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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Dr. Rick Arthur Q&A: Part Two

After 15 years as California's equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur has stepped away from the post. A vocal proponent of tightened welfare practices in the sport, Arthur has spearheaded during his tenure a slew of equine safety reforms that have made California arguably the most stringent regulatory environment in the States. Arthur's forthrightness, however, has led to him staking out positions that have at times proven polarizing. The day after Arthur officially stepped down, he conducted a Q&A with the TDN, the first part of which can be seen...

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Dr. Rick Arthur Q&A: Part One

After 15 years as California's equine medical director, Dr. Rick Arthur has stepped away from the post. A long-time vocal champion, both in his home state and at the international level, of tightened welfare practices in the sport, Arthur has spearheaded a slew of precedent-setting medication and equine safety reforms in California. During those 15 years, Arthur has been at the helm of the industry's veterinary ship while California has navigated a series of tumultuous storms, including a benighted venture to switch from dirt to synthetic racetrack surfaces during the...

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Bisphosphonate Complaint Issued Against Metz By CHRB

A complaint involving a banned bisphosphonate has been lodged by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) against trainer Jeffrey Metz, summoning him to a stewards' hearing. According to a CHRB complaint dated Apr. 29, a positive for tiludronic acid was confirmed via split-sample testing from Camino de Estrella (Mineshaft), who finished sixth in the third race Sept. 27, 2020, at Santa Anita. The now-7-year-old gelding was claimed that day for $20,000, and has finished no better than sixth in four subsequent starts for a four-way partnership that includes trainer Bill...

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Pennsylvania Amends Lasix Rules

The Pennsylvania Racing Commission has adopted a new set of rules regarding the medication Lasix, which will soon be banned in all 2-year-old races and graded stakes. The rules, which were approved at a regularly scheduled commission meeting Tuesday, will go into effect June 1. There are seven graded stakes races set to be run this year at Parx, including the GI Pennsylvania Derby and the GI Cotillion S. "I thought that it was obvious that this was the right way to go because Lasix gets abused badly," said Racing...

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Baffert Issues Statement on Medication Issues

In a statement circulated to the media Wednesday morning, Bob Baffert pledged to do everything possible to ensure that he receives no further medication positives, saying that he wanted to be a positive influence on horse racing. Baffert, who has seen medication positives over overages three times in the last six months, outlined several steps his barn was taking. The statement in full reads: "2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. It has been no exception for my family, my barn, and me. I am very aware of the...

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