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volume 63/ # 2

summer 20 16











An update on the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 from the National HBPA’s CEO






How a meeting in Baltimore still affects medication regulation years later

How equine insurance works and whether it’s right for you




NATIONAL HBPA 870 Corporate Drive Suite 300 Lexington, KY 40503 P(859) 259-0451 F(859) 259-0452






THE TRIPLE CROWN IS TWO-THIRDS COMPLETE AS I WRITE THIS, AND I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE REST OF THE YEAR TO COME IN OUR GREAT SPORT OF HORSE RACING. WRITING MY UPDATE COMES FRESH ON THE HEELS OF A VERY EXCITING KENTUCKY DERBY IN WHICH WE SAW A DOMINANT VICTORY FOR NYQUIST. THE PREAKNESS STAKES WAS EQUALLY EXCITING WITH EXAGGERATOR SPOILING NYQUIST’S PERFECT RECORD AND TRIPLE CROWN BID. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE WAS TO BE NO REMATCH IN THE BELMONT STAKES, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE WE SHOULD HAVE A BIG SUMMER OF RACING AHEAD. The Triple Crown is not the only exciting happening going on at this point of the year, and things have been happening fast and furiously at the National HBPA. I have had the opportunity to visit with NHBPA affiliates in Louisiana and Arkansas; we were present and instrumental in a Racing Medication Testing Consortium (RMTC) board meeting; we made our presence felt at the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) convention; spent time with horsemen at Keeneland during the spring meet; held our NHBPA Executive Board meeting in Lexington; made time for the Equine Law Conference in Lexington; spoke on behalf of NHBPA at a new owners seminar for the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; spoke, as an industry professional, to a group of college athletic administration personnel prior to the Kentucky Derby; and even had time to make a stop in Washington, D.C., to represent the NHBPA in a formal briefing of the Congressional Horse Caucus just before the Kentucky Derby. All of this has been time well spent for the NHBPA and part of a continuing effort to get our message and our agenda in front of the rest of the racing industry’s eyes. Through my NHBPA update emails I have tried very hard to keep everyone informed, but admittedly through March and April it has been difficult to find the time. However, I am trying very diligently to be as routine as possible in preparing my updates and it is still a very important goal of mine to keep everyone informed of the work we are doing on a national scale for all of our affiliates. With that said, I would encourage anyone to contact me at any time to find out what is going on with the NHBPA. As of this point, I am working hard toward preparing for our Summer Convention in Vancouver, British Columbia, with the HBPA of British Columbia and Hastings Racecourse. We have been able to secure the help and assistance of Audrea Blake as our new convention organizer. We are very fortunate to have her help and expertise in putting together our conventions moving forward, and I am sure I speak for everyone in welcoming Audrea to our team. The convention kicks off on the evening of July 13 and runs through July 17. In addition to a slate of meetings, forums and a full board meeting, our events will include a gorgeous dinner cruise and an afternoon at the races at Hastings. For more information, including the agenda and online registration, please go to I want to take this final segment to discuss the aforementioned testimony I provided to the Congressional Horse Caucus on April 28. Make no mistake about this event—it was a well-planned and orchestrated event to gain media favor for a bill that is all but dead and to raise public awareness for an issue that most all of us believe

is not truly present. “A sport riddled with drugs,” “an industry in trouble because of widespread drug usage,” and “the Europeans consider our sport in the USA as tainted and a dumping ground” are just a few of the items I continue to hear plastered in our mainstream racing media. Remember that rhetoric and unsubstantiated opinions cannot be mistaken for facts, and facts are what we all must continue to stick to in the media battle we unfortunately still must carry on. I will continue to preach our position that the path to national medication uniformity in horse racing does not need the addition of a new layer of bureaucracy but rather efforts to work together through appropriate research. One of the NHBPA’s goals that we must keep in mind is to continue our work along with the RCI and the RMTC on the medication model rules for the benefit of all concerned. We should continue to initiate population studies and work with other industry groups to achieve proper thresholds for all therapeutic medications. As with other RCI Model Rules that have been developed, once the medication rules are deemed correct by the industry as a whole, they will rapidly be adopted by regulators across all jurisdictions, negating the need for federal legislation. It does not benefit the horse racing industry for any of us to “name call” in the headlines, because only in joining together as an industry can we move forward as an industry. The Thoroughbred Racing Integrity Act of 2015, or H.R. 3084, has hopes of passage that hover conservatively around 4 percent ( Good news for sure; however, in my opinion, that does not mean we can stop the fight. I think it is more imperative now than ever before that we show our willingness to work with any governmental agency or any other industry group in achieving the goal of uniformity so we can crush this movement and others like it in the future. Please turn to page 28 for more about H.R. 3084 and to read my statement submitted to the Horse Caucus. We do not need further federal government implementations to regulate Thoroughbred racing. In every case in which proposed rule changes have been based on solid reasoning, uniformity across all of our racing jurisdictions has followed rapidly. We as horsemen must continue to make sure our considerations are heard. Our voice is imperative to ensure the proper care for the health and welfare of our equine athletes.


Eric J. Hamelback



CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Clara K. Fenger Kent H. Stirling Natalie Voss


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

The views expressed on these pages are those of the authors and/or advertisers, and they may or may not reflect the positions and/or beliefs of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, its officers, or Board of Directors. The Horsemen’s Journal, Volume 63 #2. Postal Information: The Horsemen’s Journal (ISSN 0018-5256) is published quarterly by the National Horsemen’s Administration Corporation, with publishing offices at P.O. Box 8645, Round Rock, TX 78683. Copyright 2016 all rights reserved. The Horsemen’s Journal is the official publication for members of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, a representative association of Thoroughbred owners and trainers. HBPA is a non-profit 501(c)6 Kentucky corporation. Members receive The Horsemen’s Journal as a benefit of membership paid by the national office from affiliate dues. Annual non-member subscriptions are $14. Single-copy back issues, if available, are $7. Canadian subscribers add $6. All other subscriptions

PHOTOGRAPHERS Ackerley Images Benoit Photo Denis Blake Coady Photography Adam Coglianese Reed Palmer Photography Jennie Rees STAFF Denis Blake Editor 512-695-4541 E-mail: Jennifer Vanier Allen Advertising Director 716-650-4011 509-272-1640 fax E-mail: Limb Design 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: HBPA Website: Cover Photo:

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.



HERE’S THE NEWS! The first Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale operated by the Texas Thoroughbred Association was a smashing success! Check out these headlines:

H $95,000 sale-topping Texas-bred by Too Much Bling

H Average of $18,515—perennially the highest in the region and up more than 5% from last year H Buyback rate of just 19.7% H Texas Thoroughbred Futurity for sale grads, with $100,000 estimated in each of two divisions, set for this summer at Lone Star Park With that one in the books, the TTA and Lone Star Park are pleased to announce the…

Texas Yearling Sale

August 29, 2016 Lone Star Park

With its central location, covered walking ring and top-notch sale pavilion, Texas is the place to buy and sell Thoroughbreds in the Southwest.

For more information and consignment forms, contact Tim Boyce at 972.523.0332 or go to 4


A Texas-bred filly by Too Much Bling sold for $95,000 to top the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.


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Coady Photography

Favored Nyquist added the 142nd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) to his already impressive resume with a 1 1/4-length victory over Exaggerator at Churchill Downs on May 7. The attendance of 167,227 was the second-largest crowd in Derby history, just under the record of 170,513 in 2015. Nyquist, a son of Uncle Mo bred by Summerhill Farm and owned by J. Paul Reddam’s Reddam Racing LLC, clocked the mile and one-quarter distance in 2:01.31 with Mario Gutierrez aboard for trainer Doug O’Neill.


Ackerley Images

Wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Derby Day card was the secondhighest in history, totaling $192.6 million and only 1 percent off the record set in 2015. Wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Derby itself was $124.7 million, down 10 percent from 2015’s record. The decline can be attributed in part to an outage at leading advance deposit wagering provider TVG. Due to “human error,” online wagering through TVG was unavailable for more than two hours on Derby Day, including the final 80 minutes before the race. On-track wagering on the Derby Day program was up 2 percent to $23.5 million, just shy of the record $23.7 million in 2012. On-track wagering on the race totaled $11.3 million, a decrease of 6 percent from 2015. NBC Sports’ coverage of Nyquist’s Derby victory averaged 15.5 million viewers, marking the fourth consecutive year the Run for the Roses has topped 15 million viewers on NBC, according to final data provided by The Nielsen Company. But the overnight rating was down approximately 14 percent from last year’s victory by eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Viewership peaked with 17.9 million viewers from 6:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET when Nyquist crossed the finish line, which matched the peak from last year.

The Derby’s pre-race coverage, which included the 6 p.m. ET show open narrated by Kentucky native Ashley Judd, averaged 9.3 million viewers—the second-best ever for a pre-race show (since 1992). NBC Sports Live Extra’s presentation of the Kentucky Derby ranks as the most streamed Kentucky Derby ever, delivering 7 million minutes, up 75 percent from last year’s 3 million minutes. The stream also delivered a record 225,000 unique users. Coverage included a mosaic of four different camera angles for the first time, including the NBC broadcast, a grandstand camera, an overhead camera and an infield camera. During the race, the infield camera was replaced by the “Collmus Cam,” with track announcer Larry Collmus’ Kentucky Derby race call streamed by a camera in his booth at Churchill Downs. On Derby Day, NBC Sports’ Facebook delivered 10 million impressions (up 372 percent compared to the 2015 Kentucky Derby) and the @NBCSN Twitter handle delivered 1.5 million impressions (up 123 percent), with 1.1 million video views on Derby Day across Facebook and Twitter. A replay of the race, sponsored by Longines, racked up 1 million views on Facebook and was shared more than 6,000 times. In addition, nearly 35,000 fans tuned in to NBC Sports Group’s Facebook Live content on Derby Day. A record-breaking 124,589 fans watched Cathryn Sophia capture the 142nd running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby. Perfect weather contributed to an outstanding day of racing and a crowd that broke the previous attendance record of 123,763 set just last year. Wagering from all sources on the full Kentucky Oaks Day race card was the highest all-time and totaled $49 million, an increase of 6 percent over the previous record 2015 total of $46.1 million. All-sources wagering on the Kentucky Oaks of $15 million was down 2 percent from 2015’s record-setting $15.2 million. On-track wagering on the Oaks Day card of $12 million was flat to 2015. On-track wagering on the Oaks of $3 million was down 4 percent from 2015’s record-setting $3.1 million. Exaggerator ended Nyquist’s Triple Crown bid two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course with the Maryland Jockey Club reporting record-breaking numbers. Ridden by Kent Desormeaux and trained by his brother Keith, Exaggerator runs for Big Chief Racing LLC, Head of Plains Partners LLC and Rocker O Ranch LLC, et al. Despite cool and rainy weather, Pimlico reported a record crowd of 135,256 on Preakness Day, up 2.5 percent from last year’s record of 131,680. Total wagering on the Preakness card hit $94.1 million, a jump of 10.8 percent compared to last year. The overnight TV rating for the Preakness increased 7 percent. A record crowd of 47,956 attended Pimlico for the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on the day before the Preakness.





Benoit Photo


Zenyatta Champion racehorses Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, multiple Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez and multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen have been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in the contemporary category. The electees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 12 at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion in Saratoga Springs, New York. Rachel Alexandra, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, was named Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old filly in 2009 and posted a career record of 13-50 from 19 starts and earned $3,506,730. Bred in Kentucky by original owner Dolphus Morrison, Rachel Alexandra was trained by Hal Wiggins until a private sale to Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick following her 20 ¼-length victory in the 2009 Kentucky Oaks (G1). From then on, she was trained by fellow 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Asmussen. After being ridden by Brian Hernandez early in her career, Rachel Alexandra was piloted by Hall of Famer Calvin Borel for her final 14 career starts. As a 3-year-old in 2009, Rachel Alexandra delivered a perfect record in eight starts. She won at seven different tracks that year, including a victory in the Preakness Stakes (G1) over Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mine That Bird, becoming the first filly to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown since 1924. Rachel Alexandra then romped by 19 ¼ lengths in the Mother Goose Stakes (G1), defeated Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Summer Bird in the Haskell Invitational (G1) by six lengths and topped older males in a dramatic Woodward Stakes (G1) victory at Saratoga to conclude her undefeated campaign. Zenyatta, who posted a career mark of 19-1-0 from 20 starts and earnings of $7,304,580, was named 2010 Horse of the Year and earned three other Eclipse Awards in her career. Bred in Kentucky by Maverick Production Ltd., the daughter of Street Cry (Ire) was a $60,000 purchase by Jerry and Ann Moss at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale. Trained throughout her career by John Shirreffs and ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith in 17 of her 20 starts, Zenyatta was named champion older female in 2008, 2009 and 2010. After winning her first two starts as a 3-year-old, she competed exclusively in graded stakes, winning 17 consecutive races. At 4, Zenyatta won the El Encino Stakes (G2), Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), Milady Handicap (G2), Vanity Handicap (G1), Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (G2), Lady’s Secret Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1). In 2009, at age 5, Zenyatta repeated in the Milady, Vanity, Hirsch and Lady’s Secret and became the first filly or mare



to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). As a 6-year-old in 2010, Zenyatta won the Santa Margarita Invitational (G2), her second Apple Blossom, and third Vanity, Hirsch and Lady’s Secret. She was undefeated in 19 career races before suffering her lone defeat to Blame in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in what was her final career start. Dominguez, 39, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, won 4,985 races (23 percent) and $191,620,277 in his career and earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He led all North American riders in earnings each of those years, setting a record of $25,639,432 in 2012. Dominguez led all jockeys in wins in 2001 and 2003 and was second in wins on seven other occasions. He won 20 individual meet riding titles on the New York Racing Association circuit, including a record 68 wins at Saratoga in 2012. New York’s leading rider in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, Dominguez won 160 graded races, including 44 Grade 1 races, in his career, and he was the regular rider of 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace. Dominguez, who retired in 2013 due to head injuries sustained in a fall, currently ranks 17th all-time in earnings and 32nd in wins. Asmussen, 50, a native of Gettysburg, South Dakota, ranks second all-time in career wins (7,295 through early May) and fourth in earnings ($241,594,270) in a training career that began in 1986 after a brief stint as a jockey. The Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Trainer in 2008 and 2009, Asmussen has led all North American trainers in wins nine times and in

Adam Coglianese

earnings three times. He has ranked in the top 10 in both wins and earnings every year since 2000. In 2004, Asmussen won 555 races to surpass the singleyear record of 496 that had been held by Jack Van Berg since 1976. Asmussen broke his own record in 2008 with 621 wins and topped it once again with 650 wins in 2009. Asmussen trained Curlin to Horse of the Year honors in 2007 and 2008 and Rachel Alexandra to the Horse of the Year title in 2009. Asmussen has five Breeders’ Cup victories and a Dubai World Cup win, and he earned his record 17th leading trainer title at Churchill Downs in the 2015 fall meeting. He has won 13 training titles at Fair Grounds, 11 at Remington Park, 11 at Lone Star Park, eight at Sam Houston Race Park and seven at Oaklawn Park. The contemporary electees were chosen from a nationwide voting panel composed of 188 racing writers, broadcasters, industry officials and historians from a group of 10 finalists selected by the Hall of Fame’s 16-member Nominating Committee. Jockey Wayne D. Wright, who won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in separate years and was America’s leading rider in 1934 and 1936, and the 19th-century racehorse Tom Ochiltree, winner of the 1875 Preakness Stakes and numerous prestigious handicap events, were also elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame by the museum’s Historic Review Committee.

Rachel Alexandra

REGISTRATION OPENS FOR THIRD THOROUGHBRED OWNER CONFERENCE AT SANTA ANITA said Gary Falter, project manager for OwnerView. “This event provides the opportunity to learn more about ownership and network with other owners and industry participants and executives from around the country in a fabulous setting.” The owner conference social events include the following: • The Breeders’ Cup Post Position Draw and Reception on October 31 • Breeders’ Cup Breakfast Marquee near Clockers’ Corner on November 1 • Conference dinner and reception on November 1 • Lunch on November 1-2 • A reception sponsored by racing syndicates from across the country on November 2 • Tour opportunities at the Rose Bowl stadium and Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, along with an afternoon of lunch and live racing, on November 3 • Reserved seating for both days of championship racing, November 4-5 Registration for the full conference is $750 per person. For spouses and partners who are interested in attending just the social events, a registration for social events is available at $400 per person. Both types of registrations include the Breeders’ Cup tickets. Additional information and registration forms are available at ownerview. com/event/conference.

Ackerley Images

OwnerView, the Thoroughbred owner resource developed by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA), announced that registration is open for the third edition of the Thoroughbred Owner Conference being held at Santa Anita Park, October 31-November 3, the same week as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Like its two predecessors, the upcoming conference is designed to educate, inform and entertain new, prospective and current Thoroughbred owners through a series of panels and social events. This conference’s panels include business considerations for racehorse ownership, Breeders’ Cup-winning owners, top jockeys discussing race-day insights and more, top trainers on the owner/trainer relationship, racehorses in Hollywood and retirement plans for your horses. Among the panelists are Bob Baffert, Richard Mandella, Art Sherman, Gary Stevens, Mike Smith, Laffit Pincay Jr., Dean Reeves, Barbara Banke and John Amerman. As an added bonus, on behalf of the Breeders’ Cup, registration will include one Grandstand Reserved seating ticket for both Breeders’ Cup World Championships racing days on November 4 and 5. “On behalf of The Jockey Club and TOBA, we are thrilled to be aligning the Thoroughbred Owner Conference with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships,”




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Coady Photography

The Breeders’ Cup announced that it is returning to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2018. As part of the company’s ongoing strategy to maintain a three-year-out host site plan, Breeders’ Cup will work closely with Churchill Downs and the local community to drive excitement and anticipation for the event over the next few years. One of the world’s most iconic and recognized tracks, Churchill Downs last hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2011. The return to Louisville reflects the Breeders’ Cup’s commitment to bring the event to the country’s best racetracks and to combine the sport’s best racing with best-in-class dining, hospitality and entertainment. The 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held on Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November 3, and televised live by NBC Sports Group.

Since 2011, Churchill Downs has invested more than $67 million in the facility to further elevate the experience for all fans and participants, while also introducing new, in-demand luxury seating and entertainment options. The improvements include Clubhouse enhancements, Winner’s Circle Suites, Grandstand Terrace and Rooftop Garden, The Mansion and the installation of the “Big Board,” a 4K ultra high-definition video board. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be the ninth time that the event will be hosted at Churchill Downs, which, at that time, will be tied with Santa Anita Park in California for the most ever held at one venue. In years past, largely in part to the incredible support of the Louisville community and Kentucky residents, Churchill Downs has hosted the largest Breeders’ Cup crowds, including a record-breaking two-day attendance figure of 114,353 in 2010, which also set a two-day on-track handle record of $22,515,318 and a total two-day handle record of $173,857,697. In 2018, these numbers have the potential to reach all-time highs as interest in the Breeders’ Cup continues to grow.


Little Silver Charm is the official “spokeshorse” at Old Friends.

Little Silver Charm, the official “spokeshorse” at Old Friends, the not-for-profit Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Kentucky, has made his author debut with the release of A Charmed Life (Old Friends Press). The 80-page, softcover book, penned with the assistance of former Boston Globe columnist Diane White, combines selected commentary from Little Silver Charm’s popular Facebook page with photos from Eclipse Award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston, the Lexington-based Equi-Sport Photos and New York photographer Connie Bush, among many others.

Through his wry and witty observations, Little Silver Charm chronicles the story of Old Friends and showcases many of the celebrities who have visited the farm over the years, including jockeys Rosie Napravnik, Kent Desormeaux and Angel Cordero and owner Joe Torre. A Charmed Life is available via and in the Old Friends gift shop for $15. Phone orders can be made by calling (502) 863-1775 (there is a $5 shipping and handling charge for mail orders). Old Friends, which launched in 2003, is now home to such champions of the turf as Kentucky Derby winners Silver Charm and War Emblem, Breeders’ Cup winners Alphabet Soup and Amazombie and Belmont Stakes winners Sarava and Touch Gold. Little Silver Charm, a presumed miniature cross, was rescued from a slaughter-bound truck for $40. He was adopted by Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen and his wife, Diane White, and has since developed a loyal following of fans and supporters. A portion of the proceeds from A Charmed Life will help support the 162 former racehorses retired at Old Friends.

