9 May 2008

Big Drug Bust: Former Woodbine Employee Charged With Dealing Illicit Drugs To Industry

Niagara This Week has a really good slide show, that almost every horse fan would appreciate, from opening day at Fort Erie last Saturday. Related story: Apprentice Richard Morrow started the season off right. And an article on "new" hot trainer Allen Desruisseaux.

Presque Isle Downs opens tonight. First post is at 5:30. Presque Isle isn't on HPI's roster. I wonder if WEG considers that track as major competition (and they don't want to promote it in any way), or if they just think that Presque Isle wouldn't attract betting. Great purses (especially for bottom horses) and shorter fields can be found on tonights card. $180,000 is supposed to be given out a day on average, for their 100 day meet.
Presque Isle is available at Premier Turf Club.....and they give their customers nice rebates as well.

Former harness announcer and ex-Woodbine employee, Ken Harnick charged with dealing illicit drugs to the horse racing industry

May 8, 2008 02:34 PM - A Mississauga man who's a former employee of Woodbine Racetrack has been charged with supplying steroids and other illicit drugs to the horse racing industry.
About four months ago, a task force comprised of OPP, Peel Regional Police and racing commission investigators raided a Mississauga home on Forrestdale Circle. They seized a quantity of drugs and unlabelled doctored substances, an OPP spokesperson said.
Drug testing disclosed that some of the drugs seized were banned substances, including steroids, the spokesperson said.
Police said a former employee of Woodbine and a current licensee with the racing commission had secretly been supplying drugs to the horse racing industry.
A senior official at Woodbine lauded the investigation, while acknowledging it was a "long-term struggle" to rid the industry of drug cheaters.
"The vast majority of guys in horse racing are honest, but unfortunately there are a few who choose to use illicit drugs," said Jamie Martin, senior vice-president of racing at Woodbine.
"The horse racing community has sent a clear message," said Rob McKinney, deputy director of the Ontario Racing Commission. "It will not tolerate those who engage in illegal activities."
Ken Hornick, 43, is charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possession of a controlled substance and 10 counts of possessing drugs for illegal sale.
He'll appear in Brampton court June 5.

I've read that further arrests may be pending, and that the drugs were mainly for standardbred clients. Now for the questions.

Will Hornick be forced to rat on his customers?

Will WEG, the OPP and the ORC go after the customers, and make a major attempt to find out who they are?

Will they deal with the customers harshly and publicly, or should the public expect this to be dealt with quietly with little slap on the wrist warnings?

Churchill Downs to slash purses 20%. 10% was expected.

Woodbine Bias Report: The track seems to playing fair as far as rail/outside bias goes. Last week three out of four days favoured come from behinders. Sunday was a different story. Ramsammy and Da Silva are hot right now, Chantal Sutherland is having a cold spell, losing her last 15 straight, with only 2 wins at the meet thus far. She'll start winning very soon.
Josie Carroll is 0 for her last 10. Ian Black is off to an 0 for 17 start. I hope Prophetically runs OK for Kinghaven Farms on Saturday. Hate to see the track takeout go up even more because Kinghaven is having a bad year:)

Steven Crist gives a big thumbs up to Trakus

The Jockey Club and NTRA To Act On Eight Belles Death
Jockey Club chairman Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps said May 8 the new committee would be asked to review every facet of equine health, including breeding practices, medication, the rules of racing and track surfaces, and to recommend actions to be taken by the industry to improve the health and safety of Thoroughbreds.....“The committee is going to meet for the first time (May 14),” Curran said. “After the meeting, it will provide a summary of its goals and a timeline (for action).”

The seven members of the committee are Stuart Janney III, who will serve as chairman; John Barr; James G. “Jimmy” Bell; Dr. Larry Bramlage; Donald Dizney, Dell Hancock; and Dr. Hiram Polk Jr. Each is a member of The Jockey Club.

Bill Finley writes that this time is different:
He demands/suggest that racing ban all drugs, control use of the whip, convert to synthetic tracks, promote longer races, and do a lot more when it comes to stopping the slaughter of former race horses.
Don't forget about lower takeouts. I know it is a little off topic, so I'll forgive you right now Bill.

Canadian Hall Of Fame Nominees Announced


Anonymous said...

Great slide show on the Fort's opening day. I missed being there in person, good to see the rainy day people having fun.

Anonymous said...

This is a nice blog. I like it!