West Virginia

'Rising Star' My Prankster To Stand At West Virginia's O'Sullivan Farms For 2024

'TDN Rising Star' My Prankster (Into Mischief) has been sold and will stand the 2024 breeding season at O'Sullivan Farms, located in Charles Town, WV. A $600,000 purchase for Robert & Lawana Low at the Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Showcase in 2020, My Prankster was trained by Todd Pletcher and broke his maiden by ten lengths in 'Rising Star' style at Saratoga. He retires with three wins in 10 career starts including the GIII Swale S. and with $314,840 in earnings. My Prankster will join Limehouse, Aldrin, Capo Bastone and Golden...

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Vets' Attorney in Bisphosphonate Suspension Says Drs. Followed the Rules

The attorney for veterinarians Scott Shell and Barbara Hippie, who have been provisionally suspended by the Horse Racing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) for possession of bisphosphonates and two other medications told the TDN Saturday morning that the veterinarians were operating under the rule as published. "Drs. Shell and Hippie vehemently deny any violation of the veterinary rules as posted pursuant to HISA," said Drew Mollica by phone Saturday. "We look forward an immediate hearing so that all of the facts may be explored and their good names and reputations...

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HISA Arbitrator Wipes Out 2-year Suspension for 76-year-old trainer in Isoxsuprine Contamination Case

The West Virginia-based trainer Dennis VanMeter won a Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) arbitration judgment Sept. 26 that wipes out a two-year negligence suspension and $25,000 fine related to an adverse analytical finding for the banned substance isoxsuprine in a shipper, Templement (Flatter), who ran sixth and last in an allowance sprint at Thistledown in Ohio on June 7. Although the final order signed by arbitrator Laura Abrahamson noted that VanMeter did not contest the isoxsuprine finding itself and that he must still bear responsibility for that violation found...

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Sixth Circuit: No Rehearing On HISA Constitutionality Decision

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled Thursday that it will not grant a full-court rehearing to the losing plaintiffs who contested a three-judge panel's Mar. 3 decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). The case is one of five anti-HISA constitutionality lawsuits currently active in the federal court system. Led by the states of Oklahoma, West Virginia and Louisiana, the plaintiffs collectively petitioned Apr. 17 for a rarely granted "en banc" procedure that asked for a rehearing before...

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Sam Ross, Co-Owner of Breeze Easy, Passes Away

Sam Ross, co-owner with Mike Hall of Breeze Easy, LLC, passed  Dec. 22, at the age of 79, in Jupiter, Florida. Described as "a visionary behind many companies"--all of which were based in his hometown of Parkersburg, West Virginia--Ross sold his SBR group in 2006, but continued to own Woodcraft Supply, LLC, a chain of woodworking specialty related stores which operates in 34 states, and to participate in the oil and gas exploration and production industry. In addition to the sale of SBR, 2006 also marked the formation of the...

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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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In Advance of HISA Appeals, Court Date, Two Sides Hone Arguments

In advance of oral arguments scheduled Aug. 30 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the two sides involved in the injunction appeal brought by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Authority (HISA) have filed legal briefs that they hope will sway the court to their side of the case. Both HISA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are defendants in an underlying lawsuit led by the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, plus the Jockeys' Guild, that alleges unconstitutionality and federal rulemaking procedure violations regarding...

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Op/Ed: Robert M. Beck, Jr.

During one of the most politically polarizing times in our country's history, Congress passed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA) with bipartisan support. What did this rare display of unity say about the health of the Thoroughbred racing industry? To say it kindly: the industry needed help. HISA handed over the reins for regulating Thoroughbred safety and anti-doping and medication control matters to a private, self-regulatory organization named the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (Authority). Before HISA, Thoroughbred racing in the United States was regulated by a...

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Appeals Court Revisits Some Elements of HISA Stay Order

A panel of three judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a new, more fine-tuned order Monday in the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Authority (HISA) lawsuit that narrows the scope of an "administrative stay" that same court had issued five days earlier. The Aug. 8 order now means that instead of the entire slate of HISA rules being re-activated in Louisiana and West Virginia (as per the Aug. 3 Appeals Court order that trumped a preliminary injunction issued July 26 by a lower...

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HISA Seeks Stay After Louisiana, West Virginia Ruling

Just six days after Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) opponents won a round in court in which a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction that halted implementation of HISA rules going into effect in Louisiana and West Virginia, HISA and the Federal Trade Commission were back in court Monday filing an emergency motion for a stay pending appeal. The motion was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The filing from HISA maintains that when granting the preliminary injunction, the court erred in...

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Restraining Order Denied In HISA Lawsuit

A federal judge has denied a motion for a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit designed to keep the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) rules from going into effect. The order, dated June 30 but posted to the court docket on the morning of July 1, the effective date for HISA's implementation, was handed down in the aftermath of a 35-minute Thursday afternoon conference call that was hastily arranged at the urgent request of lead plaintiffs from the states of Louisiana and West Virginia in their suit against HISA...

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