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BREAKING THROUGH PLATEAUS: Boost Your Horse To the Next Level

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

By: Mark Hansen

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




NHBPA SUMMER CONVENTION SET FOR VANCOUVER The National HBPA’s Summer Convention will head north to picturesque British Columbia, Canada, for a gathering on July 13–17 in Vancouver at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre. Hosted by the HBPA of British Columbia, the event will include an extra day compared to previous summer conventions. The extended agenda will allow for a variety of topics to be covered in the meetings and forums, and as always the convention will conclude with a full meeting of the NHBPA Board of Directors. Outside of the meetings, attendees will enjoy an afternoon at the races at Hastings Racecourse and a unique dinner cruise. Online registration is open at, along with more information about hotel rates, transportation and a detailed agenda. United States citizens are reminded that a valid passport is needed for travel to Canada.

CLAIMING CROWN SET FOR GULFSTREAM PARK THROUGH 2018 Gulfstream Park, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) and the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) announced that the $1.1 million Claiming Crown will be held at Gulfstream through 2018. This December will mark the fifth consecutive year with the Claiming Crown at the Florida track. It also will mark the 18th consecutive year of the event that rewards the blue-collar horses that provide the backbone of day-to-day racing programs. The inaugural Claiming Crown was held in suburban Minneapolis at Canterbury Park in 1999 and also has been held at Parx Racing, Fair Grounds and Ellis Park. Total handle for the Claiming Crown the past two years at Gulfstream has topped $10 million. “We’re delighted to secure the Claiming Crown through 2018 and continue growing our partnership with members of the National HBPA and TOBA,” said

P.J. Campo, general manager of Gulfstream Park and vice president of racing for The Stronach Group. “We’ve received incredible support from horsemen throughout North America as well as fans. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to continue to grow this event at Gulfstream Park.” “The Claiming Crown has enjoyed unparalleled success since moving to Gulfstream Park, and we are thrilled to be able to continue to host the event there for the next three years,” said TOBA President Dan Metzger. “Over the last four years, the Claiming Crown has been elevated to a more prominent status on the racing calendar, and this agreement solidifies our remarkable partnership with both Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA.” “Members of the National HBPA are very pleased to once again partner with The Stronach Group, Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA to host the 2016 Claiming Crown,” said National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback. “This event has grown in popularity with both horsemen and handicappers, and together with TOBA, we look forward to raising the profile of the Claiming Crown even higher in the years to come.”

THOROUGHBRED INDUSTRY EMPLOYEE AWARDS LAUNCHED IN U.S. The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards have been launched in the United States by Godolphin, in partnership with the National HBPA, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and The Jockey Club. The awards recognize and reward the dedicated, hard-working people who are the backbone of the horse racing industry and play an invaluable role in caring for our equine athletes. Anyone working in the U.S. racing and breeding industry is eligible for nomination. “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin are proud and honored to be able to launch the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards in America,” said John Ferguson, chief executive and racing manager for Godolphin. “We speak of our equine athletes at length, but it is also important to ensure that those 14


individuals who make up the fabric of the sport and work tirelessly behind the scenes get the merit they deserve. We look forward to watching this initiative become a significant event in the racing and breeding calendar this year and in the years to come.” Trainers Kiaran McLaughlin and Bob Baffert, owners Maggi Moss and Sol Kumin, breeder and owner John Phillips, Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron and former jockey and broadcast racing analyst Donna Brothers have all agreed to take on ambassadorial roles in support of the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards. The awards ceremony will be held on opening day of Keeneland’s fall meet, October 7, with recognition given to 13 individuals in five different categories: Leadership Award—Farm, Leadership Award—Racing, Dedication to Breeding Award, Dedication to Racing Award and a Thoroughbred Industry Community Award.

In addition to a commemorative trophy for the winners, three individual awards in each category will be distributed for first place ($10,000), second place ($2,500) and third place ($2,500) in the first four categories, respectively, with a single award given in the fifth. On top of this, farm and

racing employees associated with each award recipient will receive monetary recognition. Total prize money for the five awards will be $115,000. Nominations for the awards opened on May 9 and close August 1. Visit for more information and to nominate online.

HBPA PROVIDES ASSISTANCE TO HORSEMEN AFFECTED BY EHV-1 OUTBREAK Horse racing, by its very nature, is a game of chance, where the best horse may not always win due to a slow break from the gate or traffic on the turn. The sometimes unpredictable outcome of a race is part of what makes the sport popular. Handicappers and horsemen know almost anything can happen on the track, but outside of the race, unpredictable events can be devastating to owners and trainers of racehorses. Such was the case with a tornado that hit the backside of Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma earlier this year and the restrictions at tracks in Iowa and Nebraska due to an outbreak of Equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) that originated in New Mexico. Luckily for horsemen in Oklahoma, Iowa and Nebraska, the National HBPA and its state affiliates stood ready to assist those affected. At Fonner Park in Nebraska and Prairie Meadows in Iowa, numerous horsemen were impacted by restrictions on horses shipping in and out of those facilities as a precaution to prevent the potential spread of EHV-1. While

those restrictions worked well to protect horses at both tracks, some horsemen endured hardships. Both the Nebraska HBPA and Iowa HBPA, together with the National HBPA, provided financial assistance to member horsemen to help lessen the impact of these unexpected events. Similar assistance was provided to horsemen affected by the tornado in Oklahoma. “We are very happy that Fonner Park and Prairie Meadows now have the ‘all clear’ and things are back to normal, but those were some tough weeks for horsemen,” said Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA. “The motto of the HBPA has always been ‘Horsemen Helping Horsemen,’ and this was just another example of that and one of the benefits of HBPA membership. Even though horsemen compete against each other every day on the track, there is also a sense of family among horsemen around North America, and we are glad to be able to provide assistance to horsemen in times of need like this.”

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


5. 6.



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




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


5. 6.

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



One more STAKES WINNING Reason to SELL and RACE in Oklahoma!


• Catfish Creek was RNA at Fasig-Tipton for $59,000. • He sold at OKC Summer Sale for $67,000! • Three starts – 2 Wins, 1 Third Owner: Shawn Schabel Trainer: Scott E. Young Jockey: Belen Quinonez Breeder: Clark O. Brewster Catfish Creek wins Will Rogers Handicap by 4 lengths!

Congratulations - Catfish Creek wins Will Rogers Handicap by 4 lengths! • Catfish Creek was RNA at Fasig-Tipton for $59,000.

OKC Summer Sale

Congratulations - Catfish Creek wins Will Rogers Handicap by 4 lengths! • He sold at the OKC Summer Sale for $67,000! • Catfish• Creek RNA Fasig-Tipton Three was starts - 2 at Wins, 1 Third for $59,000. • He sold at the OKC Summer Sale for $67,000! • Three starts - 2 Wins, 1 Third

August 21, 2016

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BE THERE Be at Santa Anita Breeders’ Cup week for this innovative and entertaining conference focused on Thoroughbred ownership.

Learn from the Pros in panel discussions featuring the top trainers, vets, owners & jockeys in the industry.

Oct.31 - Nov.3

Enjoy Social Events that provide great networking opportunities scattered throughout the week.

All paid registrations include reserved grandstand seating for both days of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships

REGISTER NOW! Visit for more details Presenting Sponsors: Keeneland Association • The Stronach Group • Breeders’ Cup Hosted by OwnerView, a joint venture between The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Assn.





The seventh Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit will feature a rich mix of updates on previous topics such as racing surfaces, rider safety and equine injuries as well as discussions of new topics that are essential to the welfare of racehorses, including nutrition, biosecurity and respiratory health. The summit, which is organized and underwritten by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Jockey Club, will be hosted by Keeneland Association on Tuesday, June 28. It will be open to the public and streamed live on and Those interested in attending the summit can register for free at The event will again be emceed by Donna Barton Brothers, former jockey and current NBC racing analyst. Brothers is on the advisory board for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the author of Inside Track, an informative guide to horse racing. Other new topics include an update from the American Association of Equine Practitioners racing committee, a progress report on biomarker research and discussions regarding compounded medications, nutraceuticals, lameness, the importance of the physical inspection and use of the riding crop. “We are very excited about the topics we have lined up for this year’s Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit,” said Edward L. Bowen, president of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “The first six summits resulted in meaningful

improvements in horse and jockey welfare, and by focusing on such timely, important issues, this summit is on target to do the same.” “We are pleased to once again be able to host such a great event and make it open to the public who can attend in person and available through live-streaming to those who can’t be here,” said Bill Thomason, Keeneland president and CEO. “Keeneland has always been an advocate for horse and rider safety, and hosting this welfare and safety summit is one of our commitments to making the industry safer for both.” Almost 1,500 individuals from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, France, Sweden and Spain watched the live-stream of the sixth summit, and approximately 200 people attended. The first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit was held in October 2006; subsequent summits were held in March 2008, June 2010, October 2012, July 2014 and July 2015. “I attend all of the summits and find them to be one of the most educational events of the year,” said John F. Wayne, executive director of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission. “I strongly encourage all commissions, industry organizations and others willing to commit to the safety of our equine and human athletes to attend this event.”

EQUINE INJURY DATABASE: FATAL INJURIES DECLINE BY 14 PERCENT An analysis of data from the Equine Injury Database (EID), comparing 2015 statistics with figures from 2014, has shown a 14 percent decrease in the frequency of fatal injury. These results were announced by The Jockey Club in March. Across all surfaces, ages and distances, the fatality rate dropped from 1.89 per 1,000 starts in 2014 to 1.62 per 1,000 starts in 2015. The overall fatality rate of 1.62 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 database, once again performed the analysis. “We’ve seen a significant decrease in the number of fatalities, and that is certainly very encouraging,” Parkin said. “We will continue to examine data and look for trends, but the wide-ranging safety initiatives embraced by tracks, horsemen and regulators in recent years have very likely played a role in the reduction of injuries and fatalities.” The fatality rates associated with each racing surface were as follows: • On turf surfaces, there were 1.22 fatalities per 1,000 starts in 2015, compared to 1.75 in 2014. • On dirt surfaces, there were 1.78 fatalities per 1,000 starts in 2015, compared to 2.02 in 2014. 18


• On synthetic surfaces, there were 1.18 fatalities per 1,000 starts in 2015, compared to 1.20 in 2014. Fatality rates based on distance and age were also released by The Jockey Club. An analysis of 2015 distance statistics shows that shorter races (less than six furlongs) were again associated with higher injury rates versus middle distance races (six to eight furlongs) and long races (more than eight furlongs). This has been consistent each year over the database’s seven-year span. Two-year-olds continued the trend of having the lowest rate of catastrophic injuries while 3-year-olds had a lower rate of catastrophic injuries than horses 4 years old and older. The statistics are based on injuries that resulted in fatalities within 72 hours from the date of the race. Summary statistics are subject to change due to a number of considerations, including reporting timeliness. A graph depicting all updated statistical data pertaining to surface, distance and age is available at eid_7_year_tables.pdf. “When we first starting collecting data in 2007, we realized that the more data we obtained and analyzed, the more we would learn,” said Dr. Mary Scollay, the equine medical director for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and a consultant to the database. “These

improving fatality rates are clear evidence that we can move the needle and that the efforts of so many are truly bearing fruit.” “This database was created with the goal of improving safety and preventing injuries, and we are now doing that thanks to the participation and cooperation of so many racetracks,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “We applaud all tracks that have contributed data to this project, and we are especially grateful to those who have chosen to make their statistics publicly available on the EID website.” A list of racetracks participating in the Equine Injury Database and detailed statistics from those tracks that voluntarily publish their results

can be found at Throughout 2016, racetracks accounting for 96 percent of flat racing days are expected to contribute data to the database. Conceived at the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation’s first Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, the Equine Injury Database 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 FOUNDATION COMMITS $1.16 MILLION TO EQUINE RESEARCH The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation board of directors approved a budget of $1,160,556 to fund equine research in 2016. The budget will fund 11 new projects, eight second-year projects and two Career Development Awards to encourage young scientists. The 2016 funding brings the foundation’s totals since 1983 to 335 projects at 42 universities for an aggregate of $23.3 million. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we again are able to provide well over $1 million to fund the top projects among those that our Research Advisory Committee recommended to the board,” said Foundation President Edward L. Bowen. The 11 new projects address an important range of issues, including dorsal displacement of the soft palate, the importance of latency in outbreaks of equine herpesvirus-1, foal pneumonia, prevention of strangles, training and surface factors in preventing injury and underlying mechanisms of disease. The eight projects entering a second year of research include other aspects of pneumonia and EHV-1, plus laminitis, colic and placentitis. Details on the new projects are available at grayson-jockeyclub. org/resources/newprojects.pdf.

The Career Development Awards program was initiated in 2006 with the Storm Cat Award. This was named for the famous stallion that stood at Overbrook Farm, the family farm of foundation board member Lucy Young Hamilton. Mrs. Hamilton personally underwrites the $15,000 stipends to assist in specific research by young candidates for career paths in equine research. The 2015 Storm Cat Career Development winner is Dr. Elaine Norton of the University of Minnesota. Last year, the family of the late Elaine Klein inaugurated another Career Development Award in memory of the distinguished equestrienne. The Klein Family Foundation is based in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipient of the $15,000 Elaine Klein Career Development Award for 2016 is Dr. Amanda Zeigler of North Carolina State University.







FLORIDA JUSTICE By Kent H. Stirling In Florida, the absurd is often reality when it comes to the regulation of horse racing. Around 2011, several influential lobbyists approached the director of the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering (DPMW) and suggested that Florida should legalize a new wagering sport that existed nowhere else in the world—parimutuel barrel racing! The director reportedly told them he had no interest in legalizing this sport for wagering and, that if he did, he was sure Florida would be seen as the laughingstock of the nation. Not satisfied with this answer, these lobbyists apparently went to the governor, who then replaced that director with a new director who immediately permitted pari-mutuel barrel racing. Our lobbyist friends then became co-owners with the Poarch Band of the Creek Indian Tribe from Alabama of Gretna Entertainment, the home (then) of the world’s only parimutuel barrel racing wagering facility, located just outside Tallahassee. In Florida, after you complete your first day of racing, you are entitled to open a card room, which Gretna Entertainment did, but its long-term goal was to have a slots parlor without ever really having a “real” pari-mutuel product such as horse racing, dog racing or jai alai. Gretna ran eight “races” per day for total daily purses of about $2,000. These races were head-to-head matches between two girls mounted on what were usually Quarter Horses who raced around barrels. Attendance most days averaged about 50 fans, most apparently related to the barrel racers. The first two entire race meets showed total handle of less than $42,000. One performance had a total handle of $24. Yes, that’s correct, $24. This meant that with the live track tax rate of 0.5 percent, the DPMW earned 12 cents to cover the expense of the state veterinarian, the urine catcher and the state steward and for drug testing of the winning horses. Not to worry, the DPMW changed the state rule for horse racing that mandated that the “winner” of a race “shall be sent immediately after the race to the detention enclosure for…the taking of urine, blood or other such samples.” By June 2015, the new DPMW rule now read, “Any horse the stewards, division or track veterinarian of the meet designate, shall be sent immediately after the race to the detention enclosure for…the taking of urine, blood or other such samples…” (Emphasis added.) Problem solved. If there is no mandated drug testing, then, of course, no veterinarian or urine catcher is needed. I’m guessing that Gretna state steward wasn’t asking for many drug tests to be performed! Speaking of blood tests, I’m told no testing of blood samples occurred this year at one of our Thoroughbred tracks for a week or longer because no state veterinarian was present to collect blood samples in the detention barn. This is not the first time this has happened at this track. Now that you possibly understand a little of the mindset of the DPMW, let’s take a look at some of its previous self-inflicted regulation problems and recent medication rulings since Florida began to write and adopt legislation that supposedly would finally bring national “uniformity” to Florida racing. 20


ADVENTURES IN MEDICATION RULINGS About three or four years ago, the DPMW told the Florida Racing Laboratory to eliminate the 25 picogram in-house laboratory threshold that the state had been using for years for clenbuterol testing. This threshold was later adopted by most other racing jurisdictions. In less than a two-year period, the elimination of the clenbuterol threshold led to more than 250 clenbuterol positives being called, because, as often happens, the DPMW did not bother to tell horsemen of this testing level change or at least tell them that a five-day withdrawal time was no longer safe. In fact, in very early 2013, I inquired of the DPMW director of operations as to why the Florida Racing Laboratory was now calling clenbuterol positives below 25 pg/ml. I was told that the DPMW had made a mistake in calling these positives. I was further told that no administrative action would be taken on the 50 or so clenbuterol positives at that time and to inform horsemen the five-day withdrawal time for this medication was still in effect. I put that in writing on Florida HBPA stationery and posted it at all of Florida’s horse tracks. Unfortunately, the DPMW continued to call clenbuterol positives at under the 25 pg/ml threshold, which led to many more positives for horsemen following the five-day withdrawal time. To quickly handle this flood of clenbuterol positives, the DPMW decided to fine every “violator” $500 per positive test. Do the math. More than 250 positives—that’s a quick $125,000. From roughly this point on, the DPMW relieved the stewards from handling medication violations and had the fine money paid to the DPMW. Previously, when the stewards handled medication positives, the fine money went to the track’s Board of Relief, and that money was used mainly to help licensees at each track pay for funerals and financially assist with unforeseen bills as determined by the track and the Florida HBPA. The Consent Orders now stipulate that the fine is to be paid to the DPMW. Recently, a well-respected, very successful trainer was notified of four positives. In the last 20-plus years, this trainer had six Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) Class IV violations for infractions such as phenylbutazone (bute) overages. This trainer did have one clenbuterol positive that came from the clenbuterol episode I described earlier. This trainer was now notified of four Class IV positives that occurred in a short period of time. Notification of all four of these positives at the same time came in the form of a Consent Order from the DPMW demanding an $11,000 fine and a 60-day license suspension. Last year in Florida, another trainer was confronted with a bute detection of 2.3 micrograms by the Florida Racing Laboratory. No measurement uncertainty was used on the testing of this sample by the laboratory, even though its inclusion was mandated by statute. The trainer, at my suggestion, requested a split sample, and the split sample came back at 2.1 micrograms with a measurement uncertainty of plus or minus 0.3 micrograms. In any other jurisdiction in the world, this split sample result would have been interpreted as being detected at between 1.8 and 2.4 micrograms of

phenylbutazone and, therefore, dismissed as both 1.8 and 1.9 micrograms fall below the regulatory threshold of 2 mcg/ml. Not in Florida. The DPMW Administrative Complaint sent to the trainer stated, “A split sample analysis performed on the sample by [I removed lab’s name and location] confirmed the sample contained and tested positive for an impermissible level of phenylbutazone in the animal’s race-day specimen.” When I questioned the DPMW as to why this case was not dismissed since there was reasonable doubt that the sample contained less than 2 micrograms of bute, I was told by a DPMW lawyer that the split came back over 2 mcg/ml, and even if you used that laboratory’s measurement uncertainty on the Florida Racing Laboratory’s finding, it would still be 2 mcg/ml, which is a violation. What? The trainer was fined $500 for this bute “positive.” I was involved in another interesting case involving a split sample for acepromazine. A while back, Florida had an epidemic of low-level acepromazine positives. The lab director, who was an advisor to the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), stated in a steward’s hearing that research indicated that the threshold for this medication should be 10 ng/ml. The DPMW dismissed all positives detected below 10 ng/ml, which meant the vast majority of these were no longer considered medication violations. The Florida Racing Laboratory in-house threshold was now 10 ng/ml, which is the same threshold for this medication in the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule that Florida adopted this January. Last year, another well-respected, successful trainer with a very large outfit of horses told me that the DPMW had detected two acepromazine positives in their horses’ samples, one in late June and the other in July, and both were quantitated at 13 ng/ml. The trainer was notified of both positives in a DPMW Consent Order that demanded a $2,000 fine and a 10-day license suspension. I suggested the trainer get a split sample on the June detection, which the FHBPA paid for, but not on the second one as the lab had not used measurement uncertainty on this sample, even though it was mandated by statute to do as of that July 1. The split sample came back at 8.2 plus or minus 1.4 ng/ml. I suggested to the DPMW lawyer that it seemed both positives should be dismissed, as 9.6 ng/ml was below the 10 ng/ml threshold, and the lab had not followed the statute on the July sample. Also, the trainer had been notified of both positives at the same time, so it should be considered one violation. The DPMW lawyer told me that the trainer would now only be fined $500 for each violation and that the DPMW would no longer tolerate me “playing” lawyer, as I was not one. I was not aware a law degree was necessary to inquire as to questionable findings and practices. At an RMTC meeting a few years ago, the subject of “stacking” of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) was discussed. Stacking occurs when two or more NSAIDs such as bute and flunixin (Banamine) are detected in the same sample. The example given that day was if a horse was on bute pills that were discontinued 48 hours prior to post and the horse was then treated with Banamine 24 hours prior to post (at a later date the RMTC would extend that to 32 hours), then this horse’s sample should not exceed the Banamine threshold. However, if the sample exceeded the Banamine threshold and bute could also be detected, then it should still be considered a form of stacking. I suggested we put a sub-threshold on the bute or secondary NSAID since it could possibly be detected for weeks after the final oral administration, when it would have no pharmacological effect on the horse. This was agreed to by the RMTC, which then assigned the secondary threshold to the three legal NSAIDs. It was never discussed that exceeding two secondary NSAID thresholds but not a primary threshold would constitute a violation of any kind. But apparently the RCI suggested it would be a minor offense, and, therefore, a modest fine was possibly warranted. Not in Florida.

