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Source Code: HBPA


volume 63/ # 1

spring 20 16











Horsemen from across North America meet in Florida to discuss a variety of issues








The importance of passing on Jockey Club papers with a retired Thoroughbred racehorse

Navigating the complicated medication waters

Win two Breeders’ Cup tickets and help the NHBPA understand its members’ views




NATIONAL HBPA 870 Corporate Drive Suite 300 Lexington, KY 40503 P(859) 259-0451 F(859) 259-0452 racing@hbpa.org www.nationalhbpa.com






I AM STARTING THIS SPRING MESSAGE WITH A LOT ON THE PLATE NOT ONLY FOR THE NATIONAL HBPA BUT FOR OUR AFFILIATES AS WELL. AS I SAID IN THE FALL ISSUE OF THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL, EVERY DAY HAS BEEN A DAY OF LEARNING FOR ME, AND THAT CONTINUES TO HOLD TRUE. I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE CONTINUED SUPPORT I HAVE RECEIVED FROM OUR PRESIDENTS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS, BOARD MEMBERS AND GENERAL MEMBERS ON THE PATH THE NHBPA IS TAKING. I AM PROUD OF HOW THE NHBPA HAS BEEN ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM SOME GREAT PUBLIC RECOGNITION THROUGH RECENT MEDIA COVERAGE AND FROM MY ATTENDANCE AT EVENTS SUCH AS THE THOROUGHBRED OWNERS CONFERENCE AT GULFSTREAM PARK IN JANUARY. GAINING POSITIVE EXPOSURE, STATING OUR MISSION, BEING AT THE TABLE TO WORK WITH OTHERS AND FIGHTING FOR HORSEMEN’S RIGHTS REMAIN MY PRIORITIES. Our sponsorship of the Thoroughbred Owners Conference provided a great opportunity for NHBPA President Leroy Gessmann and me to spend time shaking hands and discussing the positions held by the NHBPA with owners, trainers and industry representatives from all over North America. I want to say a special thanks to two of the conference organizers, Gary Falter and Suzie Oldham, who recognized the NHBPA as an industry leader and made our sponsorship and presence very welcoming. The conference also gave me an opportunity to sit on a panel discussion and afforded me the chance to discuss and voice the importance of the NHBPA and our mission. We gained considerable feedback that was overwhelmingly positive, and that feedback was expressed to various affiliate members and executive directors around the country. I encourage you to review the videos of the event at ownerview.com, and I look forward to participating in the third renewal of the Thoroughbred Owner Conference in advance of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita this fall. As if that were not enough, the industry-wide recognition achieved by our winter convention in Tampa was nothing short of amazing. From the media coverage to the panelists to the committee meetings, we all left with a sense of pride and energy. Thank you again to the Tampa Bay Downs HBPA for hosting the event and to Tampa Bay Downs for hosting our members for a great afternoon of racing. For those of you who attended, thank you. For those of you who did not, please consider joining us in Vancouver July 1417 for our summer convention. I realize that budgets are tight and schedules are busy, but I really believe you will find it a worthwhile experience to connect with your fellow horsemen from across North America. With that said, I do understand that it’s not possible for everyone to attend in person, so I want to assure you that we are working to make these meetings more accessible to our members and the entire racing industry. We are examining options for online audio and/or video for the summer convention (and future conventions). The benefits of that are two-fold. First, you, as NHBPA members, will be able to access the valuable information and discussion that is part of our conventions. Second, the racing industry as a whole will have access to entire

panel discussions rather than just snippets and quotes that might be reported in the media. While I certainly appreciate the added media coverage we received at this most recent convention and for the most part it was very fair and positive, it is very easy for quotes to be taken out of context, whether intentional or not. By providing the full context of our panel discussions, I hope this will lead to a better understanding of our viewpoints and goals. To read a complete recap of the convention panels and meetings from the winter convention, please turn to page 23. As 2016 progresses, I will continue to tackle our new projects as well as to state and sometimes defend our positions within the racing industry. I still maintain that the NHBPA and our affiliates are poised to be a force that will institute change and progress for our industry in the near future. I will continue to define the NHBPA as a true leader. The NHBPA, through our affiliates, can be a powerful influence for positive outcomes. I will work with other industry organizations in an effort to lead toward uniformity within our racing jurisdictions on a basis that we can endorse. It is a must for all of us to continue to demand our leaders be those within our industry that have skin in the game. My goals include working and collaborating with others such as the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and the RCI scientific review committee as we move toward uniformity in which standards can be established and are based on scientific methods, leading to fairly established thresholds that can be phased in for the protection of horsemen. We also need to focus efforts on media rebuttals to those who challenge the rights of horsemen or mislead the public by stating one-sided messages. Gone should be the days of sitting on our hands waiting for someone else to speak up for the rights of horsemen. It is a charge of mine to fire back quickly and as often as necessary. We are at the table with the industry leaders, and it will take more than they have to pull us away again.


Eric J. Hamelback


CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Clara Fenger Jen Roytz Pete Sacopulos Kent H. Stirling



sponsors AFFILIATES Board of Directors - Affiliates Dr. David Harrington, Alabama J. Lloyd Yother, Arizona Linda Gaston, Arkansas David Milburn, Canada Randy Funkhouser, Charles Town Kent Bamford, Colorado Dave Brown, Finger Lakes William White, Florida Marta Loveland, Idaho John Wainwright, Illinois Joe Davis, Indiana Leroy Gessmann, Iowa Rick Hiles, Kentucky Benard Chatters, Louisiana George Kutlenios, Michigan Tom Metzen, Minnesota R.C. Forster, Montana Jami Poole, Mountaineer Park Barry Lake, Nebraska Anthony Spadea, New England Mark Doering, Ohio David Faulkner, Oklahoma Sue Leslie, Ontario Ron Sutton, Oregon Sandee Martin, Pennsylvania Robert Jeffries, Tampa Bay Downs Dr. Tommy Hays, Texas Horsemen’s Partnership, LLP David Ross, Virginia Pat LePley, Washington Glade VanTassel, Wyoming

The views expressed on these pages are those of the authors and/or advertisers, and they may or may not reflect the positions and/or beliefs of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, its officers, or Board of Directors. The Horsemen’s Journal, Volume 63 #1. Postal Information: The Horsemen’s Journal (ISSN 0018-5256) is published quarterly by the National Horsemen’s Administration Corporation, with publishing offices at P.O. Box 8645, Round Rock, TX 78683. Copyright 2016 all rights reserved. The Horsemen’s Journal is the official publication for members of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, a representative association of Thoroughbred owners and trainers. HBPA is a non-profit 501(c)6 Kentucky corporation. Members receive The Horsemen’s Journal as a benefit of membership paid by the national office from affiliate dues. Annual non-member subscriptions are $14. Single-copy back issues, if available, are $7. Canadian subscribers add $6. All other subscriptions

PHOTOGRAPHERS Ackerley Images Benoit Photo Denis Blake Mary Cage Linda Earley NYRA/Adam Coglianese Erin Palmer STAFF Denis Blake Editor 512-695-4541 E-mail: hj@hbpa.org Jennifer Vanier Allen Advertising Director 716-650-4011 509-272-1640 fax E-mail: advertising@hbpa.org Limb Design www.limbdesign.com Graphic Design THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL 870 Corporate Drive, Suite 300 Lexington, KY 40503-5419 Phone: 512-695-4541 Fax: 859-259-0452 E-mail: hj@hbpa.org HBPA Website: www.nationalhbpa.com Cover Photo: Horsephotos.com

outside the U.S. add $20 payable in U. S. funds. To order reprints or subscriptions, call (866) 245-1711. The HBPA National Board of Directors has determined that the publication of this periodical is necessary in the transaction of the public business required of the association. Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and/or advertisers and do not necessarily represent the opinion or policy of the publisher or HBPA board or staff. Query the editor prior to sending any manuscripts. Periodicals Postage Paid at Round Rock, Texas and additional mailing offices. CANADA POST: Publications mail agreement no. 41530527. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: P. O. Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4R6. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Horsemen’s Journal, P.O. Box 911188, Lexington, KY 40591-1188.




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Y E S T E R D AY. T O D AY. T O M O R R O W.


FEBRU ARY 6, 2016 / NO. 5


A publication dedicated

to the improvement of

Thoroughbred breeding and


Celebrating 100 years



Mohaymen wins the Holy Bull in ’16 bow






For 100 years our mission has remained 100

Celebrating 100 years

BloodHorse.com/subscribeHBPA 800.582.5604

the same: to serve the equine owner and breeder with integrity and improve the Thoroughbred breeding and racing.



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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters announced that Zayat Stables’ American Pharoah, the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, was unanimously voted as Horse of the Year at the 45th annual Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Florida. American Pharoah becomes the second unanimous selection, joining John Henry in 1981, to sweep all votes in the Horse of the Year category. American American Pharoah became the first horse to win the Pharoah received all Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. 261 votes from the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Daily Racing Form and the NTRA block of Equibase field personnel and North American racing officials. American Pharoah also was a unanimous choice for champion 3-year-old by Eclipse Award voters. In 2015 American Pharoah won seven of eight races, six of those Grade 1 events, including the Arkansas Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Haskell Invitational and Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was the first horse in 37 years to sweep the Triple Crown and the first to earn what has been referred to as Thoroughbred racing’s “Grand Slam” consisting of the Triple Crown races and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He also set a single season earnings record of $8,288,800. It was a big night for the American Pharoah team as Zayat Stables won both the outstanding owner and outstanding breeder awards and American Pharoah’s trainer, Bob Baffert, won his fourth outstanding trainer award. American Pharoah’s jockey, Victor Espinoza, finished second in the outstanding jockey category to Javier Castellano, who captured the honor for the third consecutive year. Spendthrift Farm’s Beholder, undefeated in five starts in 2015, won her third Eclipse Award, taking the older dirt female trophy. Beholder won the 2-year-old filly championship in 2012 and the 3-year-old filly title in 2013. The complete list of 2015 Eclipse Award winners are as follows: • 2-Year-Old Male: Nyquist • 2-Year-Old Filly: Songbird • 3-Year-Old Male: American Pharoah

• 3-Year-Old Filly: Stellar Wind • Older Dirt Male: Honor Code • Older Dirt Female: Beholder • Male Sprinter: Runhappy • Female Sprinter: La Verdad • Male Turf Horse: Big Blue Kitten • Female Turf Horse: Tepin • Steeplechase Horse: Dawalan (Fr) • Owner: Zayat Stables • Breeder: Zayat Stables • Trainer: Bob Baffert • Jockey: Javier Castellano • Apprentice Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione • Horse of the Year: American Pharoah The Award of Merit winner, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organizations, was presented to Leonard Lavin of Glen Hill Farm. The Award of Merit honors an outstanding lifetime achievement in the Thoroughbred industry. John O’Neil was honored as the 2015 Horseplayer of the Year as the winner of the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship. Media Eclipse Awards also were given in the categories of photography, audio and multimedia Internet, news/enterprise writing, feature/commentary writing, national television-feature programming and national televisionlive racing programming to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. The 2015 Media Eclipse Awards winners, determined by a judges’ panel for each category, are the following: • Photography: Scott Serio, Cecil (Md.) Guardian, “American Pharoah Trains at Keeneland for Breeders’ Cup,” and Michael Clevenger, Louisville Courier-Journal, “American Pharoah Wins the Belmont Stakes” • Writing – Feature/Commentary: Jennie Rees, Louisville CourierJournal; “Dyslexia Doesn’t Slow Down Keen Ice Trainer Romans” • Writing – News/Enterprise: Tim Sullivan, Louisville Courier-Journal; “Family, PETA at Odds After Horseman’s Death” • Television – Live Racing: NBC Sports, “2015 Belmont Stakes” • Television – Feature: Digital Kitchen (Hennegan Brothers, directors), AT&T U-verse Sports, “Ironman Perry Ouzts” • Audio and Multimedia Internet: Mary Simon, Daily Racing Form, “Regret’s Derby at 100”

THOROUGHBRED OWNER CONFERENCE CONCLUDES, NEXT EDITION SCHEDULED FOR BREEDERS’ CUP OwnerView’s second Thoroughbred Owner Conference, sponsored by Keeneland Association, the New York Racing Association, The Stronach Group and Woodbine Entertainment Group, took place in January with presentations on a wide range of aspects of Thoroughbred ownership and a keynote address by horse owner and CBS broadcaster Jim Rome.

Approximately 200 people attended the two-day event, including both longtime horse owners and new or prospective owners. In the conference’s closing remarks, William M. Lear Jr., vice chair of The Jockey Club, announced that the third OwnerView Thoroughbred Owner Conference will be held in the days leading up to the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park in early November. “Our first two owner conferences have been very well received, and we thank The Stronach Group for hosting this edition as well as our third conference to be held in November 2016,” Lear said. “Holding the next one WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




during Breeders’ Cup week will allow current and prospective owners to experience the sport of horse racing at one of its finest hours.” “We are thrilled that the next owner conference will coincide with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup president and CEO. “Competing in the Breeders’ Cup represents the pinnacle of success for an owner, and we anticipate that prospective owners will be impressed by the unparalleled racing and entertainment experience offered by the Breeders’ Cup and our hosts, Santa Anita Park.” OwnerView also announced that two of the presenting sponsors, NYRA and Woodbine Entertainment Group, have expressed interest in hosting future editions of the conference. A schedule of future conferences will be developed later this year. “The Stronach Group has been thrilled to host this event,” said Mike Rogers, president of the company’s Racing and Gaming Division. “We want to do anything we can to help grow our industry, and when people are all pulling in the same direction as we are with this initiative, it’s great for the sport.” The January conference, held at Gulfstream Park, included panels with prominent owners, jockeys and leaders in the racing industry that covered

numerous topics and recommendations regarding Thoroughbred ownership. National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback was among the speakers, and former NYRA announcer Tom Durkin once again served as the master of ceremonies. In his keynote address, Rome described his passion for Thoroughbred racing. “I’ve been doing radio and TV work for 30 years, and I have a great job,” he said. “But my best days at work are not as good as the most electric, surreal days I’ve enjoyed at the track.” He described his introduction to Thoroughbred ownership as well as some of the highs and lows he and his wife, Janet, have experienced, including the death from colic in early December of their champion and multiple stakes winner, Shared Belief. “Penny Chenery, the owner of Secretariat, wrote to me afterward and told me that the highs will outweigh the lows when you own Thoroughbreds,” Rome said. “We’re going to stay in the game. It’s been an amazing experience. We love the game mostly because we love the animals.” Video of Rome’s speech and various panels are available at ownerview.com.

Courtesy OwnerView

SOL KUMIN CHOSEN AS NEW OWNER OF THE YEAR BY OWNERVIEW OwnerView announced in January that Sol Kumin, the owner of Lady Eli, Wavell Avenue and several other stakes winners, was chosen as the New Owner of the Year, which honors a new Thoroughbred owner who has been successful in the sport and has had a positive impact on the industry. The award was presented at the Thoroughbred Owner Conference at Gulfstream Park. Nominees for the New Owner of the Year Sol Kumin, a partner in Award must have owned Thoroughbreds for fewer Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies than three years, have had an interest in a horse Turf winner Lady Eli, was at the time it won a stakes race in 2015 and honored by OwnerView. have had a verifiable owner’s license in 2015. Kumin, a resident of the Boston, Massachusetts, area, purchased his first Thoroughbred in 2014, and his first win came in March of that year with Madaket Millie at Gulfstream Park for trainer Chad Brown. A month later, he submitted the winning bid for future Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Lady Eli at the Keeneland 2-year-olds in training sale. In his short time in the sport, Kumin has helped form six racing partnerships: Beacon Hill Partners, Great Point Stables, Head of Plains Partners, Madaket Stables, Nantucket Thoroughbred Partners and Sheep Pond Partners. He now has an ownership interest in more than 65 racehorses, and nine of them competed in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup: Slumber, Ray’s The Bar (GB), Stallwalkin’ Dude, Sharla Rae, Gliding By, Undrafted, Last Waltz (Ire), Dacita (Chi) and Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) winner Wavell Avenue. Most of his horses are trained by Brown, and he also has horses with Richard Baltas, David Jacobson, Bill Mott, Jeff Mullins, Doug O’Neill, Todd Pletcher, Rudy Rodriguez and Wesley Ward. Kumin has brought an array of new owners and fans into the game. He has also shown his support for retired Thoroughbreds by donating a percentage of



each horse’s Breeders’ Cup earnings in 2015 to the New Vocations racehorse adoption program. “I am honored to be given this award for New Owner of the Year,” Kumin said. “I feel extremely lucky to have been introduced to horse racing at this stage in my life. In a short period of time, I have been fortunate enough to win some races and form some incredible friendships that I know I will have for many years to come.”

Kumin is the CEO and founder of Folger Hill Asset Management. Folger Hill is an equity hedge fund that was launched in March 2014. Prior to founding Folger Hill, Kumin spent 10 years with SAC Capital Advisors, most recently as chief operating officer. The committee that chose Kumin was composed of Price Bell, Reynolds Bell Jr., John Keitt, Kevin Lavin, Stephen Panus, Andy Schweigardt and Peter Willmott.

AUSSIE WINS INNOVATORS’ CIRCLE PRIZE AT GLOBAL SYMPOSIUM SWOP Stakes, a racing jackpot based on multiple race outcomes, received a $15,000 cash prize for winning the Innovators’ Circle at the wrap-up session of the Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming in Tucson, Arizona, in January. SWOP Stakes was developed in Australia by Shaun Pyrah, director of strategy for Six Faces, an interactive wagering company. The three-judge panel deemed it the most promising of the four finalists in the Innovators’ Circle, a pitch contest to drive innovation in horse racing. Doug Reed, director of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, which sponsored the symposium, presented Pyrah with the Innovators’ Circle award trophy. Reed said that the Innovators’ Circle would be continued and refined for the 2016 symposium. Submissions to the Innovators’ Circle contest came from five continents. The contest, which is based on the TV show “Shark Tank,” was developed by gaming author Vin Narayan and Neomancer LLC partner Hai Ng in conjunction with the Race Track Industry Program. The other finalists included pitches for an Equine Standing 3D CT Scanner; “20 Wins a Million,” a no-cost game sponsored by tracks to attract millennials; and the Thoroughbred Stock Exchange, a new model for horse ownership. Judges of the Innovators’ Circle were John Ford, CEO of BAM Software & Services LLC; John Hartig, chair and CEO of Daily Racing Form; and Mike Tanner, executive vice president and CEO of the U.S. Trotting Association. The judges asked the presenters extensive questions after they finished their pitches. Members of the audience were also given the chance to quiz Innovators’ Circle speakers. Audience members had a chance to pick their favorite pitch with the winner receiving a $1,000 prize. They voted for the Equine Standing 3D CT Scanner, which has the potential to prevent

catastrophic breakdowns by pinpointing horses most susceptible to injuries while racing. The symposium’s panel on fantasy sports wagering, titled “Serious Realities in Fantasy Sports,” generated a great deal of interest. Hai Ng moderated the panel of three on-site speakers with Sen. Raymond Lesniak of New Jersey participating via Skype. Sen. Lesniak said that due to pending court cases, New Jersey is “in limbo” regarding the regulation of fantasy sports. He also indicated that people in New Jersey are looking at bringing historical racing to the state’s racetracks. John Ford of BAM Software & Services LLC said that he believes that fantasy sports at tracks would help racing because the fantasy sports bettor and the horse racing bettor are remarkably similar people. “They are both analyzing data and placing wagers,” he said. Jack McGrail of the Oregon Racing Commission disagreed, saying that he saw no benefit of having tracks offer fantasy sports wagering. “It would not help the pari-mutuel handle,” he added. Speakers from around the globe came to Tucson to provide an international perspective on simulcasting. They discussed the challenges of different laws, the importance of accurate post times, foreign currency concerns and the varying cultures of horse racing and wagering. Moderator Scott Finley addressed the difficulty that pari-mutuel wagering systems have in bucking the well-established bookmaking culture in the United Kingdom, a huge betting market. Rene Schneider, with TSG Global Wagering Solutions LLC, emphasized that when entering markets in new countries, racetracks must tailor their product and pricing to the local landscape. In a session titled “Fixing Racing,” Dr. Jennifer Durenberger, a veterinarian, lawyer and past racing commission official, said, “Of all the things that racing commissions do, the most underfunded is investigation. That ‘boots on the ground’ piece is very critical.”

