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Harness Racing South Australia Stewards today conducted a hearing into an adverse test result returned by PRINCESS CLEOPATRA following its win in Race 4 at Port Pirie on Friday 12th January 2018. The particulars being that a post-race sample taken from PRINCESS CLEOPATRA was shown to contain Cobalt at a mass concentration greater than the permissible tolerance.  Mr Sims admitted a resultant breach of Rule (AHHR) 190(1) which states “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances”  After considering submissions on penalty and after having regard to the following relevant factors: The nature of the substance detected and the seriousness of the offence in all of the circumstances. The level reported by the Racing Analytical Services Ltd, which was toward the lower end. Mr Sims’s personal circumstances, including his length of involvement in harness racing industry Mr Sim’s submissions with respect to the medications employed in the treatments of his horses, which the Stewards were satisfied was the primary cause for irregularity reported. • Penalties imposed in South Australia and other jurisdictions in relation to this prohibited substance. Mr Sim’s co-operation during the currency of the investigation The need for both specific and general deterrence The Stewards determined that Mr Sims be disqualified for a period of eight months with such disqualification to commence at midnight on Tuesday 15th May 2018.  Acting under the provisions of AHRR 195, PRINCESS CLEOPATRA was disqualified from first placing in Race 4 at Port Pirie 12th January 2018 and Stewards directed that the placing’s be amended accordingly. All enquiries to Ross Neal /Chairman of Stewards

Harness racing trainer Gareth Dixon has been fined $6500 for producing a horse to race when not free of a prohibited substance. The horse in question was Gimmegold who won a race at Alexandra Park on the 16th December 2017. During the night he won, Gimmegold underwent a random Post Race urine swab and on the 9th January 2018 the Official Racing Analyst reported in writing that the samples from “Gimmegold” had tested positive to Cobalt. The horse returned a Cobalt level of 293 ug/L (micrograms per litre). Cobalt at a concentration above 100 micrograms per litre in urine is a Prohibited Substance within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a race day sample is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules. The horse Gimmegold has since been disqualified from winning the race on 16th December 2017. Full details below:   BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of the Rules of Harness Racing BETWEEN THE RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU) Informant AND Mr GR Dixon Licenced Public Harness Trainer Respondent Information No: A8465 Date of hearing: 8 April 2018 Venue: Counties Racecourse Appearing: Mr O Westerlund- Investigator, Racing Integrity Unit Mr G Dixon – Licenced Harness Trainer Mr R Lawson – Lay Advocate representing Mr Dixon Judicial Committee: Mr A Dooley, Chairman - Mr A Smith, Committee Member Charge The Informant Mr O Westerlund, Racing Investigator alleged that on Saturday the 16th December 2017, Gareth Ryan DIXON was the licenced Trainer of the Standardbred Harness Racehorse “Gimmegold” which was presented for and raced in Race 8, the New Year’s Eve Auckland Cup Twilight Races Mobile Pace 2200m, at a race meeting conducted by the Auckland Trotting Club at Auckland, when the said Standardbred was found to be presented to race with a Prohibited Substance in its system, namely Cobalt, being an offence under the provisions of Rules 1004(1A) and 1004(3) and punishable pursuant to Rule 1004(7) and (8) of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. The relevant Rules are as follows: Rule 1004(1A) A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. Rule 1004(3) When a horse is presented to race in contravention of sub rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse commits a breach of these Rules Rule 1008 In the absence of any express provision to the contrary in any proceeding for a breach of these Rules: (a) it shall not be necessary for the informant to prove that the defendant or any person intended to commit that or any breach of the Rule; and (b) any breach of a Rule shall be considered as an offence of strict liability. Penalty Provisions Rule 1004(7) Every person who commits a breach of sub-rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: (a) a fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or (b) be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding 5 years. Rule 1004(8) Any horse connected with a breach of sub-rule (1), (2) or (3) shall be disqualified from any race entered and/or liable to a period of disqualification not exceeding five years Mr Dixon acknowledged that he understood the Rules and he confirmed that he admitted the breach. Mr R Lawson, Lay Advocate, represented Mr Dixon at the hearing. Mr Dixon acknowledged that all the relevant documents from the RIU had been disclosed to him. Mr Dixon confirmed that the Summary of Facts were not disputed. Mr Westerlund produced a letter from Mr M Godber, General Manager for the Racing Integrity Unit, authorising the filing of the Information pursuant to Rule 1108(2). Agreed Summary of Facts by the Informant The respondent Gareth Ryan DIXON is a licensed Public Trainer and Trials Driver under the Rules of New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. On Saturday the 16th December 2017 “Gimmegold” was correctly entered and presented to race by Mr DIXON in Race 8: 9.15pm – New Year’s Eve Auckland Cup Twilight Races Mobile Pace 2200m at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting at Alexandra Park, Auckland. “Gimmegold” is a 6 year-old bay gelding (Changeover – Charbella Gold) owned by Mr AM Roberts and Mrs CD Roberts and is trained by the Respondent, Mr DIXON. “Gimmegold” finished first of the nine horse field and won a stake of $7758. “Gimmegold” underwent a random Post Race urine swab. Mr DIXON does not contest the swabbing process. All swab samples from the meeting were couriered to the New Zealand Racing Laboratory and were analysed for the presence of substances prohibited under the Rules of New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. On the 9th January 2018 the Official Racing Analyst reported in writing that the samples from “Gimmegold” had tested positive to Cobalt. The horse returned a Cobalt level of 293 ug/L (micrograms per litre). Cobalt at a concentration above 100 micrograms per litre in urine is a Prohibited Substance within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a race day sample is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules. Cobalt is an essential trace element required for life through the actions of Vitamin B12 of which Cobalt makes up about 5% of its weight. Cobalt is absorbed from the gut either as elemental or incorporated in Vitamin B12. Mr Dixon was spoken to on Monday the 15th January 2018 at his Stable in Pukekohe. He could offer no explanation for the positive test result on the horse. In the Stable Block several items were located which contain Cobalt. Located ‘Blud-Boost-Equine Athlete’ a 1kg packet that was already opened - a supplement containing B12. When the ‘Blud-Boost’ was tested it was found to contain Cobalt at the level of 1.4 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). Also located ‘Ironcyclen’ 1 litre container. The label indicates that this product is an iron supplement with copper and cobalt for horses and dogs. Mr Dixon admitted giving the horse 10-15mls the day before it raced. When the ‘Ironcyclen was tested it was found to contain Cobalt at the level of 5.2 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). Also located was a 100 ml bottle of ‘Hemoplex’. The label indicates a supplement source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for horses, cattle, dogs and cats, for use during periods of stress and convalescence. Mr Dixon admitted giving the horse 10mls two days before the horse raced. When the ‘Hemoplex was tested’ it was found to contain Cobalt at the level of 81 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). A Certificate of analysis provided by the Assure Quality laboratory confirmed there were no anomalies in any of the products tested. Mr DIXON has been involved in the Harness Racing Industry for 35 years. He holds a Public Trainer and Trials Driver Licence and trains eight race horses. He has been training for 15 years. He is aged 45 years and has not previously appeared. An order is sought for the horse “Gimmegold” to be disqualified from the race and the stakes money to be repaid. In response to a question from the Committee, Mr Westerlund said that the RIU analysis of TAB betting records revealed that there was nothing out of the ordinary associated with the betting patterns on GIMMEGOLD. Submissions by the Respondent Mr Lawson made the following points: 1) The Positive Test result of the swab was notified to the RIU on the 9th Of January 2018. 2) Gimmegold (the horse concerned) raced again on January 13th (4 days later) 3) Mr Dixon was not notified until January 15th. 4) Gimmegold was swabbed on January 13th after finishing in sixth position. Mr Dixon felt this extremely unusual at the time. (although obviously on the following Monday he found out why) 5) Gimmegold was tested for Cobalt and returned a reading of 11 for the January 13th run. 6) Gimmegold was given the exact same proprietary items as his race winning (and positive swab for December 16th.) 7) Mr Dixon is at a complete and utter loss as to explain why the horse tested high on December 16th. 8) Cobalt is a natural substance and horses will have natural levels and each may also excrete excess Cobalt differently. 