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Glimmerglass
Jul. 4, 2007, 05:31 PM
Last fall it was the Saratoga's harness track (http://www.harnessracing.com/news_detailed.php?id=7338) (Saratoga Gaming and Raceway) hit with the controversy of a stable using highly illicit cobra venom. Now comes news of venom discovered in Patrick Biancone's Keeneland stable.


Cobra venom said to be in Biancone barn
Daily Racing Form July 4, 2007 (http://www.drf.com/news/article/86373.html)
By MARTY McGEE

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - One of the materials confiscated by Kentucky Horse Racing Authority investigators during the June 22 search of three Keeneland barns occupied by trainer Patrick Biancone was cobra venom, a substance that can be used as a painkiller, a source close to the investigation confirmed this week.

The cobra venom, which is barred by state regulation from racetrack grounds, was in crystalline form and was found in a refrigerator in one of the tack rooms used for the storage of supplies, said the source, adding the substance was in a small container labeled "Toxin." Snake venom has been known to be injected to deaden or "block" a horse's joint or nerve, and in a case settled last week in Saratoga County, N.Y., two Standardbred horsemen pled guilty of doing just that before a race last October at Saratoga Raceway.

The June 22 search of Biancone's barns was conducted after one of Biancone's horses who raced in Kentucky tested positive for a derivative of caffeine and for a derivative of an inhalant, both of which are banned for raceday use, according to the source. Biancone also has a pending medication case in Southern California. The horse Iron Butterfly, trained at the time by Biancone, tested positive for salmeterol, a bronchodilator, in a January race at Santa Anita.

Biancone declined comment on the Kentucky matter Wednesday. Biancone's veterinarian, Dr. Rod Stewart, had his truck searched when the barns were raided and is a subject in the investigation, according to the source, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. Efforts to reach Stewart on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The first step in the legal process in this case is a stewards' hearing, but one has not yet been scheduled, chief steward John Veitch said Wednesday at Churchill Downs. The next possible step would be a hearing before the racing authority, after which the case could go into the court system, meaning resolution could be months, if not years, away.

Pending a hearing, Biancone is free to run horses in Kentucky and elsewhere. At the time of the search, he had about 75 horses spread among three barns at Keeneland. With racing at Churchill set to end Sunday, he soon will shift his main base of operations to Saratoga while also maintaining a string at Keeneland.

Cobra venom is a powerful neurotoxin that blocks the neural pathways that transmit pain to the brain. The substance, which is used by researchers in extremely minute quantities because of its toxicity, is considered a Class 1 drug under the Racing Commissioners International classification system. Class 1 drugs are defined as having no therapeutic value for a horse and a high potential to affect racing performance. At present, no laboratory officials have confirmed that a test exists to detect an administration of the drug. Researchers, however, are known to have been working on a test for the past year.

The use of cobra venom to block pain has long been rumored in the racing industry, although very little evidence of its administration has emerged. Late in June, however, William Barrack, 68, and Keith Barrack, 43, of Beacon, N.Y., pleaded guilty to a felony charge of interference with a domestic animal in Saratoga District Court after admitting that they administered cobra venom to a horse racing at Saratoga Raceway, the harness track, last October. They are scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 31.

Biancone, 55, has been training for more than 30 years, having started in his native France in the 1970's. He moved to Hong Kong in the 1990's and was suspended there in 1999 after two of his horses tested positive for banned medications, and eventually made his way to the United States.

Biancone was the leading trainer at Keeneland at the 2006 fall meet and the 2007 spring meet, the first two meets that Polytrack has been used as the primary racing surface.

solargal
Jul. 4, 2007, 07:41 PM
He should be banned for life. What a heartless ........

Texarkana
Jul. 4, 2007, 07:57 PM
I've never met Biancone and I don't know anyone who knows him well... but for some reason he always came across to me as one of the "better" guys. I never realized all the pending drug cases he has on his record as of late.

QHJockee
Jul. 4, 2007, 11:08 PM
I've never met Biancone and I don't know anyone who knows him well... but for some reason he always came across to me as one of the "better" guys. I never realized all the pending drug cases he has on his record as of late.

Perhaps you do not know his nickname...."The Butcher".

dressagetraks
Jul. 4, 2007, 11:12 PM
Shame that people don't have the honesty of horses.

Not to prejudge the issue, but I really can't think of an "innocent" reason to have cobra venom in your barn.

Someday, I would like to have a racehorse myself for the fun of it (and give him/her a home for life after retirement from the track). But what I see of trainer after trainer makes me hesitate. Unfortunately, my #1 choice (Shug McGuahey, don't think that's spelled right but no time to look it up at the moment) isn't available as a public trainer.

Texarkana
Jul. 5, 2007, 12:11 AM
Perhaps you do not know his nickname...."The Butcher".

Nope... never heard that. Like I said, he's someone I've had absolutely NO dealings with. Not even remotely. It's surprising, actually. Guess that's probably a good thing after reading this!

Drvmb1ggl3
Jul. 5, 2007, 12:17 AM
He was warned off and asked to leave Hong Kong for drug positives in the 90's.

