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volume 64/ # 1

spring 20 17

20

DEPARTMENTS

2 MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL HBPA

7 INDUSTRY NEWS

12 HBPA NEWS 16

RESEARCH & MEDICATION UPDATE

18 MEDICATION COMMITTEE CORNER

47 AFFILIATE NEWS

ALL FOR ONE

Horsemen gather in Las Vegas for the National HBPA’s Annual Convention with a theme of working together

FEATURES

27

32

40

IMMIGRATION ISSUES

A CALL FOR COMMON SENSE IN TESTING

OUT IN THE COLD

A look at what new policies and executive orders mean for the racing industry

How supersensitive testing and contamination are affecting horsemen

Ingredients in over-the-counter cold medicines can wreak havoc on a trainer’s livelihood and an owner’s prized racehorse

WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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hj IN EVERY ISSUE

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

PRESIDENT/ CHAIRPERSON OF THE BOARD Leroy Gessmann SECRETARY/ TREASURER Lynne Schuller CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Eric J. Hamelback VICE PRESIDENT CENTRAL REGION Joe Davis VICE PRESIDENT EASTERN REGION Robin Richards VICE PRESIDENT SOUTHERN REGION Rick Hiles VICE PRESIDENT WESTERN REGION J. Lloyd Yother

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MESSAGE FROM

THE CEO

ALTHOUGH IT WILL BE APRIL BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, AS THE MAGAZINE IS SHIPPING LATER THAN NORMAL SO WE CAN INCLUDE COVERAGE OF THE NATIONAL HBPA CONVENTION, THIS IS THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE HORSEMEN’S JOURNAL FOR THE NEW YEAR, AND I HOPE ALL OF YOU ARE READY FOR A GREAT 2017. IT’S TIME FOR NEW RESOLUTIONS, NEW COMMITMENTS AND CHASING OUR GOALS, AND I, FOR ONE, AM READY. COMING OUT OF OUR CONVENTION IN LAS VEGAS I FIND MYSELF RECHARGED AND FOCUSED. I want to once again, by looking at my list of plans and goals, start setting into place an action plan to move our NHBPA forward. As I mentioned at our convention, I want to help develop a labor force initiative for our industry and work closely with Groom Elite and Dr. C. Reid McLellan to do so. I want to dedicate time to finding resources to investigate horsemen’s concerns about the percentage of ADW revenue allotted to purse accounts and improve this by 50 percent. I still see the need to continue investigating protection of horsemen’s intellectual property rights for all our national owners. I also want to continue working with the Association of Racing Commissioners International and National Thoroughbred Racing Association to initiate proper and fair medication uniformity. It is important for all of us to continue working on improving public perception but more important to define what the real problems are that are causing the decline of our fan base. Also, I stated at the convention that I would like to gain support in planning and funding a platform for positive public relations regarding our industry. All of these goals for the NHBPA are achievable, and I just need the guidance and help from each affiliate to put action plans and resources in place. I am very proud of the achievements and accomplishments seen in 2016 from the NHBPA, and I want 2017 to not only be better but to be a landmark year for our affiliates. We are Horsemen Helping Horsemen, but I also want to establish us as Leaders into the Future for our industry. I believe our convention in March got us off to the perfect start. I want to give special thanks to Stacie Clark of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) for kicking off the convention. Taking care of Thoroughbreds after their racing careers have ended is not only the right thing to do for the horses, but also the right thing for owners and trainers to do for their businesses. That was the message of our first panel, entitled “The TAA: Protecting Your Investment in Retirement.” To follow with Corey Johnsen as our keynote speaker, a horseman as well as the president and part-owner of Kentucky Downs, was a great honor. Corey has paved the way for outlining how successful an operation can be while working with horsemen’s groups as partners. Corey also spoke on a panel discussion entitled “Horsemen’s Relations: Building Positive Momentum Working Together.” The discussion, which included Corey, along with Mike Rogers of The Stronach Group; Randy Sampson, co-owner of Canterbury Park; and moderator Frank Petramalo, executive director of the Virginia HBPA, proved to be very valuable and educational for all in attendance.

In what I hope to be a recurring panel theme, I brought back a topic to reiterate to all horsemen a reminder of the huge growth in online and mobile wagering. Joining us once again was Sportech’s Michele Fischer, who provided estimates outlining 35 percent to 40 percent of handle on American racing is now conducted through ADW platforms via computer, phone and mobile devices. This is something we must be prepared to take a handle on moving into the future. We all know horsemen get a much smaller percentage from a dollar wagered through an ADW versus one placed through the track’s pari-mutuel windows. I strongly feel we must put our power into play in order to strengthen our purse accounts. As I have mentioned before, continued status quo will mean the continued decline of our industry. We had plenty of other great speakers, such as Dr. Andy Roberts discussing his concerns regarding the latest out-ofcompetition testing rule, and attorney Peter Sacopulos, who discussed a sound consideration for horsemen in mediation and dispute resolution with state racing commissions. And we had another enlightening presentation by our own Dr. Tom Tobin, who gave us a crash course on hair makeup and how hair testing actually works. I am extremely thankful not only to all of our panelists and speakers but also to all of our presenters who gave us updates on a variety of topics, services and products. A very special thanks goes to each and every one of our convention sponsors, as well as our great corporate sponsors. I especially want to thank to Xpressbet for sponsoring our NTRA National Horseplayers Championship qualifying handicapping tournament, won by professional writer and handicapper Rich Halvey. We wish him luck at the 2018 event. It is also important for me to recognize others who helped make our convention such a success: President Leroy Gessmann, Audrea and Denis Blake, Tammy Wright and Robert Scott all were instrumental in putting together a great experience for our attendees, and I thank each of you for all you did. To read a complete recap of the convention by Jennie Rees, please turn to page 20. As always, I hope everyone knows I am here to support you the affiliates. Please continue to reach out to me with anything you think you need. I will continue to work on behalf of all the horsemen and horsewomen throughout our great industry, and I look forward to what 2017 brings our way.

SINCERELY,

Eric J. Hamelback


CONTRIBUTORS Tanya Boulmetis Dr. Clara Fenger Ed Martin Craig McDougal Jennie Rees Denise Steffanus Dr. Thomas Tobin Will Velie

THE

NATIONAL HBPA

WOULD LIKE TO THANK ITS CORPORATE

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 Eddie Essenprice, Illinois Joe Davis, Indiana Leroy Gessmann, Iowa Rick Hiles, Kentucky Benard Chatters, Louisiana George Kutlenios, Michigan Jack Walsh, Minnesota R.C. Forster, Montana Jami Poole, Mountaineer Park Barry Lake, Nebraska Anthony Spadea, New England Joe Poole, Ohio David Faulkner, Oklahoma Sue Leslie, Ontario Ron Sutton, Oregon Sandee Martin, Pennsylvania Robert Jeffries, Tampa Bay Downs David Ross, Virginia Pat LePley, Washington Glade VanTassel, Wyoming

The opinions, representations and viewpoints expressed by the authors in the articles contained in The Horsemen’s Journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions, representations and viewpoints or the official policies or positions of The Horsemen’s Journal, National Horsemen’s Administration Corporation or National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association Inc. and its affiliates (collectively “HJ”). HJ is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to or reliance on any information contained within this issue. Information in this issue may become outdated due to the rapidly changing nature of the horse industry. The publication of any advertisements or articles should not be construed as an endorsement of any product, service or position unless specifically stated. The Horsemen’s Journal, Volume 64 #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 2017 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

PHOTOGRAPHERS Ackerley Images a4stockphotos - stock.adobe.com chelle129 - stock.adobe.com norbel - stock.adobe.com Ahl Baku Audrea Blake Denis Blake iStock.com/Ahmadmahmood iStock.com/apletfx iStock.com/MarijaRadovic iStock.com/THEPALMER Erin Palmer Dalton Walker 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.hbpa.org Cover Photo: Horsephotos.com

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 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.

WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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OFFICIAL SPONSOR of the National HBPA OFFICIAL SPONSOR of the National HBPA

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OFFICIAL SPONSOR of the National HBPA OFFICIAL SPONSOR of the National HBPA


ON

h

OFFICIAL SPONSOR OFFICIAL SPONSOR of NationalHBPA HBPA of the the National

PROUD TO SUPPORT THE

NATIONAL HBPA Xpressbet and the XB Family of Brands are committed to the growth of North American racing by increasing handle from domestic and international sources. We support the mission of the HBPA on behalf of owners, trainers and backstretch personnel.


INDUSTRY NEWS

hj

FIRST INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR THE AFTERCARE OF RACEHORSES CONFERENCE SET FOR MAY

The International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses (IFAR) will hold its first conference in Washington, D.C., on May 17-18, coinciding with the Pan American Conference. “This aftercare conference provides horse racing representatives from around the world with the opportunity to discuss the aftercare of our Thoroughbred racehorses,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “In addition to the major racing nations, we hope to include racing and aftercare representatives from smaller countries and emerging racing nations who share our mission to provide proper care of Thoroughbreds during their lifetimes.” Speakers will represent many aspects of Thoroughbred aftercare and welfare, from promoting and retraining to connecting aftercare to bettors and developing non-racing agreements for owners. Boyd Martin, a three-day event rider, is the keynote speaker on May 17. He has finished in the top 10 at every four-star event in the world except Badminton (England). Originally from Australia, Martin moved to the United States in 2007. One of his best-known horses is Blackfoot Mystery, an off-track Thoroughbred. The keynote address on May 18 will be given by Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends and former film critic of the Boston Globe. Old Friends is a Thoroughbred retirement facility consisting of two farms, one in Kentucky and one in New York, that provide homes for pensioned stallions and other Thoroughbreds whose careers in racing and breeding have come to an end. Representatives from prominent groups such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners (Kathleen Anderson), Au-delà des Pistes in France (LisaJane Graffard), International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, Japanese Racing Association (Takahiro Nishio), Racing Queensland (Dr. Eliot Forbes), Racing Victoria (Raelene Harrison), Retired Racehorse Project (Steuart Pittman), Retraining of Racehorses in the United Kingdom (Di Arbuthnot), The Humane Society of the United States (Wayne Pacelle), The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (Kristin Leshney) and Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (Stacie Clark Rogers) will provide their insights on Thoroughbred aftercare. IFAR is an independent forum that recognizes geographical and industry differences among racing countries and is designed to enhance Thoroughbred aftercare worldwide. Working with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, IFAR will raise awareness of the importance of welfare for

Thoroughbreds, improve education on lifetime care and help increase demand for former racehorses in other equestrian sports. Attendance at the IFAR conference, which is hosted by The Jockey Club and supported by Godolphin, is open to all racing jurisdictions, aftercare organizations and other interested parties. “We hope to promote the versatility and adaptability of Thoroughbreds globally,” said Di Arbuthnot, chief executive of Retraining of Racehorses. “We want the world to know that Thoroughbreds can excel in other equestrian sports as well as they excel in racing, and they also make fantastic companions, hacks, therapeutic horses—the list goes on.” IFAR has also announced the launch of its website, internationalracehorseaftercare.com, which is a resource for anyone interested in the welfare of Thoroughbreds. The website features the IFAR Principles of Aftercare, which have been developed in collaboration with IFAR steering group members and welfare specialists drawing on the expertise of international governing bodies. It will also provide educational resources, expert support and updates on IFAR and its members. “IFAR is committed to bringing together the organizations from around the world that facilitate and promote the retraining of racehorses to share expertise and best practices,” said Dr. Eliot Forbes, CEO of Racing Queensland and chair of Racing Australia’s Retirement of Racehorses Committee. “In addition to information and resources focusing on aftercare, the website will provide inspirational content and showcase achievements on a global scale.” To sign up for the conference or for more information on IFAR, visit internationalracehorseaftercare.com or contact registration@ internationalracehorseaftercare.com. Those who wish to attend only the IFAR meetings can send an email to registration@internationalracehorseaftercare.com indicating so. There is no cost to attend the business meetings of IFAR. For those who wish to attend the remainder of the Pan American Conference, including the Gala Dinner featuring the Longines Ladies Awards and Preakness Stakes, the cost will be $500. Please use the same address above for registration information. The Pan American Conference, hosted by The Jockey Club and the Latin American Racing Channel, is a mix of business and social events that will take place in Washington, D.C., May 17-20 in the days leading up to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. For more information on the Pan American Conference, visit panamdc2017.com.

NUMEROUS EXHIBITS TO CELEBRATE 100TH BIRTHDAY OF MAN 'O WAR The Kentucky Horse Park, Kentucky Derby Museum, Keeneland Library and National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame are among those honoring the 100th birthday of Thoroughbred legend Man o’ War, who was foaled on March 29, 1917. Located in Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is honoring the life and legacy of the great horse through the year with a series of special events at the facility and throughout Central Kentucky. The celebration,

presented by Windstream, includes a unique museum exhibit titled “Man o’ War: The Mostest Horse That Ever Was.” “This is an opportunity for Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World, to celebrate one of the world’s greatest horses, Man o’ War,” Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. “We have young people who think Man o’ War is just the name of a road. They need to learn about one of Kentucky’s outstanding athletes.” Foaled not far from the horse park at Nursery Stud Farm, Man o’ War came along as World War I was raging in Europe, giving the inspiration for the colt’s impressive name. He won 20 of his 21 starts and was undefeated as a 3-yearold, breaking track, American or world records in seven of his 11 starts. His WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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NEWS

INDUSTRY NEWS

incredible power and will to run have made him one of the greatest racehorses in American history. The Man o’ War exhibit in the Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse shares artifacts, photos and a timeline showcasing his illustrious career as a racehorse and sire, as well as of his life in the Bluegrass as one of the state’s most well-known and best-visited residents. Additional events are planned throughout the season to celebrate Man o’ War’s enduring legacy for Kentucky residents and visitors from around the world. The celebration will end with a public invitation to join the park for a rebroadcast of Man o’ War’s funeral on November 1, the anniversary of his death. Upon Man o’ War’s death at the age of 30 in 1947, he was laid to rest at Faraway Farm in Lexington, where he had stood at stud for most of his life. Later he was moved to the Kentucky Horse Park just prior to the park’s opening in 1978, along with his statue by Herbert Haseltine and several of his famous offspring, including 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral. The Keeneland Library in Lexington also has a Man o’ War photo exhibit both online and at the library on the racetrack grounds. The online exhibit is titled “Man o’ War: In Others’ Words” and tells the story of his life, career and influence through images accompanied by quotes from his connections and contemporary sportswriters and modern biographers. It’s available at keenelandlibrary.omeka.net/exhibits/show/manowar. The library exhibit, “Man o’ War: Images from the Keeneland Library Collection,” runs through the September yearling sale and includes 16 photos of the horse during his racing and stud careers by C.C. Cook, Joe Estes, Robert McClure and Bert Clark Thayer. The Kentucky Derby Museum, located on the grounds of Churchill Downs in Louisville, has opened an interactive exhibit titled “Man o’ War: The Legacy.” The exhibition covers the life of Man o’ War, his impressive racing career, his ties to the Kentucky Derby and his lasting mark on Thoroughbred racing. Many of the items in the exhibit were generously loaned to the museum by collector Ken Grayson. Featured items include the saddle used aboard Man o’ War during his match race with Sir Barton, an admission ticket to that same race and the official program from the famous 1938 match race between Man o’ War’s son War Admiral and the legendary Seabiscuit. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York, unveiled its new exhibit, “Man o’ War at 100,” on March 29 to coincide with his foaling date. The exhibit will remain open through 2018. The exhibit examines the enduring legacy of the Thoroughbred’s racing career, cultural impact and influence on the sport through his offspring. The

BREEDERS’ CUP, NTRA INTRODUCE HORSEPLAYERS.COM ONLINE CONTEST SITE Breeders’ Cup Limited and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have combined forces to launch a new online qualifying contest platform, horseplayers.com. It will serve as the official online qualifying site for both the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and the NTRA’s newly re-branded National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).

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exhibit features iconic artwork, prestigious trophies, rare photographs and multimedia and numerous other artifacts relating to Man o’ War. Man o’ War was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1957 and was named Horse of the Century by The Blood-Horse. Owned by Samuel D. Riddle and trained by Hall of Famer Louis Feustel, Man o’ War won the Keene Memorial, Youthful, Hudson, Tremont, United States Hotel, Grand Union Hotel, Hopeful and Futurity stakes as a 2-year-old in 1919. He also suffered his lone career defeat that year, finishing second to Upset in a controversial running of the Sanford Memorial Stakes at Saratoga. As a 3-year-old in 1920, Man o’ War won the Preakness, Withers, Belmont, Stuyvesant Handicap, Dwyer, Miller, Travers, Lawrence Realization, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Potomac Handicap and Kenilworth Gold Cup. He defeated the sport’s first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton, in the Kenilworth Gold Cup match race, earning a $75,000 purse and a gold cup crafted by Tiffany and Co., which now serves as the presentation trophy for the Travers Stakes. Man o’ War set a record in the 1920 Travers that stood for 42 years. Retired to stud with record career earnings of $249,465, Man o’ War sired Hall of Fame members War Admiral, Crusader and Battleship. A total of 81 Hall of Fame racehorses can trace their lineage back to Man o’ War. During his retirement, Man o’ War was Kentucky’s most prominent tourist attraction, as thousands of fans visited him at Faraway Farm each year and heard the legendary stories of his racing career, as told by his faithful groom, Will Harbut.


Horseplayers.com will offer low-cost “feeder” contests and one-day qualifiers through which players can win entries to the two richest, most prestigious handicapping contests in the world. Contest players will enjoy the benefits of a coordinated BCBC and NHC qualifying schedule, a low takeout structure, single site registration and seamless play in BCBC and NHC qualifiers on the same contest platform. Fans are encouraged to visit horseplayers. com to register for a free account. Contest play is already under way and users can choose from the “Pick and Pray” and “Live” formats. “Through research, development and our collaborative efforts, the Breeders’ Cup and NTRA—two nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving Thoroughbred racing—have created and launched horseplayers.com with an eye toward providing a platform that will best serve the contest player,” said Alex Waldrop, NTRA president and CEO. “The Breeders’ Cup is thrilled to partner with the NTRA on horseplayers. com, which will further align the industry’s two richest handicapping contests while using contest play to drive interest and engagement in Thoroughbred racing,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup president and CEO. The NHC and BCBC first collaborated in an official capacity last year with the introduction of the $3 million NHC Tour Bonus—the largest prize ever

offered in the handicapping contest world—for any horseplayer who can win the BCBC and NHC successively, in either order. Current NHC Champion Ray Arsenault is eligible for the $3 million bonus should he go on to win this year’s BCBC at Del Mar. While the familiar acronyms remain, the NHC and the NHC Tour have had their official names updated to the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship and the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship Tour. The NHC was launched as the NTRA National Handicapping Championship in 1999, and its companion NTRA National Handicapping Championship Tour was introduced in 2008. New logos for the NHC and NHC Tour also were unveiled. The marks utilize the NTRA logo and its red, white and blue color scheme to emphasize the NHC’s unique structure as an industrywide collaboration involving nearly 50 partners, including racetracks, off-track betting facilities, race books, and horse racing and handicapping websites. The 19th NTRA National Horseplayers Championship, presented by RTN, STATS Race Lens and Treasure Island Las Vegas, will be held February 9-11, 2018, at Treasure Island. The three-day extravaganza will unfold in Treasure Island’s state-of-the-art convention hall, expanding the footprint of the contest into newly constructed event space below the traditional contest ballroom that annually is transformed into the world’s largest race book. Treasure Island will play host to the NHC for a record seventh time. Last year’s NHC offered total prizes and awards of more than $2.8 million.

COMPLETE STARTS AND TOP HORSES BY JOCKEY, TRAINER AND OWNER NOW AVAILABLE ON EQUIBASE.COM Equibase Company has announced the expansion of racing statistics available on equibase.com with the addition of complete starts information for every jockey, trainer and owner as well as the top horses ridden, trained or owned, respectively, by each person. In addition to the statistical expansion, equibase.com has also transitioned to a responsive design technology to enhance the user experience when viewing the data from a mobile device. “Fans now have easy access to the detailed history of every single start for jockeys, trainers and owners,” said Jason Wilson, president and chief operating

officer for Equibase. “This comprehensive data can now be viewed in a more user-friendly way through our responsive site, regardless of whether individuals are using a desktop, tablet or phone.” Complete lifetime starts for jockeys, trainers and owners can be accessed by year and are searchable and sortable by the following categories: track name, race date, race type, purse, horse name and finish position. Individual profile pages for jockeys, trainers and owners now offer a “Top Horses” section that provides the Top 20 horses lifetime (ranked by purse earnings) that the person rode, conditioned or owned. Users also have the option to view the Top 20 horses by year and to rank the data by other categories.

2017 FACT BOOK AVAILABLE ON THE JOCKEY CLUB WEBSITE The Jockey Club has announced that the 2017 edition of the Fact Book is available in the Resources section of its website at jockeyclub.com. The online book is a statistical and informational guide to Thoroughbred breeding, racing and auction sales in North America. It also features a directory of state, national and international organizations.

Links to the Breeding Statistics report and the Report of Mares Bred information that are released by The Jockey Club each September and October, respectively, can be found in the Breeding section of the Fact Book. The 2017 editions of the state fact books, which feature detailed breeding, racing and auction sales information specific to numerous states, Canadian provinces and Puerto Rico, are also available on The Jockey Club website. The state fact books are updated monthly.

WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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HBPA NEWS

FOUR LONGTIME NHBPA CORPORATE SPONSORS RENEW The National HBPA is pleased to announce that the quartet of longtime corporate sponsors—equineline.com, Finish Line Horse Products Inc., Horseman Labor Solutions and Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies—has signed on for another year of sponsorship of North America’s largest horsemen’s organization. The stable of corporate sponsors of the NHBPA now numbers seven as Lavin Insurance Group LLC, Xpressbet and NTRA Advantage were added last year. “I cannot overstate the importance of our corporate sponsors and how much we appreciate their support of our organization,” said National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback. “On behalf of the nearly 30,000 NHBPA members across North America, I want to say thank you. I also encourage all our members to do business with our sponsors.” Equineline.com provides a variety of services and reports for horsemen. Among the reports offered are pedigrees, race records and an assortment of breeding, racing and sales information for individual horses (both Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse), 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, a service of The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc., also offers products that can help save horsemen both time and money, including the Trainer Program, Farm Program, Owner Program, Sales Catalog App and Portfolio Service. To find out more, visit equineline.com. Finish Line Horse Products Inc. manufactures products for racing and other performance horses and strives to provide the right products at the right price. The company also 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. 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) provides immigration services to the industry and assists 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 hands-on in meeting with both trainers and guest workers to cover all details in the visa process. For more information, visit horsemanlabor.com or call (800) 678-RACE (7223). Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies has served the equine community for more than three decades by offering racing supplies and an extensive line of horse health care items. The company also 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. Plus, Big Dee’s has a variety of equine gifts and custom products, as well as a complete line of dog-related products. 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.

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.

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4.

5. 6.

7.

8.

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.


NATIONAL HBPA’S POSITION REGARDING THE REGULATION OF RACING MEDICATION 1.

2.

3.

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

4.

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.

WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

13


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THE PROOF IS IN THE Blood THE “SECRET” TO IMPROVING SPEED AND ENDURANCE By Mark Hansen Steve Margolis, a thoroughbred trainer, had several horses that he felt were under-performing and he wasn’t sure why. Steve started looking for ways to improve their performance. That’s when he discovered “the secret” to improving the speed and stamina of his horses. He decided to test this “secret” on 9 of his 33 horses, and he and his team have been amazed by the results. “We picked out some of the horses that were a little more in need of something,” said Steve. “Soon after starting them on the blood builder, we noticed that the horses’ eyes were bright, they seemed to be bouncing into the races and their workouts – and were in very good shape overall. Since then, this blood-building supplement has been keeping blood levels up and energy levels in a good place… where they need to be for our horses’ daily training regimen.” With multiple horses in training between Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds and Delaware Park…Steve has been regularly monitoring the red blood cell levels of these horses to measure response to the supplement. He reported that, “When [he] checks the blood periodically, it stays at a really good level. It’s a powerful supplement and we’ve been really happy with the results.” The blood-building supplement Steve uses is earning the trust of top trainers at the largest tracks in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Dubai. They’re finding that EPO-Equine® is safe, effective and contains no banned substances.

But why is it important to “build blood,” and how does this supplement work as a blood builder? Just like in people, a horse’s muscles require oxygen. Red blood cells are the oxygen-carrying cells that deliver oxygen to muscles. 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. In short, the ingredients in EPO-Equine® contain a natural “blood-builder.” Scientists at U.S.-based Biomedical Research Laboratories (BRL) discovered a proprietary, horse-friendly strain of Echinacea angustifolia that’s astounding researchers and trainers due to its bloodbuilding capabilities. Veterinarians at the Equine Research Centre in 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. Optimized blood levels can improve exercise physiology…for remarkable speed, strength and stamina right out of the gate. Trainers not only trust and rely on EPO-Equine® because it’s effective, but also because of its strict quality control, extensive product testing and adherence to banned substance regulations that guarantee safety. EPO-Equine® does not contain any banned or harmful substances. Every batch of EPO-Equine® is tested by an independent laboratory to guarantee that it’s clean for use in competition. Steve noted that his training team gives the formula a big thumbs up. “Another benefit we’ve seen is that our horses are maintaining a good weight on this supplement. I’d tell anyone to give it a try because it keeps the horses’ red blood cells and energy level at a good place for racing and training.” Trainers find it easy to add 1-4 scoops (3.2 grams each) of EPO-Equine® to the horse’s daily feeding routine in the barn or on the road. Within 3 to 4 weeks of daily use, you can expect to see improved natural blood levels with no undesirable side effects. Nothing else is scientifically proven to deliver these benefits in a completely safe, natural and legal formula. Trainers also find that EPO-Equine® is very affordable at the low price of just $59.95 per jar. A BRL spokesperson confirmed a special offer to make it even more affordable. Save $180 if you have multiple horses or you’re ready to commit to a larger trial with a 12-jar case for just $539.55 with FREE SHIPPING. EPO-Equine® can be ordered at www.EPOEQUINE.com (and through distributors found on the website) or 1-800-557-9055, and comes with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.