9) Many Horse feeds including hay have Cobalt in them and so do water supplies. 10) Trainers are not in a position to test their own horses for Cobalt levels so at any time are totally unaware of the levels in their horses. 11) Despite the proprietary items having low levels of Cobalt in them – on one occasion the horse tests high and then on the next occasion it tests low. 12) Cobalt in racehorses is a very inexact science. 13) There is no definitive scientific evidence that proves it is detrimental to a horse’s welfare and there is also no scientific evidence to prove that it improves equine performance. 14) However it is conceded that – it does not have to have either of the above to be determined that it is at a certain level – a prohibited substance. 15) The point we are making here is that despite a large amount of publicity surrounding Cobalt there is very little if any definitive evidence of how and why a horse can test high for it. 16) Mr Dixon has been and is extremely concerned and upset that he has received this positive result. He prides himself on his integrity and this is an unfortunate chapter in his training career. 17) Mr Dixon has compensated the owner of this horse for loss in winning stakes due to this positive test. 18) In an effort to keep costs to an absolute minimum the “B” sample was not requested to be tested. 19) It is accepted that the horse will be disqualified from the race in question. 20) Mr Dixon now takes extreme care and is fastidious in trying to ensure his horses are not exposed to potential Cobalt that could cause a high reading. Mr Dixon provided the Committee with two written character references and advised that he was also a commercial breeder and seller. He said that his reputation is everything and he wouldn’t knowingly put himself in this position. He added that his Trainers percentage for winning the race was $700. Decision As Mr Dixon admitted the breach the Committee found the charged proved. Submissions on Penalty by Informant 1. INTRODUCTION: 1.1 The respondent Gareth Ryan DIXON is a licensed Public Trainer and Trials Driver under the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. 1.2 He has been involved in the racing industry for 35 years and a trainer for 15 years. 1.3 Mr DIXON is 45 years of age. 1.4 It is submitted that a fine of $8000 is sought. 2. OFFENDING: 2.1 Mr DIXON has admitted the breach of the Rules in relation to the standard bred race horse “Gimmegold”. 2.2 “Gimmegold” raced at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting held at Alexandra Park on Saturday the 16th December 2017. 2.3 The details of Mr DIXON’s offending are contained in the Summary of Facts which is agreed. 2.4 The prohibited substance concerned is Cobalt. Noted: That the level for Cobalt under New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing was reduced on the 1st August 2017 from 200 ug/L to 100 ug/L (micrograms per litre). 3. PENALTY PROVISIONS: 3.1 The penalties which may be imposed are fully detailed in the Charge Rule Penalty Provisions document. 4. SENTENCING PRINCIPLES: 4.1 The four principles of sentencing can be summarised briefly: - Penalties are designed to punish the offender for his/her wrong doing. They are not meant to be retributive in the sense the punishment is disproportionate to the offence but the offender must be met with a punishment. - In a racing context it is extremely important that a penalty has the effect of deterring others from committing similar offences. - A penalty should also reflect the disapproval of the JCA for the type of offending in question. - The need to rehabilitate the offender should be taken into account. 4.2 The first three principals have relevance in this case. 5. PRECEDENTS: 5.1 In support of this penalty I will refer to four previous decisions by the J.C.A which may be of some assistance. 5.1.1 RIU v BROSNAN (13.02.18) – 3 x Cobalt positives. Total fine imposed of $19,200. 5.1.2 RIU v DALGETY (16.05.2017) – 5x Cobalt positives. Total fine imposed of $32,000. 5.1.3 R.I.U v BAMBRY (4.12.17) - 1 x Cobalt positive. A fine imposed of $11,000. 5.1.4 RIU v O’SULLIVAN & SCOTT (22.03.2016) – 3x Cobalt positives. Total fine imposed of $50,000. 6. MITIGATING FACTORS: 6.1 That he has admitted the breach at the first opportunity. 6.2 That he has been fully co-operative throughout the process. 6.3 That he has had no previous charges before the Committee. 7. AGGRAVATING FEATURES: 7.1 No aggravating features. 8. CONCLUSION: 8.1 The RIU believe that the breach can be dealt with by way of a monetary penalty. To that end the RIU seek a fine of $8000. 8.2 Under Rule 1004(8) 8.2.1 “Gimmegold” is required to be disqualified from the respective race on the 16th December 2017 8.2.2 Any stake money paid out is required to be repaid. 8.3 The RIU are seeking no costs. Submissions of Penalty by Respondent Mr Lawson made the following points: 1. The JCA Penalty Guide shows a Starting Point as an $8000 fine for a Breach of The Prohibited Substance Rules. This is for a first offence and a single positive. 2. We are dealing with a first offence and a single positive in this case. 3. From the Starting Point we must add or detract based on the aggravating or mitigating circumstances of the case. 4. In this case we agree that there are no aggravating features. 5. There are a number of mitigating circumstances – they are as follows:- - The Guilty Plea and admission at first opportunity - Mr Dixon has been fully co-operative throughout the enquiry - Mr Dixon has no previous charges before the committee and in fact has an exemplary record. - The References as to the excellent character of Mr Dixon - His dismay at this charge and the effect on his reputation. 6. Mr Dixon is a family man with a new baby and two other young dependents. 7. He is able to pay a fine although would appreciate a modest one. In Summary given all of the above we submit that a fine based on the starting point of $8000 with a 20-25% discount for the mitigating factors would be appropriate. This would be in line with principles on previous cases (in particular the R Brosnan case) The RIU are generously not seeking any costs – that is appreciated and as the case is being heard on a raceday it would also be appreciated if there were no JCA costs – in line with a number of other similar cases heard on raceday. Reasons for Penalty The Committee have carefully considered all the evidence and submissions presented. The JCA Penalty Guidelines have a starting point of $8,000 fine for a first offence of presenting a horse to race with a prohibited substance in its system. That figure was adopted in this case. The Committee was conversant with the four precedent decisions referred to by the RIU. The Committee notes that the level of Cobalt detected (293 ug/L) in GIMMEGOLD’s system was in the mid-range compared to other cases involving this Prohibited Substance. There has been much publicity and discussion about Cobalt in both the Harness Racing Code and the Thoroughbred Code in New Zealand in recent years. This should have put all Licenced Holders on notice. The purpose of Rule 1004 is to maintain the integrity of Harness Racing and to impose an obligation on all Trainers to ensure horses are presented to race free of Prohibited Substances. It is a long established principle of racing that there is a high obligation on the part of Licence Holders who transport a horse to a race meeting to ensure compliance with the Rules. It is therefore paramount that racing is conducted on a level playing field. There were no aggravating factors that warranted an uplift in penalty. The mitigating factors for which we afforded Mr Dixon a reduction in penalty were: • Mr Dixon’s admission of the breach. • Mr Dixon was fully cooperative with the RIU during their investigations. • Mr Dixon has an unblemished record under this Rule after 15 years of training approximately 2,200 Standardbred horses. We had regard for the two written character references where both referees had known Mr Dixon for many years and both emphasised his honesty and integrity. After having regard for the particular circumstances of this case we consider that a fair and reasonable reduction from the starting point was $1,500. After taking into account all of the above factors the Committee considered that an appropriate penalty was a $6,500 fine. Penalty Accordingly, Mr Dixon was fined the sum of $6,500. Disqualification of the Horse Pursuant to Rule 1004(8) the Committee orders the disqualification of GIMMEGOLD from, the New Year’s Eve Auckland Cup Twilight Races Mobile Pace 2200 metres. Disqualification effective from Monday, 16 April 2018. The amended placings are: 1st No.1 IDEAL LASS 2nd No. 3 WILL TAKE CHARGE 3rd No. 9 LYNTON CREEK 4th No. 2 STAND SURE The Committee was informed that the stake money for this race has not been paid out. Therefore the Committee authorised the payment of stakes in accordance with the amended placings. Costs The RIU has sought no costs. As this charge was heard on a raceday, there was no order for JCA costs. Dated this 10th day of April 2018 Adrian Dooley Chair   Harnesslink media

