It was reported this morning that a trainer with a Class I violation in California received only 30 days and a $3,000 fine. The recommended penalty for a suspension of that nature is usually one year. A Class I is on par with the frog juice positives we saw earlier this year.
In his piece, Paulick notes:
"The ruling did not elaborate on why a Class 1 violation received only
a small fraction of the recommended penalty of the Association of
Racing Commissioners International, of which the CHRB is a member.
There was reference to a “stipulated agreement” between the CHRB and
Vallejo, but CHRB communications officer Mike Marten said a copy of that
agreement is not available."
We, as customers, probably all agree: That is simply not good enough.
Explaining to a customer in a gambling game why he or she who bet the second place horse and perhaps had a solid payday that day but did not get paid, is not asking too much. It's common sense.
Leadership is important in any organization or situation. A leader at a regular job who suspends an employee for 15 days, but does not suspend another for the same violation owes his or her employees an explanation. If he or she does not give one, it hurts morale. If at a restaurant and one table gets a coupon honored, but the next table does not, the manager better explain why, or his or her customers will feel cheated. Racing should be no different.
Perhaps there are valid reasons why this trainer received such a light punishment for such a huge offense. Perhaps it was a mistake, or the product was in feed, or in a supplement. Perhaps there was no wrong doing. Perhaps. But it appears we won't find out and that's not a drug problem or a trainer problem. That's a leadership problem.