TECHNOLOGY

hj

+ RESEARCH MEDICATION UPDATE

EQUINE INJURY DATABASE: RATE OF FATAL INJURIES DECLINES FOR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

An analysis of data from the Equine Injury Database (EID) has shown a reduction in the rate of fatal injury for a fourth consecutive year and a 23 percent drop since 2009, The Jockey Club announced. When comparing 2016 statistics to 2015 statistics across all surfaces, ages and distances, the rate dropped from 1.62 per 1,000 starts in 2015 to 1.54 per 1,000 starts in 2016. The overall rate of 1.54 per 1,000 starts is the lowest since the Equine Injury Database started publishing annual statistics in 2009. Dr. Tim Parkin, a veterinarian and epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow, who serves as a consultant on the Equine Injury Database, once again performed the analysis. “One of the primary objectives of this project from the outset was to build a comprehensive data source we could utilize to improve safety and prevent injuries, and we are now clearly achieving that goal,” Parkin said. “The racetracks, the horsemen and the regulators who have implemented safety initiatives over this time period deserve a great deal of credit for this encouraging trend.” On dirt, there has been a 19 percent drop since 2009. On turf, there has been a 44 percent drop since 2009. The rate on synthetic

surfaces, according to Parkin, has remained stable since 2010, hovering in the 1.0 to 1.2 per 1,000 starts range. A graph depicting all updated statistical data pertaining to surface, distance and age is available at jockeyclub.com. The EID statistics are based on injuries that resulted in fatalities within 72 hours from the race date. The statistics are for Thoroughbreds only and exclude races over jumps from the calculations. Summary statistics are subject to change due to a number of considerations, including reporting timeliness. Since March 2012, racetracks have been able to voluntarily publish their statistics from the EID in the Safety Initiatives section of The Jockey Club website. There are 25 tracks that self-reported during 2016 and their aggregate rate was 1.41. The list of participating racetracks and detailed statistics from those tracks that voluntarily publish their results can also be found on jockeyclub.com. During 2017, racetracks accounting for approximately 96 percent of flat racing days are expected to contribute data to the EID. The Equine Injury Database, conceived at the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, was launched by The Jockey Club in July 2008 and seeks to identify the frequencies, types and outcomes of racing injuries using a standardized format that generates valid statistics, identifies markers for horses at increased risk of injury and serves as a data source for research directed at improving safety and preventing injuries.

GRAYSON-JOCKEY CLUB RESEARCH FOUNDATION BOARD APPROVES RECORD FUNDING The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s board of directors has approved a 2017 budget of $1,483,542 to fund 11 new equine research projects, eight renewing two-year studies and two career development awards. The total is the highest ever provided in one year by the foundation, which dates from the creation of the original Grayson Foundation in 1940. “This is a bright and memorable moment in the history of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation,” said longtime chair Dell Hancock. “It is really gratifying to know that we are funding nearly $1.5 million in critical equine research, and we realize it would not be possible without the dedication and support of our members, our donors and all those who participate in our various fund-raising events each year.” As per the foundation’s established procedure, the funded projects were considered the best science by the foundation’s 32-person Research Advisory Committee (RAC). University researchers and veterinarians from various practices comprise the committee. The foundation received 61 research proposals from university researchers across North America and six foreign countries. Projects are rated on the potential immediate impact on numerous horses as well as the scientific method proposed and budgetary efficiency. The research funded by the foundation is aimed at fostering the health and soundness of horses of all breeds and uses. 16

HJSPRING 17

“Our funding this year featured a balanced set of projects covering a broad set of problems,” said Dr. Johnny Mac Smith, veterinary consultant for the foundation. “They ranged in nature from laminitis and nutraceutical components to two extremely pertinent grants dealing with the persistent problem of EHV-1.” The foundation is also supporting further investigation of injuries in North American racehorses at the University of Glasgow as part of the Equine Injury Database (see above). “This project has support from The Jockey Club and is an ongoing result of a plan initiated at the first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in 2006,” said RAC Chair Steve Reed, DVM, of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. “It is identifying aspects of training and scheduling that produce additional risk of injury.” The 2017 slate of projects brings the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation totals since 1983 to 346 projects at 43 institutions for a total of $24,836,711. For a complete list of new projects, please go to grayson-jockeyclub.org.


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hj MEDICAL

National

H B PA

MEDICATION COMMITTEE CORNER By Ed Martin, President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International

I read with great interest and sadness the latest opinion pieces implying that most everyone in racing is dirty and those responsible for policing the sport just don’t give a damn. Frankly, this drumbeat is getting boorish. The latest installments were authored by my friend and former colleague Joe Gorajec, who in the past has consulted for something called the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, an entity bankrolled by those pursuing a political agenda in Washington. Mr. Gorajec claims that non-Lasix race-day injections with performance enhancements are commonplace as is the falsification of veterinary records and filings with racing commissions. He offers no proof, just belief, yet his comments throw red meat at a constituency eager to believe anything bad about their local racing cops. If what he claims were so commonplace, then surely he would have a long litany of prosecutions to point to. Even though the Indiana Horse Racing Commission has prosecuted such infractions, as have most other racing regulatory agencies, such incidents are not as prevalent as Joe would have people believe. With over 96,000 horse races in the U.S. each year and commissions on guard against the race-day use of illegal drugs, the instances of these violations have been remote, even in Indiana when Joe was on the job. The data shows that the commissions have found cheaters everywhere, but that doesn’t mean that everywhere and every time you look you find cheating. Joe implies that the lack of universal adoption of the Association of Racing Commissioners International Model Rule requiring the independent administration of furosemide (Lasix) is indicative of a lax attitude toward doping. That is fantasy. If anyone thinks that getting the vet out of the stall on race day will guarantee against

illegal drug administrations, I have a bridge to sell you. Those hell bent on cheating will just find a way to work around it. The rule may and does help, but it is but one piece of a much larger effort. As one who has been in the trenches on these issues for the past 20 years, what is needed is increased electronic surveillance, more boots-on-the-ground investigators, aggressive research into designer drugs and emerging threats, a dedicated way to pay for all this as well as expanded testing and a lot less politics. Increased out-of-competition testing can have a deterrent effect. On this Joe and I agree. But Lance Armstrong proved to the world that this is no panacea as he beat the tests over 200 times before getting caught thanks to an informant. During Joe’s last year with Indiana, 10 percent of their commission’s tests were out of competition. But he didn’t catch anyone or find anything with these tests. While many commissions already are moving to do more such tests, some of our most senior experts warn that we may be putting the cart before the horse absent greatly expanded research into emerging threats and designer drugs. While I have no argument with Joe’s claim that there are cheaters, I disagree with the attitude that cheating is ubiquitous. The testing and enforcement data is not supportive of that claim. That does not mean it doesn’t happen or that we should ever stop looking for new and better ways to police the sport. Suspicious vigilance is a constant necessity. Just as it does the sport a disservice to deny a problem, it is an equal disservice to overstate a problem or portray it as something unique to our sport when it is not. Combating doping in sport is not a match race between anti-doping agencies who face the same problem in their individual sports. Greater cohesion and sharing of resources, research and intelligence would serve both racing and human sport better than the “us vs. them” mentality used so destructively in political campaigns.

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19


FEATURE

ALL FOR

ONE

HORSEMEN GATHER IN LAS VEGAS FOR THE NATIONAL HBPA’S ANNUAL CONVENTION WITH A THEME OF WORKING TOGETHER BY JENNIE REES

BE IT WORKING WITH TRACKS OR REGULATORS, THE RECURRING THEME OF THE NATIONAL HBPA CONVENTION ON MARCH 7-11 AT THE SOUTH POINT HOTEL, CASINO AND SPA IN LAS VEGAS WAS HOW EVERYONE BENEFITS WHEN RACING ENTITIES TREAT THEIR HORSEMEN AS PARTNERS. “BY WORKING TOGETHER, WE CAN IMPROVE THE SPORT AND GENERATE MORE REVENUE,” SAID KEYNOTE SPEAKER COREY JOHNSEN, A HORSE OWNER AND BREEDER AS WELL AS THE PRESIDENT AND PART-OWNER OF KENTUCKY DOWNS.

20

HJSPRING 17


forward. And when you do that, they can’t stop us.” Johnsen said innovation must be embraced to increase revenues. Besides the historical horse racing that has proven a game-changer for Kentucky Downs, he mentioned EquiLottery, which is striving to tie state lotteries into horse racing as a way to grow the pie for both, and TVG Betfair’s exchange wagering that allows players to offer and accept fixed prices on the outcome of a race, similar to the trading of equities and commodities. “You’ll notice I did not mention gaming or slots or casinos,” Johnsen added. “That’s nothing against gaming states that utilize those. In the competitive situation I understand that’s important. But historical horse racing will work if you want to compete against electronic gaming and slot machines. Just as important, it’s our product. It’s pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse racing. It’s very difficult for [legislators or racing commissions] to take that away.” Johnsen was on a later panel on horsemen’s relations that also featured Canterbury Park co-owner Randy Sampson and Mike Rogers, president of The Stronach Group’s Racing and Gaming Division. While those are the success stories, panel moderator Frank Petramalo, executive director and general counsel for the Virginia HBPA, presented another side. Virginia currently has no Thoroughbred flat racing after Colonial Downs shut down three years ago when the horsemen wouldn’t agree to run only six days. After Canterbury was closed for a year, Sampson led a group of horse owners and breeders who bought the Minnesota track. “The first thing we did was sit down with the HBPA and say, ‘Hey, we’re all in this together. For us to make this leap, there has to be some compromise, some ways we work together,’ ” he said. Sampson suggested horsemen should work with their track on legislation and regulatory issues, marketing and backside spending. “We’ve done promotions with our horsemen and say, ‘If we each put up $500 and can turn that $1,000 into $1,500, it’s a winner for everybody,’ ” he said. “But in general, the marketing funding is not set up in a way to encourage tracks to spend money on marketing because they only get half of whatever the upside is.” Sampson said Canterbury added stalls, installed an equine swimming pool and improved their training track by the horsemen putting up part of the money. “Horsemen can say, ‘That’s not our responsibility. We’re not going to contribute.’ And that’s generally the model,” Sampson said. “I would ask you, ‘How is that working out for you?’ ”

CONVENTION GOES FROM TWO ANNUALLY TO ONE

The Vegas event is the NHBPA’s only convention in 2017 after having two in prior years. Twenty-five of 32 HBPA affiliates throughout the United States and Canada were represented at the convention.

Denis Blake

Denis Blake

Keynote speaker Corey Johnsen of Kentucky Downs touted the benefits of horsemen and racetracks working together.

“Yeah, there’s lots to fix and lots of challenges. … [But] I believe strongly the horsemen and the tracks are truly partners,” he said. “If you want to approach this like we’re adversaries, we’re never going to get there. We’ve all seen states, unfortunately, where racing has been shut down because groups haven’t worked together. We’re going to have disagreements, but if you respect each other, communicate and understand each other, we can find common ground. When you find that common ground, you can work together and move things

The family of the late Tom Metzen Sr. was on hand to accept a proclamation from the NHBPA Board of Directors.

“It was a wonderful convention,” said Eric Hamelback, CEO of the NHBPA. “We had excellent feedback on the panels and excellent feedback on the presentations. The venue was very good and a horse-friendly property with its own equine arena. I think people really saw this convention for what I hoped it to be: an educational opportunity for all our horsemen to learn about various topics and different aspects and planning for the future. “Having one convention really allows us to focus and bring in top-quality speakers, panelists and presenters,” he added. “We feel like it was able to increase attendance.” Indiana HBPA President Joe Davis was elected to the NHBPA Executive Committee as National Officer, Central Region Vice President, fulfilling the term of the late Tom Metzen Sr. Colorado HBPA President Kent Bamford and Virginia HBPA President David Ross also joined the executive committee, while Nebraska HBPA President Barry Lake and Washington HBPA President Patrick LePley were re-elected, with Finger Lakes HBPA President David Brown and Mountaineer HBPA President Jami Poole the alternates. The board of directors presented a proclamation to Metzen’s family, recognizing “Tom’s active involvement, outstanding contributions and wise counsel to the NHBPA over the past three decades.” Metzen, who died August 10, was first vice president and central region vice president for the NHBPA, president of the Minnesota HBPA and executive director of the Arizona HBPA. At the same luncheon, Chella was recognized as the National Claimer of the Year, having won 14 of 16 starts and more than $150,000 since being claimed for $10,000 by owner-trainer Elliott Sullivan at Mahoning Valley Race Course in April 2015.

THOROUGHBRED AFTERCARE AS BUSINESS STRATEGY

After a welcome by NHBPA President Leroy Gessmann and Hamelback, the convention kicked off with a panel on the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance entitled “The TAA: Protecting Your Investment in Retirement.” “If we don’t take care of our own industry, we will get the helping hand— and I’m being very sarcastic—of the government,” said prominent ownerbreeder Madeline Auerbach. “If the government has to step in and do the things WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

21


that we should be doing ourselves, it will not be done with the same gentle and loving hand. It will not be as cost-effective. … What we’re trying to tell you today is this is not a pleasant diversion. … This is as important as paying your taxes and insurance. This is part of our insurance that the industry survives.” Created in 2012, the TAA accredits and provides funding for organizations involved in the retirement, retraining and adoption of retired racehorses. Trainer Rick Hiles, president of the Kentucky HBPA and a NHBPA vice president, highlighted the venture at Churchill Downs and Keeneland, where owners donate $5 for each starter, which is matched by the tracks. “I would ask each one of you to go back and make a presentation to your racetracks and your horsemen’s group and say, ‘Look, we want to be part of this,’ ” he said. “If you can’t give $5, give $3. But get involved.”

SIRI: MAKE THIS BET, AND LET ME KNOW HOW TO MAKE MONEY OFF IT

Horsemen get a much smaller percent from a dollar wagered through an advance deposit wagering platform, typically 3 or 4 cents, versus a rough figure of 10 to 12 cents if bet on live racing through a track betting terminal. As part of the panel “Today’s ADW Growth and What It Means for Our Future,” Sportech Vice President Michele Fischer said her best estimates from available data suggest that 35 percent to 40 percent of handle on American racing now is conducted through ADWs. She predicts that could be “60, 75 percent” in a few years. In 2013 an estimated 64 million people used a mobile device to gamble. Fischer said research indicates that number could be 164 million by 2018. “We should be embracing it,” she said. “I’d say in the next year or two you might see an app where you ask your digital assistant like Siri or Alexa, ‘Alexa, please bet $5 on this track, this race,’ and she confirms your bet. It’s just going to grow. “For so long, a lot of racetracks had VLTs supplementing purses,” she continued. “We really weren’t fully feeling what this shift meant for purses as far as percentages you receive, whether [betting] was on track or off track. This issue will become more and more important as we see purse supplements from VLTs shrinking. We have to figure out if our model is a good model. Is it sustainable for purses moving forward?” Hamelback said change must come so horse owners get a fair share of betting on their product. “Our pari-mutuel revenue model has not kept up with the technology,” agreed Ed Fenasci, the Louisiana HBPA executive director. “We need to come up with better options to formulate an equitable revenue-sharing model with the industry stakeholders. … Now, I don’t want to set up the ADW companies as the enemy or the boogieman or anything evil. They are managing our customer relationships now. We find ourselves in an age where, if they don’t have some financial incentive, why would they develop a cool app to let you bet on your phone and make it convenient for our customers? “I’d argue that we need to make it as convenient as possible,” he concluded.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF OUT-OF-COMPETITION MODEL RULE?

Dr. Andy Roberts, a longtime racetrack veterinarian in Kentucky, said the new model rule approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) for governing out-of-competition testing could have unintended consequences. Model rules are those RCI encourages member jurisdictions to adopt. “Out-of-competition testing is basically anything that is not a post-race test,” Roberts said. “It could be the day you enter the horse. It could be a month before a horse runs in a major stakes or two days after you race the 22

HJSPRING 17

Denis Blake

FEATURE

horse. It’s a legitimate area of interest to protect every single person in this room. There are drugs with very short half-lives, so it’s very difficult to detect them but their actions may hang around for a long period of time. So we have an interest in wanting to make sure that every horse loaded in the gate is competing Dr. Andy Roberts discussed some potential problems with on a level playing rules covering out-of-competition testing. surface.” However, Roberts said the new version expands the 2007 model rule “far beyond what I would consider to be the legitimate boundaries,” including the ability to ask for “other biological official test samples” that under literal interpretation could include invasive procedures such as a muscle biopsy, hoof trimming or even demanding a semen sample. “The devil is always in the details with these things,” Roberts said. “I have no problem with horses in training being tested. But we need to determine what training means. … The rule for the most part is pretty close to acceptable, and the old rule, in my opinion, was perfectly acceptable.” Roberts’ concerns include that the rule, if implemented, could require veterinarians to file a treatment plan with the commission to use “a number of therapeutic medications that many of us use on a daily basis. “I think we need to make the law reflect reality,” he said. “We need to get medication out of the headlines, not looking for crimes that don’t exist.” Dr. Thomas Tobin, a veterinarian and University of Kentucky equine pharmacologist and toxicologist, also discussed hair testing in horses.

RCI’S MARTIN PRESENTS REGIONAL COMPACTS AS UNIFORMITY MODEL

RCI President and CEO Ed Martin gave the general findings from 28 focus groups that attracted about 1,000 attendees and an online survey with a couple thousand respondents. Of the survey, about 40 percent identified themselves as horse owners or breeders, with 19 percent saying they were bettors. Martin said there is support for breed-specific interstate compacts that could pave the way for uniformity of regulations by first doing it regionally. “You could have a policy-formation council, which could be a partnership between the horsemen’s groups, the racetracks and the regulatory jurisdictions in those states,” he said. “The horsemen, the tracks and the regulators would develop what the bylaws are to determine how the thing would work.”

CONVENTION TOPICS ABOUND

Among the other presentations and forums at the convention, immigration attorney Will Velie of Horseman Labor Solutions laid out the current environment, calling it “by far the most challenging immigration situation I’ve ever worked in.” (See immigration article on page 27.)


Audrea Blake

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Rich Halvey (left) prevailed in the convention’s handicapping contest with Marc Doche finishing in a tie for second.

Peter Sacopulos—whose law practice routinely represents horsemen before the Indiana Horse Racing Commission—made the case for having mediation as an alternative to resolving disputes in administrative proceedings. He also provided a rundown of measures horsemen should take if charged with a drug positive. Presentations included updates on the American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition, EquiLottery, Betfair’s exchange wagering, Betmix handicapping software, Equine Equipment’s program offering discounts for the horse world on top-brand farm equipment and mowers, Retired Racehorse Project, Groom Elite Program and Race Track Chaplaincy of America. The University of Kentucky’s Dr. Laurie Lawrence discussed nutrition and practices to help racehorses maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract, while Susan Martin, the director of marketing for The Jockey Club Information Systems, talked about equineline.com’s new and free services available to horsemen. Horsemen were encouraged to nominate their employees for the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, recognizing the unsung heroes on the backstretch and farms. The awards were inaugurated in America last year by Godolphin, with the NHBPA as a co-sponsor. Winners receive $10,000, plus $5,000 to the charity of their choice and a paid trip to the awards luncheon, held at Keeneland last fall. Rich Halvey, a professional handicapper and turf writer, won the convention’s handicapping tournament sponsored by Xpressbet in conjunction with the NHBPA and the NTRA. Halvey earned a berth in the 2018 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas. For those not able to attend in person, Steve Byk of “At the Races with Steve Byk” was on-site with broadcasts on satellite radio and online. An archive of Byk’s shows, including interviews with Hamelback and Johnsen during the convention, are available at stevebyk.com. The 2018 convention will be hosted by the Louisiana HBPA in New Orleans March 13-17. More information will be posted in the future on the NHBPA’s website and published in The Horsemen’s Journal.

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63

26

65

24 22 21 19 18

13.2%

67 48 43 49 46

12.5% 7.7% 11.2% 10.2%

1.1%

5

3

10.4%

62

28

1.9%

13 2

5 2

1.7% 2.8%

12

7

4.2%

19 6

7 3

1.7%

3

3

9

4 6 3

Imperative Grand Tito

2.1%

9

4

10 7

1.2% 2.5% 3.4% 1.9% 1.1%

Avenge Jay Gatsby Stellar Wind Ten Blessings

PAGE 20

104

DAILY RACING FORM

DRF.COM/BREEDING

BEYER SIRE PERFORMANCE STANDINGS

104 110

ALL

106 107

Data includes all North American starts that were assigned a Beyer Speed Figure in 2016. There were no filters applied for starters based on age, sex, distance, or surface. Sires are ranked in this chart by the number of horses posting a 90 or higher Beyer Speed Figure.

122

Arrogate

107

Tamarkuz

106

Ironicus Alert Bay

103 SIRE 103 Tapit

Blofeld

Saturday, January 21, 2017

103

Celestine

5 103 Medaglia d’Oro 18 11.6% 160 3 1.2% 43 960 Nyquist 2 104Kitten’s Joy 18 6.2% 176 2 Scat Daddy 1.3% 44 817 Stanford 3 105Bernardini $100,000 16 ed’s Song 10.3% 155 2 Unbridl 0.7% 39 1578 Hard Aces 4 103 $80,000 16 stown 11.1% 257 Candy Ride (ARG) 2 Speight 2.5% 30 741 Da Big Hoss 7 98 $50,000 16 d Humor 5.3% 154 War Front 5 Distorte 2.0% 32 697 Sky Captain 8 104 $35,000 15 7.2% 144 Giant’s Causeway 4 City Zip 0.0% 37 1543 Trouble Kid 0 106 $150,000 14 Road 7.2% 281 Curlin 0 Quality 1.2% 34 1170 World Approval 7 100 $75,000 14 7.6% 194 Smart Strike 4 Uncle Mo 1.6% 29 1065 Zindaya 7 101 $45,000 14 Moon 4.1% 192 Scat Daddy 3 Malibu 0.5% 35 1032 She’s Ours Shh 1 107 $40,000 13 7.0% 183 Unbridled’s Song 1 Hard Spun 1.1% 34 1761 A. P. Indian 2 107 $15,000 13 Drop Kid 7.4% 315 2 Lemon 4.9% erlining Speightstown 28 1280 Paulassilv 13 100 13 7.7% 184 4 Distorted Humor Sky Mesa 1.0% 27 Liberal 1022 Stormy 2 $6,500 106 13 s Holiday 14.8% 174 2 Harlan’ City Zip 0.6% 40 864 Effinex 1 112 $60,000 12 n Afleet 6.1% 167 1 Norther Quality Road 1.1% Reel (IRE) 38 508 Highland Ready 8 103 12 8.0% 81 2 More Than Uncle Mo 17.1% Gardens 35 1161 Glenville ful 7 105 12 7.0% 194 6 Tiz Wonder 1.0% Malibu Moon 26 873 Ami’s Flatter 1 102 $75,000 12 34.2% 150 1 Indian Charlie 3.1% Hard Spun 22 931 Tower of Texas 9 104 $15,000 12 pper 12.6% 170 7 Ghostza 1.3% c Lemon Drop Kid 20 110 Stonetasti 2 105 $25,000 12 Atlantic 5.0% 35 2 Stormy 2.7% Sky Mesa 35 501 Holy Boss 9 102 11 aft 7.3% 95 4 Minesh 1.3% 31 Dude Harlan’s Holiday 1353 Wild 6 105 11 (IRE) 7.4% 220 2 Galileo 1.3% 30 Northern Afleet 978 Isabella Sings (IRE) 6 109 $35,000 11 7.4% 150 3 Street Cry 0.6% 29 More Than Ready 898 Money Multiplier 2 106 $45,000 11 5.0% 147 1 Flatter 3.9% 28 Tiz Wonderful 869 Om 10 102 $10,000 11 7.4% 148 5 Street Sense 2.5% 27 1390 Holy LuteIndian Charlie 10 $17,500 11 Mast 7.9% ng 102 216 3 Mizzen 0.6% wsomethi 30 Ghostzapper 821 Doyoukno 1 99 10 8.6% 148 1 Street Boss 2.1% 28 718 Stormy Atlantic Ohio (BRZ) 3 105 Heir 10 6.4% 126 3 Wildcat 0.0% 23 Heart 750 Heart toMineshaft 0 105 $17,500 10 7.1% 116 0 Eskendereya 0.6% ity (IRE) 23 937 Galileo Hoppertun 4 107 $25,000 10 At Lucky 8.8% 154 1 Lookin 1.3% 22 SpaceCry (IRE) 804 Street Win the 7 106 $20,000 10 gs 6.1% 140 2 Munnin 3.3% j (IRE) 41 678 Flatter Mubtaahi 7 102 9 t Lute 6.1% 113 3 Midnigh kycharm 23.0% 23 933 Street Sense Finley’sluc 4 Again $30,000 9 e 10.0% 147 3 Awesom 2.6% 22 1049 Mizzen Mast 3 $25,000 9 Quality 69.2% 147 2 Elusive 17 530 l Street Boss 9 Channe 90 11.8% English y 17 31 Wildcat Heir Saturda 9 13 Any Given 430 Eskendereya $307,175 76 Pulpit Lookin At Lucky $20,000 (IRE) Dubawi Munnings Candy Twirling Midnight Lute Awesome Again Elusive Quality English Channel Any Given Saturday Pulpit Dubawi (IRE) Twirling Candy

