The TDN Writer's Room podcast, presented each week by Keeneland, pulled no punches as the writers covered all aspects of the indictments for horse doping of 27 people announced Monday by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. The dialogue included a combination of passion, anger and bewilderment on a story that has rocked the industry.
“The big shock is not the scandal itself. The big shock is not that these guys were drugging horses and cheating,” said Joe Bianca who kicked off the News of the Week segment sponsored by West Point Thoroughbreds. “The big shock is that there were ever any consequences to come from it. In most scandals in other sports, when something blows up, you are surprised at what was happening. This time it was 'Oh my God, they finally got these guys.' Shout out to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office because they did something that racing has had a chance to do for a long time and has done a poor job of, which is policing itself. So I guess it was good that law enforcement came in and did racing's dirty for them and caught these guys.”
“The overarching theme here is that this is a good day for racing because this is the trash being taken out,” Bianca continued. “They say sunlight is the best disinfectant. This has been a big ray of sunlight on what has been a glaring problem for racing for a long, long time.”
“Everybody in this room was extremely suspicious of those two guys (Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro) as we are of many other trainers whose names have not come up in this,” Bill Finley said. “Did I think these two guys were on the up and up? Of course not. I don't think anybody that follows this sport and is not hopelessly naive felt otherwise.”
Trainer Tom Morley was the Green Group Guest of the Week. He was asked what it feels like to lose races to people he knows aren't playing by the rules.
“From a personal point of view you feel incredibly cheated,” Morley replied. “I'm 36-years-old and I've been in this country eight years. I've had a trainers' license since 2013. New York is a tough place to do business as it is. You have to go up against powerhouse stables and you're trying to make name for yourself…To have been beaten by people who are being prosecuted by the feds for doping and cheating is heartbreaking.”
The podcast is now available.