The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) has advised Harness Racing New South Wales that Oxazepam has been detected in the urine sample taken from WHISKIESONTHEBEACH following its win in race 6, the FRITSCH BROS PACE (2000m) at Temora on Friday 9 February 2018. The “B” sample has been confirmed by Racing Analytical Services LTD (RASL) in Victoria. Trainer Mr B Harpley has been advised that HRNSW will continue its investigation into this sample irregularity and an inquiry will be held in due course. HRNSW Stewards have conducted a stable inspection of Mr Harpley’s registered training establishment and obtained soil and grass samples for further analysis. Following the consideration of all available information, including the provision of submissions and associated documents by Mr Harpley, HRNSW Stewards have determined that Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 183 would not be invoked at this time. Acting under the provisions of AHRR 183A, it has been determined that WHISKIESONTHEBEACH, the horse subject of the certificate, shall not be nominated or compete in any race until the outcome of an inquiry or investigation.    MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

Horse racing must make better use of technology to create new betting products and experiences or it will be left behind other sports and entertainment industries. That was the message of Friday’s technology session on closing day of the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s 84th annual Conference on Equine Welfare and Racing Integrity at the Hotel Hot Springs. Panelists said that the likelihood of widespread sports betting, which is based on fixed odds in contrast to horse racing’s pari-mutuel structure, provides a pathway to innovation. Moderator J. Curtis Linnell, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau’s executive vice president, said all entities involved in racing should work toward increased participation in horse racing through betting. “Betting is the juncture in which the marketplace comes to horse racing,” he said. “That is where participation by the customer happens.” Sean Pinsonneault, an industry consultant and previously executive vice president of strategy and wagering for Woodbine Entertainment Group, said racing’s big days and the creation of “jackpot” wagers in recent years are ways the sport has created excitement. “There are lot of positives that come from this industry, but it’s changing the way we do things,” he said. Pinsonneault used as an example offering a partial cash-out option on multi-race wagers, where the bettor who remains alive in the wager has the option to get partial payment or bring in partners who buy part of the bet for the remaining legs. Pinsonneault said that is being done in the United Kingdom, which has resulted in a 30-percent boost to pool income and with 80 percent of the cash-outs being partial. He said the bet increases spending and retention of customers, modernizes the multi-race experience and maximizes player engagement. He added that its “Deal or No Deal” concept is ideal for sharing on social media to let people know part of a so-far winning bet is up for sale. Linnell added that’s the technology version of “20 years ago when a long shot won the first race, a guy would be walking around the clubhouse saying ‘Who wants to buy half my Daily Double ticket?’” Pinsonneault also said Australian racing’s wagering went from 70 percent via its pari-mutuel system and 30 percent fixed-odds wagering to 32 percent pari-mutuel and 68 percent fixed odds through corporate bookmakers — a change that has seen the betting on horses increase 38 percent in 10 years. “As an aside, when Winx was making her 18th or 28th start trying to set the world record for consecutive wins, everybody knew she was going to win,” he said about Australia’s great racemare who has won 23 straight races. “Some of the corporate bookmakers offered fix odds on lengths of win. There was a tremendous amount of action on that horse, rather than just offering a win bet that was going to pay 5 cents on the dollar. That shows you innovation in a fixed-odds environment.” The panel also suggested studying innovation in other highly regulated industries, such as the financial sector’s addition of derivatives that resulted in an explosion in investment. Linnell encouraged experimentation in the pursuit of the home-run idea and emphasized the need for increasing the speed from innovation to implementation. Linnell said the TRPB, racetracks’ investigatory body which oversees a wide range of integrity issues,  stands ready to help regulators creating new betting-product models that comply with their rules and laws are legal, accountable, audit-able and fair to the betting public. “We’re going to find a jurisdiction in North America that is innovative and wants to challenge the status quo,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time. Hopefully we can find that sooner rather than later, and we can bring some of these innovations to the customers of horse racing. And that’s more money flowing back to the industry.” Ed Martin, ARCI’s president and CEO, said the likely expansion of sports betting will pave the way for racing to use fixed odds in addition to the pari-mutuel model. “I think it’s incumbent on every racing commission to have your general counsel look at any bills going through your legislature to make sure that they are broad enough, that you aren’t restricted in language in regards to wagering on horse racing, that it has to be pari-mutuel,” he said. “In some states it’s constitutional; in other states it’s a statute. You might give serious thought to slipping something in a bill that’s going through the legislature to give you maximum flexibility. It’s not only the racing’s commissions’ responsibility. It’s the responsibility of the tracks, the horsemen, the breed registries and everybody involved in this. “This sport is in a highly competitive environment. We can be sitting here talking about pari-mutuel wagering 10 years from now. But you just saw these statistics about fixed-odds wagering and where the market is taking wagering. You talk about bets going offshore because we cannot offer these opportunities domestically because we as an industry have not done what we needed to do to adopt to the technology coming forward. This is about the survival and competitive position of an industry. We can debate Lasix for five more years. But if we don’t debate this stuff, we’ll be debating Lasix in front of an empty grandstand.” Changes to ARCI’s model rules:  One of ARCI’s most important missions is to research, develop and approve rules and regulations that can a blueprint for racing jurisdictions to adopt.  Among the changes approved by the ARCI board after being recommended by its model rules committee: The concussion protocol for jockeys was amended to require that at least one of the previously-required medical professionals on site must be adequately trained in diagnosing concussions. The new rule also mandates establishment of guidelines for clearing jockeys to ride after sustaining a concussion. The scale of weights that jockeys carry in quarter-horse races was moved up four pounds in each age class (now 124 pounds for 2-year-olds, 126 for 3-year-olds and 124-128 for older horses). The addition of recommended best practices in the case of lighting during the races, which proved fortuitous with Thursday’s overnight and Friday morning’s thunderstorms in Hot Springs. The model-rules committee looked at other sports to see how they handled lightning, landing on a version of the NCAA lightning protocols. Maryland’s Hopkins new ARCI chair Mike Hopkins, the longtime executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission, was sworn in Thursday as ARCI’s new chair, following Washington State Racing Commission’s Jeff Colliton. ARCI chairs serve one-year terms. Dr. Corrine Sweeney, a noted equine researcher and member of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, became chair-elect after holding the post of treasurer. Marc Guilfoil, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, was voted recipient of the Len Foote Award in recognition of exemplary service and contribution to racing integrity by a commission executive director as chosen by his/her peers. “There are a lot of smart people in this room, and I’m not one of them,” Guilfoil said. “But my daddy taught me a long time ago that common sense goes a long way in life. We can never have enough common sense in horse racing.” .................................................... Three perspectives on how to achieve North American uniformity of thoroughbred racing regulations were presented on Thursday’s second day of the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s 84th annual conference on Equine Welfare and Racing Integrity. James Gagliano, president of The Jockey Club, batted leadoff and pushed for a proposed federal bill that would put control of drug testing in the hands of the United States Anti-Doping  Agency — a move widely opposed by the major horsemen’s associations, most racing regulators and privately by many racetracks. Alan Foreman, chairman and CEO of the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, countered that the Interstate Compact on Anti-Doping and Drug-Testing Standards spearheaded by Mid-Atlantic states is a template for achieving the uniformity that counts without adding a costly and unnecessary bureaucratic layer. The New Jersey Racing Commission, which is part of the Mid-Atlantic alliance, adopted a third approach by changing its laws to where the ARCI model rules automatically go into effect in the Garden State — a method known as “by reference.”  The model rules are created and approved by the ARCI board to provide the blueprint for individual jurisdictions in the regulation of the sport.  Gagliano painted a picture of an American industry that needs H.R. 2651, titled the Horseracing Integrity Act, to stay viable internationally by establishing a single authority to create and implement a national uniform medication program while putting medication oversight in the hands of USADA, which does not do actual testing but contracts with existing labs. “Until and unless states agree to adopt the ARCI model rules by reference, all effective on the same date and so long as the National Uniform Medication Program remains a living document, we most assuredly will never achieve uniformity in our current regulatory system,” he said.  Foreman said there is uniformity where it matters.  “We drug test, we identify prohibited substances and don’t permit prohibited substances,” he said, adding that “the enforcement might be different … But ladies and gentlemen, we are uniform. What we’ve tried to do over the years — and some people beat us up for this — is we try to do it better.”  Foreman said that 97 percent of betting on horse racing in America comes on states that have adopted the ARCI/RMTC Controlled Therapeutic Substances list.  “So when they tell you that we’re not uniform, put it in perspective as to who is not doing this, and does it really matter?” he said. Foreman said the Mid-Atlantic states represent 40 percent on the national handle on a daily basis as the nation’s largest concentration of racing, including at times when 12 thoroughbred tracks within 200 miles might run at the same time. As such, the Mid-Atlantic has led the charge toward uniformity, with its regional regulatory group mushrooming and creating what has become a potentially national compact in the Interstate Compact on Anti-Doping and Drug-Testing Standards, he said.  “Everyone who has skin in the game at this segment of our business, and they’re not there to bring their agendas,” he said of the current working group. “They are there to help collectively to move us forward to see if we’re complying with the national program. Are there next steps to take? What are the problems we need to address?”  Foreman noted a 23-percent reduction in positive findings among post-race drug tests in 2017 from 2016 in the region and a 27-percent decrease in equine fatalities from 2013 to 2017. He said that four years ago only a handful of racing laboratories had national accreditation, but that today only one state’s lab is not accredited.  “You hear all this stuff in the media about chaos and confusion and lack of uniformity,” he said. “… Is that chaos? Is that confusion? That’s compliance with a program.  “A compact is a streamlined way of getting us all collectively to adopt a rule and implement it at one time. It requires legislation in every state that wants to join. Maryland became the first state last week to unanimously adopt the compact… I expect by end of the year we’ll have Delaware, New Jersey, New York; and West Virginia will be next year because we’re beyond their (legislative) deadline…. The compact is not being created to become this new rule-making body.”  Compacts don’t have “opt-out” provisions, but the Mid-Atlantic’s compact — open to any state to join — requires that 80 percent of member jurisdictions vote in favor for a compact rule to pass.  “It’s a protection device to insure there is at least the ability to discuss and send back for further consideration a proposed rule,” Foreman said. “… It is designed as the next logical step, and that is: If you have a consensus and want to make a change, we can do it one time and do it quickly. Our horsemen want it, our regulators want it. It’s in everybody’s best interest, and it’s totally non-threatening. “The Mid-Atlantic has agreed to do this. And if nobody else does, that’s fine. This is not one of these ‘OK, we’ve got a national thing here and because Nevada and Wyoming didn’t join you don’t have a national compact and we’ve got to run to the federal government because they’re the only ones who are going to get it done.’ We’re going to do it for the people for whom it’s important.” Ed Martin, ARCI’s chief executive officer, cited states, including those outside the Mid-Atlantic, that have approved various forms of enabling legislations to join a compact. “There are more states looking at it for next year, and you are seeing some concrete advancement on this concept,” he said. “It’s not a theoretical.” Judy Nason, deputy director of the New Jersey Racing Commission, said her state looks forward to being in the compact. In pursuit of uniformity in 2014, New Jersey opted to adopt ARCI’s model rules by reference. “When ARCI updates the rules and amends them, New Jersey automatically incorporates those amendments and supplementations by reference,” she said. “It keeps us current with the work of this body.” Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association that fiercely opposes the federal bill, asked Gagliano from the audience about his repeated references to international racing and Grade 1 stakes.  “Are you talking about a class separation in integrity and a variation in testing?” Hamelback said. “Because you distinctly left out what I would consider 95 percent of racing…. We all agree essentially that North American racing is the leader in the world. So why does the international comparison continue to be utilized?”  Foreman added that in the Mid-Atlantic, every lab tests to the level of graded-stakes protocols. Martin said everyone agrees “on most aspects of where we need to be.  “There is a lot of money being spent on people to argue from both sides of this issue. I sit on the board of the RMTC, and I look at the amount of money committed to research. I look at the number of strains of EPO (Erythropoietin, used in blood doping) that nobody in the world — in horse racing lab or human — can detect. And where our challenge is with emerging threats, the amount of money we’re spending disagreeing over what route we should take (to uniformity), if that money was given to the RMTC to do research, we might be better off.  “This is a tough sport to police, whether you’re in California, New York, Washington, France, Great Britain. We need to collectively figure a way to pool certain resources and focus in on real threats we have to the integrity of this sport as well as the health and welfare of our horses. There might be some times when we just have to agree to disagree. But in the scheme of things, they are relatively minor.” Roundtable: Emerging drug threats include “research chemicals” bought online One of the daunting challenges for racing’s testing detectives trying to ferret out illegal substances in horses is the ability of people with a credit card and mailing address to purchase from unscrupulous websites medications and drugs that have the potential to affect performance in a race, said Dr. Rick Sams, laboratory director of the LGC Science Inc. that does Kentucky horse racing’s testing.  Sams said that the some substances showing up in post-race samples are listed as research chemicals “sold with disclaimer that they are for research purposes only and not to be administered to humans or animals. … Some have never been tested in animals or humans for any purpose. They are sold on the internet and can end up in people or horses that are entered to race.  “… We have to know the identity of these substances in order to enter them into our databases so that we can make identifications when we encounter them,” Sams said as part of a roundtable discussion on drug testing. “Methods to identify some of these substances will require innovative methods, and that will require considerable research funding. “Delays in our ability to find these substances are risk factors for integrity of racing and also potentially damaging to the health and welfare of the horse and human participants in racing.” Other areas of concern for the testing labs: selective androgen receptor modulators (known as SARMs) that appear to build muscle and burn fat but none of which are approved for use in medicine; designer drugs that include synthetic opioids; drugs resurfacing in racing samples after being discontinued because of side affects or addiction liability, and peptides, some of which are designed to have an anabolic-steroid effect.  “There are qualitative issues in regard to these substances,” Sams said of such online purchases. “In some instances they are impure. In some instances they don’t contain what they are labeled to contain, or they contain too much or too little based on label claim.”  Dr. Dionne Benson, executive director of the RMTC, said the consortium no longer focuses on therapeutic medication with precious research dollars. “We’re focusing on things that should never be in a horse, and eliminate those threats,” she said. She said that the RMTC also is starting “double blind testing” of the country’s racing testing labs, sending out doctored samples along with legitimate post-race regulatory samples to see if the lab detects what her staff put in it. RMTC currently is doing single blind testing, where the lab is told to test urine and blood samples that it knows were prepared by the RMTC.  “We know the labs are going to do their best work on it,” she said. “But what we need to find out is if your samples that you send in as a commission are treated the same way…. This is the only program like this in the world. We are learning a lot about the laboratories and their capabilities this way. The laboratories are doing fairly well. In some cases we’re finding that we administer drugs and none of the laboratories can find them, which doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a failure of laboratories. It means we need to do more work on that specific medication or substance because no one can find them. Ref; Research Chemicals .......................................................... Starting at the top, Arkansas’ pari-mutuel industry was spotlighted at Wednesday’s luncheon kicking off the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s 84th annual Conference on Equine Welfare and Racing Integrity at the Hotel Hot Springs. Gov. Asa Hutchinson lauded Oaklawn Park; the track’s influential owner Charles Cella, who died in December, was remembered, and Cecil Alexander, who spent 24 years on the Arkansas State Racing Commission, most as chairman before stepping down two years ago at age 80, was presented the "William May" Award, the ARCI’s highest award and which recognizes an individual or entity that has had a profound positive effect on racing and racing integrity. The conference attendees also heard state of the industry updates from leaders of pari-mutuel racing’s four major groups. Hutchinson said that, behind agriculture, Arkansas’ No. 2 industry is tourism, for which he said travel-related expenses in the state have increased 32 percent the last five years. “The venues of Oaklawn and Southland are two historic venues providing premium racing for our state,” he said, referencing the 114-year-old thoroughbred track and Southland Park Gaming and Racing greyhound track in West Memphis. “We’re proud of it and we protect it and want to make sure (they) are the premium venues for racing in our country. They are success stories. Oaklawn is the top commercial tourist attraction in Arkansas, with 2.8 million visitors last year, 1,500 employees during racing season, a $250 million economic impact for the state of Arkansas.” Hutchinson then acknowledged “the incredible work of Cecil Alexander” and his varying careers as a restaureur, in real estate and as vice president of governmental affairs from 1980-2000. The governor said the futures of Oaklawn and Southland were in great jeopardy when Alexander joined the Arkansas State Racing Commission in 1993. “He oversaw a resurgence in both Oaklawn and Southland,” Hutchinson said. “… Cecil used every legislative trick in the book to get it done. From ‘Instant Racing’ he was able to get installed, to games of skill being passed through the legislature that reinvigorated Oaklawn and Southland, he has made a difference in our racing environment and success of racing in Arkansas every step of the way.” Hutchinson planned to go with daughter Sarah to Oaklawn that afternoon, joking, “You can’t give me any trips, but feel to help Sarah out. She’ll keep it very confidential.” In the remembrance of Cella, ARCI chief executive officer Ed Martin said, “We lost one of the greats of racing this past year when Charles Cella passed away. The Cella family has meant much to racing, not only here in Arkansas but everywhere. Challenges put out and the product put out week after week is second to none. We’re just sorry that we can’t stay for the Arkansas Derby.” Louis Cella, who took over as the Oaklawn Jockey Club’s president after his father’s death Dec. 6, said that while the track dates to 1904 “our renaissance really started with my father. For 50 years he maintained a single goal: aim high strive to be the best. “It took more than just a sportsman; it took a team,” he said. “That team included government, commissioners, horsemen, the 1,500 loyal employees that by the way equates to one employee for every stall we have on the backstretch. Because of this team effort, today we’re allowed to offer open maidens for more than $80,000, allowance races as high as $85,000. We typically have 20,000 people in the grandstands. Two weeks ago on our Rebel (stakes day) we had nearly 40,000 and next week at our Derby we’ll have maybe 60,000, 70,000. As the governor said, we’re the largest commercial tourism attraction in the state, making Hot Springs the top tourist destination of the state. “When you’re in a smaller location a little bit off the beaten path, you have to work harder and be creative to survive.” Louis Cella said the Arkansas racing commission was instrumental when Oaklawn offered the first merged-pool interstate simulcast wagering in 1990 when the track took Arlington Park’s full card. As casino boats on the Mississippi River flooded Oaklawn’s market, “It staggered us, but we knew we had to do something to survive.” Under Alexander’s regulatory leadership, Oaklawn invented Instant Racing, also known as historical horse racing — an electronic parimutuel wagering product utilizing hundreds of thousands of previously run races. “We didn’t know if it would work, but we knew if we didn’t try something, we would not make it,” Cella said. “From its inception in 2000, Instant Racing turned us around…. Suddenly we were picking ourselves up off the canvas and getting back in the game…. Working with the commission and the (horsemen), we believed we developed the best racing model for racing and gaming, just as my father had hoped for.” He said the Oaklawn Foundation channels millions of dollars into Hot Spring for college scholarships, educational programs and initiatives for senior citizens.  “Oaklawn has gone from trying to fill races to becoming one of the leading, brightest lights in racing,” Cella said. “This could not have been without people like Gov. Hutchinson, like our racing commission, our horsemen and breeders, our loyal fans and so many others who have a stake and care about how Oaklawn operates. By working together, setting aside agendas, there isn’t any question we are continuing to do what my father set out to do 50 years ago: aim high, do it right and be the best.” Updates on parimutuel racing’s four major groups NTRA’s Waldrop: ‘Nothing more important to future than investing in facilities’ Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, reported on thoroughbred racing’s recent successes with betting and purses up in 2017; the explosive rise of online and account betting; the victory in getting the Treasury Department to adopt modernized regulations regarding the withholding and reporting of pari-mutuel proceeds, allowing horseplayers to keep more of their winnings; increasing popularity of the big-event days; robust sales at the top end at horse auctions, and new programs and favorable tax policy for horse owners. “Our big race days are at an all-time high, no question,” Waldrop said, including the Breeders’ Cup bringing on new host sites Keeneland and Del Mar and Gulfstream Park creating the $16 million Pegasus World Cup. “… The popularity of these big events has led most of our big tracks — NYRA, Churchill Downs, the Stronach Group, Oaklawn Park — to invest millions of dollars in their facilities. I think nothing is more important to the future of the thoroughbred industry than the reinvestment of dollars in our facilities. We need convenient, state-of-the-art facilities if we’re going to compete in this very challenging sports entertainment environment.” But Waldrop said challenges include the vastly-shrunk foal crop, horse auctions’ middle and lower market and the potential added competition of sports betting. “You don’t really have a horse shortage; you have an owner shortage,” he said. “We do need new owners. We have programs in place to do that…. On multiple fronts, we’re working to addresses public concerns about safety and welfare. We’re looking to find new homes and second careers for off-track thoroughbreds… The past decade there’s been a commitment to improving the safety of human and equine athletes, and it’s starting to show significant results. “Even with many challenges, thoroughbred racing is alive and well today, and we’re very optimistic that it will remain so for many years to come.” USTA’s Tanner:  ‘Never been a better time to own a standardbred racehorse’ Mike Tanner, executive vice president of the United States Trotting Association, said the standardbred industry’s status largely mirrors those of thoroughbred racing but on a smaller scale. He said his membership is holding steady at about 15,800, down from 1986 when it approached 50,000. “We were slightly down in handle last year, about 4 percent,” said Tanner, who started out in thoroughbred racing. “We handled about $1.4 billion. We were flat in terms of per-race handle. But the number of races were down, number of race days were down, owing to foal-crop size. Purses were very strong, up 2 percent. We gave away $432 million in purses last year. “I go around the country telling people there’s never been a better time to own a standardbred racehorse, and it’s the truth. The financial incentives are quite generous. Our costs of training are relatively-speaking lower (than thoroughbreds), our horses race more frequently and it’s a hands-on sport as well. When I was a kid I wanted to be a jockey. Genetics and my love of food obviously conspired against me. However, I can and am able to hop on a race bike to help train standardbreds. It’s a great breed.” Tanner said the breed is creating the Standardbred Transition Alliance, similar to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to guarantee care for retired racehorses. The proposal is pursuing a $1 per-start fee paid by owners, which would have reaped more than $330,00 starts last year, and a $1 fee on every transaction processed by the USTA, which would have raised $110,000 last year. AQHA’s VanBebber: Breed-specific rules boost move toward uniformity Jane VanBebber, the chief racing officer for the American Quarter Horse Association, said the sprint breed is making great strides toward uniformity of regulations among states, giving a shout-out to ARCI having breed-specific model rules that allow the quarter horse industry to address issues that aren’t as problematic in the other racing breeds. “Several of our jurisdictions have made plenty of improvements this year,” VanBebber said. “We are invigorated by new ownership at Ruidoso Downs, with a partnership of gentlemen who have been very involved in quarter horse racing and are very committed to our sport. We have different jurisdictions that have enjoyed growth. Wyoming just boasted $1.7 million in breeders awards in their state, much due in part to historical horse racing. Colorado in 2017 offered fewer quarter-horse races at Arapaho Park. They found they missed us, and in 2018 they brought back all the races.  “Oklahoma just kicked off their Meeting of Champions and had the first futurity where every entrant into the race was hair-tested as a condition of entry. Between the Futurity and Derby there were roughly 170 horses tested and only three positives and those were from the Derby, in 3-year-olds that had competed in a jurisdiction that allowed a level of Clenbuterol. “So we feel the work we’re doing enhancing integrity in that area through hair testing is proving a very viable alternative. Talking about the anti-doping, all jurisdictions are coming on board with uniformity…. thanks in part to the breed-specific rules passed here last year. I’m really proud of that for our association, because we can use that as a tool to combat some of the problems that are specific to quarter-horse racing.” She said reduced racing opportunities are a concern, along with funding and sponsorship support and the issue of “program” trainers, where a horse might in reality be trained by someone not listed in the official entries. “I’m real pleased that the good outweighs the bad,” VanBebber said. “I think the future is bright for quarter-horse racing.” National Greyhound Association’s Ward: ‘We battle to survive on a daily basis' Julie Ward, president of the National Greyhound Association, gave props to Arkansas’ Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis for its purses, promotion of the sport and quality and care of the animals. But said the sport of greyhound racing is under siege.  “The greyhound business is in a constant battle with the animal-rights activists, unfortunately with some racetracks and state legislators,” Ward said. “So we battle to survive on a daily basis. We try to stay positive internally, to stay upbeat, and we do. We’re able to show that through the quality and care of the animals. But we’re under a lot of pressure and scrutiny. “We still feel our product is very viable…. Several auctions have reached $1 million of sales. But what is going on down in Florida right now is going to be a big factor in where our industry goes. There is an amendment trying, by animal-rights activists, to let the general public be able to vote to get rid of greyhound racing and simulcasting. It is very scary…. Greyhound racing has been around since the pharaohs, and we would love for it to continue and be a part of this. We’re just going through a big battle and we need everyone’s support.” Rebecca Shoemaker