A shame, as he was obviously a talented trainer, his handling of the great filly All Along, who was HOY in the US and Europe in the same year, was nothing short of impressive, winning what were possibly the four biggest Turf races in the world at that time (Prix de L'Arc, Canadian Intl, Turf Classic, Washington DC Intl), all in the space of 6 weeks.

miss_critic
Jul. 5, 2007, 01:58 AM
Perhaps you do not know his nickname...."The Butcher".

...meaning what?

Pronzini
Jul. 5, 2007, 10:12 AM
The irony is that Biancone is one of the elite guys training expensive sales horses and stakes horses that so many fans seem to think is pure because he doesn't use Lasix! His current troubles are not completely surprising to people who have followed his career from continent to continent.

The good guys are out there and many of them train only claiming horses. To find them, a person needs to put the Bloodhorse away and talk to people in the business. Also, at least here in California, the CHRB will let a prospective owner know about any official complaint about a trainer on file and its rulings if there are any. It takes a little legwork but its absolutely worth it for the good of your horse and your own reputation.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 5, 2007, 11:21 AM
Louisville Courier Journal July 5 2007 "Biancone horse's drug test probed" (http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070705/SPORTS08/707050517/1002/SPORTS)


[Churchill Downs stewards] also declined comment on a Daily Racing Form online report that said one of the materials confiscated in the barn search was cobra venom, barred by state regulation from racetrack grounds. Snake venom can deaden joint or nerve pain.

Drf.com reported Biancone's barns were searched after one of his horses tested positive for a derivative of caffeine and a derivative of an inhalant, which are prohibited from being in a horse's system during a race.


When a horse is tested after a race, including all winners and at least one other horse, the urine and blood samples taken are divided in two. In Kentucky, the first goes to Iowa State University's laboratory. If there is a finding of an illegal drug or medication, the other sample, known as the "split," is sent to a second lab for confirmation testing. If it also comes back positive, stewards conduct a hearing with the trainer and mete out any sanctions.

Kentucky chief state steward John Veitch said the split sample [for Biancone's horse's at Churchill - not Keeneland] has not been tested. He said it will be sent out tomorrow, citing delays caused by the weekend and yesterday's holiday.

JER
Jul. 5, 2007, 11:47 AM
The cobra venom, which is barred by state regulation from racetrack grounds, was in crystalline form and was found in a refrigerator in one of the tack rooms used for the storage of supplies, said the source, adding the substance was in a small container labeled "Toxin."

Someone's either not so bright or not so nervous about using illicit substances. Biancone might want to switch to a better labeling system.

What's Biancone's immigration status? If he's on an H1-B, he might be looking for a new training venue. I won't miss him.

Acertainsmile
Jul. 5, 2007, 01:25 PM
Wondering if G Fox will end up with some more of Biancones horses?

JER
Jul. 5, 2007, 04:18 PM
A couple of questions for those better informed than me:

1. Any word on what led to the search?

2. Has Biancone been based in KY for a long time (I thought he was elsewhere before)? Or perhaps has he increased his operations in KY recently?

(I'm just curious. I like a good story.)

QHJockee
Jul. 5, 2007, 10:31 PM
...meaning what?

Meaning he is famously known for breaking down horses left and right. Head to head, he has probably had much better horses than Frankel or Shug have ever had, and few of them have made it to the races.

I do agree with JER, and was wondering myself who designed the labeling system. Would be better off to put it in an old coke bottle with a squirt top and pretend it was DMSO or something. I've seen several cheats in my time on the track and you have to be a lot craftier than the Butcher is.

Beezer
Jul. 6, 2007, 01:15 AM
JER, the search was done after the horse tested positive; I would imagine that even though there isn't a test for the venom as of yet, what the horse did test positive for (i.e. the delivery method or some other marker) led them to think that it might be a possibility.

Or, they may simply have been looking for extra large doses of No Doz given the caffeine finding. ;)

Biancone was out here in California for a while, and still had a string at Hollywood Park last fall. Of course, then he ran afoul of the medications rules here, too. ;)

Janet
Jul. 6, 2007, 08:07 AM
JER, the search was done after the horse tested positive; I would imagine that even though there isn't a test for the venom as of yet, what the horse did test positive for (i.e. the delivery method or some other marker) led them to think that it might be a possibility. ;)
According to the OP

tested positive for a derivative of caffeine and for a derivative of an inhalant

JER
Jul. 6, 2007, 11:33 AM
I asked the question because several articles about the raid said that the reason for the raid had not been specified -- drf.com had reported the other positive test via an anonymous source but it was not confirmed by the KHRA or any other entity. I see now that the Churchill stewards acknowledged the test yesterday.

A report from an anonymous source is not proof. The bottle of 'toxin' sounds so stupid to me that I wondered what the real story was. But in this case, the real story is really that dumb -- this creep didn't need anyone setting him up.

jengersnap
Jul. 6, 2007, 02:44 PM
I do agree with JER, and was wondering myself who designed the labeling system. Would be better off to put it in an old coke bottle with a squirt top and pretend it was DMSO or something. I've seen several cheats in my time on the track and you have to be a lot craftier than the Butcher is.

