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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

RCI - RCI Toughens Penalty Guidelines for Multiple Medication Violations (MMV) and Blood Doping

 SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY -   Racing Commissioners International (RCI) voted today to create a penalty point system and “enhanced” suspensions for trainers with multiple medication violations, strengthening how racing regulators deal with repeat offenders.

The RCI Board, meeting in Saratoga Springs, voted to modify the Model Rules to create an enhanced penalty which would be added to the penalty for an underlying medication rule violation in those instances where the responsible trainer has repeatedly violated medication rules.

“This system is workable and will be a deterrent to those who consistently violate our medication rules,” said Duncan Patterson, current Chair of both RCI and the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission.

The RCI Board also voted to require a 10-year suspension and a $100,000 fine for those found guilty of the administration of blood doping agents like EPO.  

Under the point system, to be launched in 2014, violations of the medication rule for substances not included on the RCI Schedule of Controlled Therapeutic Substances would earn 1 to 6 points, depending on its official classification as determined by the potential to affect performance.    Overages involving the 24 therapeutic medications included on the RCI schedule would earn half as many points, depending on classification.

Depending on the number of points amassed by a repeat offender, the enhanced penalty would be in the form of additional suspension days of between 30 and 360, which would be added to the underlying penalty.

The RCI system is modeled after a similar approach taken in U.S. federal sentencing guidelines.

Although regulatory violations will remain part of a licensee’s permanent record, points will be expunged after a period of time based upon the category of punishment deemed appropriate given the substance classification.

RCI President Ed Martin described Tuesday’s Model Rules Committee Meeting as “spirited” and noted that there were many regulators who supported the concept of applying points to all regulatory violations.

“I would anticipate that as this system is implemented there will be a desire to expand upon it,” Martin said, noting that all racing regulatory entities will expected to submit ruling violation data through a central portal into the RCI database which will track points and their expiration.

The Point System concept has been discussed for over two years and many variations have been proposed as to how it would work.  “This has not been an easy project,” Martin said, noting that the efforts of various regulatory and industry committees and organizations have been critical in working through the issues.

Specifically, he cited the RCI Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee, the RCI Regulatory Attorneys Committee, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), the RMTC Penalty workgroup, the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, and The Jockey Club as helping to “tee up” the proposal that was considered and modified by the Model Rules Committee after lengthy debate and discussion.

RCI addressed a concern brought forward by the National HBPA concerning trainers who might be cited for multiple violations involving the same medication on the same day due to changes in testing protocols or equipment.   The rule permits Judges, Stewards, or the Commission to consider those a single violation should the facts warrant that treatment.

“This is an important step toward creating an additional deterrent to those who deliberately violate our rules or are persistently sloppy in the administration of medications,” Martin said.  

“Given the fact that we have created uniform thresholds for controlled therapeutic medications, determined a clear line when those medications should be stopped, and consistent lab standards for all are to follow, there should be no reason for the vast majority of honest trainers to ever come up against this rule.   Some will, however, and we believe an enhanced penalty determined by points will be a deterrent to those who have viewed existing penalties as a cost of doing business.    It is time for that attitude to stop,” he said.

Tgdn5/8 - Empire Breeder’s Classic eliminations drawn at Tioga

Tioga Downs held the draw on Wednesday morning (July 31) for the Empire Breeders’ Classic eliminations for 3-year old New York bred pacers. Twelve 3-year old pacing colts were entered and were split into two six horse $12,500 eliminations set to go post ward in races four and eight on Sunday afternoon.

Leading the field of six in the first elimination is Adios runner-up, Vegas Vacation from the powerful Casie Coleman stable, who has listed Brian Sears to do the driving. Coming off of a second place finish to Sunfire Blue Chip in the $450,000 Adios final, Vegas Vacation drew post position number six. Here is the field in post position order with drivers listed before scratch time: #1 Odds On Equuleus (John Campbell), #2 Sir Cary’s Z Tam (Pat Lachance) #3 Source Of Pride (Mark MacDonald), #4 Thirty Two Red (Ray Schnittker), #5 Doctor Butch (Jim Morrill Jr.), and #6 Vegas Vacation (Brian Sears).

In the second $12,500 elimination, Adios winner Sunfire Blue Chip from the Jimmy Takter stable leads a field of six pacing colts aimed towards advancing to the $257,250 final. Yannick Gingras will once again do the driving on the 3-year old son of American Ideal – Shot Togo Bluechip from post position number four on Sunday afternoon. Here is the field in post position order with drivers listed before scratch time: #1 Bet The Moon (Jim Morrill Jr.), #2 Captive Audience (Randy Waples), #3 Swift As A Shadow (Jim Morrill Jr.), #4 Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras), #5 Olde Time Hockey (Jason Bartlett), #6 A Bettor World (Jim Marohn Jr.).

Nine 3-year old pacing fillies entered on Wednesday morning for the $250,750 Empire Breeders’ Classic and all nine will move directly into the final. Entries for the Empire Breeders’ Classic for sophomore pacing fillies include: Ballineen, Bettor Think Twice, Cult Status, Give Me An Amen, JK Black Beauty, Park N Orchard, Road Bet, Shebestingin, and Social Scene.

Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Friday, August 2nd with a post time of 6:50pm.. For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us on our website at .

M1 - Captaintreacherous Qualifying Friday at The Meadowlands

Captaintreacherous, ranked #1 again in the latest Hambletonian/Breeders Crown poll will begin the second half of his season in a qualifier at The Meadowlands on Friday.  Unbeaten in six starts this season, Captaintreacherous will use the fifth race qualifier as a stepping stone to his next start, most likely The Battle of Brandywine on August 17th.  As the current division leader, Captaintreacherous is the front-runner to earn an invitation to tackle the best Free For All Pacers in the world, in what could be the most epic race in harness racing history, in the $500,000 TVG-FFA Championship at The New Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday, November 30th.  But there is a lot of racing left and the Captain begins his next campaign in the 5th race qualifier Friday at The Meadowlands.