FEWER RACES LEADS TO SMALL UPTICK IN HANDLE, DECLINE IN PURSES FOR 2015 The Thoroughbred Racing Economic Indicators for Year-End 2015, released by Equibase on January 5, included some positive wagering figures. The first year-over-year handle increase since 2012 was recorded despite fewer races being run in the United States in 2015 (the number dropped by 2,334). During 2015, commingled pari-mutuel handle on U.S. races increased to $10,676,223,640, a climb of 1.18 percent from 2014. Larger gains were seen in average handle per race, which checked in at $274,157, an increase of 7.24 percent over the 2014 figure of $255,626. December closed out 2015 in strong fashion, when $694,167,064 was wagered on 2,365 races, for a whopping 8.09 percent increase

over handle from the same month in 2014, when $642,209,289 was bet on 2,427 races. Another positive figure was an uptick in average field size per race. In 2014, the average number of horses per race increased from 7.71 to 7.85, an increase of 1.81 percent. While total purses fell 1.62 percent from $1,111,714,495 in 2014 to $1,093,667,566 in 2015, the average purse per race increased 4.27 percent from $26,933 per race in 2014 to $28,084 in 2015. The increase in average purse size owed to the 5.65 percent decrease in the overall number of races in 2015, which dropped from 41,276 in 2014 to 38,942.






ALL FIVE CORPORATE SPONSORS RENEW AGREEMENTS WITH THE NATIONAL HBPA The National HBPA is pleased to announce that all four longtime corporate sponsors—equineline.com, Finish Line Horse Products Inc., Horseman Labor Solutions and Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies—and the newest sponsor—Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc.—have agreed to another year of sponsorship of North America’s largest horsemen’s organization. “The support of our corporate sponsors is vital to the success of the National HBPA, and we sincerely thank all of them for being our partners,” said National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback. “I encourage all NHBPA members to show their appreciation by giving strong consideration to our sponsors when they are in need of any of the services or products our sponsors offer. Simply put, without these sponsors we would not be able to achieve our mission of ‘horsemen helping horsemen.’ ” Equineline.com is a service of The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc. (TJCIS) that provides a wide variety of services for horsemen. Among the reports offered are pedigrees, race records and an assortment of breeding, racing and sales information for individual Thoroughbreds and American Quarter Horses, including free five-cross pedigrees for Thoroughbreds, free auction results search for Thoroughbreds and a free racing recap for both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races. Many of the Thoroughbred reports include video replay capabilities. Equineline.com also offers products that can help save horsemen both time and money, including the Trainer Program, Farm Program and Portfolio Service. A free Owner Program helps owners manage and track their horse records, including procedures, revenue and expenses. TJCIS also offers the popular Equineline Sales Catalog app and Equineline Mare Produce Records online service and apps. Many HBPA offices make equineline.com reports available as a service to their members. To find out more, visit equineline.com. Finish Line Horse Products Inc. has manufactured products for racing and other performance horses for nearly 40 years, but the family history with horses goes back well over a century. John Edward Howe, the great-grandfather of the company’s founder, rode horseback with Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, and Howe’s grandson John Casper Howe had a long career as a jockey and then as a trainer. Finish Line strives to provide the right products at the right price and offers a free hotline for customers to ask trained staff about Finish Line products or general equine-related questions. Although Finish Line has grown to serve many other equine disciplines over the years, Thoroughbred racing was the first and is still a core business for the company. The company appreciates the thousands of loyal clients who find that its products help them get to the “finish line,” and you can find many testimonials from fellow horsemen on the company’s website. Finish Line products are made in the United States and are 100-percent guaranteed to horsemen every time with the goal to “produce products that will show you a noticeable improvement in your horse.” That makes Finish Line’s



products a necessary part of many trainers’ barn programs and a factor in racing barns throughout the country. For more information, visit finishlinehorse.com. Horseman Labor Solutions (HLS) has provided immigration services to the industry for nearly a decade and assisted trainers in maintaining their staff of skilled guest workers. Whether it is a 10-month temporary visa for a skilled groom or hot walker or a five-year visa for exercise riders and jockeys, HLS and its immigration services are considered second to none by many horsemen. HLS CEO William Velie is a frequent speaker at NHBPA conventions and is handson in meeting with both trainers and guest workers to cover all details in the visa process. Velie’s offices are based in Norman, Oklahoma, but his practice is nationwide. He practices immigration law in all 50 states and has a wide range of employment-based immigration experience. With years of experience, Velie has secured nearly 5,000 visas annually. For more information, visit horsemanlabor.com or call (800) 678-RACE (7223). Serving the equine community for more than three decades, Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies specializes in racing supplies and carries an extensive line of horse health care items. In addition, the company carries product lines for all equine disciplines—a testament to the company’s efforts to be a convenient, one-stop shopping destination for horsemen and women. The company also offers a variety of equine gifts and custom products, plus a complete line of dog-related products. The company takes great pride in its speedy service and tries to keep all of its merchandise in stock for immediate delivery. Big Dee’s is well known for topnotch customer service and affordable prices. More than 90 percent of in-stock orders placed by 3 p.m. are shipped the same day. Customers can shop by phone at (800) 321-2142 or online at bigdweb.com. A complete product line catalog and a specific racing product catalog are available upon request. Joining the list of NHBPA corporate sponsors last year was Canada-based Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. Founded in 1992 and approved by Health and Welfare Canada, Omega Alpha follows the high-quality standards of Good Manufacturing Practice, the same ones used for modern pharmaceutical products, in making its own products. Omega Alpha also has its own rigid standards that include using only whole, uncut herbs so that the company can verify that no substitutions or alterations have been made. Additionally, Omega Alpha has its own fully functional laboratory to test the quality of the final product. Omega Alpha offers dozens of equine products to treat a wide variety of conditions and keep horses running at their peak. The company also places a high value on education, and its website includes several equine webinars about important horse health topics. Omega Alpha also presents a monthly “teleseminar” covering a different topic with a Q&A session afterward. For more information, go to omegaalphaequine.com or call (800) 651-3172.

NATIONAL HBPA MISSION STATEMENT Founded in 1940, the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) and its affiliates operate on behalf of Thoroughbred racehorse owners, trainers and backstretch personnel throughout the United States and Canada. Our mission is to improve and preserve Thoroughbred horse racing by: 1. Providing a representative voice for all Thoroughbred horsemen on matters integral to the advancement of Thoroughbred racing in the United States, Canada and at the state level. 2. Encouraging the highest standards of horsemanship to continuously improve the care, health and safety of the horse. 3. Facilitating guidelines to ensure the safety of the jockeys, trainers, grooms, exercise riders, hot walkers, farriers, veterinarians and all others who regularly come in contact with the racehorse.


5. 6.



Supporting the development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of nationwide uniform rules which promote safety and integrity in racing. Disseminating information on critical issues facing our industry to HBPA affiliates and to the general public as appropriate. Supporting and promoting programs and entities which provide general benevolence and other beneficial programs for affiliates and members. Assisting in the development of programs at affiliated tracks providing for the aftercare of our horses when their racing careers are over. Promoting the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.




The National HBPA’s focus has always been, and remains, the health and safety of the horse, the safety of the jockey, and the safety of all individuals coming into contact with the horse including grooms, hot walkers, trainers and veterinarians. The National HBPA believes a truly independent and transparent Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) composed of industry stakeholders (including the NHBPA, The Jockey Club, the United States Trotting Association and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, among others) not dominated by any individual organization, with input from appropriate medical and veterinary professional bodies such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners, must be the final evaluator of medical and veterinary science. The National HBPA believes that RMTC approved medication rules should be reviewed by the Association of Racing Commissioners


5. 6.

International on behalf of state racing commissions, and following an evaluation based on science and medical research with all industry stakeholders being heard, the rules should be adopted or rejected by a majority vote. The National HBPA contends that uniform medication rules must be based solely on published scientifically determined regulatory thresholds, with published scientifically determined withdrawal time guidelines, all based on and supported by data published in the scientific literature. The National HBPA believes that RMTC and ISO-17025 accredited laboratories should perform all medication testing. The National HBPA does not tolerate cheating in this sport. The NHBPA supports rules wherein repeat offenders of medication rules, after due process, should be severely penalized, including permanent expulsion from the industry.

Ackerley Images






By Brian W. Fitzgerald



providing the most current and accurate information for National HBPA members, the legislation update that normally would be printed in this issue instead will be available on the NHBPA blog at nationalhbpa.blogspot.com. The NHBPA’s lobbyist, Brian Fitzgerald, will provide updates when news and events warrant. Members can also sign up on the blog to receive email notifications when new information is posted.


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REGARDING THE H2B VISA The regulations for the H2b Visa have recently changed! Please contact our offices today for more information.



OFFICIAL SPONSOR of the National HBPA of the National HBPA

Horseman Labor provides comprehensive temporary labor solutions for immigration and other administrative compliance issues

Horseman Labor Solutions assist in the immigration visa process for individuals who are: • Hot-walkers • Stable Attendants

• Exercise Riders • Jockey Support Staff

• Grooms • General Laborers

For international labor needs, including: • P-1/P-1S Jockey and Valet visas

• H-2B Temporary Worker visas

• H-2A Agricultural and Farm visas

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BREAKING THROUGH PLATEAUS: Boost Your Horse To the Next Level By: Mark Hansen

The pressure to win is so enormous that many horsemen resort to whatever it takes to get a piece of the purse or a decent sale… even if it means putting their horses’ lives in mortal danger by doping them with illegal synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) drugs to boost endurance. Veterinarian Gary Smith said, “It’s a problem all over the industry. There is no way horses should be put on (synthetic) EPO.” So how do racers win? How do you gain a competitive edge without harming your horses or risking your livelihood? The answer may be found in a safe all-natural horse supplement that supports natural EPO function. Why is EPO boosting so critical? Just like in people, a horse’s muscles require oxygen for fuel. Red blood cells are the body’s oxygen-carrying cells. A higher red blood cell count = more oxygen = more muscle energy. Elevated muscle energy helps the horse perform harder, faster and longer during endurance events. All horses naturally produce EPO in their kidneys to stimulate production of new red blood cells from bone marrow. In short, EPO is a natural “blood builder.” With EPO doping, trainers try to boost the EPO effect to get a winning performance every time. They use a synthetic EPO (recombinant human EPO), even though the side effects can harm the horse. That’s one reason why it’s illegal. Fortunately there’s another option. EPO-Equine® is a safe, highly effective natural dietary supplement scientifically engineered for performance horses. A Kentucky trainer who refused to give out his name, said, “I don’t want my competition to know about this.” He found EPO-Equine to be so effective that he’s dead set against disclosing who he is, who his horses are, or even where he trains and races. He first started ordering a single jar of EPOEquine® once a month. Now he’s ordering several CASES each month. And he won’t tell BRL exactly why. He said respectfully, “Sorry – no way.” Bioengineers at U.S. based Biomedical Research Laboratories (BRL), first discovered a completely natural EPO-booster for human athletes (and it’s working miracles for top athletes and amateurs around the world). Seeing these results, horse trainers contacted BRL and asked about using this natural formula for their animals.

That’s when the BRL team dug deeper and discovered a proprietary, horse-friendly strain of a common herb that promotes optimal bloodbuilding results. EPO-Equine® is based on the blood-boosting abilities of a certain strain of Echinacea that’s astounding researchers and trainers alike. (It’s not a strain you can find at the local health store.) Veterinarians at the Equine Research Centre in Ontario, Canada ran a double-blind trial investigating the blood building properties of the active ingredient in EPO-Equine in healthy horses. For 42 days, one group of horses was supplemented with the active ingredient in EPO-Equine and another group of horses was given a placebo. The supplement delivered significant blood building results, increasing red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels. Researchers also observed improved blood quality and increased oxygen transport in the supplemented horses. Improved blood levels leads to elevated exercise physiology and performance. The patent-pending formula in EPO-Equine® contains a dozen different herbs, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components combined to promote natural red blood cell production . . . for remarkable speed, strength and stamina right out of the gate. Trainers find it easy to add just 1 scoop (3.2 grams) of EPO-Equine® to the horse’s daily feeding routine in the barn or on the road. Within a few weeks of daily use, you can expect to see increased red blood cell levels with no undesirable side effects. An increase in red blood cell levels can improve muscle performance, supercharge endurance, and enhance recovery after hard exercise. Nothing else is scientifically proven to deliver these benefits in a completely safe and natural formula. Compared to the cost of veterinarians, drugs, icing, tapping the knees, and putting the horse on Bute; or even the consequences of being banned for synthetic doping, EPO-Equine® is very affordable at the low price of just $59.95 per jar. Or save $180 if you are ready to commit to a larger trial of 12-jar case for just $539.55 with FREE shipping. EPOEquine® can be ordered at www.EPOEquine.com or 1-800-557-9055, and comes with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.





The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation announced that the seventh Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit will be held Tuesday, June 28, in Lexington, Kentucky. The summit, which brings together a cross-section of the breeding, racing and veterinary communities, again will be underwritten and coordinated by The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and hosted by the Keeneland Association. The first summit was held in October 2006. Subsequent editions were held in March 2008, June 2010, October 2012, July 2014 and July 2015. Summits will continue to be held annually. “This year we plan to bring back the summit committee meetings the day after the summit as we have in the past with the first few editions,” said Edward L. Bowen, president of the GraysonJockey Club Research Foundation. “This will help keep ideas fresh and keep committee members focused on initiatives to improve the welfare and safety of our equine and human athletes.” The summit will be held in the Keeneland sales pavilion and is open to the public; a live webcast will also be available. A formal agenda and a list of speakers will be announced at a later date.

Among the major accomplishments that have evolved from the previous six summits are the Equine Injury Database; the Jockey Injury Database; the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, which provides science-based testing of racing surfaces to enhance safety for horse and rider; a uniform trainer test and study guide; the racing surfaces white paper and publication of educational bulletins for track maintenance; the publication of stallion durability statistics; the DVD, Hoof: Inside and Out, available in English and Spanish; a model rule banning toe grabs greater than 2 mm and elimination of all traction devices on front shoes approved and passed in August 2008; and the movement by state racing commissions to create regulations that void the claim of horses suffering fatalities during a race. Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation is traditionally the nation’s leading source of private funding for equine medical research that benefits all breeds of horses. Since 1983, the foundation has provided approximately $22.6 million for 324 specific projects at 41 universities. Additional information about the foundation is available at grayson-jockeyclub.org.


Benoit Photo

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s longstanding Share the Wins program got off to a quick start for 2016 with John Oxley, Heaven Trees Farm and Speedway Stables becoming the first three owners to pledge earnings from potential graded stakes wins on the Kentucky Derby trail to equine research. Each owner has pledged to donate 1 percent of net purses (minus entry fees and trainer and jockey fees) for graded stakes Collected is the first horse this year to have a up to and portion of his graded stakes earnings donated to equine research. including the Kentucky Derby to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. When Oxley, a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a longtime board member of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, won the Kentucky Derby with Monarchos in 2001, he had already pledged 1 percent of the colt’s purse earnings to the foundation. This year, he has signed up his 3-year-old colt Airoforce.



Heaven Trees Farm, owned by Dr. Dede McGehee in Lexington, Kentucky, is on board with Dolphus, a half brother to 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. The percentage donated from Dolphus’ graded stakes wins is earmarked to support future projects at the University of Florida. Speedway Stables owners Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner of Houston made their pledge for Collected retroactive to his victory in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes and have made an initial contribution to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “We appreciate the generosity of these owners in agreeing to our request to make these pledges, and we hope many others will follow their lead,” said Edward L. Bowen, president of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “It is very kind of them to share the excitement of being on the Derby Trail, and it certainly is exciting for the foundation to have this connection with the respective owners of these talented racehorses.” Additional information about the Share the Wins program is available at grayson-jockeyclub.org.

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MYTHS, LIES AND THE TRUTH ABOUT SALIX/LASIX By Kent H. Stirling Why won’t this industry do as The Jockey Club demands and end the use of all of that “race-day medication”? Surely this 200-member group of elitists who operate a breed registry know what is best for the other tens of thousands of us that make up the Thoroughbred racing industry. So let’s examine all those race-day medications that are currently being abused by horsemen at our major tracks… All I can find is Salix/Lasix. Aha! So race-day medication is really just Lasix. Why would we shoot our industry in the foot by continually bitching to the media and anyone who will listen about the rampant use of race-day medication in American horse racing? This certainly makes it seem like the use of more than one race-day medication is rampant, when we know there is only one race-day medication—Lasix. Thirdparty administration of Lasix and heightened security has made it extremely difficult to administer anything to a horse on race day except for the legal medication known as Lasix. But wouldn’t it be great to return to the days of hay, oats and water when no medications or drugs were being used on our racehorses and all owners, trainers and vets were as pure as the new driven snow? Like, for instance, the early to mid-20th century, when there was little drug testing done until The Blood-Horse (isn’t that now a Jockey Club publication?) alerted the Federal Bureau of Narcotics that there was rampant drug use, including narcotics, in horse racing. This, of course, led to the advent of “saliva testing,” which was used well into the 1960s. I’m sure that this new test was a great deterrent for those drugging their horses. Heroin was so prevalent in racehorses then that the street name for heroin was “horse.” While I’m told “smack” and “dope” are more commonly used now, “horse” is still widely used. But I digress. I was supposed to be writing about Lasix and the many myths and outright lies that the racing industry at large has been subjected to. First, Lasix is said to be performance-enhancing by its critics, but then so are hay, oats and water and they have few critics…that can speak. I’m sure if horses could speak they would ask for a shot of Lasix before racing rather than have their water and sometimes feed withdrawn for up to 48 hours by those who don’t believe the results of the 2009 South African furosemide study. The three well-known scientists who conducted this research did so believing it would prove Lasix did not assist in the prevention of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), better known as bleeding. Why else would The Jockey Club put a million dollars toward this research, unless they thought it would prove conclusively that Lasix didn’t work? However, this most important study clearly displayed that pre-race administration of furosemide (Salix/Lasix) markedly decreased both the incidence and severity of EIPH. The authors were quoted after their study as follows: 16


“The challenge will now be for countries such as Australia, England, Hong Kong and South Africa that do not currently permit race-day use of furosemide to balance the animal-welfare aspect of being able to prevent or reduce the condition against the imperatives for drug-free racing.” But it goes beyond this statement. While some may believe in the health and welfare of the horse where Lasix is not permitted, their country’s regulators find it easier to bury their heads in the sand and act like the South African study never took place. This could partially be due to the logistics it would present to many race meets around the world. Most smaller race meets don’t have enough stalls available for the administration of Lasix to take place to runners shipping in to race on that particular day. I’m sure regulators in these jurisdictions would not want to take on the burden of regulating Lasix. Also, a lot of these “weekend” meets have very small purses, and the horsemen don’t always have the financial wherewithal to pay for the administration of Lasix. Second, the use of Lasix is said to weaken the breed. This one is almost laughable it’s so baseless. The most dominant sire line of Thoroughbreds alive today is Eclipse. Eclipse, while undefeated, bled so severely at times that he collapsed. He was descended from the foundation sire the Darley Arabian, through that stallion’s son, the champion sire Bartlett’s Childers, who never raced because he bled so badly and was better known to history as “Bleeding Childers.” He was Eclipse’s grandsire. One of the other foundation sires was the Byerly Turk, whose line produced the great Herod, a champion racehorse who was forced to retire due to severe bleeding and later the leading sire in England eight times. In those days, bleeding was evident only from blood pouring from the nostrils. That is what we today call epistaxis, which is seldom (thankfully) seen because of the use of Lasix. Yet many accuse this country’s horsemen of breeding bleeding into our horses. That is tough to do when it’s already there. Third, Lasix masks other drugs in the testing laboratory due to its diuretic effect. This was true more than 40 years ago when Lasix was first used legally in the racehorse. In fact, it was originally going to be legalized at two hours prior to post time when it is even more efficacious, but since Lasix did indeed mask other drugs then, it was finally approved at four hours prior to post in most jurisdictions. With the sophisticated, sensitive drug testing of today, there is virtually no masking of other drugs due to the use of Lasix. This is an old, outdated argument against Lasix, but it is still used by some. Fourth, since the introduction of Lasix, our horses make fewer starts per year than in the past, unlike the rest of the world. The Jockey Club Fact Book is the best source of this information. The oldest one I could find covered worldwide racing during 1991. Using the 12 countries with the most total starters in that year, we find that the country with the most starts per horse in 1991 was Japan with 9.1, followed by Italy at 8.9 and then the United States with 7.9 starts per horse.