90+ BEYER SPEED FIGURE STUD FEE

$300,000 $150,000 $100,000

STARTERS

269 166 267

STARTS

1334 705 1487

NO. HORSES

36 35 28

$100,000

184

877

27

$60,000

257

1437

26

NO. OF BEYERS

86 90 62

PERCENTAGE

13.3% 21.0% 10.4%

100+ BEYER SPEED FIGURES NO. HORSES

8 8 3

NO. OF BEYERS

18 12 5

PERCENTAGE

2.9% 4.8% 1.1%

HIGHEST BEYER HORSE

Divisidero

14.6% 10.1%

113

512

26

63

23.0%

2

2

1.7%

Avenge

$75,000

242

1305

24

65

9.9%

7

12

2.8%

Jay Gatsby

7

19

$150,000

166

1076

22

4

9

2.1%

Imperative

5

13

1.9%

Grand Tito

4.2%

HIGHEST BEYER

Frosted Bar of Gold

53 74

$250,000

Stellar Wind

123 109 104 105 104 103 104

67

13.2%

168

902

21

48

12.5%

3

6

1.7%

Ten Blessings

106

244

1313

19

43

7.7%

3

3

1.2%

Celestine

107

160

783

18

49

11.2%

2.5%

Arrogate

122

110

4

9

$100,000

176

960

18

46

10.2%

6

10

3.4%

Tamarkuz

107

$80,000

155

817

18

43

11.6%

3

7

1.9%

Ironicus

106

$50,000

257

1578

16

44

6.2%

3

5

1.1%

Alert Bay

103

$35,000

154

741

16

39

10.3%

2

2

1.2%

Blofeld

103

$150,000

144

697

16

30

11.1%

2

3

1.3%

Nyquist

103

$75,000

281

1543

15

32

5.3%

2

4

0.7%

Stanford

104

$45,000

194

1170

14

37

7.2%

5

7

2.5%

Hard Aces

105

$40,000 $15,000 $6,500 $60,000

$75,000

192

1065

14

34

7.2%

4

8

2.0%

14

29

7.6%

0

0

0.0%

Sky Captain

98

13

35

4.1%

4

7

1.2%

Trouble Kid

104

184

1280

174

1022

13

28

7.4%

1

1

0.5%

Zindaya

100

167

864

13

27

7.7%

2

2

1.1%

Shh She’s Ours

101

81

508

12

40

14.8%

4

13

194

1161

12

38

6.1%

2

2

4.9% 1.0%

12

26

7.0%

2

8

1.1%

12

22

34.2%

6

7

17.1%

501

12

20

12.6%

1

1

1.0%

95

$30,000 $25,000

220 150 147

1353 978 898

11 11 11

35 31 30

5.0% 7.3% 7.4%

7 2 4

9 2 9

3.1% 1.3% 2.7%

107 100 106

Glenville Gardens

103

Ami’s Flatter Tower of Texas Stonetastic

105 104

11

28

5.0%

3

6

1.3%

Wild Dude

102

11

27

7.4%

1

2

0.6%

Isabella Sings

105

5

10

3

10

30 28

7.9% 8.6%

3.9% 2.5%

Holy Boss

102

869

10

1.3%

107

112

821

10

6

Stormy Liberal Effinex

1390

750

2

Paulassilverlining

Highland Reel (IRE)

148

718

7.4%

A. P. Indian

106

216

116

29

0.6%

World Approval

148 126

11

1

1.6%

931

$25,000

1

7

110

$20,000

8.0%

3

35

$17,500

35

7.0%

150

$10,000

12

34

170

$17,500

873

13

$15,000

$35,000

103

1032 1761

$25,000

$45,000

Da Big Hoss

183 315

Money Multiplier Om

105

109 106

154

937

10

23

6.4%

1

1

0.6%

Holy Lute

140

804

10

23

7.1%

3

3

2.1%

Doyouknowsomething 102

678

10

113

22

8.8%

0

0

0.0%

Ohio (BRZ)

102 99

147

933

9

41

6.1%

1

4

0.6%

Heart to Heart

105

147

1049

9

23

6.1%

2

7

1.3%

Hoppertunity

105 107

90

530

9

22

10.0%

3

7

3.3%

Win the Space

$307,175

13

31

9

17

69.2%

3

4

23.0%

Mubtaahij (IRE)

106

$20,000

76

430

9

17

11.8%

2

3

2.6%

Finley’sluckycharm

102

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HJSPRING 17

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FEATURE

IMMIGRATION ISSUES

By Will Velie with Craig McDougal

Ackerley Images

A LOOK AT WHAT NEW POLICIES AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS MEAN FOR THE RACING INDUSTRY

An already tenuous labor situation for the racing industry now faces more uncertainty, but there are things horsemen can do to help.

GREETINGS, HORSEMEN, FROM THE FRONT LINES OF THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE. MY FRIENDS SAY TO ME, “MAN, YOU MUST REALLY BE BUSY,” BUT I EXPLAIN TO THEM IT’S NOT THE TYPE OF BUSY THAT I EVER WANT TO BE. AS I WRITE THIS, 57 DAYS INTO THE NEW ADMINISTRATION, WHAT I SEE SO FAR ARE FRUSTRATED BUSINESS OWNERS, MANY SCARED PEOPLE AND MORE APPREHENSION THAN I HAVE WITNESSED IN MY 22 YEARS OF PRACTICING LAW AS AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER. No matter what you think of President Donald Trump and his administration’s immigration policies, there is one thing we can all agree on: Our industry and horsemen are caught in a pincer movement between a government reduction in the availability of legal working visas and stepped up enforcement and removal of undocumented immigrants. Between the executive orders that prioritized nearly all undocumented immigrants for immediate removal signed by President Trump on January 25 and the U.S. Congress’ failure to reauthorize the returning worker exemption for H-2B visa employers, our fellow North American and international horsemen are unable to come to the United States or remain here if they do not have proper working documents. These horsemen are arguably some of the most talented in the world. If you are a trainer or a breeder, you probably work side-by-side with some of these men and women every day, and if you are an owner, you are

surely thankful they are there to look after your horses. Certainly, this is a time of concern for the racing industry, but I am not without hope. I have heard that the legendary negotiating strategy of Trump, the author of The Art of the Deal, involves issuing an opening offer that is more extreme than where he intends to settle for the final accommodation. Perhaps the strategy of declaring all undocumented folks a priority for removal and substantially limiting access to legal working visas is the opening offer for a policy that will include a comprehensive immigration solution that protects the borders while allowing for a visa system that responds to market realties and lets hard-working folks who haven’t committed crimes, other than coming to the United States without proper documentation, have a shot at the American dream.

WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

27


FEATURE

THE FIRST OF A ONE-TWO PUNCH: EXECUTIVE ORDERS

28

HJSPRING 17

THE SECOND PUNCH: DISAPPEARING WORK VISAS

Denis Blake

On January 25 and 27, President Trump signed three executive orders directly addressing immigration issues in the United States. The executive order that received the most attention was the so-called “Muslim ban.” While this has affected perhaps tens of thousands of people, the other two orders affect millions. Unfortunately, with all the press coverage of the “Muslim ban,” the extremely far-reaching executive order called “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” and the so-called “build the wall” executive order named “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” received little coverage relative to the number of people who will be affected by them. In short, these two orders shuffled the priority listing that the previous administration had established for removing undocumented individuals from the country. Whereas the previous priority for removal were felons, drug criminals, people who had been previously deported and gang members, the new executive orders make almost all people here without legal authorization an equal priority for removal. Essentially anyone who is charged, convicted or suspected of having committed a criminal offense shall be detained and placed into removal proceedings. When you consider that improper entry into the United States is considered a crime, unless the entrant is a minor, this makes practically all people here without legal permission a priority for removal. While in the abstract of legal theory this may seem like a reasonable remedy for people who have come to the United States without permission, it is important to remember that many of these people have been here for more than a decade, have U.S. citizen children and play essential roles in their jobs and communities. I have regular conversations with trainers, often who are politically conservative, who say to me, “What can I do to help make someone legal?” They go on to explain, “He is my best worker. We have worked together for years, and I trust him like family. His kids and my kids go to school together, and we go to the same church.” I have to explain to them that if the person came here without permission, there is no legal mechanism to help get him legal. He cannot fix his papers in the United States if he is not here legally, and the law says that if he goes home to apply for a legal working visa, he will be slapped as soon as he leaves with a 10-year bar from returning as punishment for his unauthorized stay in the country. As you can guess, this is usually where the conversation ends. Until now, I have always let them know that as long as they don’t drink and drive or fight with their spouse, they should be alright until the government gets its act together enough to create a pathway for the law-abiding, hard-working folks to fix their papers and step fully into a lawful place in the community. The new Trump executive orders have changed this calculation. The new orders are dense and have a lot of overlapping components that are already reaching into every corner of the immigrant community. The order regarding public safety states that priorities for removal from the United States are any unauthorized immigrant who: • has been convicted of any criminal offense, for example, driving with no driver’s license; • has been charged with any criminal offense; • has committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense; • has engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency; for example, used false information to gain a racing license; • has abused any program related to receipt of public benefits; or • is a person who, in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise poses a risk to public safety or national security. This last provision is as open-ended as it sounds and includes any person

who has overstayed a visa to the United States. As you can see, these removal priorities include any person who came here without permission or overstayed a lawfully issued visa, except in some cases for individuals who entered the United States before they were adults. The order regarding building a wall, which was signed on the same day as the public safety order, puts in place the enforcement mechanisms that execute the removal priorities. In addition to building the wall, the order: • expands “expedited” removal from the United States without access to a judge or attorney; • requires mandatory detention; • makes repeated unlawful entry a felony punishable by five years in prison; • deputizes local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws; and • prosecutes the parents of children who are apprehended entering the United States illegally. Taken in total, the combined effect of the two orders radically reorders removal priorities for undocumented immigrants, making all people in the country without authorization an equal priority for deportation.

To complete the one-two combination, along with stepped up enforcement and removal, Congress this year allowed a vital provision in the H-2B visa law to expire and did not reauthorize it. As you may know, the H-2B visa is the main visa horsemen may use to obtain lawful working visas for their grooms, hot walkers, exercise riders and any other worker who is not a jockey athlete. The H-2B visa is assigned an arbitrary quota of 33,000 visas every six months. The quota season opens in October and six months later in April. The quota is continually filled to capacity every season as soon as the filing window opens. Keep in mind that those 66,000 visas annually are not used just by the racing industry but also by many other industries such as hotels, restaurants and landscaping. Congress had previously released some pressure from the quota by allowing workers who had previously held an H-2B visa in the past three years to not be counted against the quota. This returning worker provision allowed employers to know that as long as they hired any The issue of work visas for backside workers has taken on added interested importance under the new administration. Americans


first, they could hire their same people on legal H-2B visas from the previous year and remain in compliance while they remained in business. The shortage of interested Americans on the backside of tracks has long been an existential threat to trainers who will be forced to shut down if they do not have sufficient help to care for their horses. As a result of Congress’ refusal to reauthorize this provision, the quota was reached as soon as the filing window opened. Trainers who have consistently gone to great lengths to recruit and hire Americans first before turning to the H-2B visa program were unable to get their workers even though they have faithfully followed the law for years and hired properly documented workers. A total of 90,000 applications were received at the opening of the H-2B filing season for 33,000 available quota spots. Even the best-organized trainers who filed as soon as the window opened had only a one-in-three chance of getting their workers. The trainers who do not get their workers are confronted with a choice of breaking the law and hiring undocumented workers or turning away horses and even shutting down. The problem cannot be overstated. As much as everyone would like to hire Americans to fill their groom and hot walker positions, there are simply nowhere near enough Americans interested or available to fill these jobs. It is important to remember when you hear pundits say that employers are hiring H-2B workers instead of Americans so they can pay lower wages that the H-2B program requires an employer to pay a wage usually nearly double minimum wage and engage in an expensive supervised recruitment campaign that requires two published newspaper advertisements and referrals from unemployment rolls. The employer may not typically require educational or experience minimums from American workers. Still, despite these recruitment efforts, trainers cannot come close to meeting their labor needs in the American labor market.

WHAT TO DO The one-two combination to trainers has been severe and constitutes a threat to the safety and viability of many of their livelihoods. If there are not sufficient workers on the backside of the track, horses and people get hurt. A trainer can only muck out so many stalls by himself before he has to turn away horses. If the combination of removal and reduction in access to legal visas continues, many trainers will downsize or shutter their businesses. I was asked once how I remain in this line of work and I answered, “Because I am an optimist.” There is a solution, and the solution starts with the horsemen. The first action horsemen can take is to contact their U.S. representatives and senators. Simply go to usa.gov/elected-officials to find out who represents you and how to contact them by email, snail mail or phone. For those so inclined, you can contact many members of Congress via Facebook or Twitter.

Courtesy Groom Elite

Denis Blake

Grooms are sometimes overlooked and rarely make it into photos with the equine and human athletes, but they are vital to the industry.

You might be surprised at how receptive your member of Congress is to your input. They are very happy to hear from a local constituent who is a small business owner who creates jobs and value in the community. Reach out to them and tell them that your industry needs a legal channel to act as a safety valve and release some pressure when there simply aren’t enough workers to fill chronically underfilled jobs. The returning worker provision comes up for reauthorization in mid-April, and Congress can solve this problem with no political liability and earn the goodwill of its constituents in the process. It is amazing what a phone call can achieve. The second and ultimate solution to this chronic issue that our industry faces is education. Perhaps the main lesson that I have gained from walking the tracks and seeing the state of labor in horse racing is that we as a sport must invest in developing a talent bench of educated grooms, hot walkers and assistant trainers in this country. Not only will these educated Americans grow the ranks of horse racing followers, but it will also clearly demonstrate to the public and the government that we are serious in seeking to cultivate American talent first before we turn to venturing into the immigration system. Fortunately, we have among us one of the best resources available to the industry in the Groom Elite program and its beloved educator Dr. C. Reid McLellan, who travels the country training interested Americans (and nonAmericans) to be grooms and assistant trainers. McLellan goes to the tracks, inner cities and correctional facilities nationwide giving free clinics to any and all comers who want to better themselves and embark on a journey that can take them all the way from groom to trainer.

Programs like Groom Elite, which provides horsemanship education for inmates and others around the country, can help lessen the racing industry’s reliance on immigrant workers.

Some of our very best trainers in the sport started out as grooms and worked their way up. Our good faith demonstration can show the decisionmakers that we are not simply asking for a viable visa program to avoid hiring Americans. In the alternative, we as an industry at our own expense offer free educational programs across the United States to any American who wants to learn the great skill of caring for Thoroughbreds. Until The Art of the Deal comes to fruition for our industry to survive the onetwo punch of losing longtime essential workers and having no legal way to bring supplemental horsemen from abroad to step into spots Americans aren’t available to fill, we have to make our needs known to our government leaders and demonstrate to them and the public that we are doing everything we can to meet our needs by educating as many Americans as we can to take the reins of the industry. Attorneys Will Velie and Craig McDougal are with Horseman Labor Solutions, an immigration services company that represents horsemen throughout the United States in immigration matters. For more information, go to horsemanlabor.com or call (877) 678-RACE. WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

29


Now is a golden opportunity to get involved in the

Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development Program! The Indiana Program is one of the best in North America, and it keeps getting better. During 2016, over $15.8 million was distributed to owners, breeders and stallion owners participating in the program. The year 2017 is on track to be even greater.

The program offers: Four Signature Stakes races contested at $150,000*

* Includes an additional 25% supplement for Indiana Sired horses finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd

Breeder’s Awards where payments are calculated at 20% of the total purse for eligible races.

Out of State Breeder’s Awards payments that are 10% of the winner’s share of the purse for eligible races.

An additional 40% in purse money for Indiana bred horses that finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd in eligible open races at Indiana Grand.

Stallion Owner Awards – 10% of the total purse for eligible races.

Don’t miss your chance to compete in Indiana’s lucrative racing program. Make plans to bring your mare to Indiana to foal.

To learn more about the program visit in.gov/ihrc


Congratulations to this year’s $150,000 Signature Stakes winners! FIRST INDIANA STAKES

GOVERNOR’S STAKES

Carmalley Chrome

R Luckey Charlie

Sired Supplements: Additional 25% of total purse paid to the owner Additional 25% of total purse paid to the breeder Additional 25% of total purse paid to the stallion owner

*Owner of 3rd place finisher in this race received an additional 25% purse money for being Indiana Sired.

(Cat Dreams – Glisten, by Dixieland Band)

(Adios Charlie – That’swhatshesaid, by Lion Heart)

FRANCIS SLOCUM STAKES

TO MUCH COFFEE STAKES

Lady Foghorn

Bucchero

Sired Supplements: Additional 25% of total purse paid to the owner Additional 25% of total purse paid to the breeder Additional 25% of total purse paid to the stallion owner

*Owner of 3rd place finisher in this race received an additional 25% purse money for being Indiana Sired.

(Zavata – Titia, by Northern Spur)

(Kantharos – Meetmeontime, by General Meeting)

If you have any questions regarding the Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development Program or would like to receive additional information, please contact the offices of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission at (317) 233-3119 or visit our website at www.in.gov/ihrc.

To learn more about the program visit in.gov/ihrc


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FEATURE

Racehorses live, train and compete in a drug-contaminated environment of approved therapeutic medications, human prescription medications, recreational drugs and natural substances. Every person, animal or thing that comes into contact with a horse may be a potential source for a positive drug test, given the ever-increasing sensitivity of testing equipment and methods.

A CALL FOR Dr. Steven Barker, a professor of veterinary physiology,

pharmacology and toxicology, was director of the Louisiana State University Equine Medication Surveillance Laboratory for 29 years until his retirement in 2016. He said some instruments now can go beyond nanograms (one-billionth of a gram) and picograms (onetrillionth of a gram) to detect femtograms (one-quintillionth of a gram)—an amount so infinitesimal that most people cannot even grasp it. To put it in perspective, a nanogram is comparable to one second in 32 years, a picogram would be one second in 32,000 years and a femtogram would be one second in 32 million years. Barker explained that the insensitivity of equipment 20 years ago meant that if a laboratory detected a substance, it most likely was of a significant quantity to indicate an intentional violation. But the regulations applied then have not kept in step with new technology. 32

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HOW SUPERSENSITIVE TESTING AND CONTAMINATION ARE AFFECTING HORSEMEN BY DENISE STEFFANUS

“They’re detecting levels that are pharmacologically irrelevant or insignificant, and they routinely come from the fact that these animals are living in a drug-contaminated environment,” he said. Drugs are everywhere. An Associated Press investigation found widespread contamination of drinking water in North America with pharmaceuticals. Philadelphia’s water supply alone tested positive for 56 different drugs. A Mayo Clinic study found 70 percent of Americans take prescription drugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls opiate addiction an epidemic. Law enforcement uncovers thousands of rolling methamphetamine labs each year. Yet trainers are penalized when their horses test positive for miniscule amounts of banned drugs, despite taking precautions to protect their horses from exposure. Even when the trainer is reinstated upon appeal, the horse’s disqualification typically is upheld. The problem is not just in North America, where racing has been criticized for its liberal use of medication. It’s an issue that plagues racing worldwide. Several trainers in Australia, including Australia’s leading trainer Chris Waller, have been cited for low-level methamphetamine positives. In 2015 Irish trainer William Treacy was fined when his horse Fethard Player tested positive for the human arthritis drug tramadol that Treacy was taking. The British Horseracing Authority ruled it cross-contamination. Human drugs are not the only issue. Isoxsuprine, a therapeutic medication used to increase blood flow to a racehorse’s feet, is fed in powder form two to four times a day during a course of treatment. The powder is likely to get all over the stall, and the drug is excreted in substantial amounts in the horse’s urine and manure. Isoxsuprine remains chemically stable in the environment for up to a year, so a horse occupying that stall a


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Denis Blake

year later could register a positive for the drug, as was the case of Australian stakes winner Mistegic. (See sidebar on page 36.) Three trainers in Kentucky received positive tests for low levels of dextrorphan, a metabolite of dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in NyQuil, Sucrets cough drops and other over-the-counter cough suppressants. Some drug abusers take it to get high. The positives occurred at Churchill Downs, Turfway Park and Keeneland Race Course over a five-month period. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott was among those whose horses tested positive for dextrorphan. His positive occurred during the spring 2016 meet at Keeneland. Asked if he had any idea how the horse may have been exposed, Mott said, “I have no idea. We went through tack boxes, wall boxes. We interviewed the help individually, and nobody had been sick and nobody was on any medication.” Keeneland’s backside is wide open, which Mott said makes it difficult to protect horses from contact with the public, who walk through the barn area by the hundreds on their way to and from the races. “I have day men and night watchmen all the time, but sometimes they could be around the corner of the barn,” Mott said. “And we have people walking through our shedrows, meaning absolutely no harm I’m sure, but they pet the horses. And if we see them, we have to say, ‘Please step outside the shedrow and look at them from outside the shedrow walls.’ That happens all the time.” Part of the enjoyment of being an owner is to visit one’s horse on the backstretch to feed it carrots and peppermints. Now, Mott has to warn his owners that this might cause a positive test because of environmental contaminants. Joel B. Turner, a lawyer with Frost Brown Todd LLC in Louisville since 1984, is one of the few attorneys with extensive experience defending cases involving alleged medication violations. He said, “Testimony of its representatives in a pending case revealed the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has not adequately protected horsemen from contamination in its own detention and receiving barns, yet they expect trainers at Keeneland, where there’s no fence around the backside and no night security in the receiving barn or detention barn areas, to ensure their horses are free from contamination. And during multiple sales per year, those same stalls are used by sales horses, which often are treated multiple times per sale with a wide variety of medications that are restricted or prohibited in racing.” It is well known that horses, especially intact males, will sniff and lick spots where another horse has urinated. If a prior occupant of that stall was medicated, scientific studies prove this could result in a drug positive from contamination alone for subsequent horses placed in that stall. On a single day of racing, stalls in the receiving barn and the test barn are used repeatedly with little or no cleaning between horses. Turner said testimony

“They’re detecting levels that are pharmacologically irrelevant or insignificant, and they routinely come from the fact that these animals are living in a drug-contaminated environment.” — Dr. Steven Barker

in a pending case revealed that the KHRC does not routinely test the straw used for bedding in the test barn for possible sources of contamination, stalls are not cleaned between horses being collected and the commission has never tested the soils in the test barn stalls for traces of medications that may have been left by other horses. He added, “Although the KHRC prohibits test barn employees from taking certain substances into the detention barn—including prescription medications, caffeine and other potential sources of contamination—its representatives admitted on cross-examination that the KHRC does not spot check for compliance nor does it drug test its own detention barn employees. They have policies that are supposed to protect horsemen, but they’re not enforced. … Contamination is a real threat, yet they do not hold themselves to the same high standards they impose upon horsemen.” Investigations into positives for human drugs tramadol in Oregon, oxycodone in Canada and cocaine in Chile traced back to probable test barn contamination. Although racing commissions may ban employees from having drugs on their person while in the test barn, privacy laws prohibit them from asking personnel what prescriptions they take. Scientific studies and investigations across the world have linked contamination to contact with soiled bedding, cobwebs, a horse trailer, manure spread on pastures and humans urinating in stalls. “Receiving barns are particularly dangerous,” Barker said. “Even though you may do a lot to muck out the stall and put down fresh bedding, depending on the level of contamination, you could still have a horse come up positive.” Critics ask why positives don’t occur more often if stalls are replete with contaminants. Barker explained that a set of circumstances must occur to produce a positive: The horse has to be exposed to a sufficiently high level of contamination; it has to eat contaminated hay, lick a contaminated surface or have someone put a contaminated hand in its mouth within a few hours of a race; and the horse has to go to the test barn. “Of course, the other reason is that we don’t test all horses in a race. If we did, we’d probably see a lot more positives,” he said.

DAMAGE TO RACING’S REPUTATION Mott agrees that the sensitivity of testing has produced a ridiculous situation, and one that is harming the racing industry. “I’m not saying that we don’t want to test and be diligent and do the right thing. I don’t want to run against somebody who has an edge,” he said. “But, by WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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FEATURE

the same token, I don’t want to see any of my fellow competitors serving days or getting fined and having their names dragged through the dirt for no reason.” To most members of the public, a drug positive is a drug positive. They don’t differentiate or comprehend the difference between an intentional violation with a performance-enhancing drug, an overage of a therapeutic medication, or a low-level contamination. “Believe me, if somebody’s cheating, they should be reprimanded for it,” Mott said. “But by catching the people who aren’t doing anything—and they’re just picking up these minute amounts of various drugs—they’re not doing anybody any good. They’re not doing the competitors any good; they’re not doing the gamblers any good; and they’re not doing the business overall any good. They’re harming the business.” Turner’s fundamental argument, aside from the particulars of each case, is that racing commissions that prosecute individuals for miniscule amounts of a prohibited substance are not fulfilling the spirit of the law—to protect the image of the industry and to uphold the honesty of racing and the integrity of the outcome of the race. “Racing commissions need to do what’s in the best interest of racing,” he said. “That’s their mandate. It is not in the best interest of racing to prosecute at such low levels when there is no scientific basis to conclude that trace levels, including of known therapeutic medications, could have any effect on the performance of the horse. In fact, prosecuting cases without showing a threat to the integrity of racing is detrimental to the image of racing and inconsistent with the duty of racing commissions to maintain a positive image of racing. “Unfortunately, during the last eight to 10 years, regulators have been running right over the top of many good trainers and reputable people who maintain their operations with the greatest degree of care to avoid any kind of medication issue. Yet, even with detection of such low concentrations with no potential to impact the outcome of a race, some regulators feel compelled to take away purses and penalize trainers.”