Forty Five Red, the 1:55.4 winner of the $111,250 Sheppard Final, will be among the 25 sophomore colt and gelding pacers that will be featured  in the $130,000 NY Sires Stakes  at Monticello Raceway  on Thursday , August 1.

The four stellar NYSS splits, each going for over $32,000, will be accompanied by five $12,700 divisions of freshman pacing colts in the $63,000 Excelsior Series.

Although Forty Five Red, a son of If I Can Dream-Sekura Hanover owned by Burke Racing and Our Horse Cents Stable, has already bankrolled over $84,000 in just three starts it’ll be no cake-walk for trainer Ron Burke when they face  the Linda Toscano-conditioned  Murder He Wrote. That roan son of Kenneth J-JK Dancing Queen is undefeated in two lifetime starts and can brag of a 1:53.1 triumph in the Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs on July 19. He’s the property of the Camelot Stable.

Forty Five Red will leave from the two-hole with Yannick Gingras aboard while Murder He Wrote will start from post position five with Tim Tetrick in the pilot’s seat. The two good looking youngsters will square off in the eighth race on the Mighty M card.

The racing program will open with arguably the most competitive of the four NYSS events.
Ideal Trick, a son of American Ideal-Special Magic from the Tony Alagna –barn already has a 1:53.3 record taken in a qualifier at the Big M on July 13 and will start from the pole with Tim Tetrick aboard.

But competition will loom from both Western Conquest and All Bets Off. The former, an Erv Miller-trained son of American Ideal-Aries Conquest, owned by the Tanah Merah Farms  sports two wins in three starts, the fastest a 1:55.2 effort at Pocono Downs on June 20 while the latter, a son of Bettors Delight-Armbro Penelope, out of Canada from the Mike Sinclair stable, won his last  start in 1:54 at Tioga Downs on  July 21. He’s owned by Rosemary Sheiswell and 1721009 Ontario, Inc.

Western Conquest will leave from the three hole for driver Marcus Miller and Fern Paquet, Jr. will be  up behind All Bets Off  when they start from post  six.

In the fifth race, another NYSS pace,  Jimmy Morrill, Jr.’s  New York Bets, a Bettor’s Delight-Absolutely Cam  gelding  will tangle with  Ray Schnittker’s  I’m All Heart, also an altered son of Bettor’s Delight  but from Sealed In My Head. 

New York Bets, owned by the Purple Haze Stable, owns a half-mile track record of 1:56.1taken at Saratoga Raceway on June 28 while I’m All Heart comes in off a 1:54.3 qualifying race victory at the Meadowlands on July 20. He’s owned by Schnittker and the Creative racing Stable

However the Bob Rice-trained Keystone Honor deserves a look in that contest. The Bettor’s Delight-Heavenly Killean  ridgling, owned by Mike Horn and Alexander Rice,  will be making his first pari-mutuel start after three consecutive  qualifying victories at Harrah’s Chester the fastest a 1:56 effort on July 23. Tim Tetrick will handle the driving chores from post five.

In the fourth and final NYSS event going as race 12 on the card, the Jimmy Takter-trained Thereisapaceforus is the early favorite from post five. Yannick Gingras will drive the son of American Ideal-L’chaim  whose  owned by Christine Takter and Brixton  Medical Ab from post five.

The five Excelsior Series affairs, all interesting and very competitive will go as races four, six, nine, 11 and 13.

Post time for the 14 race card will be at 12:50pm.

M1 - Hambletonian Day Wagering Format Announced

            With the best horses the sport of harness racing has to offer, The Meadowlands Racetrack is pleased to announce its wagering format for Hambletonian Day.  

The highlight of the card will be the $100,000 Guaranteed Hambletonian Pick 4, beginning in Race 12, The Hambletonian and running through Race 15.  The wager, which will undoubtedly be the best pick four pool that harness racing has to offer in 2013 will consist of The Hambletonian Final, The New Jersey Classic, The U.S. Pacing Championship and The Auld Lang Syne Free For All Pace.

Hambletonian Day guaranteed pools are as follows:

Race 1: $20,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Pick 5 (Races 1-5)
Race 3: $30,000 Guaranteed $1 Pick 4 (Races 3-6)
Race 7: $50,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Pick 5 (Races 7-11)
Race 12: $100,000 Guaranteed $1 Pick 4 (Races 12-15)

“This day provides the best racing and the best value for harness racing fans bar-none,” said Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali.  “Obviously the $100,000 Hambletonian Pick 4, given the races in the sequence will prove to be the most popular pick four pool in harness racing this year.  

In addition, TVG and will be offering a 20-percent bonus on the wager for those betting the Hambletonian Pick 4 on either wagering platform.  We are equally as excited about the $50,000 Guaranteed Pick 5 that we will offer in Race 7.”  That wager will encompass all three Hambletonian eliminations, which are all wide-open, the John Cashman Memorial and The Hambletonian Oaks.  Literally every race on the card is included in a guaranteed pool.  We are so pleased to offer the best card in harness racing this year.

“We worked very hard on putting together a racing program and a wagering format that our customers would be pleased with,” said General Manager/C.E.O. Jason Settlemoir.  “This year provided new challenges as we return to heat-racing in The Hambletonian.  But we are confident that the wagering format we have put together, supported by the best racing program that the sport of harness racing will see this year, will be a huge success.”

In addition there will be dime superfectas offered in every race on the program.  Post time for the first race is 11:50 A.M. with post time for The Hambletonian Final, which kicks off the $100,000 Pick 4, at 4:41 P.M.