Currently, there are a number of cases in Florida in which two secondary thresholds have been breached but not a primary threshold. Let’s take a look at one. The RCI secondary thresholds are 3 ng/ml for Banamine and 0.3 mcg/ml for bute. One particular trainer had a sample that detected 3.37 ng/ml of Banamine and 0.567 mcg/ml of bute, neither of which exceeds the primary threshold. Most states would probably fine the trainer up to $500 for this stacking violation but not Florida. The DPMW demanded the trainer pay a $1,000 fine along with a 30-day license suspension. Twice! Yes, they wanted a $2,000 fine and a 60-day license suspension for “two” violations. Apparently in Florida, it is not possible to get a single stacking violation. If you had an actual stacking violation involving exceeding a primary threshold and one secondary threshold, just how severe would the penalty be in Florida? I have now been notified that the acepromazine trainer mentioned previously had a “stacking” violation. As explained previously, and rather poorly I might add, stacking occurs when two NSAIDs such as bute and Banamine are detected in the same sample. Stacking can occur when both detections are over the primary threshold limit or when one primary and one secondary threshold are breeched. The secondary threshold was included, so traces of an NSAID cannot be called a positive for weeks after its administration with zero-tolerance testing being employed. Again, a secondary stacking violation occurs when a blood sample contains more than 0.3 mcg/ml of bute and more than 3 ng/ml of Banamine, which can lead to a small fine. This trainer’s sample contained 0.385 mcg/ml of bute and 4.46 ng/ml of Banamine. The DPMW stated in its Consent Order that it took into consideration the “17 prior drug positive violations” before setting the penalty for this trainer. But not all were “drug positives,” as four were resolved with warning letters and four had “no action taken.” That puts the count at nine, and do you remember the two aforementioned acepromazines that should have been dismissed? So this trainer had seven violations, mostly of the Class IV variety (there was a Class III, probably clenbuterol) over a long period of time and thousands of starts. What penalty did the DPMW want for this trainer? A $2,750 fine per count (remember, while this is a single violation in the rest of America, that is not the case in Florida), so that’s a $5,500 fine and a license suspension of 60 days. Apparently the DPMW opted not to suspend this trainer for each violation and, therefore, was now considering the stacking to be “one” violation. Two violations for fines, one violation for the license suspension and a draconian, uncalled for penalty. Last year, I had a trainer tell me about a serious punishment that the DPMW was demanding for a testosterone positive on a gelding that finished out of the money and, because there was no “special” called by the stewards on this horse, it never went to the detention barn for drug testing! I must admit that I really didn’t believe the trainer at first, but after the trainer paid for a laboratory test that proved the horse was indeed a gelding with an undescended testicle, I changed my mind. The DPMW should have dismissed this case and expunged it from the trainer’s record. Months later, the DPMW released a Dismissal Order that stated, “Issues of reasonable doubt are present in this matter; the Division is unable to proceed any further in this administrative action.” Remember that this horse was never tested by the DPMW, yet the order concluded with the following, “It is ordered that this case should be and is hereby dismissed without prejudice, to reopen the case at a later time.” (Emphasis added.) In Florida, even if your horse isn’t tested after a race, you can still have a possible medication violation. They never give up! So what would happen if a financially secure trainer with a number of violations (more than 30 in five years) hired a lawyer? The lawyer hired in this case was previously general counsel for a racetrack, and whether that had any effect on the outcome of this case, I have no way of knowing. The trainer in question had positives for three acepromazines, a clenbuterol, two bute overages, a methocarbamol and a DMSO positive. For those of you keeping WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM


MEDICAL score, the first four medications were RCI Class III and the last four were Class IV medications. There were also two violations for failure to complete certain paperwork. The trainer was fined $3,350 along with a 10-day license suspension. This trainer certainly did not have a previous exemplary violation record. Hiring a lawyer definitely seems worth the cost, no matter how much, because I would have expected the DPMW, under normal circumstances, to fine the trainer about $50,000 and suspended their license for about a year.

ADOPTING THE CTMS—FLORIDA-STYLE Let me now describe how the DPMW adopted the 26 medications on the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule (CTMS) that the Florida Legislature mandated the division adopt before January 1, 2016. Of course, six months was not enough time for the DPMW to meet the statute-mandated deadline, but it came close and published the rules on January 10. Along with the CTMS, Florida was mandated to adopt the RCI classification system for drugs as well as the corresponding penalty schedule. Below is the statutory language: “The Division rules must include a classification system for drugs and substances and a corresponding penalty schedule for violations which incorporates the Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances, Version 8.0, revised December 2014, by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc.” Rather than adopt the entire RCI package, as other states that adopted it did so that the CTMS and the penalty schedule would be the same from state to state, Florida opted to come up with its own draconian penalty schedule. While the National and Florida HBPA felt there were a number of mistakes in the threshold levels for the 26 controlled therapeutics, we didn’t take issue with the RCI penalty guidelines. But Florida did. They developed their own, even though it seems at the same time they also adopted the RCI penalties, but again, as I previously mentioned, I am not a lawyer. Let’s examine one of the medications that the National HBPA has long indicated had a mistake in RCI assigned threshold level—xylazine. This quick-acting tranquilizer, known by the brand name Rompun, is often used in the equine world and had been assigned a threshold of 10 picograms. In fact, while I was the Florida HBPA’s executive director, I put out a written notice to horsemen and veterinarians on which of the 26 thresholds and withdrawal times they should not feel safe abiding by. I simply suggested horsemen not use xylazine at all in the flyer I had distributed at the tracks. In January, a trainer ran a horse that came up positive for xylazine quantitated at 18.8 plus or minus 1.6 pg/ml. This trainer had a pretty clean record, so the DPMW required a $3,000 fine and a 50-day license suspension. I’m told there are about 30 of these xylazine positives around the country and close to 10 more in Florida. It seems to me that these non-Florida trainers have probably been on the average fined $500 and lost their license for up to 15 days—pretty much the RCI recommended penalty. Recently, based on more research, the RCI admitted that its threshold was too low and increased it twenty-fold to 200 pg/ml. Too late for this trainer and the others around the country that had a sample that just exceeded the 10 pg/ml threshold, although none of them faced the severe punishment that Florida was seeking. For more on xylazine, please turn to page 34 to read Dr. Clara Fenger’s article. So just how do the RCI penalties adopted by most of the rest of the country in an effort for national uniformity differ from those that Florida instituted this January? Well, as unbelievable as it may seem, Florida has two penalty schedules, one for those on the 26 CTMS and one for those medications and drugs not found on the CTMS. The 26 medications on the CTMS are all RCI Class



III, IV and V medications and are penalized differently by the RCI guidelines depending on the drug class and penalty class. No need to go to those extremes in Florida, as its penalty guidelines have all 26 medications with the same penalties. In other words, one size fits all in Florida! For example, an ulcer medication, such as omeprazole, would get a penalty class D of just a warning under the RCI uniform rules, but in Florida the first penalty would be a “$500 to $1,000 fine and suspension of license zero to 15 days.” Any other violation of the “CTMS 26” in the same year or five to 10 years later in Florida would bring a “$1,000 to $2,500 fine and suspension of license from zero to 60 days, or revocation of license.” I didn’t make that up! That’s why I am quoting the rule. Yes, it said possible revocation of license! No need to quote the more severe third violation, because the affected trainer is no longer training, and if the person is, it certainly isn’t in Florida! Now that we explained how the Florida “one-size-fits-all” penalty scheme works and have created a chart for your review on bute (see chart at right), I want to explain what penalty is given in Florida to a medication not on the CTMS. For this, we must refer to Florida’s other penalty schedule. Let’s look at a penalty for a Class IV medication like naproxen or ibuprofen. Under the revised Florida penalties, it would carry a $100 to $250 fine for a first offense, and for a second lifetime offense, the penalty would be a $250 to $500 fine and suspension of license zero to 10 days. If naproxen or ibuprofen were moved to the Florida CTMS penalty system, then, as above, the first offense would increase to a $500 to $1,000 fine and suspension of license for zero to 15 days. The second lifetime violation would then be a $1,000 to $2,500 fine and suspension of license zero to 60 days or revocation of license. Seems fair, right?. Just when you think it can’t get any worse in Florida, it does! The DPMW has just struck again with another attempt at regulatory genius. As I was writing this article, I was notified that a trainer with a perfectly clean medication record has been charged with a trace level cocaine finding that would have been dismissed in just about every other racing jurisdiction. The Consent Order finding in Count 1 was for 33.3 ng/ml of benzoylecgonine, the primary metabolite of cocaine. Any finding of less than 100 ng/ml of benzoylecgonine is considered contamination in the rest of the country. Count II was for a detection of ecgonine methyl, another metabolite of cocaine, of 14.6 ng/ml. The Consent Order made it clear that both of the above metabolites are from cocaine. The Consent Order stated that it was entered into “in consideration of Respondent’s lack of disciplinary history.” So the DPMW is going to go easy on this trainer as far as a penalty? The DPMW wanted a $3,000 fine and a “minimum” suspension of 90 days for Count 1! Yes, you guessed it! The DPMW also wanted the same penalty for Count II. So a trace level finding of metabolites of cocaine that would never have been called a positive in most of this country, and certainly not two violations, became a $6,000 fine and a 180-day license suspension for a trainer with no previous violations. We need serious help in Florida before racing is destroyed by the DPMW! One other “fact” I want to leave you with is this. While the DPMW is quick to severely fine and suspend the license of the trainer, I have been unable to find any case in which there was a loss of purse since the DPMW took over medication regulation, even when it is mandated by statute! At times through this mess, I have certainly felt like the boy who cried wolf even though the president of the RCI and the executive director of the RMTC were assisting in attempting to help move Florida’s medication regulations toward true national uniformity. But the wolf isn’t just at the door; it is devouring lambs (trainers) while other industry partners apparently sit idly by.




2 mcg/ml detection

2.7 mcg/ml (2016)

recommended written warning, $500 fine

$500-$1,000 fine with zero to 15-day license suspension

2.7 mcg/ml (2020)

recommended written warning, $500 fine

$1,000-$2,500 fine with zero to 60-day license suspension or revocation of license

2.7 mcg/ml (2030)

recommended written warning, $500 fine

$2,500-$5,000 fine with zero to 180-day license suspension or revocation of license

The above chart shows a hypothetical trainer with a 2.7 mcg/ml of bute detected in three separate years and the penalties recommended by RCI and the Florida DPMW. Under the RCI recommendations, if the trainer had not had more than one violation in the previous two years, the stewards are encouraged to issue a warning rather than a fine if the reported level is below 3 mcg/ml. After a two-year period, if the licensee has no further violations, any penalty due to an overage in the 2.0-5.0 mcg/ml range will be expunged from the licensee’s record for penalty purposes.



THE NATIONAL HORSEMEN’S BENEVOLENT & PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION, INC. WHAT IS IT? A program to protect your assets in case of an injury or damage to property arising from your equine activities (breeding, racing, sales, training). This is not a substitute for workers’ compensation coverage. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? $50 per horse and $100 minimum premium for coverage after May 1st WHAT DOES IT COVER? • Liability claims arising from injuries to participants (non-employee jockeys and exercise riders) • Contractual liability (i.e. hold harmless in Race Track Stall Agreements) • Premises and Operations liability coverage for all equine operations including breeding, boarding, training and racing HOW MUCH DOES IT COVER? Each member additional insured has their own $1,000,000 coverage for each occurrence or offense and $2,000,000 general aggregate. Damage to premises rented to you or occupied by you with the permission of the owner is provided with a limit of $50,000. Medical Payments coverage applies as well in the amount of $5,000 per person.


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Cassia County Fair

Aug. 19 – 20

May 21 – Oct. 15

Jul. 1, 2015 – Jun. 30

Jul. 27 – Aug. 16

Sonoma (Santa Rosa)

Tampa Bay Downs

May 5 – Jul. 10

Santa Anita Park

Apr. 6 – Jun. 30

Sep. 21 – Oct. 4

San Joaquin (Stockton)

Gulfstream Park

Sep. 7 – 27

Pomona at Los Alamitos


Dec. 8 – 18

Los Alamitos Race Course

Delaware Park

Aug. 17 – 30

Humboldt (Ferndale)


Aug. 19 – Sep. 18, Oct. 20 – Dec. 11

Golden Gate Fields

May 20 – Aug. 14

Oct. 5 – 18


Arapahoe Park

Jul. 15 – Sep. 5, Nov. 10 – Dec. 4

Del Mar


Jun. 15 – Jul. 5

Alameda (Oak Tree at Pleasanton)

May 14 – Jul. 3, Sep. 3 – Oct. 16

Rocky Mountain Turf Club (Lethbridge)


May 6 – Aug. 27

Northlands Park

Apr. 17 – Oct. 16

Jul. 1


Hastings Racecourse

Jul. 8 – Aug. 28

Evergreen Park at Grande Prairie

British Columbia, Canada

Alberta, Canada


20 racing 16 Aug. 6 – 7, Aug. 13 – 14 Jul. 2 – 4, Jul. 9 – 10

Oneida County Fair Rupert Downs (Minidoka Fair)



Oct. 7 – 29 Sep. 3 – 17 Nov. 30 – Dec. 31

Keeneland Race Course Kentucky Downs Turfway Park

Apr. 6 – Aug. 27, Sep. 28 – Dec. 17 Aug. 17 – Sep. 3, Nov. 19 – Apr. 2, 2017 May 7 – Sep. 24

Evangeline Downs Fair Grounds Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Apr. 22 – Jul. 9, Oct. 19 – Mar. 11, 2017

Jul. 2 – Sep. 5

Ellis Park

Delta Downs

Apr. 30 – Jul. 2, Sep. 16 – Oct. 2, Oct. 30 – Nov. 27

Apr. 28 – Aug. 13, Aug. 20 – Oct. 15

Churchill Downs

Prairie Meadows


Apr. 19 – Oct. 29

Oct. 7 – Dec. 31

Hawthorne Race Course Indiana Grand

May 3 – Aug. 30

Fairmount Park

May 6 – Sep. 24

Jun. 19

Jerome County Fair

Arlington Park

Aug. 27 – 28, Sep. 11

Intermountain Racing and Entertainment



Sep. 4 – 5, Sep. 9 – 10

Eastern Idaho County Fair

Aug. 5 – Sep. 5 Jul. 29 – 30

Jul. 23 – 24, Jul. 30 – 31

Horsemen’s Park

Great Falls


May 20 – Sep. 17

May 27 – Sep. 3


Canterbury Park



Hazel Park

Jul. 9 – 10, Aug. 6 – 7, Sep. 3 – 4

Suffolk Downs



Jul. 1 – Aug. 21, Sep. 9 – Dec. 31

May 8 – Sep. 11

Brockton Fairgrounds

Laurel Park

Maryland Massachusetts


Manitoba, Canada



Ontario, Canada



North Dakota

Jun. 18 – 19, Jun. 25 – 26, Jul. 2 – 4, Jul. 9 – 10

Sep. 9 – 11

Aug. 10 – 13

Grants Pass Downs

Harney County Fair

Tillamook County Fair

Apr. 9 – Dec. 4


Jul. 13 – 16

May 31 – Oct. 18

Crooked River

May 8 – Oct. 24

Fort Erie

Sep. 10 – Nov. 12

Will Rogers Downs

Ajax Downs

Aug. 12 – Dec. 11

Remington Park

Apr. 25 – Oct. 22


Jun. 9 – Jul. 30

Oct. 28 – Dec. 28

Fair Meadows

Apr. 29 – Oct. 8

Mahoning Valley

Jul. 16 – 31

North Dakota Horse Park

Belterra Park

Jun. 11 – Jul. 3

Jul. 22 – Sep. 5


Chippewa Downs

Apr. 16 – Nov. 30

Finger Lakes

Sep. 10 – Dec. 13

Zia Park

Apr. 29 – Jul. 17, Sep. 9 – Oct. 30

Apr. 22 – Jun. 20

SunRay Park

Belmont Park

May 27 – Sep. 5

Ruidoso Downs

New York

Jun. 25 – Sep. 25

The Downs at Albuquerque

New Mexico

May 14 – Sep. 25

Aug. 22 – 23

White Pine Racing

Monmouth Park

Aug. 27 – Sep. 5

Elko County Fair

New Jersey


Aug. 19 – Sep. 4

Apr. 16 – Nov. 26

Jan. 7 – Dec. 29

Apr. 9 – Sep. 11

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

Sweetwater Downs

Mountaineer Race Track

Hollywood Casino @ Charles Town Races

West Virginia


Emerald Downs

Jun. 10 – Aug. 13

Apr. 7 – Jul. 17, Sep. 16 – Nov. 12

Lone Star Park Retama Park

Jul. 2 – Aug. 28

May 27 – Sep. 3

May 22 – Oct. 6

Jan. 6 – Dec. 30

Feb. 13 – Dec. 20

Gillespie County Fair

Marquis Downs

Presque Isle Downs

Penn National

Parx Racing



Saskatchewan, Canada


Denis Blake



Spotlight on the unsung heroes The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards recognize the work done by behind-the-scenes stars ensuring they receive the recognition they deserve. The awards are separated into five categories, with trophies for the winners and prize money totalling $115,000.


