Joe Moore

Mountaineer Jockey Fined $100 for Striking Horse in Face

Jockey Jose A. Leon has been fined $100 for hitting a horse in the face during training hours at Mountaineer Park. According to a Mountaineer stewards' ruling, "Mr. Leon was caught striking a horse across the face on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, during morning exercising." The ruling didn't specify whether Leon struck the horse with his whip or his hand. Joe Moore, the executive director of the West Virginia Racing Commission, wrote in an email that he did not have any details about the incident beyond what the Mountaineer stewards...

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West Virginia Derby Switches to Sunday This Season

Mountaineer Park's premier stakes, the GIII West Virginia Derby, will shift to the first Sunday in August with a later post time this year in an effort to make the $500,000, nine-furlong race for 3-year-olds better stand out against national simulcast competition. The West Virginia Derby, plus the supporting GIII $200,000 West Virginia Governor's S. at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds and up, will now be carded Sunday, Aug. 6, after the track received unanimous permission for that change at Tuesday's West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC)  meeting. The purses for...

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Charles Town Requests 15 Fewer Dates in '23

Charles Town Races on Tuesday was approved for a reduction of 15 dates for 2023 compared to its 2022 allotment, with the understanding that the 164-program schedule could be revisited mid-year to include additional dates if finances warrant extra racing. The awarding of race dates in West Virginia is a somewhat confusing several-step process bound by a state statute that requires Charles Town to apply for 220 programs every year. The state's other Thoroughbred track, Mountaineer Park, is required to apply for 210 dates. But what has ended up happening...

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Mountaineer To Race Six Fewer Days in 2023

Mountaineer Park was granted approval on Monday by the West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) to race 124 dates in 2023, a six-program reduction from the 130 that the track is scheduled to race this year during its April-through-December meet. Speaking about the loss of race dates, WVRC executive director Joe Moore said, "I'm told that is as a result of the Horse Racing Integrity Authority (HISA) and Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) assessments recently received by the commission and the racetracks for calendar year 2023." Mountaineer executives were offered...

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Who Bears Compliance Responsibility if WV Can't Hire HIWU Vets?

Facing a dire shortage of veterinarians at the state's two Thoroughbred tracks and under deadline pressure to decide whether to enter into a voluntary implementation agreement with the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) prior to that entity's Jan. 1 start date, the West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) on Monday pressed a representative of HIWU for clarity on who, exactly, will bear responsibility if the minimum required number of equine drug testing employees can't be hired within the next six weeks. It took some polite but persistent questioning by commissioner...

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HISA Visits Mountaineer During Chronic Vet Shortage at Track

A representative of the Horse Racing Integrity Act's (HISA) Racetrack Safety Team has been on the grounds at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia this past week--at a time when the track is experiencing an ongoing chronic shortage of attending, association and regulatory veterinarians, according to observers. According to Jami Poole, president of the Mountaineer Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association (MHBPA), there is often no veterinarian on the facility's grounds during training hours. "I'm not pleased about the vet situation here in the morning time," said Poole, who estimated that training...

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West Virginia Advances Model Rules; 2022 Implementation Hinges On Legislature

After a failed attempt last year to adopt a group of drug-related model rules that every other racing jurisdiction in the mid-Atlantic region has already implemented, the West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) on Monday voted 2-0 to advance to the state legislature new regulations concerning medication abuse and stepped-up penalty scales. The July 12 passage of new rules concerning clenbuterol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, intra-articular injections and the adoption of the most current Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances list did not come without drama and several detours. In fact, much...

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