Letter to the Editor: 'Absolute Insure Rule is a Farce'


I appreciated Bill Finley's conversation with Alan Foreman on TDN Writers' Room. Your question to him about trainers who are not guilty of cheating hit home for me. As a trainer who is dealing with this same issue prior to HISA in the state of Florida, I was hoping to make a brief comment.

The banned substances provisions are more complicated than they want it to be in an era where the testing has become so fine any trainer can get a banned substance positive at any time no matter what precautions and provisions have been implemented. Nanogram results can pick up any contamination that occurs in places that the trainer cannot protect the horse from. Inadvertent touching by anyone between the morning of the race up to and in the test barn can cause a positive. Receiving barns where horses are housed prior to racing are notorious for contamination (see testing at Charles Town).

This issue of “Testing” becoming so fine was not addressed in your conversation with Mr. Foreman. He and HISA still blame the trainers. Not their protocols. The trainer still spends many thousands of dollars defending themselves from something they cannot control. The absolute insure rule is a farce in this regard. No one at HISA wants to discuss this aspect of the problem.

Donald L. Brown

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