lazarus to Andrew Cohen: HISA will customize regulations to fit standardbred industry

by Dave Briggs

In the latest edition of Andrew Cohen’s columnKeeping Pace in the Paulick Report, the CEO of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority told Cohen in unequivocal terms that should the harness racing industry one day be governed by HISA it would have unique rules and regulations and wouldn’t be forced to follow those in place for the thoroughbred industry.

Lisa Lazarus is quoted as saying, “HISA is open to customizing federal regulations to acknowledge the differences between thoroughbred and standardbred racing. HISA will absolutely confer with the standardbred community prior to regulating standardbreds and engage in a consultation period to amend the rules so they are properly customized to standardbred racing.”

The statement appears to address concerns by some in the standardbred industry that the harness racing industry under HISA would be saddled with the same regulations as the thoroughbred industry to a disastrous end.

HISA currently oversees the thoroughbred industry in the United States in an attempt to bring federal oversight and one set of rules to the entire industry.

Cohen wrote, “Harness people can now focus on gathering the facts and evidence they’ll need to convince federal regulators that there are a few areas that justify breed-specific rules when the time comes for harness racing to fall under the new federal racing integrity law.”

As HRU previously noted, the Hambletonian Society has established five committees to prepare for the possibility HISA will one day govern standardbred racing.