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Bisphosphonates — a class of drugs that prevent the bone-density loss —might have some therapeutic value for older racehorses but speakers at the Conference on Equine Welfare and Racing Integrity warned of the potential harm caused by such treatments for young horses such yearlings and 2-year-olds.  That was among the takeaways from Wednesday’s Animal Welfare Forum of the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s 84th annual conference, being held through Friday at the Hotel Hot Springs. The related discussion included how pari-mutuel racing’s regulators might address abuse of bisphosphonates and at what stage should horses come under the jurisdiction of a racing regulatory authority. ARCI members are the only independent entities recognized by law to license, make and enforce rules and adjudicate matters pertaining to racing. Dr. Jeff Blea, a Southern California veterinarian who is the past chair of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and heads its racing committee, called bisphosphonates “a nuclear button right now, not only in the racing industry but in the breeding industry.”  Dr. Lynn Hovda, the Minnesota Racing Commission’s equine medical director, said bisphosphonates don’t just impact what could be a sore bone or joint, but they go throughout the skeletal system.  Dr. Sue Stover, a professor at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, said the rational for giving young horses bisphosphonates is to ward off stress fractures, joint problems and some abnormalities. “Ultimately it was just the silver bullet of preventing all these problems,” she said. However, Stover said that bisphosphonates in young horses actually interfere with the development and growth of bone, reduce bone’s ability to heal and makes bone more susceptible to cracks. One study of Israel military recruits showed bisphosphonates did not prevent stress fractures when given before training, she said. One of her major concerns is that bisphosphonates, as analgesics, have the potential to mask pain. Conference attendee Carrie Brogden — a breeder and consigner whose Machmer Hall Farm in Paris, Ky., bred champion Tepin — said she and husband Craig do not treat horses with bisphosphonates but that the panel opened her eyes about what could be an industry problem. “You’re talking about horses who may have been treated as yearlings coming down the race pipeline,” she said. “I guess it’s a small sample right now. But this is being kind of pushed in Lexington as like the safe cure, not as something to be avoided.” Blea said taking a page from the British Horseracing Authority’s ban on bisphosphonates in race horses under 3 1/2 years old and requiring a 30-day “stand down” from racing “would be a good place to start.” He said the AAEP recently assembled a committee to discuss bisphosphonates and mentioned a talk on the subject that he gave two years ago to several hundred veterinarians. “I asked, ‘How many people are using bisphosphonates in their practice?’” Blea said. “There might have been five or six people raise their hands. After the talk, 25 people came up to me asked me, ‘Is there a test for it?’ “The reality is that we don’t know enough about it. I’ve spoken to practitioners who have told me it is rampant in the thoroughbred yearling industry, rampant in the 2-year-old training sales. I know it’s being used on the racetrack, though I don’t believe it’s being used as much on the racetrack as people think. I think it’s one of those things that have come and gone.” But John Campbell, the legendary harness-racing driver who last year retired to become president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, said the standardbred industry has had “great luck” using bisphosphonates to treat young horses with distal cannon-bone disease with “no adverse affects that I can see.” He noted that thoroughbreds are much more at risk of catastrophic injuries than the gaited standardbreds. ARCI president Ed Martin urged racing regulators to start working on a model rule as to when jurisdiction over a horse begins, which could allow them to address  the concern over bisphosphonates. One of ARCI’s missions is to create model rules that provide the member regulatory groups a blueprint for their own laws or legislation dealing with all aspects of horse racing. “I think it would behoove all of us to work on a model regulatory policy so we have uniformity in terms of when the horse should come under the jurisdiction of the racing commission,” Martin said. “When we talk about out-of-competition testing or questioning the use of certain medications, the first thing somebody is going to say is, ‘You don’t have jurisdiction over this horse, and you don’t regulate the practice of veterinary medicine.’” Matt Iuliano, The Jockey Club’s executive vice president, said that about 75 percent of thoroughbreds will make a start by age 4, leaving a 25-percent “leakage rate.” He suggested a more cost-effective and logical place to put horses under regulatory control is once they have a timed workout, indicating an intent to race. “You’ve probably taken that 75 percent to 90 percent,” he said. Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, agreed with starting regularity control with a horse’s first published work. He expressed hope for a common-sense rule that would be fair to everyone, while cautioning of bisphosphonates, “There is a lack of facts and research being done. We don’t want to go after writing rules just to write rules. Finding out exactly, if there is a concern — and what that concern is — to me is the most important first stage. And then where we’re going to attack and fix the problem.” Identifying risk — and protective — factors in horses  Dr. Scott Palmer, the equine medical director for the New York Gaming Association, discussed identifying risk factors in racing, including those at “boutique” meets such as Saratoga, Del Mar and Keeneland, with the inherent demands to get owners’ horses to those races because of their exceptional purse money and prestige. Palmer cited some risk factors as being on the “vets” list for an infirmity, not racing at 2, trainer change, switching to a different track’s surface and dropping in class. He said protective factors also must be identified. Palmer said changes that have established themselves as diminishing risks would not all be popular and could require a change in mindset, such as writing fewer cheap claiming races, limiting the claiming purse to twice the value of the horse, consolidating race meets, biosecurity and limiting the number of stalls given the large outfits. He said racetrack safety accreditation by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is important. Also mentioned: continuing education for veterinarians, trainers and assistant trainers, along with increased scrutiny of horses seeking removal from the vets list after a long layoff. “We’re not going to get rid of fixed risk factors, but we can mitigate them,” Palmer said. Dr. Rick Arthur advises the California Horse Racing Board on equine medication and drug testing, veterinary medicine and the health and safety of horses under CHRB’s jurisdiction. After a rash of fatalities in 2016, Del Mar’s actions included allowing only horses having timed workouts to be on the track for the first 10 minutes following a renovation break and giving up a week of racing to allow additional time to get the track in shape for the meet after the property was used for the San Diego County Fair Arthur cited a study that determined horses scratched by a regulatory veterinarian did not race back for 110 days on average, while the average horse ran back in about 40 days. “The bottom line is we’re actually identifying the right horse,” he said of vet scratches. “The real issue is: are we identifying all the horses we should?” Sports betting: “Amazing potential” Horse racing, professional sports leagues and casinos are awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court decision this spring on New Jersey’s challenge to the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which for the last quarter-century effectively has made sports betting illegal except in Nevada and a few other states. The consensus of a conference panel was that sports betting could be on us extremely quickly and that racetracks and states, as well as racing regulators who in some states might oversee betting on sports, must be prepared.  Jessica Feil, a gaming law associate with Ifrah Law in Washington, D.C., said she thinks racing and sports betting will fit well together and could open up new kinds of wagers on horses, including parlays that span sporting events and races. “I envision amazing potential,” she said. Alex Waldrop, CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said one advantage for horse racing is that the Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 allows bets to be made across state lines, which paved the way for simulcasting into commingled pools. “We have some leverage,” he said. "If sports waging goes forward, you won’t be able to bet across state lines” without passage of enabling federal legislation. Attached photos: Dr. Sue Stover, a professor at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, discusses bisphosphonates on a panel that included moderator Dr. Corrine Sweeney (far left) of the Pennsylvania Racing Commission and Dr. Lynn Hovda, equine director for the Minnesota Racing Commission, with the ARCI's Kerry Holloway on the computer launching a visual presentation. A panel Wednesday discussing at what point horses should come under the jurisdiction of a racing regulatory authority (left to right): National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback; Tom DiPasquale, executive director of the Minnesota Racing Commission, and Matt Iuliano, executive vice president of The Jockey Club. The Association of Racing Commissioners International