Personally, I think putting it in a coffee mug labelled "Biacone" on it with a nice steaming cuppa in it and setting it within his reach would be a lovely thing to do. :mad:

Glimmerglass
Jul. 7, 2007, 12:26 AM
A lengthy article in the DRF:7-6-07 "Preventing venom use 'difficult'" (http://drf.com/news/article/86497.html)

excerpt


In fact, a trainer or veterinarian who uses cobra venom is almost certainly aware that the racing industry has no means to detect it. And although only one company in the United States is widely known to sell the substance - Miami Serpentarium Laboratories in Florida - veterinarians can legally purchase cobra venom simply by having their license validated.

The possession of cobra venom is not a crime, although every major racing jurisdiction has banned its use. Cobra venom is not classified as a controlled substance by the Food and Drug Administration, and there are no laws that would prohibit someone from using the substance as long as a crime is not committed.


Researchers can easily obtain snake venom from Miami Serpentarium Laboratories, which has been selling venom since 1947. Its founder, William Haast, is considered a pioneer in the field, and from 1947 until 1985, the laboratory doubled as a tourist attraction. Visitors could watch as Haast milked venomous snakes by forcing open their jaws and getting the snakes to strike a thin membrane covering a test tube.

Nancy Haast, the administrator of the laboratory, said that the company sells venom only to researchers, universities, and veterinarians. The venom has been used to research everything from a polio cure to cancer treatment, and anti-venom snakebite serums can be produced only from a sample of the venom itself. The venom is sold by the milligram, and veterinarians need only to provide a license, which the company checks to see it is valid.

"Our policy is that we don't sell to anyone off the street," Haast said. "We could. I don't think there are any laws. It's such a specialty biochemical field."

Cobra venom appears to be distinct among snake venoms. Most other snake venoms are not neurotoxins, but rather poisons that affect the cardiovascular system or the localized area of the bite. The Miami serpentarium sells cobra venom for approximately $60 a milligram, Haast said. Since the exact dosage for a horse is unclear, it is uncertain how much a specific cobra venom shot would cost.


Marketed cobra venom typically comes in a crystallized form. The poison is converted into an injectable by mixing a small sample in a saline solution. But once the mix is made, the potency of the venom quickly degrades.

kcmel
Jul. 7, 2007, 11:49 AM
Meaning he is famously known for breaking down horses left and right. Head to head, he has probably had much better horses than Frankel or Shug have ever had, and few of them have made it to the races.

Wow, didn't know this. Although his fancy 2 YOs rarely are seen at 3, so I guess it shouldn't surprise me.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 8, 2007, 02:02 AM
The woes just keep on happening ... BloodHorse 7-7-07 "Biancone Fined $1,500 by CHRB for Entry Oversight" (http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=39667)

"The French Connection" ringleader isn't doing so well at the moment

Glimmerglass
Aug. 31, 2007, 01:16 PM
Ah, ha! Oh wait .. just caffeine. Perhaps Patrick decided to take Trevor Denman's oft used phrase ".. but he'd have to sprout wings to catch the leader..." with a little Red Bull (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/27/red_bull_study/) for the horse ;)

DRF 8-30-07 "Biancone draws 15-day ban for caffeine" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/88080.html)


Trainer Patrick Biancone was issued a 15-day suspension on Thursday by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority after one of his horses tested positive for caffeine and a related drug [theophylline] following a race at Churchill Downs in May.

Biancone will serve the suspension from Sept. 5 to Sept. 19, according to Lisa Underwood, the executive director of the authority.

The other investigaton is still "on going"

CrzyCorgi
Sep. 2, 2007, 05:24 PM
I had no clue..... UNBELIEVABLE!

pinkdiamondracing
Sep. 2, 2007, 08:05 PM
the venom found in Biancone's barn was probably some spit he left in a bottle -- since IMO he is a first rate snake-- and I personally thinbk he should be sent packing-- immediately if not sooner

CrzyCorgi
Sep. 5, 2007, 02:25 PM
I like that PDR! LOL!

~Darci~

SweatySaddlepad
Sep. 11, 2007, 10:54 AM
I have a question for those who are in the know of racing, I certainly am not other than owning exracers. Why on earth would this man still be allowed to step foot on a racetrack as trainer with all of these past and present drug issues? It's mind blowing and deeply disheartening. I'm sure there are many reputable trainers trying to claw their way to the top with their ethics intact (and horses) only to slam into this crap at every turn. I fear this pushes the good guys out, who could compete?

Glimmerglass
Sep. 11, 2007, 11:44 AM
Actually there was another action taken against him - in California over the weekend:

TB Times Sep 8, 2007 "Biancone fined for medication violation in California" (http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/national-news/2007/September/08/Biacone-fined-for-medication-violation-in-California.aspx)


Trainer Patrick Biancone, who is under investigation by Kentucky regulators, was slapped with a $10,000 fine by Del Mar stewards after a horse he trained, Iron Butterfly, tested positive for the breathing medication salmeterol following a race in January.

