not in harness racing.
Another program trainer (aka a Beard) has been suspended, this time by the NJRC as Chloe Bradley got sat down for 45 days and a $1,500 fine for entering a horse at Monmouth Park when the judges determined the horse actually remained under the control of Ramon Preciado. Good for the stewards at Monmouth Park for discovering this problem.
My question is how often does this happen in harness racing? Once in a very long blue moon you will see a commission catch someone, but it is indeed a rarity. The Meadowlands does attempt to keep most beards away through use of the exclusion rule (though not consistently) but many people surrounding the industry know who are bearding for who yet nothing seems to happen.
My question is how do people who hang out in the clubhouses and even the railbirds seem to know who is bearding for who yet the judges seem to be ignorant of this? I realize the judges are not hanging out with trainers in the backstretch so to blame the judges alone would be completely unfair.
My question is why isn't anyone who is 'in the know' reporting this information to the judges? I understand no one wants to be known as a snitch, but by allowing these beards to continue operating, don't they realize the purse money these unscrupulous individuals are earning is money coming out of their pockets and further damaging the racing product?
Yet, one has to wonder if the judges are doing their jobs. After all, when a horse trained by John Doe when stabled in Pennsylvania is transferred to Jane Smith when racing one state over before returning to the original trainer bells should be going off. Is it just the trainer never got licensed in one state and it was easier to transfer the horse or is it the original trainer is still running things, using a beard because they aren't allowed to race in the state? A 'visit' to the original trainer's stable may be all which is needed to tell if a transfer is legitimate or not.
I get it. Following all these beards requires a financial commitment, something racing commissions are reluctant to do considering their limited budgets. But if they are abdicating their investigative responsibilities, may I suggest the state commission fold and contract out their duties to another state or a national board to be created?