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THOROUGHBRED HORSERACING INTEGRITY ACT OF 2015 from the National HBPA’s CEO An update on the

Courtesy Office of Representative Andy Barr

By Eric J. Hamelback



In the photo below, a panel of five from the horse racing industry addressed the Congressional Horse Caucus. From left, Craig Fravel, president and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup; Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA; Bobby Flay, professional chef and racehorse owner; Joe De Francis, former Maryland Jockey Club executive who currently serves on a racing committee of the U.S. Humane Society; and Chauncey Morris, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders


THE THOROUGHBRED HORSERACING INTEGRITY ACT OF 2015, ALSO KNOWN AS H.R. 3084 OR THE BARR-TONKO BILL AFTER CO-SPONSORS ANDY BARR (R-KY) AND PAUL TONKO (D-NY), HAS RECEIVED CONSIDERABLE, THOUGH NOT ALWAYS ACCURATE, COVERAGE IN THE RACING PRESS. To keep members of the National HBPA apprised of the status of this legislation, which would give the federal government the power to regulate medication standards and penalties rather than the states, the following update is being provided. National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback, along with NHBPA General Counsel Peter Ecabert, NHBPA Government Relations Liaison Brian Fitzgerald and NHBPA Eastern Region Vice President Robin Richards, traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent the organization and to provide written and oral testimony in a formal briefing of the Congressional Horse Caucus on April 28, just 10 days before the Kentucky Derby. Reps. Barr and Tonko, co-chairs of the Congressional Horse Caucus, presided over a briefing on H.R. 3084 prior to the caucus. Hamelback was the only participant that spoke in opposition to the bill, and had the NHBPA not put pressure on Rep. Barr’s office, there likely would have been no one participating in the caucus that was opposed. All of the other participants spoke in support of the legislation. These participants included Bobby Flay, professional chef and racehorse owner; Joe De Francis, former Maryland Jockey Club executive who currently serves on a racing committee of the U.S. Humane Society; Craig Fravel, president and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup; and Chauncey Morris, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders. A dozen or so members of the Horse Caucus attended the briefing, with a few only staying for a brief time. The hearing can be viewed online at The Congressional Horse Caucus is an informal organization only and has no legislative authority or jurisdiction over H.R. 3084 or any other legislation. The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity turned to Barr and Tonko to convene this event before the caucus because the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, which have formal jurisdiction over the legislation, has shown no interest to date in convening a hearing or otherwise taking up consideration of the bill. Support for H.R. 3084, as of May 12, stands at 39 co-sponsors: 21 Republicans and 18 Democrats. Six of the co-sponsors—Reps. Tonko, Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Yvette Clark (D-NY), Susan

Brooks (R-IN) and Chris Collins (R-NY)—serve on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Of these committee members, only Brooks, Cardenas and Clark serve on the House Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee, which H.R. 3084 was referred to by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration. Also, as of May 12, no companion bill to H.R. 3084 has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. Several members of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity have stated to the NHBPA that the coalition is working on a new draft bill, but to date, no such draft has surfaced publicly and it is possible the coalition may not circulate it outside of the coalition in the near term. It is to be expected that the coalition will continue its efforts to recruit additional support for H.R. 3084 in order to better position itself and its “new bill.” Once again, the NHBPA urges members to continue the grass-roots opposition at the state level. As always, the NHBPA is available to answer any questions or address any concerns about this legislation. Please visit the NHBPA website at for further updates. Below is the written statement by NHBPA CEO Eric Hamelback that was submitted to the Horse Caucus: Representatives Barr and Tonko, co-chairmen and other distinguished members of this caucus, thank you for the opportunity to address you on behalf of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (National HBPA). The National HBPA has been representing the interests of Thoroughbred owners and trainers racing in North America since 1940. There are over 29,000 owner and trainer members of the National HBPA throughout the United States and Canada focused on the common goals: the betterment of current and future racing at all levels, safe and fair horse racing, and an unwavering commitment to the well-being of the equine athlete. With 30 affiliates in North America, we are without question the largest horsemen’s group of owners and trainers throughout the United States and Canada. Our affiliates are located in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Membership is open without restriction to all owners and trainers licensed by state racing authorities.



As reflected in our bylaws, our principal purposes include cooperating with all authorities charged with the regulation and governance of horse racing and wagering thereon, whether such authorities be government or private, and to make recommendations that are in the best interests of racing and its participants; and representing the interests of horsemen before state and federal governmental entities, national industry organizations and trade associations. We appear here today in furtherance of those purposes as well as to voice sincere concerns with the provisions contained in H.R. 3084. As this caucus is aware, the Thoroughbred racing industry is one of the most heavily regulated sports in the world. The origins of equine regulatory law in the United States date back to May 9, 1895, when Governor Morton of New York signed into law a sweeping act that gave direct legislative oversight of racing to a commission with carte blanche authority to regulate every facet of horse racing through licensing. In 1906, Kentucky became the second state, after New York, to establish a racing commission that withstood challenge in federal and state court. After New York and Kentucky established

Courtesy Office of Representative Andy Barr


“Support for H.R. 3084, as of May 12, stands at 39 co-sponsors: 21 Republicans and 18 Democrats. Six of the co-sponsors— Reps. Tonko, Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Yvette Clark (D-NY), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Chris Collins (R-NY)— serve on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Of these committee members, only Brooks, Cardenas and Clark serve on the House Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee, which H.R. 3084 was referred to by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration. Also, as of May 12, no companion bill to H.R. 3084 has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.”

regulatory authority to regulate horse racing, the other states followed until we have a comprehensive regulation of horse racing today by state. Unlike any other sport, horse racing has judges (i.e., stewards) that are physically present at each race and who are often called to make immediate decisions concerning the rules of racing and who may also later hold formal or informal hearings on such matters after a race. These decisions may be accepted or appealed to the racing commissions and/or the courts. The regulation of horse racing is in place and at a much more comprehensive level than we see in any 30



Many attempt to mischaracterize the position of those who oppose H.R. 3084 as believing everything is totally fine in the realm of Thoroughbred medication regulation.

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. other sport. Obviously, the states exercising their inherent 10th Amendment rights decided many years ago that horse racing was a sport that they would regulate. It is our position that the path to national medication uniformity in horse racing is not the addition of a layer of bureaucracy but rather working together through appropriate research. One goal of the National HBPA is to continue our work along with the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and the Racing Medication Testing Consortium (RMTC) on the medication model rules for the benefit of all concerned. We plan to continue to initiate population studies and ultimately work with other groups in our industry to achieve proper thresholds for all therapeutic medications. As with other RCI Model Rules that have been developed, once deemed correct by the industry as a whole, these rules will rapidly be adopted by regulators across all jurisdictions, negating the need for federal legislation. It does not benefit the horse racing industry for any of us to “name call” in the headlines because only in joining together as an industry can we move forward as an industry. The RCI has made significant progress by crafting a set of uniform rules from a mismatched set of regulations across our racing jurisdictions. This set of rules, the National Uniform Medication Program (NUMP), is a crucial starting point for achieving national uniformity. The goal of NUMP is paramount for the survival of horse racing, and this shared goal with other industry stakeholders has brought the National HBPA and our affiliates to the table with the RCI. We will continue to support the goal of uniformity. The problem will not be solved by federal oversight used to force regulations onto rogue jurisdictions but rather the industry working together to get the details correct. As we know, H.R. 3084 is under reconstruction. Why is that?

“Those who refuse to allow their opponents a seat at the table for honest and open discussions are the true obstructionists.”

It is because opponents of this bill, like the National HBPA, are considered to be among the majority. How many of those who are listed in the press as supportive of H.R. 3084 do so without some conditional concerns? The effect on the Interstate Horseracing Act, the makeup of the governing board of the Thoroughbred Horseracing Anti-Doping Authority (THADA), the exclusion of board members who have vested interests in our industry, the uncertainty of the financial backing, turning over states’ rights to a private organization, the inexperience of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) within equine testing and the issues revolving around the very uniform policies that would be implemented. All of these are very valid concerns that need to be addressed. Many attempt to mischaracterize the position of those who oppose H.R. 3084 as believing everything is totally fine in the realm of Thoroughbred medication regulation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Labeling those who oppose H.R. 3084 in its current status as obstructionists of our industry is inflammatory and incorrect. H.R. 3084 was drafted for the purpose of forcing jurisdictions that are holding out on the model rules to adopt them or face the specter of federal regulation. It is important to note industry stakeholder groups supporting H.R. 3084 and those opposing H.R. 3084 actually share the goal of national uniformity. Those who refuse to allow their opponents a seat at the table for honest and open discussions are the true obstructionists. Failure to be objective or failure to carefully consider the criticisms of the current NUMP will only lead to further division in our industry—something which horse racing can ill afford. Threatening critics with a federal bill, which has been deemed likely unconstitutional by the Congressional Research Service, is truly counterproductive to the end goal of all members within our industry. WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




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On an unseasonably warm day in October 2012, overcast skies cast a shadow over the city of Baltimore, as a handful of scientists and chemists stepped out into the gray morning. The most experienced and brightest minds involved in drug testing of U.S. horse racing had been summoned for a conference to hash over the final details of a groundbreaking new idea in the regulation of medication. It was the culmination of more than 10 years of hard work. A list of medications, therapeutic in nature, had been hashed over in meeting after meeting, conference call after conference call, with this group of storied professionals assembling in Baltimore for a final meeting to produce the pièce de résistance: the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule (CTMS).



The lofty and noble purpose of the CTMS was to permit the rational use of therapeutic medications for the benefit of the health and welfare of the equine racing athlete, while preventing any undue influence on the horse at the time of the race. This goal is shared almost uniformly among the stakeholders in the realm of horse racing, and this collection of men and women was tasked with making it a reality. The details of the infamous Baltimore meeting will likely forever remain obscured in the shadow of the clouds that overlooked the city that morning. The gathering was neither a Racing Medication Testing Consortium (RMTC) nor Association of Racing Commissioners (RCI) meeting, and therefore this meeting, out of which critical thresholds were adopted, had no minutes, no open records and no transparency. All that remains is a potpourri of clouded and disparate memories of the participants, with no clear record of the details of what transpired on the day. A lost day, and yet possibly the most important day in the history of the regulation of horse racing in America. What we understand from this meeting is that, along with other substances, a threshold for xylazine emerged. At the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) meeting in 2015, Dr. Rick Arthur, equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board and the Oak Tree representative on the RMTC, reported to the racing committee in an open meeting that xylazine was among the thresholds determined at that meeting. His point was that the responsibility for this threshold lay not at the feet of the RMTC, but with the attendees at the meeting in Baltimore. We know from the original version of the medication schedule that no scientific basis could be produced for either the threshold of 10 pg/ml, or the 48-hour withdrawal. But, as we go over the details that have leaked out of that clandestine meeting, we might be able to piece together what happened. Xylazine is a short-acting tranquilizer that has been used in horses since 1969. At tranquilizer doses, it produces sedation, which is profound but very short lived, with a return to normal of the horse within 90 minutes. The most common use of this tranquilizer is for short procedures that cause discomfort to the horse, such as dental procedures, clipping and trimming the mane and ears, and shoeing. However, in relatively low doses, xylazine has muscle relaxing effects and is very effective in preventing muscle cramping or tying up, one of the most difficult conditions of horses to control, especially with the strict drug restrictions that accompany horse racing. A 48-hour withdrawal is an appropriate time frame for the withdrawal of a medication like xylazine. It permits the use of this short-acting tranquilizer for necessary procedures and the prevention of muscle cramping. With the drug’s effects wearing off within a few hours, 48 hours is not consistent with any possible effect on the horse at the time of the race. It would seem, on the surface, that the RMTC actually got this one right: a threshold with a 48-hour withdrawal.






Unfortunately, when thresholds are not based on legitimate science, the outcome of the regulation is anything but right. At the Baltimore meeting, according to Arthur, an assemblage of veteran scientists and chemists settled on 10 pg/ml for a 48-hour threshold for xylazine. The xylazine scientific data that was presented to these researchers came from a xylazine study in which samples were collected from research horses up to two hours after xylazine administration. The threshold was apparently determined by the extrapolation of the two-hour data out to 48 hours. However, the details of the decisionmaking process will forever remain under the clouds in Baltimore, because neither the RMTC nor the RCI can produce minutes of the meeting. What were the consequences of the arbitrary decision made on that fall day on the Inner Harbor? There have been at least 21 xylazine infractions reported to RCI between April 2013, when the RCI first implemented the RMTC’s Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule (including the ill-fated 10 pg/mL threshold for xylazine), and December 2015. Horsemen have paid a combined $20,000 in fines and served a cumulative 330 days, and owners have paid back $168,537 in purses. How can such a collection of penalties have been accumulated for a threshold apparently pulled out of thin air in Baltimore on that gray October day? Or could it be that the threshold was not so arbitrary and capricious as it appears? Perhaps there was more substantive evidence presented at the Baltimore meeting than we think. Except that, since the meeting was neither an RMTC nor an RCI meeting, no minutes were kept, which means we are left with no transparency and instead only the conflicting accounts of what was clearly a contentious meeting enshrouded in secrecy. There are methods to determine the legitimacy of a threshold that can be used as independent double-checks on the primary science. One such method is the irrelevant plasma concentration (IPC), as proposed in 2002 by the internationally renowned veterinary pharmacologist Dr. Pierre Toutain. The IPC is defined as the “plasma…concentrations which guarantees the absence of any relevant drug effect and for which there [should] be no regulatory action.” Using a simple formula, the IPC can be calculated for xylazine using the very conservative duration of effect of six hours (even though the effects actually wear off after 90 minutes), and it comes to 300 pg/ml or 30 times the randomly chosen RMTC threshold of 10 pg/ml. So, even in October 2012, the tools to check the threshold were in existence and should have given the

members of the RMTC and RCI pause before implementing a threshold and a penalty that has cost trainers and owners in the six figures. The Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC) took such a pause when the first xylazine violation came up after the adoption of the CTMS in the Emerald State. On July 29, 2014, a violation more than seven times the threshold of 10 pg/ml was found, triggering an investigation by the commission. The medical records reflected a conservative dose of xylazine (200 mg or 2 ml) was administered at 52 hours before post for the purpose of a routine dental procedure. This violation created consternation among horsemen and regulators alike. Could this violation be the result of a rogue horseman, or was something else afoot in the regulation of horse racing? This should be simple. Go to the minutes of the Baltimore meeting and investigate the basis for the threshold. After all, if the science is solid, it will hold up to transparency and scrutiny. Except the cursed October clouds refuse to give up the secrets of the meeting in Baltimore. Only months after the first violation in Washington would the answer start to become clear. First, the WHRC reviewed the Toutain IPC calculation and its recommendation of 300 pg/ ml, as suggested by Dr. Thomas Tobin. Second, at the International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians held in Mauritius in September 2014, Dr. Glenys Noble of Charles Sturt University in Australia presented the first paper that actually investigated xylazine, not from a safety and effectiveness perspective like previously published studies, but from a regulator’s viewpoint. Noble followed the elimination curve of xylazine out to 12 hours post administration and had a startling finding in light of the RMTC’s threshold: In the first few hours, the elimination curve was fairly steep, with a slope that predicts a level below 10 pg/ml if extrapolated from two hours to 48 hours. However, after the first few hours, the curve takes a turn, and the terminal elimination becomes flat, essentially remaining unchanged for hours. When this flat slope of the curve is extrapolated, the new threshold for 48 hours is closer to 200 pg/ml. Finally, and perhaps most important, the WHRC looked at its actual regulatory data and listened to its practicing veterinarians and determined that the 10 pg/ml threshold was clearly not consistent with a therapeutic use of xylazine. Upon review of this important data, and in working with its licensees, the WHRC revised its threshold to 200 pg/ml. Several RMTC members, including Arthur, were in attendance at the conference in Mauritius, and yet they returned home with no





recommendation for a change to the American threshold of 10 pg/ml. More than a year and at least 21 violations would pass before this issue would be brought up again. At a meeting of the AAEP’s racing committee in December 2015, the question of the xylazine threshold was brought up by the practitioners, and the RMTC members on the committee simply referred back to the Baltimore meeting: It was not an RMTC meeting, and therefore, the RMTC is not responsible. According to Arthur, a lot of responsibility falls on the unrecorded meeting. For the record, despite protestations to the contrary, a vote among the RMTC Scientific Advisory Committee was held in March 2013, and presumably, the committee affirmed its support of the 10 pg/ml and 48-hour threshold, as this was published less than a month later on the RMTC website. The paper presented as the basis for this threshold was a published study on Haflinger horses (a draft pony breed), which followed the disposition of xylazine for two hours after its administration. So much for the responsibility of this erroneous threshold lying at the feet of the scientists at the Baltimore meeting. In February 2016, the RMTC held a meeting near Gulfstream Park, in which it recommended a change in the xylazine threshold from 10 pg/ml to 200 pg/ml. The horsemen who had been robbed of purse

money and fines in excess of six figures, accompanied by losses of reputation, business and many nights of slumber, hailed the change and simultaneously cried foul. How many of the CTMS thresholds are similarly in error? How many other substances are horsemen using in appropriate ways for the health and welfare of their horses and being inappropriately penalized? The thresholds for xylazine, omeprazole and detomidine, which were changed at the February 2016 RMTC meeting, represent the fifth, sixth and seventh thresholds or withdrawals changed since the original version of the CTMS was released in April 2013. How many more are wrong? The RMTC response is that the CTMS is a “living document” crafted with the best available science and then modified when science changes. In fact, there was no “best science” available for xylazine at the time the RMTC initially adopted the 10 pg/ml threshold, but rather a “best guess” based on no science at all. Racing commissions and boards need to follow the lead of Washington State. It is critical that racing jurisdictions do their due diligence and review the details of the RMTC recommendations before adopting the recommendations in their jurisdictions. State regulators are responsible for independently confirming that the scientific studies supporting medication regulations are sound and applicable to horse racing. Even then, before life-changing penalties are imposed, either large-scale population studies or phase-in periods to determine the legitimacy of the extrapolation of results of laboratory studies to the real world must be put in place. As the seven already modified thresholds and withdrawals clearly demonstrate, the rush for uniform regulations by the RMTC has resulted in sloppy and incomplete decisions that fail to hold up to scientific scrutiny. Thresholds determined by a rough consensus are arbitrary and capricious, and science hidden by the clouds is not science but rather speculation. Horse racing fans and the betting public deserve to know that the most appropriate science and medicine are being utilized to keep the stars of the sport happy, healthy and safe, and that the best version of each horse is brought to the paddock every race day. Owners and trainers deserve to know where the boundaries on the uses of therapeutic medication are drawn, without fear of inadvertent positive tests from which there are virtually no protections. Most important, the horses themselves deserve to receive state of the art medical care, based on sound science and good veterinary judgement by the attending vet, not speculation and estimation by regulators in a conference room. Clara K. Fenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, serves as secretary of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians.






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How equine insurance works and whether it’s right for you By Natalie Voss

It’s 1 a.m. You’re at the local vet clinic while your horse is being prepped for colic surgery. It isn’t until you read some of the intake paperwork and estimated costs (yikes) that it occurs to you—do they make medical insurance for horses? This isn’t the time to begin wishing you’d looked into it.

Where to begin? As it turns out, there is medical insurance, and a wide variety of other types of insurance, for horse people and their animals. Websites promote everything from loss-of-use to theft protection to liability insurance, and it can be difficult to know where to start shopping for insurance—especially if you’re also in the process of horse shopping. Experts agree that the most important thing to look for is an agent who is willing to give you the one-on-one attention you deserve. “Your agent should be more than willing to answer every question you ask,” said equine insurance agent Jim Lane of Whitesboro, Texas. “I tell my clients there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and if the agent is not willing to answer your questions, find another agent.” Lane also recommends looking beyond the insurance rates, since most companies charge about the same amount for their coverage but some agents may offer different terms or add-ons that make signing with them a better deal. American Quarter Horse trainer Bennie Sargent, who owns and operates Highpoint Equestrian Center in central Kentucky, agrees that the person who handles your insurance can sometimes make a world of difference. WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM


Denis Blake


insurance; it’s easy to assess the value of a 2014 Ford Mustang but not so easy to do so with a 2014 Thoroughbred.

The basics According to a 2010 American Horse Publications study, about 24 percent of horse owners (across all disciplines) have some form of insurance on their horse. The simplest and most common type is an equine mortality policy, which is designed to protect the owner’s financial investment in the horse in the risk of its death. “I tell people, ‘If you can’t afford to lose that [purchase price], if that would create financial hardship if you lose it, it’s that simple’—like a car or a boat or a motorcycle or anything like that,” Lane said. Lane added that it’s important to distinguish between your personal opinion of the horse’s value, which could be based on emotion or a subjective assessment of his potential, and solid numbers. The insurance company isn’t interested in what your trainer estimates you could sell the horse for or what another owner or trainer has casually offered you for the horse; the company is interested in numbers. “All the insurance company cares about is replacing your investment in that horse,” he said. “You cannot use insurance to make a profit—when you purchase a horse, that’s what you can insure it for right off the bat.” For people who are raising their own foal, the insurance company will allow the animal to be insured for up to triple the breeding fee once the foal is 24 If you are raising your own foal, the insurance company will allow the animal to be insured for up to triple the breeding fee once the foal is 24 hours old. “The insurance policy is only as good as your agent is,” he said. “If you

hours old. The amount an owner pays in annual premiums for mortality insurance varies based on the horse’s breed and discipline but typically runs about 3 percent to 3.5 percent of the horse’s insured value. For a competition or racing horse who is moving up the ranks, a horse’s value can be a shifting target. Lane recommends keeping the insurance

do not have a proactive agent who cares about you, the insurance policy is not

company abreast of the horse’s race record, as increased success (especially at

as good. In my experience I’ve found there is a lot of gray area to some of this.

a high level) could result in an increase in value. Underwriters will also usually

Adjusters are going to be fair but they’re going to be working for the company.

allow 50 percent of training expenses to be added into the horse’s value, since

The agent you’re working with is someone you know and trust…they can go to

half of the typical training bill usually goes toward board. If the horse dies

bat for you and help you quite a bit.

without an update to the policy, it’s too late.