Biancone is currently serving a 15-day suspension in Kentucky for a medication violation. Del Mar stewards suspended him for the same number of days.


Biancone and [veterinarian Rod Stewart] are under investigation by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority following a search of Biancone’s three barns at Keeneland Race Course on June 22. Racing authority officials said they confiscated “materials” during the search, which also included Stewart’s vehicle, but they have not disclosed further details and did not say if the May 3 positive was related to their investigation.

Stewart was suspended on August 16 after he declined to hand over his veterinary records, drug purchase orders, and computer files. He has appealed the suspension.

Per the article, Iron Butterfly, a 3-yr old Forestry filly was later transferred to trainer Wally Dollase.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 17, 2007, 11:45 PM
DRF 9-17-07 "Kentucky gives vet 5-year ban" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/88632.html)

excerpt


Dr. Rodney Stewart, the veterinarian whose truck was searched June 22 at Keeneland Racecourse, was suspended for five years by Kentucky's racing stewards for violations that included the possession of cobra venom and a drug combination used to treat Parkinson's disease in humans, the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority announced late Monday.

The suspension, which is the longest that the stewards have issued to a Thoroughbred licensee in recent years, arose from an ongoing authority investigation of trainer Patrick Biancone. Three of Biancone's barns at Keeneland also were searched June 22.

According to the authority, the stewards issued a four-year suspension based on Stewart's possession of three vials of cobra venom. An authority statement did not specify where the vials were found, and officials with the racing authority could not be reached immediately for comment.

According to the statement, "The stewards found that Stewart was aware that Biancone was in possession of [cobra venom], injectables, and improperly labeled medications."


The investigation into Biancone is ongoing, the authority said in a statement. The authority has declined to comment on any aspect of the investigation in the past, citing Kentucky's racing rules.

Biancone, 55, a native of France, was suspended in 1999 by the Hong Kong Jockey Club when more than 20 of his horses tested positive for illegal medications. He moved to the United States and was licensed in California in 2000 after his suspension expired.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 5, 2007, 05:33 PM
Trainer Biancone Suspended One Year by Kentucky Stewards (http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=41159) - Oct 5, 2007


Kentucky racing stewards have suspended trainer Patrick Biancone for one year for numerous violations of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority’s medication regulations following a hearing Oct. 4. The suspension begins Oct. 15.

Under Kentucky's suspended purse rule, Biancone will not be allowed to benefit financially from any winnings earned by his horses during their time under the care of another trainer. Any money earned will go to the trainer of record at the time of the race.


Biancone was suspended for one year for possession on the grounds of Keeneland of three sealed vials of alpha-cobratoxin (cobra venom), a Class A medication under the KHRA Uniform Drug and Medication Classification Schedule. The alpha cobratoxin was found in a refrigerator in a bag labeled with Stewart’s name.

Acertainsmile
Oct. 5, 2007, 06:11 PM
Doesnt seem long enough... sigh...

Lexington
Oct. 5, 2007, 06:48 PM
Off topic...does anyone know what happened to the jockey in the 6th at KEE today?

flshgordon
Oct. 5, 2007, 06:51 PM
Trainer Biancone Suspended One Year by Kentucky Stewards (http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=41159) - Oct 5, 2007


I don't get why the vet is suspended for 5 years but the trainer only for one? :confused:

Glimmerglass
Oct. 5, 2007, 11:20 PM
Off topic...does anyone know what happened to the jockey in the 6th at KEE today?

For those like me who saw the horrific dual wrecks, French jock Florent Geroux "only" suffered a broken thumb and I think I recall TVG saying a rib too. The two horses actually were shockingly fine. I truly thought it was a breakdown but was infact a clipped heels. Primetime Lassie (ridden by Geroux) clipped Syriana's Song and fell violently which caused Misty Ocean to trip over her tossing jockey Larry Sterling Jr. I could not watch the replay as it was that bad.

Just ugly as it gets but with the outcome (as it is known now) was the best possible result from such a mess!

Lexington
Oct. 6, 2007, 11:34 AM
Thanks. Miraculous considering he didn't move for several minutes. Glad he's ok.

Timex
Oct. 6, 2007, 02:23 PM
eek! i had missed that! glad to hear flo's ok though, got to know him up here this summer, he's a really sweet kid.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 11, 2007, 11:36 AM
"Hold all tickets ...."

BloodHorse 10-10-07 "Biancone Granted Stay of Kentucky Suspension" (http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=41275)

DRF 10-11-07 "Biancone gets stay of year suspension" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/89320.html)

Glimmerglass
Apr. 22, 2008, 12:51 AM
Like a bad penny, he appears again ...

BloodHorse 4-21-08 "Trainer Biancone Under Scrutiny Again" (http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=44720)

reports of a violation of "the" agreement

excerpt:


Under the agreement, during the first six months of the suspension Biancone was prohibited from entering any racetrack, although he was permitted to attend the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale held at the track at a time when there was no racing. The agreement stipulated that Biancone could attend races, but remain only in the public areas of any racetrack, during the second six months of the suspension.

