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Racing Officials Accreditation Program
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Weekly ROAP e-News Blast
April 17, 2014

Many Articles for the past couple weeks included in this week's newsletter. Also, the ROAP Office will be closed, Friday, April 18 due to the Easter Holiday.

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


ROAP Board Elects Officers for 2014-2016 Term; Participates at ARCI Conference, April 11, 2014
By Cathy O’Meara
The Racing Officials Accreditation Program’s (ROAP) board of directors elected its 2014-2016 officers during its April 10 board meeting held in Lexington, Ky. All elected officers were reappointed from their previous term.
Hugh Gallagher, ROAP accredited judge and consultant to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, was re-elected chairman; Frank Lamb, executive director of the Idaho State Racing Commission, was re-elected vice chairman; Wendy Davis, associate coordinator of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program, was re-elected secretary; and Kristin Leshney, legal associate for The Jockey Club, was re-elected treasurer. Continue Reading...
Array of Prominent Owners, Trainers Pledge to Make Veterinary Records Public, April 17, 2014
By Bob Curran, Jr.
A large and growing number of prominent Thoroughbred owners and trainers have voluntarily pledged to make available to the public veterinary records of their horses competing in graded stakes races in the United States and Canada, The Jockey Club announced today.
Such records will cover the 14-day period preceding and including the day of each race and will be available on the day of the race at least two hours prior to post time. The pledges take effect immediately. Continue Reading...
Delaware adopts new medication rules, April 16, 2014
By Matt Hegarty
New rules regarding the administration of medication and a new penalty schedule for trainers violating medication regulations will go into effect in Delaware on May 11, the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission said Wednesday.
Delaware’s only Thoroughbred track, Delaware Park, opens May 17, six days after the rules are scheduled to go into effect. Continue Reading...
Testing, Testing: How Strong are Racing’s Drug Testing Programs?, April 16, 2014
By Natalie Voss
When the state of Maryland released a call for proposals from laboratories interested in taking on the state’s post-race testing, Dr. Rick Sams, director of the HFL Sport Science Lab in central Kentucky, read over the rules carefully. The request had a number of requirements regarding the ideal candidate’s certifications but left the actual description of the testing to be done fairly open.
Sams put together the same proposal he usually does in such cases: an outline of the state-of-the-art procedures his lab technicians use to screen all samples for 1,500 substances. The procedures would have caught all testable illegal, performance-enhancing drugs and pinpointed thresholds of legal medications to detect overages. The total cost came to $4,871,880 for five years of testing. Continue Reading...
Stronach Takes Lead on Medication, Integrity Issues, April 16, 2014
By Frank Stronach
The Stronach Group has always been committed to ensuring that our horse racing businesses operate with integrity and concern for the health and safety of the horses and the people who work with them. Now, more than ever, we as track operators, horsemen and regulators must come together to do everything we can to prevent any abuse of our thoroughbred athletes. We must also work diligently to ban any individuals engaged in fraudulent or harmful activities from participating in our sport. The goal of these efforts is to achieve the highest standards with respect to the integrity of our sport and the safety of our athletes, both equine and human.
The Stronach Group is supportive of all initiatives that help achieve the goal of horses competing free from the influence of medication. We therefore fully support the horse racing industry’s first ever National Uniform Medication Program. The Program seeks to limit the number of therapeutic medications that are needed for the routine treatment of horses and sets medication thresholds and withdrawal time guidelines. The Program also provides penalty recommendations that specifically address repeat medication offenders. In order to be effective, these reforms must be adopted and implemented by all racing states no later than September 1st, 2014. If this deadline is not met, The Stronach Group will work together with other concerned industry stakeholders to begin aggressively lobbying for federal legislation containing the same reforms outlined in the proposed National Uniform Medication Program. Continue Reading...
Oaklawn stewards disqualify Please Explain for positive test, April 15, 2014
By Matt Hegarty
Please Explain, an outside contender for the Kentucky Oaks, has been disqualified from her third-place finish in the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes on March 8 at Oaklawn Park after she tested positive for an excessive level of a regulated corticosteroid, according to Oaklawn stewards.
Please Explain, a 3-year-old filly trained by Tom Proctor, tested positive for methylprednisolone, according to the ruling. Methylprednisolone is a corticosteroid that is frequently used to reduce inflammation and soreness in joints. Proctor waived his right to appeal after a split sample confirmed the positive, according to the stewards, and he was fined $1,000. Continue Reading...
Maryland likely to expand void claim rule, April 15, 2014
By Frank Vespe
The Maryland Racing Commission signaled today that it will likely expand the state’s void-claim rule, probably in time for the Laurel fall meet.
It did not, however, take action on the expanded rule, deciding instead to wait for the state horsemen’s group, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA), to vote on it in a meeting on Thursday. Continue Reading...
Tygart: Parallels Between Olympics, Racing, April 14, 2014
By Ron Mitchell
The chief executive officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency said there are parallels between issues facing the U.S. horse industry and the Olympics when it comes to ensuring the integrity of those sports, specifically with regard to oversight on medications.
Travis Tygart was in Lexington April 14 to speak to a group of about 50 horse industry stakeholders brought together for an informational meeting organized by the Water Hay Oats Alliance. WHOA has a mission to stop race-day medication, including the anti-bleeding drug furosemide. Continue Reading...
Phipps: When It Comes to Drug-Testing Reform Transparency a Good Place to Start, April 14, 2014
By Ogden Mills Phipps, Chairman of The Jockey Club
In the weeks since allegations raised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were reported by The New York Times, there has been no shortage of commentary in traditional or social media, and it seems likely that the dark cloud hovering over our sport will be there for the duration of our Triple Crown season.
One columnist recently suggested that the trainer implicated in the PETA video should stay away from the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks for “the good of the game.” I concur wholeheartedly. Continue Reading...
Will Take Charge Survives Rough Stretch Run, Inquiry in Oaklawn ‘Cap, April 12, 2014
Press Release
Will Take Charge, the reigning Champion 3-Year-Old Male, used his trademark closing kick to add another graded stakes score to his impressive resume, but he had to survive a protracted stewards inquiry and objections from jockeys Mike Smith and Gary Stevens to capture the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) at Oaklawn Park Saturday. Continue Reading...