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry on Monday following an investigation that commenced on 19 December 2017 during an inspection of the registered training establishment of licensed trainer, Mr Joseph Pace. During that stable inspection, HRNSW Steward Mr Daniel Westwood, located a bottle labelled PENTOFLEX GOLD, an unregistered product. Evidence was presented to the inquiry by Mr Pace and HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian, Dr Martin Wainscott. Mr Ian Mitchell also provided evidence to the inquiry by telephone. The results of scientific analysis conducted on the product were also presented to the inquiry. Mr. Pace pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 194 as follows: 194.        A person who procures or attempts to procure or has in his possession or on his premises or under his control any substance or preparation that is not registered or labelled in accordance with either State or Commonwealth Legislation is guilty of an offence. As a result, the training licence of Mr Pace was fully suspended for a period of nine (9) months to commence immediately. In determining penalty, Stewards gave consideration to the following matters: Mr Pace’s second offence for such matters having been licensed in the harness racing industry in New South Wales in excess of 40 years; His guilty plea; Mr Pace’s overall licence history and other personal subjective facts, including personal hardship. Mr Pace was advised of his right to appeal this decision. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

The Robert Dunn Racing Stable has accepted the charges laid by the Racing Integrity Unit in relation to the return of positive swabs from the Nelson Winter Cup two-day meeting in June. The Judicial Control Authority for Racing confirmed yesterday that the Dunn stable accepted the charges. A judicial committee are currently looking over the case and a disciplinary decision is expected in the coming weeks. The Dunn stable is charged with presenting horses with a banned substance. They returned four positive swabs for caffeine at the Nelson meeting which took place from June 9 to 11. Three of the horses which tested positive were directly from the Dunn stable, while the fourth was from Craig and Aimee Edmonds’ stable. However, that horse was under the care of the Dunn stable, which took it to Nelson. Dunn has previously claimed the horses were nobbled – where the caffeine is administered by an outside party. His claim caused rifts within the Canterbury harness racing community. He also enlisted the help of a private investigator to undertake his own investigation. The Dunn stable is currently second in the harness racing trainer’s premiership with 55 wins – 17 behind Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Robert Dunn has three previous convictions for breaches of the prohibited substance rule.   By  Gordon Findlater   Reprinted with permission of Star.Kiwi site  

NEW ORLEANS — Ted Shults, a nationally recognized expert in forensic toxicology and law, says racing chemists and regulators face “self-inflicted injury” if their testing policies fail to recognize the existence of environmental contamination and inadvertent transfer of recreational and prescription medications to horses. “We would never do this on the human side,” said Shults, who works in both the equine and human testing worlds. Such environmental transfer to horses was the topic of the Kent Stirling Memorial Scientific Panel at the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Convention that concluded Friday at the Astor Crowne Plaza. The audience heard how increasingly sensitive testing has led to horses testing positive for drugs or therapeutic medications that were not administered to them by their trainer or veterinarian. Among them: cocaine, morphine, methamphetamine, dextromethorphan and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Naproxen. The Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association has lobbied hard for screening and threshold levels that would not call a positive finding for such substances when detected at trace levels that have no impact on horses’ performance. Shults said he worked for one of the first certified labs that did testing for the U.S. military. “One of the first things I learned was, ‘Look, we have a choice here: Do we want a litigation program? Or do we want a testing program?'” he said. “My view has always been, ‘Get the litigatable issues out of here. Figure out a way of fixing them. Don’t make believe they don’t exist. Don’t try to cover them up.’ Because the word will get out, and next thing you know we’re up to our elbows in cases.” Dr. Thomas Tobin, the veterinarian and pharmacologist at the University of Kentucky who is a longtime consultant to the National HBPA on medication and drug testing, showed findings from a 2016 study where swabs of the walls in 18 ship-in stalls at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races detected 30 different medications and drugs on the walls. The 50 total instances of contamination broke down to 20 findings of equine medications, 16 of recreational drugs and 14 of human prescription medications, he said. Shults said that with today’s testing technology “the race for sensitivity is over…. We’re on the verge of going toward (detection levels) of parts per trillion. “My concern is now–and what we recognize on the human side–OK, we’re down in the picogram level, but what are we measuring? What are we looking at?” said Shults, who began his toxicology training under Tobin. “… Now we’re dealing with environmental contamination, and it’s not just on the surface. We have it in the air. People smoke marijuana, they smoke crack, methamphetamine. And then we have water, and we have food. “… I first heard about this maybe 15 years ago when people were finding benzoylecgonine (a metabolite of cocaine) in the Po River that runs through Rome. I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Well they found it on the West Coast in the Snake River…I think there’s a growing awareness of environmental contamination out there, because it’s well established that most of the paper (currency) in circulation has benzoylecgonine. But there’s more and more paper that has–guess what?– methamphetamine. Now I don’t think the horses are eating the dollar bills out of the grooms’ pocket. But it’s become part of the environment, of the universe we live in. You have a drug user, maybe it’s a legal drug, maybe illegal. If they’re going to take whiz in the stall on the hay, guess who is going to eat the hay?… One of my favorite little ones, esoteric kind of thing, this is a guy that’s got a (positive) test for minoxidil–Rogaine. It was the guy’s hair spray.” Dr. Levent Dirikolu, who oversees Louisiana horse racing’s testing at the LSU lab, said a cocaine positive should not be called if only the metabolite benzoylecgonine is detected. That is a clear sign of environmental contamination that doesn’t impact the horse, he said. Dr. Clara Fenger, a Kentucky veterinarian and researcher, brought up Illinois harness racing cases where horses were testing positive for the pain medication Tramadol–all having raced out of the same paddock stall. “The paddock judge was urinating in the stall, and the paddock judge was on Tramadol,” she said. “…. We need to start considering an environmental contamination violation category, so we can separate contaminants from real attempts to cheat.” Hugh Gallagher, the New York Racing Association’s safety steward, offered the perspective of racing officials. He said mitigating factors must be considered in such cases. But he also said that trainers must do more to keep their barn environmentally contaminant-free, including stressing to employees that “stalls are not bathrooms.” He also cautioned about keeping coffee, tea, energy drinks and chocolate away from horses. Likewise, regulators must do a better job sanitizing those areas where horses have blood and urine samples taken, he said, also advocating drug testing employees who handle horses at some stage of a race. Dr. Scott Stanley, who heads California’s testing lab, said labs and commissions must be open to doing detective work to ferret out what might cause a positive finding, not just assuming the trainer is to blame. He agreed more can be done to reduce the transfer of substances to horses. One suggestion: having horse identifiers and the starting-gate crew wear latex gloves, and more pre-employment drug screening be implemented. MaryAnn O’Connell, executive director of the Washington HBPA, said some officials view contamination “as the new loophole for trainers” and are unwilling to consider the science. “It should not be taken as a loophole,” Gallagher said, saying he would refer the matter for Racing Officials Accreditation Program’s stewards advisory committee. “… We have to work together and find solutions together. Racing regulators and horsemen have to work for a common goal. And it has to be done the right way and done fairly and justly.” Drug contamination in tap drinking water By Jennie Rees Reprinted with permission of The Thoroughbred Daily News

Licensed harness racing trainer and driver Amanda Turnbull appeals against a decision of the stewards of 14 February 2018 to impose upon her a period of disqualification of three months to operate from that date for a breach of the prohibited substance rules, and that is, as is usually the case, a breach of Australian Harness Racing Rules 190 (1), (2) and (4) and it was particularised as follows: “that you Ms Amanda Turnbull, being the licensed trainer of the horse Taihape Sunset (NZ), did present that horse to race at Dubbo on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, with a prohibited substance in its system, namely triamcinolone acetonide, that was certified by 2 laboratories approved by the controlling body.”  When confronted with that charge, the appellant pleaded guilty. The stewards then proceeded to penalty. She has maintained that admission of the breach of the rule before this Tribunal. This is a severity appeal only and accordingly the facts to be canvassed can be reduced. To read the full transcipt click here.

