The DRF speaks today about how hard it is for trainers to not get nabbed with tiny infractions at times. Horse racing drug use is highly regulated - not unlike the Olympics is - in terms of drug use. A good deal of normal everyday substances that you and I might have are no-no's, and sometimes these drugs in small amounts can find their way into a horse, because of a cut-off time, mistakes, or other issues the article mentions.
Education is key for this industry, and for too long the customer was not educated on drugs and racing; they were simply ignored. As we all know well: We were a monopoly, so if customers spouted "he's a cheater" for a 0.00001mg overage of grape juice, it was left stand with no response. No one seemed to care because there was nowhere else to bet.
Now that we are not a monopoly, it is vitally important to have informed bettors and fans. In that vein HANA worked with the folks at the RMTC in constructing a database of violations. What they achieved is a great first step. The database, accessible here, shows all violations and allows you to scroll over each drugs name to find out what it is. It is a good first step and we urge players to check it out when they see a suspension.
HANA believes horsepeople are not out to shaft us as bettors, or be bad to their horses en masse. We believe most are hard-working and honest. If the infraction looks small it is probably is small and an error. However, where we have a hard-line as horseplayers is on performance enhancing drugs or drugs which can harm a racehorse (blood builders like Epogen, Aranesp or CERA, painkillers like venom, and any new undetectable drug which is used with intent to injure our horses and sport), as well as horse abuse of any sort. For those violations, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. You should not have the honor to work with animals and once you are exposed, we suggest you find a new line of work.
Tom Lamarra over at the Bloodhorse makes some predictions. He says there will be a triple crown winner this year (I wonder who that would be :)) and that in 2011 the CHRB will move the takeout rates back down in not-so-sunny California. He did title his piece "ridiculous predictions" though!
The Buffalo News gives their top story list here.
Rich Eng tells readers that the California racing situation might get worse and he calls the early drop in betting there 'one of the biggest year end stories'.
Bill Finley, fresh off winning an Eclipse award, does not hold back in his most recent column.
A lot of people do not know how, in the long run, takeout works. Trackmaster shows you here in a comprehensive piece.
In addition, Jeff Platt shows you the takeout increase that happens tomorrow with some math (via Paceadvantage.com). Bill, another board member here, tells you it in terms of tax (he's an engineer so they talk a little funny, but even I understood his "heady" point, so I imagine for you smart reader, it will be easy.) In a nutshell, like the trackmaster piece showed, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see this hurts handle and shrinks the sports customer base (just like the Los Al empirical numbers showed here in easy to see pics)
Funniest new name I have seen on a chat board? "I-do-not-like-ham." I think that poster is a youtube watcher!