Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

Waqas Ahmed Named KHRC Deputy Executive Director

Waqas Ahmed has been named deputy executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). Ahmed takes over from Jamie Eads, who was promoted to executive director. "I am looking forward to continuing to be a part of the team to maintain the highest standards of safety, health, and welfare for both the horses and the public, while fostering a culture of honesty and integrity in all aspects of horse racing," he said. Added Eads, "I'm excited that Waqas will continue in the role of deputy director. The commission benefits...

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Jamie Eads Officially Named Executive Director of KHRC

Gov. Andy Beshear has appointed Jamie Eads--who served as interim executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) for the past six months--the executive director of the KHRC, effective Dec. 1. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with dual degrees in marketing and management, Eads worked for both the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and the Breeders' Cup LLC. She has been with the KHRC since 2008, when she joined the organization as the director of the Division of Incentives and Development. She then moved into the deputy...

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McGaughey Suspended 30 Days for 'Ace' Positive in Kentucky

Trainer Shug McGaughey, III has been suspended 30 days and fined $500 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) after one of his trainees, Smokin' T (War Front), tested positive for a metabolite of acepromazine after finishing second in the $200,000 Audubon S. at Churchill Downs June 4. But McGaughey won't be out of action for an entire month. The Nov. 20 ruling stated that the Hall-of-Fame conditioner will only have to serve half of that suspension because of "mitigating circumstances (number of violations in relation to overall record)." The...

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The Week in Review: A Good Year to Have a Tough Horse

With undefeated phenom Flightline (Tapit) and sophomore star Epicenter (Not This Time) headlining a respectably deep GI Breeders' Cup Classic, one oft-repeated quip is that 2022 is turning out to be "a tough year to have a good horse" aiming for a divisional championship. Yet a few rungs farther down the class ladder--more than a few, in truth--a blue-collar starter-allowance stalwart is tweaking that phrase so it better suits his grind-it-out style, proving that '22 is actually "a good year to have a tough horse." Last week at Churchill Downs,...

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KHRC Greenlights $79M Ellis Sale to CDI

The pending sale of Ellis Park to the gaming company Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI), cleared a necessary regulatory hurdle Tuesday when the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) swiftly approved the transaction by a unanimous voice vote. The KHRC members in attendance at the "special" meeting greenlighted the $79-million transaction in just 6 ½ minutes after a perfunctory read-through of the basic terms of the deal and a statement that the commission expects CDI to follow through with development projects that had been agreed to by the outgoing owner, which is...

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United Tote Fined for Penny Breakage Miscalculations

After failing to properly calculate Kentucky's newly implemented penny breakage at two Standardbred race meets in July, the totalizator services provider United Tote Company has been fined and ordered to "seed" a future exotic wagering pool with $4,445.77, which equals the amount that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) determined should have been paid out to bettors had the calculations been correct. According to an administrative ruling dated Sept. 12 and signed by Waqas Ahmed, the KHRC's director of pari-mutuel wagering and compliance, United Tote "provided improper totalizator services" on...

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Baffert/KHRC Appeal Day 4: Ointment or Injection?

The debate over whether or not Medina Spirit's 2021 GI Kentucky Derby disqualification for betamethasone was the result of an injection or the application of an ointment was a focal point in the fourth day of testimony at Bob Baffert's appeal before a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) hearing officer in Frankfort, Kentucky, on Thursday. That argument has percolated for the better part of 16 months in various hearing and courtroom settings. It is now being brought up again in front of the KHRC hearing officer to adjudicate the Hall-of-Fame...

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Getting Down to the Science of It All In Medina Spirit DQ Appeal

FRANKFORT, KY - After a brief private meeting between attorneys and the hearing officer to discuss "confidentiality" matters, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's hearing addressing trainer Bob Baffert's appeal continued, slowly but surely, on Wednesday in Frankfort, KY. While Tuesday's session focused on the KHRC's medication rules, along with those established by the industry's Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) and the model rules of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), the center of interest Wednesday was the corticosteroid betamethasone itself. The day started off with Dr. Heather Knych,...

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Baffert Takes Stand in Day One of '21 Derby DQ Appeal

Trainer Bob Baffert spent 2 1/2 hours on the witness stand testifying at a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) appeal hearing Monday. Baffert's intent by filing the appeal is to clear from his record a 90-day suspension he has already served while also reversing the KHRC's disqualification of Medina Spirit from the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. Those penalties were the result of the Baffert-trained colt returning a positive for betamethasone after crossing the finish wire first in America's most historic and important horse race. Beyond the already-served suspension (which ran...

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Is Kentucky's Claiming Outflux A Real Or Perceived Problem

The Week In Review, by T.D. Thornton Does Kentucky need to do something to stop the outflux of horses leaving the state after being claimed? And will any attempt at corrective action by rewriting regulations result in unintended consequences that could create their own problems? Those questions were up for debate last week when the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC)'s rule committee met to kick around ideas that could surface in a near-future proposal. Commissioner Frank Jones, Jr., the rules committee chair, said that last year 779 Thoroughbreds were claimed...

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Quarter Horse Racino Approved for Eastern Kentucky

By unanimous voice vote after zero public discussion among commissioners at a "special" meeting, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) on Tuesday quickly approved a license awarding a Quarter Horse racino license for a track to be constructed in the northeastern part of the state. The license is the ninth and final of its kind to be awarded in Kentucky. Although the focus of press releases announcing the deal accentuated the rebirth of Quarter Horse racing in a state better known as the nation's Thoroughbred epicenter, the real prize for...

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Eads Named KHRC Interim Executive Director

Jamie Eads has been named interim executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission by Governor Andy Beshear. Eads joined the KHRC in 2008 as the director of the Division of Incentives and Development. In 2016, she was appointed deputy director of the KHRC where she worked closely with the executive director and commission members in the overall operations of the agency. "Jamie Eads is a great asset to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and has been a part of the evolution of horse racing in Kentucky," said Beshear. "Jamie...

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