Marc Guilfoil

HISA Appoints Guilfoil to Oversee State Commission Relations

Marc Guilfoil, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horseracing Commission, has joined the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) as Director of State Racing Commission Relations. In the role, Guilfoil will direct outreach to and collaboration with state racing commissions on the implementation of HISA's Racetrack Safety and Anti-Doping and Medication Control Programs. Tom DiPasquale, a HISA consultant, has been performing in the role on an interim basis and will continue to do so until July 15 to facilitate a smooth transition. "Marc is a respected leader in the racing industry...

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Baffert, Zedan's Motion for Emergency Stay Denied

The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday denied a motion by trainer Bob Baffert and owner Amr Zedan to stay their penalties related to Medina Spirit's betamethasone positive in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. This means the most severe of the sanctions, an under-appeal 90-day suspension imposed on Baffert by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), will now go into effect as ordered on Monday, Apr. 4. In accordance with suspension-related regulations in California where Baffert is stabled at Santa Anita Park, signage was already being removed from his barn...

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Familiar Arguments at Hearing for Baffert's Stay of Suspension

The hearing on the motion for a stay to be granted for Bob Baffert's 90-day suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) was held on Thursday, Mar. 16 in the Franklin County (Ky) Circuit Court, with both sides repeating what are now familiar arguments about the initial ruling. Thursday's court hearing was held after the original hearing scheduled on Mar. 2 was postponed when it became apparent that the KHRC would be holding a special meeting two days later to consider and rule on Baffert's request for a stay....

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Medina Spirit's Derby Drug Positive Hearing Reportedly Postponed

A long-awaited Feb. 7 Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) stewards' hearing regarding Medina Spirit's positive test result for betamethasone in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby reportedly got postponed from Monday to the following week. After a wait of 283 days since the alleged infraction, Monday's hearing involving trainer Bob Baffert apparently has been rescheduled for Feb. 14. WLKY-TV in Kentucky first broke the news of the non-hearing and its new date. TDN attempted to confirm the report by sending emails to KHRC chief state steward Barbara Borden, KHRC executive director...

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KY Advances Whip Rule That Guild Believes Can Be North American Model

After nearly two years of negotiations and rewrites, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) on Tuesday unanimously advanced a more humane whipping rule that The Jockeys' Guild is endorsing as a possible model regulation for all North American jurisdictions to follow. The chief change sets a limit of six overhand hits per race with no more than two strikes in succession to give the horse a chance to respond. Jennifer Wolsing, the general counsel for the KHRC, explained prior to the vote that if necessary, jockeys may also use the...

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Six-Strike Overhand Whipping Rule Could Be Legal in Kentucky by February

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is on its way to a long-planned rewrite of the state's whipping rules, and the chief change would set a limit of six overhand hits per race with no more than two strikes in succession to give the horse a chance to respond. In addition, the penalty structure will be tweaked. As explained by Jennifer Wolsing, the general counsel for the KHRC, "The stewards would be able to impose a $500 minimum fine or a three-day minimum suspension. Or, if the stewards believe that...

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Stud Farms Sue Over 140-Mare Cap, Allege 'Blatant Abuse of Power' by The Jockey Club

Spendthrift Farm, Ashford Stud and Three Chimneys Farm are suing The Jockey Club in federal court over the "stallion cap" rule that went into effect in 2020, alleging that the 140-mare breeding limit now being phased in amounts to a "blatant abuse of power" that acts as an "anti-competitive restraint" and threatens to disrupt the free-market nature of the bloodstock business. The plaintiffs contend that the stallion cap "serves no legitimate purpose and has no scientific basis" while alleging that the nine stewards of The Jockey Club who voted to...

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After HHR Decision from Court, Racing Considers Next Steps

Still reeling from a decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court that ruled that Historical Horse Racing (HHR) machines are illegal, the racing and breeding industries in the state have continued to work behind the scenes to find a way to keep the gaming machines operating. The machines have proved so popular that they handled $2.2 billion during the most recent fiscal year and contribute tens of millions annually to purses. The court ruled that the machines, which resemble slot machines, did not fall under the legal definition of pari-mutuel gambling...

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#FreeDataFriday — Volume 36: Kentucky Workout Rules Not Working

Our sport can, and should, always seek continuous improvement. Take last Saturday, [May 23]'s first race at Churchill Downs as an example. Trainer Thomas Drury Jr. had two starters in the race--Step Ten, making his career debut and Baby White Sox, who would make his first start for Drury, but his third start overall, having run twice for Joe Sharp in 2019, the last of those starts coming in mid-September. While Step Ten is shown as having five published works, one most recently at Churchill and four at the Skylight...

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