Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby Catalina » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:10 am

tranquilo wrote:It's not really about falling for anything. I know the intended use of Winstrol because I do this horse stuff for a living and I've had one treated with it. I've had a horse with a thyroid problem on thyroxine (the stuff Baffert was giving his whole barn). I've had sick horses prescribed clenbuterol, though according to some expert in the Bloodhorse comment section, clenbuterol has no therapeutic purpose and is only used for doping. Obviously these medications can be abused and no horse should race on them, but they do have legitimate uses.

I'm all for clean racing, but most horses are going to need vet care during their career. It was Ellis' job to make sure any treatment Masochistic received between races wasn't in his system on race day, so he should be fined and suspended for failing to do so. I just think the BC ban for this year is pretty harsh for picograms. I would think that about anyone in this situation. I don't really have any feelings about Ellis one way or the other and I only know the story about this one horse. If it turns out he's giving his whole barn Winstrol as a routine, then I definitely would have an issue with that.

It just seems to me like some racing fans are quick to jump to the conclusion that every positive test is cheating. If a horse tests positive for a minor amount of a therapeutic med, then it's probably because someone screwed up or the horse didn't metabolize it normally, not because someone was intentionally cheating.


But that is still irrelevant when the rules forbid even a minor amount. And it's a steroid that builds muscle, whether that is the primary desired effect or not.
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Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby Dusty » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:00 am

Catalina wrote:
tranquilo wrote:It's not really about falling for anything. I know the intended use of Winstrol because I do this horse stuff for a living and I've had one treated with it. I've had a horse with a thyroid problem on thyroxine (the stuff Baffert was giving his whole barn). I've had sick horses prescribed clenbuterol, though according to some expert in the Bloodhorse comment section, clenbuterol has no therapeutic purpose and is only used for doping. Obviously these medications can be abused and no horse should race on them, but they do have legitimate uses.

I'm all for clean racing, but most horses are going to need vet care during their career. It was Ellis' job to make sure any treatment Masochistic received between races wasn't in his system on race day, so he should be fined and suspended for failing to do so. I just think the BC ban for this year is pretty harsh for picograms. I would think that about anyone in this situation. I don't really have any feelings about Ellis one way or the other and I only know the story about this one horse. If it turns out he's giving his whole barn Winstrol as a routine, then I definitely would have an issue with that.

It just seems to me like some racing fans are quick to jump to the conclusion that every positive test is cheating. If a horse tests positive for a minor amount of a therapeutic med, then it's probably because someone screwed up or the horse didn't metabolize it normally, not because someone was intentionally cheating.


But that is still irrelevant when the rules forbid even a minor amount. And it's a steroid that builds muscle, whether that is the primary desired effect or not.


MINOR - how about trace amount? there was not a dual sample that I am aware of and the detected amount was just about NOT there. Do not get me wrong- I am against abuse 110% - this was not even close - the penalty here does not fit the crime - horseracing needs to get its act together - what they pick Ellis because he is little guy? Sorry something is just not right
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Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby Tessablue » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:35 am

tranquilo wrote:It's not really about falling for anything. I know the intended use of Winstrol because I do this horse stuff for a living and I've had one treated with it. I've had a horse with a thyroid problem on thyroxine (the stuff Baffert was giving his whole barn). I've had sick horses prescribed clenbuterol, though according to some expert in the Bloodhorse comment section, clenbuterol has no therapeutic purpose and is only used for doping. Obviously these medications can be abused and no horse should race on them, but they do have legitimate uses.

I'm all for clean racing, but most horses are going to need vet care during their career. It was Ellis' job to make sure any treatment Masochistic received between races wasn't in his system on race day, so he should be fined and suspended for failing to do so. I just think the BC ban for this year is pretty harsh for picograms. I would think that about anyone in this situation. I don't really have any feelings about Ellis one way or the other and I only know the story about this one horse. If it turns out he's giving his whole barn Winstrol as a routine, then I definitely would have an issue with that.

It just seems to me like some racing fans are quick to jump to the conclusion that every positive test is cheating. If a horse tests positive for a minor amount of a therapeutic med, then it's probably because someone screwed up or the horse didn't metabolize it normally, not because someone was intentionally cheating.
Based on what I know about this situation- and I'm not familiar enough with Ellis to feel confident forming opinions towards him- I think this is a very measured and reasonable take. It's an unfortunate situation and the horse shouldn't have run, but it's hard to overstate just how small picograms are and I wish more racing fans- mostly those on the Bloodhorse and elsewhere- were willing to demonstrate nuance in their opinions towards drug applications. Thryroxine is a good example of a treatment that has its appropriate uses in certain narrow situations but is utterly irresponsible to administer to all horses.

