04/22/2016 10:10AM

Barr, Tonko to update supporters of federal bill


The co-sponsors of a federal bill that would appoint a private company to oversee racing’s medication policies have scheduled a hearing for next Thursday in Washington to discuss the bill with its supporters, according to an announcement from the legislators.

The hearing has been called by U.S. Reps. Andy Barr, a Republican from Kentucky, and Paul Tonko, a Democrat from New York, who introduced the bill last year. Barr and Tonko are co-chairmen of the Congressional Horse Caucus, which meets occasionally to discuss issues central to equine interests.

The announcement said that Bobby Flay, the celebrity chef and Thoroughbred owner; Craig Fravel, the president of Breeders’ Cup Ltd.; trainer Michael Dickinson; and former Maryland Jockey Club chief executive Joe De Francis have been asked to discuss issues related to the bill with Horse Caucus members at the hearing.

Although the bill has strong support from some corners of the industry, other racing constituents oppose the effort. The bill was introduced last year to a subcommittee of the House, but it has not been scheduled for a legislative hearing. Racing lobbyists have said the bill has little chance of passing in the current Congress.