American racetrack operator Jeff Gural is determined to rid the harness racing industry of "the crooks that have ruined it for all the honest owners and trainers."
Gural told Harnesslink he intended to keep the pressure on to make sure that standardbred racing regulators from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware would work to harmonize regional harness racing rules and explore the implementation of time-based limits on medication administration.
"For better or worse I think the bad press in the (New York) Times has made it obvious that the status quo is unacceptable.
"I think this is a defining moment for harness racing as the handle at the Meadowlands has declined dramatically for a variety of reasons, but all this negative publicity hasn't helped.
"It is vital that the public is convinced that we are doing all we can to get rid of the drug guys - and I am determined to do just that - even if it seems other track owners don't seem to care enough to use the right of exclusion which is at least a good first step," Gural said.
"No-one becomes the greatest trainer that ever lived over night - after 20 years of mediocrity," Gural said when referring to Sacramento trainer Lou Pena.
By Duane RANGER (editor)