This all comes back to my longstanding frustration with the lack of organized science and information in this sport- until fans and trainers and policymakers all know what these drugs do and what their risks and benefits are, we're all just flailing in the dark. There's the RMTC website- which at least has some bulletins on drugs and a collection of known literature- but it's not well-organized or remotely accessible to a layperson, and I worry that the pendulum has swung so hard towards detection and punishment that it's almost too late to get this information out there and available. Wonder if they'd want to toss some grant money towards someone willing to make an accessible database...
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Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby Somnambulist » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:55 am

It doesn't really matter. I think the pot ban in the NFL is stupid, and I think anyone who has THC in their piss and gets fired from their job is even more retarded. Alcohol is so much worse and it's ok to drink that during lunch breaks. Or you can beat your wife. I digress. Rules are rules. They hurt good and bad people. Life is really nothing but playing by the rules, unfortunately.

The fact is he was not sure if the horse would test dirty and chose to enter and take the responsibility of that on himself. Even if it's not cheating you rolled the dice and they didn't come up in your favor. I doubt trace amounts of it really helped the horse one way or the other.. the same if I smoke a blunt today it's not effecting me 3 weeks from now. Who knows, though? But you knew the rule and chose to chance it. Sorry, don't feel bad here. There are therapeutic uses to pretty much everything. But then adhere to the timetable and don't enter your horse when you get a positive test a few days before.

For all we know the owner and Ellis were on the same page with this. If the discussion to enter knowing the test results prior to, then whatever. If not that's on Ellis too. I'd get fired for less of an oversight at my job in no time.

There will also probably never be funding to figure out the drug situation in this game because to do that would probably mean someone, somewhere, makes less money and doesn't benefit from it. I don't know when I got this cynical.
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Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby Admin » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:32 am

The benefit of increased muscle mass still exists 60 days later regardless of whether any trace of the drug is found in a drug test.

The therapeutic use of steroids is irrelevant in this discussion as Ellis not only admits he didn't use it therapeutically, the horse continued to train and breeze on it.

The horse received 3 doses of steroids in the preceding 6 months. Perhaps that's why it didn't clear his system in time.

Each time Ellis gave this horse and the 4 others steroids, he was risking the horse coming up with a positive test, and he was taking that risk despite not needing to give it to the horse for a therapeutic reason. He knew 3 days out from the BC that his horse tested positive yet still took the risk. He knew the BC had punishment with teeth to it for horses who test positive in their races yet he risked his horse, his owner, and himself. I'm failing to see how Ellis is an innocent who was just taking care of a previously sick horse but got unknowingly and unfairly snagged in unfair drug testing.

We finally have one entity who hits hard for illegal drug positives and we have half the folks not wanting the results to stand. Yet we blame and criticize the sport for not being tough? Looks like the fans would do no better if they were in charge.
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Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby Tessablue » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:18 am

Admin wrote:The benefit of increased muscle mass still exists 60 days later regardless of whether any trace of the drug is found in a drug test.

The therapeutic use of steroids is irrelevant in this discussion as Ellis not only admits he didn't use it therapeutically, the horse continued to train and breeze on it.

The horse received 3 doses of steroids in the preceding 6 months. Perhaps that's why it didn't clear his system in time.

Each time Ellis gave this horse and the 4 others steroids, he was risking the horse coming up with a positive test, and he was taking that risk despite not needing to give it to the horse for a therapeutic reason. He knew 3 days out from the BC that his horse tested positive yet still took the risk. He knew the BC had punishment with teeth to it for horses who test positive in their races yet he risked his horse, his owner, and himself. I'm failing to see how Ellis is an innocent who was just taking care of a previously sick horse but got unknowingly and unfairly snagged in unfair drug testing.

We finally have one entity who hits hard for illegal drug positives and we have half the folks not wanting the results to stand. Yet we blame and criticize the sport for not being tough? Looks like the fans would do no better if they were in charge.