California Officials ‘Move to Adopt Strict Penalties’ for Buzzer Use, April 10, 2014
Press Release
The California Horse Racing Board is moving to adopt strict penalties for riders using electrical devices in races or workouts. In the interim, Executive Director Rick Baedeker has issued a directive for CHRB investigators to refer any such cases directly to the racing commissioners for hearings and also to notify the local District Attorney for possible criminal prosecution. Continue Reading... 

Meet the only female head judge in city racing and how she’s breaking through glass ceilings, April 4, 2014
By Ellie Halliwell
The chief judge will make the final call as to which horse is victorious in the world’s richest for two-year-old horses. 
Curruthers is the only female head judge in metropolitan racing, and at 32, one of the youngest. Despite the important role ahead of her, the Hawkesbury resident is keeping her cool. Continue Reading...
Oaklawn Park: Horse left out of gate declared non-starter, April 3, 2014
By Mary Rampellini
Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., refunded all wagers on Reagan Trinity in Thursday’s first race after she was not loaded into the starting gate. She was No. 9 in a nine-horse field of fillies and mares for the $16,000 conditioned claimer at 1 1/16 miles. Reagan Trinity was 5-2 on the tote board for Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg.Larry Snyder, a steward at Oaklawn, said the incident was simply due to “human error.” Terry Walker is the starter at Oaklawn. Continue Reading...
RCI Chair Pushes States to Act on Reforms, April 3, 2014
By Tom LaMarra
The outgoing chairman of the Association of Racing Commissioners International said it is "vitally important" racing jurisdictions adopt the National Uniform Medication Program as soon as possible.
Duncan Patterson, chairman of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, outlined the program April 1 during the Racing Officials Accreditation Program conference in Delaware. RCI president Ed Martin also addressed the group via video. Continue Reading...
State officials turning up the heat on Churchill Downs Inc., April 3, 2014
By Jeff Duncan
Louisiana is not backing off its commitment to improve horse racing at Fair Grounds Race Course.The venerable racetrack ended its 142nd meet on Sunday, but state officials are not about to let its owners, Churchill Downs Inc., off the hook. In fact, they're increasing the heat. Continue Reading...
Irish jockey and trainer lose challenge over investigation into irregular betting patterns, April 3, 2014
By Eddie O’Connell
Jockey Eddie O'Connell and trainer Jim Lambe have failed in a legal challenge to the Turf Club over the enforcement of the rules of horse racing.Their High Court action was aimed at preventing the Turf Club from making any adverse findings against them over allegations they were involved in irregular betting - a claim both men deny. Continue Reading...

