In New York, the Court of Appeals is going to hear the state's horsemen's appeal of a decision which permits out of competition testing, claiming portions of it are unconstitutional.
The horsemen have every right to bring this appeal and I would never suggest they shouldn't. However, if this case gets any coverage in the mainstream media, it is going to perpetuate an image of harness racing being the sport of chemists, not trainers. In most sports these days, from track and field, cycling, baseball, wrestling and others, out of competition testing is an acceptable method to ensure a level playing field. In skiing, the regulators have shown up to charity events just to get a skier to 'fill the cup'. Even though horsemen claim they want the drug cheats out of the sport, an appeal like this sends a different message, a message of 'What are you afraid of?'. Rest assured the headlines will be simple, such as 'Horsemen Appeal Out of Competition Testing Rules' and many readers will go no further than the headline, and make their opinions from what they did read.
What bothers me is how come horsemen in other states have accepted out of competition testing and there is such a problem in New York when it comes to it? Is it just the horsemen are more litigious than in other states or did the racing commission go rogue when formulating these regulations?
We will find out when the Court of Appeals makes their decision and shame on the eventual loser for dragging the sport through the mud.
Are you Playing the Breeders Cup? Sigh, while I have no interest in the Breeders Cup I know many of you do. If you plan on playing the Breeders Cup, you need to get the latest edition of HANA's Monthly Newsletter, the Breeders Cup Edition where they talk about the Championship races. In addition, while you are reading about the Breeders Cup, make sure you read the Harness Corner where Garnet Barnsdale talks about a big score he hit.