Glimmerglass
May. 9, 2008, 03:06 PM
As related the more recent discussion of his training facility purchase and possible violations ... BloodHorse 5-9-08 "Biancone Seeks to Block KHRA Hearing" (http://news.bloodhorse.com/article/45134.htm)

excerpt regarding Biaconne's lawsuit against the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority (KHRA):


The suit goes on to note that KHRA investigators “would secretly spy on Biancone while he was at Hurricane Hall Farm,” including videotaping the trainer’s activities. It also claims that on one occasion investigators raided Hurricane Hall Farm and interrogated personnel, “who all confirmed that they were not working for Biancone.”

Despite that, the suit continues, “the investigators decided to make a determination that Biancone may have been training in violation of the agreement because of his activity at Hurricane Hall Farm conducted in furtherance of his intended purchase. The conclusions of the investigators were based on no evidence or wildly misinterpreted evidence… The investigators were clearly overzealously attempting to manufacture without cause, a violation of the settlement agreement when, in fact, Biancone was very careful to fully comply with the settlement agreement.” The suit adds that no horses at Hurricane Hall Farm were in training.

pinkdiamondracing
May. 9, 2008, 03:45 PM
Once again, I say, Patrick "The butcher" Biancone needs to be sent packing, immediately, if not sooner. He has given racing a big enough black eye with his cheating on the track--let alone all the cheating he has done since being suspended.:no::no::mad:

JER
May. 9, 2008, 04:01 PM
Perhaps it's time to call PETA and set them on the trail of Monsieur Biancone.

He deserves it.

Considering all the utter nonsense people get deported for these days, why is our French friend still here? And why are owners sending horses to him?

I'm EBO
May. 9, 2008, 06:24 PM
After reading this, I have to say that PETA is the very least of the racing industry's problems. Don't the racing states' people talk to one another? Who are this bozo's owners? Are they unable to read?

Maybe potential trainers should undergo a background check?

pinkdiamondracing
May. 10, 2008, 03:43 PM
Patrick's number one owner who has steadfastly continued to support him is Fabien Ouaki, who is, you guessed it---- FRENCH!!! He is the money behind Fab Oak Stables, the name under which Hurricane Hall was purchased for The Butcher to "not train" (ahem) out of.

Glimmerglass
Jun. 10, 2008, 10:26 AM
DRF 6-10-08 "New Biancone hearing set" (http://drf.com/news/article/95349.html)


The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has scheduled a hearing for June 17 to consider whether trainer Patrick Biancone violated the terms of a one-year suspension, according to court papers and officials involved in the case.

The hearing will consider whether Biancone has conducted any training activities earlier this year at a property outside of Lexington, Ky., that he has agreed to purchase with a partner, Fabien Ouaki.

In early November last year, Biancone agreed to stop training for six months after investigators for the authority discovered three vials of a prohibited substance, cobra-snake venom, in his barn during a search at Keeneland in the summer. The settlement also prohibited Biancone from seeking a trainer's license for one year.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 31, 2008, 09:40 AM
DRF 10-30-08 "Biancone poised to return from one-year ban" (http://drf.com/news/article/99546.html)

excerpts


Lisa Underwood, executive director of the Kentucky commission, said she is unsure how quickly the licensing process could be expedited "since Mr. Biancone has not contacted us to notify us of his intentions."

The names and number of horses that Biancone will train is unclear, as is his ultimate racetrack destination, although several sources close to Biancone who asked not be named said they believe he will seek to race in Southern California for the winter.

The latest round of legal trouble is not the first for Biancone. He left France in the late 1980s under vague circumstances, and he left Hong Kong in 1999 after being suspended for 10 months after his horses allegedly tested positive for banned substances.

Blinkers On
Oct. 31, 2008, 03:09 PM
He will get most of his horses back. Sad but true. He was smart enough to get them sent to his golf buddies, friends, etc, and continues to manage many of them over the phone. The entire thing is why horse racing lacks credibility. He's a cheat and a butcher who got his owners to send horses to his friends. When was the last time Jason Orman trained the likes of Nownownow or Whywhywhy (whichever one or both it is). Jason is a nice guy, but come on. That was a transparent and predictable move.
Bianconne should be banned in this country as he has been in others. Time for racing to have a spine.

Calico
Oct. 31, 2008, 06:19 PM
Ugh. That was a short year.

LaurieB
Oct. 31, 2008, 06:21 PM
He will get most of his horses back. Sad but true. He was smart enough to get them sent to his golf buddies, friends, etc, and continues to manage many of them over the phone. The entire thing is why horse racing lacks credibility. He's a cheat and a butcher who got his owners to send horses to his friends. When was the last time Jason Orman trained the likes of Nownownow or Whywhywhy (whichever one or both it is). Jason is a nice guy, but come on. That was a transparent and predictable move.
Bianconne should be banned in this country as he has been in others. Time for racing to have a spine.

amen to that.

