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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Saturday Morning Massacre

Once again, the horseplayer lost out as the Indiana Horse Racing Commission has committed its own version of the Saturday Night Massacre (okay, it was a Saturday Morning Massacre) to Saturday's ago by firing the commission's Executive Director Joe Gorajec after twenty five years on the job.  The firing which was largely anticipated came to being on a Saturday morning in the commission's own office instead of its usual meeting place under the guise of 'an executive session and business meeting'.  What was supposedly a meeting turned out to basically be a virtual execution.  I am not the only one who feels this way as evidenced by this column from the Paulick Report.

While the IHRC claimed they wanted an Executive Director who promoted horse racing, not just someone who handed down justice to rule breakers, speculations abounds Gorajec's departure was either engineered by the Governor and/or following complaints from horsemen objecting to Gorajec's no-nonsense approach in enforcing the rules. 

Note to the IHRC:  With respect to promoting racing to horseplayers, you just fired the best reason to play Indiana racing of all breeds, a no-nonsense enforcer of the rules who had no problem coming down hard on cheats and people found guilty of violating racing rules.  By firing Gorajec, you just relegated Indiana racing to the back bench with other states who 'speak loudly and carry a light stick'; ready to hand down compromise decisions in order to expedite the handling of infractions.  Whatever perception Indiana horse racing had as being tough on cheats has gotten thrown out the window.   

Promoting horse racing?  If you can name more than a handful of states which actively promote horse racing, I would be surprised.  Racing commissions are regulators and quite honestly, are mouthpieces to the movers and shakers in horse racing in each state.  In most states, other than the token effort to promote racing, the commission basically represents the interests of the breeders, horsemen, and racetracks.  Hence, I find the argument the commission wanted an executive director to market the sport disingenuous.

Make no mistake, there are horsemen and veterinarians involved in the various breeds of racing who are happy to see Gorjac gone.  Of course, those who play by the rules find their position weakened as a result of his termination.

So horseplayers, you are on notice.  The IHRC has sent you a message.  Odds are you're not liking it.


Marv said...

With what staff and budget is a racing commission going to promote horseracing?

Pacingguy said...

None an none. My guess is he irked someone politically connected.