In New York, the gaming commission has handed thoroughbred Doug O'Neill a 45 day suspension and a $10,00 fine for violation of medication rules under the trainer's responsibility rule. Under the terms of this negotiated settlement O'Neill faces an additional fine and days if found guilty of another medication violation for Class 1-3 medications up to December 18, 2015. More importantly to O'Neill was the fact the suspension would not begin until two days after this year's Breeders' Cup, claiming owners have entrusted him with horses to race in the classics.
Alas, it was all for naught as the Breeders' Cup has informed O'Neill it will not be accepting pre-entries from him which makes him ineligible to participate in this year' Cup. The Convicted Trainers Rule (admittedly harshly named) specifies anyone convicted of a Class 1 and certain Class 2 medication violations within the past twelve months is banned from participating in that year's Breeders' Cup.
From what I can tell, there is no such rule in the Breeders' Crown which provides for banning such a trainer from entering and racing horses in standardbred racing's championship races and there should be. No trainer convicted of using performance enhancing medications should be allowed to participate in the center stage of the harness racing world. In fact, I would go further, indicating any horse trained by a convicted trainer 30 days after conviction will be deemed ineligible to participate in that year's Breeders' Crown as well.
The Breeders' Crown would be well advised to adopt this rule.
Welcome to Dayton Raceway which opened its inaugural harness racing season last night. Opening night was well received in the market with the grandstand filled to overflowing. Of course, once initial curiosity is satisfied, we will see if the track is a vibrant entity or just another welfare recipient of slot revenue.
Another bomb came in at The Red Mile yesterday as Aldebaran Eagle won his division of the International Stallion Stakes at 106.40-1. These bombs have been coming in with more regularity than usual, but let me remind you of one of Harness Racing 101's rules: "Never bet a longshot because it won't come in. Never talk someone else off a longshot becaue it will come in".
The Canadian RUS season came to a conclusion last night at Western Fair District in Ontario. The winner was Lexus Hawkeye who was a winner in 2:04.3.