“I recommend to all my customers who spend a fairly large amount of

Another important consideration is that insurance companies that have

money on a horse, or even if they have to borrow money to buy a horse, to have

written a policy on the horse’s life will require you to make every reasonable effort

life insurance on the horse,” he added. “I don’t think it’s smart to insure a

to save the horse’s life in a medical crisis. For some people, the news that their

horse if it’s not a very expensive horse. I think the insurance, after a few years,

$7,000 horse needs treatments or surgery that could total $7,000 or more might

will eat up the value of your horse.”

normally prompt them to put the horse down. An owner could still euthanize the

It’s important to take stock of some basics about your horse and yourself

horse, but the insurance company will almost certainly void the claim.

Another possibility is that an owner can pay for the surgery and still lose What’s your budget the horse, but, depending on the value of the horse, the insurance payout may for your next horse? Are you buying yearlings, broodmares or racing age horses? If you’re thinking of insuring a horse be mostly eaten up paying vet bills on a dead animal. That’s where medical insurance may come in handy. you already own, what did he cost when you purchased him? How much do you have invested in his training? No ID cards needed What is his medical history? to decide what type of insurance you’ll be looking for.

When it comes time to ask for a quote, these are the types of questions that may seem a little trivial but ultimately play a central role in the agent’s assessment of your insurance needs and costs. It’s not as simple as car 42


Horses can have health insurance, but it doesn’t work quite the same way

as it does for people. To start with, health insurance is only available to horses with mortality insurance. There are two types of insurance that can help offset the expensive

Denis Blake

For a yearling purchased at auction, a value for insurance purposes is fairly easy to determine, but it can be a bit more complicated for a horse in training.

bills from your vet—major medical and surgical. Major medical coverage is available to horses who are at least 31 days old but under a certain maximum age (Lane says for most companies it’s 15 years old). The coverage itself

So what happens when your insured horse is down and rolling with a nasty case of colic? Lane says your first call should be to your vet, and the second should be

is available in a variety of limits (typically $7,500, $10,000 or $15,000) on

to your insurance company. A toll-free number will be provided in the policy for

surgical charges and other, non-surgical medical expenses. Some major

claims calls, and it’s a good idea to program it into your phone or leave the

medical policies include separate, $5,000 allowances for a colic surgery. Others

number on a card in your tack box.

may require a copayment, similar to human insurance. The premium for major medical is a flat rate per year on top of the

If the horse needs to go to the hospital, you will need to inform the insurance company and pay the hospital whatever deposits are required. From

premium for the mortality insurance. It can range between $325 and $500

there, the insurance company’s adjuster will typically communicate directly

depending on the coverage limit selected by the owner.

with your veterinarian.

“Major medical is one of those things that I go just short of forcing it on

“The insurance company knows that you and the vet are going to do a

my clients,” joked Lane, who estimates he receives two or three calls a week

better job of saving the horse’s life than they are,” Lane said. “They’re going to

with claims on major medical coverage. “If somebody is dead set against it, I

listen to what your vet says first and foremost.”

don’t push it, but it’s one of those things that’s so important.” Given that major medical is a few hundred dollars a year, Lane said the insurance often pays for itself in one claim. “I’ve had everything from snakebites and spider bites to colic, founder,

Barbara Dallap, VMD, professor of emergency medicine and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, said that insurance representatives remain hands-off in terms of advising on the horse’s care.

pneumonia…I tell people that horses do dumb things,” he said. “You can do

“Insurance companies are typically very good to deal with for

everything with these things, thinking you’re protecting them and they’ll still

veterinarians,” she said. “They don’t really decide on the [horse’s] care,

get hurt. There’s nothing textbook about horses.”

although they may make decisions about what they’re going to cover.”

For older horses, surgical insurance is usually the only type of medical

Insurance agents will be informed of the horse’s prognosis and the

policy available. As its name suggests, surgical endorsements may only cover

expected risks as the case evolves. Most of the time, the clinic will bill the

the expenses the horse incurs while on the table, not necessarily follow-up

owner and the insurance company will reimburse the owner for allowable

or rehabilitative care. It sometimes includes restrictions on the types of


surgery covered. WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM



Dallap’s day-to-day work mostly involves colic surgeries, lacerations

Leaving important information off an application in hopes of avoiding an

and occasionally fracture cases. In her experience, medical insurance can

exclusion is a big mistake, too—once a claim has been filed, the insurance

sometimes be the difference between a life-saving surgery and euthanasia for

company will investigate thoroughly, and if they find a discrepancy in the

an otherwise healthy animal, especially in these tough economic times.

horse’s medical history, they can deny the claim completely.

“I think what I tend to see with my clients is that they didn’t necessarily plan to see me,” Dallap said. “One of the things about insurance is that I think it can offer them peace of mind at a time when things are very uncertain and very daunting.”

It’s not just about colic

Other types of insurance Options for additional insurance on top of a mortality policy are also available. In the past, some companies have offered loss-of-use coverage for athletic or breeding horses. Lane says these policies are usually prohibitively expensive since they are so risky and aren’t offered as commonly anymore.

Medical insurance can also be a budget-saver with diagnostic work, too.

An insurance company will offer a percentage of the horse’s overall value if a

Horse owner Krista Lea learned just how quickly a little veterinary detective

loss-of-use claim is made.

work can add up. Lea had been showing her reining mare named Texas for a few years when the horse developed a strange behavior—the horse would sometimes kick out while cantering. She jogged sound both in hand and under

Loss of use will add a percentage or two of the horse’s value to a yearly premium and is generally only offered on horses valued at $25,000 or more. “I’m not a real big advocate for loss of use and a lot of underwriters have

tack, and the mare didn’t display any reluctance to work. Texas had always

quit writing it just because there’s a lot of gray area,” said Lane, who said

been a little quirky and after passing an extensive physical exam by

he’s written just two loss-of-use policies in 15 years. “If you have an injury

her veterinarian, Lea thought she might need some extra training and

that is so bad that the vets are going to say there’s no quality of life,

chiropractic work.

they’ll recommend you euthanize the horse and your [mortality] claim will

The problem persisted, and Lea made an appointment with a specialist at a nearby equine clinic. Texas still appeared to be working comfortably until

be paid anyway.” Equine liability coverage is an add-on worth considering, according to

the night before their appointment, when she developed a very mild lameness.

Sargent. Liability insurance for an individual horse owner or for a trainer can

After thousands of dollars worth of tests, the diagnosis was a one-two punch:

pay for bodily injury or property damage incurred by the horse, whether at home

an avulsion fracture of the right hock combined with suspensory desmitis.

or away. Sargent recalled a horse show at which his horse, pulling a carriage,

“She trotted in hand sound,” Lea said. “We thought it was her back, not a leg injury. What’s frustrating is that had we caught it when it first happened, it probably would have been fine, but everyone said she didn’t present like a

escaped the arena and ran loose through a parking area long enough to damage several trucks and trailers. “The insurance company took care of fixing all those trucks and those

normal case. Most horses would refuse to be ridden at all in this instance. She

trailers,” he said. “It’s not just on your place—things can happen at horse

has a lot of heart in her. She wanted to try.”


Rest and therapy did not allow the fracture to calcify, which would have given Texas regained athletic function in the hock. So Lea held a retirement party for her 9-year-old mare. Texas will enjoy her remaining years out to pasture, but the end of the story wasn’t so happy for Lea. “I basically went into debt over her, and I came out of it with about $3,000

No wrong answers In the end, the decision to purchase insurance (or not) should be based on your financial situation and goals. Choosing not to insure can result in high bills later on, but Sargent points out that insuring a horse also means

in bills,” she said. “And I came out of it with no functioning horse (functioning

accepting the risk that you will pay more in premiums than the horse is

in terms of being ridden) but a horse who still needs her vaccines and her feet

worth—it comes down to knowing which type of risk you’re more willing

trimmed and dewormer and all that.”

to accept.

Lea said she hadn’t thought about purchasing medical insurance before,

“We have a pretty good horse here,” Sargent said. “We bought him when

especially since she only showed Texas in small, local events. Now, she’s

he was 5 years old and paid what was for me a lot of money for him, and he

planning to look into it when she buys her next reiner.

became a multiple world champion so he was worth a lot of money. I never

Jim Lane reminds horse owners in the market for medical insurance that

raised his insurance, and when he turned 15, the coverage became very basic.

it doesn’t cover procedures that are deemed “elective,” which can include

I went back and figured up how much I’d paid in insurance on this horse, and

chiropractic, corrective shoeing and often, joint injections. It also won’t cover

I almost paid as much on the horse as what I spent on the horse.

complications that result from those elective procedures. Further, a horse who has a medical issue with a particular joint or limb

“Then again, I’ve had horses that have an issue or a problem; the people are hard-working people, not super-wealthy…the major medical helped

can sometimes have that body part or illness excluded by the insurance

them quite a bit. It’s a different time now [economically]. I think insurance

company. Lane says that once the company has paid for colic surgery, colic is

is important to some people, and for others it’s not as important as it

typically on the exclusions list for the rest of the horse’s life.

used to be.”



What’s a horse worth? For the purposes of insurance, it’s important to remember that a Thoroughbred’s valuation is based on his attributes, not necessarily what people will pay for him. Mario Espin, founder of Santa Fe Equine Transport and a certified equine appraiser, looks at pedigree, age, performance history and conformation to put a value on a horse for the purposes of insurance. For Espin, the evaluation process is different depending on the


horse’s value. Multimillion-dollar broodmare prospects or stallions require extensive pedigree research and assessment of their individual attributes because they have established themselves as unique entities. The average weanling or yearling coming out of an auction, however, is more easily assessed in a mathematical formula. Espin keeps a database of information from auctions going back years and can quickly determine what an offspring of a given stallion sells for, on average. He factors in the strength of the dam and any conformational strengths or weaknesses, and this gives him a starting value. Valuations can be adjusted upward

AS A MEMBER OF THE HBPA, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS ON NATIONALLY KNOWN PRODUCTS THROUGH NTRA ADVANTAGE. Not only are you a part of an international sport, but your involvement entitles you to special savings on products used for your equine farm, business, or personal use.

at the request of the owner if the horse hits the track and is successful. Younger, unproven horses typically are valued lower than those that have begun training, according to Espin. Another factor that he considers:

Member To Do List:

the horse’s location. Due to the regional nature of the Thoroughbred market, a colt or filly by almost any sire will be worth less in a state in the Midwest or Southwest than in Kentucky. Selecting an equine appraiser is just as important as selecting an insurance company. Espin advises owners to select appraisers with experience in the breed they’re purchasing. He also suggests owners work with experienced agents and consult with their own veterinarians to be sure they have a full understanding of the risks and benefits associated with one particular animal before purchasing or insuring.

The Benefits of Membership Among the benefits of membership in the HBPA, both nationally and at the state/provincial level, is eligibility for additional insurance coverages. The National HBPA Owners’ and Trainers’ Liability Program can protect your assets when an injury or damage occurs as the result of your equine activities, including racing, training, sales and breeding. While


Mow the yard and bale the hay

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not a substitute for workers’ compensation, the program does provide affordable coverage of up to $1 million per occurrence and $2 million general aggregate. The NHBPA’s program is administered by Stone Lane LLC. For more information, contact Lavin Insurance at or call (502) 228-1600. Another benefit to members nationally is fire, disaster and vanning insurance, and many state/provincial affiliates offer additional coverages. For more information, visit the NHBPA website at or contact your local affiliate.

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Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion or policy of the publisher or National HBPA board or staff. ALABAMA HBPA KENNETH COTTON MEMORIAL RECAP, INCENTIVES FOR ALABAMA-BREDS IN LOUISIANA The second Kenneth Cotton Memorial was run April 23 at Evangeline Downs. It was an exciting race for Alabama-bred 3-year-olds and up, nonwinners of two, going six furlongs for a $25,000 purse. Uncle Drossel, a 3-yearold son of Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Drosselmeyer owned by Thomas Holyfield and bred by Carl and Daryl Tuttle, laid off the pace, took the lead in the stretch passing the early leader Menewa, and held off Branchwater by a nose. Branchwater, a homebred for Dennis Murphy, came from nearly 10 lengths out at the half-mile pole to just miss at the wire. Menewa, owned and bred by Bobby Pruitt, finished third, with Alabama Brass, owned by Carol Howell and bred by Darrel Jackson, running fourth. Uncle Drossel, who sold for $27,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale, has earned $45,136 with a record of 9-23-1. Many thanks go out to the Louisiana HBPA for their help and support in making this a successful race. As of this writing, details are being worked out whereby the Alabama HBPA will put up funding with the four Louisiana tracks for the purpose of added monies to be paid to Alabama-bred horses running in open company. The Louisiana HBPA, once again, is coming to the plate with the logistics and will disperse the added Alabama-bred funds of $2,000 maximum per race until all funds have been paid out. What this means to Alabama-bred owners is that if your horse were to win an open company race at any of the four Louisiana tracks, you would be entitled to your pro rata share of the $2,000 added money, and if you finish fourth or better, you would also receive your share of the Alabama-bred supplemental purse funds currently in place. So, if your Alabama-bred wins a race at a Louisiana track, you would be entitled to $1,200 added money (60 percent of $2,000) plus an $800 Alabama-bred supplement. This is a trial run, which, if successful, we would like to pursue expanding to other states with the permission of those respective HBPA affiliates. We do not see any changes to the Alabama situation with gaming no longer on the legislative agenda. With no active discussion of live racing at the Birmingham Race Course, the Alabama HBPA is trying to do what we can to support the horsemen who continue to run Alabama-bred horses. In the meantime, we will keep travelling to other states in hopes of getting a share of the glory of owning a racehorse. Please continue to notify Executive Director Nancy Delony when your Alabama-bred runs on the board in open company races at nancy.m.delony@ or (205) 969-7048.

ARIZONA HBPA TURF PARADISE UPDATE Turf Paradise closed its doors for the 2015–16 live racing season on May 8. The track hosted a well-attended Mother’s Day buffet along with a great day of racing. Ten horses went to the post for our Hasta La Vista Handicap, the last race of the meet. The meet as a whole went well, losing only one day to bad weather. The sunshine, length of meet, great golfing and other amenities add to the success of our race meet. Arizona HBPA President J. Lloyd Yother and Executive Director Tom Metzen have been in meetings with Turf Paradise management to discuss and review plans for the 2016–17 meet. The goals are bigger purses, improving the backside

and improving the track surface. As plans progress, we will report further. In addition, Tom and Lloyd have been very involved in state legislation with S.B. 1435 and H.B. 2127. S.B. 1435 keeps our racing commission in place and appropriates $200,000 to the breeders’ fund, and H.B. 2127 discontinues live dog racing in Arizona. This bill also allows 20 percent from Pima County dog money to be allocated to the HBPA. As of this writing, both bills have passed the House and Senate and have been signed by the governor. (S.B. 1435 was signed May 18 and H.B. 2127 was signed May 16.) Thanks go out to Senator Steve Pierce, Bas Aja, Lloyd Yother and Tom Metzen for their commitment to Arizona racing and breeding. In March, we had a mechanical bull ride calcutta fundraiser sponsored by Kara Toye and Reed Zimmer, DVM. The event was a big success and money was raised to help backstretch workers in need. It was well attended and everyone had a great time. In April, the Arizona HBPA and Turf Paradise hosted a horsemen’s appreciation dinner. Chef Gareth and staff prepared an excellent feast as always. One of our local horsemen, Carl O’Callaghan, provided the music for the evening. Horsemen ate, danced and enjoyed the evening. President Yother was presented with the Walter Cluer Award on May 2. Congratulations on a well-deserved award. The Arizona HBPA office will be closed for the summer. If you have any problems or questions, you may contact Wendy at (602) 920-6996 or azhbpa@ Have a great summer, and we will see you in the fall. Remember, safety first. Your family expects you home.

ARKANSAS HBPA OAKLAWN ENJOYS ACROSS THE BOARD INCREASES One year after launching American Pharoah’s successful Triple Crown bid, Oaklawn Park concluded the 2016 live racing season April 16 with acrossthe-board increases in handle, attendance, average field size and Oaklawn Anywhere business. Oaklawn enjoyed good weather all season long and saw total attendance grow 12 percent to 559,650. All-sources handle on Oaklawn racing increased 4 percent to $180,582,197, thanks to competitive races and a field size increase to 9.62 horses per race, among the largest in the nation. On track, fans wagered $38,173,563 on the Oaklawn product, an increase of 8 percent. Overall, Arkansans responded in a big way. Oaklawn Anywhere, the track’s account wagering service for in-state residents that has already generated more than $1.5 million in purses, saw the biggest growth during the season with total handle up nearly $15 million. Handle on just Oaklawn’s races grew 35 percent over last year to $8.9 million. Horsemen racing at Oaklawn benefited from three purse increases during the meet and saw maiden special weight purses grow to $76,000 after starting out at $68,000. Allowance race purses increased to $85,000 after starting at $75,000. The purses also contributed to a record-setting season at the claim box with 492 horses claimed for just over $7 million. Trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. both enjoyed highly successful meets topped by Creator’s last-to-first victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby. Asmussen earned his seventh leading trainer title with 46 wins and an Oaklawn record $3,448,729 in earnings, while Santana earned his fourth straight leading riding title with 80 wins and $4,064,073, also an Oaklawn earnings record. Oaklawn’s 2017 live racing season begins January 13 and runs through April 15. WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




CHARLES TOWN HBPA CHARLES TOWN PURSE UPDATE We have been fighting the West Virginia Legislature for our future along with the survival of all of the Jefferson County businesses and our agricultural community. This started in 2005 when the Legislature decided to shore up its mismanaged budget on the backs of the state’s horsemen and dogmen. Penn National Gaming Inc., which was required to pay workers’ compensation for its employees, was not assessed, and this debt was put on the backs of the horsemen and dogmen, who were not required to have workers’ comp in any shape or form but were decreed to pay the debt made by the Legislature, not the ones that used workers’ comp. A total of $11 million a year was legislated to be taken from the purse funds. This amounted to $6 million from Charles Town alone, and the remaining $5 million was taken from the other three West Virginia tracks. It was stated that it would take about 10 years to pay off the money needed, and with a legislated proclamation issued by then Governor Joe Manchin, when the bonds issued were paid off, it was to return again to making the purse funds whole. Along came this year, when the purse money would again become available and we could maybe run more days and more races, but the Legislature extended the debt payoff to 2017 because they passed a bill to give back the money to oil and gas, timber and coal but not horsemen. This could have helped everyone in the horse industry survive the hard times that they have been going through with the lowered economy, the new competition of surrounding states and the increase in the cost of supplies. This has been devastating, and many have gone out of business or left to go to other tracks with greener pastures. We had 253 days of racing with 10 races a day in 2003. This year, we are down to 175 days with only eight races a day. I want to commend our new board member, Leslie Condon. She has extended herself to all means possible to make a push to wake up the community, the legislators and anybody who will listen to see if we can’t change what is going on and get back on the road to survival! Leslie is an owner, trainer and breeder who runs a lead pony service at the track and rents a large farm for her broodmares and foals. She is young, and she thinks nothing is impossible; besides that, she is a good cook, as shown by all her Jefferson County Fair ribbons. Leslie has attended a meeting of each of Jefferson’s town councils, along with the Jefferson and Berkeley county commissions, to educate and secure resolutions to maintain year-round live racing at Charles Town. She has a concerned following that goes along with her for support.

One of our biggest education projects came when more than 50 horsemen, along with some city officials, traveled to Charleston during the legislative session to go to the House of Delegates and to fill a gallery to show support in the Senate. This was an 11-hour, one-day drive to get back to Ranson, West Virginia, an adjoining town of Charles Town, to support Leslie at the town council meeting. I want to say thanks to our local legislators who wholeheartedly supported us on that day. I also want to shout out a special thanks to Senator Herb Snyder, who is retiring and running for Jefferson County clerk here in Charles Town. He spent many tireless hours, during years of legislation, in support of live racing here in Charles Town. Thanks so much. You are going to be missed by all the horsemen and all of the people in Jefferson County. RACING IS NOT SUBSIDIZED Another fight continues against the false idea that racing is subsidized. This is an intentional provocation started by the people who want to get rid of racing. The purse money is earned by the horsemen and dogmen. This is their own earned money. Remember when Senator Jeff Kessler, who is now running for governor, said, “You eat what you kill.” I believe that Senator Mike Hall, during this year’s legislation, explained it better than I had recently heard. He said racing is not subsidized by anyone, that it is not coming from your personal tax money, and it is earned by the people who are using it — “It is their own money!” It was and is the premise for expanded gaming referendums in the racetrack counties in West Virginia. These industries provide more than 7,300 jobs and create a $320 million annual economic impact on West Virginia’s economy. THE EASTER BUNNY COMES TO TOWN The Charles Town Racetrack’s chaplain had a children’s Easter party. Even with snowflakes falling on March 19, the party volunteers set up for the kids of the backstretch to have fun with good stories, music and more. Of course, there was the official Easter Bunny. Note that Chip and Stacy Daniel’s children, Abigale and Carter, could not stop hugging the Easter Bunny. EYE CARE AND CANCER SCREENING Sponsored by the Morgantown, West Virginia, Eye Research Institute along with the West Virginia University Cancer Institute, a Bonnie Bus was provided for pelvic exams and mammograms along with many volunteers available to help with eye screening. New glasses were ordered for those who were able to attend. This was a special benefit for all horsemen and backside personnel, thanks to the Charles Town Assistance Fund and Jefferson County Care Clinic in a joint effort.

