08/10/2012 3:24PM

Jockey Club to renew its push for tougher rules


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The Jockey Club is expected to make an additional push for the adoption of a proposed set of tougher medication rules and penalties as part of its presentations Sunday during the organization’s Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing.

The medication rules were developed by the Jockey Club and released at last year’s Round Table, which is conducted annually by the Jockey Club in Saratoga Springs. Since then, the rules have been revised to incorporate harsher penalties for repeat violators of medication regulations, especially those that deal with pain-killing drugs and drugs that have the highest potential to influence a horse’s performance.

The Jockey Club effort to push for the partial or wholesale adoption of the rules has made little headway at the state racing commission level since the rules were released, in part because of the large number of differences among states in the processes that can be used to amend racing rules. The Jockey Club has also encountered resistance because it is a relative newcomer to the arena of racing regulation, and state racing commissions are not accustomed to looking to the organization for guidance.

Over the past several years, however, the Jockey Club has attempted to take leading roles in both the regulation and marketing of racing, and progress on those fronts will take center stage at the Round Table.

The first part of the two-hour Round Table will be devoted to presentations by Jockey Club officials on the organization’s efforts to implement the recommendations of a report it commissioned one year ago examining problem areas in the sport, including a dwindling fan base and marked declines over the past five years in betting handle. Jason Wilson, the Jockey Club’s vice president of business development, will provide updates on the organization’s fan-development projects while Michael Lamb, a partner in the company that produced the report, McKinsey & Company, will follow with a presentation called “Driving Sustainable Growth: One Year Later,” according to the Round Table schedule.

An update on the Jockey Club’s rules and related efforts to address safety and welfare concerns will start off the second half of the program, with presentations by Stuart Janney III, the chairman of the organization’s Thoroughbred Safety Committee, and Matt Iuliano, the organizations’ executive vice president. Iuliano will focus on the Jockey Club’s proposed rules, which include a controversial provision to ban the raceday use of the anti-bleeding medication furosemide.

The Round Table’s keynote speaker, Travis T. Tygart, the chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, will anchor the second half of the program. Tygart was recruited by the Jockey Club to speak at the conference to draw attention to the organization’s new role in calling for a reassessment of racing’s regulations, and he is expected to outline his agency’s practices and policies for drug-testing Olympic athletes and enforcing penalties.

Allan Allison More than 1 year ago
roga------you organizers cannot be serious about racing.your talk is all baloney or whitewash.any member who has been around racing for 30 or more years will realize how the different leaders in the racing industry has killed the true meaning of horseracing .can anyone leading the effort now remember what a saturday at say belmont park in new york look like?why have the patrons left?can empty chairs support racing?why are so many sick horses nominated so often to fill cards?why in so many races it would appear that only 1 or2 jockeys are really honestly trying to show the best in their mounts?why so many cheap new york bred races run so dominant on most days? racing has come such a long way one wonders why there is not a TV show that allow fans and patrons to call in and voice their opinion on the sport? If racing is a business sport why so may different rules for the different arenas around the country?Are all those racing days really necessary?If the trend continues even at saratoga, apremier racing destination its appalling to see some of the races that is carded also the dwindling attendance tells us that something is definitely awry.If the trend continues within 6 months the sport will be in danger of folding;then maybe computer horses will take over. wake up commissioners be fair to horses, owners ,patrons ,trainers and everyone involved. somebody ,listen up!!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Repeat offenders need to go. The concept of passing the buck to the help needs to be abolished. Total insurer is total insurer. Period. The drug situation is ruing our sport. Nobody has fatih in what they read in a form anymore because certain people are still allowed to participate. Politics need to go. Rules are rules and the punishment for breaking them needs to be enforsed strictly.