Jeff Gural has once again gone it alone from the rest of the industry by having his three tracks join the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, and by default supports legislation for a Federal standard for drug standards, testing, and enforcement. As such, Gural's three tracks are the only representation of the standardbred industry to support this group which up to now had been focused exclusively on thoroughbred racing.
While some will criticize the fact Gural is joining this effort to bring the Feds into horse racing's mess, the fact is he has seen through his own efforts the failings of state racing commissions in controlling the use of medication either after its withdrawal time or those not permitted.
I know racing commissions post statistics which show how effective their testing methodology is but many individuals including myself find there press releases to be pure nonsense; either the testing is inadequate due to financial limitations or the testing is sporadic. With a USADA-like organization involved, one has to belief the testing will be more accurate and intensive with violators being sanctioned.
While Gural is to be applauded for joining this movement, harness racing's refusal to get involved as an industry may find the sport being guided by rules written for the thoroughbred industry. Greater involvement by the standardbred industry may result in rules written specifically by breed instead of one-size fits all approach.
Hopefully, the standardbred industry becomes more supportive of this movement and joins the coalition rather than being left behind at the starting gate.
Looking to let people know about harness racing? Minnesota Harness Racing Inc. has come up with a video to promote the sport. No, it doesn't talk about the gambling aspect; it shows what is involved in getting a horse ready for racing. Other states and tracks would do well to produce a similar video.