That Racing Commissioners International report called the 2011 Report on Drug Violations really insulted my intelligence. I'm sure I am not alone.
Their major findings: Less than 1 out of 200 tested samples came up positive. And 94% of those positives were overages of "legal" drugs.
From this, they were hoping that the conclusion is that horse racing is a very clean business, and that it gets a bad rap.
The reality is that the drugs tested for are limited. Trainers and vets will go out of their way to prevent overages of known drugs, they would have to be completely dimwitted not to. But what about the drugs that aren't tested for? And what about the concoctions which make even the testable drugs undetectable? How can they possibly make the assertion horse racing is clean? It is mind boggling.
The hype from this RCI report is similar to making the assumption that from 1992 to 2007, Bernie Madoff was running a clean investment firm.
To my knowledge, most if not all the tests were after race testing. Actually, the RCI could have even used this as more propaganda, by stating that winners and usually another horse in every race is tested, and using this logic, and the assumption that overages enhance the chance for a horse to win, it would make sense that horses that lose are less likely to have a positive.
Also, and this is a big also, to my knowledge, outside of out of competition testing by some jurisdictions, drugs like EPO, DPO, ITPP, snail venom, and cobra venom are not tested for. For a longer list and what these drugs do, check this out.
And then you have things like electric shock treatment which will not yield any positives,
tapping of joints, and hyperbaric oxygen treatments (which works the same way as milk shaking), only it is legal.
Trainers sporting 30% plus win percentages aren't clean, and they are a detriment to the game, not only when it comes to bettors confidence but when it comes to attracting new owners, and keeping current owners in the game as well.
Sorry, but horse racing deserves the rap of being a drug tainted, performance enhancement game, and the RCI report is nothing but a farce. Was the report spurned on by those who don't want lasix banned?, or was it a hokey marketing attempt to get the public to rethink their prejudices against horse racing? Either way, I'm not buying into at all.
Now For Some Good News
Beginning September 19th, Charles Town has decided to cut takeout on trifecta, superfecta, pick three, and pick four wagers to 22% from 25%.
Charles Town takeout wasn't relatively terrible to begin with, as they ranked 19th in takeout score according to HANA's 2011 chart. This cut will easily catapult Charles Town into the top 10, probably closer to 5th or 6th in best overall takeout score.
Back To More Mind Numbingness
There is absolutely no consistency at Woodbine when it comes to thoroughbred fair starts, refunds and disqualifications when a horse obviously opens the gate earlier than the rest of the field.
Here we go again. Watch the 6 horse, Bossman's Blues at 4-5, break from the gate. Put the video on pause at either 21 seconds or 22 seconds:
Bossman's Blues finished second. There was an inquiry, unlike the Fifty Proof debacle a while back. What do you think the result of the inquiry was?
A refund (which would have cost Woodbine quite a bit of money since he was such a heavy favorite)? A DQ from 2nd to last for having an unfair start? Or no DQ and no refund? The answer will appear at the bottom of this post.
WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON WITH ALL THE BUMPING AT WOODBINE
I checked out the charts for Woodbine from Saturday and Sunday and saw all these "bump" comments next to the racing lines. I decided to count them. 19 in total. Oh, and one even resulted in a DQ.
Maybe they should stop playing this video in the jock's room:
Now the answer to the quiz. Obviously, no change in the order of finish was decided upon. I wonder if the stewards draw sticks or if they pick cards from a deck before making these decisions.