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer Maryanne Laffan. AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.  The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Ms Laffan related to a post-race blood sample collected from the horse ‘Westvillageemily’ after winning Race 4, the ‘Great Northern Super Crisp 3YO Pace’, on 25 July 2017 at the Kilmore harness racing meeting. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the blood sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely alkalinising agents as evidenced by a total carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration in excess of 36.0 millimoles per litre in plasma. This analysis was confirmed by referee analysis of the blood sample at the Racing Science Centre in Brisbane. Ms Laffan pleaded not guilty to the charge before submissions were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Andrew Peace, acting on behalf of Ms Laffan.  The charge against Ms Laffan was subsequently found proven by the HRV RAD Board In determining penalty the HRV RAD Board considered the following: The serious nature of this particular rule breach, which was evidenced by a very high TCO2 concentration of greater than 39 millimoles per litre in plasma; Ms Laffan’s not-guilty plea; Ms Laffan’s disciplinary record, which included a previous TCO2 matter; Previous penalties for similar offences and the need for consistency; Specific and general deterrence; Ms Laffan’s personal circumstances put forward by her representative. In considering all of these matters, the HRV RAD Board disqualified Ms Laffan for a period of 12 months, deemed to commence immediately. The HRV RAD Board also ordered, under AHRR 195, that ‘Westvillageemily’ be disqualified from Race 4 at Kilmore on 25 July 2017 and the placings amended accordingly.  HRV RAD Board Panel: John Doherty (Deputy Chair), John Kearney, Kerry Willcock Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

An aggrieved harness racing bettor has gone to court to recoup more than $31,000 in winnings he said he was cheated out of when a doped horse won a race in New Jersey two years ago. Leading figures in harness racing said they had never before heard of such a lawsuit, which accuses the trainer of fraud and racketeering. The general practice is to reallocate the purse to other owners in the event a winning horse is later proven to have been doped, but not to pay back bettors. The trainer's lawyer said the lawsuit was flawed, and that he might demand its retraction. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, represents an effort by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to open the gates for more litigation by bettors, which the animal rights group hopes would dramatically curtail illegal horse doping. PETA contends that injured horses are sometimes dying on the tracks because they were doped illegally or overmedicated to keep them running when they should be recuperating. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jeffrey Tretter, an experienced gambler from Granite City, Illinois. The lawsuit says Tretter placed wagers through an online betting site on a harness race at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Jan. 15, 2016. The horses he picked to place first through fourth instead finished behind Tag Up and Go, who had been a longshot in the race. Meadowlands later revealed that Tag Up and Go had tested positive for EPO, a banned performance-enhancing substance, based on blood samples taken in December. As a result, trainer Robert Bresnahan Jr. was barred from competing at Meadowlands, but there was no redress for bettors such as Tretter. According to his lawsuit, he correctly picked the horses that finished second, third, fourth and fifth behind the doped horse in a variety of wagers that would have paid a combined $31,835 if Tag Up and Go had been disqualified. The lawsuit alleges fraud on the part of Bresnahan and the company that owned Tag Up and Go. It also alleges violations of the federal and state anti-racketeering laws known as RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), contending that the federal law was violated because Bresnahan was engaging in interstate commerce. The suit asks that Tretter be recompensed for his lost winnings in the race and be awarded additional punitive damages. Bresnahan, who runs a stable in Manalapan, New Jersey, referred The Associated Press to his lawyer, Howard Taylor, who said the lawsuit would not hold up in court. According to Taylor, the testing involving Tag Up and Go has no official standing in the U.S. legal system because it was conducted at a racing lab in Hong Kong. He also said the suspension imposed by the Meadowlands on Bresnahan was the act of a private business, and did not represent any official finding of wrongdoing by the trainer. Taylor said he planned to contact the New Jersey law office representing Tretter, demanding that they retract the lawsuit and apologize to Bresnahan. "If not, we're looking into filing a suit for libel," Taylor said. In February 2016, Bresnahan issued a statement insisting he neither administered EPO to Tag Up and Go, nor authorized anyone else to do so. "This news was a complete shock to me and obviously very upsetting," he wrote. Shortly after that statement appeared, Meadowlands announced that a second horse of Bresnahan's had tested positive for EPO. Bresnahan also was fined and suspended for 60 days for illegally administering the painkiller oxymorphone to a horse called Mr. Caviar in 2012, according to the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. The owner of Meadowlands, Jeff Gural, has been among the leaders in harness racing trying to curb doping. The Tag Up and Go doping case emerged through one of his initiatives, establishing "out of competition" drug testing that subjects horses to the possibility of testing at any time. But he said unscrupulous trainers are constantly changing tactics to avoid detection. "It's a cat and mouse game, the same as in human sports," Gural said. "They know what drugs are being tested for — they try to stay one step ahead." There has been some federal engagement in the fight against horse doping. For example, a federal prosecutor in Pennsylvania last year won the conviction of a horse trainer at Penn National race track on charges of conspiring with three veterinarians to fraudulently administer prescription drugs for her horses on race days. There is also a bill pending in Congress that would establish a national anti-doping and medication authority for horse racing in the U.S., operated under the oversight of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, known as USADA. The bill, introduced in the House last year, has not advanced out of committee. Gural said he supports the bill as a needed step toward standardizing rules that now vary among the 38 different racing jurisdictions in the U.S. Many leading harness racing figures oppose the bill, including Mike Tanner, CEO of the U.S. Trotting Association. "There are too many holes in it," said Tanner, who worries that the bill would impose significant new costs on owners to underwrite additional drug testing. PETA is critical of horse racing, but is pushing for reforms rather than actively campaigning for an all-out ban. The group hopes the lawsuit will curtail doping. "Horses continue to be drugged, bettors get cheated, and trainers get slaps on the wrist," said PETA senior vice president Kathy Guillermo. "Maybe if they're hit squarely in the wallet, they will pay attention and stop hurting horses." By David Crary Reprinted with permission of ABC News

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer-driver Josh Aiken. AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Aiken related to a urine sample taken from the horse ‘The Defiant’ at the Shepparton trial meeting on 29 August 2017. The definition of a ‘race’ within the AHRR includes an official trial. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that the analysis of the urine sample revealed it to contain the prohibited substances levamisole and aminorex. The Racing Science Centre (RSC) in Queensland confirmed these findings in the reserve portion of the relevant urine sample.  Mr Aiken pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from the HRV Stewards and Mr Aiken.  In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Aiken’s cooperation throughout the investigation and guilty plea at the earliest opportunity, his good record in the industry, the references he presented, his remorse and the steps already taken to ensure that he does not commit another similar offence. The HRV RAD Board also emphasised the purpose of the rules in relation to prohibited substances, the dangers associated with horses competing with these substances in their system and the substance in question not being registered for use in horses in Australia. Mr Aiken was subsequently fined $5000, of which $2000 was suspended for a period of 12 months. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that, under AHRR 195, ‘The Defiant’ be disqualified from Trial 3 at Shepparton on 29 August 2017. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Hugh Millar, Rod Osborne Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