Courtesy Frost Brown Todd LLC

WHERE DOES THE FAULT LIE? Racing commissions set thresholds after consulting a number of sources; stewards decide to prosecute or disregard positive tests based on the recommendations of their equine medical directors, who in most cases are not pharmacologists; and testing laboratories keep getting more-sensitive equipment. Kentucky’s Dr. Mary Scollay is one of three equine medical directors on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). She is not a pharmacologist. Scollay said for drugs that have no published thresholds, positive tests depend on the laboratory’s limit of detection. In other words, if the laboratory’s equipment can find a drug “It is not in the best interest of racing to prosecute in a sample, it is deemed at such low levels when there is no scientific basis to conclude that trace levels could have any effect on the a positive, no matter how performance of the horse.” — Joel B. Turner miniscule the amount. 34

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Some laboratories have followed the recommendations of the International Federation of Racing Authorities to set limits for certain environmental contaminants in feedstuffs caused by natural-growing plants or contaminants occurring during processing and packaging. But banned human drugs essentially have a zero tolerance. “The rules prohibit the presence of foreign substances, so in the absence of a threshold, laboratories are driven to pursue findings above the limit of detection,” said Dr. Richard Sams, scientific director of LGC Science, the official racing testing laboratory for Kentucky, Virginia and Maine. Sams, a pharmacologist, has been the director of various racing testing laboratories since 1978. He also sits on the RMTC’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Sams said a laboratory’s directive is black and white: It simply reports its findings to the best of its ability. This means that if a laboratory purchases a new piece of equipment that is 100 times more sensitive than the last, the limit of detection drops. “The limit of detection would very likely fall, become lower. That’s correct,” he said. “And for a substance that is prohibited, that is an appropriate course of action. For therapeutic substances, we have thresholds that limit the detection.” Scollay defended the current practices. She responded in an email: “I take great issue with individuals who assert that the presence of a substance in the environment—be it an illicit substance of human abuse or a legitimately prescribed equine therapeutic medication—should be exculpatory when the substance is detected in a post-race sample. If the introduction of the substance into the environment can/could be prevented, then it is not, in my opinion, environmental contamination. If not, you effectively incentivize stakeholders to be irresponsible with medications, don’t you? “A bit of a stretch, but why wouldn’t you then make a point to hire individuals who abuse a broad spectrum of substances, in order to have ‘built-in’ cover in the event the laboratory detects one of those substances in a sample? And if human substance abuse is sufficient to relieve a trainer of his/her responsibility, does that not mean that the trainer who employs a meth addict could administer methamphetamine to his/her horses with impunity?”

NO-EFFECT THRESHOLDS Barker is among a group of scientists, veterinarians, horsemen and others who advocate adoption of no-effect thresholds, which set the cut-off point for substances that have no pharmacological relevance or significance in the horse. “It’s kind of an overreach and an overresponse by most commissions and regulatory authorities to say, ‘Well, if we find it and confirm it, you’re guilty.’ Well, no,” he said. “Isn’t your responsibility to maintain the integrity of the industry through ensuring that no one has an unfair advantage, or no one violates the rules by administering a drug that could influence the outcome of the race?” Barker asked. “And aren’t you then obligated to show that what you found could have influenced the race? Most of them don’t do that. They just say, ‘Oh, well, whatever the level doesn’t matter.’ Ten milligrams per milliliter or 10 picograms per milliliter—those differences are a million times different in concentration.” Turner wants racing to appoint a panel of board-certified veterinary pharmacologists to determine, based upon scientific studies, at what level various drugs affect performance and should be prosecuted and at what level those substances should be considered an environmental contaminant. “They should have [the panel] evaluate each and every case that they intend to prosecute to see if it has any merit and to see if there is any link between the concentration and the pharmacological activity of that substance,” Turner said. “Because if there is no pharmacological activity, there’s no threat to the integrity of racing—and they shouldn’t be prosecuting those cases.” Sams argued that racing already has a panel of experts that offers advice


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on medication rules, the Scientific Advisory Committee. The committee is composed of 12 individuals. Among them are three racetrack veterinarians, three racing commission equine medical directors and six chemists representing laboratories. But just four of these individuals have degrees in pharmacology and/or toxicology. (See box on page 37.) Rick Baedeker, executive director of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), said the University of California’s Ken Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory has been doing medication studies for decades to assist the CHRB in setting thresholds that are based on science. “It’s one of the few labs that has a herd of horses that are in race shape, so the research there is done on horses that would metabolize drugs just like a racehorse does,” he said. “I think it’s important for people to understand these levels aren’t reached in some kind of casual manner. They are reached after rather exhaustive studies.” California is one of several jurisdictions that recognize the contamination problem. Its Rule 1843.3 requires regulators to consider certain mitigating circumstances when ruling on a positive test. Specific among those circumstances are “the potential of the drug(s) to influence a horse’s racing performance” and “the probability of environmental contamination or inadvertent exposure due to human drug use or other factors.” The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission (OHRC) on February 18, 2016, set a threshold level of 100 nanograms per milliliter for methamphetamine as an environmental contaminant. “These changes were made after multiple discussions between the Commission’s Medication Committee, industry scientists and veterinarians, regarding various studies pertaining to these substances,” wrote executive director Kelly Cathey. “The OHRC also considered input from testing laboratory personnel regarding the results of studies, along with advancements in testing technology that have transpired since medication rules were written.”

HORSEMEN PAY THE PRICE Most horsemen cited for a positive post-race test are in a no-win situation. They either have to accept the ruling against them or hire an attorney to defend them. Either way, the result is costly. Penalties for trainers usually are a fine and suspension, while owners must return the purse and horses are disqualified. Hiring an attorney isn’t cheap. Legal fees typically start at $5,000 and can reach $100,000, depending on how far the horseman wants to pursue the case. Small-time trainers are the ones hit hardest by these rulings. That’s what happened to Ken McClure, who in 2008 was prosecuted in one of the early cases of tramadol contamination. On July 29, 2008, McClure shipped in to race at River Downs near Cincinnati, Ohio, and his horse Rego Rose was put in an empty stall in trainer Fred Nemann’s barn. Nemann had been prescribed tramadol for four years prior to the incident. Because he required a walker to get around and the restroom was a distance from his barn, Nemann urinated in his empty stalls.

Rego Rose won, but the post-race test was positive for 49 nanograms of O-desmethyltramadol, a metabolite of tramadol. The horse was disqualified, McClure was blasted with a $500 fine and 180-day suspension, and the owner forfeited the purse. McClure hired an attorney and, on appeal, the suspension was reduced to 120 days. Rego Rose’s owner had a small operation, with McClure running its farm, breaking its yearlings and training its racehorses. Because McClure was not permitted to be involved in any aspect of racing during his suspension, his owner sold the farm and got out of the business. “[The ruling] ruined a pretty decent business with a chance at growth, and I enjoyed what I was doing,” McClure said. “But it put me in a position where it wasn’t financially feasible, with the fine and the time off and lost wages.” McClure declared bankruptcy, abandoned racing and got a job at Walmart to support his family. In the recent dextrorphan cases, the KHRC eventually rescinded all charges, but not without repercussions for the trainers and owners involved. Nina Hahn, whose horse Covert Gem tested positive for less than 20 nanograms of dextrorphan, hired a lawyer to appeal the ruling because she felt it was the right thing to do. “It was not about the [purse] money, it was about my reputation. But, secondly, it was about making some changes,” she said. Hahn said if an owner appeals, uncertainty surrounds the horse until the final ruling. She believes it is unfair to other trainers if the horse competes at its “pre-win” conditions because, although stripped of the win, the horse defeated its competitors on ability, not because of a trace of a drug that does not affect performance. Hahn faced another predicament. “I couldn’t sell the mare because if I cataloged her as a winner and an earner of whatever she won and then the win got taken away, I misrepresented my horse to the public,” she said. “There are a lot of things that tie into this that are not fair, and that’s what causes people to walk away from racing.” Turner said the irony of the situation is that while regulators are prosecuting horsemen for these low-level positives, the widely held belief among sophisticated horsemen and bettors is that the real cheats are winning stakes races with undetectable designer drugs. California regulators recognized the dilemma. They have enlisted Dr. Ben Moeller, a molecular biochemist and toxicologist at the Maddy Laboratory, to develop an application that monitors changes in a horse’s biomarkers to detect effects that indicate doping, even if the substances and methods used by a cheater are not otherwise detectable.

ENCOURAGING PROGRESS Turner said the KHRC’s decision to rescind the rulings in the recent lowlevel dextrorphan positives is encouraging. “[It] shows me that the stewards and the current KHRC staff are willing to consider evolving research and evaluate the merits of the sensible arguments that low-level concentrations are more consistent with contamination than with any intentional effort to circumvent the rules,” he said. “There now also seems to be an open-mindedness at the KHRC about the need for linking concentrations of substances detected by the laboratories and the potential of such low-level concentrations to have an effect on performance and the integrity of racing. “This takes into consideration the scientific factors, including the potential for contamination, and the potential harm to the reputation of racing and its participants. This approach is more consistent with the overall mandate to protect the integrity of racing with reasonable and necessary regulation of medication while also protecting the image of racing as a fair, honest and properly regulated endeavor.” WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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FEATURE

PRECAUTIONS

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Until regulators adopt common-sense thresholds to address this growing problem of heightened sensitivity in testing, Barker said horsemen need to protect themselves to the best of their ability against these low-level positives. He advised trainers to drug-test their employees; have discussions with those taking prescription medications to emphasize that these substances can be spread to the horse through sweat, saliva and urine; require employees to wash their hands before handling bits, tongue ties, feed tubs, water buckets and anything that could contaminate the horse; stress that no one is permitted to urinate in a stall; and instruct employees not to carry pills in their pockets. Barker said horsemen should take special care in cleaning and bedding stalls, especially in receiving barns, to avoid contamination.

“You have to go down to the ground and replace it with a very thick layer of hay or shavings or whatever you’re going to use, to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “And you have to make sure that the horses around [your horses] aren’t so close that they can access them and transfer urine or feces or sweat.” He added this advice for regulators: “There should be a recognition by the commission, too, that these low levels can come from unintended exposures that have absolutely nothing to do with their authority to regulate racing. They are inconsequential, pharmacologically inactive and they’re meaningless, and it does more damage to the industry to keep calling them than it does to not.”

A used horse trailer that has been contaminated by a previous owner could lead to a positive test for the current owner in today’s testing environment, and in fact it has.

THE SCIENCE OF CONTAMINATION Scientific papers and investigations of incidents reveal how environmental contamination can occur. Here are some of those findings: • Dr. Marie-Agnès Popot, a pharmacist and head of research for France’s Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques (Horse Racing Laboratory), found that untreated horses that were housed in stalls previously occupied by horses treated with certain drugs would register a positive test for those drugs. The drugs in Popot’s published studies were flunixin (Banamine) and meclofenamic acid (Arquel); her unpublished data concerned dipyrone, chlorpheniramine and procaine. When the stall was completely cleaned before putting the untreated horse in it, the level of the drug in the untreated horse’s urine was low. But that level rose high enough to cause a positive drug test when the stall was partially cleaned or not cleaned at all. Popot and her colleagues theorized that contamination occurred when horses ingested straw tainted with urine. • A 2015 Irish study by Dr. Terrence Fodey and his colleagues at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in Belfast found that cattle that grazed a pasture spread with manure from horses treated with phenylbutazone (Bute) tested 36

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positive for that drug. Fodey reported: “The manure and bedding from these animals was spread onto pasture in early spring and untreated cattle allowed to graze the pasture some 10 weeks later. Subsequent analysis of blood from these grazing animals showed that all contained significant concentrations of Bute.” These results prompted the institute to issue a warning to cattlemen to take extreme care to avoid contamination with phenylbutazone, which is banned in meat-producing animals. • Australian stakes winner Mistegic was disqualified from his win in the 2001 Schillaci Stakes for an isoxsuprine positive. Investigation of Mistegic’s stall revealed particles of the drug clinging to cobwebs and surfaces above the manger. The medication was traced back to another trainer’s horse that had occupied the stall a year earlier and had been treated with isoxsuprine. Based on the findings, Racing Victoria reinstated Mistegic’s Schillaci win. • Trainer Renee Wilson was cited for methamphetamine positives in three horses she shipped from Michigan to Ajax Downs near Toronto. The horses


were shipped separately from the rest of her stable in a newly purchased, used horse trailer. Two of those horses won and one finished second. The levels of methamphetamine in their post-race tests were 0.034 nanograms, 0.2 nanograms, and 0.056 nanograms, respectively. Despite Wilson cleaning the trailer before loading her horses onto it, an investigation found traces of methamphetamine in the horse trailer’s manger. After reviewing the evidence, the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) rescinded Wilson’s $5,000 fine and one-year suspension. In its ruling, ORC Chair Elmer Buchanan wrote: “The Appellants correctly argue that since the introduction in 2010 of higher-sensitivity testing, there has been a surge in positive tests, with no corollary evidence that these miniscule traces of prohibited substances have passed through the horse, have any ill effect on the horse or, in fact, enhanced performance for the horse.” Dr. Kimberly Brewer, a former drug-testing veterinarian for the U.S. Equestrian Federation, and nine colleagues in the U.S. and Canada collaborated to write a case report of the incident in the Canadian Veterinary Journal. In it, they identified methamphetamine as an inadvertent contaminant and proposed a regulatory cut-off of 15 nanograms per milliliter in postrace urine. • A group of U.S. researchers* are currently drafting a paper that reviews scientific literature and case studies regarding the human arthritis drug tramadol as an environmental contaminant, including a study that

found 100 percent of samples from 90 wastewater plants in 18 European countries contained the drug. In one case they reviewed, a positive postrace sample in Oregon was traced to either the test barn or the laboratory, when the “A” split sample showed tramadol but the “B” did not. The researchers concluded the most likely source was inadvertent contamination by a test barn or laboratory employee taking the drug. In other cases cited in the paper, low-level tramadol positives in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, California, England and New Zealand appeared to come from individuals in the horse’s environment prescribed tramadol who handled bridles, fed horses apples, kept tongue ties in the same pocket as their prescription or urinated in the horse’s stall. The researchers wrote: “Given the medical reasons for prescribing tramadol to humans and the marginal therapeutic efficacy of tramadol in horses, the calling of ‘positives’ for pharmacologically ineffective trace concentration identifications of [tramadol metabolite O-desmethyltramadol] in postrace urine samples is difficult to justify, and may selectively penalize older horsepersons who are more likely to be prescribed tramadol for chronic pain.” In their conclusion, the researchers called for a threshold limit for tramadol to be set at 50 nanograms per milliliter of urine. (*The authors requested that their identity not be disclosed until the paper is approved for publication.)

RACING MEDICATION AND TESTING CONSORTIUM SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS LABORATORY CHEMISTS Anthony Fontana Jr. Petra Hartmann* Dr. Norman Hester Dr. Al Kind Dr. Mary Robinson* Dr. Richard Sams* *Pharmacologists and/or Toxicologists

AFFILIATION

Truesdail Laboratories Industrial Laboratories Truesdail Laboratories Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory LGC Science

RACETRACK PRACTITIONERS LOCATION EQUINE MEDICAL DIRECTORS

JURISDICTION

Dr. Scott Hay Florida Dr. Rick Arthur California Dr. Jeff Blea California Dr. Lynn Hovda* Minnesota Dr. Foster Northrop Kentucky Dr. Mary Scollay Kentucky

This article was published in co-operation with North American Trainer, the quarterly magazine for the training and development of the Thoroughbred.

www.trainermagazine.com / 1-888-659-2935 /

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The percussive beat of the groom’s morning alarm was slightly out of rhythm with the ringing in his ears, a cacophony of sound in perfect cadence to intensify the throbbing of his head and sinuses. A well-timed dose of NyQuil before bed had drowned out the influence of the respiratory virus on his system through the night, but for grooms in most stables across the country, there are no sick days in horse racing. Most outfits run a skeleton crew, and there is no backup, no temp agencies to fill the gap when a key member of the team is under the weather. So, with help from a little DayQuil and more than one cup of coffee, the groom was up with the sun to tend to his precious charges. It was a big day, with which no sub-microscopic virus would be able to interfere, because the stable’s big filly was racing beneath the fabled twin spires. Little did the groom know that his valiant effort to soldier on in the face of a respiratory snuffle was a good deed that would not go unpunished. The 2-year-old filly was firing on all cylinders, and despite her being guaranteed to go off at steep odds, the groom and trainer knew she had a shot to hit the board, maybe even win, if everything went her way. And win she did, in a maiden special weight at a prestigious track in a major jurisdiction. As her breeder, the filly’s owner always knew she was destined for big things, and this win was affirmation of even bigger things to come. The owner, trainer and a contingent of friends and associates had come to the track that day to witness the big event. There is no greater joy than standing in the winner’s circle with a few dozen of your closest friends to share in the highest high that the Sport of Kings has to offer. After an afternoon and evening of celebration, nothing could bring the owner down. The groom had almost forgotten about his rough start to the day. A great win for a deserving filly provided enough adrenaline to overcome any respiratory virus. Along with a little more medicine that night.

DEXTROMETHORPHAN

OUT IN THE COLD

INGREDIENTS IN OVER-THE-COUNTER COLD MEDICINES CAN WREAK HAVOC ON A TRAINER’S LIVELIHOOD AND AN OWNER’S PRIZED RACEHORSE BY CLARA FENGER, DVM, PHD, DACVIM; TANYA BOULMETIS, JD; THOMAS TOBIN, MRCVS, PHD, DACT

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Dextromethorphan is one of the principal ingredients of both NyQuil and DayQuil (and similar products), a structure related to codeine included in the popular over-the-counter medications as a cough suppressant. In humans, the liver converts dextromethorphan into dextrorphan by removal of a methyl group, which, along with the parent compound, contributes to its cough suppressant effects. The horse’s liver is very efficient at this rapid conversion of the consumed dextromethorphan to dextrorphan, and recent research has shown that horses, like people, are widely variable in how efficiently they accomplish this conversion. The next step is the inactivation of the metabolite by adding a sugar or glucuronide, which increases the water solubility allowing the glucuronidated dextrorphan to pass out of the horse in the urine. Horses are highly efficient at this glucuronidation step, such that many drugs are rendered inactive almost immediately, markedly limiting the number of medications available to effectively treat medical conditions of horses. Outside its use as a cough suppressant in humans, dextromethorphan has also been implicated as a drug of abuse, representing the most common drug abused by adolescents in the United States and abroad. Substances of human abuse, including cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine (heroin) and “bath salts” (cathinone), have all been implicated in very low concentration positive tests in postrace samples in horses, such that some jurisdictions have established screening levels for these substances, below which they will not call a positive test. In horses, dextromethorphan has been investigated as a treatment for cribbing at a dose of 1 milligram per kilogram intravenously, and it is very effective for stopping the stereotypic behavior for up to an hour. This suppressive effect on cribbing occurs at blood levels in the range of 200 to 600 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) of dextromethorphan, while the active


if a dedicated groom urinated in the corner, rather than leave his precious racehorse unattended to run to the restroom. Noted expert Dr. Steven Barker, director emeritus of the Louisiana Drug Testing Laboratory, was called in by attorneys for our trainer and owner, and he evaluated the laboratory data. He concluded that “it is unfortunate that such insignificant findings result in a prosecution. The mere presence of a drug does not necessarily imply nefarious actions and the calling of positives for insignificant concentrations of a [Association of Racing Commissioners International] Category 4 drug serves no one. Rather than protect the integrity of the sport, such prosecutions continue to damage the image of the industry and the reputations of trainers, owners and horses.”

metabolite, dextrorphan, is well below 1 ng/ml. During this time, the inactive glucuronidated metabolite is in the range of 200 to 600 ng/ml, demonstrating the efficiency of the horse’s liver to render drugs inactive. Based on the studies of the pharmacokinetics of dextromethorphan in horses, during the time that any effect of the drug is evident on the horse, the urinary concentrations would be expected to be in thousands of nanograms per milliliter.

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©iStock.com/Ahmadmahmood

THE POSITIVE TEST

INADVERTENT ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE TO MEDICATIONS

While a positive test obviously affects the owner and trainer, it can also affect the breeder as the value of a broodmare can be negatively affected when the status of a victory is still undetermined.

Our trainer was planning the campaign for the winning filly, while the owner/breeder was relieved to know that the first hurdle had been overcome. One of the most important achievements for a filly is the maiden win, because her offspring would then be out of a winning dam. Further, when the breeder still owns the filly’s dam, it is another box checked on the pedigree: another winner for the mare. Each of these milestones represents incremental value and translates into real dollars for a breeder. More important, many horses only win one race. The next condition for the filly would be a race against other winners, representing a big step up as she tried to replicate her maiden performance. Then came the phone call. The stewards notified our trainer of a positive test. Dextrorphan. “What?” she asked, unsure if she could pronounce the drug name or spell it. The positive test came with the requisite barn search, a graceless procedure in which every nook and cranny of the training barn is searched for contraband. All this while the trainer wracked her brain, trying to piece together what might have happened. The owner was in shock. In some cases, a positive test spurs owners to desert their trainer, reeling from what they feel is betrayal: a trainer who gave “something” to the horse for an edge, with callous disregard for the feelings, beliefs and standards of the owner. For some trainers, the positive test spells financial ruin as owners pull their horses because of the stain of impropriety. In this case, the owner had complete faith and confidence in her trainer, full belief that no rules had been breached and no lines crossed. The level of dextrorphan in the filly’s urine was 15 ng/ml. This result could be associated with the administration four or five days earlier (three or four days and 23 hours after any possible effect had expired) of the same amount used in the aforementioned cribbing study or a much smaller amount only hours before the race. Perhaps the amount left on the hands of a groom who had been taking NyQuil or DayQuil for a minor respiratory infection. Perhaps the amount that splashed onto some hay in the stall, as could have happened

It’s impossible to know when exposure to a substance on a groom’s or barn visitor’s hands or anything in the stall could lead to a positive test.

The increasing sensitivity of testing laboratories to identify substances in infinitesimal concentrations has begun to paint the racing industry in a dark light. The blind calling of positives for substances that are clearly present in the animal but at completely inconsequential trace concentrations has become almost a daily event, confusing the public and racing participants alike. Fielding a horse in a race is becoming a game of Russian roulette: one never knows when some unforeseen event could trigger a positive test. Dextromethorphan and its primary metabolite are commonly present at trace levels in human wastewater, with a spike identified in the winter months, coincident with cold and flu season. The wastewater enters water treatment facilities, where bacteria are removed, but substances like medications and their metabolites remain dissolved in the water that is then discharged into waterways. Other common human therapeutics that are metabolized using the same liver pathways and are similarly stable in the environment include the pain reliever tramadol and the antidepressant venlafaxine. Our trainer was not alone in Kentucky with a positive for dextrorphan. She was joined by two other trainers for a total of three positives from November 2015 to April 2016. Other dextrorphan positive tests among trainers included one in California in October 2013, one in New Jersey in April 2016, one in Ohio in September 2015 and one in Illinois in November 2015. These positives follow the same pattern of dextromethorphan and dextrorphan found in waterways following the cold and flu season.

CONSEQUENCES OF BAD REGULATIONS

A second trainer receives a call from the stewards. It seems that the winner of a certain maiden special weight for 2-year-olds in which this trainer WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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FEATURE

sent out the second-place finisher has a positive test. For the foreseeable future, while this issue is adjudicated, the runner-up filly must compete as a winner. The trainer sighs deeply. Many horses can never win against the next condition, a fact that is so well accepted in the industry that a maiden win is also known as “the loss of the horse’s best friend.” Never again will that horse face competitors that have never crossed the wire first. The filly does eventually win a race but not before the horse has been dropped in for a claiming tag and taken by another owner. This positive test, like many others, has far-reaching consequences and even penalizes the second-place horse and its trainer and owner. This scenario is being repeated over and over across the country as positives that shouldn’t qualify as such are called from coast to coast.

Ahl Baku

A DEXTRORPHAN “POSITIVE”

A picogram is equivalent to a single drop of water in 1,000 Olympic-sized pools.

