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Ouch - PA racing: "about that G2 you won, we'll be taking it back"

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  • Ouch - PA racing: "about that G2 you won, we'll be taking it back"

    Looks like the only three graded stakes races for the state of Pennsylvania already held in 2009 will be now be recinded and sadly the winners of each are out of luck with that black type but do retain the win.

    DRF 12-4-09 "Grades rescinded for Pennsylvania stakes"

    The American Graded Stakes Committee has rescinded the grades for three stakes races held in Pennsylvania in 2009 - the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, the Grade 2 Cotillion Stakes, and the Grade 3 Presque Isle Downs Masters - because horses that participated in the stakes were not tested for alkalizing agents, racing officials said late on Friday.

    The three races are the only graded stakes races held in Pennsylvania.
    (alkalizing agents are a/k/a milkshakes)

    Those hurt are by no mean 'little guys' in horse racing:

    Phipps Stable runner Gone Astray had won the Pennsylvania Derby
    Augustin Stables (Geo. Strawbrige Jr) runner Informed Decision had won the Presque Isle Downs Masters ... and later the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint
    Donver Stable's Careless Jewel took the Cotillion Stakes

  • #2
    Yeah I saw that yesterday. I don't see how they can do that retroactively, I think if I owned one of those horses I would be talking to a lawyer and finding out what options I had.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      How silly. I have to agree with Laurierace... I think I'd be talking to the lawyers if I were an owner of one of those horses...


      • #4
        Ah, the fun...

        but yeah, if I'd be affected, I'd have my lawyer send them a nice letter, with further action to follow.

        I mean, to my kowledge it is not common practice for owners to insist on being tested...that's the track staff's job.


        • #5
          The racing commission didn't follow the rules but the horse owners are the ones who are paying the price. Its not like they had any control over the testing procedures. If anything they can sue them for false advertising.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
            The racing commission didn't follow the rules but the horse owners are the ones who are paying the price.
            Agreed that the owners are paying the price having made the logical assumption each race was going to be conducted in keeping with the requirements, etc garnering the graded rating.

            From that DRF article:

            Andrew Schweigardt, the secretary of the committee, said on Friday that he did not believe that owners of the horses would have been aware that the races were being run outside of the rules to comply with the graded stakes committee. He said that the committee asks all state racing commissions to provide a letter verifying that they conducted drug tests meeting the committee's requirements, and Pennsylvania said that it could not provide the letter last week.

            "I didn't know it was an issue until just last week, so I doubt any owners knew about it," Schweigardt said.
            Somewhat shocking that Pennsylvania was that asleep at the wheel and non-compliance.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post

              Somewhat shocking that Pennsylvania was that asleep at the wheel and non-compliance.
              Let me clue you in on the powers that be in Pennsylvania racing - they don't care about whether a stake is graded or not. That would probably rank somewhere slightly above testing for Epogen or doing pre-race exams.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Drvmb1ggl3
                How is this retro active? The rule has been in place since the start of the year.


                Penn racing commish are the ones who didn't play by the rules.
                The Pennsylvania Racing Commission is responsible for enforcing PA racing law, not the wishes of some self-appointed group who answers to no one in this industry.

                As I stated at TBC, I wish the tracks (and owners) would get together and tell the Graded Stakes Committe to go take a hike.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by DickHertz View Post
                  Let me clue you in on the powers that be in Pennsylvania racing - they don't care about whether a stake is graded or not. That would probably rank somewhere slightly above testing for Epogen or doing pre-race exams.
                  That may be true and with a mere 3 races being graded one would otherwise think it would be just a blip on the radar. Yet when the oversight impacts a PA-resident, leading breeder and owner like George Strawbridge Jr. as well as the Phipps family methinks that will result in them caring.


                  • #10
                    Not sure of PA's testing prceedures, but wouldn't the samples still be around? I wonder if they could go back and test those samples??? Not sure how co2 test are done and how long the samples are good for...


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Drvmb1ggl3
                      1) if you don't care about the whole pattern system, then why do you care that they lost the grading?
                      2) You want the owners to tell themselves to take a hike? The American Graded Stakes Committee was set up and is run by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.... TOBA
                      Frankly, I don't care since I feel the elimination of the Grades Stakes Committee is long overdue. Their methodology is terribly flawed and the result has done more damage to the industry than any medication policy.

                      When I say the "owners," I mean the ones who lost whatever accolade they considered important when they entered the races in question.