On 21 February 2018, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board considered a charge issued against trainer Nick Tardio under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1). AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The charge related to a pre-race urine sample collected from the horse “Kissed Flush” at Mildura on 4 April 2017. “Kissed Flush” finished ninth in Race 8, the “Mark Gurry and Associates Cup (2nd Heat)”. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely cobalt, above the allowable threshold of 100 micrograms per litre (µg/L). The reserve sample analysis by the Racing Science Centre (Qld) confirmed the result. Mr Tardio was represented by Mr O’Dea (solicitor) and pleaded not guilty to the charge. Mr O’Dea and Mr Tardio participated in the hearing by telephone. Mr Svanosio appeared for the HRV Stewards. Mr Paul Zahra (Scientific Manager at RASL) gave evidence and was cross-examined. Preliminary issues In correspondence sent to HRV late on 20 February (received on 21 February) Mr O’Dea indicated that he would argue that Mr Tardio had no case to answer relying on rule 191(7) (set out below) and requested “copies of any certification that RASL and QRIC have with regards to their instruments used to obtain the results presented in the brief”. Documents showing the accreditation of RASL by the National Association of Testing Authorities and the HRV Policy showing approval of the Racing Science Centre (Qld) as an analytical laboratory were provide by Mr Svanosio at the commencement of the hearing. Mr O’Dea submitted that the evidence of the results of the urine sample should be excluded because they did not comply with section 10 of the National Measurement Act 1960 (Cth) and the relevant regulations, particularly regulation 73. Section 10 provides: When, for any legal purpose, it is necessary to ascertain whether a measurement of a physical quantity for which there are Australian legal units of measurement has been made or is being made in terms of those units, that fact shall be ascertained by means of, by reference to, by comparison with or by derivation from: (a) an appropriate Australian primary standard of measurement; (b) an appropriate Australian secondary standard of measurement; (c) an appropriate State primary standard of measurement; (d) an appropriate recognized-value standard of measurement; (e) an appropriate reference standard of measurement; (f) 2 or more standards of measurement, each of which is a standard of measurement referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e); (g) an Australian certified reference material; (h) a certified measuring instrument; (i) one or more standards of measurement, each of which is a standard of measurement referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) and an Australian certified reference material; (j) one or more standards of measurement, each of which is a standard of measurement referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) and a certified measuring instrument; or (k) one or more standards of measurement, each of which is a standard of measurement referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e), an Australian certified reference material and a certified measuring instrument;  and not in any other manner. Mr O’Dea submitted that the hearing was judicial in nature and that the evidence of the urine sample results relied upon by the Stewards had to comply with section 10(h). Mr O’Dea provided written submissions and other material in addition to his oral submissions. He referred to Breedon v Kongras (1996) (unreported, Supreme Court, WA, Owen J, 25 September 1996).  Mr Svanosio submitted that there was no requirement that RASL or the Racing Science Centre (Qld) use testing equipment that complies with the National Measurement Act. He provided copies of and relied upon two decisions of the South Australian Racing Appeals Tribunal (Trotta, RAT 11/2017 and Borg, RAT 2/2017). In relation to this issue, the HRV RAD Board decided that it was not satisfied that there is a requirement that testing equipment be calibrated or otherwise approved under the National Measurement Act and noted that Mr O’Dea could not point to any specific requirement. Therefore, the Board did not accept that the evidence of the sample readings from RASL and the Racing Science Centre (Qld) should be excluded. The HRV RAD Board is not a court of law and the current proceedings are not a prosecution. The Board is established by legislation and operates pursuant to its own rules, which include VLR 50(1)(g) which provides that “the rules of evidence as generally applied in a court of record shall not apply”. Further, even if the National Measurement Act does apply, subsection 10(a) only requires that a measurement of a physical quantity “be ascertained by means of, by reference to, by comparison with or by derivation from (a) an appropriate Australian primary standard of measurement”, which is the case here. Mr O’Dea then sought an adjournment so that Mr Tardio could lead expert evidence. The expert that he proposed to call was not available immediately. This application was opposed by Mr Svanosio who submitted that Mr Tardio had not complied with VLR 50(5) which requires an expert witness report to be served 7 days prior to the hearing and states that a party may not otherwise call an expert witness without the consent of the HRV RAD Board.  The Board refused the application for an adjournment and did not grant consent for an expert witness to be called by Mr O’Dea, noting that the hearing had already been adjourned twice at the request of Mr Tardio’s legal representatives (16 November 2017 and 12 December 2017) and that there had been ample opportunity for Mr Tardio and his representatives to prepare his case. Submissions and evidence as to the charge Mr Svanosio referred to the material in the brief of evidence, which was tendered. Mr Zahra was called and gave oral evidence.  Mr O’Dea took issue with the certificates (marked HRV 8 and HRV 11) because they indicated that the cobalt concentration was greater than 200µg/L, rather than an exact amount. He cross-examined Mr Zahra on this issue. Mr Zahra explained that the calibration range for the instruments used for testing the sample only goes to double the allowable threshold of 100 µg/L, that is, 200µg/L. Mr Zahra gave evidence that the results were accurate and that he was able to estimate that the actual reading was 215µg/L. Mr O’Dea submitted that the certificate was not accurate because it did not show the actual reading; therefore the certification procedure was materially flawed and rule 191(7) applied. The Board took into account the evidence contained in the brief, the oral evidence presented at the hearing and the provisions of rule 191, which states:  (1) A certificate from a person or drug testing laboratory approved by the Controlling Body which certifies the presence of a prohibited substance in or on a horse at, or approximately at, a particular time, or in blood, urine, saliva, or other matter or sample or specimen tested, or that a prohibited substance had at some time been administered to a horse is prima facie evidence of the matters certified. (2) If another person or drug testing laboratory approved by the Controlling Body analyses a portion of the sample or specimen referred to in sub rule (1) and certifies the presence of a prohibited substance in the sample or specimen that certification together with the certification referred to in sub rule (1) is conclusive evidence of the presence of a prohibited substance. (3) A certificate furnished under this rule which relates to blood, urine, saliva, or other matter or sample or specimen taken from a horse at a meeting shall be prima facie evidence if sub rule (1) only applies, and conclusive evidence if both sub rules (1) and (2) apply, that the horse was presented for a race not free of prohibited substances.  (4) A certificate furnished under this rule which relates to blood, urine, saliva, or other matter or sample or specimen taken from a horse shall be prima facie evidence if sub rule (1) only applies, and conclusive evidence if both sub rules (1) and (2) apply, that the prohibited substance was present in or on the horse at the time the blood, urine, saliva, or other matter or sample or specimen was taken from the horse. (5) Sub rules (1) and (2) do not preclude the presence of a prohibited substance in or on a horse, or in blood, urine, saliva, or other matter or sample or specimen, or the fact that a prohibited substance had at some time been administered to a horse, being established in other ways. (6) Sub rule (3) does not preclude the fact that a horse was presented for a race not free of prohibited substances being established in other ways. (7) Notwithstanding the provisions of this rule, certificates do not possess evidentiary value nor establish an offence, where it is proved that the certification procedure or any act or omission forming part of or relevant to the process resulting in the issue of a certificate, was materially flawed.  The HRV RAD Board found Mr Tardio guilty of the charge, accepting that rules 191(1) and (2) applied and that it had not been proved “that the certification procedure or any act or omission forming part of or relevant to the process resulting in the issue of a certificate, was materially flawed”. Penalty Mr Svanosio submitted that it was a serious offence, that the rules in relation to prohibited substances are to ensure that the integrity of harness racing is protected and that racing is conducted safely and fairly. He also referred to other HRV RAD Board and VCAT decisions in relation to penalties for cobalt offences and Mr Tardio’s record, which includes a recent disqualification for a cobalt offence in South Australia. He submitted that an appropriate penalty in this case was a 2-year disqualification. Mr Svanosio stated that Mr Tardio did not hold a current licence, which was not contradicted by Mr Tardio. Mr Tardio addressed the Board in relation to penalty and asked that any penalty be backdated to the date of the offence. In determining penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Tardio’s record, specific and general deterrence, the serious nature of the prohibited substance rules and penalties in relation to other cobalt cases. Mr Tardio was not eligible for a reduction in penalty for a guilty plea or cooperation with the Stewards.  Taking all of these matters into account, the HRV RAD Board imposed an 18- month disqualification to commence at midnight on 21 February 2018.  The HRV RAD Board also ordered (under rule 195) that “Kissed Flush” be disqualified from Race 8 at Mildura on 4 April 2017 and that the placings be amended accordingly. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Rod Osborne Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board                         

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards conducted an inquiry today into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory that triamcinolone acetonide had been detected in the blood sample taken from TAIHAPE SUNSET NZ following its win in race 3, the BAKERS EARTHMOVING WINDMILL HEAT 3 (1720m) at Dubbo on Wednesday November 15, 2017. Ms Turnbull appeared at the inquiry represented by solicitor, Mr Hammond.  Evidence including the Reports of Analysis and expert evidence from HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr Martin Wainscott was presented. Evidence was also provided to the inquiry by Ms Turnbull regarding a procedure conducted upon TAIHAPE SUNSET NZ by a registered veterinarian. Ms Turnbull had previously informed HRNSW Stewards of this procedure on October 31, 2017, the date upon which the procedure occurred. Ms Turnbull pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) for presenting TAIHAPE SUNSET NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance. Ms Turnbull was disqualified for a period of three months to commence immediately. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following: This was Ms Turnbull’s first prohibited substance offence; Ms Turnbull’s guilty plea; Circumstances of this matter; Class 3 Prohibited Substance; Ms Turnbull’s offence record, training record and other personal subjective facts, including ambassadorial and charity roles. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, TAIHAPE SUNSET NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. Taihape Sunset – Disqualified FOLLOWING the recent disqualification of TAIHAPE SUNSET NZ following its win in Race 3, the BAKERS EARTHMOVING WINDMILL HEAT 3 (1720m) at Dubbo on November 15, 2017, it has been determined that acting under the provisions of Rule 195A, TAIHAPE SUNSET NZ will also be disqualified following its win in Race 7, the 3D BUTCHERY GILGANDRA WINDMILL FINAL (1720m) at Dubbo on December 3, 2017, and the placings amended to: 1st – SIOTADA 2nd – RED HOT JERRY 3rd – JOGALONG DEE 4th – BIG BILL Relevant Rules - Disqualification AHHR 195. A horse which has been presented for a race shall be disqualified from it if blood, urine, saliva, or other matter or sample or specimen taken from the horse is found to contain a prohibited substance. AHHR 195A. (1) This rule is to apply to any race or series of races which the Controlling Body stipulates in the Conditions of Entry that it shall apply to; such a race or races being a qualifying race for some other race.  (2) If in relation to a race to which this rule applies a blood, urine, saliva or other sample or specimen is taken from a horse when it is presented for such race and a certificate from a person or drug testing laboratory approved by the Controlling Body certifies the presence of a prohibited substance in such specimen or sample then the horse shall be immediately disqualified from participating in any other race for which the race in question provides or provided a qualification for participation.  (3)  This rule is to have effect and to be conclusive irrespective of whether further testing procedures or other circumstances establish that the horse was presented for the race free of any prohibited substances. Ms Amanda Turnbull was advised of her right to appeal this decision. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY MANAGER (02) 9722 6600 • GRANT ADAMS | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600 •

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer Kevin Mark under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states:    A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances    The Australian Harness Racing Rules provides the following definition:    “Race” means a race or official trial or official time trial or event in which  harness racing horses race or participate. It is alleged that Mr Mark presented ‘Annaflex’ to race at Shepparton trials on 29 August 2017 when not free of the prohibited substance heptaminol. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria

East Rutherford, NJ - With the announcement that the Standardbred Racing Integrity and Accountability Initiative (SRIAI) will not be implemented for 2018, The Meadowlands will address the immediate concern regarding Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED's) in their harness racing stakes by increasing both Out Of Competition (OOC) and post race testing this year.   The New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) has agreed to recognize the samples being sent to Hong Kong for testing, meaning that the results will now be subject to NJRC fines and suspensions being enforced. Hong Kong has agreed to cooperate in hearings that are necessary before any penalties can be issued by NJRC.   To help defray the cost incurred by the proposed increase in testing, 1% of the total money available from all revenue sources in Meadowlands stakes with a purse of over $100,000 will be used toward that expense.   "Based on the comments that Clay Horner and I received in discussing the SRIAI original plan, it is obvious the vast majority of owners of stakes horses support initiatives that level the playing field for all participants," said Meadowlands President Jeff Gural.   "The fact is those costs add up and 1% seems to me like a small price to pay for increased scrutiny."   Nick Salvi

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