As with most postrace tests that return with a finding of a drug or a metabolite of a drug, the consequences depend on the jurisdiction in which the test was taken. The identical finding could lead to a fine with or without a loss of purse, with or without suspensions, or no repercussions at all for the trainer or owner. If the drug does not have a defined threshold, the threshold becomes the “limit of detection.” Dextromethorphan falls in this category. “Limit of detection” is defined exactly as it sounds. If the lab is able to find any drug at all, then it is “prima facie” evidence that the drug was given to the horse. When these rules were crafted more than 15 years ago, it was very rare to have a positive test as a result of inadvertent environmental exposure. That’s because at that time, if the lab was able to find it, there was a good chance the drug had a pharmacological effect. However, today’s advanced drug testing techniques are light-years ahead of what they were a decade or two ago. Labs can now detect at the picogram and even femtogram level. To put it into perspective, the nanogram level is “only” one in a billion grams, or approximately one drop of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. A picogram is one in a trillion grams. This is the equivalent of one drop of water in 1,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. States have three levels of trainer responsibility. The most reasonable are states like New York and Indiana. While the trainer is the absolute insurer, there is a rebuttable presumption of guilt. The trainer shall be held responsible for any positive test unless the trainer can show by substantial evidence that the trainer, employee or agent was not responsible for the administration of the drug or other restricted substance. That means, if the trainer is able to provide evidence that they had nothing to do with a very low-level positive test, such as in the case of inadvertent environmental exposure, the stewards have the authority to include this evidence in deliberations about the accountability of

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the trainer. Unfortunately, it usually requires great expense on the part of the trainer or owner to prove cases of inadvertent environmental exposure. Other states have a “failure to guard” regulation. For dextrorphan, a trainer would have to provide the same evidence as above—that they had nothing to do with the horse receiving the medication—and then prove there was no way they could have prevented it from occurring. For example, if a trainer was taking NyQuil at bedtime the night before going to the barn and could prove no one in the barn could have given it to the horse, his failure to protect his horse from inadvertent environmental exposure may still leave him with a positive. Illinois has an absolute insurer rule with a safety valve. A trainer may be sanctioned without fault if the positive falls under the “Foreign Substances and Pharmaceutical Aids Banned” section, which covers dextrorphan at a low level. Because dextrorphan is categorized as not having any pharmacodynamic or chemotherapeutic action at ultra-low levels, stewards have the option of only fining the trainer, without it being a violation of the trainer responsibility rule. This is what occurred in 2015, but again, it required the trainer hiring an attorney at great expense. Most states follow the most stringent variation of the absolute insurer rule: the trainer is responsible, regardless of the acts of third parties. With the current level of sensitivity of drug testing technology, limit of detection combined with absolute fault on behalf of the trainer is a formidable combination. In these states, unless the commission recognizes there is no scientific basis for the infraction or penalty and unless the trainer is in a position to hire legal counsel and dig in for a long, expensive fight, it usually means the trainer takes his fine, purse redistribution and days, not to mention a potential big hit to their career and future. In Kentucky, the trainers with the dextrorphan positives were in a position to challenge the findings and access the latest scientific findings showing the disposition of dextrorphan has great variance in horses. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) took a strong stand for innocent trainers everywhere stating had the commission known about the study prior to the stewards’ rulings, the tests would not have been considered positives. Horsemen applaud this result by the KHRC, but we should be thanking the horsemen who had the positives and were fortunate to have the resources to challenge the rulings both legally and scientifically. Had they not been in a position to do so, going forward there would have been more trainers on days, more purses lost and a larger black eye on the sport we love.

CONCLUSION

Over a year after that race beneath the twin spires, our owner has received her vindication and her filly has retained her win. After her good performance, the filly remained in training for several months, but the uncertainty of whether she would race again as a maiden or would have to step up against winners hung over the barn. The owner decided to retire the filly and breed her, with hopes that the situation would be resolved by the time she could be offered for sale. The filly’s value as a broodmare exceeded the value of the claiming tag for which she could compete as a winner. However, as the sale dates loomed, the case had not yet been fully adjudicated and the decision by the KHRC had not been made. Legal counsel advised the owner not to offer the filly for sale without a significant disclaimer about her race record, a clear knock on the value of the filly. In the end, the KHRC made the right decision, although why it took so many months is anyone’s guess. Hopefully, other jurisdictions will follow suit and the problem of hypersensitive testing methodology spurring penalties and their unending unintended consequences will begin to be solved.


POWER PLAY

The creation of horse racing commissions or boards are mandated by statute in most states, with the statutes granting such commissions and boards “plenary power,” or complete power in the regulation and oversight of horse racing. This authority is granted by the state legislature for the purpose of creating rules and regulations and enforcing their compliance. The only restriction to this power is that these rules and regulations cannot oppose, modify, overly extend or overly restrict the legislature’s original laws. In enforcing the adopted regulations, administrative agencies can investigate suspected non-compliance, issue notices of alleged violations and hold hearings. Upon finding a violation, administrative agencies can, among other remedies, suspend, revoke or cancel licenses. Such rules and regulations have been repeatedly affirmed by the courts as a necessary means of ensuring the integrity of a complex sport like horse racing. Regulatory oversight of the sport is achieved by administrative law, which differs from the judicial system in a number of ways. The principal means by which commissions and boards achieve this oversight of owners and trainers is the absolute insurer rule, which holds the trainer of record responsible for the condition of the horse, the presence of any banned substances and overages of any controlled substances present in their trainees regardless of the acts of third parties. The absolute insurer rule is a cornerstone of the regulation of horse racing. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the 14th Amendment right to due process, even in the arena of administrative law. First, the trainer must be notified and afforded an opportunity to be heard. Second, rules of evidence apply. Horsemen have the ability to have any exculpatory evidence reviewed and included in their defense and cross-examine witnesses testifying or presenting evidence against them. Examples include review of the chain of custody, careful laboratory analysis of both blood and urine samples, the ability to have all split samples tested in a different laboratory and test results reviewed by independent experts chosen by the defense. Certainly, the underlying regulations must adhere to the mandate of the racing boards or commissions and cannot be arbitrary or capricious. As a result of the absolute insurer rule, in many jurisdictions the presence of a substance in the sample, either at any level or at a level above some designated threshold is “prima facie” evidence that the horse raced with the substance in its system and therefore represents a violation. When the rule was introduced decades ago and labs reported concentrations of drugs and medications detected in micrograms (a millionth of a gram) per milliliter, the presence of a substance detected in the blood or urine of a horse created a somewhat safe assumption that the substance had a pharmacological effect. Modern drug testing technology allowing the labs to routinely report concentrations of substances detected in nanogram (one billionth of a gram) and picogram (one trillionth of a gram) per milliliter concentrations has turned this interpretation of the absolute insurer rule from a stalwart of industry integrity into regulatory reliance upon a false assumption that the concentration reported had a pharmacological effect. This results in a treacherous, overregulated environment in which horsemen must compete much like the case outlined in the accompanying article. In the article’s example, when the initial drug testing was completed, the dextrorphan was claimed to be present only in the urine. The accompanying blood sample was reported as not containing any foreign substance. The pharmacological effect of most substances is directly related to the concentration in blood, not urine, which usually contains mostly metabolite and not the parent drug. Dextrorphan is no exception to this rule, and its absence in the blood was used by the defense attorneys as evidence that it could not have had an effect on the horse at the time of the race. However, after the final argument in the stewards’ hearing, and before the final decision had been

made, representatives of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), in a clear violation of due process, had its lab repeat the analysis of the primary blood sample. The lab increased the sensitivity of the testing, reported a low picogram level of the offending substance and communicated this information to the stewards outside of the hearing process and before they issued their official ruling. Further, this result was communicated ex parte to the stewards without the knowledge of defense counsel and without an opportunity to review the evidence and respond prior to the issuance of the rulings. Such ex parte communications, which means “without the other party,” are in violation of the right to due process and a direct ethical violation. Importantly, the trainers were not afforded the right to have the split blood sample tested to challenge or impeach the retest of the primary blood samples, the testing of which they were not advised of until after the stewards had made their rulings. These arguments were clearly and persuasively articulated in the motion to dismiss filed in the case of trainer Michael Ewing and owner Nina Hahn and the horse Covert Gem, but no mention was made of any of this in the post-KHRC meeting comments of Dr. Mary Scollay, the KHRC’s equine medical director. In fact, she denied it having anything to do with the decision to rescind the two stewards’ rulings issued and not to prosecute a third pending case that had yet to be heard. While the racing commission in this case ultimately made the right decision, this violation of the due process rights of the owner and trainer is disturbing and could have exposed the KHRC to damages being assessed against a state agency for violating the constitutional rights of its licensees. The absolute insurer rule, without the right of the trainer to rebut the presumption of guilt created by the reported finding of a drug or substance in their horse’s blood or urine (the ability to rebut the presumption was removed from the Kentucky rules with a series of rules revisions in 2006), creates an untenable and likely unconstitutional situation for trainers choosing to race under the jurisdiction of such rules. As can been seen in this case, these suspect rules are being overzealously enforced by a state agency having shown its willingness to disregard the constitutional rights of its licensees. This may be but one example; perhaps there have been others that have gone unchallenged due to the expense or lack of resolve. This behavior defies the mandate granted by the legislature to administrative agencies, which is to pass and enforce regulations reasonable and necessary to protect the integrity of racing and to uphold the image of racing as conducted in a fair and honest environment. The KHRC (and other similarly inclined racing commissions and boards) need to get back to fairly assessing the circumstances surrounding such postrace identifications. Only through ethical behavior on the part of all industry stakeholders can we get back to the business of competing and preserving the reputations of owners, trainers and horse racing in general. It is the legislative mandate of any commission or board to oversee the sport we love even-handedly and not unreasonably or overzealously. The case referenced in the accompanying article is one in which the KHRC ultimately reached a fair resolution but only after redirecting a train about ready to go off the tracks and seriously injure innocent people.

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I

n the early years, the sport of horse racing seemed simple. There was no simulcasting, discussion of appropriate marketing strategies, super testing or betting via direct computer links. There was no NTRA, THA, TOC, TOBA, UTTA, AQHA or other organizations representing horsemen’s interests.

Horsemen have a habit of taking care of their own. If someone was sick or down on his luck, they “passed the hat,” taking up collections, which is a time-honored tradition among racetrackers. It was in 1940 in New England that a group of committed horsemen brought into existence what is now known as the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. From this meager beginning the National HBPA has developed into an organization representing the horsemen’s interests on a myriad of issues. Today, there are approximately 30,000 owner and trainer members throughout the United States and Canada focused on a common goal—the betterment of racing on all levels. With this purpose in mind, we welcome and encourage all horsemen to join the National HBPA, and we urge our members to take an active role in the direction and policies of our organization. It is our members who make a difference. We horsemen are the National HBPA.

We are Leading into the Future and we are…… Horsemen Helping Horsemen

The National HBPA Inc. Eric Hamelback, CEO Phone: 859-259-0451 • Toll Free: 866-245-1711 • Email: ehamelback@hbpa.org 870 Corporate Drive, Suite 300 Lexington, KY 40503-5419 Website: www.hbpa.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/NationalHBPA • Twitter: @nationalhbpa


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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 ALABAMA-BRED UPDATE The Alabama HBPA-sponsored Kenneth Cotton Memorial race is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 29, at Evangeline Downs in Louisiana. Conditions will be the same as last year: $25,000 allowance for Alabama-bred Thoroughbreds, 3-year-olds and upward that are maidens or non-winners of two races that broke their maiden for a claiming price of $25,000 or less. It will be run at six furlongs on the dirt with 3-year-olds carrying 118 pounds and older horses, 123 pounds. Entries will be made directly through the Evangeline Downs racing office. We had a field of 10 for the $51,000 Magic City Classic run at Fair Grounds on December 9. Buggin Out, owned and bred by Dennis and Sam Murphy and trained by Ronnie Ward, scored a five-length win over runner-up Ira, who was bred by Hackett Brothers Thoroughbreds Inc., owned by Jerry Hackett and Tracy Nunley and trained by Randy Nunley. In third was Uncle Drossel, owned by Thomas Holyfield, trained by Keith Bourgeois and bred by Daryl and Carl Tuttle. With no live racing in sight and in an effort to support the owners and trainers of Alabama-bred horses, the Alabama HBPA is continuing the supplemental purse distribution to Alabama-breds running in open company at tracks within the U.S. and Canada. Total payouts for 2016 were $17,400, down from $25,000 in 2015. We are continuing to pay out $800 for first, $600 for second, $400 for third and $200 for fourth. All you have to do is notify Nancy Delony at nancy.m.delony@ms.com or (205) 969-7048 and let us know when your horse is eligible. In conjunction with the Louisiana HBPA, the Alabama HBPA put up funds for added purse monies to Alabama-breds running at the four Louisiana tracks. This was started as a test, and to date a total of $14,560 has been disbursed, leaving a carryover of $17,440 for the balance of 2017. The funds are added to the purse amount at the track so are included with your earnings from the race run. These added purse monies are in addition to the above mentioned supplemental purse distributions. We are in the process of getting our current elections going and do hope that all members will be supportive and vote after ballots are received. The Alabama HBPA does play an integral part in the livelihood of racing, and the more united we are the stronger the voice we have. The Alabama HBPA looks forward to a successful year for all our membership and fellow horsemen.

ARIZONA HBPA TURF PARADISE UPDATE Turf Paradise celebrated 61 years of racing on January 14, with a large crowd on hand for the festivities. The first two months have kept Arizona HBPA President J. Lloyd Yother busy here at Turf Paradise. There have been three different bills introduced in the Arizona Legislature that have affected Arizona racing. President Yother and our lobbyist Bas Aja have had countless meetings with legislators. President Yother has set up a biweekly meeting schedule with Greg Stiles of the Arizona Department of Gaming and Vincent Francia, general manager of Turf Paradise. These meetings are to address your issues and concerns. Please voice your concerns to the Arizona HBPA office, and we can address your issues in the next meeting. The Arizona HBPA has hired Leroy Gessmann for the executive director position. Leroy comes to us from Iowa and has been involved in racing since 1996.

Leroy is the president of the National HBPA and Iowa HBPA. He did not have much time to get settled before becoming involved with Arizona racing and horsemen, but he is already actively involved with the Arizona Department of Gaming, Turf Paradise management, horsemen and legislative issues. If you have not had the opportunity to meet Leroy, stop by the office; his door is always open. ELECTIONS AND OTHER UPDATES This is an election year, and ballots were to be mailed March 17 and must be returned by close of business on April 17. As members, you need to make sure that the Arizona HBPA office has your current mailing address. Please make sure to vote; every vote counts. If you are interested in getting our email news bulletins, send your email address to azhbpa@outlook.com. Arizona Quarter Racing Association Executive Director Loretta Brasher was the recipient of the Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement Award at the AQHA Racing Champions Ceremony in Oklahoma City in January. We are so proud to have such a deserving Arizonan receive such an award. MIDWESTERN UNIVERSITY TOUR Greg Stiles and Scott Waterman, DVM, invited President Lloyd Yother, Executive Director Leroy Gessmann and Secretary-Treasurer Wendy Hobson to join them in a tour of the Midwestern University Veterinary Department in Phoenix. They have an excellent veterinary program for large and small animals. We hope that the Arizona Department of Gaming and Turf Paradise may be able to utilize some of their students and services. OFFICE HOURS The Arizona HBPA office is open Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon, and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Our office number is (602) 942-3336, our fax is (602) 866-3790 and email is azhbpa@outlook.com. In May, the hours will be as follows: Monday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, closed; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Arizona HBPA office will close for the season on Friday, May 12. You may reach Wendy at (952) 445-6442 or (602) 920-6996. REMEMBERING TOM METZEN SR. Karen Metzen, wife of the late Tom Metzen Sr., was on hand at the National HBPA Convention in Las Vegas with family members to receive a formal resolution and proclamation from the National HBPA Board of Directors in Tom’s honor. We are so thankful for the opportunity we had to share Tom and his vast knowledge of this industry with Minnesota. Rest in peace, Tom.

ARKANSAS HBPA OAKLAWN MEET GOING STRONG AT MIDWAY POINT In recent years the immense success of live racing at Oaklawn Park has occasionally hit a few minor bumps due to cancellations forced by bad weather, but the 2017 meet has been blessed by beautiful weather with great crowds in attendance starting from opening day. One sign of the health of a race meet is the activity at the claim box, and as usual it’s been quite busy here. Through the first 25 days of the 57-day WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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meeting, 194 claims have been made for a total of nearly $2.5 million. A prime example of the demand for horses was a $7,500 claiming race on February 23 in which five of the seven runners were claimed, and one horse had his new owner determined by a 20-way shake. Congratulations go out to jockey Alex Birzer on becoming the 174th jockey in North America to win 3,000 races when he guided Numancia to victory on February 26 at Oaklawn. “This is wonderful,” he said. “It looked like it might set up this way last fall and I had it in my mind that it would be great to reach this here. I just love Oaklawn. I love the people here. The patrons are just unreal with the way they treat us. It’s a great racing atmosphere.” Congratulations also go to trainer Steve Asmussen, who in January won his 500th career race at Oaklawn, which also happened to be the 7,500th win of his career. Only a handful of trainers have reached 500 wins at Oaklawn, including the late Bob Holthus, who won nine training titles at the track, and David Vance, a four-time winner of the training title. Oaklawn continues to offer its Dawn at Oaklawn program offering fans a behind the scenes look at the racing industry each Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The program is free to the public and complimentary coffee and pastries are served. It also features barn tours and information seminars with racing figures. Barn tours begin at 7:30 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis and continue at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. No reservations are necessary. Oaklawn paddock analyst Nancy Holthus will host question and answer sessions with special guests at 8:30 a.m. on the south apron of the grandstand.

CHARLES TOWN HBPA WOMEN’S CAUCUS HIGHLIGHTS WOMEN IN RACING Delegate Jill Upson, R-Jefferson, sponsored the first meeting of the Women’s Caucus of the 83rd Legislature on February 22 in the Governor’s Cabinet Meeting and Conference Room at the state capitol. “The Women’s Caucus is a bipartisan group of lawmakers who want to raise awareness of issues important to the women of West Virginia,” said Upson, who is beginning her third year as chair of the caucus. “This will be the first year we are going to invite our counterparts in the Senate to join us in the House for this caucus.” Upson said she would like the caucus to focus on ways to promote economic opportunities for women. This meeting had a “Women in Racing” theme and featured guests who talked about opportunities in the Thoroughbred racing industry. Women representing the industry were Charles Town HBPA board member Naomi Long and Executive Director Maria Catignani, Mountaineer Park HBPA board member Jennifer Johnson and Executive Director Jana Tetrault and West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association board member Kate Painter. “Thoroughbred racing is a tremendous economic engine in the Eastern Panhandle and is an industry that presents great opportunities for women,” Upson said. “We want to highlight those opportunities and see what we can do to promote growth in this industry.” Upson said she hopes the bipartisan caucus will help women in both parties unite to give a more powerful voice to advocate for issues important to women across the state. “We’ve had incredible political shifts in the state over the past few years, 48

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and we hope this caucus not only raises the profile of issues important to West Virginia’s women, but serves to encourage more women to get involved in our political process,” Upson said. LEGISLATIVE RULE MAKING Two rule-changing bills are moving along this legislative session. Both have passed the Senate and are moving though the House. The first bill is a pari-mutuel wagering rule change that will allow jackpot carryovers. This bill passed last year but was vetoed by the governor for unrelated timber rules with which it was bundled. The second bill would update the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) medication standards consistent with the updates to the Multiple Medication Violation Penalties approved by the RCI in December 2016 to ensure uniform medication standards. WV TOURISM DAY The Charles Town HBPA and the Mountaineer Park HBPA were to join forces to participate in West Virginia Adventure Day at the Legislature on March 20 at the state capitol. This event showcases tourism and all that is wild and wonderful in the Mountain State. Look for photos of the event and like Charles Town HBPA and Mountaineer HBPA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! WV RACING COMMISSION RETIREMENT PLAN FOR BACKSTRETCH PERSONNEL Watch the Charles Town overnight for announcement of the dates to submit applications for open enrollment. Anticipated dates are early to midApril. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING The next Charles Town HBPA general membership meeting was scheduled for noon on March 18 at the Holiday Inn Express in Ranson.

FLORIDA HBPA LEGISLATION The spring 2017 legislative session started with competing gaming bills in the Florida House and Senate. The initial Senate bill allows decoupling at all pari-mutuel facilities, including Calder (Gulfstream Park West), and leaves Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs coupled for now but would even give them a 30-day window following passage of the bill to elect to decouple. The initial House bill has no decoupling whatsoever. Obviously, the FHBPA supports no decoupling and the initial House bill. On February 23, FHBPA President Bill White testified in support of the House bill before the House Tourism and Gaming Control Subcommittee, which passed the bill out of committee. The legislative session runs from March 7 to May 5. Both chambers would have to agree on language for a proposed gaming bill to pass and be sent to the governor. At this writing, the House and Senate are about as far apart as you can get on these issues. MEDICATION On February 7, President Bill White and Executive Director Glen Berman testified at the second workshop conducted by the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering in Tallahassee presenting recommendations to adopt and implement the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) model medication penalty guidelines.


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ELECTION The FHBPA annual elections are underway and were to conclude in midMarch. For the first time, the FHBPA gave members the option of voting online or mailing in their ballots. An outside company was used to prepare and send out ballots, and they will also collect and count the ballots. Four owners and seven trainers are vying for two owner seats, two trainer seats and one open seat. All candidates were determined by the Election Committee to be eligible to run based on FHBPA bylaw requirements, including starts in the past year and being licensed and in good standing by the state of Florida.

INDIANA HBPA 2017 RACING AT INDIANA GRAND: IT’S JUST ABOUT HERE! After a couple of spring-like weeks in Indiana, Hoosier horsemen and women have begun counting down the days until racing begins. Racing dates for the 2017 Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino have been approved by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission. The 120-day meet begins Tuesday, April 18, and concludes Saturday, October 28. Racing will be offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:05 p.m. EDT while Saturday night racing will be conducted at 6:05 p.m. EDT. Thursday racing will be added to the schedule from July 6 through August 24, also offering a 2:05 p.m. EDT post time. Quarter Horse racing will be provided during the season at the conclusion of most programs, and six nights showcasing only Quarter Horse racing will be announced at a later date. A complete stakes schedule is available online at indianagrand.com. Stall applications are available online at indianagrand.com. Applications were due to Kevin Greely, director of racing, by February 17. The barn area and racetrack were scheduled to open Monday, March 13, weather permitting, in preparation for the 2017 racing season. The track kitchen was to open April 1. As of this writing, the first condition book was not available, but anyone needing information on the 2017 meet can go to the Indiana Grand website at indianagrand.com/racing/horsemens-information. INDIANA DERBY SET FOR SATURDAY, JULY 15 The date for the 23rd running of the Grade 3, $500,000-added Indiana Derby has been set. Indiana’s richest horse race will be held Saturday, July 15, at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The Indiana Derby began during the inaugural season of pari-mutuel Thoroughbred racing in 1995 at Hoosier Park and was moved to Indiana Grand

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“The FHBPA wants the industry to understand that we are a proponent of national uniformity,” White said. “The division needs to realize that this issue will not go away without a proactive response. It is the FHBPA’s hope the division realizes the seriousness of this issue.” As they did at the first workshop last fall, White and Berman testified as proponents of the proposed medication rule changes, which were initiated by a petition filed by the FHBPA last June with the division. Two others testified— Dr. Bob O’Neil, Gulfstream Park’s director of equine health and safety, and Dr. Dionne Benson, executive director of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. Both veterinarians testified in support of the rule changes and there were no questions on the record from the division panel following any of the testimony.

in 2013 when the state established the Shelbyville track as the location for all Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. Over the years, the race has grown in status, displaying some of the best 3-year-olds in the country. Last year’s event was won by Cupid for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who scored his fourth win in the race in the past eight years. The Grade 3, $200,000-added Indiana Oaks will join the Derby on the July 15 racing program that boasts more than $1 million in purse money each year. Indiana Derby Night will once again be complemented by other activities in the days surrounding the event along with other stakes races, bringing the attention of the horse racing world to Indiana during that time. INDIANA REGULATORS APPROVE RULE CHANGES As of this writing, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission was scheduled to meet March 7 to discuss and approve several rule changes beginning with the upcoming Indiana Grand meet. Because these changes had not yet been debated and approved, anyone coming to Indiana to race should check out the Indiana Horse Racing Commission website for a listing of new or amended rules. IHRC information can be accessed at in.gov/hrc. INDIANA HBPA OFFICE TO OPEN WHEN INDIANA GRAND BACKSIDE OPENS With the Indiana Grand backside scheduled to open March 13, the Indiana HBPA was also back open for business. The HBPA office and chaplain’s trailer will be open for a reduced hours schedule until April 1. After April 1, we will hold regular office hours at the trailer to provide benevolence and health services. Information about our services, benevolence guidelines and all activities can be found at inhbpa.org. On behalf of the Indiana HBPA officers, directors and staff, welcome back!

IOWA HBPA 2017 IOWA HBPA SCHEDULE OF EVENTS April 26 — Iowa HBPA General Membership Meeting April 27 — Opening Day of the Prairie Meadows Race Meet May 13 — Annual Iowa HBPA Awards Dinner held in conjunction with ITBOA Awards Dinner July 6-8 — Iowa Festival of Racing Showcasing Three Graded Races July 6-31 — Adventureland Tickets will be sold and available for use by Iowa HBPA July 8 — H.A.R.T. (Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds) Silent Auction August 12 — Iowa Classics Night featuring Iowa-bred Stakes Races and Closing Day of the Meet PRAIRIE MEADOWS PREPARES FOR 2017 MEET Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack and Hotel is gearing up for its 28th season of live horse racing at the one-mile oval. The property has released its first condition book, Thoroughbred stall application, 2017 racing schedule and other important racing documents. Additionally, Prairie Meadows has announced opening dates for its backside stable area, training track and main racetrack. Condition book No. 1 covers the first 16 racing days (April 27–May 21) of the upcoming 2017 Thoroughbred season at Prairie Meadows. It is available online at prairiemeadows.com or in print at Prairie Meadows’ racing office. “The first condition book gives our horsemen a solid selection of races that will provide plenty of opportunities for horses of all ages and abilities,” said WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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Derron Heldt, director of racing. “It includes our traditional opening weekend allowance sprints for Iowa-breds as well as the first four stakes races of the season.” On the first weekend of the season, Prairie Meadows will offer the sixfurlong, $65,000-guaranteed Golden Circle for 3-year-olds on Friday, April 28, and the six-furlong, $65,000-guaranteed Goldfinch for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday, April 29. The stakes schedule continues with the six-furlong, $60,000-guaranteed Mamie Eisenhower for Iowa-bred fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, on Friday, May 19, and the six-furlong, $60,000-guaranteed John Wayne for Iowa-bred colts and geldings, 3-year-olds and up, on Saturday, May 20. In addition to the first condition book, Prairie Meadows has made its Thoroughbred stall application forms available. Forms were due March 15 and are available online and in print. They include eligibility rules, terms and conditions and instructions on how to submit completed documents to Prairie Meadows’ racing office by mail, fax or email. Prairie Meadows has also announced opening dates for a variety of training areas. The backside stable area will open to horses on Friday, March 31. Training will begin on Sunday, April 2, on the training track. The main racetrack will open for training on Sunday, April 9, at 9 a.m. Starting gate hours will begin Wednesday, April 12, at 8:35 a.m. “Horsemen should take note of some post-time adjustments for 2017. On Thursdays and Fridays, first post-time will now be at 6 p.m. CDT,” noted Chad Keller, assistant racing secretary. “We’ll also have several special race days with 4 p.m. CDT post times including the three Triple Crown Saturdays on May 6, May 20 and June 10; the final day of the Iowa Festival of Racing on Saturday, July 8; and the final day of the Iowa Classic on Saturday, August 12.” All of the above information and forms can be found at prairiemeadows. com/racing/horsemans-info/thoroughbred-meet and in print at Prairie Meadows’ racing office. IOWA HBPA OFFICE MOVE As always at this time of year, the Iowa HBPA office will be returning 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, you can find us on our Facebook page, Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Inc.; follow us on Twitter, @IowaHBPA; and sign up to receive our emails by contacting us at info@iowahbpa.org. We look forward to seeing the return of our horsemen including familiar and new faces!