By 2014, the number of U.S. starts per horse had indeed dropped severely down to 6.2, but then Japan had dropped to 7.7 and Italy fell to 5.8. The United States remained in third-place in this group of 12 countries as South Africa took second place with 6.4 starters per race. So it appears that throughout the world horses were making fewer starts 23 years later. Was this decline caused by the apparent need to breed for speed? Why were countries like Ireland, Great Britain, Australia and France, who are prone to point their fingers at the United States for permitting the use of Lasix, not on any yearly list of countries with the most starts per horse? Fifth, Lasix is responsible for having adverse affects on calcium and bone metabolism in racehorses. According to a veterinarian who testified before a U.S. Senate committee in 2012, there are “200 research papers” supporting this leaching of calcium from bones due to the use of Lasix. The National HBPA was unable to find any research papers dealing with leaching of calcium from the bones of racehorses. This unfounded statement has been parroted by others. The authors of the 2009 South African furosemide study stated unequivocally that Lasix does not cause osteoporosis. Sixth, not all horses bleed. There are those who think at least 80 percent of all Thoroughbreds bleed. Others think they all bleed to some degree. Dr. Paul Morley, one of the authors of the 2009 South African study, stated that “over 75 percent of all racehorses bleed, perhaps they all do.” Seventh, only the United States permits the use of race-day Lasix. What about Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela? They all permit the use of Lasix on race day. Eighth, horsemen flock to race their horses without Lasix when offered the opportunity as seen in Florida this past summer. There were so many entries in

the Lasix-free races that several had to be split. This indeed did happen, but only when the base purse was increased more than 50 percent for these Lasixfree races. Okay, so horsemen will do anything for higher purses. This is not actually shocking news. But when the purses dropped to the same level as races permitting the use of Lasix, these Lasix-free races could no longer be filled and carded. Ninth, 2-year-olds do not need Lasix; only older horses do. This is an outright lie. EIPH is a progressive disease and, thus, Lasix is most needed by 2-year-olds. If Lasix were ever to be phased out, the correct way would be to start with the older horses and work your way down in age. Tenth, many Internet gas bags like to categorize the NHBPA as a trainers’ organization that is completely out-of-touch and unaware that the owners they represent do not believe in the use of race-day Lasix. We did a survey of horsemen that had accounts with the horsemen’s bookkeeper at Gulfstream Park, home of the Florida Derby and one of America’s premier race meets. This survey was straightforward and had no “leading” questions as found in other industry surveys. The survey done by telephone simply asked each account holder, “Do you support the use of race-day Lasix?” Possible answers were, “I support it; I don’t support it; I have no opinion.” The results were overwhelmingly in support of race-day Lasix. Of the more than 1,300 account holders we spoke to that offered an opinion, 90.7 percent supported the use of race-day Lasix. If all of the above is true (and it is), then why do we see well-known, successful, leading trainers stating in the media that they do not believe in the use of Lasix, although they regularly use it on race days in their horses? The answer is simple. They train for those wealthy, misinformed and elitist owners, and these trainers want to remain well-known, successful, leading trainers.


> Massachusetts bred foals can now earn their awards when racing outside of Massachusetts. > The awards in open races are: 30% to owners, 25% to breeders, 15% to stallion owners and in restricted races 25% to breeders and 15% to stallion owners. > The Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association will sponsor 10 - $75,000 stakes races in 2016. > Sponsor 10 – $35,000 restricted Massachusetts bred races out of state in 2016.

121 Pine Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769 • www.massbreds.com • MTBA@comcast.net • 508-252-3690



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Aug. 17 – 30

Apr. 14 – May 1, Dec. 8 – 18

Sep. 7 – 27

Sep. 21 – Oct. 4

Dec. 26, 2015 – Apr. 10, May 5 – Jul. 10

Jul. 27 – Aug. 16

Humboldt (Ferndale)

Los Alamitos Race Course

Pomona at Los Alamitos

San Joaquin (Stockton)

Santa Anita Park

Sonoma (Santa Rosa)

Delaware Park

Dec. 26, 2015 – Jun. 12, Aug. 19 – Sep. 18, Oct. 20 – Dec. 11

Golden Gate Fields


Oct. 5 – 18


Arapahoe Park

Jul. 14 – Sep. 5, Nov. 10 – Dec. 4

Del Mar


Jun. 15 – Jul. 5

Alameda (Oak Tree at Pleasanton)


May 21 – Oct. 15

May 20 – Aug. 14

Apr. 17 – Oct. 16

Hastings Race Course

May 14 – Jul. 3, Sep. 3 – Oct. 16

Rocky Mountain Turf Club (Lethbridge)

British Columbia, Canada

May 6 – Aug. 27

Northlands Park

Oct. 17, 2015 – May 8

Jul. 1


Turf Paradise

Jul. 8 – Aug. 28

Evergreen Park at Grande Prairie


Alberta, Canada


20 racing 16

May 1 – 29 Jul. 2 – 10

Pocatello Downs Rupert Downs (Minidoka Fair)

Apr. 30 – Jul. 2, Sep. 16 – Oct. 2, Oct. 30 – Nov. 27 Jul. 2 – Sep. 5 Apr. 8 – 29, Oct. 7 – 29 Sep. 3 – 17 Jan. 1 – Apr. 3, Nov. 30 – Dec. 31

Ellis Park Keeneland Race Course Kentucky Downs Turfway Park

Apr. 28 – Aug. 13, Aug. 20 – Oct. 15

Apr. 19 – Oct. 29

Churchill Downs

Prairie Meadows

Iowa Kentucky

Indiana Grand

Jan. 1 – Apr. 30, Oct. 7 – Dec. 31

Aug. 6 – 14

Oneida County Fair

Hawthorne Race Course

Jun. 5 – 19

Jerome County Fair

May 3 – Aug. 30

Aug. 27 – 28, Sep. 11

Intermountain Racing and Entertainment

May 6 – Sep. 24

Apr. 23 – 24

Gem County Fair

Fairmount Park

Sep. 4 – 10

Eastern Idaho County Fair

Arlington Park

Aug. 19 – 20

Jul. 1, 2015 – Jun. 30

Tampa Bay Downs Cassia County Fair

Dec. 5, 2015 – Apr. 3, Apr. 6 – Jun. 30

Gulfstream Park








Manitoba, Canada


Nov. 19, 2015 – Mar. 27 Jan. 9 – Mar. 23, May 7 – Sep. 24

Fair Grounds Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Hazel Park

Suffolk Downs

Laurel Park

May 27 – Sep. 3

Jul. 9 – 10, Aug. 6 – 7, Sep. 3 – 4

Jan. 1 – May 8, Jul. 1 – Aug. 21, Sep. 9 – Dec. 31

May 8 – Sep. 11

Apr. 6 – Aug. 27

Evangeline Downs


Apr. 22 – Jul. 9

Delta Downs




Feb. 26 – May 7


May 20 – 22, Jul. 29 – 30


Fonner Park

Hastings Fairplay Park

Horsemen’s Park

Lincoln Race Course



North Dakota

Mar. 11 – Jun. 4

Mar. 14 – May 21

Remington Park

Will Rogers Downs

Apr. 25 – Oct. 22


Jun. 9 – Jul. 30

Jan. 2 – Apr. 23, Oct. 28 – Dec. 28

Mahoning Valley

Fair Meadows

Apr. 29 – Oct. 8

Jul. 16 – 31

North Dakota Horse Park

Belterra Park

Jun. 11 – Jul. 3

Jul. 22 – Sep. 5


Chippewa Downs

Apr. 29 – Jul. 17, Sep. 9 – Oct. 30

Belmont Park

Sep. 10 – Dec. 13

Zia Park

Jan. 1 – Mar. 27, Mar. 31 – Apr. 24

Apr. 22 – Jun. 20

SunRay Park


May 27 – Sep. 5

Ruidoso Downs

New York

Jun. 25 – Sep. 25

The Downs at Albuquerque

New Mexico

May 14 – Sep. 25

Aug. 22 – 23

White Pine Racing

Monmouth Park

Aug. 27 – Sep. 5

Elko County Fair

New Jersey


Aug. 5 – Sep. 5



Jul. 23 – 24, Jul. 30 – 31

Great Falls


May 20 – Sep. 17

Canterbury Park


Aug. 19 – Sep. 4

Schedule is based on available information at the time each issue goes to press. All racing jurisdictions have differing schedules and policies regarding the granting of future race dates that impact availability.

Sweetwater Downs

Apr. 16 – Nov. 26

Mountaineer Race Track Wyoming

Jan. 7 – Dec. 29

Hollywood Casino @ Charles Town Races

West Virginia

Sep. 2 – Nov. 26

Retama Park Apr. 9 – Sep. 11

Apr. 7 – Jul. 17

Emerald Downs

Jul. 2 – Aug. 28

Lone Star Park

May 27 – Sep. 3

Gillespie County Fair

Marquis Downs

May 22 – Oct. 6

Presque Isle Downs

Aug. 10 – 13

Tillamook County Fair

Jan. 6 – Dec. 30

Sep. 9 – 11

Harney County Fair

Penn National

Jun. 18 – Jul. 10

Grants Pass Downs

Feb. 13 – Dec. 20

Jun. 10 – 12

Eastern Oregon

Parx Racing

Jul. 13 – 16

Apr. 9 – Dec. 4

Woodbine Crooked River

May 31 – Oct. 18

May 8 – Oct. 24

Fort Erie

Ajax Downs



Saskatchewan, Canada



Ontario, Canada Ackerley Images

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he National HBPA Winter Convention returned to the Tampa, Florida, area for a full slate of meetings, presentations and panels at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort on February 4-7. Hosted by the Tampa Bay Downs HBPA, the event marked a return to central Florida after the 2013 winter convention was held at the same location. As was the case three years ago, medication issues were a top priority, but horsemen from all over the United States and Canada also tackled a wide range of other topics. The winter convention kicked off with a keynote address from Tampa Bay Downs President Stella Thayer, who addressed the struggles and successes of the Florida track, which despite not having slot machines like other tracks in the state has become one of the nation’s top winter racing venues. She also hit on a theme that was common throughout the convention. “There are genuine concerns about the integrity of races in the United States,” she said. “It would be easier if we had uniformity. Horse racing should be WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM



supported enthusiastically in the U.S. We should endeavor to protect its integrity.” The first panel discussion, entitled “Establishing Public Relations and the Importance of Media Awareness,” was moderated by Iowa HBPA Executive Director Jon Moss and featured Christina Bossinakis, services director for the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s Owners Concierge program; writer/ broadcaster Steve Byk of the online and radio talk show “At the Races with Steve Byk”; and Tim Campbell, founder Steve Byk broadcast his talk show “At the Races with Steve Byk” from Florida and stressed to horsemen the of technology and need to recognize the importance of handicappers. marketing company Blue Million LLC. The panel opined that horsemen and racetracks can and need to do a better job of sending out a positive but truthful message about the sport of horse racing. “You have something that social media loves—the beauty, the majesty, the animals,” Campbell said. “The more that you can tell the stories of racing about the backstretch and animals, that’s social media magic. Get those stories out there. It’s not expensive to do, but it does take time and effort.” Byk, who broadcast his show live from the convention, added, “Get out there and push back against those kinds of negative stories. Maybe it’s backstretch tours, paddock seminars, inviting local media and fans to the backstretch. Show them what goes on every day and the quality of care these horses get, from graded stakes winners to claimers. The best showcase we have is the horsemen and caretakers.” Campbell also took the opportunity to preview the National HBPA’s new website, which features a more modern and user-friendly layout. The relaunched website is also designed to work equally well for desktop users and those accessing it through smartphones and tablets. The updated website can be viewed at hbpa.org. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association then offered two presentations, one about the NTRA Advantage benefits program and another about the NTRA’s Safety and Integrity Alliance. Jeff Burch, senior vice president of advertising for NTRA Advantage, outlined the program that offers discounts to horsemen, including all HBPA members, on a variety of products and services from John Deere, Nationwide, Sherwin-Williams, UPS and more. Steve Koch, executive director of the Safety and Integrity Alliance, 24


provided an overview of that program and how it is beneficial not only to the horses and jockeys but to the industry as a whole by providing uniform standards for racetracks. The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) followed with a presentation by the organization’s president and CEO, Ed Martin, and RCI Chair Mark Lamberth. Martin stated that the RCI, which is an umbrella association of racing regulators, wants to build consensus on the major problems in racing, figure out how to address them and determine which ones can actually be achieved. “Nothing gets done if the industry is not united,” Martin said. “And right now this industry is not united.” Martin and Lamberth also talked about the important distinction between a minor overage for a therapeutic medication and a real performance-enhancing drug situation and how that distinction is sometimes lost on the general public. They also discussed a series of upcoming “town hall” meetings in which the RCI will solicit input from the industry on the issues and problems that should be addressed. The vital issue of retired racehorses was addressed in the panel, “Doing the Right Thing: A Forum for Thoroughbred Aftercare and Racetrack Benevolence.” Moderated by Washington HBPA Executive Director MaryAnn O’Connell, the panel included Erin Crady, executive director of Thoroughbred Charities of America; Kristin Werner Leshney, accreditation committee chair of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance; and Barbi Moline, executive director of the Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoption Care. “Over the last five or six years, we’ve really seen a revolution in the aftercare world. It wasn’t that long ago that aftercare wasn’t even a word,” Crady stated, adding that aftercare really comprises two different aspects: the direct care of the animals and then creating demand and value for retired racehorses. “A few decades ago, Thoroughbreds used to rule the show ring,” Leshney said. “Then at some point, imported warmbloods began to overtake them in popularity. Somehow Thoroughbreds developed a reputation for being ‘hot’ and unsound. But people are starting to realize again that Thoroughbreds are versatile sport horses.” The first full day of the convention concluded with Tom LaMarra, online content editor for The Blood-Horse, moderating a forum entitled, “Working With, Not Against, Professional Gamblers.” The panelists included two returning speakers—Bossinakis, who, in addition to overseeing the Owners Concierge program, has years of experience as an analyst and anchor on TVG and HRTV, and Byk, who conducts handicapping seminars in addition to his talk show—plus industry consultant and noted handicapping professional Dick Powell. “We do not treat our big bettors in this industry very well,” Powell said. “Think about how that’s different in poker with sponsorships and how they are glorified. But in horse racing, we almost demonize them, like asking how do they keep winning.”

Byk encouraged horsemen to be mindful of the importance of handicappers, who generate a significant amount of purse money through their wagers. “Try to thank the players on a regular basis,” he said. “Maybe in paddock interviews thank them for supporting the horse and making him the favorite.” The next day’s schedule began with a talk from Jennie Rees, who spent 32 years covering the sport for the Louisville Courier-Journal and now works as a communications specialist and Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of the North advocate for American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians, provided insight into the role of a vet and also horsemen and addressed the issues caused by zero tolerance rules. tracks. Rees, whose husband is trainer Pat Dupuy, echoed earlier comments about providing the public with a window to everything that happens on the backside. “Marketing can take many forms, and trainers need to embrace it,” she said. “An underused tool is the backstretch. People are curious about that. Tracks should consider it a marketing investment and put money into the backside so they can showcase that to the public.” For owners and trainers, she also offered some advice that is easy and effective. “If you win a race, invite some fans into the winner’s circle, and you’ll make them a fan for life,” she said. The medication forum featured a distinguished panel moderated by NHBPA Medication Committee Chair Kent Stirling. Joining Stirling were attorneys Bradford Beilly and Mike Meuser; veterinarian Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians (NAARV); and toxicologist, pharmacologist and veterinarian Dr. Thomas Tobin of the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center. The panel addressed issues relating to zero tolerance and environmental contamination, especially with current testing technology that can detect down to the level of picograms, which Fenger explained is one trillionth of a gram. To put that in perspective, she mentioned how a picogram would equate to a single mile on a round trip from the Earth to Jupiter—if that trip was made 1,000 times. Fenger covered the problems with zero tolerance and pointed out issues with humans in which wrongful accusations have resulted

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in drug convictions for innocent people, return to prison for innocent parolees and children being taken away from their parents because of increased sensitivity of drug testing and environmental contamination, like drugs on paper money. She said that in response to those issues, the criminal justice system has put in cutoffs and screening limits, but that is only partially done in horse racing. “The technology has outrun the regulations,” Meuser added. “We need to look to human medicine for how to fix that.” Meuser talked about how a “positive” level in a human drug test for methamphetamine is 500 times higher than in racehorses because the likelihood of environmental contamination is taken into account, not to mention that trace levels, even of a performance-enhancing drug, often have no effect on performance. Tobin also discussed “clusters” of trace-level positives, when positive tests happen to multiple horses and trainers, likely due to contamination. Following the medication forum, attendees were treated to an afternoon of racing at nearby Tampa Bay Downs, sponsored by the racetrack. The final full day of meetings included a benefit provider roundtable featuring MaryAnn O’Connell from Washington moderating a panel that included National HBPA Director of Operations Laura Plato; Dr. C. Reid McLellan, executive director of The Elite Program; and Richard Riedel, executive director of the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund. Plato provided an overview of the new NHBPA website and how affiliates can utilize it to showcase their benefits program, and McLellan gave an update on the continued success of the Groom Elite education program for backstretch workers. Riedel offered affiliates advice and guidance on standards and privacy requirements included in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. He then outlined the savings that the medical program in Kentucky has realized through negotiating medical invoices with providers. He explained several methods but focused on the faxable settlement offer that offers to pay the provider immediately at a discount off the billed amount. He provided a template for affiliates to use and said the strategy generally does not require any phone calls, saves time and has been very successful at saving money in Kentucky. The legislative affairs session included moderator Brian Fitzgerald, NHBPA government relations liaison; Peter Ecabert, NHBPA general counsel; and Julio Rubio, NHBPA immigration liaison and the Kentucky HBPA’s Hispanic and backside services coordinator. The panel provided

updates on current immigration, tax and medication reforms that could affect the racing industry. Following that was a presentation from Steve Wolf and Joel Benson of the online game, “20 Wins a Million,” which is designed to promote the sport with a $1 million prize to the first player who correctly selects 20 consecutive race winners. The duo explained that while the top prize is extremely difficult to achieve, the goal of the game is to build excitement and understanding of horse racing and handicapping by using lesser prizes to entice players to attend live races in their area (the prizes must be picked up at the racetrack). The concept was a finalist for the Innovator’s Circle prize at the Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming put on by the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. The company is currently soliciting partnership agreements with racetracks and expects to launch later this year at 20winsamillion.com. In a presentation about NAARV, Fenger explained why the racetrack veterinarians organization was formed and the many factors that go into a horse owner’s vet bill, and Susan Martin of equineline.com provided attendees with an update on the improvements of the website that offers pedigrees, reports and other services to horsemen. The convention concluded with the medication committee and model rules committee meetings. The primary topic of discussion in both was the need for research studies to determine scientifically based thresholds for therapeutic medications that have not already been done by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). The committees pointed out that for many of the medications on the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule established by the RCI and RMTC there is no published research available to explain how the thresholds were established. So the committees proposed filling in that information void by conducting scientifically based research in partnership with NAARV, and then presenting those results to the RCI and RMTC to see if adjustments to those thresholds might be necessary. “I hope [RCI officials] realize there are issues and let us help put in thresholds that are scientifically based,” said Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA. “The Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule was done quickly, and a lot of the data was extrapolated. It’s a good starting point, but we need to take a hold of it. Uniformity is not going to go forward unless we do the research. I think we’re very close and have the mechanism now to get that done.” The NHBPA Summer Convention has been set for July 14-17 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.