DickHertz
Oct. 31, 2008, 10:11 PM
This is the epitomy of why racing is on the decline. The trainers who are the repeat cheaters are always going to be welcome somewhere (see Patrick Valenzuela). It's amazing that someone can get nailed with extremely potent drugs like cobra venom and be allowed to saddle a horse again. It's quire perplexing, actually.

This is why I was one of the few glad to see Congress get involved in the sport. I think they need to start doing something...if they get started and the various racing commissions see the fed. govt. is going to start overseeing them, maybe they'll start weeding out all the cheaters. Unfortunately, there are bigger issues to deal with in this country right now. We should all call the racing secretary at the track he lands stalls and voice our displeasure.

Blueshadow
Nov. 3, 2008, 03:42 AM
Just curious whether one of Biancone's former horses - Victory Design (IRE) - shows up anywhere in his citations (at the time he would have been owned by a Kuwaiti, Al Homeizi)? Victory Design would have been running in KY/IL during 2004-2007. Or if anyone here was ever aware of this horse suffering a serious hip injury during his time with Biancone? This horse was subsequently sold to some CA owners in 2007, and placed in training with Peter Miller at San Luis Rey here in California.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 5, 2008, 04:19 PM
Nov 4 - Biancone Buys Baroness Thatcher for $1.8 million (http://auctions.bloodhorse.com/article/47909.htm) from Zayat Stables at auction.


Baroness Thatcher ultimately ended up in the barn of trainer Bill Mott and most recently won an allowance race at Keeneland Oct. 11.

Biancone said the daughter of Johannesburg out of the Gulch mare Natkeeta was for a group of new clients.

“This is emotional because I love her,” Biancone said of the 4-year-old filly. “She was a great horse, and I hope she can keep doing some more for us.”

The trainer said Baroness Thatcher will most likely head to California for the winter.

Blinkers On
Nov. 5, 2008, 07:34 PM
Oye, how does this guy keep getting clients? And how many stays of execution does he get in this country? And where does he go after the US has had enough? If they have enough?

Glimmerglass
Dec. 9, 2008, 05:14 PM
The return of Biacone trained Baroness Thatcher in The Bayakoa Handicap (G2) at Hollywood Park (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/48350/smooth-bayakoa-win-for-speedy-briecat) on Sunday resulted in a 4th place finish - not bad for the layoff.

That aside, what is disappointing is the news today regarding the Vet involved in the Biacone raid, the subject of the thread: BloodHorse 12-9-08 "Vet Stewart Could Resume Practicing Soon" (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/48364/vet-stewart-could-resume-practicing-soon)

Excerpt


Dr. Rodney Stewart, the veterinarian who has been suspended for five years after cobra venom and other medications belonging to him were discovered in a trainer’s barn at Keeneland June 22, 2007, could resume practicing soon as a result of action taken Dec. 9.

The cobra venom was discovered in a red soft-sided cooler belonging to Stewart during a June 22, 2007, search of a barn occupied by trainer Patrick Biancone. Also during the search, KHRC investigators discovered a box in the back of Stewart’s truck containing carbidopa and levodopa, both considered Class A medication under Kentucky racing rules.

Trainer Patrick Biancone, who was suspended for six months and agreed not to seek reinstatement for another six months, recently completed his suspension. Stewart testified that Biancone was unaware of the contents of the cooler. Biancone was suspended under the absolute insurer rule that holds trainers responsible for horses in their care.

JER
Dec. 9, 2008, 06:16 PM
I thought Paulick's report on this -- Venomous Confession by Veitch About Alydar (http://www.paulickreport.com/blog/venomous-confession-by-veitch-about-alydar/) -- was interesting.

Let me get this straight. Monsieur Biancone has been drummed off multiple continents for doping racehorses. Dr. Stewart lost his license in Australia in 1997 for the same reason.

Why the heck are these gentlemen allowed to work their particular brand of magic in the US? How do they get a visa in the first place and how do they get it renewed?

And can someone please tell me what a vet is doing with carbidopa/levodopa? Do racehorses get Parkinson's?

London Calling
Dec. 9, 2008, 06:31 PM
I thought Paulick's report on this -- Venomous Confession by Veitch About Alydar (http://www.paulickreport.com/blog/venomous-confession-by-veitch-about-alydar/) -- was interesting.

And can someone please tell me what a vet is doing with carbidopa/levodopa? Do racehorses get Parkinson's?

I asked Paulick this, because he attended the hearing. His reply:
"Re Carbidopa-Levodopa, Dr. Mary Scollay of the racing commission said it's a human medication that can act as a stimulant and reduce fatigue in humans."

Glimmerglass
Dec. 9, 2008, 06:33 PM
I thought Paulick's report on this -- Venomous Confession by Veitch About Alydar (http://www.paulickreport.com/blog/venomous-confession-by-veitch-about-alydar/) -- was interesting.

It took a while before the BloodHorse and DRF chose to (http://www.drf.com/news/article/100443.html) acknowledge that bit of disclosure. I don't believe that Veitch was terribly happy on the witness stand nor having to admit to those past action(s).

