Masochistic DQ'ed from BC Sprint

stark
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:47 pm

Admin wrote:
stark wrote:
Admin wrote: Ellis had the benefit of knowing 3 days out that his horse was testing dirty.
Please confirm, do you know that to be true?
thanks.
It's in all the articles about this that he knew the horse tested positive for steroids a few days before going into the race.
I think it was actually 8 days before the race that the last test was done, and that can be equal to an eternity in lab testing. All indications were that there was a 90% chance or greater that he would test clean as time elapsed to raceday. At the 3-day mark you referenced, Ellis actually tried to get another test done, that's a far cry from saying he knew his horse was testing dirty at that time.
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tranquilo
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:04 pm

sweettalk wrote:what is the main draw to this type of steroid? the word from ron was that it was to put on/keep on weight, but what are the other things it does, or can do?
It helps them rebuild muscle tissue and put on weight. It sounds like Masochistic is a light horse and obviously doesn't produce his own testosterone, so they used it to help him recover from races.

I don't know if it's fair to compare it to doping, where human athletes were presumably using steroids on a regular basis, while competing, with the intent of enhancing their performance. This horse had a single dose 60+ days before his race, which should have been enough time for it to totally clear his system. I don't think he should have been allowed to enter after the OOC testing showed it wasn't metabolizing normally, but I think this decision was an overreaction and treating it like a doping scandal is going to make the general public think it's a doping scandal. It was a trace amount of a medication that has a therapeutic purpose.
BaroqueAgain1
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:29 pm

^ This.
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:00 pm

Admin wrote:I don't see what's impractical?

Ellis had the benefit of knowing 3 days out that his horse was testing dirty. He made the decision to run anyway, despite the risks to the horse, owner, and himself.

Not only did he make that poor decision, he made the poor decisions of giving multiple doses of steroids on thee horse, and also giving any dose to this horse and the 4 others horses he gave it to.
It's impractical because you can't police it. If you want to get rid of steroids, do not allow them to be administered for any reason. To police it, you would have to test every horse in training every 30-45 days, if a horse tests positive, ban it and penalize the trainer, vet and even (careful now, lest your hair catch on fire) the owner. Now there are inherent problems to what I just laid out, who would pay for the testing, etc. and as they say therein lies the rub.
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Ioya Two
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:18 pm

I wonder if the horse will be retired. He's a 7yo gelding now, not the soundest horse but a talented sprinter when he is right. What's the point in running him in sprints all year if they can't get him in the championship race? Yeah I know the BC isn't always considered to be the one you have to win to be year end champion, but it usually is.
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Ridan_Remembered
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:05 pm

tranquilo wrote:I don't think he should have been allowed to enter after the OOC testing showed it wasn't metabolizing normally, but I think this decision was an overreaction and treating it like a doping scandal is going to make the general public think it's a doping scandal.
This is my concern as well. How is the average person supposed to make sense of this and other situations related to drug violations? How is the average bettor supposed to evaluate the performances of horses who suddenly pop up with huge races when they had not shown such capability in the past?

BloodHorse.com recently had an article by Frank Angst titled, "Wins Often Followed Steroid Treatments in California." The 1/17/2017 issue of North American Trainer magazine had an article by Mark Hansen titled, "Pushing the Edge: How Some Trainers are Gaining 'The Edge'!" So clearly medication to "gain an edge" is occurring in the sport to some unknown degree. I like Ron Ellis and am sorry to see this happen to him (and to the real innocent party, Masochistic), but the sport has got to clean itself up somehow.
Last edited by Ridan_Remembered on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Admin
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:12 pm

stark wrote:
I think it was actually 8 days before the race that the last test was done, and that can be equal to an eternity in lab testing. All indications were that there was a 90% chance or greater that he would test clean as time elapsed to raceday. At the 3-day mark you referenced, Ellis actually tried to get another test done, that's a far cry from saying he knew his horse was testing dirty at that time.
Ok, let's try it again. Three days in advance of the race, he found out his horse tested dirty and took the chance anyway. He knew the rules. He knew the penalty. He rolled the dice and he lost, so now he, the horse and it's owner must take the penalty. It's really as simple as that. I've talked to some other trainers and they say they wouldn't have run, so not everyone would've risked a positive test the way Ellis did.
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:21 pm

tranquilo wrote:
sweettalk wrote:what is the main draw to this type of steroid? the word from ron was that it was to put on/keep on weight, but what are the other things it does, or can do?
It helps them rebuild muscle tissue and put on weight. It sounds like Masochistic is a light horse and obviously doesn't produce his own testosterone, so they used it to help him recover from races.

I don't know if it's fair to compare it to doping, where human athletes were presumably using steroids on a regular basis, while competing, with the intent of enhancing their performance. This horse had a single dose 60+ days before his race, which should have been enough time for it to totally clear his system. I don't think he should have been allowed to enter after the OOC testing showed it wasn't metabolizing normally, but I think this decision was an overreaction and treating it like a doping scandal is going to make the general public think it's a doping scandal. It was a trace amount of a medication that has a therapeutic purpose.
It IS doping. Why are you all falling for the idea that it's some innocent act to get a waif who would otherwise starve to eat?

The reason human take steroids is the very same Ellis was doing with not only this horse but 4 others this year. He was using it to put on weight and muscle, just like humans who take the drug. It is cheating because it is unnatural weight and muscle for that horse.

I bet if the trainer's name was changed to O'Neil then there wouldn't be all these excuses being made for him. There is zero innocent about training a horse on anabolic steroids. But I do thank O'Neil for bringing to light how some trainers in some jurisdictions are getting around the supposed banned racing on this drug.
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sweettalk
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:33 pm

muscle weight - now i'm thinking that stuff that body builders use (which after googling "anabolic steroids and body builders" did finally get to that point, my original search simply talked about replacing testosterone which didn't click right away). i'm sure other geldings get along just fine without this stuff, not sure why he felt the need to use this, on any of his horses.

but that was something else i was missing, much like that he had a set deadline to get in a new, clean test before the december race (I thought it was just "hey, whenever you can before the race that's swell"). there are so many statements flying back and forth, i'm not keeping up and i'm missing a lot of really key things that are helping me get a clear picture.

ellis, o'neil, baffert, freddie mercury - I don't think i'm gonna be able to make an excuse for anyone using this. while it may be hard to police just from the sheer number of horses actively running, i'm definitely ok with them cracking down and trying to weed this stuff out, and I hope it's successful.
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tranquilo
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Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:40 pm

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.
Catalina
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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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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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Tessablue
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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...
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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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.
"This is how we roll in the Shire." -- Leonard
Tessablue
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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/
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peeptoad
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Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:20 am

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/ ... 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".
Tessablue
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Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:28 am

peeptoad wrote:http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/ ... 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.
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.
Tessablue
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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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