Mary Cage

It was common practice in the past to withhold a former racehorse’s Jockey Club papers when it was transitioned to a new owner, but there are reasons to reconsider that practice.

Mary Cage


hat exactly is a birth certificate? It’s so much more than just a piece of paper. It’s the official record of you—your age, nationality, heritage and existence. It allows you to receive health care, be enrolled in school, get married, get a driver’s license, obtain a passport—and if you misplace it (which many of us probably have at one time or another), getting it replaced is both necessary and a pain in the you-know-what. For Thoroughbreds, birth certificates are their Jockey Club Certificate of Registration, or “Jockey Club papers.” These Jockey Club papers allow horses to, among other things, be sold at public auction, race in

sanctioned events and be bred to other Thoroughbreds to produce the next generation of the breed. Why is it, then, that while humans would never intentionally part ways with that precious piece of paper, Thoroughbreds are routinely sold, adopted out or given away after racing sans papers? Included in The Jockey Club’s American Stud Book Principal Rules and Requirements is the following regarding transfer of ownership of a Thoroughbred: “It is advisable that no one complete the purchase of a Thoroughbred until the Certificate of Foal Registration (i.e., “the WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM



Mary Cage

A horse’s Jockey Club papers also contain a record of races won, which can be treasured information for a new owner after the horse is done racing.



“We certainly do think it’s best that a Jockey Club certificate is transferred with a Thoroughbred during any sale transaction, as its purpose is as an identification document for that animal throughout its life,” said Rick Bailey, The Jockey Club registrar.


Linda Earley

papers”) has been transferred by the previous owner. Before completing the sale, the new owner should compare the description on the Certificate of Foal Registration with the actual markings, including Oftentimes a retired racehorse’s lip tattoo is illegible, so its cowlicks, found on thearehorse.” papers important for identification and eligibility for awards many non-racing events. While at one time inmany owners or trainers retiring horses to second careers purposely held onto the papers rather than passing them on to the horse’s new owner in an effort to protect the horse, today that practice can have a negative impact on a horse’s off-track potential and ultimately its value. The most common reason for owners declining to give a horse’s Jockey Club papers to a post-racing buyer or adopter is to ensure the horse will not end up back on the track and racing, as a horse’s papers must be on file in the racing office of a track at which they compete. However, there are several reasons that sending the papers on with a horse into its off-track career might actually be the best thing for both the horse and its new connections. In an effort to protect the best interests of retiring racehorses and to alleviate racehorse owners’ fears of retiring their horse to a nonracing home, only to have that horse show back up on the work tab or in a race, The Jockey Club created a protocol to officially and permanently retire a racehorse. By both parties (buyer and seller) completing, having notarized and submitting the Permanently Retired from Racing Form available at jockeyclub.com, the horse cannot, under any circumstances, compete on the racetrack again.

These days, there are numerous opportunities for Thoroughbreds to have added value after the track, but only if it can be proven who they are. The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) was created to increase opportunities for retired racehorses by offering sponsorships for Thoroughbred-only classes, divisions and high-point Thoroughbred awards at open shows and competitions. To be eligible, horses simply need a T.I.P. number, which requires owners to know their horse’s basic biographical information. A Thoroughbred’s tattoo number, which can be found on the inside of an ex-racehorse’s upper lip, or the horse’s official Jockey Club name is all that’s needed to register for a T.I.P. number. All too often, however, the tattoos become illegible or their racing names are forgotten, making these horses significantly harder to identify, and thus ineligible for T.I.P. winnings and the increasingly popular Thoroughbred-only shows and competitions popping up around the country. This, in turn, limits a horse’s potential and can limit its value.

“The Jockey Club has several free tools online—free tattoo look-up and research, for example—that can help horse owners identify an individual they think is a registered Thoroughbred or a horse they perhaps have been given the name or pedigree information about but don’t have any official documentation to corroborate that information,” Bailey said. Another reason some owners of off-track Thoroughbreds are interested in procuring their horse’s Jockey Club papers is for breeding purposes, even if not breeding to race. “There are certain things you can’t do without a horse’s papers,” said Thoroughbred ex-racehorse owner Christine Siegel. “Depending on how far my mare goes in dressage, I plan to breed her to a warmblood down the road. You have to have papers to get certain inspections and be accepted into certain breed books.” Just as in the Thoroughbred breed, other breed registries and individual stallion owners are quite restrictive as to which mares they will allow to reproduce within their breed. “The goal of warmblood registries is to try to preserve the breed, so in order for the foal to be registered within that breed, its dam must be papered—with papers and pedigree in-hand,” said Kait Schultz, owner of Thunder Crest Performance Horses in New York. “In order for a foal to be accepted by an Oldenburg or Hanoverian registry, for example, the mare owner needs to be able to prove the mare’s pedigree and have her performance tested.”

SIMPLY A MATTER OF PRIDE Sometimes, wanting a horse’s Jockey Club registration papers is as

simple as a horse owner having pride in their horse’s lineage and the breed’s history. In the open Facebook group OTTB Connect, an online forum of nearly 35,000 Thoroughbred owners, trainers, riders and enthusiasts, the following question was posed: “Do you feel if a Thoroughbred is retired from racing and sold, given or adopted out, it should come with papers?” In addition to the numerous responses centered on professional reasons (competition awards, breeding approval, etc. listed above), many simply want to have the papers to pay homage to their retired racehorse’s heritage. “I just like having them,” said one respondent. “All my horses have a section of the wall in my office where I have some of their win pics, their framed pedigrees and current photos.” Several others who commented on the thread agreed and said that while they don’t “need” their horses’ papers for business purposes, they have them framed and hanging in their home, office or barn as an extension of an animal they hold dear. “I have my horse’s papers,” commented another user. “Even though he will never be raced again and they really don’t mean anything…it made me feel like everything was ‘official’ when he was given to me.” To many in this day and age, taking the proper steps to officially retire the horse from racing and sign the papers over to the horse’s nonracing owner is simply another way owners can do right by their horses. “Foal papers are like their birth certificate,” commented another Facebook user. “By not forwarding the papers with the horse, you are limiting the horse’s opportunities.”


Linda Earley

Oftentimes a retired racehorse’s lip tattoo is illegible, so its papers are important for identification and eligibility for awards in many non-racing events.


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tying up in

Ackerley Images



Navigating the complicated medication wa By Clara Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, and


he National Uniform Medication Program, which now includes the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule (CTMS), has ushered in a new and complicated era in our sport. Maintaining optimal health in horses, including racehorses, follows reasonably predictable courses, with veterinarians starting their treatment plans in the usual black bag. This bag consists of more than 26 therapeutic medications but still a relatively small group of tried and true medications. Not all disease conditions follow the usual path in every patient,

Pete Sacopulos, Esq.

of course. In human health care, this kind of situation has led doctors to think outside the box and look for new concepts and ideas borrowed from medical scientific literature to solve difficult clinical conundrums. The process is no different for equine veterinarians. The current regulatory environment, however, is turning this standard practice of the “healing art� upside down, making solving therapeutic and prophylactic dilemmas for the equine athlete more complicated than ever. One prime example can be found in the treatment of recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis (RER) or tying up.




Clinical Signs of Tying Up As horsemen, we know the signs. A nervous filly is sent to the track, often the day after walking. She galloped well, but walking back from the track, she begins to get stiff. Back in the barn, she is short strided and in obvious distress with shallow, rapid respirations and sweating. Recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis in Thoroughbreds is exercise-associated muscle cramping, which may range from mild stiffness to severe inability to move, muscle damage and kidney damage. In rare cases, it can be fatal. RER typically occurs after training and not after working/breezing or racing, and it affects fillies more commonly than other groups of horses. RER is considered to run in families, and although the gene has not been identified, it is passed from parent to offspring in an autosomal dominant manner; this means that a horse carrying either a single or double copy of the gene is affected. Horseman lore long ago assigned the cause of muscle cramping in racehorses to be the result of lactic acid buildup in the exercising muscles. This was the basic premise for the common practice of adding baking soda or other buffering agents to feed or water in order to prevent this painful lactic acidosis. While many horsemen swear by the effectiveness of bicarbonate for tying up, research has failed to show any difference in muscle enzymes, lactic acid or the incidence

of RER events when horses are supplemented with bicarbonate. More important, the regulation of bicarbonate administration in horses has made this practice obsolete with respect to actual racing events. If RER is not caused by lactic acid buildup, then what is the underlying cause? At the muscle cell level, RER may be associated with the abnormal movement of calcium within the cell. This seems to confer a performance advantage in Standardbreds but has not been proven in Thoroughbreds. Pain seems to be the result of a muscle contracting but not relaxing normally, resulting in painful muscle cramping. Many of the preventative therapies for RER are considered to specifically treat the underlying defective calcium channel. Dantrolene (Dantrium), a blocker of the calcium pump, is very effective, used at doses of 2–4 mg/ kg (900–1800 mg) in the morning before training. Magnesium, which is a natural calcium ion channel blocker, is commonly used intravenously before training to prevent RER and is effective at a dose of 10 g IV from 30 minutes to six hours before training. Cobalt, a naturally occurring mineral that has recently been made illegal by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI), is also a calcium channel blocker, and its efficacy in the prevention of RER has been suggested to be the source of its alleged performance-enhancing effect.

Management of RER A number of management practices can reduce the impact of RER in susceptible horses. RER typically does not become evident in susceptible horses until they have been in training for at least three weeks. At any point after this critical time period, susceptible horses can be identified by testing muscle enzymes before exercise and again four hours after exercise. Affected horses will have a marked increase in muscle enzymes, even in the absence of overt clinical signs. This exercise challenge test is very useful in determining which horses in a training barn may require special management going forward. Management includes exercise and dietary management. Dietary management usually involves the use of a high fat feed that contains starches, also called non-structured carbohydrates (NSC), comprising less than 20 percent of digestible energy (DE) and at least 13 percent DE from fats. These fats usually are in the form of rice bran. This diet has been demonstrated to reduce the incidence of RER,



but the mechanism has not been worked out. While use of these high fat feeds can be helpful, in the case of racehorses, when the diet is restricted to these special feeds it may be difficult to ensure intake of sufficient calories to maintain appetite, weight and level of training. The high fat content affects the palatability of the feed, and many racehorses simply back out of the feed tub. Exercise management is directed at limiting time off. Most RERsusceptible horses are easier to manage if they do not get days off from walking. Some horses can actually be trained out of a paddock, although whether this practice is advisable depends on both the temperament of the horse and the availability of turn out at typical racehorse stabling areas. In some RER horses, exercise and dietary management are insufficient to prevent RER and the associated painful muscle cramping.

Dietary Supplements Tying up is such a frustrating, painful and debilitating disease in horses that many alternative therapies have been tried. Just because bicarbonate administration is not useful or not practical in light of the regulation of its use, that does not mean that other supplements may not provide a benefit. Some forms of tying up may be caused by electrolyte or mineral imbalances or deficiencies. A survey of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians practitioners shows that selenium supplementation, by adding to the feed with or without supplemental injections, is recommended in most RER horses because selenium deficiency is common in many regions. Salt, balanced electrolytes, magnesium and chromium have all been recommended for horses that tie up. Recent research has shown that the amino acid L-carnitine decreases serum muscle enzymes and incidence of tying up in Thoroughbreds. Supplements such as FullBucket Medical Muscle, Animed Tie By and Animed Muscle Up Max Recovery contain L-carnitine with other ingredients, and many other supplement companies produce pure L-carnitine supplements. Doses of 5 g to 50 g daily are sufficient to increase blood levels in horses. Branched chain amino acids—leucine, isoleucine and valine—have been shown to reduce muscle damage during exercise in humans, although the type of muscle damage observed in humans is unlikely to be the same as seen in racehorses. Several branched chain amino acid supplements are available for use in horses, although no studies have been done in horses. Polyphenols, including bioflavonoids, quercetin and resveratrol, are potent natural antioxidants which may also benefit some RER horses. Many bioflavonoids are available for equine supplementation with vitamins C and K for bleeding (hesperidin C and K), resveratrol (Resvantage Equine) or non-specific polyphenols (Biovigor). No research has been done on the specific polyphenols for prevention of muscle cramping in RER horses.

Medical Treatment Nutritional management by feeding high fat feeds and various supplements is valuable in the general prevention of RER but does not prevent every case. In addition, many of the feed supplements lack adequate scientific research, leaving us to question whether they are just modern-day snake oil. Further, as the regulatory thresholds for both bicarbonate and cobalt should prove to us, “natural remedy” hardly prevents regulators from pushing such substances out of reach for therapeutic uses in horses. Modern sports medicine has made great strides in medical treatments that can be employed to prevent RER. Methocarbamol is a centrally acting muscle relaxer that is highly effective in the treatment of horses after an episode of RER and is used commonly at a dose of 25 mg/kg for the prevention of daily RER events. Acepromazine, a tranquilizer and vasodilator, is also commonly used as a daily treatment in the prevention of RER. Some trainers have used other tranquilizers, such as romifidine, xylazine or detomidine, at very low doses for the same effect. Prior to the ban on anabolic steroids, low therapeutic doses of testosterone were used in fillies to prevent severe episodes of RER, a therapy that is now out of reach. The use of pharmaceutical intervention for the prevention of RER is becoming increasingly complicated, as a result of the recently introduced regulatory restrictions on the use of these products close to racing. Anti-inflammatory medications, including non-steroidals like phenylbutazone and banamine and corticosteroids like dexamethasone and the valuable antioxidant DMSO, are commonly used to treat RER episodes but can also be used to prevent such episodes. Daily administration of one of these anti-inflammatory drugs cannot be recommended because the drug can interfere with the body’s normal adaptation to exercise and mask the presence of other injuries. However, many trainers and veterinarians have relied on these substances coming into a race for particularly persistent cases of RER. Because the doses used are relatively large, dantrolene and methocarbamol are associated with prolonged withdrawal times before racing, leading some trainers and veterinarians to use a complicated program for withdrawal, restricting methocarbamol well in advance of the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule, then relying on either unproven supplements or other medications permissible on the CTMS. While these prescriptions fall well within the withdrawal recommendations of the CTMS, it puts the trainer at risk for a positive test, as some of these very withdrawals have resulted in methocarbamol, xylazine, flunixin or bute overages. Honest attempts to prevent a debilitating and painful condition in horses has now taken on overtones of medication abuse, when the fact is simple: The rules intended to permit the therapeutic use of medications have failed to account for this cohort of horses with severe muscle cramping.




Regulatory Control of RER Drugs The earnest effort on the part of horsemen and vets to manage RER’s debilitating effects with therapeutic medications and alternatives has resulted in an interesting and sobering history of drug positives. A review of the RCI Coded Ruling Reports of two therapeutics—xylazine and dantrolene—utilized in the prevention and treatment of RER is illustrative. Xylazine is an analgesic and sedative, often used in very low doses during training to permit an RER horse to train without an RER event. On the CTMS, there is no research to support the recommended withdrawal of 48 hours and threshold of 10 pg/mL. Research presented at the International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians in September 2014, over a year after the CTMS version 1.0 was initially published by the RCI, demonstrated that xylazine has a long, flat elimination curve, essentially persisting in the horse indefinitely at a very low level. Pursuant to the Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and Recommended Penalties, xylazine is a Class 3 therapeutic medication. A positive drug test result for xylazine carries a corresponding recommended category “B” penalty. Despite the research presented at the 2014 conference, neither the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium nor the RCI made any adjustments in the threshold day suspension, and the recommended penalty for a first-time overage, absent mitigating factors, is a 15-day suspension together with a $500 fine and redistribution of all purse money. The erroneous science that accompanies the xylazine threshold is reflected by a review of the RCI Coded Ruling Reports, which details dozens of positives from Arapahoe Park to Wyoming Downs. In most cases involving a positive drug test for xylazine, the sanction closely follows the guidelines and recommended penalties. For example, in July of last year an Indiana trainer started a horse at Indiana Grand that finished second and tested positive for xylazine. The subject horse tested positive at 21 pg/mL, more than double the threshold of 10 pg/mL and the resulting penalty was a $500 fine, 15-day suspension and redistribution of purse money. The penalties for xylazine drug positives were largely consistent in Minnesota, North Dakota and other jurisdictions. In all, the RCI Coded Ruling Report for xylazine reflects nearly 50 cases of drug positives for this therapeutic medication for the period of 2005 to 2015 occurring at nearly 30 different tracks across the country. The problems associated with this threshold have been recognized by one jurisdiction: Washington has raised its threshold to 200 pg/mL. Dantrolene is an alternative therapeutic choice for the prevention of RER. A Class 4 therapeutic medication with a recommended 48-hour withdrawal time, dantrolene is a calcium channel-blocking skeletal 38


muscle relaxant that has been shown to prevent RER. Pursuant to the RCI Uniform Classification Guidelines of Foreign Substances, the medication carries a corresponding category “C” recommended penalty. As such, a trainer who starts a horse that tests positive for dantrolene would be subject to a recommended penalty, absent mitigating circumstances, of a $500 fine for the first offense only and a redistribution of all purse money. The CTMS lists a 2011 Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics paper by Dr. Heather DiMaio Knych, et al. as the basis for the threshold and withdrawal levels. In this paper, the researchers use a dose below the recommended dose and only eight horses are used in the investigation. However, in contrast to xylazine, at least there is some basis for the threshold and withdrawal. The fact that some research, however lacking, is the basis for the threshold is reflected in the number of positive tests. The RCI Coded Ruling Report for dantrolene reflects fewer reported positive drug tests, although they are reported at multiple tracks. The penalties do follow and track the RCI recommendations. An example of a dantrolene positive and corresponding penalty is seen in the case of Naturaliste, a Thoroughbred who tested positive for hydroxydantrolene, the major component of the drug dantrolene, in 2014 at Golden Gate Fields. The trainer received a fine of $1,000 and was required to surrender the purse money for redistribution. Another skeletal muscle relaxant commonly used to prevent and treat RER is methocarbamol, a centrally acting muscle relaxant with a CTMS recommended withdrawal time of 48 hours and a threshold of 1 ng/mL. The RCI Uniform Classification Guidelines lists methocarbamol as a Class 4 therapeutic medication with a corresponding category “C” recommended penalty. The study that serves as the basis for the CTMS threshold shows, among other shortcomings, that one of six horses accumulates the drug when given orally, suggesting that repeated dosing, like the manner in which methocarbamol is typically used, would exceed the threshold. A review of the RCI Coded Ruling Reports yields a whopping 325 positive reports from 2010 to the present. Almost all of the positive tests in which a drug concentration is listed are below 20 ng/mL, an alternative level that has been suggested as a more appropriate threshold. More interesting is the finding that where the science for the threshold is in question, such as for xylazine and methocarbamol, the number of positive tests are off the charts. In addition to drugs, minerals such as selenium, magnesium and cobalt have been used to prevent RER. Indiana was the first U.S. jurisdiction to regulate and implement a cobalt rule. Indiana’s rule established a threshold of 25 ppb and was implemented by way of an

The Tying Up Solution emergency rule that became effective in October 2014 for in competition testing and January 1, 2015, for out of competition testing. Initially, Indiana’s rule made a positive drug test for cobalt a category “A” penalty. Such a penalty, absent mitigating circumstances, carries a one-year suspension together with a $10,000 fine and redistribution of purse money. Indiana has since relaxed its cobalt rule providing for leniency for positive tests between 25 ppb and 50 ppb and re-categorizing cobalt as a category “B” penalty. In April of last year, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) voted 6-0 to regulate cobalt. The CHRB followed Indiana’s lead establishing a threshold level of 25 ppb in blood serum. Between 25 ppb and 50 ppb, the trainer is subject to a fine or warning for a first offense, and if the concentration exceeds 50 ppb, trainers face both a fine and suspension pursuant to an RCI Guideline Penalty Class “B” violation. Likewise, the Minnesota Racing Commission and the Maryland Racing Commission in 2015 began regulating cobalt, establishing a threshold of 25 ppb consistent with both the Indiana and California rules. The Minnesota Racing Commission in its Medication Related Racing Rules Violations, dated December 5, 2015, reported a cobalt positive test occurred that July involving a Standardbred. While the science, to date, is clear that cobalt has little, if any, performance-enhancing effect, there are pending cobalt positives in multiple jurisdictions. The outcome of these pending positives will likely be challenged on the basis of a lack of scientific evidence to support such regulation as well as the wildly inconsistent test results regarding cobalt positives. Test results for cobalt from various laboratories resulted in variations as high as 82 percent for testing of blood serum and 23 percent in urine samples. What is clear is that the regulation of cobalt will continue and likely become more universal.

