Having reported on Harnesslink's story about several Pocono trainers being suspected of using an illegal substance on horses, it is only fair that I report on a story which appeared on the Times-Tribune website which said the investigation is focused on only one trainer who races only a few horses at Pocono Downs, contradicting the Harnesslink story. Of course, it could be a parsing of words in that some of the violations were allegedly discovered at Philadelphia, thus not being considered part of the Pocono Downs scandal. My guess is it will turn out a few Pennsylvania trainers will be nailed, but not as many as some sources on the blogosphere have suggested.
A lot of people want to know exactly how big or small this pool of violators is? We just need to wait until the PHRC releases its rulings. I suggest people hold their proverbial horses until more is known. Comment on facts and not on speculation. But one thing is apparent; the discovery of this reported synthetic version of EPO can be credited to the donation of funds from the PHHA and thoroughbred groups towards buying sophisticated testing equipment. So indirectly, you can say the Pennsylvania horsemen have helped root out the cheaters; the number of which remains unknown.
Another article on how gambling at the Meadowlands exceeded management's wildest expectations appeared in the press this week. Granted there was a purse increase in the lower classes earlier this year, and I can understand management moving cautiously on purse increases but if handle was that great, I think horsemen should be rewarded either with an increase in purses in the fall or an increase in racing days in 2013 to reward horsemen.
There were plenty of comments on how wagering on the final of the Hambletonian was drastically lower this year over last, suggesting heat racing was a failure. However, according to HRU, the amount wagered on the same day eliminations and final exceeded wagering last year on the eliminations (being held a week earlier) and the final the following week.
The USTA is soliciting proposed rule changes from their members to be considered at this year's district meetings and to be voted on early next year. If you were a member of the USTA, what rule changes would you like to see? (Note: Rule changes need to be submitted to the USTA in proper form to be considered)