What’s Going On Here | Punish the Cheaters – by Eric Mitchell | BloodHorse.com Blog Stable
Amidst all the celebration of The Jockey Club’s recent marketing efforts and increased TV exposure for Thoroughbred racing, one message came through clearly at the Aug. 12 Round Table Conference: Racing as a sport will continue floundering and may not survive if it doesn’t punish the cheaters.
One of the more sobering slides shown during the annual state of the industry conference Aug. 12 was part of a presentation by Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director for TJC. The slide entitled “Crime Pays” showed the total purse money earned by trainers who had violated drug rules from 2005 through 2011 compared with total fines they had received. The trainers earned $15.4 million in purses and paid out $1.4 million in fines. Penalties are no longer deterrents; they have become merely a cost of doing business.
TJC chairman Ogden “Dinny” Phipps was right to ask those attending the Round Table if they were happy with allowing 1.5% of the licensed trainers tarnish the public perception of the sport.