07/13/2017 4:33PM

Macedonio: The pluses and minuses of Out of Competition testing

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Why does everything have to be absolute? Why can't we pull the good out of something, toss the garbage, add some pizzazz, and boom, a new better idea comes to fruition. That’s what comes to mind when thinking about Jeff Gural's “150 Mile Radius Out Of Competition Testing” (OOCT) rule.

RIGHT

-All horses should be available 24/7 for OOCT

-ALL state licensed vets/racetracks should be official sites and be able to take samples for OOCT

WRONG

-Uneven amounts of testing and/or targeting certain horses or trainers

-Conditions and requirements change after payments and commitments have been made

FAIR

-Trainers are present during testing 

-All horses in a race should be present and together if there is testing/detention

-Meadowlands has an $11 Million Stakes program . . . if you want to race for it, stable close to it

-Stakes conditions need to continually be updated each year, so that when you pay into a Stake, there are no questions of OOTC and requirements. 

-Stop saying, "what about my horse and me?" Start saying "How can the 10 horses, trainers, drivers, owners in this race work together to put on the best show before, during and after the race for the fans and horseplayers?"

UNFAIR

-Trainers/Owners shouldn't have to pay extra individually for OOTC, it should come from Stakes Payments, Horsemen's Associations, and Racetracks

-Horses traveling long distances for OOTC, when it can be done at their home track. 

Athletes either move their families each time they sign with a team, or travel alone. They rarely have both. If you want to race for the big money, sacrifices have to be made on family, travel and home life. Home field advantage is a real thing! Travel, hotels, food, sleep, etc. are important and can affect the outcome.

MMA fighters will live in Denver for five months before a fight to prepare. There are stables everywhere across the country. All trainers have decisions to make, and all make sacrifices, but no one feels sympathy when you are competing for big purses.

I didn't hear Anthony MacDonald complaining about traveling to Pocono from Toronto to race in a PA Stakes, even though he lives in Toronto and he bought PA sired horses.  He promoted the races Sunday night and I even checked the results to see how he did. I didn't see much from anyone else . . . just saying.

I'm pretty sure Anthony knows his geography and knew that he had to travel seven-plus hours BEFORE he bought and staked his horses. If you're privileged enough to compete in a race for big money, promote and market your own sport! Otherwise, build your own racetrack and race for combined entry fees with other owners, with no coverage, no fans, and see how long that lasts.