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Racing Officials Accreditation Program
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Weekly ROAP e-News Blast
March 28, 2014

Registration is now open for the upcoming ROAP Certificate Program at the North Dakota Horse Park. CLICK HERE to register!


Statement of Ogden Mills Phipps, Chairman of The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owner/Breeder, March 28, 2014
Contact: Bob Curran, Jr
Following the allegations raised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and reported on March 20, 2014, by The New York Times, many of us in the Thoroughbred industry are eagerly awaiting the final determination of these issues by the New York State Gaming Commission and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
It is my hope that these state bodies use all the prosecutorial powers available to determine if there is evidence of animal cruelty, medication violations — and cheating. Continue Reading...
Foreman: Mid-Atlantic Leads in Strong Campaign for Medication Reform, March 28, 2014
Press Release
The following statement was released by Alan Foreman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to the media on Friday afternoon. Foreman responds to a statement made by the Jockey Club’s Ogden Mills Phipps earlier in the day:
We appreciate the comments of Dinny Phipps as they relate to the uniform medication and drug testing reforms that are currently circulating throughout the racing industry. We are proud that these reforms began through a collective commitment by the Mid Atlantic racing states, in cooperation with the horsemen and racetrack entities, to develop and implement the program. The Jockey Club has not only supported the initiative but has also committed its time and resources to getting this done nationally. Continue Reading...
Horse Racing: Michael Walker ordered to pay $12,000 for poor conduct, March 28, 2014
By Brenton Vannisselroy
Australian-based Kiwi jockey Michael Walker has been ordered to pay $12,000 for actions "detrimental to racing".
Walker steered Puccini to victory in the New Zealand Derby at the start of the month after enduring back and shoulder trouble during the course of the day. Continue Reading...
No U.S. Runner for DWC Creates Questions, March 28, 2014
By Julian Muscat
The 19th renewal of the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 comes with a noticeable absence: Despite Animal Kingdom  's victory 12 months ago, there is no United States-based runner in the race previously won by American-trained horses nine times in 18 editions.
 Instead, three lone pennant-bearers will contest undercard races, albeit races of significant value. And with two of them due to run on turf, the American challenge is about as unfamiliar as it gets. Continue Reading...
PETA speaks on investigation, March 27, 2014
By Tom LaMarra and Esther Marr
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it will "go away" if horse racing addresses its medication issues, and industry officials who have spent countless hours trying to do just that suggest progress is evident but not recognized.
Recent PETA allegations of racehorse abuse and mistreatment have stepped up calls from industry organizations for passage of uniform model rules for equine medication, penalties, and drug testing. But it hasn't made the endeavor any more urgent, said Alan Foreman, chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. Continue Reading...
Seamy Side of a Sport: Prodding Horses With Shocks, March 27, 2014
By Joe Drape
It is called a buzzer, a battery or a machine: It is a device the size of a lighter that conducts electrical current and shocks a racehorse into running faster. It is prohibited at American racetracks but has long been a part of the sport’s seamier lore.
Last week it was brought out of the shadows when the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed multiple complaints to state and federal authorities accusing a prominent thoroughbred trainer, Steve Asmussen, and his top assistant, Scott Blasi, of subjecting their horses to cruel and injurious treatments, including having one of their jockeys use a buzzer on their horses. Continue Reading...
Stepped-Up Security Set for Santa Anita Derby, March 27, 2014
Santa Anita Park officials have announced they will provide round-the-clock surveillance of all horses entered in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) beginning 72 hours before the April 5 race.
The security measure, designed to safeguard the health and welfare of horses and riders, will be similar to that provided for the 2013 Derby and for the 2013 Breeders' Cup in Arcadia. Continue Reading...
Extra checks in place for next Aqueduct stakes race, March 27, 2014
By Justin Mason