With the ever-tightening restrictions on the pre-race use of both medications and naturally occurring substances for the prevention of RER in racehorses, horsemen must choose their preventative protocols carefully. Many racehorses back out of the feed tub when the grains are decreased and the fat is increased, but to the extent possible, a high fat feeding program should be used. Bicarbonate and cobalt have clearly been placed out of reach for use against RER, but other supplements may be of benefit. The consensus among track vets across the country is that regular supplementation with vitamin E and selenium is important for these horses. In this survey of racetrack practitioners, the vitamin supplement AzoturX (Finish Line Horse Products) and the polyphenol supplement BioVigor (Global Organics) emerged as the top choices for nutritional supplements used close to racing to prevent tying up. With no scientific studies to guide us, if one natural substance doesn’t work for a particular horse, there is no shortage of others to try. Among the science-based medications, some are better choices than others because of the risk of positive tests. The published withdrawal for methocarbamol is 48 hours, but if used orally and repeatedly, as is standard practice, the drug may not drop below the threshold for more than a week. Methocarbamol positives across the country have resulted from its use, which has rendered this very effective preventative unusable. It is imperative to know the rules in your jurisdiction. If you are racing in a jurisdiction that penalizes a methocarbamol overage with fines, suspensions, points and redistribution of purse, then you simply cannot use a moderate daily dose to prevent tying up. Acepromazine at a low dose, IV only, can be safely used up to seven days from racing, but oral administration and especially repeated oral administration may significantly prolong the withdrawal time. A low dose of dexamethasone up to 72 hours seems like overkill for such a purpose, but, unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the current regulatory environment permits this. DMSO at 48 hours likely has little impact on the race itself but can certainly prevent tying up during training the day before the race. Your veterinarian should be able to provide guidance about the risk and benefit associated with each medication option in your jurisdiction. In human sports, the regulation of medications provides for therapeutic use exemptions, and in this way, human athletes can benefit from modern medicine while still competing on a fair and level playing field. It is unconscionable to deprive the athlete of appropriate treatment laid out by his personal physician, and horses are no different. When the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 was passed, it underwent several years of debate with the primary conflict about striking a balance between the regulation of food and drugs without interference with or regulation of “the healing art.” Through amendments to the FDCA in 1951 and 1972, the medical practitioner was specifically protected from regulation because the medical practitioner alone carries the responsibility that such substances would be properly used. These principles have been abandoned in the oversight of horse racing in recent years, and the pendulum needs to swing back for the health and welfare of the equine athlete. SUGGESTED READING: http://cvm.msu.edu/research/faculty-research/valberg-

laboratory/recurrent-exertional-rhabdomyolysis WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM


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services to more than 2,000 backstretch workers each year. TCA allows us to give back to those who are the backbone of the industry we love.

Thoroughbred Charities of America is about more than just improving the lives of Thoroughbreds. Almost half of TCA’s grants support nonprofit backstretch and farm employee programs that provide a variety of health and human services.

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Since 1990, TCA has awarded more than $21 million to nonprofits whose missions support backstretch and farm employee programs, post-racing careers for Thoroughbreds, equine research and therapeutic riding programs. We extensively vet the organizations we work with, so you can rest assured that your donation—95% of which is passed on to the programs—will have maximum impact.

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One. Helping Many. Make your tax-deductible donation online at www.tca.org, call (859) 276-4989 or send your donation to the address below. P.O. Box 910668, Lexington, Kentucky 40591 | www.TCA.org | E-mail: ecrady@tca.org |



TICKETS to the

2016 BREEDERS’ CUP AT SANTA ANITA PARK! National HBPA Demographic Study Questionnaire Denis Blake

The National HBPA, with the assistance of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program, is conducting a survey to better understand the opinions and views of our membership.Your input is important, so we ask that you take a few minutes to complete this survey. Your personal information and answers will remain confidential and will not be shared with any other parties. Please provide your contact information and email if you wish to receive the results of this survey or other information from the NHBPA. We encourage you to take this survey online but have also made it available in The Horsemen’s Journal for anyone who would rather mail it back. By providing your contact information, you will be registered for a drawing to receive two complimentary tickets to the 2016 Breeders’ Cup to be held at Santa Anita Park. In order to be eligible for the drawing for the Breeders’ Cup tickets, you must be 18 years of age or older. In addition, for filling out the online survey you will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card.




PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS 1-State/Province of your permanent residence: _______________________ 2-What is your involvement in the horse racing industry? (check all that apply) Owner Veterinarian Trainer Racetrack Management Breeder Other Buyer/Seller/Agent 3-How many years have you been in the horse racing industry? 0 to 5 years 6 to 10 years 11 to 15 years 16+ years 4-Are you a member of one or more HBPA affiliates? Yes No 5-If “yes,” please list the number of HBPA affiliates you are associated with. These can be individual track or state/province-wide affiliates. ___________________ 6-If “yes” to question #4, how many different states or provinces do you race in? ____________________ 7-How many horses do you own? 0 1-5 Partial/Syndicated 6-10 ownership 11-25

26-50 50+

8-What is your gender? Male Female 9-What is your age range? Under 18 years 18-34 years

35-49 years 50-65 years

66+ years

10-Please select the highest level of education you have completed. K-11 Trade/technical degree High school diploma/GED Advanced university degree (postgraduate PhD, Attended college, but did not Doctorate, Masters) graduate College degree 11-Are you aware that the Interstate Horseracing Act (IHA) of 1978 required consent of horsemen at the host track to approve sending a signal? I understand IHA and its application I have heard of IHA but do not understand its application Not familiar with IHA 12-Are you in favor of a federally mandated central authority that would be responsible for overseeing and regulating horse racing throughout the U.S.? Yes No Uncertain 13-Are you in favor of uniform medication rules and testing procedures throughout horse racing in the U.S. or respectively in Canada? Yes No Uncertain 14-Are you in favor of severe penalties applied equally for habitual offenders of rules throughout the U.S. in horse racing or respectively in Canada? Yes No Uncertain

15-Do you think Lasix/Salix (furosemide) is effective in preventing and controlling bleeding (Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhaging) in racing or training? Yes No Uncertain 16-Are you in support of having the option to administer Lasix/Salix (furosemide) to a horse on race day? Yes No Uncertain 17-Do your horses regularly race on Lasix/Salix (furosemide)? Yes No 18-Into which of these categories does your total annual household income fall? Under $25,000 $100,001-$250,000 More than $1,000,000 $25,001-$50,000 $250,001Prefer to not answer $1,000,000 $50,001-$100,000 19-Do you own your own business? Yes No 20-Are you more likely to purchase products from sponsors of the National HBPA? Agree Neutral Disagree strongly Agree somewhat Disagree somewhat 21-Is your primary usage of the Internet via your phone or tablet? Yes No 22-Are you a regular user of social media? If so, please check all that apply. I am not a regular Instagram Pinterest user of social media Flickr Periscope Twitter LinkedIn Other Facebook Google Plus 23-In an average month, how much do you wager online? None $501-$2,500 $10,001-$20,000 $1-$500 $2,501-$10,000 Over $20,000 24-With regards to ADW (Advanced Deposit Wagering) accounts, how many do you have established? None 1-2 3-4 5+ 25-With regards to betting on an ADW (Advanced Deposit Wagering) account, which company is your preference? I seldom or never Xpressbet TVG place my bets TwinSpires Regional/trackon an ADW account based ADW Other To be eligible for the Breeders’ Cup drawing, please complete the form. Name:___________________________________________________ Email address:_____________________________________________ Street Address:_____________________________________________ City, State/Province, Zip/Postal Code:______________________________ Phone number:______________________________________________ To return the survey by mail, send it to: National HBPA 870 Corporate Drive, Suite 300 Lexington, KY 40503 WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM


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Come see what Ontario Horse Come see what Ontario Horse Racing hasRacing to offer! For further please call the please HBPA ofcall Ontario 416-747-5252 or 1-866-779-3067 For information further information the: HBPA of Ontario : 416-747-5252 Website: www.hbpa.on.ca Email: general@hbpa.on.ca

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Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion or policy of the publisher or National HBPA board or staff. ALABAMA HBPA KENNETH COTTON MEMORIAL AND ALABAMA-BRED FUNDS The second running of the Kenneth Cotton Memorial will be held at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana on Saturday, April 23. The race conditions have been modified to encourage more entrants with the race now at six furlongs with a $25,000 purse for Alabama-bred 3-year-olds and up who are maidens or nonwinners of two races that have run for $25,000 or less. The Kenneth Cotton Memorial is sponsored by both the Alabama HBPA and the Louisiana HBPA. Many thanks go out to the Louisiana HBPA and the folks at Evangeline Downs for supporting our Alabama races. The Alabama HBPA will also reimburse up to $500 in qualifying shipping expenses for horses finishing fourth and below in the Kenneth Cotton Memorial. Billing should be submitted to the contact information below. In support of Alabama horsemen, we are also pleased to announce that the Alabama HBPA will continue to distribute supplemental funds to the owners of Alabama-breds running in open company. We are keeping the payouts at $800 for first, $600 for second, $400 for third and $200 for fourth. Continue to contact us via email at nancy.m.delony@ms.com or by phone at (205) 969-7048 when your horse qualifies. For 2015, we distributed a total of $25,000 among 20 Alabama-breds. The top three earners were Ira, a 3-year-old gelding owned by Tracy Nunley and Jerry Hackett and bred by Hackett Brothers Thoroughbred, receiving a total of $3,600; Rebel Breeze, a 5-year-old mare owned and bred by William Burleson, receiving $3,400; and Buggin Out, a 4-year-old gelding owned and bred by Dennis Murphy, receiving $3,200. We look forward to the 2016 racing year and Alabama horses winning around the country. Nancy Delony, Executive Director




losses from the HBPA board members and office staff.

ARKANSAS HBPA OAKLAWN MAKES BIG IMPACT ON HOT SPRINGS AND STATE OF ARKANSAS The increased purses and attendance at Oaklawn Park have not only had an impact on horsemen but have also boosted the fortunes of the city of Hot Springs and the entire state of Arkansas. As of press time, the track is in the midst of another record-breaking meet with the highest purses in the more than 100-year history of the track. And, of course, history was made last year when American Pharoah used his victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. This year’s Arkansas Derby is set for April 16 and is sure to draw another enormous crowd. Stacy Spivey of KATV in Little Rock did a feature story about the track shortly after opening day in January that focused on all the benefits Oaklawn brings to the community. “Oaklawn is the number one tourist attraction in the state of Arkansas,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, in the story. “A million people go through there a year. I mean it really produces for the city year-round.” The news feature also quoted local business owners who said the live race meet equals a big boost in revenue. A 2014 study by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas showed that the economic impact of racing and gaming at Oaklawn and Southland Park greyhound track amounted to nearly $900 million to the state. Although the study did not separate the two tracks, it stands to reason that Oaklawn had the bigger impact of the two. “Oaklawn’s and Southland’s continued growth in racing and gaming generates substantial investment and job growth in Arkansas,” said Randy Zook, president and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber/AIA. “This study shows we have an opportunity to not only stimulate job growth but to draw economic activity from other states and increase collected taxes both directly and indirectly from the racing and gaming industry.”

Denis Blake

The Arizona HBPA hosted a grooms’ Christmas dinner in the Lucky Horse Kitchen. The Lucky Horse Kitchen is the horsemen’s kitchen under new management this year. Manager Johnna and her staff have gone above and beyond serving the backstretch. We served around 150 backstretch Lucky Horse Kitchen Kitchen Manager Johnna workers. The Arizona Chaplaincy at Turf Paradise opened a memorial garden on the north end of the chapel. It is called the Wayne Brasher Memorial Garden. It is in the early stages, but when landscaping is completed, it will be a lovely and peaceful place to sit and visit, enjoy your lunch or just relax. All work has been donated. Arizona HBPA board member Bill Matthews donated and erected the fencing, and Les Blake, a horse owner and owner of Moon Valley Nursery, donated a large tree. Thank you to all who have made this garden a reality. Anyone wanting to memorialize a loved one may purchase a brick for $20, and it will be put on the memorial wall. You may contact Loretta Brasher of the Arizona

Wayne Brasher Memorial Garden

Quarter Horse Racing Association, the Arizona HBPA office or Chaplin John Shumaker to order a brick. In recent months, members of our racing family have lost loved ones. We would like to offer our sincere condolences for their



Glen Berman

Glen Berman took the helm as executive director of the Florida HBPA, effective February 15. Berman, a practicing attorney and registered pharmacist, has held the position of executive director and general counsel for the Illinois Thoroughbred

Horsemen’s Association (ITHA) since 2009. Reporting to the FHBPA Board of Directors in his new role, Berman will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the FHBPA’s programs, staff and mission implementation. Based at the FHBPA’s headquarters at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, he will lead the FHBPA’s efforts to advance, foster and promote horse racing throughout Florida, as well as represent the interests of the FHBPA’s 8,400 licensed Thoroughbred owner and trainer members in all matters affecting horsemen overall. Berman will work with racetrack management, regulators, elected officials and various racing and breeding associations—both local and national—to further strengthen and improve Florida’s successful horse racing industry. “The vote for Glen to come on board was unanimous, and we’re confident he brings the kind of leadership and experience that will pave the way for horsemen’s continued success in Florida for many years to come,” said board member Adam Lazarus, who chaired the national search to replace the outgoing Kent Stirling. “Many of the challenges facing Florida horsemen parallel those we’ve faced and met in Illinois during the past six years—a tumultuous time,” Berman said. “I’m looking forward to applying that experience and working with the dedicated FHBPA Board to fully explore all the exciting opportunities Florida holds as one of the major focal points of the world’s horse racing market.” During his time at the ITHA, Berman oversaw dual ITHA offices at Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Course. He was responsible for purse contract negotiations with both racetracks, as well as for the direction of the ITHA’s legislative efforts, including the drafting and lobbying of gaming legislation. He represented the ITHA at all Illinois Racing Board meetings and helped create Galloping Out, a nonprofit dedicated to finding new homes for retired Thoroughbreds. A graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent, Berman was awarded his Juris Doctor in 1982. Prior to that, he attended North Dakota State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy and minored in journalism.



Denis Blake

DECOUPLING STILL THREATENS, BUT UNLIKELY THIS YEAR By Nancy Smith (reprinted from Sunshinestatenews.com) Though the deck is still stacked against them, Florida horsemen dodged a bullet in the Senate on March 1—and probably in the Legislature during the 2016 session—when lawmakers postponed further discussion of sweeping changes in Florida gambling law. Time is running out. The session ends March 11. “I’m not saying nothing is going to happen here,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Lee, R-Brandon, after the morning meeting. “We’re working to get something done, but it’s not easy and time is running out.” If the issue dies as expected this session, it would represent a reprieve for those in the pari-mutuel industry opposed to decoupling. But probably that’s all. Leaders in both chambers, and even the governor, want decoupling and want to make room for slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities in at least five counties outside Broward where voters have asked for it. That’s unlikely to change. For now, each of the parties is risking a $3 billion gambling deal between the state and the Seminole Tribe, asking the Seminoles to accept concessions they are unlikely to make. Lee told reporters there are three factions who want their own way on the gaming bill: “I call this the wealth distribution bill,” he said. “You have the [people involved in the] ransom being demanded by the compact and the massively large expansion of gambling in Florida. You have the group that believes we should just let the litigation play itself out. And you have folks who are trying to broker a deal to get something.” Presumably, horsemen fall into the category of people caught up in the “massively large expansion of gambling,” although Lee failed to mention the Seminoles aren’t driving the gambling expansion, the governor and Legislature are. Barry Richard, a lawyer for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, told the News Service of Florida’s Dara Kam, “Everybody recognizes the issue is the parimutuels. To me, it makes no sense. And that’s why I’m not assuming that it’s over,” he said. Some of us will always wonder whether Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced his strike-all amendment in the House because he knew neither the Seminoles nor the U.S. Department of the Interior would accept it, and he knew that would kill it. Was it a way of stifling gambling expansion and squaring things with casinos and track owners who have given lawmakers so much money, by putting the onus on the Tribe? And if you’re cynical, as many horsemen are, you might think there are other avenues to thwart those in the pari-mutuel industries. For example, SB 832 and HB 707, Joe Negron’s and Matt Gaetz’s fantasy sports bills, are still live and virtually identical and enjoy a plethora of political support. Critically, these bills are challenged by a Chapter 550 citation stating that fantasy sports events would be illegal if they are held on horse-related events. A next step could be to procedurally bring up these bills and amend them to include “except in certain circumstances.” That way they could be made to apply to just about anything germane to Chapter 550, even defining the type of facility that could be excepted, or decoupled. It could also be a good place to create a gaming commission, with the excuse of overseeing daily fantasy sports and have Sen. Maria Sachs’ bill language dropped in (which would then contain a Chapter 550 citation). Clever stuff. Other horsemen suggest another scenario: With the compact on hold, they say, think how desperate the state will be to find revenue from somewhere, WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




anywhere. With the cat out of the bag on the advanced deposit wager (ADW) taxation, consider the possibilities to pull the wool over their eyes on decoupling. Legislators could drop language from HB 7109 into one of the many sales and use tax bills out there now. Two dangers: • That horsemen would have a window of opportunity to increase their fair share of ADW revenue. But it would be used as a dangled carrot to get them to agree to decoupling/purse pools. • That another Chapter 550 citation on any ADW language could accomplish the same thing as the first danger. Horsemen have a great deal at stake. They need to get in everybody’s face, not just while the legislature is in session. They need to stick together, stay engaged, stay focused, lean on their elected officials on all levels and fight back with regional economic audits. This article was written prior to the end of the Legislative session. For further updates, go to floridahbpa.com.

INDIANA HBPA POST TIME APPROACHING FOR 2016 INDIANA GRAND MEET The 2016 Thoroughbred meet at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino is fast approaching. By the time you read this, the backside will be getting busy and the track should be open for training, barring weather setbacks. Gate schooling starts on March 29, and the track kitchen will open April 4. Indiana Grand will host 114 days of Thoroughbred racing in 2016, opening on Tuesday, April 19, and ending on Saturday, October 29. Post time for weekdays will be 2:15 p.m, with a 6:05 p.m. start on Saturdays. Race days will be Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday through most of the meet. A fifth day, Thursday, will be added in July and August. The 2016 Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development Program will be enhanced by an additional $1.4 million due to a legislative change passed during the 2015 session. The result will generate approximately 322 Breed Development overnight races in 2016—an increase of more than 15 percent over the number in 2015. The program will increase purses for 20 stakes races to $100,000, from the previous $85,000. The state’s four Signature Stakes will continue to be contested for $150,000 each. For more information on the breed development program, go to in.gov/hrc. For more information on the 2016 Indiana Grand meet, go to indianagrand.com.