KENTUCKY HBPA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE During the winter months, you may have read about three trainers at three different Kentucky tracks who had their positives rescinded for a metabolite of a medication commonly found in over-the-counter cough suppressants. We applaud the decision of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) not to pursue action against the horsemen. It is our understanding that the KHRC determined that the low level of the medication found in the horses was most 50

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likely due to some form of contamination, as opposed to a deliberate attempt by someone to affect the outcome of a race. Horsemen have long argued that with the increased sensitivity of testing, the prevalence of positive findings will increase dramatically due to situations beyond the reasonable control of a trainer. As case in point, I was talking with a horseman racing at Turfway Park during the winter. He shipped into a receiving stall, but prior to allowing his horse to unload he completely stripped and disinfected the stall. He explained that there had been an outbreak of equine herpesvirus in Kentucky, and he was being especially precautious. After bedding the stall and unloading the horse, he happened to notice the horse in the adjacent stall with his tongue fully extended through a small crevice licking the inside of the stall that he had just disinfected. In addition, he mentioned that there is one bathroom for a building that houses nearly 100 horses on any given night of racing. One wonders just how many stalls, for convenience sake, are used as bathrooms. The possibilities of contamination are endless, and it illustrates that no matter how many precautions you take, with the increased sensitivity of testing, unintended exposure is bound to happen. A wonderfully written article by Denise Steffanus regarding the issue of contamination should be required reading for every horseman (see page 32 of this issue). In the article, Dr. Steven Barker, a professor of veterinary physiology, pharmacology and toxicology and, prior to retirement, the director of the Louisiana State University Equine Medication Surveillance Laboratory for 29 years, explains, “They’re detecting levels that are pharmacologically irrelevant or significant, and they routinely come from the fact that these animals are in a drug-contaminated environment. “Receiving barns are particularly dangerous,” Barker said. “Even though you may do a lot to muck out the stall and put down fresh bedding, depending on the level of contamination, you could still have a horse come up positive.” He suggested racing commissions should consider no-effect thresholds that set a cut-off point for substances that have no pharmacological relevance or significance in the horse. A few years ago, we experienced in Kentucky a rash of tramadol positives. Most of the positives were very low levels, indicating contamination. One of the horsemen hired an attorney. During a deposition of Dr. Richard Sams, the scientific director of LGC Science, he admitted that in order to have an effect on the performance of a horse, a person would need to administer a lethal dose of tramadol. Still, the horsemen were held liable and were fined, suspended six months and lost the purse for the races in question. Dr. Mary Scollay, the KHRC’s equine medical director, in the same article, commented, “I take great issue with individuals who assert that the presence of a substance in the environment—be it an illicit substance of human abuse or a legitimately prescribed equine therapeutic medication—should be blame-free when the substance is detected in a post-race sample. … A bit of a stretch, but why wouldn’t you then make a point to hire individuals who abuse a broad spectrum of substances in order to have a built-in cover in the event the laboratory detects one of those substances in a sample?” As horsemen, it is difficult to comprehend Scollay’s attitude, even if stated in jest, toward a real problem that we all experience on a daily basis. The problem of contamination when the sensitivity of testing continues to evolve is our worst nightmare. As Barker has pointed out, no-effect thresholds are a reasonable approach in order to prevent horsemen from being damaged by positives that they have no knowledge of and that had no effect on the horses’ performance. Good luck in your racing endeavors, Rick Hiles, President KHBPA


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H-2B VISA SHORTAGES By Julio Rubio This spring, trainers across the country will be affected due to the shortage of H-2B visas. The reason is the failure of Congress to pass the Returning Worker Exemption for H-2B, which allowed workers who have had previous visas to be exempt from the H-2B cap. Workforce shortages will be a given unless Congress acts to avert the coming crisis by funding the Returning Worker Exemption this March. This measure effectively increases the total number of H-2B visas issued in a given year. The last opportunity for Congress to place the returning worker provision into law was to be early this March. Congress passed a stopgap continuing resolution that funded the government until April. That stopgap measure must be renewed or spending authority will end and the federal government will shut down. Few believe that Congress will allow that to happen. The returning worker exemption must be added as an amendment to a new spending authorization bill. If successful, this effort would extend the returning worker provision in time for the April cap. We need your help! Horsemen, please contact your representatives and senators. Be sure to emphasize your use of the H-2B program and the number of U.S. workers and vendors that will be affected if you are unable to get legal workers this year. Do it now! Thank you. TURFWAY, KENTUCKY HBPA STAGE HAPPY HOUR HANDICAPPING TO TARGET MILLENNIALS Turfway Park and the Kentucky HBPA teamed up for Happy Hour Handicapping, an interactive event where people who love racing, horses or just a good time could learn the basics of playing the races and getting a first look at Kentucky Derby contenders. The free event was held March 3, as part of that week’s Rockin’ Dollar Friday at Turfway, featuring live racing and one-dollar draft beer, hot dogs and bets as well as live music. Happy Hour Handicapping was designed to be no longer than 1 1/2 hours and to finish well before a popular band was to take stage. The goal was to attract people who might be coming for the entertainment and give them pointers in basic handicapping so they might be encouraged to come back for the races. While all ages were invited, the target group was millennials. Mike Battaglia, Turfway associate vice president and Kentucky Derby oddsmaker, who last year retired from the Turfway announcer’s booth after 43 years, and award-winning turf writer Jennie Rees, who does communications work for the Kentucky and National HBPA, shared simple handicapping strategies and also discussed their top picks for the Kentucky Derby and its Turfway preps: the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes on March 4 and the $500,000 Grade 3 JACK Cincinnati Casino Spiral Stakes on March 25. Those who attended Happy Hour Handicapping received free general admission to the showcase Spiral card. There also were drawings for prizes, including tickets to the Spiral’s VIP tent. Besides Turfway, those donating prizes were All Pro Championships, the leading provider of racetrack merchandise; Louisville Courier-Journal photographer Michael Clevenger (signed prints of his 2015 Eclipse Award-winning photo of American Pharoah just past the Belmont wire); Keeneland (reserved seats); and Woodford Reserve (a 2016 collector’s Derby bottle and a print of the bottle’s artwork). “We are always looking for ways to team with our track partners to promote horse racing,” Kentucky HBPA Executive Director Martin Maline said in the press release announcing the event. “Those who come to Turfway primarily for the band can learn simple techniques for handicapping that will enhance their trip to the track. Plus, it’s never too early to decide who you like for the Derby.”

The goal is to try to team with each of Kentucky’s racetracks on a fun fan-education event tailored to the specific audience. #KYDERBYKIDS RETURNING The Kentucky HBPA again will sponsor the Twitter initiative #KyDerbyKids, where sons and daughters (or grandkids) of owners and trainers will tweet about the experience of having a horse in the world’s favorite race. Overseen by Jennie Rees, last year’s maiden voyage of #KyDerbyKids was well received, getting a lot of media attention in Kentucky and even nationally. The idea was to reach a younger generation through their peers, as well as to build up awareness of @KyHBPA, the Kentucky HBPA’s Twitter handle. A new objective this spring will be to get 20-something jockeys and the children of older Derby jockeys participating. 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. • 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.”

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Fair Grounds Race Course 2016-2017 Race Meets

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MOUNTAINEER PARK HBPA

DELTA DOWNS The 2017 American Quarter Horse meet at Delta Downs begins on April 21 and ends on July 8 featuring the Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1) on closing day. The Futurity had a record purse of $690,000 for the 2016 edition. The July 8 card also will include the Delta Derby (RG3, $244,000 in 2016). For additional information, contact the Delta Downs racing office at (888) 589-7223.

2017 RACE MEET The 2017 race meet at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort will kick off Saturday, April 15, and run through Saturday, November 26. Post time is 7 p.m. Welcome packets are available for trainers in the Mountaineer Park HBPA office. These packets provide information on benefits, services, vendors and contact information. Don’t forget to visit the Mountaineer Park HBPA Facebook page for updates and information.

EVANGELINE DOWNS The 2017 Thoroughbred meet at Evangeline Downs begins on April 12 and ends on September 2. Evangeline Downs completed a new 70-stall receiving barn that will be in use for the start of the meet. The Evangeline Mile will be conducted on June 3 for a $100,000 purse. Louisiana Legends night will be July 8 featuring eight Louisiana-bred stakes for $750,000 in purses. For additional information, contact the racing office at (337) 594-3022.

WEST VIRGINIA RACING COMMISSION RETIREMENT PLAN FOR BACKSTRETCH WORKERS The enrollment period for the West Virginia Retirement Plan for Backstretch Workers will run during the month of April. To be eligible for the plan, participants must be licensed by the West Virginia Racing Commission and complete an application. Trainers must have at least 18 starts, and 75 percent of all starts must be in the state of West Virginia. Backstretch employees must make at least $10,000 with proof of income through a W-2 or 1099. Visit the Mountaineer Park HBPA office for more information and for an application.

FAIR GROUNDS Fair Grounds’ 2016–17 Thoroughbred meet, which closed April 2, featured the 104th running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on April 1. For more information, contact the racing office at (504) 948-1288.

MOUNTAINEER PARK HBPA PARTICIPATES IN WOMEN IN RACING EVENT AT THE CAPITOL Delegate Jill Upson, R-Jefferson, hosted the first meeting of the Women’s Caucus of the 83rd Legislature on February 22 in the Governor’s Cabinet Meeting and Conference Room at the state capitol with a presentation on Women in Racing. Representatives from the Mountaineer Park HBPA, Charles Town HBPA and the West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association gave an overview of the Thoroughbred racing industry in West Virginia. Speakers focused on women’s roles in the industry and the impact they have made. They also provided an overview of the industry and answered questions. “The Women’s Caucus is a bipartisan group of lawmakers who want to raise awareness of issues important to the women of West Virginia,” said Upson, who is beginning her third year as chair of the caucus. “This will be the first year we are going to invite our counterparts in the Senate to join us in the House for this caucus.”

LOUISIANA DOWNS The 2017 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet begins May 6 and concludes September 27. The Super Derby (G3) is the marquee event of the meet that also change the annual Louisiana Cup Day for Louisiana-bred horses.

REMEMBERING TOM METZEN SR. Karen Metzen, wife of the late Tom Metzen Sr., was on hand at the National HBPA Convention in Las Vegas with family members to receive a formal resolution and proclamation from the National HBPA Board of Directors in Tom’s honor. We are so thankful for the opportunity we had to share Tom and his vast knowledge of this industry with Arizona. Rest in peace, Tom.

West Virginia Press Association Photographer Dalton Walker

MINNESOTA HBPA CANTERBURY UPDATE Minnesota HBPA President Jack Walsh, lobbyist Cort Holten and director Bruce Malkerson have been busy working on advance deposit wagering, rule changes and legislative issues. Canterbury Park management and the MNHBPA are excited for the upcoming live race meet, which commences Friday, May 5, with a 4 p.m. post time. Joining the Canterbury racing staff this year is Ken Brown, track man, and Andrew Vold, from security, as the stallman. Ken comes to Canterbury with many years of experience as a track superintendent. Canterbury has instituted a shipping incentive. For more information, go to canterburypark.com. The track looks forward to a successful meet. The MNHBPA has hired Michael Cronin as executive director. Mike started on February 20. We are excited to have him on board and look forward to a productive year at Canterbury. The MNHBPA office will open May 2 at 8 a.m. We look forward to seeing all our returning horsemen and women and hope to see many new faces. Minnesota HBPA directors Claudia Goebel, Bernell Rhone and David VanWinkle and President Jack Walsh were attendees at the National HBPA Convention in Las Vegas in March. The convention was excellent as always.

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LOUISIANA HBPA

Governor Jim Justice with representatives from the Mountaineer Park HBPA, Charles Town HBPA and the West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association Upson said she would like the caucus to focus on ways to promote economic opportunities for women. “Thoroughbred racing is a tremendous economic engine in the Eastern Panhandle and is an industry that presents great opportunities for women,” Upson said. “We want to highlight those opportunities and see what we can do to promote growth in this industry.” Upson said she hopes the bipartisan caucus will help women in both parties unite to give a more powerful voice to advocate for issues important to women across the state. WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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3 4 10 11 17 18 24 25 31

5 6 7 12 13 14 19 20 21 26 27 28

Sa 1 8 15 22 29

Su Mo Tu 1 6 7 8 13 14 15 20 21 22 27 28 29

We Th Fr Sa 2 3 4 5 9 10 11 12 16 17 18 19 23 24 25 26 30 31

Su Mo Tu We Th 3 10 17 24

4 5 11 12 18 19 25 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

Fr Sa 1 2 8 9 15 16 22 23 29 30

Live Racing 22 Days

Live Racing 22 Days

Live Racing 21 Days

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

Mo 2 9 16 23 30

Tu We Th Fr Sa 3 4 5 6 7 10 11 12 13 14 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 26 27 28 31

Live Racing 23 Days

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Live Racing 18 Days

Post Time - 7:00 pm Post Time - 2:00 pm

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Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Live Racing 11 Days

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr

Su 1 8 15 22 29

March 2017

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr

2 9 16 23 30

LIVE RACING CALENDAR - 160 Days February 2017

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West Virginia Derby

Su Mo Tu We Th 3 10 17 24 31

4 5 11 12 18 19 25 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

Fr Sa 1 2 8 9 15 16 22 23 29 30

NO LIVE RACING


NEWS

WOMEN IN RACING AND GOVERNOR JUSTICE While preparing for the Women in Racing event at the West Virginia State Capitol, the women representing the West Virginia racing industry received a visit from Governor Jim Justice. Governor Justice invited the representatives from the Mountaineer Park HBPA, Charles Town HBPA and the West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association to his office for a quick chat and photos. Governor Justice expressed his support for the racing industry.  MOUNTAINEER PARK CHAPLAINCY The Mountaineer Park Chaplaincy is accepting applications for a chaplain. Interested candidates should apply to:  Race Track Chaplaincy of America 2365 Harrodsburg Road, Suite A-120  Lexington, KY 40504 Phone: (859) 410-7822 Fax: (859) 219-1424 info@rtcanational.org

NEBRASKA HBPA LIVE RACING UNDERWAY IN NEBRASKA At least 57 live days have been scheduled for Thoroughbred racing in Nebraska this year. The live racing season began at Fonner Park in Grand Island on February 24 and continues through May 6. From there, Horsemen’s Park in Omaha will run a total of seven live days in July. Their first weekend will be July 7-9, followed by July 21-22 and concluding July 28-29. Live racing will resume August 4 in Columbus and continue through September 4. In addition, Lincoln Race Course will run two live days, September 8 and 15. Atokad in South Sioux City will run with dates to be determined.

NEW ENGLAND HBPA MASSACHUSETTS HORSE PARK By Lynne Snierson Progress is being made in the state legislature, enthusiasm among horsemen of different breeds is growing, local community support is building, a dedicated website is live and the funding mechanism is coming together as the dream of a new, nonprofit, world-class equine center and Thoroughbred racetrack in Massachusetts comes closer to reality. “It’s all very exciting,” said Paul Umbrello, executive director of the New England HBPA. “As we move forward, there is increasingly more support as more people come on board. This is about creating 900-plus jobs, saving thousands of acres of open green space in the state to protect the farms where horses are bred and domiciled and building a new racetrack to bring back full-time

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“We are grateful to Delegate Upson for providing the women from the Thoroughbred racing industry the platform to highlight our commitment to the industry in the state of West Virginia,” said Jennifer Johnson, vice president of the Mountaineer Park HBPA. “We were able to speak with our representatives and explain our passion for this sport.”

Thoroughbred racing. We are definitely making real progress.” Suffolk Downs, New England’s sole surviving Thoroughbred track, now offers just six days of live racing per calendar year. The property remains up for sale to real estate developers and there has been plenty of interest of late, so the clock is ticking. That makes it even more incumbent upon the horsemen to control their own destiny. The nonprofit equine center and racetrack, which would also attract investment and generate revenue, would be owned and operated by horsemen for horsemen. Other equine breeds would be welcome as development plans call for indoor and outdoor arenas with stadium seating for dressage, eventing and hunter-jumper competitions, plus a retirement and retraining farm that could accommodate up to 40 horses. There would also be a conference center for trade shows and exhibitions, agricultural and artisanal markets and fairs and local community recreation options that include pleasure riding. Moreover, there is the prospect of adding an agricultural/vocational school, and there is the availability for equine health studies and services in concert with private veterinary college and animal science programs at the state university and community college system. The question about where the horse park would be located and welcomed is being addressed. “We have narrowed the site selection to four different locales around the state where the community leaders and local officials have expressed solid interest in the project. Each of those sites has from 500 to 1,000 acres available to build on,” Umbrello said. “In each of those communities we enjoy the full support of the town and excitement continues to grow.” Funding for the multimillion-dollar project still needs to come together, and the NEHBPA board of directors is investigating various mechanisms. Public, quasi-public and private funding options are all on the table at this juncture. Meanwhile, an increasing number of lawmakers from around the state are backing the project, and a bill to authorize it, which was filed in the State Senate, is moving through procedural steps in the Legislature. The NEHBPA, which is currently in the process of securing additional co-sponsors, is urging the membership and all Thoroughbred breeders to reach out to their individual state senators and representatives and ask them to sign on to the bill as a co-sponsor. “It has been a long and arduous process as we have had many hurdles to overcome, but we feel we are getting close,” NEHBPA President Anthony Spadea told the membership. “We continue to look at the various ways to return fulltime racing to New England. We feel the nonprofit horse park is the first, best and most viable solution at this time.” For more information about the proposed horse park, including detailed plans and efforts to bring the project to fruition, visit the new website, mahorsepark.org. SUFFOLK DOWNS DATES Live 2017 racing dates at Suffolk Downs, which is hosting two-day racing festivals on three weekends with purses averaging about $500,000 per day, are July 8-9, August 5-6 and September 2-3. Regardless of whether the track is sold in the coming weeks or months, the ownership group has pledged to host the live meet and continue simulcasting this year.

WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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OHIO HBPA BELTERRA PARK AND THISTLEDOWN MEETS Preparations are underway for the 2017 racing seasons at both Belterra Park and Thistledown. Belterra Park will run a 93-day live meeting from April 28 through October 8. Racing will be conducted on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with additional live racing days to be held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, as well as Monday, July 3, Tuesday, July 4, and Labor Day, Monday, September 4. There will be no live racing conducted on the following Thursdays: May 25, June 29, July 6 and September 28. Post time has been moved up 10 minutes this year and will be 1:20 p.m. each racing day. The highlight of the Belterra Park meeting will be the Best of Ohio series to be conducted on Saturday, October 7, featuring five $150,000 stakes events for Ohio-breds. Thistledown will conduct 101 days of live racing in 2017. The season kicks off on Monday, May 1, and runs through Monday, October 23, with racing to be conducted on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the meet. The $500,000 Ohio Derby, which has returned to graded stakes status as a Grade 3 event in 2017, will be run on June 24 at 1 1/8 miles. A new 50-stall barn has been completed for the 2017 meet bringing total stall capacity at the track to more than 1,050 stalls. Average daily purse distribution at the track was being finalized between the Ohio HBPA and Jack Entertainment, owner of Thistledown, as this issue went to print but will be up from 2016’s $145,000 per day figure. THHF RETIREMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM A reminder to trainers that the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Health Fund, through contributions from the Ohio HBPA, has established a Retirement Assistance Program for eligible trainers and their stable employees. To be eligible for the program, a trainer must have started a minimum of 40 horses in Ohio in 2016 with at least 51 percent of their total starts coming in Ohio during the year. Alternatively, a trainer with at least 100 Ohio starts in 2016 regardless of their percentage of total starters in Ohio during the year is also eligible. Stable employees of any trainer who meet the above qualifications and worked a minimum of nine months at Ohio tracks in 2016 and have a 1099 or W-2 form showing at least $7,500 in income from the trainer in 2016 also qualify for the Retirement Assistance Program. Eligible trainers and stable employees must fill out an application form available at any Ohio HBPA field office during the live racing season at each Thoroughbred track or online at ohio-hbpa.com. The deadline is May 1 to submit applications to the Ohio HBPA at 3684 Park Street, Grove City, Ohio 43123. Eligible trainers will have a $3,500 contribution made by the THHF to a retirement account in the trainer’s name established at Fifth Third Bank, and the trainer will be able to choose any of the 18 available funds in which to invest the money. Eligible stable employees will receive a $2,000 contribution from the THHF to a retirement account at Fifth Third Bank in their name. Full details on the program can be found at ohio-hbpa.com under the THHF Retirement Assistance Program tab. OHIO HBPA DONATES $50,000 TO SUPPORT NEW VOCATIONS’ AFTERCARE EFFORTS New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program announced that the Ohio HBPA has donated $50,000 to support the program’s aftercare efforts at its Ohio 56

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facility. In 2016 New Vocations took in over 450 retired racehorses, 66 of which came directly from an Ohio racetrack or farm. “It is important to the Ohio HBPA that our retired Thoroughbreds be given a chance to thrive in a second career. We are proud to continue our partnership with New Vocations, an organization that began 25 years ago right here in Ohio to give our horses that chance,” said Dave Basler, Ohio HBPA’s executive director. “We are extremely grateful to the Ohio HBPA for their generous donation and ongoing support of our aftercare efforts in the state. Their support over the last several years has allowed us to expand our rehabilitation program and ultimately help more horses. The funding is greatly needed and will help us continue to serve horses retiring from Ohio racetracks,” said Anna Ford, New Vocations’ program director. The Ohio HBPA donation comes during New Vocations’ 25th year of operations in Ohio. With seven facilities in Kentucky, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the program has grown into the largest racehorse adoption organization in the country. Its mission to rehabilitate, retrain and rehome retired racehorses has led to the placement of over 6,000 horses. New Vocations serves over 40 racetracks and focuses on working directly with owners and trainers in need of racehorse aftercare options. To learn more about the program, visit newvocations.org.

THOROUGHBRED RACING ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA (OKLAHOMA HBPA) SPRINGBOARD MILE WINNER COOL ARROW NAMED HORSE OF THE MEETING AT REMINGTON Cool Arrow, who won two of the three main stakes at Remington Park for 2-year-olds including the richest in the $300,000 Springboard Mile, was named the 2016 Horse of the Meeting. Owned by Brad Grady of Covington, Texas, and trained by Joe Sharp, Cool Arrow won both the Springboard Mile and $75,000 Kip Deville Stakes on his way to a perfect mark of two stakes wins in as many attempts in Oklahoma City. The now 3-year-old colt by Into Mischief was bred in Kentucky by Allen Poindexter. Cool Arrow was ridden to his Springboard victory by Luis Saez while Joel Rosario had the call for the Kip Deville win. The colt was also named Champion 2-Year-Old Male. Remington Park’s divisional champions were named in voting by media, racing officials and track personnel who covered and worked the 2016 Thoroughbred season. Following is a complete list of champions. Champion 3-Year-old Male — Texas Chrome The gutty winner of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, Texas Chrome was a unanimous selection as the top 3-year-old male in the voting process. Owned by Keene Thoroughbreds LLC of Greenville, Texas, and trained by J.R. Caldwell, Texas Chrome was ridden in his Oklahoma Derby triumph by C.J. McMahon. The Texas-bred colt by Grasshopper parlayed his success in the Oklahoma Derby into a start in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Bred by Craig Upham, Texas Chrome sold for $10,000 at the Texas Summer Yearling Sale and his sire stands at Valor Farm in Texas. Champion Older Male and Champion Sprinter — Ivan Fallunovalot The speedy and talented veteran Ivan Fallunovalot continued to relish his racing attempts at Remington Park and in the process was voted Champion Older Male and Champion Sprinter for the second consecutive year. His ballots were unanimous for 2016.