Senator Herb Snyder 50



HORSE RETIREMENT What is needed to safely keep our horses out of harm’s way and keep our trainers on the track? Here at Charles Town, we have had a barrage of trainers and horsemen being excluded by Penn National Gaming management to hold stalls, race or even be on the track if management has some form of information that one of the horsemen’s horses has been destined for a killer pen. These horsemen have had notarized bill of sale documents that state where the horse is legally being sent. To the best of their knowledge, that is not to any killer pens. Does anybody in the country know how to safe-side these horsemen with good intentions? Neither the West Virginia Racing Commission nor its state stewards have issued any fines or rulings in these cases. Think about it: What if, 10 years down the road, one of your horses got this treatment and you would be out of the racing business here at Charles Town? Official help is needed now! By Janene Watson, Honorary Member of the CTHBPA

FLORIDA HBPA The results of the Florida HBPA election were certified by our auditors in March, and incumbent President Bill White was reelected to a three-year term. Also elected to three-year terms were incumbent owner-director and First Vice President Tom Cannell, incumbent trainer-directors Phil Combest and David Fawkes and newly elected owner-director Herb Oster. Elected to one-year, alternate director positions were trainer Carlo Vaccarezza and owner Joan Needell. In addition to renewed one-year officer appointments for President White and First Vice President Cannell, other officers confirmed by the board for the upcoming year were owner-directors Chester Bishop and Adam Lazarus as second vice president and secretary, respectively, and trainer-directors Kathy Davey and Barry Rose as third vice president and treasurer, respectively. The big political news this spring was the Florida legislative session ending with no decoupling bill passed. The FHBPA will remain vigilant the rest of this year heading into the 2017 session in protecting guaranteed live racing opportunities at tracks that have received casino gaming as a result of such racing activity. In March, the FHBPA and Gulfstream Park approved the agreement with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the National HBPA and Claiming Crown Ltd. that will keep the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream for the


FREE HEALTH CLINIC IS CLOSING We have just been notified that after 16 years, we are losing our free health clinic at the end of July. The CTHBPA partnered with Penn National Gaming to help with the start-up process and has continually supported the clinic throughout its 16 years. Many backstretch personnel have been going to the clinic in times of need. We would like to thank all of the people who have given their time and expertise along with those who volunteered their services, such as doctors and nurses, to provide what was needed for anybody who walked through those doors. We will miss this long-standing clinic. A special thank you to Leona Cook, who tirelessly helped to start this clinic, and to Executive Director Michele Goldman and all the people who were always there to help us when we needed them the most. Thanks again to each and every one of you from the CTHBPA.

next three years. The Claiming Crown races have been run the first week of December at Gulfstream since 2012 and have seen an increase in handle the past two years. Purses will total at least $1 million each of the next three years. The 2015–16 Championship Meet at Gulfstream culminated on the first weekend in April with the 69th running of the Florida Derby (G1). The race, which pitted undefeated Nyquist and Mohaymen, helped fuel a record-setting Florida Derby Day handle. The winner, Nyquist, was a $400,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-old sale last year and went on to win the Kentucky Derby (G1). The spring/summer meet at Gulfstream began on April 6. South Florida also saw a rash of therapeutic drug positives since the implementation of Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) threshold levels in early January. The lack of timeliness of notification of positive test results and the failure by the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to institute the companion RCI penalty system along with the new threshold standards are issues that the FHBPA has been involved in and hopes to clarify/ rectify in the near future. Glen Berman, Executive Director

INDIANA HBPA POSTURE WINS OPENING RACE FOR 2016 MEET AT INDIANA GRAND Trainer Genaro Garcia provided a quick return from an earlier Oaklawn Park claim for owners Jana and Daniel Spears and Garcia’s Southwest Racing Stables in the season opener at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino on April 19. Posture, ridden by apprentice jockey Eduardo Gallardo, rallied home in the stretch to win the claiming event and kick off the 14th season of Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse racing. “We welcome all fans and friends joining us on track, through TVG and new this year, through the Las Vegas Sports and Racebooks,” said Jim Brown, president and COO of Centaur Gaming, during an interview in the winner’s circle following the first race. “It’s exciting to get the 14th season of racing underway, and it’s a great way to start out the meet with full fields and 10 races on our opening day card.” A good crowd was on track to enjoy racing and 70-plus degree weather. In addition, handle was up more than $200,000 for the day on nine Thoroughbred races and one Quarter Horse race compared to the opening day card in 2015. Through the second week in May, overall handle was up more than 30 percent from comparable dates in the 2015 meet. New rules put in place this year could make it easier for shipping in at Indiana Grand. Unlike past years, ship-ins can be stabled in regular barns, instead of being restricted to the receiving barn. Because the track built an allQuarter Horse barn, there are now 80 more stalls for Thoroughbreds. In addition, horses shipping in need only be on the grounds five hours before their race, whereas they had to be in by 8 a.m. in past years. Live racing is conducted Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:05 p.m. EST with Saturday racing beginning at 6:05 p.m. The 120-day season runs through Saturday, October 29. Thursday racing will be offered during the months of July and August from July 7 through August 25 with a post time of 2:05 p.m. The track’s signature event, the Grade 2, $500,000-added Indiana Derby, will be held Saturday, July 16. The 2016 Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development Program will be enhanced by an additional $1.4 million due to a legislative change passed during the 2015 session. The result will generate approximately 322 breed development overnight races in 2016—an increase of more than 15 percent over the number in 2015. The program will increase purses for 20 stakes to WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




$100,000 from the previous $85,000. The state’s four Signature Stakes will continue to be contested for $150,000 each. For more information on the breed development program, go to For more information on the 2016 Indiana Grand meet, go to INDIANA GRAND INSTITUTES NEW EQUINE HERPESVIRUS AND HEALTH CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS FOR 2016 Starting May 10, all horses shipping in to Indiana Grand, whether from in state or from out-of-state, are now required to provide a current health certificate dated within 72 hours of arrival from the state of origin. For example, if the horse is arriving from Kentucky, the certificate should be issued in Kentucky. Indiana Horse Racing Commission-licensed veterinarians will not issue health certificates at the track. Horses arriving at the track without current certificates will not be allowed entrance to the stable area. All horses entering the backside of Indiana Grand or Hoosier Park are now required to have documentation of an equine herpesvirus vaccination within the past six months (180 days). Horses that do not have the appropriate documentation will not be permitted to enter the backside of either racetrack. Any horses that have originated from a quarantined facility in which equine herpesvirus has been positively diagnosed are not permitted to enter the state of Indiana, according to the Indiana Board of Animal Health. Furthermore, horses entering the backside of the track must have the following statement on their health certificate: “The listed horse(s) have not been at or under a quarantined premise for any reason.” Additional information on equine herpesvirus, such as modes of transmission, clinical signs and current quarantine areas and statuses, can be found at INDIANA HBPA ADDS NEW STAFFERS When horsemen stop by the Indiana HBPA trailers on the Indiana Grand backside, they’ll find two new faces there to assist them. At the beginning of April, we added Michelle Bruns as administrative assistant and Ailsa Calderon as the new Indiana HBPA chaplain. The new chaplain hosted a welcome back dinner and service April 22, which included food, music, good fellowship and inspiration. Since then, she has instituted outreach that includes a regular Thursday night open gettogether at the chaplain trailer and Monday night chapel services.

Denis Blake

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING IHRC MEDICATION INFORMATION In 2016, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission will not be publishing withdrawal times. The commission adheres to the RCI/RMTC research and publications regarding withdrawal times, but they caution horsemen that these are simply guidelines. They emphasize that any person following these guidelines on withdrawal times does so at their own risk. The IHRC’s Medication Information Page can be accessed at



IOWA HBPA 2015 AWARDS BANQUET FOR IA HBPA AND ITBOA The annual Iowa HBPA Awards Banquet to honor the 2015 racing meet leaders was a huge success with an excellent turnout. The honored guest and keynote speaker was Cormac Breathnach from Adena Springs Kentucky. He did an excellent job of educating everyone in attendance of the importance of doing your homework when beginning the process of breeding quality Thoroughbreds. For the fifth consecutive year, the awards banquet was held in combination with the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, and it will continue this way for the foreseeable future. After the 2011 banquets occurred within less than a week of each other, the organizations decided that combining the two would be easier for both groups and our representative members. The result has been a resounding success from all of the compliments that have been received following the banquet. As always, the Prairie Meadows buffet was well received by attendees. Danny Caldwell received Owner of the Year for the Iowa HBPA. This is the second time Danny has held the title. In 2015, his horses won 50 races and earned in excess of $839,000. Horse of the Year honors went to Diva’s Diamond, who started 11 times in 2015 and won two of those starts, with two seconds and two thirds. Both of her wins came at Prairie Meadows in the Wild Rose Stakes and Iowa Distaff. In all, Diva’s Diamond earned in excess of $284,000 in 2015. She is owned by Jerry Namy and trained by Karl Broberg. Claimer of the Year for 2015 was Kim’s Star with earnings of more than $66,000 after being claimed by Federico Villafranco for owner Danny Caldwell. She ran off four consecutive wins for her connections, covering six furlongs or less in each of those performances. Trainer of the Year went to Federico Villafranco. Federico was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1984. He found a job as a hot walker and worked his way up the ranks until he took out his trainer’s license in 2004. He had his first stakes win in 2014 at Remington Park with a horse called Fifth Date in the Oklahoma Classic Cup. In 2015 at Prairie Meadows, Villafranco had 51 wins, 32 seconds and 18 thirds from 150 starters. This year the Iowa HBPA honored former board members Sandra Rasmussen, Ed Holland and Betty Coatney with a token of appreciation for their years of service. These individuals have put in much effort and many hours helping out their fellow horsemen and women, and they truly epitomize the HBPA motto of “Horsemen Helping Horsemen!” The HBPA is only as strong as the horsemen and women who come serve and help promote their interests when dealing with any and all issues that affect horse racing in the state of Iowa or elsewhere across the country, and for that, we once again thank these three. One person who cannot be thanked enough or often enough is now-retired Iowa HBPA Secretary/Treasurer Barbara Carroll. Barb was also honored during the banquet as she served in her position for well on 14 years after already working for and retiring from the Illinois breeders’ association. She is known around the track for having a very straightforward and can-do attitude about anything that came across her desk. Barb will be missed in Iowa by the entire board, but we know she’ll be quite happy retired down in Florida close to family. We wish you the best, Barb! Again, congratulations to all Iowa HBPA 2015 award winners!

Coady Photography

Coady Photography



Appreciation Award Winner: Former Iowa HBPA Secretary/Treasurer Barbara Carroll with National/Iowa HBPA President Leroy Gessmann

Coady Photography

Owner of the Year: Danny Caldwell (left) with National/Iowa HBPA President Leroy Gessmann

GROOM ELITE 101 IN FULL SWING ON PRAIRIE MEADOWS BACKSIDE The Elite Program class Groom Elite 101 is starting strong this year. This year’s lineup of classes will be covered by various experts in their respective fields, from trainers to veterinarians. This year, it was decided to conduct a Groom Elite 101 class. This class offers grooms the ability to come in and learn more about the horses they are currently working with in a classroom situation. Grooms learn everything from general horse health to how to properly wrap bandages. The continued success of the Elite Program at Prairie Meadows is not in doubt, as there are many grooms who want to learn more about the Thoroughbreds they are charged with caring for on a daily basis. The Iowa HBPA thanks all of the individuals who will be teaching the material in the Groom Elite Class. The Iowa HBPA also thanks Dr. C. Reid McLellan for his creation of the Elite Program and all the classes available through this outstanding husbandry educational curriculum.

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Claimer of the Year: Danny Caldwell (left), owner of Kim’s Star, with National/ Iowa HBPA President Leroy Gessmann

H.A.R.T. SILENT AUCTION SET FOR FESTIVAL OF RACING During the Festival of Racing on Saturday, July 2, the local horse retraining program Hope After Racing Thoroughbreds (H.A.R.T.) will be holding a silent auction in the Prairie Rose Room, located on the fourth-floor clubhouse. A few of the highlighted items for this year’s auction are three photos of American Pharoah winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic signed by trainer Bob Baffert, a framed Silver Charm halter and picture donated by Rick Olson and a beautiful picture of horses running around the turn at Churchill Downs. All of the proceeds will benefit H.A.R.T. and help aid in the placement and retraining of Iowa Thoroughbreds when their racing careers are over. If you would like to donate items to the silent auction or want to make a monetary donation for H.A.R.T., please contact the Iowa HBPA office at (515) 967-4804. Also, follow us on Facebook! Denis Blake

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Trainer of the Year: Federico Villafranco (left) with National/Iowa HBPA President Leroy Gessmann

Appreciation Award Winner: Former Iowa HBPA Board Member Sandra Rasmussen with National/Iowa HBPA President Leroy Gessmann




PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Another Kentucky Derby is in the books. Congratulations to the winning connections of Nyquist and to all the participants. It takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication to achieve the goal of making it to the starting gate for the first Saturday in May. As horsemen return to a degree of normalcy, it is an appropriate time to take stock of the state of horse racing both nationally and in Kentucky. The call for federal intervention in racing continues to be championed by a small group of misguided individuals who seem bent on destroying the racing industry. As one respected veterinarian has articulated, the federal legislation would eliminate the use of race-day Lasix, which is the most effective therapeutic medication for the treatment of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging (EIPH) in racehorses. In addition, as I have previously pointed out, it would allow the U.S. AntiDoping Agency, a private entity, the opportunity to overrule both the racing associations and horsemen and withhold simulcast signals to any jurisdiction that does not conform to their idealistic goals. Placing that type of power in the hands of an organization that has absolutely no knowledge of the racing industry would be disastrous. The total funding for this legislation, which is estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, would be paid for by Thoroughbred owners. While pundits indicate that the legislation, in its present form, has little chance of having a hearing, much less passing both the federal House and Senate, all horsemen need to be vigilant and communicate to your elected officials about the damage of this legislation to the racing industry. Jennie Rees, appointed by the KHBPA board to assist with communications, developed a concept of having the children of Kentucky Derby owners and trainers share their experiences through social media. It was a huge success and thoroughly embraced by horsemen and various media outlets. William “Buff” Bradley, KHBPA director, enjoyed a memorable Derby weekend. First, Divisidero, a horse he trains for Gunpowder Farms, won the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve on Derby Day. The next day, his retired Grade 1 winner Brass Hat competed and placed well in a Thoroughbred horse show at the Kentucky Horse Park. While it is not unusual for a newly elected governor to appoint new members to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the stalwart efforts of Frank Jones, vice president of KHBPA, and Tom Conway, KHBPA director, who both served on the commission. Both were staunch champions of the rights of horsemen on a host of issues, including therapeutic medication, and they will be sorely missed. Good luck in your racing endeavors, Rick Hiles, President, KHBPA BIG WEEKEND FOR BUFF, JETT AND BRASS HAT On Kentucky Derby weekend, Buff Bradley enjoyed an especially great experience. First, he watched as his trainee Divisidero, owned by Gunpowder Farms, stormed home from far back to win the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve and stamp himself as one of the premier turf horses in the country. The next day, Buff watched as Brass Hat, his retired millionaire, competed in his first horse show. “Brass Hat was originally scheduled to be ridden by Jett, my daughter,” Buff explained, “But he was a little too rambunctious so one of my assistants, Chelsey Moysey, substituted. Brass Hat did very well. He finished second in his first foray into the show ring.” 54


Maria Kabel, Buff’s longtime assistant, has trained several young equestrians, including Jett Bradley, to ride. The horses they use are all retired from racing. “It is a challenge to mold Jett Bradley riding King of Speed (Elvis) these accomplished racehorses into another career, but Maria does a wonderful job with both riders and horses,” Buff said. Courtesy Buff Bradley



THOROUGHBRED AFTERCARE ALLIANCE Dale Romans, vice president of the KHBPA, has requested that trainers consider pledging a share of their winning purse percentage to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. The nonprofit accredits, inspects and awards grants to approved aftercare organizations to retire, retrain and rehome Thoroughbreds using industry-wide funding. “It is a great organization, and we need to help in any way we can to assure our retired racehorses have the type of life they so richly deserve,” Dale explained. Visit for more information. WILL VELIE AND JULIO RUBIO’S SUCCESSFUL TRIP TO WASHINGTON, D.C. Looming with enormous significance on the immigration horizon is the upcoming decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Texas vs. U.S. that was heard on April 18. A decision is expected sometime in June. The issue before the court is whether President Obama’s executive action giving temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants who have children born in the United States is an unconstitutional overreach or if it is within the president’s executive authority. At stake is the legal status of more than four million undocumented parents of U.S. citizen children. They will either be able to come out of the shadows and obtain temporary legal status with work authorization included or be forced to remain waiting for amnesty. Regardless of the outcome, the upcoming elections will determine whether the immigration reform goes into effect or if it is repealed. In addition, the election will determine the choice of the decisive ninth Justice of the Supreme Court, and many immigration issues will be decided by the Supreme Court over the next decade. On a Washington. D.C., trip in March, Julio Rubio, the National HBPA’s immigration liaison and Kentucky HBPA’s Hispanic and backside services coordinator, and immigration attorney Will Velie had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The meeting was arranged by Oscar Gonzalez of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s California office. USCIS officials informed Velie and Rubio that the H2B visa problems will no longer be an issue. They are supporters of the program and will do everything necessary to assure no more delays or denials for trainers. In addition, they stated that trainer’s petitions can extend H2B workers for up to three years without workers having to leave the country to renew their visas. #KYDERBYKIDS PROVIDES AN INSIDERS’ LOOK AT THE DERBY VIA KYHBPA TWITTER When 17-year-old Keith Asmussen began following the @KyHBPA Twitter feed in April, veteran turf journalist Jennie Rees began thinking how cool it


Jennie Rees


would be to get the kids of Kentucky Derby trainers to share their experience through social media as the ultimate insiders. Rees, who performs communications Chance Moquett (left) and Bailey Romans talking to Tony work for the Vanetti on WHAS-11 Kentucky Oaks Day Kentucky HBPA and created its Twitter account, ran the idea by KHBPA Vice President Dale Romans and Tammy Fox, who loved the idea and promptly volunteered daughter Bailey to help set it up. The Kentucky HBPA immediately embraced the concept with the goal of reaching a younger demographic, showing a different side of horse racing and also helping build the @KyHBPA Twitter following and brand. More than a dozen kids participated, ages ranging from 25 down to six, with posts made on the @KyHBPA feed. The older teenagers and young adults posted directly to the site, most then “tagging” it with their own Twitter address. Mothers of some of the younger kids emailed or texted Rees photos, which she then posted. All the posts used the hashtag #KyDerbyKids. The Kentucky HBPA donated $100 to the charity of choice for every participant. One of the neatest aspects was that the kids from the beginning understood the venture and its purpose and made great suggestions on how to enhance it. Ashley and Hayley Amoss, daughters of Mo Tom trainer Tom Amoss, came up with the #KyDerbyKids hashtag. Bailey Romans, wanting to tweet out a picture of Kentucky Oaks contender Go Maggie Go with her grandmother, encouraged Rees to go with a “soft launch” the weekend before Derby Week. That proved a key decision because it ensured content was up when the press release went out a couple days later. The reach was made even wider by the NTRA media department also distributing it. The kids were natural ambassadors for racing and the KHBPA, going out of their way to accommodate radio and television appearances lined up by Rees. “We are using #KyDerbyKids to get people all over the world behind-the-scenes access into what goes on with the backside and what it takes to have a Derby horse,” Bailey Romans, appearing with Chance Moquett live on WHAS-11 the morning of the Kentucky Oaks, told Louisville broadcast personality Tony Vanetti. “You’re going to see…conversations that take place when nobody is watching,” Moquett added. “Bailey actually interviewed her dad where he stuck his tongue out at her. So pretty fun stuff.” Bailey Romans and Ashley Amoss, a videographer for the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans who came to town early to document employer Tom Benson’s Derby horses Mo Tom and Tom’s Ready, jump-started the media interviews, which quickly spread the word about #KyDerbyKids and helped attract more media interest. Erin McLaughlin (daughter of Mohaymen trainer Kiaran McLaughlin) was among the first to start posting and got her brother, Ryan, involved after he concluded final exams at Vanderbilt. Chance Moquett, son of Whitmore trainer Ron Moquett, left Hot Springs, Arkansas, at midnight and drove straight to Churchill Downs, then did three radio interviews without the benefit of sleep. Hayley Amoss didn’t arrive in town until after midnight Oaks morning but was at the barn at 4:45 a.m. and live on WAVE-3

a half-hour later. Bailey Romans and Tess Von Hemel (daughter of Donnie K. Von Hemel) did a live segment at Wagner’s Pharmacy on Kentucky Derby morning with Louisville’s WHAS-11. Keith Asmussen (son of Gun Runner and Creator trainer Steve Asmussen) and Bailey Desormeaux (son of Exaggerator trainer Keith Desormeaux) handled their first radio interviews with aplomb. WDRB-41’s Toni Konz in Louisville did an entire package that featured a written story on, along with video and a live interview with Bailey Romans. Most of the racing trade publications either mentioned or had a feature on the program, as did the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Louisville Courier-Journal. The Associated Press moved a short story on #KyDerbyKids on its national wire, which USA Today picked up. Also participating were Blayne Prochaska, Wes Stewart, Hannah Pletcher, Gustavo Delgado Jr., Daniel and Kaylin O’Neill and their cousin Shane, and Maddie Stevens. #KyDerbyKids was a tremendous first-time initiative and was extremely well received by the racing community and media. @KyHBPA picked up more than 500 additional followers, and that doesn’t count people who simply accessed the Twitter feed by typing in #KyDerbyKids. The KHBPA learned a lot about how to make it even better going forward as well as the possibilities of using social media in other ways to reach our next generation of horsemen and fans. 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 and click on “How to Join.”