INDIANA HBPA BACKSIDE BENEVOLENCE SERVICES TO BEGIN IN EARLY APRIL The Indiana HBPA will open backside benevolence for the 2016 season at the beginning of April. The providers’ schedule had not been established at press time. Eligible horsemen will have access to dentistry and on-site physician care at the Indiana HBPA trailer. Offsite referrals, for such services as chiropractic and podiatric care, are also available, as needed. All owners and trainers starting a race in Indiana are eligible to be Indiana HBPA members. Eligibility for benevolence and other membership benefits requires filling out a membership card, filling out all forms and providing required documentation for benevolence, and paying HBPA dues of $5 each per start for owners and trainers. This year, the income cap requirements have been raised to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for couples. Also, the limit on available services has been raised to $6,000 for each eligible member. For more information, go to inhbpa.org. PERSONNEL SEARCH CONTINUES The Indiana HBPA is seeking to fill two staff positions for the upcoming meet. We are looking for a new chaplain, and we are looking for an administrative assistant to work in the HBPA office on the track backside. If anyone is interested, please contact Executive Director Michael Brown at brownpreston@indy.rr.com or at (417) 903-4382.

IOWA HBPA 2016 IOWA HBPA SCHEDULE OF EVENTS April 18–22: Groom Elite 99—Introduction to Horse Husbandry April 27: Iowa HBPA general membership meeting April 28: Opening day of the Prairie Meadows race meet May 14: Annual Iowa HBPA Awards Dinner held in conjunction with ITBOA Awards Dinner May & June: Groom Elite 101 held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays July 2: Hope After Racing Thoroughbred Silent Auction June 30–July 2: Iowa Festival of Racing showcasing three graded races July 6–31: Adventureland tickets will be sold and available for use by Iowa HBPA members August 13: Iowa Classics Night featuring Iowa-bred stakes and closing day of the meet PRAIRIE MEADOWS TRACK KITCHEN TO REOPEN Last year, Prairie Meadows closed the track kitchen and replaced it with vendor style machines. Horsemen could purchase sandwiches and other assorted food items and were allowed access to the new kitchen area 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While the new times were very nice for horsemen to come in, sit down and eat a meal they had either bought from the vending machine or brought in on their own, it was apparent that this new setup with the vending machines was not going to be a long-term solution for the needs of the backside. Prairie Meadows then sought out many different avenues to fill in for the track kitchen. One avenue was to inquire with food truck vendors; however, the racetrack was not a viable working model for food trucks that move constantly and locate to high volume locations when needed. As such, Prairie Meadows is going to reopen the track kitchen for the upcoming 2016 racing season. The Iowa HBPA is looking forward to seeing the




PRAIRIE MEADOWS SETS LIVE RACING CALENDAR AND SCHEDULE FOR 2016 With opening day of the 2016 Thoroughbred meet approaching, Prairie Meadows Race Track and Casino has set the calendar and schedule for the 27th season of live horse racing at the Altoona, Iowa, facility. The 67-day Thoroughbred season will open on Thursday, April 28, and end with Iowa Classics Day on Saturday, August 13. Fans and horsemen alike will notice several changes in both the calendar and the day-to-day schedule, including new post times on weekdays and weekends. On Thursdays and Fridays, racing will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT. On the weekends, Saturday and Sunday racing will begin at 1:00 p.m. CT. The popular Iowa Festival of Racing, which has historically attracted some of the top horses in the nation to Prairie Meadows, will become a three-day event covering Thursday, June 30, Friday, July 1, and Saturday, July 2, with two stakes races on each of the three days. The $100,000 Saylorville (L) and the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) are scheduled for Thursday, June 30; the $100,000 Iowa Distaff (L) and the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) are set for Friday, July 1; and the $100,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap (L) and $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) are slated for Saturday, July 2. Thoroughbred racing will be held typically on a Thursday through Sunday schedule. The four exceptions to the regular schedule are afternoon cards on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, and Independence Day, Monday, July 4, and also Wednesday evening programs on June 15 and August 10. The complete 2016 racing calendar, including regular and special post times, can be found online at prairiemeadows.com/racing. IOWA HBPA OFFICE MOVE As always at this time of year, the Iowa HBPA office will be moving back to the backside. Our phone and fax numbers will remain the same. Until the opening of the meet, our normal office hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Once the meet begins in April, we will have the office available six or seven days a week, with normal hours beginning at 8 a.m. and going until 3 p.m., and we can be reached at (515) 967-4804. To keep up to date on news and issues occurring in Iowa, please follow us on our Facebook page and also sign up to receive our emails. To receive our emails, please contact us at info@iowahbpa.org and ask to be added to the list. Also, follow us on Twitter @IowaHBPA. We look forward to seeing the return of our horsemen, including familiar and new faces!

KENTUCKY HBPA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE You will recall that in the last issue I discussed, in depth, the proposed federal legislation championed by The Jockey Club. I explained that the proposed regulation will eliminate the use of race-day Lasix. In addition, it will also enable USADA, a private entity federally funded, to unilaterally override the horsemen’s and racetracks’ rights under the Interstate Horseracing Act. USADA will then decide who it will allow to receive simulcast of Kentucky’s races, which could seriously impact purses in Kentucky. Finally, horsemen will be required to pay for USADA’s oversight of racing. It is estimated that the cost of USADA’s


reopening of the kitchen for the horsemen on the backside and hopes that all of our members and their employees come to the track kitchen to support its reopening.

involvement could be in the range of $150 to $500 per start to owners. Fortunately, it was reported at the National HBPA winter convention that the legislation does not have the support necessary for passage. However, The Jockey Club and others are aggressively pursuing Senate and House sponsors for the legislation. Last year, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) voted to allow racetracks in Kentucky the right to run Lasix-free races. The KHBPA, along with Peter Ecabert, general counsel for the National HBPA, argued that the KHRC cannot delegate its authority in this regard. Frank Jones and Tom Conway, both KHBPA directors and racing commissioners, along with other racing commissioners, disagreed with the KHRC decision on the issue but were outvoted. Next, the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee of the Kentucky Legislation Review Commission voted that the KHRC regulation was deficient. Former Governor Steve Beshear overrode the Legislature’s decision, and it became effective on November 6, 2015. The KHBPA decided to seek an Attorney General’s opinion on whether the KHRC may promulgate regulations allowing private racetracks to run Lasix-free races. He ruled that the KHRC may not promulgate regulations delegating their authority to hold Lasix-free races at private racetracks. Some may question what the harm is in allowing a racetrack to run a couple of Lasix-free races. The fact is that the regulation did not specify the number of races. Therefore, any racetrack in Kentucky could decide to run as many Lasix-free races as it could fill. This is not fair to the horse or to the owners who may lose an opportunity to run their horses since they choose not to run without Lasix. The KHBPA signed a new contract with Turfway Park. Track management has indicated that they plan to upgrade the facility and install Instant Racing machines. We are optimistic that enhancing the facility and installing Instant Racing machines will perhaps allow Turfway Park to improve its purse structure. The KHBPA congratulates Marc Guilfoil. He was appointed by Governor Matt Bevin as the new executive director of the KHRC. I have always found Marc to be a consensus builder and willing to listen to both sides of an issue. Finally, it was great to see Don Ball at a recent Kentucky Racing Health & Welfare meeting. Don recovered from medical issues that have sidelined him for several months and is regaining his strength. Good luck in your racing endeavors. Rick Hiles, Kentucky HBPA President JENNIE REES APPOINTED AS COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT Eclipse Award-winning journalist Jennie Rees has been appointed by the KHBPA as a communications consultant for the organization. “Jennie’s remarkable insight and knowledge of the racing industry will greatly assist the organization in getting the KHBPA’s message out,” explained Marty Maline, KHBPA executive director. “The KHBPA president and board enthusiastically supported Jennie’s proposal.” Jennie will assist the KHBPA with social media, writing press releases, website management and being proactive with a public relations campaign aimed toward legislators. KENTUCKY ATTORNEY GENERAL FINDS LASIX-FREE RACES REGULATION UNCONSTITUTIONAL Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has found unconstitutional a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regulation that permits racetracks to conduct races for which horses could not be treated with the legal anti-bleeder medication furosemide (Lasix or Salix). WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




Agreeing with the position of the Kentucky HBPA, Conway’s office wrote in its opinion that the KHRC’s action allowing tracks to stage furosemide-free races is an “invalid delegation of administrative rule-making authority to private actors” and that “determination of whether a race is furosemide-free cannot be left solely to individual racetracks.” Keeneland had said it wanted to offer several races in 2016 with conditions that would ban the use of furosemide, a diuretic, within 24 hours of post time. The KHBPA contended that private tracks do not have the right to forbid use of a therapeutic medication that the state permits to be given four hours before a race. Lasix is virtually the only medication of which administration is permitted on race day in Kentucky and elsewhere in the United States under highly regulated programs that clearly identify which horses are racing with (or without) Lasix. Research has verified that Lasix is the most effective and efficient means to prevent or minimize the common affliction of pulmonary hemorrhaging (also called bleeding) in horses. Because of the likelihood that a horse will suffer bleeding during its career, many horsemen and veterinarians believe the best thing for the equine athlete is to strive to prevent bleeding in the first place by running on Lasix. The Kentucky Legislature’s Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee

Total Handle $59,979,235.00

Total Handle $349,562,599.00

Returned to Public $55,405,267.00

Returned to Public $321,066,950.00

Ackerley Images

Total Handle $41,472,493.00



Returned to Public $38,046,488.00

by a 6-2 vote found the Lasix-free race regulation deficient on September 8. After outgoing Governor Steve Beshear allowed the disputed regulation to go into effect November 6, KHBPA Executive Director Marty Maline asked Conway’s office for an opinion on its legality. “There are a limited number of opportunities for horsemen to run, especially at Keeneland,” Maline said, referring to the Lexington track’s 15-date spring and fall meets that offer some of the highest purses in the country. “If a race is carded as Lasix-free, then that limits the opportunity to run for horsemen who believe Lasix is a therapeutic medication to prevent epistaxis in horses. This is helping horses. Lasix on race day is allowed in Kentucky, and we feel this attorney general opinion endorses that regulation.” Maline points out that horsemen are free to run in any race without Lasix. He cautions that the flawed regulation offers another slippery slope. While a Keeneland official told the commission that the track would run only a couple of Lasix-free races, commission member and KHBPA Vice President Frank Jones noted that the regulation does not put a limit on the number of Lasix-free races a track could have. “Keep in mind that this proposal of Lasix-free races is a Jockey Club initiative,” Maline said. “The Jockey Club wants to see all Lasix-free races. Theoretically, if a track runs 10 the first year, the next year they might run 20. It really has far-reaching effects, not just one or two races at Keeneland.”

Track Revenue $3,112,238.00

ELLIS PARK INSTANT RACING MACHINES HANDLE & REVENUES 2015 KDTF Purses  Awards & Development Generated Supplements Fund $524,571.00 $37,470.67 $449,820.00

Equine Industry $119,959.00

Equine Drug $59,979.00

Higher Education $59,979.00

General Fund $209,951.00

Track Revenue $19,789,754.00

KENTUCKY DOWNS INSTANT RACING MACHINES HANDLE & REVENUES 2015 KDTF Purses  Awards & Development Generated Supplements Fund $3,231,625.00 $230,830.00 $2,621,719.00

Equine Industry $699,125.00

Equine Drug $349,563.00

Higher Education $349,563.00

General Fund $1,223,470.00

Track Revenue $2,414,953.00

KEENELAND RED MILE INSTANT RACING MACHINES HANDLE & REVENUES 2015 KDTF Purses  Awards & Development Generated Supplements Fund $364,062.00 $26,005.00 $155,525.00

SDF Development Fund $206,255.00

Equine Industry $82,945.00

Equine Drug $41,473.00

Higher Education $41,473.00

General Fund $93,314.00


THE HBPA IS YOU The HBPA, established in 1940, is an organization of owners and trainers numbering approximately 30,000 nationally in 23 states and Canada and more than 6,000 in Kentucky. The association is governed by a board of directors consisting of owners and trainers volunteering their time and elected by the membership every three years. The HBPA is committed to working for the betterment of racing on all levels. The HBPA represents owners and trainers on several fronts: • The HBPA is present in negotiating sessions with each racetrack regarding purse structure, equitable share of simulcast revenues, overall track safety, sanitation and security.


IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY WILLIAM VELIE, JULIO RUBIO OF KHBPA ATTEND IOWA CAUCUS William Velie of Horsemen Labor Solutions and Julio Rubio of the KHBPA provided this update from the Iowa Caucus It was a cold week in Ottumwa, Iowa, when we visited the town a week before the caucus the last week of January. We met a lot of interesting local people who gave us their thoughts on what they are looking for in a president. This was all made possible by a great friend and mentor, Jerry Crawford. We met with some of the presidential candidates to discuss their positions on immigration reform, which would deeply impact the horse racing industry. When we were in Iowa, we met with former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, who is the current head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In our meeting, we discussed the importance of a consistent guest worker visa program to the horse racing industry and the many people who work on the backside who will benefit from an amnesty for undocumented immigration status as long as they have a job and no criminal record. Secretary Vilsack let us know that his agency had signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security to assist the department with providing field offices in rural locations to help process eligible candidates should a deferred action program be allowed to go through. The secretary was optimistic that the Supreme Court case in April 2016 will be ruled in favor of allowing parents of U.S. citizens to become temporarily legal. We expect a decision in that case by June 2016. If the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans is ruled constitutional, then we will visit many tracks this spring and summer to help educate backstretch workers on whether they qualify for this program. Julio Rubio also serves as a Latino and immigration liaison for the National HBPA. “I encourage anyone who has questions regarding immigration to call me through my KHBPA office,” he said. One of the many valuable services our HBPA organization offers is guidance in the issue of immigration to our backstretch workers.

• The HBPA provides benevolence to horsemen in need, education and recreation programs to the backstretch, and various insurance packages that include—free of charge to members—fire and disaster insurance and claiming coverage. Visit one of the fully staffed HBPA offices at the currently running racetrack in Kentucky for details. • The HBPA works in conjunction with the chaplaincy program and the Kentucky Racing Health and Welfare Fund to provide support and benefits for horsemen. • The HBPA supports scientific research and marketing initiatives on a regional and national level to help promote interest in Thoroughbred racing. • The HBPA is at the forefront in litigation and legislation on issues involving horsemen’s rights in regard to interstate simulcasting, proprietary rights, casino gambling, therapeutic medication, sports betting and many other areas of concern to horsemen. How can I join? You are invited to drop by the HBPA office to meet the staff and learn more about current projects and how you can get involved in helping to improve the industry. There are no membership fees. Remember, this is your organization. Become an active participant and one of the horsemen helping horsemen. To join, all you need to do is fill out our membership card and fax, mail or email it back to us. For more information, please visit our website at kyhbpa.org and click on “How to Join.”

LOUISIANA HBPA DELTA DOWNS The 2016 American Quarter meet at Delta Downs begins April 22 and ends on July 9, featuring the $200,000-added Lee Berwick Futurity for 2-year-olds to be contested on the final day of the meet; the historical value for this race is more than $500,000 each year. The Firecracker Futurity will be contested on July 2 at $100,000-added (historical total is more than $250,000). Delta Downs estimates stakes purses for the 46-day meet will exceed $2.8 million and total purses will be approximately $10 million. For additional information, contact the Delta Downs racing office at (888) 589-7223. EVANGELINE DOWNS The 2016 Thoroughbred meet at Evangeline Downs begins April 6 and ends on August 27. The meet features 26 stakes highlighted by Louisiana Legends Night on July 2 with more than $750,000 in purses to be awarded to Louisianabred horses. For additional information, contact the Evangeline Downs racing office at (866) 349-0687.

Denis Blake

FAIR GROUNDS The Fair Grounds 2015–16 Thoroughbred meet concludes on March 27. The 103rd running of the Louisiana Derby (G2) will be contested on March 26 with a purse of $1 million featuring the top 3-year-old Thoroughbreds in the country. Of interesting note, Tom and Gayle Benson’s Mo Tom and Tom’s Ready are strong candidates to use the Louisiana Derby as a stepping-stone to the Kentucky Derby (G1). The pair finished first and second in the January 16 LeComte Stakes (G3). LOUISIANA DOWNS The 2016 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet begins on May 7 and concludes on September 24. The meet features Louisiana Cup Day and the Super Derby (G2). WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




Fair Grounds Race Course 2015-2016 Race Meets

Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino 2015-2016 Race Meets

1751 Gentilly Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70119 504-944-5515 * www.fairgroundsracecourse.com

2717 Delta Downs Dr., Vinton, LA 70668 * 337-589-7441 * www.deltadowns.com Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu



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HAZEL PARK MEET BEGINS MAY 27 The schedule has been set for the third season of Thoroughbred racing at Hazel Park. Thirty days of Thoroughbred horse racing have been applied for and approved by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) for 2016. From the order issued October 30, 2015: “A total of 30 Thoroughbred and Mixed Breed horse race dates, from Friday, May 27, 2016, through Saturday, September 3, 2016; live racing will be held two days per week, Fridays and Saturdays, with no less than 9 live horse races programmed per race date.” Although the MiHBPA and Hazel Park agree that there should be funding for more than 30 days of racing, the application was made to ensure that no dates would have to be cancelled this year in the event of any unforeseen circumstances. The MGCB made it very clear that they are much more willing to add additional dates than to cancel any dates. In addition to awarding the 2016 dates, the MGCB included the following language in their order: “(c) All 2016 race meeting licensees and certified horsemen’s organizations were given notice that the legislative appropriation for the regulation of live horse racing, simulcasting, and pari-mutuel wagering on the results of live horse races for the 2016 fiscal year was reduced by $670,100 from the 2015 fiscal year. Those persons are aware that due to overlapping race dates and times, specifically Fridays and Saturdays from Friday, May 27 through Saturday, September 3, there is a need to hire additional regulatory staff. At meetings held with all race meeting licensees and certified horsemen’s organizations on October 7, 2015, and October 21, 2015, all race meeting licensees and certified horsemen’s organizations acknowledged and understood that there may not be sufficient appropriation or staff to race on all allocated race dates. Budget projections at this time indicate a shortage is likely. If there is an insufficient appropriation or insufficient staff to conduct the allocated race dates, the



Executive Director will issue Orders reducing the allocated race dates for all race meeting licensees.” As the MGCB stated, there was a reduction in the budget of the MGCB for 2016 and the funds were re-allocated to the Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund for distribution to Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing programs, and this was acknowledged by the MiHBPA. We also indicated at the meetings that the “overlap” of race dates (i.e., both tracks racing on Friday and Saturday nights in the summer) would require an estimated expense of less than $200,000 and not $670,000. Given the overall reduction in total race dates for all breeds and the closure of Sports Creek, it remains unclear why any “reducing the allocated race dates for all race meeting licensees” would be necessary. MICHIGAN SENATE BILL 504, HORSE RACING ACT Senate Bill 504 was introduced in Lansing by Senator David Robertson. This bill has been crafted to amend and correct the various outdated and broken portions of the Horse Racing Act of 1995. Aside from removing and deleting sections of the act that no longer apply to the landscape of horse racing in Michigan, the new bill addresses two areas in particular. First, there is a clear and definitive new approach to the distribution of purse pool funds to the specific breeds. The new bill is built upon a “Breed Specific Distribution Model” that simply allocates purse pool funding to the two racing breeds based on how the money was earned. Simply stated, all dollars wagered on Thoroughbred races would be allocated to Thoroughbred race purses and all dollars wagered on Standardbred racing would be directed to Standardbred racing purses. Currently, more than 65 percent of all money wagered on racing derives from Thoroughbred wagering yet less than 43 percent is earmarked for Thoroughbred race purses. Senate Bill 504 would level the playing field by funding Thoroughbred racing purses to what the Thoroughbreds generate. Second, the new bill addresses the amount of money that is split between the racetracks and the race purses. An increase in funding to the tracks eliminates the need for starter fees. As you would expect, there are differing opinions between the certified horsemen’s associations and the racetracks with regard to the mechanics and the distribution programs with this bill. Clearly, the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association does not want to see any reduction in the amount of purse funding they receive while we continue to maintain (as we have for many years) that the current distribution is lopsided and unfair. Recently, in cooperation with the National HBPA, an informal survey was conducted with other horse racing states where there was no casino or racino support for purses. In every case, the distribution of purse pool funding is built on a site-specific or breed-specific model and every state polled has a model where much more funding is allocated to Thoroughbred racing than to any other breed. Michigan is unique when looking at our upside-down distributions and our subsidization of Standardbred racing. A copy of this survey is available by contacting the MiHBPA office. We have had meetings with the MHHA, our bill sponsor and the MGCB regarding these issues, and we will continue to do so. In the meantime, your continued support with your local senator or representative will be critical.