You're just inventing a strawman here. I'm also not sure where you got Ellis' intentions from, because he literally said "it was done therapeutically because he's a small horse and we have trouble keeping weight on him." You don't have to believe it, but there's no point in denying what he said.

I can't speak for everyone, but I'd much rather see a governing entity that is consistent and informed instead of posturing and bloviating. Ellis shouldn't have run the horse, obviously, but this situation appears to have been brought about by a clash between the CHRB and Breeders Cup rules. The intersection of different jurisdictions results in the same problems we see with the NFL- reactive, inconsistent, and unpredictable punishments that are crafted in accordance with perceived public response. I'm not even certain that we know that there are effects 60 days out- where did that time limit even come from? (EDIT: I see now that it is double the amount of time estimated for it to clear the system)- but the funding and research focus has shifted towards chasing vanishingly small amounts of these products instead of analyzing their safey. Moreover, if a substance is considered so anathema that mere picograms of it are grounds for severe punishment, why is it legal to use in the first place? If this is frustrating for the fan, it must be far more alarming for the horseman. Now we have the Breeders' Cup patting itself on the back because it nailed a horse for having a borderline-undetectable amount of an ostensibly legal substance, which accomplishes little besides making people feel good while smoothing over the serious policy problems that led to this situation in the first place. Meanwhile, perhaps an entity that genuinely cares about these things would make standardized testing available to horsemen before the race? Or perhaps the CHRB should have had rules in place that allow the disclosure of pre-race positives to the BC? It's a terribly messy situation, but now it's been boiled done to a pat on the back and a "we got 'em!" That isn't productive.

Somnambulist wrote:There will also probably never be funding to figure out the drug situation in this game because to do that would probably mean someone, somewhere, makes less money and doesn't benefit from it. I don't know when I got this cynical.

Nah man check out all this research: http://rmtcnet.com/research/rmtc-funded-research/
Last edited by Tessablue on Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:38 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby peeptoad » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:20 am

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/218542/racings-anabolic-steroid-problem-not-solved

CHRB rules and policy allow the administration of stanozolol for a horse who is "out of training," which in this case means placed on the vet's list for about two months. The rules allow for the anabolic steroid to be administered, as long as the horse spends 60 days on the vet's list. Vet's list information in California is provided to the public.

Racing regulators currently are moving forward on changes to out-of-competition rules that would require horses treated with any anabolic steroid to spend at least six months on the vet's list. The rule would help ensure that a horse receiving such treatments is out of training.


Been pondering this for a few days. I've read a few excerpts from the CHRB rule book and I think the bolded from the Bloodhorse article hits the nail, with regards to what happened here.
The horse was on the vet's list, sure, but he was still training at the track(by all accounts, and posting official works- I don't think this point is debatable), which means he was not "out of training". So, Ellis administered a prohibited substance while the horse continued to train, despite being on the vet's list. The CHRB approves steroid use only for "sick horses" while they are "out of training" and on the vet's list. In other words, Ellis cheated. The fact that the powers that be in CA didn't enforce this rule is the other piece of the problem, and hopefully that gets rectified, but the trainer is not innocent here. IMO.

That's the only logical stance I can take on this based on what I've read. I don't know Ellis and have no real pre-existing opinion of him as a trainer.
Incidentally, there is an addendum per January 2017 (not official yet) that would increase the amount of time a horse in this situation has to remain on the vet's list up to 6 months. Per the document verbiage the hope is this will prevent horses on the vet list form actually being "in training".
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Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby Tessablue » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:28 am

peeptoad wrote:http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/218542/racings-anabolic-steroid-problem-not-solved

CHRB rules and policy allow the administration of stanozolol for a horse who is "out of training," which in this case means placed on the vet's list for about two months. The rules allow for the anabolic steroid to be administered, as long as the horse spends 60 days on the vet's list. Vet's list information in California is provided to the public.

Racing regulators currently are moving forward on changes to out-of-competition rules that would require horses treated with any anabolic steroid to spend at least six months on the vet's list. The rule would help ensure that a horse receiving such treatments is out of training.


Been pondering this for a few days. I've read a few excerpts from the CHRB rule book and I think the bolded from the Bloodhorse article hits the nail, with regards to what happened here.
The horse was on the vet's list, sure, but he was still training at the track(by all accounts, and posting official works- I don't think this point is debatable), which means he was not "out of training". So, Ellis administered a prohibited substance while the horse continued to train, despite being on the vet's list. The CHRB approves steroid use only for "sick horses" while they are "out of training" and on the vet's list. In other words, Ellis cheated. The fact that the powers that be in CA didn't enforce this rule is the other piece of the problem, and hopefully that gets rectified, but the trainer is not innocent here. IMO.

