03/02/2012 7:01PM

Letters to the Editor March 4


Portrait of trainer chose to ignore ­pattern of behavior

I read with great interest the Feb. 19 letter to the editor "Owners defend Sadler on his merits," about trainer John Sadler, basically stating how Sadler is a credit to Thoroughbred racing and trainers everywhere.

The argument referred to Sadler as one of the trainers "who have dedicated their lives to the sport of horse racing." The letter noted that Sadler is president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers. It called his two recent drug infractions as a "low-class infraction" bearing a "low-cost fine" and said that "for the last 10-plus years" Sadler has "been involved in weekly meetings to improve drug testing."

The letter paints a picture of a trainer who is constantly trying to do the right thing by Thoroughbred racing.

Let me please respond with cold, hard facts. Since the fall of 2004, Sadler has violated medication rules multiple times. He has been given suspensions totaling 45 days and fined in excess of $16,000 for the violations.

And what really got my goat was his flaunting of steroid regulations. In mid-2008, as horse racing was trying to eliminate steroids from the sport, the California Horse Racing Board asked all trainers in the state to start weaning their horses off steroids (which at the time were not officially against the rules) because it was becoming glaringly apparent steroids were being misused.

Sadler knew the racing board couldn't fine or suspend him, because it had implemented a grace period during which steroid positives were handled with warnings, not penalties. It gave the trainer the ultimate edge, and he really showed his true colors at the time, with 18 positive results for steroids.

I'm sorry, but I just don't see a credit to Thoroughbred trainers here.
Dennis Hubbard
Daly City, Calif.