Denis Blake

MICHIGAN HBPA ELECTION RESULTS The election results have been tabulated, and George Kutlenios has been re-elected as president. Ginny Uelman will continue on the board, and our adhoc board member, Lisa Campbell, has been elected to the board. Additionally, WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM



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MINNESOTA HBPA CANTERBURY PARK PREVIEW Our new season at the Midwest’s best and friendliest racetrack, Canterbury Park in Minnesota, is set to open its doors for racing on Friday, May 20. We will have a new face in the race office as Robbie Junk will join Canterbury Park as the new racing secretary. Robbie has an extensive background in racing. He has worked at Ruidoso Downs and Zia Park and is the current racing secretary at Sunland Park in New Mexico. He served as the assistant racing secretary at Turf Paradise for many years before relocating to New Mexico. Andrew Offerman has been named the new director of racing. We welcome them aboard and look forward to working with them. The Minnesota HBPA and management are looking forward to working together for another successful season. The Minnesota HBPA office will also have a new leader joining its office, Wendy Hobson. Wendy comes from a racing family; her father was a jockey and trainer, one sister trained and is currently a racing secretary, and another sister was a horsemen’s bookkeeper in Portland and other tracks in the West. Wendy is currently the secretary-treasurer of the Arizona HBPA. We appreciate Arizona sharing her with us. Wendy will be in the Minnesota office May 2. Please come in and meet her. Oscar Quiroz will be returning to manage the pool and Ray Hashimoto the Eurociser. We are glad to have them back on board. The Minnesota HBPA will again sponsor the kids’ camp program with the help of board members Claudia Goebel and Dan Mjolsness. Stall applications are due March 21. The barn area will open April 25 for horses. In preparation for the 2016 season, the main track underwent a complete surface renovation. In addition to the main track renovation, a new starting gate was purchased. Management and staff at Canterbury Park want to ensure the safety of all participants. Canterbury Park takes pride in joining many other racing facilities in being a member of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance. We are excited to welcome back the stables of Mac Robertson, Valorie Lund, Bernell Rhone, David VanWinkle, Mike Bielher, Tony Rengstorf and Robertino Diodoro, just to name a few. We are looking forward to some new stables joining the meet. We also understand that veteran jockey Scott Stevens will be returning to Canterbury for the meet. Management will be unveiling some new promotions during the race meet. We at the Minnesota HBPA are excited to be a part of this team and ready to experience an exciting summer.

MOUNTAINEER PARK HBPA Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort will kick off the 2016 racing meet on Saturday, April 16, with a 7 p.m. post. The 160-day meet will run five days a week, nine races a day through November 26 and feature the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby on Saturday, August 6. Those returning to The Mountain will see the first phase of improvements to the backside. For the first time in more than 20 years, the maintenance department was able to complete some much needed projects, including new safety rails, fill throughout the shedrows and stalls and overall repairs. Stall applications were due by March 1. 56


At a recent West Virginia Racing Commission meeting, the commission approved the distribution of more than $500,000 to the purse fund from the Thoroughbred Development Fund for the payment of West Virginia-bred races. Currently, West Virginia-bred races are funded directly from the purse fund not to exceed $1 million in the fiscal year. This will allow West Virginia-bred races to be run after the cap is met. The Mountaineer Park HBPA will be hosting open enrollment for the West Virginia Racing Commission Retirement Plan for backstretch workers for the 2015 plan year in April. Participants should have received their allocation reports for the previous plan years. If you participated in the plan and did not receive an allocation report, please contact the Mountaineer Park HBPA office. The Mountaineer Park HBPA Benevolent Trust provides medical and welfare benefits to its members who race more than 75 percent of their starts at Mountaineer during the live racing meet. Those who qualify are eligible for up to $4,000 in benefits. The new trustees have spent considerable time familiarizing themselves with the trust and will continue to work hard to update the benefits package, control costs and ensure that all eligible members receive the appropriate benefits. The Mountaineer Park HBPA Board of Directors along with the Mountaineer Park Chaplaincy will provide complimentary coffee and donuts in The Derby Kitchen on Saturday, April 18. The board has spent the winter working on some new programs and benefits for members. Trainers should stop by the Mountaineer Park HBPA office to receive a welcome packet that will provide useful information for the 2016 meet.

NEBRASKA HBPA The live racing season began at Fonner Park in Grand Island on February 26 and continues through May 7. From there, Horsemen’s Park in Omaha will run a three-day meet on May 20-22. After a summer break, Horsemen’s Park will run a second live meet on July 29 and 30 for a total of five race days. Live racing will resume August 5 in Columbus and will continue through September 5. In addition, Lincoln Race Course will run one live day to be announced at a later date. A total of 53 live days have been scheduled for Thoroughbreds in the state. The Nebraska HBPA is in the process of collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to allow racinos at licensed racetracks that would go before voters in November. If you are interested in gathering signatures for the petition, please call Lynne Schuller at (402) 499-3398.

Denis Blake


Bobby Barron remains on the board, and Christi Flores has been newly elected to the board. A sincere thank you to all who ran for election.


feasible and the property would be developed. Now that Boston officials, Wynn Resorts and the MGC are in agreement and the Wynn casino project can move ahead, it is likely that the racetrack’s owners are accelerating their development plans. In response, the NEHBPA remains committed to controlling its own destiny and ensuring that horsemen have a quality place to race. Plans are moving forward for the NEHBPA to develop, own and operate a new nonprofit equine center and racetrack with a one-mile oval and turf course at an alternative location in Massachusetts. At this juncture, a feasibility study for the project is being undertaken. Enabling legislation would be needed. In related news, the slight glimmer of hope that live racing could ever return to Rockingham Park in New Hampshire grows increasingly dimmer. “I would say that is correct,” track president and general manager Ed Callahan said. “The Legislature does not seem to support that end of the equation.” Given the lack of political will to pass casino gambling during the current legislative session, the track appears headed to the sales block next month. Every year for more than 20 years, legislation that would allow casino gambling in New Hampshire and potentially renew Rockingham Park has been introduced in the House of Representatives and state Senate. Although bills have passed the Senate, the House has voted down every casino bill brought to the floor in modern times. A Senate bill to allow a single destination resort casino to be situated specifically at the racetrack has been put forth in the current session but Callahan said, “We do not anticipate that bill will go very far.” One year ago, 50 acres comprising about 75 percent of the stable area of the 160-acre track were sold for $9.6 million to a local developer, who in turn subdivided five acres and sold the parcel to an automobile dealer. The barns have all been demolished, and the dormitories and other structures on the backside continue to be leveled. Rockingham, the eighth oldest Thoroughbred track in the country, last hosted a Thoroughbred meet in 2002.

Denis Blake

SUFFOLK DOWNS SET TO HOST SIX DAYS OF RACING IN 2016 By Lynne Snierson It’s “all systems go” for the 2016 live meet at Suffolk Downs, and even though there will only be six total days of racing, excitement is building. That’s because the number of days is doubling from last year’s three Racing Festival days. “We are moving ahead with our six Racing Festival days, and everything is going well,” said Lou Raffetto, the consultant to the New England HBPA who is responsible for executing the festivals. “We will have programs on Saturdays and Sundays on July 9 and 10, August 6 and 7, and on Labor Day weekend on September 3 and 4.” In addition to thrilling live racing action, the festivals include food trucks, craft beers and free family fun activities with pony rides and children’s entertainment. The NEHBPA debuted the Racing Festival concept last year, and the three live days were a smashing success. Not only did they attract crowds averaging 10,000 enthusiastic fans per day but the average daily purse distribution of about $500,000 offered competitive opportunities in all divisions for the local horsemen and out-of-towners alike and resulted in full fields. Moreover, three stakes races restricted to Massachusetts-breds were carded on all three days, and purses were increased from $50,000 to $75,000 each. “We expect purses will be at the same level, or even higher, this year because of the Race Horse Development Fund,” Raffetto said. “We welcome everyone back for what promises to be six great days of live racing this summer.” The expanded gambling legislation in Massachusetts enacted in 2011 established the Race Horse Development Fund (RHDF) to benefit the state’s Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing and breeding industries. It is fueled by a percentage of the license fees and revenue from the single slots machine facility, which opened its doors last June, and up to three destination resort casinos. Two of those casinos have been licensed and are expected to open in 2018. The RHDF is split 75 percent-25 percent between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen, with 80 percent of each breed’s allotment dedicated to purses, 16 percent to breeders and 4 percent to backstretch welfare. At last report in January 2016, revenue from the single slots parlor at Plainridge Park Casino, which is owned by Penn National Gaming Inc. and is where the harness track is located, totaled just under $8 million for the RHDF. Meanwhile, the war between the city of Boston and Wynn Resorts over its proposed $1.75 billion casino project located just two miles from the Suffolk Downs stable gate has ended. On February 4, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) voted unanimously to approve an agreement between the two sides, which ended their long-standing battle over payments to the city and other matters. The deal, which netted millions in cash and other benefits to Boston, means that city officials cannot instigate any future legal action against the casino magnate. It also means that any hope of the Wynn deal falling apart and the owners of Suffolk Downs getting another shot at the single Boston area casino license is, for all intents and purposes, dead. In September 2014, the MGC awarded that license to Wynn over a rival proposal from Suffolk’s then gaming partner, Mohegan Sun, to develop a $1 billion casino on the racetrack grounds. When the decision was handed down, Suffolk’s owners said that a live racing meet was no longer economically







OHIO HBPA The 2016 Ohio Thoroughbred Fund (OTF) program will feature payments of more than $5.5 million to the owners and breeders of registered Ohio-breds. The program was approved by the Ohio State Racing Commission at its meeting January 26. Changes to the OTF program in 2016 include a requirement that Ohio-bred maiden special weight races, as well as Ohio-bred allowances for non-winners of two, non-winners of three and non-winners of four races lifetime, must be written at each Ohio Thoroughbred track at least every 18 days. Additionally, breeder awards will be paid to breeders of horses finishing first, second or third in any eligible race with the percentages paid set at 15 percent for broodmares and 10 percent for stallions. The OTF program will feature 41 stakes races for Ohio-breds in 2016 with the five-race Best of Ohio series, each worth $150,000, scheduled for October 29 at Mahoning Valley Race Course. The OTF program is funded in part by 10 percent of the Ohio HBPA’s portion of video lottery terminal revenues at both Thistledown and Mahoning Valley. For 2016 the Ohio HBPA’s contribution to the OTF is estimated to be more than $2.1 million. Mahoning Valley wrapped up its second fall meeting at the end of December with gains in total handle, average field size and average daily purse distribution. Average field size during the 37-day fall meeting at Mahoning Valley was 10.13 horses per race, among the highest of any track in the country. The large field sizes led to an average total daily handle of $694,341, up more than 10 percent from the 2014 inaugural fall meet at the track. The average daily purse structure at Mahoning Valley during the 2015 fall meeting was over $106,000, up more than 15 percent from the 2014 meet. The momentum from the fall meeting at Mahoning Valley has continued into the current winter-spring meeting, which runs through April 23. At press time, average total handle per day at the meet had exceeded $740,000. Racing in northeastern Ohio will shift to Thistledown on April 25. The 100day meet will conclude on October 22. Racing will be conducted on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the meeting, except for the month of August when racing will not be conducted on Fridays. Belterra Park’s 93-day meeting will kick off on April 29. Racing will be conducted on Thursday through Sunday each week through October 8 with additional racing dates on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. At press time, the purse structure for 2016 was being finalized for Belterra Park and was expected to be up approximately 20 percent from 2015.

During the spring of 2015, $19.3 million was wagered on live racing at the Downs, with five days surpassing $1 million. The stakes schedule begins April 4 with the third running of the $50,000-guaranteed Wilma Mankiller Memorial. The 10th running of the $50,000-guaranteed Clem McSpadden Memorial Route 66 is the following day on April 5. Oklahoma-breds will compete in the eighth running of the Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs Classic Distaff Sprint and the fourth running of the TRAO Classic Sprint on April 25 and April 26, respectively. Both races offer a $55,000-guaranteed purse. Closing out the spring meet stakes on May 16 and May 17 are the fourth annual RPDC Classic Distaff and the fifth annual Cherokee Nation Classic Cup. Both races carry a purse of $55,000 guaranteed for Oklahoma-breds. The backside will be full this year, as 2015 leading trainer Roger Engel is back with 28 stalls. He is on a mission to retain his title for the sixth consecutive year. Engel is expected to be challenged by Boyd Caster, Scott Young, Joe Offolter and Kenneth Nolen. Oklahoma-bred More Than Even, last year’s Horse of the Meet and the 2014 Co-Horse of the Meet, is back to defend her title for Engel and owner Doyle Williams of Tulsa. Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is located three miles east of Claremore on Highway 20. For more information, visit cherokeestarrewards.com or call (918) 283-8800. BOARD ELECTION RESULTS The TRAO would like to congratulate the winners of the board of directors election for the 2016–18 term. Owner Director: Wilson Brown, Danny Caldwell, Dave Faulkner, Michele Williams, Dr. Robert Zoellner Breeder Director: Randy Blair, Boyd Caster, C.R. Trout


KELLY CATHEY NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OKLAHOMA COMMISSION The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission in November voted to name Kelly Cathey as the agency’s new executive director. Cathey had been serving as interim executive director since August after Constantin “Tino” Rieger resigned. “My father was a horse trainer,” Cathey told The Oklahoman. “I’ve kind of come up through the school of hard knocks. I’ve had every job that you can imagine besides veterinarian.” Cathey, 45, has been working in the Texas and Oklahoma horse industry since the age of 14 with positions including groom, assistant trainer, assistant starter, racing official and assistant racing official at the three Class 1 Texas tracks. In Oklahoma, he worked as racing secretary at Will Rogers Downs and later was promoted to director of racing. He has worked for the OHRC since 2012, serving as a steward at Remington Park until being named interim executive director.

WILL ROGERS DOWNS THOROUGHBRED MEET OPENS WITH INCREASED PURSES Trainers, owners, horses and fans alike were gearing up for the return of Thoroughbred racing to Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs on March 14. In its 10th year in operation, the track is celebrating with a special announcement. Following discussions with the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, Will Rogers Downs is increasing purse levels during the meet by 10 percent. The spring meet also returns to a more traditional calendar, running through Preakness Day, Saturday, May 21. Races begin at 1:15 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday beginning March 14, and every Monday, Tuesday and Saturday beginning April 4. Each day features 10 races.

OKLAHOMA-BRED SHOTGUN KOWBOY NAMED HORSE OF THE MEETING AT REMINGTON Shotgun Kowboy, undefeated in three starts during the 2015 Remington Park Thoroughbred season, was a unanimous selection as the Horse of the Meeting. In balloting by media and Remington Park racing department personnel, Shotgun Kowboy was the easy choice by virtue of his wins in the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby, Oklahoma Classics Cup and an allowance event. Owned, trained and bred in Oklahoma by Edmond resident C.R. Trout, Shotgun Kowboy was also a unanimous selection as the season’s Champion 3-Year-Old Male and as Champion Oklahoma-bred. Shotgun Kowboy was ridden




REMINGTON PARK HANDLE INCREASES, RECORD PURSES PAID Remington Park completed its 2015 Thoroughbred season on December 13 with a photo finish deciding the $250,000 Springboard Mile, the final race of the year. The win, by a nose, went to Discreetness in a thriller over Suddenbreakingnews. The statistical finish for Remington Park did not have to go to a photo as total handle and purses easily defeated the 2014 numbers.


to his Oklahoma Derby and Classics Cup scores by Cliff Berry. Jockey Luis Quinonez had the helm for his allowance win at the beginning of the season. A gelding by Kodiak Kowboy, Shotgun Kowboy is now pointed to a 4-year-old campaign in the handicap division series at Oaklawn. In the only other unanimous vote, My Master Plan was the selection on all ballots for Champion 2-Year-Old Female. She completed a perfect season at Remington Park with four wins, including the E.L. Gaylord Memorial and Trapeze stakes. Owned and bred by Joyce and Dan McGough of Granbury, Texas, My Master Plan is trained by Donnie Von Hemel. She was bred in Texas and sired by Oklahoma stallion Oratory. Despite missing the victory in the season’s biggest 2-year-old race, Suddenbreakingnews got the nod in the voting for Champion 2-Year-Old Male. Owned by Samuel Henderson of Odessa, Texas, and also trained by Von Hemel, Suddenbreakingnews lost the $250,000 Springboard Mile by a nose to Discreetness. His victory in the $100,000 Clever Trevor Stakes in November proved to be the edge in winning the vote. Grade 1 winner Include Betty made one start during the season but made enough of an impression in winning the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks to gain the honor as Champion 3-Year-Old Female. Owned by the partnership of Brereton Jones and Timothy Thornton, Include Betty won the Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn in April and then the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park in June before finding her way to Oklahoma City. Trained by Tom Proctor, Include Betty was handled by Drayden Van Dyke in the Remington Park Oaks. Sweeping the top sprint races of the season, Ivan Fallunovalot won the vote for Champion Sprinter and Champion Older Male for his perfect two-for-two record in Oklahoma City. Owned by Lewis Mathews Jr. of Bismarck, Arkansas, and trained by Tom Howard, Ivan Fallunovalot had the services of Hall of Fame Jockey Calvin Borel in winning both the $75,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes in August and the $150,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup in September. Bred in Texas by Eileen Hartis, Ivan Fallunovalot used the Remington Park races to ready for an appearance in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at the end of October. The 5-year-old gelded son of Valid Expectations was in contention until early stretch in that race before fading. Zeta Zody earned top Champion Older Female honors thanks to a victory in an open-company allowance race for older females, followed by a pair of Oklahoma-bred stakes wins on the lawn. Triumphant in the Bob Barry Memorial Stakes in August and the Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf in October, the daughter of Omega Code enjoyed her best season yet at Remington Park. Zeta Zody, now 5, is owned by Al and Bull Ulwelling of Elk River, Minnesota, and is trained by Michael Biehler. She was bred by Robert Zoellner. Victories in the season’s top two grass events made Cougar Ridge the Champion Turf Performer. Owned by Richard Bahde of Omaha, Nebraska, and trained by Randy Morse, Cougar Ridge won the Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Handicap in August and the Remington Green Stakes in September. Jockey C.J. McMahon was up for both scores. A winner in four of five starts during the Remington meet, Treacherous won the voting for Champion Claimer. The gelding, now 7, raced for trainer Karl Broberg and owner End Zone Athletics.