NEWS

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A winner of five of six career attempts at Remington Park, Ivan Fallunovalot won the $150,000 David M. Vance Sprint on the Oklahoma Derby undercard. It was the third straight year that Ivan Fallunovalot managed to win the richest sprint race of the season (formerly known as the Remington Sprint Cup). Owned by Lewis Mathews Jr. of Bismarck, Arkansas, and trained by Tom Howard, Ivan Fallunovalot was ridden in his two 2016 Remington Park wins by Lindey Wade. The now 7-year-old gelding by Valid Expectations went on to win the Grade 3 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park in Maryland after his successful Remington Park run. Champion 2-Year-Old Female — Perfect Wife Owned by Fern Circle Stables of Lexington, Kentucky, Perfect Wife won the $100,000 Trapeze Stakes on the Springboard Mile undercard to earn her title. Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Corey Lanerie, Perfect Wife made just one start in Oklahoma. Champion 3-Year-Old Female — Unbridled Mo In winning her lone start of the season in the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, Unbridled Mo was named top 3-year-old female. Winner of the Grade 3, $100,000 Monmouth Park Oaks prior to the Remington Park Oaks, Unbridled Mo is a homebred for Red Oak Stable of Old Bridge, New Jersey. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the daughter of Uncle Mo was ridden to her Remington Park Oaks win by National Racing Hall of Famer John Velazquez. Champion Older Female — Devious Rumor A winner of three races during the season, the now 6-year-old mare Devious Rumor defeated males in the five-furlong Remington Park Turf Sprint for Oklahoma-breds and then won a pair of starter allowance races over the main track to seal her title. Tough to beat at distances under six furlongs, Devious Rumor is owned by Doyle Williams of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and trained by Scott Young. Jockey Belen Quinonez was aboard for her Remington Park scores. Bred by Rendell Saddler, Devious Rumor is by Street Boss. Champion Turf Performer — Gianna’s Dream A pair of victories in stakes for Oklahoma-bred females and a perfect twofor-two mark on the year earned the top turf title for Gianna’s Dream. The now 4-year-old filly won the $50,000 Bob Barry Memorial on the Oklahoma Derby undercard and then the $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf. Owned by Jordan Wycoff of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, Gianna’s Dream is trained by Michael Maker. She was ridden in the Barry Memorial by Joel Rosario and in the Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf by C.J. McMahon. The daughter of Twirling Candy was bred by Center Hills Farm and Randy Blair. Champion Oklahoma-bred — Euro K Shotgun A half sister to 2015 Horse of the Meeting and Oklahoma Derby winner Shotgun Kowboy, Euro K Shotgun made her first racing season at Remington Park count. Making her career debut at the age of three, Euro K Shotgun rolled to four victories in five attempts, including wins in the $50,000 Oklahoma Stallion Fillies Stakes and $130,000 Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint. Owned, trained and bred by C.R. Trout of Edmond, Oklahoma, Euro K Shotgun was ridden by Luis Quinonez. She is a daughter of Euroears from the Siphon (Brz) mare Shotgun Jane. Euroears stands at J & M Equine Reproduction Center in Oklahoma. Champion Claimer — Itsallaboutyou A winner of four straight races to end his six-start Remington Park season, Itsallaboutyou won claiming events at the $6,250 and $10,000 levels before winning consecutive starter allowance races. Running for Remington Park’s perennial leading owner Danny Caldwell and trained by Federico Villafranco, Itsallaboutyou was ridden to all of his wins this

season by Ramon Vazquez. The now 6-year-old gelding by Harlington was bred in Iowa by Dave McShane and Don Frazier. The meet’s leading horsemen were all familiar faces, as Steve Asmussen topped the trainer standings, Danny Caldwell was the leading owner and Ramon Vazquez earned leading jockey honors. After missing the top of the standings a year ago, Asmussen was back at the local summit, winning his 12th Chuck Taliaferro Memorial Trophy as top conditioner in 2016. The trophy is named in honor of one of the initial leading trainers at Remington Park in the track’s formative years. The Asmussen team racked up 63 wins from 312 starters, winning at a 20 percent clip. Asmussen also led the way in earnings for trainers with $1,184,238. Earlier in 2016, the Arlington, Texas, resident was inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame. The 12th leading trainer title puts Asmussen into a tie with Donnie Von Hemel for the most Remington Park conditioning championships. Asmussen won his first training title at the Oklahoma City track in 1991. Finishing second in the standings was 2015 Remington Park champ Federico Villafranco who had 51 winners this year. J.R. Caldwell finished third with 28 winners. Danny Caldwell of Poteau, Oklahoma, continues to win Remington Park races at a record pace, resulting in his eighth leading owner title and his seventh consecutively. 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, went to Caldwell, as it has every year since 2010. Caldwell runners won a record 50 races from 173 starters, a 29 percent win rate. Caldwell was also the top owner by earnings with $862,830. Heavily involved in the claiming game, Caldwell is constantly spotting horses to acquire and attempt to move up in class, if possible. Running his horses where they fit best has led to the massive accumulation of wins in Oklahoma City. Since winning his first Thoroughbred season title in 2008, Caldwell has won 243 races at the track. The Caldwell operation is trained by Federico Villafranco with first-call riding assignments handled by Ramon Vazquez. Clark Brewster enjoyed his best overall season in Remington Park history. A mainstay since the track opened in 1988, Brewster won 33 races this season from 123 starts. In third with 14 wins was Keene Thoroughbreds of Greenville, Texas, operated by Danny Keene. Ramon Vazquez won his fourth consecutive leading rider title at Remington Park, the Pat Steinberg Memorial Trophy, after setting the tone for the season on the meet’s second night. Vazquez missed opening night on August 12, as he was finishing up the meet at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. He won the jockey title there, riding on that track’s finishing day on August 13. Vazquez then boarded a plane to Oklahoma City and in a matter of a couple of hours, was riding in six of the nine races that same night at Remington Park, winning one of them. Such dedication to winning led Vazquez to 83 victories for the season from 371 mounts. He also led all jockeys with $1,758,481 in earnings. David Cabrera, riding his first complete season at Remington Park, was second in the standings with 55 wins. Jockeys Richard Eramia and C.J. McMahon finished third in the standings with 48 winners apiece. The Steinberg trophy is named for the jockey who won nine consecutive leading rider titles to dominate the early years at the track before his untimely death in an automobile accident in 1993.

WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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REMINGTON PARK HANDLE DECREASES FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2012 Remington Park concluded its 2016 Thoroughbred season on December 11 with Cool Arrow emphatically winning the $300,000 Springboard Mile, the top 2-year-old stakes race of the meet. The victory closed out a season highlighted by its strong stakes program. Despite the successes of Springboard Mile Day, Oklahoma Derby Day and Oklahoma Classics Night, Remington Park’s pari-mutuel handle dropped for the first time since 2012. The total handle on Remington Park racing was $57,332,509, a decrease of 8.2 percent from $62,475,502 in 2015. “While not pleased with the overall handle results for the season, Remington Park did achieve positive gains with our large programs of stakes racing,” said Matt Vance, Remington Park vice president of operations. “Oklahoma Derby Day was our biggest handle day since 1999 with over $2.3 million wagered on our races. The Springboard Mile card and the Oklahoma Classics Night both continue to be popular on-track and across North America.” Oklahoma Derby Day on September 25 consisted of 10 stakes while the Oklahoma Classics Night of state-bred divisional races on October 21 had eight stakes events. The Springboard Mile card had five stakes as part of the 12-race program. Remington Park’s on-track handle decreased to $3,613,712, down 13.7 percent from 2015 when the figure was $4,185,321. The Remington Park export handle to other jurisdictions was $53,466,844, down 7.8 percent from the $57,966,038 in 2015. Remington Park’s three off-track sites around Oklahoma City wagered $251,953, down 22.3 percent from the $324,143 in 2015. After a record-breaking season for purses distributed in 2015, Remington Park horsemen won $15,855,080 this season for an average of $236,643 per day. The total was 6.2 percent less than the all-time high mark of $16,896,014 the year before. Years of a national diminishing foal crop may have finally caught up to Remington Park as average field size dipped below nine per race for the first time since 2005. There were 5,167 horses competing in the 605 races conducted in 2016 for an average field size of 8.4. That is the lowest average field size since the 2005 number of 8.9. The average field size per race in 2015 was 9.0. Remington Park conducted two fewer races (605) compared with the 2015 season (607). Both seasons had 67 race dates. Remington Park racing will begin again in 2017 with the start of the American Quarter Horse season on March 10 with a 50-date meet that concludes June 3. The 2017 Thoroughbred season will begin on Friday, August 25, with the 67-date season finishing on Sunday, December 17. TRAO BOARD ELECTION RESULTS The TRAO election director conducted the verification and counting of the trainer or owner/trainer board of directors election ballots for the 2017–19 term on January 5. The results of the top five vote recipients are as follows: Elected: Donnie K. Von Hemel, Kenny Nolen, Tim Williams, Veronica Griggs, Joe Offolter Not Elected: Mike Biehler, Randy Oberlander, J.R. Caldwell, Tyrone Shaw On behalf of the TRAO, we would like to express our gratitude to all candidates for their decision to participate in the election process and to represent the Thoroughbred horsemen of Oklahoma. The new board members will take office at the next TRAO board meeting tentatively scheduled for March 28.

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NEW STARTER ALLOWANCE SERIES COMES TO WILL ROGERS DOWNS, SEVERAL STAKES GET NEW NAMES Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs’ 30-day meet features a new starter allowance series and several stakes renamed to honor top Oklahoma-breds of yesteryear. The spring meet, which began March 13, returns to a more traditional calendar than last year’s meet, running through Preakness Stakes Day on May 20. Races begin at 1:05 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in March, and every Monday, Tuesday and Saturday for April and May. The new starter allowance races are designed specifically for horses that have raced on the turf in their most recent starts. “While Will Rogers Downs doesn’t offer turf racing, we do have horses in our population that have been racing on turf at other tracks,” Racing Secretary and Track Announcer John Lies said. “Thanks to this new offering, they now have a division of their own to face each other on our main track, which had a perfect safety record last spring.” The series will run over a six-week period during the meet, offering nine races, including a sprint division and three races for fillies and mares. In addition, the stakes schedule has undergone a makeover but still offers eight races with the same 10 percent purse increase provided in 2016, according to Lies. “Four of the races have been rebranded to bear the names of memorable Thoroughbreds either here in Claremore or in the state of Oklahoma. It’s an exciting change,” he added. The Miranda Diane, formerly the Wilma Mankiller Memorial, guarantees $50,000 on April 3, as does the Highland Ice, formerly the Clem McSpadden Memorial Route 66, the following day. The Miranda Diane honors the six-time stakes winner at Will Rogers Downs, while the Highland Ice is named after an accomplished sprinter inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The Great Lady M., formerly the Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs Classic Distaff Sprint, is set for April 24 with a purse of $55,000. It is renamed in honor of the dam of the Iron Lady herself, Horse of the Year Lady’s Secret. “The recently renamed Cinema Handicap and Will Rogers Downs Handicap have been moved to create a stakes double header situation on both April 24 and 25,” Lies said. “This gives those same horses the opportunity to come back three weeks later to face each other in a finale of sorts, the final two stakes races in May.” Those races—the More Than Even on May 15, formerly the RPDC Distaff Classic and named after the 2015 horse of the meet, and the Cherokee Nation Classic Cup on May 16—both offer purses of $55,000. For the spring 2016 Will Rogers Downs meet, more than $19 million was wagered on live racing, with four days surpassing $1 million. For more information, visit cherokeestarrewards.com or call (918) 283-8800.

OREGON HBPA PORTLAND MEADOWS RECAP The Portland Meadows meet was scheduled to end January 3; however, due to freezing temperatures resulting in a frozen racetrack, we had to cancel the last two days of racing. In support of our horsemen and horsewomen, the Oregon HBPA negotiated an extension of three more weeks of racing with Portland Meadows management. Unfortunately, Mother Nature once again failed to cooperate and our last day of racing was January 1. Up until that time the meet went well with lots of horses and horsemen and horsewomen competing for increased purses. We look


NEWS

SUMMER MEET SCHEDULE The Oregon summer fair meets begin in June, so everyone will be resting up for that. Once again, racing will occur at five racetracks scattered throughout the state. The OHBPA is delighted to announce we will be bringing back our Trainer of the Day award that has been a big hit and lots of fun. Our Summer Fair Committee will be meeting to finalize the other incentives we will put into effect for the summer. One decision that has been made is an added contribution of $500 to all Thoroughbred races at our summer fairs! Recently, the Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association held its awards banquet. It is always exciting to see who gets acknowledged for all of their hard work and commitment to the Thoroughbreds that are bred here. Our best to all of you from your peers here in Oregon. Happy and safe racing!

PENNSYLVANIA HBPA PRESQUE ISLE DOWNS 2017 SEASON Horsemen, horses and hundreds of employees will soon begin arriving at the Erie racetrack to prepare for the 2017 racing season. The improvements made last year, which included a new barn, video board and new Pennsylvania HBPA office, are expected to be in full service from the start of the meet. In addition, a new 48-stall barn is expected to be completed by the start of the meet. The new barn will bring the total stabling available at the racetrack to more than 800 stalls. The purse structure and stakes schedule are expected to be the same as last year’s. Stall applications are available at presqueisledowns.com/racing. DR. MICK PETERSON TO CONSULT ON PENN NATIONAL TRACK SURFACE In our continued dedication to providing the safest racetrack for our equine athletes, the PA HBPA has engaged the services of world-renowned surface expert Dr. Mick Peterson. Peterson has submitted a proposal that will greatly enhance the scientific data available regarding the track surface. This data will assist in the daily decisions on how to treat the track and which materials to add. We anticipate a visit by Peterson and his team in late spring to start the process of gathering vital information and establishing a database.

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forward to working with the Stronach Group and Portland Meadows management to begin negotiations on our 2017–18 race meet. Our leading trainer for the 2016–17 race meet was Rigoberto “Jesse” Velasquez, our leading jockey was Kassie Guglielmino and our leading owners were Rancho Viejo and Lisa Baze. Our most sincere congratulations to all!

NEW START REHOMING PROGRAM WINS ZOETIS EQUINE CHARITY SWEEPSTAKES New Start, the Pennsylvania HBPA’s retired racehorse rehoming program, was named grand prize winner in the Zoetis Equine Charity Sweepstakes. The equine charity in Grantville, Pennsylvania, received a $5,000 cash donation from the global animal health company Zoetis, on behalf of the nominating veterinarian, Dr. David Marshall. Marshall nominated New Start while attending the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Convention. He practices veterinary medicine at Penn National Race Course. “This is the first sweepstakes I’ve ever won—it’s a wonderful contest to win because I can pass on the value to an organization in need and help support the equine industry,” Marshall said. “My responsibility at the racetrack, in part, is to secure the health and welfare of the horses that race here. While the career of a racehorse is limited, racehorses have many valuable years to give following their time at the track. That’s why I nominated New Start; they help provide temporary homes for racehorses before beginning their second careers.” New Start has helped re-home more than 350 former racehorses over the past three years. The program focuses on placing horses where they will succeed in second careers as show horses, barrel racers, eventers, polo mounts, pleasure horses and more. “Once a horse is donated to our program by an owner, our committee’s veterinarian and I examine the horse. Our findings determine which one of our foster farms will be most suitable for transitioning the horse to a successful second career. The vast majority of our Thoroughbreds excel in a wide range of riding disciplines but a few go to a sanctuary we help support,” New Start Program Coordinator Lauren Zagnit said. “We are so appreciative of the support Zoetis has provided and the opportunity to utilize these funds to help more horses find second careers.” “Zoetis is committed to working together with veterinarians, horse owners and equine professionals to help improve health and wellness for all horses,” said Sally Amtmann, Zoetis’ senior equine marketing manager. “We are pleased to extend our industry support to provide New Start with resources to assist in managing the horses in their care.”

TAMPA BAY DOWNS HBPA TAMPA BAY DOWNS UPDATE The Tampa Bay Downs HBPA kicked off the 2016–17 season with its annual Christmas party on December 20. A big “thank you” to everyone who volunteered their time to help serve food to our hungry crowd of owners, trainers and backside employees. The TBD HBPA also held its annual “Bling the Barn” contest, which resulted in the decoration of many barns with an array of Christmas themes. First place

MARKETING AND PROMOTION OF RACING IN PENNSYLVANIA Racetracks, horsemen and the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission will have a substantial budget in 2017 to promote racing. The marketing fund was established by the passage of Act 7, which included a transfer of $2.392 million into a segregated account. These monies will be split among industry stakeholders to assist in the promotion of the sport in the commonwealth. The percentage splits among the stakeholders was expected to be determined at the commission meeting in March. The Owner/Trainer Appreciation Dinner on Valentine’s Day was a big hit. WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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WASHINGTON HBPA TRAINING RESUMES, GRANDSTAND RENOVATION UNDERWAY Horses began training on January 30 in preparation for the April 8 opening of the 2017 meet—the 21st year of racing at Emerald Downs. The racing secretary announced that as of February 25, more than 500 horses were on the grounds, a slight increase over last year. Emerald Downs is owned by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, which again is contributing more than $1.4 million in purse enhancements. April 8 also marks the opening of the completely renovated fifth floor of the grandstand featuring a new to Emerald Downs card room with exciting table games, a remodeled sports bar with multiscreen television system, an entirely revamped simulcast area and a new café. “We’re excited to prepare for the 2017 season,” Emerald Downs President 60

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Phil Ziegler said. “We are planning some exciting new promotions including Corgi races to complement popular ones like Indian Relay Racing, Wiener Dogs, Food Truck Festival and Washington Cup. We’ll also have two fireworks shows, the traditional July 3 show which attracted over 13,000 people last year, and a new one on opening night. “Most importantly, we hope to continue our upward trends on the racetrack. It all begins and ends with our live racing product.” In addition, Emerald Downs welcomed horsemen returning for the 70-day meet that runs through September 17 with news that there will be $475,000 in total trainer participation incentives for the season, including: • An 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 hotwalkers. Also at the end of the meet, trainers have the opportunity to recover a portion of their per stall per day costs based on a stall efficiency factor and conservation of utilities. • A $200 participation fee for every unplaced starter. • A ship and run incentive program, in which out-of-state horses will receive a $400 bonus for their initial start at Emerald Downs. The bonus is for horses whose most recent start was outside the state and have not previously raced at Emerald Downs. In addition, horses must have started for a claiming price of $3,000 or more in each of its three previous starts. First-time starters are not eligible. WASHINGTON THOROUGHBRED AWARDS BANQUET: A ROARING ’20S SOCKDOLLAGER! In keeping with its Roaring ’20s theme, the Washington Thoroughbred Awards Banquet, held February 25 at Emerald Downs, was imbued with an optimistic air of excitement for the 2017 live meet. Held to honor “the bee’s knees” of Washington-breds from 2016, the banquet brought out a record number of representatives from the WTBOA, WHBPA and Emerald Downs. The night began with a special tribute to trainer and Washington Thoroughbred racing icon Jim Penney, who passed away February 21 at the age of 82. His son-in-law, former jockey Bryson Cooper, gave a fitting, humor-filled memoir reflecting the life of a man who influenced and benefited the lives of so many in the racing industry. Penney’s eulogy seemed to connect the audience like family and established an air of thankfulness for all those who contribute to our industry. Read more about Jim’s contributions later in this section. Jim and Mona Hour’s phenomenal runner Stryker Phd was named champion older horse for the fourth year in a row and after a second runner-up finish last year as Horse of the Year, took that honor again for the second time in three years. The now 8-year-old gelding by Bertrando kept his consistency in well-managed style by trainer Larry Ross. His 2016 campaign earned $101,760 and included two stakes wins in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate Fields and WA Cup Muckleshoot Tribal Classic Stakes at Emerald Downs. Champion older filly or mare honors went to Shawn and Todd Former Emerald Downs President Ron Crockett presents Kathy Hansen’s Coffey with the WHBPA/WTBOA Special Recognition Award.

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went to the Pony barn, second to the Rodriguez barn and third to the Hinsley barn. Prizes included delicious snacks for the humans and carrots for the horses. 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, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Step Ahead Thoroughbred Retirement, RVR Horse Rescue and Equestrian Inc. Horse Rescue, whose founder, Glenda Smith, sadly passed away in January after a long battle with cancer. We will sorely miss her. As you know, these organizations are paramount in enriching the lives of Tampa Bay Downs’ backside employees as well as our retiring equine athletes. Our annual TBD HBPA Owner/Trainer Appreciation Dinner was held on Valentine’s Day at the Countryside Country Club. All attendees were presented with a candy heart and the ladies received a red long-stemmed rose. A special shout out to Dennis Ward, Shelly Moran Taylor and Hailey Bennett for capturing the gold medal in the Tampa Bay Derby Bouncy Horse race. Sharyn Wasiluk was the lucky winner of a $250 gift certificate to AAA Feed, which was graciously donated by Jerry and Nancy Perrello. Plans are in the works for our backside barbecue to be held in late March. The annual Florida Cup Day, sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Owners’ and Breeders’ Association, Tampa Bay Downs and TBD HBPA, will be held on Sunday, April 9. With $600,000 in stakes purses, Florida Cup Day not only showcases Florida-breds, it also provides a special day for breeders, owners and trainers. Kudos to undefeated 3-year old McCraken with his impressive win in the Grade 3 Sam Davis Stakes. We hope to see McCraken, trained by Ian Wilkes, as a contender in the Kentucky Derby. Congratulations to all HBPA Groom of the Week winners thus far: Kenneth Norwood, Trainer Bradley Julio Gutierrez, Trainer Gonzalez Ramirez Maurelio, Trainer Delacour Pedro Nava, Trainer Delacour Desmond Smith, Trainer DaCosta Mike Thompson, Trainer Bradley Basilio Corona, Trainer Sienkewicz Alvaro Solano, Trainer Delacour Wilmer Olura, Trainer Delacour Juan Caceras, Trainer Arboritanza We wish to express our sincere condolences to Mateo Pecoraro on the passing of his wife of 56 years, Josephine, who was also the mother of TBD HBPA board member Anthony Pecoraro.


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Ethan’s Baby. Trained by Blaine Wright and Manuel Ortiz Sr., the mare by Offlee Wild hit the board in six out of seven starts in 2016 and was twice stakesplaced with $61,383 in earnings. Sophomore male division honors went to The Press, a son of Harbor the Gold. Unraced at 2, the gelding, owned and trained by Howard Belvoir, broke his maiden in his fourth out. He went on to win two more races at Emerald Downs, including a victory in the WA Cup Stakes for 3-year-olds. He finished the year with an 8-3-2-1 record and compiled $53,993 in earnings. The 3-year-old champion and 3-year-old filly champion was clinched by Invested Prospect. Owned by the Maryanski/Schneider partnership and also trained by Wright, the lightly raced sophomore by Abraaj won four out of five starts including the Seattle Stakes at Emerald. Sire Abraaj also produced the champion sprinter for 2016. Kaabraaj, bred by Clemans View Farm and claimed after his debut in 2015 by Jeff Metz for owners Horseplayers Racing Club and Warlock Stables, has proven to be a consistent and durable runner. In 2016 Kaabraaj faced the toughest competition of his career in allowance, stakes and graded stakes starts at Emerald Downs, Santa Anita, Del Mar and Turf Paradise. He finished the year with a sprint record of 9-3-1-1 and $79,600 in earnings. So Lucky, a colt by Coast Guard out of the well-known, very fast and hardknocking Washington race mare Miss Pixie, ran away with juvenile honors just as he did with most of his 2016 races. He started his career by rattling off four straight victories by a combined 22 lengths and experienced his only defeat of the year in the $75,000 Gottstein Futurity, where he finished second to a very nice Kentucky-bred juvenile filly named Blazing Beauty. The 2-year old filly division was won by KD Thoroughbred’s (owner and breeder Karl Krieg) Risque’s Legacy, who was two-for-two on the year and earned $35,685. Going wire to wire and winning by a combined total of 12 lengths for trainer Tom Wenzel, Risque’s Legacy was the first winner for the Washington sire Atta Boy Roy, who also earned freshman sire honors. Plater of the year went to Knight Club, who changed connections three times during 2016. Continuing her 2015 winning style for trainer Rigoberto Velasquez, Knight Club rattled off five wins, two seconds and a third before being claimed by Candi Tollet after a winning effort on July 15. The mare went on to win her next start for Tollet and was claimed by trainer Doris Harwood for owners Pat and Mullan Chin. Knight Club finished the 2016 season with one start for Harwood in the WA Cup Filly and Mare Stakes. She finished with a good effort in third beaten only by 2016 champion Ethan’s Baby and the very honest claimer Maggie’s Special. Interestingly, the return to the Harwood barn was familiar ground for the Ron and Nina Hagen-bred mare. Harwood trained Knight Club for then-owner Shady Valley Ranch from her 2-year-old debut in 2013 until Velasquez claimed her on the last day of the Emerald Downs 2015 meeting. Her current owners announced the mare has been retired and will be bred this year. The awards committee chose Percy’s Bluff as the most improved plater of 2016. As a 3-year-old, the Raise the Bluff gelding bred by Ron and Nina Hagen had a solid 13-4-4-2 record. Running primarily in lower level claiming races, Percy’s Bluff changed hands three times in 2015. He won his second start of 2016 at Golden Gate and was claimed for $20,000 on March 6 by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. After winning the next out and running a string of seconds and thirds for a $20,000 tag, the 4-year-old found his sweet spot in starter allowance sprint races and ended 2016 with four straight wins for a record of 13-6-4-3 and earnings of $71,285 for the year. Percy’s Bluff started 2017 in the same fashion and as of this writing is two for two and continuing to move up in class. As has become tradition, the banquet included a silent, live and dessert auction. This year the support for the Thrust Scholarship, WTBOA and the Washington Thoroughbred Foundation was evident as the large crowd