Harrah’s Louisiana Downs 2016 Race Meets

Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino 2016-2017 Race Meets 2717 Delta Downs Dr., Vinton, LA 70668 * 337-589-7441 * Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu



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

2235 Creswell Lane Extension, Opelousas, LA 70570 Toll Free: 866-4-Racing * Fri

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Fair Grounds Race Course 2016-2017 Race Meets

Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino 2016 Race Meets

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DELTA DOWNS The 2016 American Quarter Horse meet at Delta Downs began on April 22 and ends on July 9. The meet features the $200,000-added (historical total for this race is more than $500,000 each year) Lee Berwick Futurity for 2-year-olds to be contested on the final day of the meet. The Firecracker Futurity will be contested on July 2 with a $100,000-added purse (historical total more than $250,000). Delta Downs estimates stakes for the 46-day meet will exceed $2.8 million and total purses will be approximately $10 million. For additional information, contact the Delta Downs racing office at (888) 589-7223. EVANGELINE DOWNS The 2016 Thoroughbred meet at Evangeline Downs began on April 6 and ends on August 27. The meet features 26 stakes highlighted by Louisiana Legends Night on July 2 with more than $750,000 in purses to be awarded to Louisiana-bred horses. On August 20, Evangeline Downs will feature two stakes to honor our Thoroughbred owners. For additional information, contact the Evangeline Downs racing office at (866) 349-0687. FAIR GROUNDS The Fair Grounds 2016 American Quarter Horse meet begins on August 17 and concludes on September 3. The meet will average more than $200,000 per day in purses and will feature the LQHBA Sales Futurity on September 3 with the trials conducted on August 17. LOUISIANA DOWNS The 2016 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet begins on May 7 and concludes on September 24. The meet features Louisiana Cup Day and the Super Derby.



from eight to two as a negative, this market adjustment is having a positive impact on Michigan’s remaining two tracks. For example, the Thoroughbred home track, Hazel Park, has attracted thousands of horse racing fans every weekend in the past two years after the track elected to revamp its business model and return the Thoroughbred racing product back to the Detroit area. Racetracks in surrounding states can count their attendance in the hundreds. The amount of wagering on live racing at Hazel Park is well above all of the tracks in surrounding states. The average number of Thoroughbreds entered at Hazel Park per race is above or equal to our competing tracks in surrounding states. Most important, this positive rebound at Hazel Park is taking place at a racetrack with no attached casino and no income from other forms of revenue, like legal ADW wagering. In other words, Michigan fans attend races at Michigan’s Hazel Park racetrack to see live Michigan horse racing. The casinos, the state-sponsored lottery and horse racing are not recession-proof. During the time of Michigan’s recession, these industries experienced a decline in revenue. Recessions and competition principally affect the revenue streams of casinos and lotteries. But horse racing in Michigan is the only betting industry product that is completely tied to the Michigan agricultural industry. Michigan horsemen and women maintain large horse farms, purchase top-quality hay and feed from Michigan producers and employ trainers, grooms, hot-walkers, veterinarians, farriers and farm support staff. Michigan horse racing and the Michigan agricultural community are a pure Michigan symbiotic relationship. It is difficult to drive along any Michigan road or highway and not see horses grazing at farms, and it is safe to say that no one in Michigan breeds a horse to be a pasture ornament. Michigan horses are bred to be competition horses. Dressage horses, hunter-jumper horses, English pleasure horses, barrel racing horses and polo horses are all well represented in our state. Most important, retired Thoroughbred racehorses provide a vital support pipeline for these and other disciplines in the Michigan equine industry. Join us at Hazel Park this season! You won’t be disappointed.

MICHIGAN HBPA Live Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and light horse racing returned to the resurgent Hazel Park Raceway on Friday, May 27. The Detroit area is in the midst of a rebirth of new investment and growth, and racing at Hazel Park is playing a key role in this renaissance. With equal excitement and anticipation, Michigan Thoroughbred horsemen and women are pleased with the Michigan Senate passage of S.B. 504 on May 10, which will give new hope and promise to the state’s racing industry. S.B. 504 addresses and removes outdated language that has been unchanged since 1995. For example, “City Rules” that mandate requirements based on Detroit’s population being over one million are removed. The method of purse distribution generated from horse racing is restructured to reflect two tracks racing two distinct breeds of horses in the Detroit metro area. The current distribution formula of purses to the two tracks and the two breeds still reflects a time when there were six Standardbred tracks and two Thoroughbred tracks. The formula sends approximately 65 percent of the purse funds to Standardbreds and 35 percent to Thoroughbreds. This is an upside-down distribution model for purses. S.B. 504, as amended, calls for a distribution based on a site-specific model. In essence, S.B. 504 states that the purse money generated at an individual racetrack stays at the racetrack for use in that track’s breed of racing. While some may view the reduction of the number of racetracks in Michigan

MINNESOTA HBPA CANTERBURY PARK MEET GETS UNDERWAY Live racing returned to Canterbury Park on May 20, and we are excited to welcome horsemen back for another great season. The backside opened on April 21 and training began April 25. Management instituted many improvements to make the horsemen’s season here better. The changes include a new racing surface, new starting gate and water truck, along with a freshly painted race office. In addition, we have a newly designed infield that will be seen not only in person but also on monitors for patrons watching throughout. We appreciate management for their continual efforts to make things better for horsemen. A new racing secretary, Robbie Junk, has joined the race office staff, and overnight daily purses will be more than $200,000 with a complete stakes program. The 69-day meet runs through September 17. Some of our returning trainers include Mike Biehler, Francisco Bravo, Robertino Diodoro, Bill Harris, Valorie Lund, Dan McFarlane, Bernell Rhone and David VanWinkle. We are happy to welcome the returning stables along with any new barns. Some of the returning jockeys are Dean Butler, Jorge Carreno and Danny Velasquez. A new rider to Canterbury this season will be Scott Bethke, Troy Bethke’s son. We would like to extend a welcome to everyone new or returning to Canterbury for the season. Our HBPA office is here for WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM


MOUNTAINEER PARK HBPA Racing at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort started on April 16 and will continue through November 26 with the West Virginia Derby running on Saturday, August 6. Two West Virginia-bred stakes races were new to the Derby Day card this year. These races help promote the West Virginia-bred program on the most celebrated racing day of the year at Mountaineer. During the winter months, Mountaineer’s maintenance department was busy repairing barns, adding fill to the stalls and shedrows and completing much-needed repairs. Horses returned to training in March. The Mountaineer Park HBPA welcomed back horsemen and women with coffee, donuts and an informational meeting on some changes and improvements that had taken place during the winter months. We provided welcome-back packets to inform members of benefits and services available through our organization. The 2016 West Virginia legislative session proved to be a difficult one for the racing industry. Along with many other states, West Virginia faced the threat of decoupling. While it appeared that the greyhound racing industry faced the most scrutiny, it was clear that the Thoroughbred racing industry in our state is not safe. The session closed without a budget, which leaves millions of dollars in appropriations to the purse funds in question. The legislators are required to have a budget in place by June 30. Those in the racing community need to continue to make their voices heard. We need to continue to let legislators know the economic impact that we bring to the state in terms of jobs, taxes and economic growth. During a recent interview, trainer and board member Eddie Clouston spoke about his investment in the local community. The industry stakeholders need to continue to send that message to our elected representatives. The Mountaineer Park HBPA is encouraging all in the racing community to help get people back to the races. Encourage friends and family members to come to the races, and post photos from the races on social media. We partnered with Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort to advertise opening day and promote racing. It is clear that we all need to work together to be part of the solution. Jami Poole, President WEST VIRGINIA RACING COMMISSION RETIREMENT PLAN FOR BACKSTRETCH WORKERS The Mountaineer Park HBPA recently completed the registration for the 2015 plan year for the West Virginia Racing Commission Retirement Plan for Backstretch Workers. They will now proceed with the qualification process and the production of allocation reports for members.



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your convenience; stop by, say hi and grab a cup of coffee. Keep an eye on our office’s information board, where you will find pool and jogger hours and other information that may be helpful. The Minnesota HBPA will again partner with Esperanza to provide a youth summer activity program for the kids on the backstretch of Canterbury Park. Thank you to board member Claudia Goebel for all her work to get this program back. We will have a new face in our HBPA office this year, Wendy Hobson. Office assistant Molly Cronk will be returning as will Oscar Quiroz, pool superintendent, and Ray Hashimoto, Euro-cizer. We look forward to a fun, exciting race meet this season.

DESHAWN PARKER WINS 5,000TH RACE On May 2, jockey DeShawn Parker won his 5,000th race aboard the Eric Reed-trained Be Nice. By achieving this milestone, he became the 32nd jockey in North America to win 5,000 races. Parker led all North American jockeys with 377 wins in 2010, and he topped the North American standings again in 2011 with 400 victories. During the last five seasons, Parker has scored with 22.4 percent of his mounts—more than four times the rate achieved during his initial handful of years. Congratulations, DeShawn!

NEBRASKA HBPA JERRY COLE IS A SURVIVOR By Steve Anderson, Fonner Park track announcer There is no short version on the life and times of 67-year-old horse trainer Jerry Cole. To put it as succinctly as possible: He’s a survivor. For almost 50 years, this native of Fairbury, Nebraska, has battled the odds in a business where, historically, 10 percent of all trainers win 80 percent of the races. Since 1973, when he first took out a license from then-State Steward Irv Anderson, Cole has firmly established himself as a member of that other 90 percent. His defining moment conditioning racehorses came that very first year, winning the Good Neighbor Stakes at the old Ak-Sar-Ben in Omaha with a 3-year-old Nebraska-bred named Prize Wagon. “I’ve still got the trophy at home and the picture,” proclaimed Cole. Until this season, winning has been a struggle for the Grizzly Adams lookalike, a fact that hasn’t escaped the thoughts of a guy who genuinely could be described as a deep thinker. Two years ago, Cole never found the winner’s circle, going 0-for-48 with horses that broke from the starting gate. Last year, it took almost eight months to get to two wins in 44 starts. “I did almost call it quits [in 2015],” Cole recalled. “Things were going bad for so long. It was discouraging.” But his lifelong companion, Marcia Blender, has always stood firm in steering Cole toward the passion he’s shared with his family for as long as he can remember. To describe her as a Rock of Gibraltar would be an understatement. “Mom and Dad raised me up with these things,” Cole said. “You’ve always got to have a horse to run, for goodness sake. Back in the late ’60s, the first two horses we owned couldn’t outrun me. But I’ve been hooked on the sport ever since. “Besides Marcia’s encouragement, I really don’t know what motivates me to continue,” he added. “I’ve came and went from the racetrack several times. I worked seven years in maximum security at the state penitentiary but still had horses. I’ve taken time off to work on the pipeline. I tried the railroad. I’ve poured tar and concrete, always earning good money, ’til I’d get back on my feet and back to the track I went.” Cole, who’s maintained a residence in Lincoln, Nebraska, since 1977,


NEW ENGLAND HBPA MASSACHUSETTS COALITION ADVANCES PLANS FOR NEW RACETRACK, RACE HORSE DEVELOPMENT FUND ALLOCATION AT SERIOUS RISK By Lynne Snierson The New England HBPA, which continues to chart a positive and proactive course for the survival of Thoroughbred racing in the region, has joined forces with a coalition intent upon building a new racetrack and equine center in Massachusetts, and the group is making headway. Bruce Patten, the NEHBPA’s executive director, said that he anticipated the feasibility study could be completed in late May to early June, and enabling legislation for the nonprofit facility could be filed within that timeframe. “We’ve made great progress toward developing a comprehensive plan for an equestrian center in Massachusetts,” said Anthony Spadea Jr., president of the NEHBPA. “The preservation of the Thoroughbred racing industry in Massachusetts and the agricultural network, which is the breeding farms, layup farms and farms that grow hay and grain, that support and depend upon racing revenue is critical for open-space preservation and job creation here in Massachusetts.” The coalition includes Thoroughbred industry stakeholders, horsemen and women from other breeds, equine enthusiasts, members of the statewide agricultural network, veterinary educators and other interested parties. Plans for the new equine center, with the site yet to be determined, include a state-of-the-art one-mile racing strip and turf course complete with


picked up a couple of trades over the years that have also supplemented his income. He refers to himself as the “Tooth Fairy,” working on horses’ teeth when time allows. “I learned from the best—Dale Jeffrey—who came to me years ago and taught me everything I know,” Cole said. “Dale’s probably the best in the world when it comes to equine dentistry.” Cole is also a whiz in auto mechanics. Got a problem with your car or truck? Jerry Cole is the guy you go see on the Fonner backside. When it comes to vintage automobiles, his prized possession is a ’65 Mustang. “I won ‘best of show’ once in a competition,” he boasted. In addition to overseeing an eight-horse stable (plus a pony), Cole can also be found wandering throughout the Fonner grandstand, acquiring signatures for a petition that’s designed to get expanded gambling back on the Nebraska ballot in November. “Do you realize that residents of our state are spending over $500 million dollars a year in casinos from bordering states? We need to keep that money here at home and sidestep any vetoes from the governor or unicameral. The people need to decide this,” Cole said. Once again, Cole has stepped up to the plate to offer the industry a hand. “The way I look at it, if I’m down [on my luck] with horses, I’ve got more time doing something else,” he said. Speaking of luck, the Cole clan is making a little comeback with their horses of late. Thirteen starts in the first 14 days of racing have resulted in two wins and two thirds. Those two victories came less than an hour apart. “I was so happy when Chuck’s Dahl and Missing My Halo won a couple weeks back,” Cole said. “We’ve had such a good start this year. If we can just keep it going…?” As in forever? That’s Jerry Cole’s goal. Ask him about the long version of his life. I’m certain he’ll find the time to fill you in.

grandstands, restaurants and retail space. The center would also provide an indoor-outdoor physical home for year-round horse shows featuring OTTBs and different breeds, equine competitions and clinics. A veterinary research and care hospital is also included. Moreover, there would be a Thoroughbred retirement facility, a model farm operated by in-state agricultural schools and colleges, and direct links to riding trail networks. The new center would also offer a fan-friendly and family entertainment venue and be a year-round tourist destination. “Combining Thoroughbred racing with other equestrian activities and veterinary education in a nonprofit structure is a model that we believe will work not only here in Massachusetts but on a national level, helping to sustain an industry with thousands of jobs for stable workers, veterinarians, blacksmiths, jockeys and local businesses across the state,” said Lou Raffetto, consultant to the NEHBPA. The creation of the nonprofit center and new racetrack is vital for the industry’s future because the owners of Suffolk Downs continue to move forward with plans to redevelop the racetrack grounds for real estate. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has issued licenses for a limited number of live racing dates at Suffolk Downs, which has a onemile track and turf course with a seven-furlong chute, and at the Brockton Fairgrounds, which has a five-eighths-mile track and no grass course. Suffolk Downs, which is accredited by the NTRA’s Safety and Integrity Alliance, has reached agreement with the NEHBPA for six days of live racing in 2016, and that is double the number from 2015. The Brockton Fairgrounds, which has not held a live meet since 2001, was granted a 30-day meet, but one of the conditions imposed by the gaming commission is that before live racing may be conducted, improvements must be completed and the track must gain accreditation by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance’s division for fair tracks. The Racing Festival Days, complete with promotions and family entertainment options, will be renewed at Suffolk Downs this season on select Saturdays and Sundays, and the purse level of approximately $500,000 per day will remain in effect. Moreover, there are nine stakes races offering a purse of $75,000 each for registered Massachusetts-breds tentatively scheduled over the course of the season. The Suffolk Downs dates are July 9-10, August 6-7 and September 3-4. The Brockton Fairgrounds announced it plans to race two to three days per week starting in July, but none are yet scheduled. By the ruling of the gaming commission, Suffolk Downs and the Fairgrounds may not run on the same dates. While the NEHBPA continues to move forward, horsemen face the very real threat that their 75 percent split of the state’s multimillion-dollar Race Horse Development Fund, which funds purses (80 percent), the breeders (16 percent) and backstretch welfare (4 percent), is in jeopardy. In 2014, a gaming commission subcommittee, the Horse Racing Committee (HRC), determined that monies in the fund, which are supplied by a percentage of the license fees and profits from the state’s burgeoning casino industry, be divided 75 percent-25 percent between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries. Now the state’s harness horsemen, who have seen their fortunes rise with the granting of the lone slots parlor license to Plainridge Park Casino where they race, have gone back to the committee to petition for a readjustment of the splits in their favor. Frank Frisoli Jr., the attorney for the NEHBPA, is a member of the HRC and is fighting to maintain the current 75-25 split. But Thoroughbred horsemen need to step up and present a united front and fight for their share of the development fund, which was established as part of the state’s expanded gaming legislation to protect the state’s horse racing industries. WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




The HRC held a series of hearings on the matter and solicited public comment through May 18. A ruling may be issued at the hearing scheduled for June 7. “Now is the time for our voices to be heard by the gaming commission, and we must speak with one voice,” Spadea said. “A change in the splits would be nothing short of disastrous. This affects every Thoroughbred horseman and horsewoman. Being able to keep 75 percent of the money in the fund is crucial to the survival of our farms, our industry-related jobs and the care of our horses. This is extremely important to our plans for the future of the Thoroughbred industry in Massachusetts.”