That's the only logical stance I can take on this based on what I've read. I don't know Ellis and have no real pre-existing opinion of him as a trainer.
Incidentally, there is an addendum per January 2017 (not official yet) that would increase the amount of time a horse in this situation has to remain on the vet's list up to 6 months. Per the document verbiage the hope is this will prevent horses on the vet list form actually being "in training".
Ah, that makes a lot more sense, although it seems utterly ridiculous that they don't track whether horses on the vet's list are actually working. I'm glad to hear that these policies are being evaluated in light of this event, as frustrating as it is that nobody seems to have foreseen these sorts of problems.
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Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby Somnambulist » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:47 am

What punishments in racing are given out in favor in public perception in either the NFL or racing? I can't think of any. Most of the nation smokes pot.. while I vehemently dislike the way it makes me feel, how do you get 6 games for smoking when you get TWO for decking your wife in the face. It's an insult to half the NFL's fanbase (women). The CHRB swept Baffert's deaths under the rug within a night - no public perception there, just making deep pockets happy. Dutrow was a scapegoat for NYRA. If public perception mattered at all Rudy and that other guy in NY whose name is truly escaping me for some reason right now would be brought up on something. Starved horses, had his license suspended and now is back.

I don't know that the ruling here is unpredictable. It's clearly laid out in the rulebook. It's Ellis' job to know. He chose either not to learn or ignored it. I don't get how there is any defense in this situation of it. He didn't do his job. Or he did it in a way that hurt his client.

Secondly if the horse was in training on a substance he shouldn't be the betting public SHOULD be made aware of it. We can all push for better rules, better testing, more funding but that doesn't make this particular situation better.
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Re: Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

Postby Tessablue » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:27 pm

Somnambulist wrote:What punishments in racing are given out in favor in public perception in either the NFL or racing? I can't think of any. Most of the nation smokes pot.. while I vehemently dislike the way it makes me feel, how do you get 6 games for smoking when you get TWO for decking your wife in the face. It's an insult to half the NFL's fanbase (women). The CHRB swept Baffert's deaths under the rug within a night - no public perception there, just making deep pockets happy. Dutrow was a scapegoat for NYRA. If public perception mattered at all Rudy and that other guy in NY whose name is truly escaping me for some reason right now would be brought up on something. Starved horses, had his license suspended and now is back.
You get two until the video comes out and people get upset over it, that's what I mean (also come on the NFL clearly has their woman fanbase locked up and doesn't need to appeal to them- I mean, they wear pink things and tell us that "football is family!"). I think Dutrow's suspension/scapegoating was largely about public perception because he was in the national spotlight during the 2008 TC campaign, whereas Rudy is totally unknown to your average person. Similarly, Baffert is very popular and I wouldn't be surprised if protecting the reputation of a popular/powerful figure played into the decision to ignore the fact that he killed his horses- along with the money, of course. Racing is in many ways more complex than the NFL, considering the different jurisdictions and the gambling money at stake, but while it isn't a perfect comparison I think both have managed to undermine consumer confidence in their respective sports.

I don't know that the ruling here is unpredictable. It's clearly laid out in the rulebook. It's Ellis' job to know. He chose either not to learn or ignored it. I don't get how there is any defense in this situation of it. He didn't do his job. Or he did it in a way that hurt his client.
"Unpredictable" was probably the wrong word, but it's not in accordance with CHRB policies and this situation likely wouldn't have happened without the incongruency of the CHRB and BC practices. He followed the poorly-conceived CHRB guidelines (mostly? the vet's list situation is very strange and I can't decipher whether it speaks to ill intent or gross incompetence by everyone involved), got a minuscule but positive test, then couldn't find anyone to re-test while meanwhile the CHRB, hamstrung by its own policies, had to watch as a horse they knew tested positive raced in the Breeders' Cup. I'm not defending Ellis' decision and I don't think anyone here really is- but there were so many instances in that timeline where somebody could have stepped in and prevented it from getting this far. I just don't think it's satisfying to celebrate a harsh punishment when the situation was clearly avoidable but the betters still ended up receiving the worst of it.
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