State officials announced the stables participating in Aqueduct's Wood Memorial Grade 1 Stakes race next week will face markedly increased scrutiny by regulators, following a scathing report into thoroughbred abuse by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Officials with the state Gaming Commission and New York Racing Association said horses competing for the $1 million purse will be subject to out-of-competition blood testing for banned substances, be required to be on grounds three days before the race and be subject to around-the-clock monitoring at their trainers’ barns. The commission is also requiring trainers to submit veterinary records three days advance of the Wood Memorial and indicated they will be published on the agency's website before the race on April 5. Continue Reading...
Keeneland going for Breeders' Cup, March 27, 2014
By Janet Patton
Keeneland Race Course is in the running to host the Breeders' Cup World Championships, the biggest weekend of Thoroughbred racing outside the Kentucky Derby.
Keeneland president and CEO Bill Thomason confirmed Thursday that the Lexington track has asked to be considered for the two-day fall championships as soon as next year. Continue Reading...
How Santana Can Clear his Name, March 27, 2014
By Ray Paulick
If jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. wants to clear his name and a reputation tarnished in the investigation and complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen and his now-former assistant, Scott Blasi, Santana should take a polygraph test. Santana was implicated by Blasi as being a good “machine rider,” alleging he may carry an electrical stimulating device, often called a buzzer, battery, or machine, when he rides horses trained by Asmussen. The devices are illegal and can result in long-term suspensions.
They aren’t admissible as evidence in a court of law, but a polygraph (better known as a lie-detector test) could go a long toward helping the 21-year-old native of Panama put this ugly matter to rest. Continue Reading...
Albany Law School launches horse racing, gaming law concentration, March 27, 2014
By Haley Viccaro
Albany Law School is set to launch the nation’s first concentration in equine, racing and gaming law in response to growing demand for qualified attorneys in the area.
The concentration will be available for students starting in September. The development of four casinos in New York by next year was the main driver for the new offering. Continue Reading...
British Horseracing Authority 'aware' of Murtagh footage, March 26, 2014
The British Horseracing Authority is looking into a video clip taken after a race at last year’s Royal Ascot meeting following the posting of footage on YouTube.
The film appears to show jockey Johnny Murtagh being handed an object by Sarah Lynam, daughter of trainer Eddie, following Sole Power’s victory in the King’s Stand Stakes. Continue Reading...
Report: Blasi No Longer Working for Asmussen, March 23, 2014
By Blood-Horse Staff
Scott Blasi, the longtime assistant trainer to Steve Asmussen, has been relieved of his duties pending an examination of documents and videos released by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which alleges animal abuse.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reported the evening of March 22 that Asmussen confirmed Blasi no longer works for him. The Courier-Journal also spoke to Clark Brewster, an attorney for the two men, who indicated Blasi won't be working for Asmussen "pending further review of the materials and videos." Continue Reading...
Groups Step Up Call for Model Drug Rules, March 21, 2014
By Tom LaMarra
Racing industry organizations have greatly stepped up their call for swift adoption of national model rules on medication and drug testing in the wake of investigations into allegations of mistreatment and over-medication of Thoroughbred racehorses.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals used an undercover investigator to infiltrate the operation of trainer Steve Asmussen and assistant Scott Blasi at Churchill Downs and Saratoga Race Course for four months last year. Documentation of the allegations, as well as video, were turned over to regulators in Kentucky and New York. Continue Reading...

2014 Points of Emphasis
CLICK HERE for full descriptions

  • Encourage the use of technology for RCI database, InCompass, etc by all stewards.
  • Understanding the application of the National Uniform Medication Program including the Multiple Medication Violation Program and how it affects your jurisdiction.
  • Ensure clear and concise verbal and written explanations of stewards’ decisions, daily reports and disseminate to the media through track and/or racing regulatory websites.
  • Encourage consistency and uniformity in enforcement of interference rules
  • Understanding Addictive Behavior Treatment Programs available in your jurisdiction
DISCLAIMER: The News e-Blast is a compilation of articles that may be of interest to racing officials. They do not reflect the opinions of ROAP and the inclusion of any article in this compilation should not be taken as an endorsement of the views represented therein.

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