It was announced yesterday that Brice Cote would be handling the Integrity investigations for Performance Enhancement Drugs and unscrupulous practices for the Gural tracks of Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. To say that Cote's selection for this post is a home run for the Gural tracks is no exaggeration.
Cote was a detective for the New Jersey State Police horse-racing squad which handled criminal investigations for the State regarding horse racing before the unit was a victim of budget cuts. Cote was the lead investigator in the criminal trial of Eric Ledford and three others as Cote, a former harness driver, noted the unusual performance of horses moving into the Ledford barn which resulted in the initiation of an eighteen month investigation and subsequent convictions (via plea bargaining).
Unfortunately, Eric Ledford was able to get his NJRC penalty greatly reduced and was allowed to return to racing at the Meadowlands. As a publicly operated track, management did not have the ability to exclude anyone; something now possible as the track is privately operated. With Cote's experience and Gural's willingness to take advantage of the rules of exclusion, cheaters would be wise to think twice before trying their luck at this trio of racetracks.