For photos from the Meadowlands contact Lisaphoto@playmeadowlands.com

Friday, February 15, 2013

Action Speaks Louder than Words

HRU reports that Golden Shoe Training Center in Bullville, NY is joining Showplace Farms in balking at Brice Cote, Jeff Gural's investigator showing up to investigate potential problems.  Attorney Jeff Pocarro, who is representing Showplace Farms as well, apparently sent a letter to Gural after Cote showed up at Golden Shoe.  The same objections were reportedly listed in the Golden Shoe letter as were in the Showplace letter. 

I said it before, and I will say it again.  This is an industry which refuses to clean itself up in perception and/or reality.  Granted, I can understand the training facilities wanting releases from liability should Cote get injured on their grounds and they should get those releases, but to have an investigator announce their presence and limit their visits to set hours is an impingement to any meaningful investigation.  

Gural has already indicated his concern is trainers racing at the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs; people who have agreed to allow an investigator access to their horses.  There could be the biggest chemist-trainer in the world racing at Hick Downs and it is not his concern; his concern is to ensure racing at the three tracks he operates is as above board as possible.  Trainers already excluded from the tracks he operates or other tracks need not worry about Cote snooping around; for you it is business as usual.

This is so frustrating.  Everyone says they want clean racing, yet every time someone tries to do something about it, without fail it seems some group attempts to block these efforts.  Whether it is horsemen groups blocking a state racing commission from instituting an out of competition testing program or training facilities attempting to block a track operator attempting to ensure a level playing field at his tracks, after a while you have to start wondering what the heck is really going on here.

Gamblers don't want to hear the excuses or the legal arguments why there can't be out of competition testing or investigators to ensure integrity; they want the most honest racing they can get.  People in the industry can talk from here to the high heavens about how most trainers are honest, hard working people and how the cheats are in the minority and that may very well be true, but while they are saying one thing, the actions of some are saying something totally different and it isn't painting a pretty picture.  This is what the gamblers are seeing.

I would suggest the various groups within racing start thinking more about the picture they are painting for the public before they try to shoot down the next attempt to ensure honest racing.