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Weekly ROAP e-News Blast
March 1, 2014

Some very interesting debates/articles in the news this week. First is on Steward/Judge transparency and media relations which ROAP is a strong advocate (see 2014 POE at end of newsletter). The other is the three part series on racing reforms from PA. If you have any comments/suggestions, please forward to ROAP. Thank you!


Gulfstream Park: Fans will get more information about calls made by stewards, February 28, 2014
By Mike Welsch
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Gulfstream Park has announced a new policy whereby the track will provide bettors with more information regarding stewards’ decisions following rider objections or inquiries.
Track announcer Larry Collmus will provide a detailed explanation for each ruling while a replay of the infractions is highlighted and played from pan and head-on angles throughout the facility. A statement by the stewards will also be posted on the track’s website following each decision. Continue Reading...
Stewards to introduce stricter rules on social media use in racing industry, February 28, 2014
By Michael Manley
STEWARDS are looking at introducing stricter rules regarding the inappropriate use of social media in the future.
Racing Victoria Chief steward Terry Bailey said this was one of the matters which was discussed at this week’s National Stewards Conference in Melbourne which would be forwarded to the Australian Racing Board. Continue Reading...
Santa Anita: Lakow hired as racing director, February 28, 2014
By Steve Andersen
ARCADIA, Calif. – Mike Lakow, a former director of racing at the New York Racing Association, has been hired as racing director at Santa Anita, the track announced Friday.
Lakow, 57, will begin working at Santa Anita on March 24 and will assistant Santa Anita racing secretary Rick Hammerle, the track said. Lakow currently works as a steward at Calder Race Course in Miami. Continue Reading...
Equine Safety Committee concerned about 'stacking' of legal medications, February 27, 2014
By David Grening
The simultaneous use of multiple therapeutic medications to treat the same ailment - a method referred to as stacking - has caused some concern among members of the New York racing community.
The issue was brought up Thursday during a phone-in only meeting of the New York Racing Association’s Equine Safety Committee. Stacking involves giving horses such medications as Phenylbutazone, Flunixin, and Ketoprofen - all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) - to treat pain. While these therapeutic medications are permitted to be given within a certain time frame from a race, the administration of all three medications at once can be harmful to a horse’s gastrointestinal system and make lameness difficult to detect, according to Dr. Scott Palmer, the recently appointed state’s Equine Medical Director. Continue Reading...
Steven Crist: Stewards' standards need reviewing, February 27, 2014
By Steven Crist
When the Gulfstream Park stewards disqualified Collinito from first place in last Saturday’s 12th and final race, prompting another carryover in the track’s Rainbow Six wager instead of a $1.6 million payout to a bettor with the lone live ticket to the original winner, Internet forums and social-media feeds went ablaze with allegations of injustice and chicanery. Nearly a week later, it remains a dominant topic in the sport.
The decision to take down Collinito, for bothering runner-up Strategic Keeper down the stretch, was arguable but reasonable. It was not a phantom foul, and Strategic Keeper  fell short by just a neck after apparently being bothered twice by the winner. The takedown would have attracted little attention had it not been for the unusual circumstance of the lone live Rainbow Six ticket. The allegations of perfidy, and the whole idea of track management criminally conspiring with the game’s judges to create a carryover for financial gain, were outrageously unfair and completely unsubstantiated. Continue Reading...
Australian stewards focusing on weighty issues and hope to convince ARB it’s not a light touch, February 26, 2014
By Michael Manley and Rod Nicholson
AUSTRALIAN stewards will recommend to the Australian Racing Board that horses which win and weigh in light are declared non-runners.
Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said this was the proposal which came from the Australian Stewards Conference this week in Melbourne, along with any other horse weighing in light will still be disqualified. Continue Reading...
Jay Hovdey: Blum has seen stewards' calls both good and bad, February 26, 2014
By Jay Hovdey
It has been 50 years since Walter Blum won the second of his back-to-back championships for riding the most winners in North America. Fifty years since Blum teamed with Gun Bow to beat four-time Horse of the Year Kelso in three out of five confrontations, including their epic battle in the Woodward Stakes.
So naturally, when Blum was reached one morning this week after an early round of golf near his home in Tamarac, Fla., just west of Fort Lauderdale, he was asked the obvious question: Continue Reading...
Pa. Agriculture Dept. on proposed horse racing reforms, February 26, 2014
By Michael Hyland
Noting it’s been more than 30 years since there were any major updates to Pennsylvania’s horse racing laws, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Mathew Meals said Wednesday that funding and regulatory issues need to be addressed “to rebuild this industry.”
Over the last several weeks, FOX43 has interviewed a variety of people involved in horse racing and involved in efforts to improve oversight and safety. Continue Reading...
Pa. Congressman calls for new federal oversight of horse racing, February 25, 2014
By Michael Hyland
Calling the horse racing industry an “embarrassment,” Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa 16th) is calling for a series of national reforms aimed addressing ongoing issues with the use of drugs in horse racing.
“The industry, frankly, is an embarrassment to the rest of the world. The rest of the world has zero tolerance of race-day medication,” said Pitts. Continue Reading...
Advocates call for improved safety, reforms to Pa. horse racing industry, February 24, 2014
By Michael Hyland
Advocates for improved safety in horse racing are calling for sweeping changes in Pennsylvania, a matter they say has been underscored by a recent criminal investigation at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County.
Last November, a federal grand jury indicted three trainers and a track employee. The trainers, David Wells, Sam Webb and Patricia Rogers were accused of fraud after allegedly trying to dope horses with medications not permitted within 24 hours of a race. Continue Reading...
Philip Fenton’s horses to undergo testing before Cheltenham, February 24, 2014
Officials from the British Horseracing Authority are to visit the yard of Philip Fenton in order to interview the trainer and conduct tests on horses in his care holding Cheltenham Festival entries.
Fenton has been in the headlines in recent days after being charged with possessing unlicensed substances, including anabolic steroids, following a visit to his yard by the Department of Agriculture in January 2012, with a court case adjourned until next month. Continue Reading...
New Mexico Approves Uniform Medication Rules, February 21, 2014
By Blood-Horse Staff
According to the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico is the most recent state to have its racing commission approve uniform medication rules.
The newspaper reports the New Mexico Racing Commission, on Feb. 20, approved the Association of Racing Commissioners International's model rules. The model rules serve as the standards for a push toward national uniform medication—an effort that started in the Mid-Atlantic region—that allows 24 therapeutic medications in horse racing. Continue Reading...
Gulfstream Park: Brumfield's life-long love affair with racing continues, February 14, 2014
By Marty McGee
Don Brumfield has a deadpan expression. Does he wear anything else? The man who has pretty much seen and done it all in horse racing is the antithesis of excitable, although his solemn demeanor might only be a façade.
“I feel very, very lucky that I’ve gotten to do as much as I have in this game,” Brumfield said in a recent interview at his Gulfstream Park stewards’ office. “I can’t think of a better place to spend your life than the racetrack.” 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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