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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blame the Commissions

Unfortunately, in racing there are those who attempt to cheat in an effort to get an advantage over those who play by the rules.  Those who follow harness racing are well aware of the scandals in the past; harness racing is still working its way through the mess in Michigan where race fixing is alleged.

However, while harness racing gets its share of scorn, unfortunately, trouble is not restricted to the standardbred industry.  Of late, Pennsylvania has been getting a lot bad publicity by investigations taking place at Penn National and Parx Racing (formally Philadelphia Park), with the FBI investigating the going ons at Penn National.

I am not here to take glee on troubles our thoroughbred brethren are having; not here to say one form of horse racing is more trouble prone than others. The point is the racing commissions are too lean when it comes to medication infractions and other acts of misconduct.

Complaints are dismissed as jealous trainers making a lot of noise.  Perhaps there are instances of jealousy, but to dismiss all issues as such is a mistake.  As the expression goes, where there is smoke, there is fire. The biggest problem is racing and racing commissions take this attitude because they figure the racing public will accept it.  Sadly, they are true.  Sure some people may finally have enough, but for the most part, people accept cheating as part of the game.

This is unacceptable.  Racing commissions and racing must respect its customers.  Gamblers must demand integrity.  It is time to clean racing up and eliminate as much fraud and wrong doing in horse racing, regardless of breed, be it standardbred, quarterhorse, or thoroughbred.    

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