Racing’s Slow Regulatory Process

One trainer didn’t received sanctions for a June 2013 drug violation until October. A Blood-Horse writer takes a look.
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Within one week following a June 13, 2013, race at Belmont Park, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYGSC) Equine Drug Testing Program had determined a horse had tested positive for a non-therapeutic drug with a high potential to affect race performance.

The horse in question, Wind of Bosphorus, trained by Doug O'Neill, finished second in that race at Belmont. O'Neill said he was informed of the positive within three weeks of the race.

The drug, a sedative, is in the highest penalty class (Class A) of the Association of Racing Commissioners' International Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and would seemingly call for swift, decisive action. That wasn't the case.

Sanctions in the case, a $10,000 fine and 45-day suspension, weren't announced until early October 2014. The suspension issued by the NYSGC was not scheduled to begin until Nov. 3, 2014, more than 16 months after the race in question. The sanctions were not handed down by the NYSGC; they were the result of a negotiated agreement

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Written by:

Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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