enthusiastically expressed their generosity bidding on and donating a plethora of items. The WTBOA wishes to thank all attendees and contributors who made this year’s event one for the record books! Although relegated to a buzzword of 2016, “inclusive” is an adjective used to describe something that’s broad or extensive or it describes a group that’s particularly welcoming to all kinds of people. Both meanings defined this year’s banquet. Historically, the event honors equine champions and their connections; however, the evening’s highlight over the past few years has been the awards recognizing the people who contribute to the sport behind the scenes and out of the limelight. This year’s award ceremony was no exception as it expanded to include “champions” from across the state representing a broad array of the Thoroughbred industry. This year’s WHBPA/WTBOA Special Recognition Award went to longtime Emerald Downs management employee Kathy Coffey, for her “heartfelt dedication to the Washington Thoroughbred industry over her many years of service and for readily sharing her knowledge, geniality and generosity of spirit.” Coffey, who is the wife of longtime trainer Junior Coffey, said she applied for the job at Emerald when they opened because she really wanted the track to succeed. “Because Junior was a trainer, it was in our best interest for me to do a good job and help in any way I could,” she said. Anyone who knows her knows Coffey goes beyond doing a good job. She goes out of her way to accommodate guests and horsemen at the track on a continuing basis. Former Emerald Downs owner and president Ron Crockett, who hired Coffey in June 1996 and truly understands her value to the corporation and the horsemen, presented the award. As she made her way to the podium, overwhelmed by the recognition, Coffey received a standing ovation from attendees. Former jockey agent Boone McCanna’s Down the Stretch Ranch in Creston, Washington, received the Thoroughbred Charities of America Award of Merit. Down the Stretch Ranch was co-founded in 2015 by Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, his wife, Janet, and McCanna. The ranch is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Thoroughbred racehorse retirement facility that connects injured or retired racehorses with U.S. veterans. The ranch acquires racehorses that can no longer perform at the track because of age, injury or ability, and while “learning to be a horse again,” they provide therapeutic rehabilitation to veterans of war, many of whom are learning how to assimilate back to “normal” living after experiencing the stress of warfare. McCanna shared several heartwarming stories of how the comfort and companionship shared between horse and veteran is enhancing both their lives. He told about one veteran who planned to visit for a half-hour and ended up staying three days. “There is a parallel between the horses and the veterans. These horses are highly trained, great athletes, just like these guys, who are highly trained, specialized soldiers,” explained McCanna in an earlier press release. Two other awards were given representing horsemen on the east side of the state. Francis “Shorty” Martin was recognized “for a lifetime of dedication and contribution to the Thoroughbred industry throughout the state of Washington.” Doug Moore, executive secretary of the WHRC and Martin’s longtime friend, presented the award. Martin had been asked to present an award at the event, so he was caught by surprise when he became a recipient. Moore gave a history of Martin’s lifetime involvement in the industry and the many different jobs he has held, all of which aided horsemen. Moore stated that he doubted the Class C fair meets would be in existence today without Martin’s hard work, dedication and continued commitment to keeping them going. Longtime eastern Washington horseman Steve Meredith was honored for “a comprehensive career in all aspects of the Washington Thoroughbred industry, encompassing a lifetime of horsemanship, humility and helping WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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Klein, breeder Henry O. Gott, 2,847 points recorded through The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) Performance Awards Daily Racing Form Leading Breeder by Washington-bred Money Won—Bar C Racing Stables Inc. (Pam and Neal Christopherson), 2016 Washington-bred earnings of $290,567 NTRA Leading Owner by Washington-bred Money Won—Howard Belvoir, 2016 Washington-bred earnings of $135,786 S.J. Agnew Special Achievement Award—William and MaryLou Griffin Blood-Horse Mark Kaufman Media Award—Reed Palmer Photography TRAINER VINCE GIBSON AWARDED WHBPA WILLING HEART “The superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his actions.” The quote on the award was indicative of several of the award winners during Washington Thoroughbred Awards Banquet February 25, but none more so than veteran trainer Vince Gibson, who was honored with the WHBPA’s Lanna Allen (center) of the WHBPA presents Vince Gibson, with 2017 Willing wife, Pam, with the Willing Heart Award. Heart Award given to a person who has exemplified the HBPA’s motto of “Horsemen Helping Horsemen.” WHBPA Executive Director MaryAnn O’Connell recalled one of her first memories of Gibson. “It was many years ago when I was trainer; in the days when girls didn’t dance unless they were asked,” she said. “Vince and I both happened to be at a place near Yakima Meadows with live music. He made sure that every girl in that place had the opportunity to dance. It didn’t matter how old, young, big or small they were. Vince’s kindness and compassion for others made a lasting impression on me. It really is an indication of this man’s character then and now.” O’Connell went on to talk about some of Gibson’s achievements over the years but said it’s his approach to life, the way he treats people and the manner and grace in which he conducts himself when faced with criticism and adversity that deserve recognition. On July 29, 2014, Gibson received notice of a medication overage. With more than 3,500 starts and nearly 500 wins, this was his first medication overage of any kind in 30 years of training. A “half-dose” of xylazine, a shortacting sedative, was administered by the veterinarian 54 hours prior to post to facilitate filing down a sharp tooth. Washington had recently adopted the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium’s (RMTC) recommended threshold/ LOD for xylazine of .01 ng/ml with a recommended withdrawal time of 48 hours. Citing the trainer as absolute insurer rule, the stewards considered Gibson’s impeccably clean history and levied a fine of $250 and a seven-day suspension, and disqualified the horse. Adamant that the recommended withdrawal time was at fault, Gibson appealed the ruling to the next level. His fine was raised to $1,500 and the suspension held to seven days. Later, inconsistencies in the science presented caught the attention of commissioner and veterinarian Dr. Everett Macomber. Although the ruling was “in stone” and remains on Gibson’s Association of Racing Commissioners International record to date, Macomber began a dialogue with O’Connell, who had been

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others.” Meredith, owner of Lucky Acres Ranch in Yakima, has been involved in all facets of the industry. He is mostly known for his contribution to the breeding industry as farm manager for Paulsen Brothers Ranch and now his own farm Lucky Acres. When Paulsen’s breeding operations closed, Meredith inherited stallions like Washington champion Slewdledo and Beefchopper. More recently, Lucky Acres became the home of Gold Aly, Matty G and the stakes-winning son of Kitten’s Joy, Don’tmesswithkitten. A highly respected and humble Meredith accepted the award with gratitude for being recognized. Also recognized during the evening were William and MaryLou Griffin, receiving WTBOA’s highest honor, the S.J. Agnew Special Achievement Award. The Griffins were honored for their successful breeding operation and their contributions to WTBOA and the horse racing community. Debbie Pabst, a longtime Thoroughbred breeder and good friend to the Griffins, presented the award with her usual humor and passion. The Griffins started raising Thoroughbreds in the mid-1970s after the Pabsts “talked them into switching from paints to Thoroughbreds” and “convinced them to buy the farm next door.” The two families have been working side by side ever since. This year’s Washington Awards Banquet achieved an unprecedented feeling of inclusiveness and appreciation for all facets of the industry. It started with Emerald Downs Chaplain Bryan Kahue’s invocation expressing gratitude for the strength and unity of Washington racing participants. The night of champions ended with an extraordinary acceptance speech by Horse of the Year Stryker Phd’s co-trainer Sharon Ross, who showed true class with her poignant and heartfelt message to trainer Chris Stenslie and owner Jodi Peetz, recognizing their Oregon-bred O B Harbor as the true Emerald Downs horse of the year. Although not eligible for the award, O B Harbor won four of his five starts and finished third in front of Stryker Phd in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile. Tragically, last fall the champion Oregon-bred gelding with Washington connections and affections succumbed to colic while turned out at the farm. Following is the full list of award winners: Xpressbet Washington Horse of the Year—Stryker PhD Sport Horse Medicine Washington Champion Older Horse—Stryker PhD Castlegate Farm Washington Champion Older Filly or Mare—Ethan’s Baby Levine Law Firm PLLC Washington Champion Sprinter—Kaabraaj Blue Ribbon Farm Washington Champion 3YO—Invested Prospect Tall Cedars Farm Washington Champion 3YO Filly—Invested Prospect Clay Ward Agency LLC Washington Champion 3YO Colt or Gelding— The Press Freight NW Washington 2YO Champion—So Lucky Freight NW Washington Champion 2YO Colt or Gelding—So Lucky Freight NW Washington 2YO Champion Filly—Risque’s Legacy Mahlum Thoroughbreds Washington Plater of the Year—Knight Club Drew and Jamie Baker Most Improved Washington Plater—Percy’s Bluff Thoroughbred Charities of America Award of Merit—Down the Stretch Ranch WHBPA Willing Heart Award—Vince Gibson 2016 Special Lifetime Achievement Awards—Francis “Shorty” Martin and Steve Meredith WHBPA/WTBOA Special Recognition Award—Kathy Coffey El Dorado Farms Leading Sire—Parker’s Storm Cat, standing at Gibson Thoroughbred Farm, 2016 progeny earnings of $686,895 Duane Weber Insurance Leading Freshman Sire—Atta Boy Roy, standing at Blue Ribbon Farm, 2016 progeny earnings of $52,550 Griffin Place Broodmare of the Year—Nightatmisskittys, Owned by Charles Dunn, 2016 progeny earnings of $186,953 Top Washington-bred OTTB—Back to Wine, owner and rider Christina


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corresponding with Dr. Thomas Tobin. During the following month, information surfaced that caused Macomber to recommend that the Washington threshold for xylazine be revised to 200 pg/ml. Months later, the RMTC revised its recommended threshold as well. It is doubtful that such change would have been made if Gibson had just accepted the injustice, paid his $250 fine and walked back to the barn. In a letter to Gibson from NHBPA CEO Eric Hamelback, read at the banquet, Hamelback stated: Tonight we are here to recognize the courage shown by Vince Gibson. Truly, Vince showed courage not only in standing up for himself and his principles, but he also stood up for many, many others just like him who work so tirelessly in our industry. When faced with a minor medication violation for xylazine, administered well within the recommended withdrawal period, Vince had the courage to stand up for his reputation and his rights. By using his own resources and the help of Dr. Thomas Tobin of the Gluck Equine Center, Dr. Glenys Noble of Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia and Dr. Everett Macomber of the Washington Horse Racing Commission, Vince was able to withstand the scrutiny placed on him as a horseman and his reputation, only to see him ultimately causing significant and positive change for all other horsemen. While it is true most ethical dilemmas are not a matter of life and death, the principle of standing up to protect your own rights, and the rights of others, is cause for acknowledgement. Courage comes from taking action, and Vince has done just that. Whether realizing it or not at the time, Vince has helped countless trainers throughout North America by standing up for not only his principles but also for what is right for our industry. By taking the risk and enduring the hardships of this legal battle, Vince has helped educate us all, along with helping shape and correct what is right for racing and the horse racing industry. Principles are worth protecting even if it means speaking up and making personal sacrifices. Whether you think each of you here tonight share courageous qualities or not…rest assured you do. Therefore, on behalf of the National HBPA Board of Directors, we want to thank Vince Gibson for making personal sacrifices for horsemen throughout the country and exemplifying our motto, HORSEMEN HELPING HORSEMEN. After the presentation, it was evident the award meant a lot to Gibson and his entire family. They experienced a lot of expense and stress during the sixmonth ordeal. “Although I’ve made several pleas to the WHRC, with the black mark still on Vince’s record, I don’t feel like I’ve yet to finish my job,” O’Connell said. “At least tonight’s award brings a bit of justice to Vince and his family and when his name was announced, the reaction from the crowd shows his Washington horse racing family really appreciates the kind of person he is.” FORMER WHBPA PRESIDENT JIM PENNEY PASSES AT 82 Jim Penney, a charter member of the Washington Racing Hall of Fame who saddled a record five Longacres Mile winners, died February 21 at his home in Edgewood, Washington. At Emerald Downs, Penney ranks No. 2 in wins (662), stakes wins (50) and earnings ($8,831,653), while at Longacres he tied for fifth with 39 stakes wins and was leading trainer in 1968. At Yakima Meadows, Penney ranked No. 1 in wins (490) and amassed a record 17 training titles. Born July 4, 1934, in Portland, Oregon, Penney grew up in Naches, Washington, where his grandfather, A.E. Penney, and father, A.J. Penney, laid

the foundation for one of Washington’s greatest racing dynasties. The blackand-white silks of Penney Farms (later Homestretch Farms) are synonymous with success in West Coast racing, with Penney sending out winners at Bay Meadows, Golden Gate, Tanforan, Turf Paradise, Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Exhibition Park (Hastings Racecourse). Penney began training in 1957 and won 2,154 races and nearly $20 million in purses. He won the Longacres Mile with Silver Mallet (1973), Theologist (1977), Edneator (2000), Sabertooth (2002) and Flamethrowintexan (2006). A Homestretch Farms homebred, Edneator raced gate to wire under Gallyn Mitchell and paid a then-record $85.20 to win. Preceded in death by wife Betty, Penney is survived by daughters Kay Cooper and Jill Fabulich. Penney, who served as WHBPA president in the 1980s, continued to be involved in horsemen’s issues until he fell ill last year. He attended every horsemen’s meeting and was never hesitant to offer advice, helpful tales of experience or possible solutions. “He was more than a trainer,” Penney’s son-in-law Bryson Cooper said. “Jim was involved with the sport and cared about it. He left no stone unturned. He was on top of every little problem, knew everything about all of his horses.” Kay Cooper, who served as her father’s longtime assistant trainer, will continue to train the barn’s stable of horses at Emerald Downs and at their nearby farm in Edgewood. 2017 EMERALD DOWNS STAKES SCHEDULE Following is the Emerald Downs stakes schedule with 30 races worth $1.685 million: Sunday, May 7—Seattle Stakes (3YO F) 6F $50,000 Sunday, May 14—Auburn Stakes (3YO C&G) 6F $50,000 Saturday, May 20—Hastings Stakes (3&UP F&M) 6F $50,000 Sunday, May 21—Governor’s Stakes (3&UP) 6F $50,000 Sunday, May 28—Kent Stakes (3YO F) 6 ½F $50,000 Sunday, June 4—Coca-Cola Stakes (3YO C&G) 6 ½F $50,000 Saturday, June 17—WA State Legislators Stakes (3&UP F&M) 6 ½F $50,000 Sunday, June 18—Budweiser Stakes (3&UP) 6 ½F $50,000 Sunday, June 25—Irish Day Stakes (3YO F) 1M $50,000 Sunday, July 2—Seattle Slew Stakes (3YO C&G) 1M $50,000 Sunday, July 16—Mt. Rainier Stakes (3&UP) 1 1/16M $50,000 Sunday, July 16—Boeing Stakes (3&UP F&M) 1M $50,000 Sunday, July 16—Angie C Stakes (2YO F) 5 ½F $50,000 Sunday, July 16—Emerald Express (2YO C&G) 5 ½F $50,000 Sunday, July 23—Washington Oaks (3YOF) 1 1/8M $75,000 Sunday, July 30—Emerald Downs Derby (3YO) 1 1/8M $75,000 Saturday, August 5—Barbara Shinpoch Stakes (2YO F) 6F $50,000 Sunday, August 6—WTBOA Lads Stakes (2YO C&G) 6F $50,000 Sunday, August 13—Pete Pedersen Memorial Stakes (3&UP) 6 ½F $25,000 Sunday, August 13—King County Overnight Stakes (3&UP F&M) 6 ½F $25,000 Sunday, August 13—Emerald Distaff (3&UP F&M) 1 1/8M $65,000 Sunday, August 13—Longacres Mile (G3) (3&UP) 1M $200,000 Sunday, August 20—Bank of America Challenge (3&UP) 440YDS $55,000 Sunday, August 27—WA Cup Juvenile Filly Stakes 6F $50,000 Sunday, August 27—WA Cup Juvenile C&G Stakes 6F $50,000 Sunday, August 27—WA Cup Sophomore Filly Stakes 1M $50,000 Sunday, August 27—WA Cup Sophomore Stakes 1M $50,000 Sunday, August 27—WA Cup Filly & Mare Stakes 1 1/16M $50,000 Sunday, August 27—Muckleshoot Tribal Classic 1 1/16M $50,000 Sunday, September 17—Gottstein Futurity (2YO) 1 1/16M $65,000 WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM

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#51110 #51110 2 oz 2$9.95 oz $9.95

Reg $14.95 Reg $14.95

LE LE SASA

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Anti-Bacterial Anti-Bacterial Shampoo Shampoo

FortifiedFortified with Nano withLPDs, Nano LPDs, Multivitamins Multivitamins A, C, EA,& C, F contains E & F contains BenzoylBenzoyl Peroxide. Peroxide. A gentle A pH gentle pH balanced balanced medicated medicated shampoo shampoo commonly commonly used forused skinfor skin infections. infections. SALESALE #20032 #20032 32 oz 32 $16.95 oz $16.95 FOB FOB FOB Reg FOB $18.95 Reg $18.95

Aloe Aloe Advantage Advantage

Concentrated Concentrated Shampoo Shampoo Formulated Formulated to cleantoand clean and condition condition hair. Enriched hair. Enriched with natural with natural extracts, extracts, moisturizes moisturizes damaged damaged hair hair and adds andbody addsand body shine and shine

#052990 #052990 Gallon Gallon $10.75 $10.75 FOB FOB

ONOsNale sale NOw NOw allall thethe FavOrIte FavOrIte relIable relIable remedIes remedIes Tenda-Wound Tenda-Wound Tenda Horse Tenda Horse SALESALE A convenient A convenient and pain-free and pain-free way to way treatto treat nicks, cuts, nicks,scrapes, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, abrasions, girth itch, girth itch, hopple hopple burns, burns, rain rotrain androt boot andrubs. boot rubs.

#6141 #6141 8 oz 8 oz$8.00 $8.00 Reg $8.50 Reg $8.50 TendaTenda Heel Heel SalveSalve Tenda Horse Tenda Horse Compare Compare to Brook’s to Brook’s Heel Salve. Heel Salve.

#7511T #7511T 16 oz 16$10.40 oz $10.40 SALESALE 12+ 12+$9.95 $9.95 ea Reg ea $10.95 Reg $10.95

JC’s XJC’s TieXUp TieFinishLine Up FinishLine

Helps prevent Helps prevent tying up.tying All-natural, up. All-natural, it aids init locomotion. aids in locomotion.

#83J #83J 3-Doses 3-Doses $8.95$8.95 12+ $8.49 12+ $8.49 ea ea Buy 24 BuyGet 245Get FREE 5 FREE Lactanase Lactanase Packets Packets Vita Flex Vita Flex

Contains Contains key ingredients key ingredients neededneeded to release to release energy energy from both from carbohydrates both carbohydrates and fats.and fats.

#15L#15L 1-Dose1-Dose PacketPacket $9.95 $9.95 12+ $9.25 12+ $9.25 ea 100+ ea 100+ $8.95$8.95 ea ea Azoturion Azoturion SpectraSpectra

Vet Heel Vet Heel SalveSalve McTarnahans McTarnahans #699J#699J 16 oz 16 oz $11.35 $11.35 SALESALE 12+ 12+ $10.95 $10.95 ea Reg ea $11.95 Reg $11.95

A liquidAherbal liquid solution herbal solution designed designed to reduce to reduce lactic acid, lacticlower acid,SGOT lower and SGOT alleviate and alleviate tying-uptying-up in in horses.horses. ResultsResults in 5-7 days. in 5-7 days.SALESALE

BC2ABC2A PastePaste Equine Equine Sports Performance Sports Performance

Reduces Reduces lactic acid lactic levels acid by levels up toby50% up toreduces 50% reduces heart heart rate during rate during trainingtraining by up toby15%. up to 15%.

#10569 #10569 88 gm88 gm $20.95 $20.95 12+ $19.95 12+ $19.95

Buy 10 BuyGet 102Get FREE 2 FREE All-in-One All-in-One Products Products Tenda Horse TendaProducts Horse Products UniqueUnique blend ofblend B Vitamins, of B Vitamins, Electrolytes, Electrolytes, Calcium, Calcium, YunnanYunnan Baiyoa,Baiyoa, and other andessential other essential ingredients. ingredients.

#9637 #9637 80 cc 80 cc$9.99 $9.99

#40326 #40326 32 oz 32 oz $42.25 $42.25 FOB FOB Reg $46.95 Reg $46.95

Castile Castile SoapSoap Kirk’s National Kirk’s National LLC LLC

Hypo allergenic Hypo allergenic and biodegradable and biodegradable and hasand a has a low pHlow formula. pH formula. SALESALE

#367#367 4 oz Bar 4 oz$1.89 Bar $1.89 Reg $1.99 Reg $1.99 #367L #367L 16 oz Liquid 16 oz$8.50 Liquid $8.50 Reg $8.95 Reg $8.95

Myo-Guard Myo-Guard KY Performance KY Performance Products Products

Provides Provides a blendaofblend antioxidants of antioxidants that support that support healthyhealthy muscle muscle functions. functions. Contains Contains natural natural VitaminVitamin E & C selenium E & C selenium and magnesium. and magnesium.

#1987J #1987J 2 lb, 32 2 lb, Days 32$30.35 Days $30.35 Reg $31.95 Reg $31.95 SALESALE #44049 #44049 20 lb 20 $178.55 lb $178.55 FOB Reg FOB $187.95 Reg $187.95

BuyGet 102Get 2 FREE Buy 10 FREE Bleed-No-More Bleed-No-More Tenda Horse TendaProducts Horse Products

Triple strength Triple strength formulaformula for the for pre-race the pre-race treatment treatment of of internalinternal bleeding. bleeding.

#123B #123B 60 cc 60 cc$11.99 $11.99 12+ $10.75 12+ $10.75

SuperSuper Curazone Curazone Gateway Gateway Products Products

Equiwinner Equiwinner Patches Patches Signal Health Signal Health

TotalTotal CalmCalm & Focus & Focus RamardRamard

#2975 #2975 16 oz 16 oz $6.25 $6.25 Reg $6.99 Reg $6.99 12+ 12+ $5.99$5.99 ea SALE ea SALE

#4849 #4849 10 ct Box 10 ct Box$139.00 $139.00

#6353P #6353P 30 cc 30 cc

SALESALE Victory Victory Lane Lane Victory Victory Lane Lane

HighestHighest potencypotency vitamin vitamin E at over E at 16,000 over 16,000 IU/oz. IU/oz. The onlyThe Vitamin only Vitamin E certified E certified safe forsafe IR, for IR, Cushings Cushings and PSSM/EPSM and PSSM/EPSM horses.horses.

Compete Compete Strictly Equine Strictly Equine

#HE03 #HE03 1.32 lb1.32 lb $68.95 $68.95 #HE05 #HE05 3.96 lb3.96 lb $174.95 $174.95

#4924 #4924 80 cc 80 cc$7.25 $7.25 100+ $6.50 100+ $6.50 Reg $7.50 Reg $7.50 Buy more Buy more and save! and save!

Uses natural Uses natural oils to offer oils toanti-fungal, offer anti-fungal, anti- antibacterial, bacterial, and wound and wound healinghealing properties. properties.

A liniment A liniment for the for entire thebody! entireLong-time body! Long-time favoritefavorite at racetracks. at racetracks.

#630#630 16 oz 16 oz$18.00 $18.00 Reg $19.95 Reg $19.95

Use forUse Bleeding for Bleeding EIPH, Non-Sweating, EIPH, Non-Sweating, Head- Headshaking,shaking, Tying-Up Tying-Up and Improving and Improving Performance! Performance!

FREE FREE Shipping Shipping Health-E Health-E Equine Equine MedicalMedical & Surgical & Surgical

All-natural All-natural formulaformula developed developed to calmtoyour calmnervous, your nervous, anxiousanxious horse while horseenhancing while enhancing focus. focus. SALESALE

$8.95$8.95 Reg $9.95 Reg $9.95

Combination Combination of creatine, of creatine, glutamine glutamine and inositol and inositol in a in a balanced balanced form toform achieve to achieve maximum maximum performance. performance.

Polo Polo Bandages Bandages 4.75"x4.75"x 8.5' 8.5' SALESALE

Standing Standing Bandages Bandages 5.5"x 9' 5.5"x 9' Black, Black, Blue, Brown, Blue, Brown, Burgundy, Burgundy, Gold, Grey, Gold, Hunter, Grey, Hunter,Black, Black, Blue, Burgundy, Blue, Burgundy, Gold, Gold, Lime, Navy, Lime, Navy, Orange, Orange, Purple,Purple, Red, White Red, White or Yellow or Yellow Hunter,Hunter, Navy, Navy, Orange, Orange, Purple,Purple, Vetrap Vetrap Adhesive Adhesive Bandage Bandage 3M 3M Red orRed White or White - Set of- Set 4 of 4 #145F #145F Set of Set 4 of $10.95 4 $10.95 SALESALE Black, Black, Blue, Burgundy, Blue, Burgundy, Gold, Hunter, Gold, Hunter, Orange, Orange, Pink, Pink, Reg $12.95 Reg $12.95 #1551 #1551 $12.95 $12.95 Reg $14.95 Reg $14.95 Purple,Purple, Red, Teal Red,orTeal White or White Buy more Buy more and save! and save! #127#127 $1.69$1.69 50+ $1.55 50+ $1.55 100+ $1.49 100+ $1.49 200+ $1.44 200+ $1.44 C offroll SALESALE .20 C off .20per per roll RenFlex RenFlex Adhesive Adhesive Bandage Bandage

Black, Black, Blue, Red Blue,orRed White or White

#128#128

$1.05$1.05 Reg $1.25 Reg $1.25

VACSVACS Standing Standing Bandages Bandages 5"x 9' 5"x Set9'of Set 4 of 4 SALESALE #V2-01 #V2-01$16.95 $16.95 Reg $18.95 Reg $18.95

VACSVACS Cotton Cotton Bandages Bandages SALESALE SheetSheet Cotton Cotton BB Satin BBStar Satin Star Black Black 4" x 9'4"Set x 9'of Set 4 ofSALE 4 SALE #135#135 12 Sheets 12 Sheets per Roll per Roll $9.95$9.95 20+ $9.25 20+ $9.25 #V2C#V2C $17.95 $17.95 Reg $19.95 Reg $19.95

The Horsemen's Journal - Spring 2017  

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

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