HISA

Legendary Handicapper, Turf Writer Steve Crist Joins Writers' Room

Revolutionary handicapper and racing writer Steve Crist has been out of a public eye after retiring five years ago, but still has as much passion and enthusiasm for racing as he's ever had, and Wednesday morning, he joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland for an expansive discussion on a variety of industry issues. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Crist discussed his increasing involvement in the game from an ownership standpoint, racing's progress on detecting and punishing cheaters, the Bob Baffert saga...

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This Side Up: Quit Chasing the Dollar and Try Cruz Control

Assuming that you, too, have by this stage marvelled at the tenacity, balance and athleticism of Alex Cruz in winning a race despite losing both irons leaving the gate, at Emerald Downs last weekend, then perhaps you might also have been prompted to reassess our prejudices against the seat of the 18th Century guardsman. To the modern eye, the long-shanked equitation of those days appears ludicrous: awkward, stilted and, above all, inimical to the freedom of the horse's movement. We think of the elevation of the modern jockey, as popularized...

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Six States, Two Without Racing, Join Fight To Derail HISA

The attorneys general from six new states have sided with existing plaintiffs in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Louisiana by filing a Sept. 21 "friend of the court" brief in one of two currently active federal lawsuits aiming to get the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) voided for alleged constitutional violations before HISA even goes into effect. Curiously, two of those six states--Alaska and Mississippi--have no current forms of legal pari-mutuel horse racing. The other states expressing support for the alleged unconstitutionality of HISA are Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska and Ohio....

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Letter to the Editor: Bryan Langlois DVM

I, like everyone else who has seen it, was utterly disgusted with not only the video depicting the actions of trainer Amber Cobb against one of the horses but also the almost complete ignorance of the Delaware Racing Commission in reducing her suspension for those actions. How this industry continues to manage to shoot itself in the foot repeatedly is just mind boggling to me. Actions that are as heinous as those displayed by Ms. Cobb require only one action, and that is immediate revocation of her license to train...

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Q&A with USADA's Dr. Tessa Muir

Last month, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that in Dr. Tessa Muir, it had plucked from foreign shores a new hire to head its equine program at a time when the agency plays an integral role in implementing the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), overhauling the industry's governing status quo. Before Muir joined the USADA staff roster, she had hopscotched her way up the industry ladder, from exercise rider to private veterinarian to head of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA)'s anti-doping program between 2013 and 2019. Her...

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Motions to Dismiss Now Active in Both HISA Constitutionality Lawsuits

Defendants in one of two currently active federal lawsuits aiming to get the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) and its regulatory Authority voided for alleged constitutional violations fired back Aug. 16 with a two-pronged motion to dismiss the case. This is the suit brought Apr. 26 by state governments and private entities. Oklahoma and its racing commission are joined as plaintiffs by West Virginia and its racing commission, plus the state of Louisiana. Three Oklahoma tracks--Remington Park, Will Rogers Downs and Fair Meadows are also among the plaintiffs. The...

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Spirited Debate On HISA Highlights Saratoga Conference

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-To hear some, the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is badly needed legislation that will right the ship for an industry that has gone badly off course when it comes to issues of horse safety, integrity and illegal drugs. To others, it is another example of big government wading into a sport where it doesn't belong, which will ultimately cause horse racing a lot more problems than it solves. There was little middle ground Monday as the HISA issue dominated day one of the Racing and...

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Timeline for HISA Implementation Comes Into Clearer Focus

With the July 1, 2022, implementation date looming for the nationwide regulatory Authority mandated by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) to go into effect, Charles Scheeler, the chairman of the Authority's board of directors, on Sunday outlined the timetable for the sport's new ruling body to be fully operational. Speaking via pre-recorded video during Sunday's 69th Annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing that was hosted virtually by The Jockey Club (TJC), Scheeler said the Authority is currently developing its anti-doping and safety programs side by...

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Navarro Changes Plea to Guilty in Federal Court

The barred trainer Jorge Navarro cut a deal with federal prosecutors Wednesday in which he pled guilty to one count in a years-long Thoroughbred doping conspiracy in exchange for having a similar second count against him dismissed. Navarro now faces a maximum prison term of five years when he gets sentenced Dec. 17. In addition, Navarro on Aug. 11 agreed to pay $25,860,514 in restitution to a list of victims whose identities won't be divulged until the government's final prosecutorial paperwork is due one week before the sentencing. Navarro admitted...

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What Will HISA Look Like?

We recently ran part one of our story on the challenges facing HISA. Today, we deal with lawsuits, adjudication, and more. This time next year, the machinery of horse racing in the U.S. may be almost a month into a radical system overhaul. But with scant few calendar pages between now and then, what do we know about how the cogs, wheels, and pulleys of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) will work together? To find out, the TDN reached out to Charles Scheeler, chair of the HISA board...

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Will HISA Be Ready in Time?

Part One of a Two-Part Series If the letter of the law is any reliable prognosticator, this time next year the United States horse racing industry will already be nearly a month into what promises to be a major realignment of the planets. With the official enactment of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) on the first of July, 2022, racing jurisdictions North and South, East and West will be bound by the same medication standards, safety rules, and enforcement mechanisms--a hallelujah for many who have long championed the...

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The Week in Review: Vitali Starting a Horse at Saratoga Is Not OK

The system, whatever that has come to mean, failed badly last week when Marcus Vitali, one of the sport's most controversial trainers, was allowed to start a horse at Saratoga. Then again, should anyone have been surprised? This was just the latest example of this being a sport that is so dysfunctional, its regulatory systems so weak, that it is completely unable to police itself. Help is on its way. Some day, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) will be implemented and a central body led by the U.S....

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