Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act

Op/Ed Feedback: Why Is Legality Considered Optional?

by Peter Ecabert Bill Finley, in his Mar. 17 TDN opinion piece on the National HBPA challenging the legality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, wrote: "It's hard to imagine that there is one horseman anywhere who cares one bit whether or not HISA is unconstitutional or not." To Mr. Finley, it doesn't matter if this legislation, ramrodded through to passage with no Senate Committee discussion or debate as a little-known add-on to December's COVID relief bill, is legal or not. Who cares about the law's legality? he asks....

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Horsemen's Groups File Federal Lawsuit Over HISA

Organizations representing some Thoroughbred horse owners and trainers have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), signed into law in the U.S. Congress's December omnibus spending bill. The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (National HBPA) and state affiliates in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia are suing HISA's newly-created "Authority" to regulate the sport and the Federal Trade Commissioners. In addition, they are suing the Nominating Committee and asking the court to immediately stop them from...

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Feds Slam Alleged Dopers' Assertion That HISA Creates Loophole

Prosecutors in the racehorse doping conspiracy case that ensnared 29 racetrackers, veterinarians and pharmaceutical brokers one year ago tried to convince a federal judge Friday that recent motions made by some of the defendants to dismiss drug alteration and misbranding charges are "without merit" and represent "an effort to invent a statutory limitation where none exists." The government's memorandum of law filed Mar. 5 in United States District Court (Southern District of New York) addresses a number of alleged legal flaws in the defendants' motions to dismiss, including several that...

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Hunter Rankin Named CDI Senior Director of Racing

Hunter Rankin has been hired as Senior Director of Racing for Churchill Downs Incorporated, CDI announced Tuesday. The role was recently vacated following Mike Ziegler's promotion to General Manager of Churchill Downs Racetrack in December 2020. As CDI's Senior Director of Racing, Rankin will act as a representative and liaison to the U.S. Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry and focus on the implementation of standards and processes outlined in the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act ("HISA") across all of CDI's racing properties. "Hunter brings to this role a breadth of...

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Writers' Room Exclusive: USADA CEO Travis Tygart Explains How His Anti-Doping Team Will Clean Up Racing

Not too long ago, Lance Armstrong was revered as an American hero. The winner of seven straight Tour de France titles, Armstrong brought the sport of cycling into the mainstream and the story of his unprecedented success after recovering from testicular cancer inspired athletes everywhere. But, as the public later found out, it was all built on a lie. Armstrong was a cheater, and his extensive involvement in an explosive doping scandal tarnished his legacy forever, stripping him of nearly all of his fraudulently-gained athletic accomplishments. The revelations from that...

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Breeders' Cup Prohibiting Lasix In Challenge Series Races

The 2021 Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge Series races will be run without Lasix, it was announced Wednesday. Breeders' Cup officials also revealed that graded stakes points for the purposes of selection by committee into a Breeders' Cup race will only be awarded for graded races that are contested Lasix-free. Horses that raced on the 'Future Stars Friday' program of the 2020 Breeders' Cup World Championships were forbidden from running on Lasix, in addition to a large number of juvenile races across the country over the course of...

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Navarro, Alleged Doping Co-Conspirators File Motions to Dismiss

Jorge Navarro and Seth Fishman, DVM, the federally indicted trainer and veterinarian whose alleged litanies of racehorse doping date to at least 2002, both filed Feb. 5 motions to dismiss the drug alteration and misbranding conspiracy charges levied against them in United States District Court (Southern District of New York). According to federal prosecutors, one of their alleged conspiracies involved Navarro allegedly dosing elite-level sprinter X Y Jet "with 50 injections [and] through the mouth" of a performance-enhancing drug (PED) allegedly manufactured and distributed by Fishman before a big win...

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The Jockey Club President Jim Gagliano Joins TDN Writers' Room

There are few positions more prominent or scrutinized in racing than president of The Jockey Club, and that goes double for years as tumultuous for the sport as 2019 and 2020 were. With a plethora of game-changing topics to discuss, The Jockey Club's president and chief operating officer Jim Gagliano joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Wednesday in the show's first episode of 2021. Appearing as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Gagliano discussed how the industry can potentially pay for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act,...

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Stories to Watch in 2021

It's time to turn the page from what was a horrendous year. Thank goodness. The year 2021 is upon us and, for horse racing, it figures to be an important and eventful 12 months. These are the stories we will be talking about and writing about in 2021: Will Handle Be On The Rise? Perhaps the most positive story to come out of 2020 has been the handle figures. With the pandemic causing a sizeable reduction when it comes to the amount of races that were run, betting figured to...

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HISA Signed into Law

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act officially became law when President Donald J. Trump signed the COVID-19 relief and government funding legislation Sunday night. The legislation will establish national standards to promote fairness and increase safety in Thoroughbred racing nationwide. The HISA legislation will go into effect no later than July 1, 2022, but could be effective earlier following the formation of an independent national racing authority and approval of an anti-doping and medication control program and racetrack safety program by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC will review the...

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The Week in Review: Could Breakage be Used to Pay for Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act?

As the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act resurfaced last week as part of an omnibus spending bill passed by the House and Senate, the same questions were being asked all over again. What will the new way of doing things cost and who is going to pay for it? All anyone really knows at this point is that the states will be expected to foot the bill and their share will depend on how much racing there is in each state. Kentucky, with year-round racing, will have to pay more...

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Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act Advances in Congress

The $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill that was expected to pass Monday includes a provision that calls for the passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. With the omnibus spending bill having received bipartisan support and with President Donald J. Trump expected to sign it, the legislation that would bring sweeping change to how the sport is regulated and policed appears to have cleared its final hurdle. Congressional leaders announced Sunday night that they had reached a deal on the stimulus package that included the horse racing act. It...

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