A total of $62,475,502 was played during the 67-date season, up $5,564,642 over the 2014 numbers, for an increase of 9.8 percent. The average daily handle on Remington Park racing was $932,470. This is the third consecutive year that the Remington Park Thoroughbred season has increased its total handle. The boost was due to more interest by fans and players wagering on Remington Park via simulcast. The export handle on the races from Oklahoma City was $57,966,038, up $6,166,612, or 11.9 percent, compared to 2014 figures. “We are thrilled by the wagering response for Remington Park in 2015,” said Matt Vance, vice president of operations. “We tried 50-cent minimum wagers on a regular basis for the first time in our history, and they were wellreceived. The Pick 5 came along late in the season but was also welcomed by our players. We expect these offerings, especially the Pick 5 and the Pick 4, to continue their popularity going forward.” Remington Park, celebrating the 10th full year of offering casino gaming as part of its entertainment package, distributed record purses for the 2015 Thoroughbred season. A total of $16,896,014 was paid to horsemen, up 11.3 percent compared to the 2014 season. The daily average purses paid were $252,176, also a record for Remington Park. The daily average purses in 2014 were $226,576. The 2014 Remington Park Thoroughbred season was also 67 days in length. There were 607 races conducted both seasons. A total of 5,489 starters took part in 2015 for an average field size per race of 9.0, down slightly from 9.4 per race in 2014. On-track wagering at Remington Park was $4,185,321, down $543,720, or 11.5 percent, compared to 2014. Wagering at Remington Park’s three off-track sites around Oklahoma City was $324,143, down $58,250 from the 2014 mark. Live racing is now on hiatus at Remington Park. The American Quarter Horse season runs 50 dates from March 11 through June 4. The 67-date Thoroughbred season will be contested from August 12 through December 11. CALDWELL, BROBERG, MCMAHON AND VAZQUEZ TOP REMINGTON STANDINGS When the Remington Park Thoroughbred season concluded December 13, the leading horsemen titles were filled with both familiar and new faces. Exercising great skill at claiming horses, owner Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Oklahoma, earned his sixth consecutive title as Remington Park’s leading Thoroughbred owner. He ended the season with a record 49 wins. Caldwell won the Ran Ricks Jr. Trophy, named in honor of the first owner with horses on the grounds at Remington Park and a multiple leading owner in the track’s early years. This is the seventh overall Ricks Trophy for Caldwell, who won his first in 2008 and then every season since 2010. Caldwell also led in owner earnings with $856,635. Much like Caldwell, trainer Karl Broberg is extremely active with claiming horses. His operation had its most productive season since he arrived at Remington Park a few years ago. Broberg racked up 62 wins from 233 starters, scoring at a 27 percent clip while utilizing jockey C.J. McMahon as his first-call rider. As leading trainer, Broberg won the Chuck Taliaferro Memorial Trophy, named in honor of one of the initial leading trainers at Remington Park in the track’s formative years. Broberg becomes the first trainer other than Steve Asmussen to win the Taliaferro Trophy since Donnie Von Hemel in 2006. Speaking of Von Hemel, he led the training standings by earnings with his starters earning $965,969 on the season. The Pat Steinberg Trophy for leading jockey had to be duplicated for 2015 as for the first time in Remington Park Thoroughbred season history there was a tie in the jockey standings.





Ramon Vazquez, winner of the Steinberg Trophy in 2013 and 2014, made up ground on C.J. McMahon in the final weekend. He came from one behind as the final day started, winning three races to reach 87 wins for the season. McMahon, competing for the first time at Remington Park, had 85 wins going into the final day. He won a pair of races to reach 87 and force the tie at the top after Vazquez had taken the lead for three races. Neither jockey could win another race over the final four events on the card. The Steinberg Trophy is named after the jockey who dominated the first years at Remington Park, winning nine consecutive leading rider titles before his untimely death in an automobile accident in 1993. McMahon was the leading jockey by mount earnings with $1,897,936. Vazquez was second with $1,773,477.

HBPA OF ONTARIO WOODBINE BACKSTRETCH OPENING DATE The Woodbine Race Track backstretch opened for shipping in on February 18 with opening day scheduled for Saturday, April 9, and closing day scheduled for December 4. There will be 133 race days at Woodbine with racing scheduled at 1 p.m. every Friday (beginning April 22), Saturday and Sunday. In addition, a 1 p.m. post will be offered for holiday Mondays (May 23, August 1, September 5 and October 10). Wednesday night racing will begin on May 18 with a post time of 6:45 p.m. Thoroughbred training commenced on February 19 with the opening of the dirt training track.

FORT ERIE OPENING DATE Live racing will get underway on Tuesday, May 31, at Fort Erie with the return of the track’s popular twilight 4:15 p.m. post time. Fort Erie is scheduled to host 40 race dates from May 31 to October 18 with a Sunday post time of 1:50 p.m. Twilight Tuesdays will run through August 30 and then Tuesday racing will switch to a 1:50 p.m. post time until October 11. The last two days of racing, October 16 and 18, will have a post time of 1:30 p.m. The second gem in Canada’s Triple Crown, the 81st running of the Prince of Wales Stakes, will be held on Tuesday, July 26. For more information on live racing dates, events and dining reservations, please visit forterieracing.com. CANADIAN PARI-MUTUEL AGENCY’S 2016 ELIMINATION GUIDELINES BOOKLET The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) has released its 2016 Elimination Guidelines Booklet, which took effect March 1. Several elimination guidelines have been removed or significantly modified. Prominent changes include the following: Corticosteroids: Short-acting corticosteroids now have at least a 48-hour elimination guideline period. Anabolic steroids: Elimination guidelines have been removed. Since many of the elimination guidelines have changed and many have been lengthened, the CPMA wishes to highlight to industry participants the importance of carefully reading the new booklet when considering the use of therapeutic medications in racehorses in Canada to avoid the risk of a positive test. In addition and further to the CPMA’s notice to the industry dated May 29, 2014, the information in the new booklet should not be relied upon when using compounded medications. As always, the CPMA recommends that owners and trainers consult their veterinarians for advice and guidance in the use of all drugs and medications in their horses.

ONTARIO RACING COMMISSION APPROVES PENALTY GUIDELINE REVISIONS On December 18, 2015, the board of the Ontario Racing Commission approved revisions to the Penalty Guidelines for Equine Drugs, TCO2 and Non-Therapeutic Drug Offenses. With this revision, acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), furosemide and procaine will now be considered Class V drugs upon the receipt of a certificate of positive analysis indicating prohibited quantitative levels. The revised penalty guidelines are as follows: Class of Drug

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

4th Offense


1 – 5 years plus $5,000 fine

5 – 10 years plus $20,000 fine

10-year suspension plus fine


1 – 5 years plus $5,000 fine

2 – 10 years plus $10,000 fine

10-year suspension plus fine


60 – 180 days plus $1,500 fine

6 months – 1 year plus $5,000 fine

1 year – 2 years plus $10,000 fine

2 years or more plus $20,000 fine


15 – 75 days plus $1,000 fine

30 – 150 days plus $2,000 fine

60 – 300 days plus $4,000 fine

1 year or more plus $8,000 fine


15 – 75 days plus $1,000 fine

30 – 150 days plus $2,000 fine

60 – 300 days plus $4,000 fine

1 year or more plus $8,000 fine


10 years plus $40,000 fine

25 years plus $100,000 fine

For more information regarding the revised penalty guidelines, please visit ontarioracingcommission.ca (Policy Directive No. 1 – 2016). 60



Applications Due Test Dates March 2 March 23 April 6 April 27 May 18 June 8 July 6 July 27 August 31 September 28 Applications are available at both HBPA of Ontario track offices or online at hbpa.on.ca. Remember, completed applications are due three weeks prior to the test date.

OREGON HBPA The Oregon HBPA recently held its election for president and 10 board members, with the new board taking office in early January. Congratulations to Ron Sutton, who was re-elected as our president. Congratulations as well to the new directors:

Denis Blake

Owner Trainer/Owner-Trainer Susan Calvert Nick Lowe Sue Hurley Bruno Maelfeyt Dana Pettibone Mike Bullene Cheryl Weaver Dave Duke Luke Lindsey Lisa Baze A very special thanks to our former directors, Debbie Funk, Jonathan Nance, John Maloney and David Runyon. Your commitment to racing in Oregon and your service to all the horsewomen and horsemen in Oregon are greatly appreciated. Our members have enjoyed a successful racing season at Portland Meadows these past few months. The Portland Meadows season concluded on February 9. There have been some exciting changes and additions to our races that have brought new horses and owners to Oregon. Among those changes are the introduction of racing club races and a Rainbow Pick 6, the reintroduction in February of Instant Racing and a new poker room coming soon. The Oregon HBPA thanks Portland Meadows General Manager Karsten Hennze for his efforts and excellent working relationship with our board.


ASSISTANT TRAINER AND TRAINER TESTING DATES FOR 2016 For anyone interested in taking the assistant trainer or trainer testing this year, please note these important dates.

The OHBPA Contract Committee has submitted a proposal to Portland Meadows management for a 2016–17 race meet. A meeting with Hennze was scheduled for the first week of February to discuss the proposal. It is our hope to achieve a contract agreement in February (after press time), which will give certainty to our horsemen as they plan for their future racing opportunities. During the holidays, the OHBPA hosted both a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner in Cindi’s Café for all of its members. We had wonderful turkey and all the fixings for Thanksgiving, and for Christmas, we had prime rib. Thanks to Cindi for an outstanding job. Everyone enjoyed themselves a great deal. 2016 RACE DATES Race dates have been approved by the Oregon Racing Commission for our five summer race meets: Union (Eastern Oregon Livestock Show): June 10, 11, 12 Grants Pass (Southern Oregon Horse Racing Association): June 18, 19, 25, 26 and July 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 Prineville (Crooked River Roundup): July 13, 14, 15, 16 Tillamook (Tillamook County Fair): August 10, 11, 12, 13 Burns (Harney County Fair): September 9, 10, 11

PENNSYLVANIA HBPA INCOMPASS ADOPTED AS NEW PAYMENT INTERFACE Pennsylvania HBPA members at both Penn National Race Course and Presque Isle Downs will soon have their finances presented to them in a refreshingly crisp, clear and user-friendly interface via InCompass Financial Services (IFS), which the Pennsylvania HBPA is excited to roll out. IFS is a new product suite offered by InCompass Solutions that allows horsemen and other members of the Pennsylvania HBPA to access their financial accounts and records securely from any Internet connection, rather than solely from select hard-wired sources, as had been the case previously. IFS allows members free, anytime access to the horsemen’s bookkeeper tool, which provides income statements, account balances, tax forms and online check requests available at all times. This system is an improvement with respect to both convenience and the breadth of services offered by IFS, as compared to prior paycheck delivery methods. The new interface is markedly streamlined and is expected to simplify the system of check delivery, as well as empower Pennsylvania HBPA members with greater control over their financial standing. It will give members, as the IFS website says, “the freedom to do business any day of the week—day or night.” PA HBPA DONATES $10,000 TO EQUINE RESEARCH The Pennsylvania HBPA is proud to announce its recent donation to the University of Kentucky’s Research in Equine Medication Control Fund. The fund’s goal is to provide quality education pertaining to equine veterinary and medicinal treatment to students in Kentucky and beyond. The Pennsylvania HBPA supports the university’s efforts to better the world of equine medicine and acknowledges the responsibility horsemen have to provide assistance to those breaking new ground in the field. The donation, in the sum of $10,000, will be used in large part by the Gluck Equine Research Center, for which renowned pharmacologist, veterinarian, toxicologist and HBPA policymaker Dr. Thomas Tobin is a professor. Tobin has instructed at the University of Kentucky since 1975, and he has authored more than 350 papers on the subject of biochemical pharmacology and the effects of various drugs on racehorses. Tobin has brought in significant WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




Many thanks to her for taking time from her busy schedule to attend. Convention attendees were also treated to a luncheon and day at the races courtesy of the track. As always, the National HBPA did a tremendous job of coordinating all of the logistics required for a successful convention. We held our annual TBD HBPA Owner/Trainer Appreciation Dinner on February 23 at the Countryside Country Club, and the Horsemen’s Barbecue will be scheduled for sometime in March. The annual Florida Cup Day, sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, Tampa Bay Downs and the TBD HBPA, will be held on Saturday, April 9, with $450,000 in stakes purses. One of the most popular events of the meet, Florida Cup Day not only showcases Florida-breds but also provides a special day for breeders, owners and trainers. Congratulations to all HBPA Groom of the Week winners thus far: Ceaser Condori – Trainer, Kathleen O’ Connell Jose Luis Rosales – Trainer, Tom Proctor Juan Enriquez – Trainer, Tony Wilson Theodoro Esparza – Trainer, Kathleen O’Connell Eliseo Esclante – Trainer, Bernell Rhone Our condolences go out to the family of longtime trainer Marshall Novak, who passed in January after a long illness.

money for educational grants to the university, and a great deal of his contributions to the world of horse racing come in the form of the tests his company developed and brought to market of more than 75 drugs used in horse and greyhound racing. Additionally, Tobin co-authored the 2009 Proposed National Policy on Drug Testing and Therapeutic Medication Regulation for the National HBPA, which set national standards for administrative procedures on horses, as well as defined regulations and policies regarding veterinary medicine that remain in place today. For his contributions, Tobin was awarded the 2008 National HBPA Industry Service Award jointly alongside Kent Stirling, with whom he coauthored the aforementioned policy. Of the donation to the fund, Pennsylvania HBPA Executive Director Todd Mostoller said: “Dr. Tobin is a great friend to horsemen. We are proud to be able to offer our support to him and the research that his organization conducts.” The Pennsylvania HBPA is confident that with its donation, the great work performed by Tobin and those at the University of Kentucky may continue to benefit the world of horse racing. More information on Tobin can be found on his website at thomastobin.com.





Erin Palmer

The Tampa Bay Downs HBPA kicked off the 2015–16 season with its annual Christmas party on December 21. A big thank you to everyone who volunteered their time to help serve food to the enormous crowd of owners, trainers and backside employees. The TBD HBPA also held a new competition this holiday season. Our first annual “Bling the Barn” contest resulted in the decoration of many barns with an array of Christmas themes. The Richardson barn was one of the winners of the Winners included Pony “Bling the Barn” contest. Barn, Aschinger Barn, McCooey Barn, Guciardo Barn, Proctor Barn and Richardson Barn. Prizes for each included a 10-pound bag of apples and carrots for the horses as well as a gift basket for the humans. Charitable organizations that we are proud to be affiliated with this year include Catholic Charities Mobile Medical Services with Sister Sarah Proctor and her medical volunteers, The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Step Ahead Thoroughbred Retirement and Equestrian Inc. Horse Rescue. These organizations are paramount in enriching the lives of Tampa Bay Downs backside employees as well as our retiring equine athletes. This year, the TBD HBPA sponsored the National HBPA Winter Convention, which was held at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach on February 3-7. The keynote speaker, Mrs. Stella Thayer, president of Tampa Bay Downs, gave an informative talk on her perspective of the future of horse racing.

Horses are getting ready for the 20th anniversary season at Emerald Downs. More than 200 horses were on the grounds February 1 as horses began training for the 20th anniversary racing season at Emerald Downs. A full 20 years of racing will be celebrated on Monday, June 20. The celebration will include “holiday” racing and some surprise festivities to commemorate the accomplishment. The Washington HBPA reports that the number of horses on the grounds is up from last year and is expected to grow to more than 1,000 by opening day for the second consecutive year. The number of trainers applying for stalls also is up from last year. The increase was likely boosted by the word being out regarding continuation of the Emerald Downs horsemen incentives that were launched last year by the new racetrack ownership. In addition, new owners and trainers are discovering the benefits of running horses at the Pacific Northwest’s premier racing facility. “Many trainers were pleasantly surprised at the end of last season when


Legislators Stakes for fillies and mares, 3 years old and up—when the track officially celebrates its 20th birthday on June 20. Emerald Downs and Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver, British Columbia, have staggered their respective stakes schedules, encouraging participation between the neighbor tracks and maximizing opportunities for horsemen. “With Hastings Racecourse and Emerald Downs working together, it can only improve our product at both tracks,” said Darren MacDonald, Hastings Park General Manager. Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler is extremely pleased with the stakes schedule. “It’s very balanced, offering equal opportunities in every division,” Ziegler said. “Staggering our schedule with Hastings Racecourse will add opportunities for all our trainers, owners, jockeys and produce better races for the fans to watch and wager on.” The 2016 stakes schedule offers five races for older horses, five races for older fillies and mares, five races for 3-year-olds, five races for 3-year-old fillies and seven races for 2-year-olds. Annually attracting several of the nation’s fastest middle-distance runners, the Longacres Mile culminates a tremendous four weeks of racing featuring championship events in four categories. In addition to the Mile and Emerald Distaff, 3-year-old fillies meet in the Washington Oaks on July 24, and 3-yearolds line up in the Emerald Downs Derby on July 31. Mile Preview Day offers four stakes featuring older horses in the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap, older fillies and mares in the $50,000 Boeing Handicap and the season’s first stakes events for 2-year-olds, the $50,000 Angie C Stakes for fillies and $50,000 Emerald Express for colts and geldings. The Washington Cup, with six stakes races for Washington-breds worth an aggregate $300,000 in purses, will be held August 28. The $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic for 3-year-olds and up anchors the card. American Quarter Horses are featured on August 21, with the sixth running of the $60,000 Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge for 3-year-olds and up at 440 yards.

Denis Blake

EMERALD DOWNS ANNOUNCES 2016 STAKES SCHEDULE Emerald Downs has announced 28 stakes worth more than $1.6 million for its 20th anniversary season that includes 70 days of racing from Saturday, April 9, through Sunday, September 11. Twenty-seven stakes are scheduled on Sundays beginning with the $50,000 Seattle Handicap for 3-year-old fillies on May 8, and concluding closing day, September 11, with the $65,000 Gottstein Futurity for 2-year-olds. The 81st running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) is the centerpiece of the meeting and anchors an August 14 stakes double-header that includes the $65,000 Emerald Distaff for older fillies and mares. New for this year is an all-stakes Pick Four on Mile Preview Day, July 17, and a special Monday evening stakes race—the $50,000 Washington State


they received checks from Emerald Down management that were nearly or equal to the per day costs associated with workers’ compensation daily premiums,” said MaryAnn O’Connell, WHBPA executive director. “Last year, we tried to convey the benefits of the Trainer Participation Incentive Program, wherein management rewards those who actively participate in the racing program. Until the checks were in hand, however, many trainers really didn’t realize how much impact it had on their bottom line operating costs.” For 2016, in addition to the trainer participation incentive, the track announced continuation of the early-bird move-in bonus (February—May), reduced start-up costs (first eight bags of bedding per stall provided) and lower fees on both dorm rentals and mechanical hot-walkers. Director of Racing Brett Anderson and Assistant Rene Harris have developed a similar purse schedule to the 2015 version with a few adjustments to claiming prices based on criteria from stall applications. As was introduced in 2015, every unplaced starter will receive a $200 participation fee and previously started horses that are new to Emerald Downs may be eligible for a $400 shipping bonus. Please contact the Emerald Downs race office for more information. Stall applications are available online at emeralddowns.com in the horsemen section.


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THE NATIONAL HORSEMEN’S BENEVOLENT & PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION, INC. WHAT IS IT? A program to protect your assets in case of an injury or damage to property arising from your equine activities (breeding, racing, sales, training). This is not a substitute for workers’ compensation coverage. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? $90 per horse and $180 minimum premium—Beginning November 1st WHAT DOES IT COVER? • Liability claims arising from injuries to participants (non-employee jockeys and exercise riders) • Contractual liability (i.e. hold harmless in Race Track Stall Agreements) • Premises and Operations liability coverage for all equine operations including breeding, boarding, training and racing HOW MUCH DOES IT COVER? Each member additional insured has their own $1,000,000 coverage for each occurrence or offense and $2,000,000 general aggregate. Damage to premises rented to you or occupied by you with the permission of the owner is provided with a limit of $50,000. Medical Payments coverage applies as well in the amount of $5,000 per person.


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Profile for The Horsemen's Journal

The Horsemen's Journal - Spring 2016  

The official publication of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association.

The Horsemen's Journal - Spring 2016  

The official publication of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association.