In fact if you think about it really Veitch and Calumet Farm really are only the ones who have lost in this trial. The Dr appears to be getting off relatively lightly and now the history of one of the more vaulted horses could be suspect. Of course it was Veitch who brought on this whole case so if you play with swords you have be prepared to get cut.

Blinkers On
Dec. 9, 2008, 07:45 PM
Way to make the sport legitimate. Dumb ****'s. I am so disgusted.

mem
Dec. 9, 2008, 08:29 PM
BTW - I don't think the good Doctor took much time off. He's been in Saratoga (his NY License is still good).

RooRoo
Dec. 9, 2008, 08:49 PM
It took a while before the BloodHorse and DRF chose to acknowledge that bit of disclosure.

I'm not sure they even knew about the Veitch "confession" at first. Their coverage by Matt Hagarty of the first hearing, when the Alydar-cobra venom thing came up, was very short and erroneously said it had been a closed-door meeting. Looks like they were playing catch-up today, not ignoring the story or protecting Veitch.

I'd always heard that cobra venom was fairly well known in the 70's and 80's among trainers but it can't have made JV feel too good to fess up about that now!

Blinkers On
Dec. 9, 2008, 09:42 PM
Ya, horsemen aren't really original in their "medicating" ways. Testing is just better and some horsemen are seemingly more stupid.

Iride
Dec. 9, 2008, 10:02 PM
But he's not permitted to work at NY tracks is he?


BTW - I don't think the good Doctor took much time off. He's been in Saratoga (his NY License is still good).

Glimmerglass
Jan. 20, 2009, 10:36 AM
In case it was missed: Nownownow's victory in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/48851/nownownow-pulls-san-fernando-shocker) at Santa Anita on January 17th was Biacone's first win since coming back from a suspension of nearly 15-months.

Nownownow - putting in a great effort with Joe Talamo - entered this race winless in his last six starts and hadn’t won since taking the inaugural 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf 2007 at Monmouth Park.

LaurieB
Jan. 20, 2009, 01:56 PM
In case it was missed: Nownownow's victory in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes (http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/48851/nownownow-pulls-san-fernando-shocker) at Santa Anita on January 17th was Biacone's first win since coming back from a suspension of nearly 15-months.

Nownownow - putting in a great effort with Joe Talamo - entered this race winless in his last six starts and hadn’t won since taking the inaugural 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf 2007 at Monmouth Park.

Are we supposed to be reading anything between the lines? :winkgrin:

Glimmerglass
Jan. 20, 2009, 03:39 PM
Are we supposed to be reading anything between the lines? :winkgrin:

Not actually - just being balanced I suppose. He has resumed a fairly low profile of training with just a handful of horses albeit ones who are graded stakes runners like Baroness Thatcher and Nownownow. I'm sure the CHRB is keeping close tabs on any horses running in Cali under his care.

Filly85'
Jan. 20, 2009, 04:25 PM
Why this man wasn't stipped of his license indefinitely in the states is beyond me. In fact, I can't believe he was ever given a license in the US in the first place. He was banned from ever holding a license in other countries before he came to the US for his bad deeds.

He had quite some time to come up with some new concoctions since he has been out of training. Does this absolutely infuriate anyone or is it just me? Gosh, we have to have the most incompetent people running horse racing!

How are we supposed to save horse racing in the long run if we have idiots running the top of the sport? It would be a lot more profitable and appealing to a wider audience if the sport was cleaned up!!! The question is, what can we do about it?

Do they think about what kind of message they are sending out to fans when they continue to give a trainer like Biancome a license?

I wrote a letter to the president of the NTRA and told him what needed to be done to get horse racing on its feet again after Eight Belles death. Of course, I'm sure that it went in one ear and out the other.

DickHertz
Jan. 20, 2009, 04:37 PM
Why this man wasn't stipped of his license indefinitely in the states is beyond me. In fact, I can't believe he was ever given a license in the US in the first place. He was banned from ever holding a license in other countries before he came to the US for his bad deeds.

He had quite some time to come up with some new concoctions since he has been out of training. Does this absolutely infuriate anyone or is it just me? Gosh, we have to have the most incompetent people running horse racing!

How are we supposed to save horse racing in the long run if we have idiots running the top of the sport? It would be a lot more profitable and appealing to a wider audience if the sport was cleaned up!!! The question is, what can we do about it?

Do they think about what kind of message they are sending out to fans when they continue to give a trainer like Biancome a license?

I wrote a letter to the president of the NTRA and told him what needed to be done to get horse racing on its feet again after Eight Belles death. Of course, I'm sure that it went in one ear and out the other.

This is a racing board for the casual fan. Please take your gripes elsewhere because the people who visit this board don't want to hear your complaints.

LaurieB
Jan. 20, 2009, 06:28 PM
This is a racing board for the casual fan. Please take your gripes elsewhere because the people who visit this board don't want to hear your complaints.

When did this become "a racing board for the casual fan"?

I, for one, don't see anything wrong with complaining about Biancone's reinstatement.