OHIO HBPA The Ohio HBPA board of directors election will take place this summer. Three owner-only candidates as well as three trainer or owner/trainer candidates will be elected to serve four-year terms on the board. The fourth-place votegetter in each category will serve as alternates. Ohio HBPA members who have started at least one Thoroughbred in the state since January 1, 2015, are eligible to vote in the election and will receive a ballot in the mail by August 1 at the address they provided to the Ohio State Racing Commission when receiving their state license. Ballots are due back to Ohio HBPA auditors Jones Battles Group LLC no later than September 2, and a stamped envelope addressed to the auditors will be provided along with your ballot. The election results will be available September 3 on the Ohio HBPA website at as well as at the HBPA field offices at both Belterra Park and Thistledown. The Ohio HBPA will offer two $1,000 scholarships for Ohio State Racing Commission licensees or the sons and daughters of Ohio State Racing Commission licensees in both northern and southern Ohio. Those eligible for these scholarships include both frontside and backside employees at any of Ohio’s three Thoroughbred tracks (Belterra Park, Mahoning Valley Race Course, Thistledown) or sons and daughters of frontside or backside employees at any Ohio Thoroughbred racetrack who are graduating from high school in 2016 and enrolling in any Ohio college either in the summer or fall of 2016. The deadline for applying is June 30. The application form can be found at under the scholarship program tab.


2015 OKLAHOMA CHAMPIONS The TRAO and Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission honored the Oklahomabred Thoroughbred champions of 2015 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa on May 20. Horse of the Year honors, as well as the title of Champion Thoroughbred Racing Stock and 3-Year-Old Thoroughbred Colt/Gelding, went to Shotgun Kowboy. Bred, owned and trained by C.R. Trout, the gelding by Kodiak Kowboy was also named Horse of the Meet at Remington Park after capturing the Oklahoma Derby (G3) and Oklahoma Classics Cup Stakes.



Congratulations to all the champions listed below. Horse of the Year, Thoroughbred Racing Stock and 3-Year-Old Thoroughbred Colt/Gelding: Shotgun Kowboy • Breeder/Owner: C.R. Trout 2-Year Old Thoroughbred Filly: Go No Go • Breeder/Owner: Forrest Hills Farm LLC 2-Year-Old Thoroughbred Colt/Gelding: Royal Lion • Breeder: John James Revocable Trust • Owner: 7 Cedars Farm 3-Year-Old Thoroughbred Filly: Zealous Vision • Breeder: Center Hills Farm • Owner: Center Hills Farm and Big Sugar Racing LLC Female Sprinter: Okie Princess • Breeder: Raywood Farm and Pick Byrne • Owner: Clark Brewster Male Sprinter and Aged Thoroughbred Stallion/Gelding: Okie Ride • Breeder/Owner: Richter Family Trust Female Turf Runner and Aged Thoroughbred Mare: Zeta Zody • Breeder: Robert Zoellner • Owner: Al and Bill Ulwelling Male Turf Runner: Perfect to Please • Breeder: John and Barbara Smicklas Living Trusts • Owner: Elada Kirk Thoroughbred Claimer of the Year: Hard Cider • Breeder: 7 Cedars Farm • Owner: Danny Keene Thoroughbred Horse, Mixed Meets: Johnny Whip • Breeder: Robert Zoellner • Owner: George Straw Thoroughbred Mare, Racing Stock: More Than Even • Breeder/Owner: Doyle Williams Leading Owner of Thoroughbred Racing Stock: C.R. Trout Leading Breeder of Thoroughbred Racing Stock: Center Hills Farm Leading Sire of Thoroughbred Racing Stock: Omega Code Leading Dam of Thoroughbred Racing Stock: The Penguin • Owner: Robert Zoellner TORNADO AT WILL ROGERS DOWNS ILLUSTRATES IMPORTANCE OF NHBPA’S DISASTER COVERAGE The recent tornado damage to the barn area at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore illustrates the benefit for racetracks and training centers to participate in the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association’s fire and disaster insurance policy. Because of its size, the umbrella policy allows racing and training facilities to acquire the coverage at an affordable rate as a benefit to their owners and trainers. As a result of Will Rogers Downs participating in the HBPA’s group plan, insurance will pay for the financial losses incurred by affected trainers and horse owners. The Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma is an HBPA affiliate; however, non-HBPA-affiliated tracks and training facilities also can participate in the disaster insurance. “In the case of an emergency, the National HBPA and HBPA affiliates are always standing ready to help,” said NHBPA CEO Eric Hamelback. “One benefit of being a National HBPA member, as Oklahoma and Will Rogers Downs will find out, is the fire and disaster policy that can be acquired through us for racetrack and training facilities. “Natural disasters strike with little warning,” he added. “Having the benefit of this fire and disaster policy gives you some peace of mind.” The Will Rogers backstretch was extensively damaged, including the destruction of half of two 36-stall barns, when a tornado hit the area March 30. No humans were injured, with two horses suffering injuries, one relatively minor and the other saved but quite possibly through racing, according to Danielle Barber, executive director of the TRAO. Barber said several trainers lost all of their tack and feed, with the extent of damage still to be determined while safety considerations prevent going


OKC SUMMER SALE SET FOR AUGUST 14, ENTRIES DUE JUNE 10 The entry form for the Carter Sales Co.’s OKC Summer Sale is now available online. The sale, which will feature yearlings and horses of racing age, is set for Sunday, August 14, at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds Sales Arena following opening weekend at Remington Park. Entries are due by June 10. For more information, visit

HBPA OF ONTARIO SOVEREIGN AWARD-WINNING ‘TALKIN’ HORSES’ IS BACK WITH SEASON THREE The HBPA of Ontario board of directors would like to congratulate the “Talkin’ Horses” team on their win at the annual Jockey Club of Canada Sovereign Awards on April 6. We are proud and delighted to announce season three of the show. “Talkin’ Horses” executive producer Joe Tilley will be back with co-host Jason Portuondo. Viewers can tune in weekly to watch the team showcase the province’s Thoroughbred racing industry and its interesting personalities. Series favorites “Jockey Joust” and “Trainer’s Trivia” will be back. Which jockey and trainer have the knowledge to win in this competitive series? The show will continue to be based out of Toronto’s Woodbine racetrack, making frequent trips to the picturesque oval at Fort Erie. “Talkin’ Horses” will air Saturdays on CTV2 at 11:30 a.m. and CTV at 9:30 a.m. Season three is scheduled to begin June 11 and conclude October 22. DELAYED IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 2016 ELIMINATION GUIDELINES On April 7, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Authority (CPMA) released a memo to the industry delaying the implementation of the 2016 Elimination Guidelines until May 1. The HBPA of Ontario initiated discussions with the CPMA about the changes to withdrawal guidelines for the drugs clenbuterol and methylprednisolone. The CPMA confirmed that, as mentioned in its March 31 memo, official samples will be tested and certificates will be issued for results inconsistent with the 2011 Schedule of Drugs guidelines. This includes the guidelines for clenbuterol and methylprednisolone. With the significant amount of changes that were made in the 2016 Elimination Guidelines, the CPMA thought it best to adopt this transition period; however, all industry participants were urged to go ahead and adjust their practices so as to comply with the new guidelines. Among the prominent changes are the following: • Corticosteroids: Short-acting corticosteroids now have a least a 48-hour elimination guideline period. • Anabolic steroids: Elimination guidelines have been removed. The CPMA wants to highlight to industry participants the importance of carefully reading the new booklet when considering the use of therapeutic medications in racehorses in Canada to avoid the risk of a positive test. Further to the CPMA’s notice to the industry dated May 29, 2014, the information in the new booklet should not be relied upon when using compounded medications.


back into the barns. With those trainers having relatively small operations, that remains a significant financial hit. “It could have been a lot worse,” said Barber, who praised Will Rogers’ track team for working quickly to minimize potential injury to horses. “Those guys in that barn only have between five and 10 horses. That’s what they do for a living. If they [horses] are all gone, it would be hard to start back. You hope it never happens to you. But if it does, you hope you’re covered.”

As always, the CPMA recommends that owners and trainers consult their veterinarians for advice and guidance in the use of all drugs and medications in their horses. FORT ERIE OPENING DATE Live racing at Fort Erie got underway on May 31 with the return of the popular twilight 4:15 p.m. post time. Fort Erie is scheduled to host 40 race dates through October 18, with racing taking place on Sundays at 1:50 p.m. and Twilight Tuesdays running to August 30 and then switching to a 1:50 p.m. post time until October 11. The last two days of racing on October 16 and 18 will have a post time of 1:30 p.m. The second gem in Canada’s Triple Crown, the 81st running of the Prince of Wales Stakes, will be held on Tuesday, July 26. For more information on live racing dates, events and dining reservations, please visit AGCO ANNOUNCES THE HORSE RACING APPEAL PANEL In December 2015, the Ontario Legislature passed legislation transferring regulatory responsibilities of the Ontario Racing Commission to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). During this time, the adjudication process for appeals of horse racing decisions in Ontario was also changed. The legislation created a new adjudication body called the Horse Racing Appeal Panel (HRAP). This panel is responsible for hearing appeals of decision made under the rules of racing. The majority of these matters will be related to on-track and conduct violations, positive test cases and related decisions made by judges and stewards. The HRAP will conduct these hearings as an entirely independent and impartial body at arm’s length from the AGCO. HRAP members have been appointed by the AGCO board based on aptitude for impartial adjudication, as well as experience, knowledge or training in the horse racing industry. Effective April 1, the following individuals were appointed to the panel: Chair Stanley Sadinsky, Vice Chair Sandra Meyrick, John Charalambous, Dr. John Hayes, Bruce Murray, Brian Newton and John Unger. For more information, please visit ASSISTANT TRAINER AND TRAINER TESTING DATES FOR 2016 For those interested in taking the assistant trainer or trainer testing this year, please note these important dates. Applications Due Test Dates May 18 June 8 July 6 July 27 August 31 September 28 Applications are available at both HBPA of Ontario track offices or online at Remember that completed applications are due three weeks prior to the test date.

OREGON HBPA SUMMER RACING SCHEDULE Greetings from Oregon! We are getting very excited for our Oregon summer race meets, which are just around the corner. Racing begins on June 10 at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show in Union and ends on September 11 at the Harney County Fair in Burns. Here is the complete summer schedule: WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM




• Eastern Oregon Livestock Show in Union: June 10, 11 and 12 • SOHRA Race Meet in Grants Pass: June 18, 19, 25 and 26; July 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10 • Crooked River Roundup in Prineville: July 13, 14, 15 and 16 • Tillamook County Fair in Tillamook: August 10, 11, 12 and 13 • Harney County Fairs in Burns: September 9, 10 and 11 To support racing at our summer fairs, the Oregon HBPA will be adding $350 to every Thoroughbred race. This is in addition to our long history of sponsoring the Oregon HBPA blanket race with an additional $1,000. The Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association will also be adding purse money to each Oregon-bred race. The Oregon HBPA is also sponsoring a Trainer of the Day program. On each of our 23 summer race days, a lucky trainer will be drawn at random and receive a thank you card and $100. New this year is an agreement between the Oregon HBPA and each summer race meet to recognize the Oregon HBPA as the official representative of horsemen and horsewomen. One result of these agreements is that Thoroughbred starts at the summer meets will count toward our dental and vision benefits programs. We feel this is an excellent example of horsemen helping horsemen and is a wonderful step forward. If you have any questions regarding our summer race meets or our new summer programs, please contact Debby Fergason at (503) 285-4941. If we don’t have the answer, we will get you in touch with the appropriate person. The Oregon HBPA continues our negotiation process with The Stronach Group for a 2016–17 Portland Meadows race meet. As soon as an agreement is reached, details will be provided to all. Happy racing!

PENNSYLVANIA HBPA PRESQUE ISLE DOWNS IMPROVEMENTS In partnership with Presque Isle Downs management, major improvement projects are underway at the track. The new paddock floor is now complete, with black Keeneland Brick pavers encompassing the entire paddock and saddling stalls. This improvement will greatly enhance horse safety in the paddock as well as improve the air quality by eliminating dust. A new 40-stall barn and Pennsylvania HBPA office was under construction on the backside. The barn will increase stabling capacity on the backside, and the office will enable easy access for members as well as provide a great location for membership 62


meetings. The barn and office were expected to be completed by June 1. Installation of a new video screen above the existing tote board will soon begin. The LED screen will be approximately 30 feet x 34 feet and will greatly enhance the viewing experience of races on the apron at Presque Isle Downs. WAIVER CLAIMING RULES Layoff horses may enter under waiver claiming provisions at Penn National and Presque Isle Downs. Effective May 1, the waiver claiming rule allowing horses off for 120 days or more to be entered not subject to claim went into effect at Penn National. The horse must be entered at a level equal to or higher than the claiming tag of its last race prior to the layoff. The horse will be allowed to enter under the provision for one start only, the first start off the layoff. The rule will be implemented at the start of the meet at Presque Isle Downs.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS HBPA The first leg of the 2015–16 meet at Tampa Bay Downs concluded on May 8 with Gerald Bennett capturing leading trainer. Jockey Antonio Gallardo took home the leading rider title. Activities held on the backside of Tampa Bay Downs this spring included: • The 13th annual horsemen’s barbecue, sponsored by the TBD HBPA. A super turnout and decent weather contributed to one of our most popular events of the meet. As always, Sonny’s Real Pit Barbecue came through with a memorable feast. • Florida Cup Day, sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, Tampa Bay Downs and the TBD HBPA, showcased Floridabreds in an exciting day of racing. Owners, trainers and their guests enjoyed a beautiful day of racing and fine dining. • A volleyball tournament, under the guidance of Deana Nicol, head of TBD security, and co-sponsored by the TBD HBPA, Racetrack Chaplaincy and AAA Feed, was held on the newly constructed volleyball court. The winning team won gift cards to Cracker Barrel, donated by the TBD HBPA. Congratulations are also in order for the following HBPA Groom of the Week winners: January: Ceaser Condori, trainer Kathleen O’Connell; Jose Luis Rosales, trainer Tom Proctor; Juan Enriquez, trainer Tony Wilson; Teodoro Esparza, trainer Kathleen O’Connell. February: Eliseo Escalante, trainer Bernell Rhone; Jorge Uribe, trainer Anthony Granitz. March: Mario Ramirez, trainer Tom Proctor; Mario Rodriguez, trainer Derek Ryan; Leslie O. Santaella, trainer Victor Carrasco; Jose Jiminez, trainer Joan Scott; Santiago Ramos, trainer Wayne Mogge. April: Sylvestre Vargas, trainer Joan Scott; Nicholas B. Luis, trainer Keith Nations; Jose Castillo, trainer Jerry Aschinger; Charlie Hicks, trainer Lori Smock. In addition to providing financial and material support to various horse rescue and retirement programs this year, the TBD HBPA is affiliated with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, a national organization dedicated to providing funding for accredited Thoroughbred retirement facilities. Locally, Equestrian Inc., RVR Horse Rescue and Step Ahead Thoroughbred Retirement provided an invaluable service in placing Thoroughbreds retired from racing at Tampa Bay Downs. Best wishes for a great summer!


WHBPA CELEBRATES CINCO DE MAYO AT THE QUARTER CHUTE CAFE Due to the increasing popularity of Cinco de Mayo celebrations, what would have been WHBPA’s 14th annual Fifth of May Fiesta and Fundraiser at Emerald Downs was postponed due to the unavailability of the venue.

Reed Palmer Photography

WHBPA MOURNS LOSS OF HONORARY LIFETIME BOARD MEMBER In keeping with the essence of how he lived, Murdock D. MacPherson passed away on April 25 surrounded by the sounds of Irish ballads and the attention of his loving family. It seemed almost a scripted ending to a full life in which he exemplified the importance of friends, family, country, hard work and having fun. Murdock, who was just two months shy of his 95th birthday, could be likened to a four-leaf clover; he was a rare and wonderful individual, and you certainly were lucky to happen upon him. Born on June, 15, 1921, he was one of four children of William R. MacPherson Sr. and his wife, Annie. His father had originally been in the dairy business but became involved selling real estate in 1928 and opened his first office, MacPherson’s Realty, in Seattle’s University District in 1932. Murdock fought in France with the U.S. Army during World War II. After the war, he met fellow WWII veteran George McIvor, and the two remained friends for more than 65 years. McIvor would become one of the main trainers of his racehorses, along with Humphrey Roberts, Jim Penney, Bud Klokstad and Larry Pierce. Murdock married Mary Ellen on November 21, 1947, and together they raised four children. In the early 1960s, Murdock became interested in horse racing and could be found early every Saturday morning at the track, often with his kids in tow, watching his horses work out. Among his initial runners was 11-race winner Breezy Banker. His first stakes winner was McIvor-trained Cup of Merc, who won the 1978 Seattle Invitational at Playfair for Murdock and partners Leopold and Puetz. A multitude of winners followed, but the horse Murdock is most associated with is 12-time stakes winner and 1994 Washington champion older horse Sneakin Jake, a homebred son of Table Run who earned $439,590. Sneakin Jake, trained by Larry Pierce, was the grandson of Mimi’s First, who was named after Murdock’s daughter. Murdock MacPherson was not only an owner and breeder. He was also an involved leader in all aspects of the industry. An active member and board member of the Washington HBPA for many years, Murdock was the first and only named Lifetime Honorary Board Member of the organization. “In special recognition and for his many timeless gifts to the Thoroughbred industry and community,” Murdock was recipient of a WHBPA/WTBOA Special Recognition Award in 2011. He was an original investor in Emerald Downs and his spirit lives on at the Auburn racetrack, especially on the annual Irish Day, an event that he started nearly 20 years ago. Through the years, the event has grown to include the Irish Day Handicap and was the beginning of many other wellattended cultural days at Emerald Downs. Murdock was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Ellen, who passed away in 2008; and brother William “Bill” MacPherson, brother Tom MacPherson and sister Ann “Sis” MacPherson. He is survived by his four children, Murry (Aggy) MacPherson, Bridget (Duncan) Landreth, Kit MacPherson (Tom Halverson) and Mimi (Eric) Myhre; grandchildren Molly, Keavy, Brydie, Erica, Garrett, Conor, Amelia and Joseph; and great-grandson Beau. Murdock had more friends than most could count, and he had an amazing way of making each of them feel they were uniquely special to him. He loved to sing, tell stories and thoroughly enjoyed a party, yet he was serious when it came to giving thoughtful advice and assisting those in need. A true gem of a man, Murdock MacPherson will be greatly missed.


“There were thoughts of moving the date,” said WHBPA Event Coordinator Lanna Allen, “but that has proven to be unsuccessful in the past. Coordination of the event depends on where race days fall and, depending on the calendar, is more difficult in some years than others. Add on top of that, the phenomenal increasing success of group sales at Emerald Downs, and we just couldn’t make it happen this year.” In spite of no major event, the WHBPA didn’t want the appreciation of the Latino culture and contribution to racing to go unnoticed, so on May 5 the organization subsidized a special meal for all horsemen at the track kitchen. Thanks to Joe and Sally Steiner of the Quarter Chute for working with the WHBPA staff to help show appreciation of those who work behind the scenes at Emerald Downs.


$50,000 MUCKLESHOOT GOLD CUP RETURNS TO EMERALD DOWNS Record purses, participation and crowds were all part of the return of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s Gold Cup on June 10 and 11 at Emerald Downs. Although not approved for parimutuel wagering, the thrills and excitement of Indian Relay Racing once again drew large numbers of fans and 18 of the best relay teams in the country. Tribes from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington were represented. Indian Relay is the nation’s oldest sport, with a history that goes back 500 years by many accounts. At Emerald Downs, teams race twice around the one-mile track and exchange horses every half-mile. Each team’s rider must leap from one galloping horse to another in their assigned exchange box while other team members assist in handling the horses. The Muckleshoot Tribe hosted the event as the owners and operators of Emerald Downs and the Muckleshoot Casino sponsored the competition. There were three relay races each day, along with the regular full card of live Thoroughbred races. With the increase in purse money and number of participating teams, Emerald Downs has become a significant annual stop on the growing Indian Relay circuit. The teams that participated in the Gold Cup were Two Tone Pocatello, Idaho; Coby Team, Ft. Hall, Idaho; Carlson Relay, Browning, Montana; Rides A Pretty Horse, Billings, Montana; Umatilla Express, Pendleton, Oregon; Starr School, Browning, Montana; Omak Express, Omak, Washington; Pikunii Express, Browning, Montana; Teton, Blackfoot, Idaho; Eagle Star Express, Crow Agency, Montana; Awasapsii Express, Browning, Montana; Blanket Bull, Garryowen, Montana; Old Elk Relay, Crow Agency, Montana; Medicine Tail, Garryowen, Montana; Mountain River, Hays, Montana; Warman, Hardin, Montana; Grizzly Mountain, Omak, Washington; Little Badger, Browning, Montana. WWW.NATIONALHBPA.COM


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The Horsemen's Journal - Summer 2016  

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

The Horsemen's Journal - Summer 2016  

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