Confessions of a Racing Secretary, April 2, 2014
By Sal Sinatra
A racing secretary's job isn't easy these days, although it's never been exactly a stroll through the tulips. The biggest challenge now is dealing with a declining population of racehorses as the size of the foal crop has fallen. 
Several of us have the continuing problem of too much competition for too few horses. For decades, this has been a way of life on the East Coast, where I toil at Parx Racing. You have racetracks from Massachusetts down through Virginia trying to stock their races, often with horses of similar capabilities.  Continue Reading...

ROAP Officials Examine Changes in Industry, April 2, 2014
By Tom LaMarra
Racing officials and regulators gathered April 1 for the Racing Officials Accreditation Program Conference acknowledged a need for transparency, consistency, and quick, cohesive action in response to high-profile incidents. But they also said it's necessary to maintain the integrity of officiating and governance. 
Members of ROAP met for two days at the White Clay Creek Country Club at Delaware Park to discuss everything from medication to disqualifications. The continuing education program for stewards, judges, and other racing officials holds meetings throughout the year. Continue Reading...
Stewards, vets monitoring It's A Dundeel, April 2, 2014
New Zealand-trained star It's A Dundeel has been battling lameness in the lead-up to the $1.5 million BMW, Racing NSW stewards have revealed. 
One of the drawcards of the Sydney autumn carnival, It's A Dundeel was inspected by a Racing NSW vet on Wednesday and will continue to be monitored before Saturday's weight-for-age race at Rosehill. Continue Reading...
Poisoned track cancels Vic horse race, April 2, 2014
A POPULAR Easter race meeting in regional Victoria will be abandoned because of a poisoned section of track. 
One kilometre of the Stawell Race Track was deliberately poisoned in the week leading up to March 25. Continue Reading...
Throw out horse doping charges, accused Penn National trainer asks U.S. judge, April 1, 2014
By Matt Miller
Saying the evidence just isn't there, a midstate horse trainer is asking a U.S. judge to dismiss criminal charges that he doped race horses at Penn National Race Course. 
In a motion filed this week, Terrance McGowan, attorney for trainer Samuel Webb of Jonestown, contends that a federal indictment against his client should be tossed, because prosecutors don't have proof of the supposed wrongdoing. Continue Reading...
Timeform lambast BHA over handling of Godolphin steroids scandal, April 1, 2014
By Tony Paley
British racing's rulers have come in for stinging criticism from the respected Timeform organisation over their handling of the Godolphin steroids scandal last year. 
The comments are made in the latest edition of Timeform's Racehorses annual covering the 2013 Flat racing season and will make for uncomfortable reading for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). Continue Reading...
Connections of Dolatulo look set to lodge an appeal, March 30, 2014
Connections of Dolatulo look set to lodge an appeal with the British Horseracing Authority following his controversial demotion at Stratford on Saturday. 
The 9-1 shot passed the post in front in the Great Value Wines From Bordeaux Undiscovered Handicap Chase, but the stewards held an inquiry into possible interference between the winner and the runner-up, 15-8 favourite Benbens. Continue Reading...
Greatrex furious as stewards reverse result, March 29, 2014
By David Baxter
There was a controversial demotion at Stratford on Saturday which could spark an appeal to the BHA by trainer Warren Greatrex after his clear-cut winner Dolatulo was disqualified following a stewards' inquiry.
A dramatic finish to the feature 2m7f handicap chase led to runner-up Benbens, the 15-8 favourite, being awarded the race in favour of 9-1 shot Dolatulo. Continue Reading...
Morrill Banned at Pocono, Has No Idea Why, March 29, 2014
By Bill Finley
There’s a reason why Jim Morrill Jr. has yet to drive a race this year at Pocono: he has been banned.  Morrill, who was the third leading driver last year at Pocono and is widely considered one of the very best in his profession, said he has heard no explanations from track management and the only way he knows he is not welcome is because trainers have told him that every time they try to enter a horse with him down as the driver the racing office tells them they must choose someone else. 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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