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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Attempting to Abdicate Responsibility

Joe Faraldo, President of the SOANY, has come out with a statement regarding the NYSRWB's intentions to draft a rule penalizing owners who purposely hire trainers with a checkered history regarding medication violations.  According to Faraldo, this would be an injustice to owners because if a trainer is licensed by the state racing commission, the owner should be able to assume the trainer is kosher.  In this case, Mr. Faraldo is absolutely right.  How can the state sanction an owner for using a state-approved trainer as a license conveys an assumed status of legitimacy?  Faraldo is also correct regarding the use of beards, the state has the right to check a trainer's books to see if they are a beard and they have the right to sanction an owner paying one person for training if another person is the trainer of record.  With regards to beards, it does seem the NYSRWB is looking to force the owner to do the commission's work for them being the racing commission is unwilling or unable to investigate bearding allegations without irrefutable evidence.

Of course I understand why the racing board wants to implement a rule to sanction owners.  I would be the last person to suggest trainers should be denied their constitutional rights to presumed innocence and due process, but the system is being abused by individuals gumming up the works by going through the entire appeals process and when that avenue is exhausted, continue fighting through the administrative and/or civil courts, delaying justice for years or until the racing commission cries 'Uncle' and decides to settle with the licensee allowing them to receive a reduced penalty and/or serve their penalty at a time convenient to them (such as winter).  Mind you, I am not talking about those who truly are innocent or have been wronged, I am talking about those who know they are guilty as sin but want to play out the clock hoping to get out of trouble on a technicality.  Still, this doesn't give the racing commission the right to make owners do the commission's work.

So where does this leave us?  One would have to be naive to think some owners aren't seeking out 'hot' trainers, either suspecting or not wanting to know about their 'bag of tricks'; it is human nature to want to win.  Are we destined to have cheaters beating the system and honest trainers suffering from a dearth of owners?  That depends on the racetracks.

What the racing commission can't do, tracks can by taking advantage of their private property rights and their right of exclusion.  Of course, the problem is many tracks rarely choose to or never avail themselves of their rights to exclude trainers who have checkered histories.  If tracks were to be liberal in their use their exclusionary rights, by default owners who seek out questionable trainers will need to select different trainers, head to a different track, or as some will inevitably do, get out of the business.  Yes, I understand racing needs horse owners, but in an industry with a sullied reputation, do we really need owners who gravitate to those with checkered records?  I would suggest tracks doing their own policing not only helps improve the stature of their racing product, it will encourage new owners, owners who will be able to race their horses basically on water, oats, and hay.

Bolt the Duer wins the last open stakes, The Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park last night.

The Record's John Brennan reports on testimony from NFL Senior Litigation Counsel Lawrence Ferazani Jr. testimony in a deposition by the attorneys from the State of New Jersey regarding fantasy football. When asked about fantasy football leagues that offer financial prizes, Ferazani responded:

No. I don’t play fantasy football. I know what we offer so I’m not – I can’t tell you that there are others, other places that you can go to and somehow win cash prizes playing fantasy football.  

Really?  I have never taken part in a football fantasy league and to be perfectly honest, could care less about NFL football and I know there are football fantasy leagues where you pay an entrance fee to win money in  some of these leagues.  Do I know the specifics?  No, but if you have friends you know about them.  By the way, I googled 'Fantasy Football' and quickly came up with at least one site that offers cash prizes (with an entry fee).

Maybe Mr. Ferazani doesn't know about other NFL Fantasy leagues but if you are telling me know one in the NFL knows about these fantasy leagues with cash prizes, I leave you with this clip from a film classic.



Anonymous said...

If NYSRWB was truly serious about this sport they would issue penalties to the trainers and horses alike . Today the owners of a "hot" trainer escapes all penalties (except for the one lost purse). Time to suspend the horse....

Pacingguy said...

They are tied up in legalize. The best thing is for the tracks to send the trainer packing.

Anonymous said...


I usually view Joe Faraldo as one of racing's problems rather than a solution, but he makes sense this time.

Punishing an owner who follows the rules is ridiculous.

Owners must have a license and use licensed trainers. If a state has an issue with the actions of owners or trainers, yank the licenses. End of problem.