Filly85'
Jan. 20, 2009, 07:10 PM
This is a racing board for the casual fan. Please take your gripes elsewhere because the people who visit this board don't want to hear your complaints.

Excuse me, but they aren't just my complaints. I hear a lot of "casual fans" saying the same things, and I'm not going to sit hear and act like allowing this trainer to have a license is ethical. And since when is this just a message board for the casual fan. I didn't know that a requirement to join this board was that you had to be a casual fan. Aren't there other owners, breeders, some trainers, and hard core fans that post here?

This is exactly what is wrong with horse racing. An attempt to cover up the bad and act like it doesn't exist. And ridicule those that dare to bring it up. I am 100% for horse racing, and that is why I see it for what it is and am looking for ways to somehow make a difference and make it a better sport. Unfortunately, to get noticed, you have to have a lot of money and prestige in the sport or you must join PETA, of which the later gets 0 respect from the horse racing community. However, at least PETA does cause a ruckus. I either get ignored or a response like the one that you gave me.

Glimmerglass
Jan. 20, 2009, 07:31 PM
The rub with a person like Biacone is that, as the cliche famed saying goes, the horse has left the barn. The crimes committed, the penalties submitted and punishment taken. No matter how many complaints can be hurled what is done is done.

Was the punishment too light? Sure. You won't get much complaint on that. However you can't toughen up laws/rules/requirements now and apply them retroactively.

What should come from seeing a character like still in the game smiling is the strengthening of rules so that future acts can face the desired drumming out of any trainer caught with X or performing Y.

As for his next steps - Biacone is pointing Nownownow to the $250,000 Strub Stakes on Feb. 7. Nownownow was Biancone's 16th starter since his return.

In the prior post I'm not entirely clear what the 'casual fan' remark means ;)

Barbara D.
Jan. 21, 2009, 01:42 AM
In the prior post I'm not entirely clear what the 'casual fan' remark means ;)

Me neither, Glimmer. Ouch.

ThisTooShallPass
Jan. 21, 2009, 02:03 AM
This is a racing board for the casual fan. Please take your gripes elsewhere because the people who visit this board don't want to hear your complaints.


Who died & made you king? :confused:

Drvmb1ggl3
Jan. 21, 2009, 04:24 AM
Who died & made you king? :confused:

I believe Dick is being ironic, he has taken some flack recently (http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=184433) on this board for pointing out some of the dark underbelly of racing.

DickHertz
Jan. 21, 2009, 10:00 AM
I believe Dick is being ironic, he has taken some flack recently (http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=184433) on this board for pointing out some of the dark underbelly of racing.

Yes, Pronzini has declared this a general board for casual fans so we should all adhere to his/her wishes.

JstMyLuck3
Jan. 21, 2009, 12:13 PM
I've waited on Biancone and his family/parters/jockies dozens of times at Saratoga National Golf Club... from 2004-2007. His wife was Miss Hong Kong or something, their daughter was always wandering the grounds trying to catch frogs from our ponds (sometimes trying to bring them inside)...

A notorious 15% tipper no matter HOW exceptional the service.

Anyways, I was so upset when my father first told me what he had read in the news about one of my "customers". Out of all the trainers I've had contact with at the restaurant over the years (basically everyone who attends the Saratoga meet), he is by far the most "mysterious". I've noticed Zito is somewhat anal retentive, but he is a very kind, honest man once you get to know him. He would even tell me to cork up his half drunken bottle of Pouilly Fusse and take it home with me to drink the rest after work. Him and his wife seem to work like a team, whereas some others just like to show off their trophy wives..

I always got a bad feeling from Biancone, like he was a dishonest man. Although I was very disappointed to hear about the cobra venom when it fist happened, I can't say I was surprised.

DMK
Jan. 21, 2009, 01:00 PM
Lovely. There's no way to detect cobra venom from a test and it's not like it is a short acting substance. What's to stop him from taking horses off the farm 14+ days before a race and getting them injected?

I wonder how common place it still is. It was very routine in the 80's, to the point where I knew of a glorified local horse getting injected and I have a fairly strong suspicion my old hunter was injected (it's good to have backside contacts - I knew he had his feet injected pre-race, it was just a matter of what was injected - never really gave too much thought to it, but given the time and place, cobra venom is as good a suspicion as anything else).

Las Olas
Jan. 21, 2009, 04:08 PM
OK, we all know Biancone is a scumbag. However, in regards to his suspension dealing with the cobra venom, I think KHRC did the best they could. It's my understanding that Stewart took the blame (entirely) for the cobra venom being in the cooler. So, if Biancone fought this and it ended up going to a jury trial (possible in the State of KY), he could've potentially gotten off with NO suspension. It's hard to discipline someone when their vet takes the blame. I believe Stewart received a 5-year suspension, although last I heard he is appealing.

It also doesn't help that Veitch admitted to having Alydar injected with cobra venom. Of course, that was decades ago.

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/tag/rod-stewart

ThisTooShallPass
Jan. 21, 2009, 05:00 PM
Oh, so Pronzi is king??? *my bad*