Closing Remarks
Ogden Mills Phipps   Ogden Mills Phipps

Ogden Mills Phipps: Thank you, Travis. It was really an educational, informative presentation.

It seems quite clear that the horse racing industry needs to follow the example of the leagues and the organization in ridding itself of the cheaters. Thanks again for being with us today. We are grateful to you and everyone else who has made a presentation this morning.

I'd like to say a few more words about our reformed rules before we conclude today's program. When that original document was in its formative stages, The Jockey Club met with chemists, regulators, horsemen, and racetrack veterinarians. At one of those meetings, a list of 25 therapeutic medications most commonly used in horses and training was developed; so too were regulatory thresholds.

But we expressed concerns that regulations, based solely upon clearance times and pharmacology, could unintentionally encourage trainers to aggressively medicate their horses based upon the timing of the race rather than healing and recovery.

With that in mind, we dug into the regulatory rulings database, and I think those patterns are very telling. And I'm going to pause here for a minute to let everybody digest them.


Is anybody satisfied with that scenario? Is anyone satisfied with the situation in which 1.5% of the population is shaping a hundred percent of the perception of our sport? Should we be satisfied with medication rules that are arguably protecting about 1% of the trainer population? The 1% that repeatedly demonstrate utter disregard of the rules?

Those 12,000 trainers should have no issue with the reformed rules. They are already adhering to them as evidenced by the regulatory history. There is work to be done sooner than later with Clenbuterol and corticosteroids. As was the case with anabolic steroids in 2008, there is a substantial consensus already that these drugs need to be regulated.

The adoption of reform rules would be a win win situation for this industry. It would undoubtedly benefit the honest and rule abiding horsemen. And just as importantly, it would benefit our valued customer, the racing fan, who is wagering hard earned money on what he believes to be fair and clean competition.

The reformed rules represent this industry with a unique opportunity to show the world that Thoroughbred racing is just as committed as the organizations Travis Tygart just told us about when it comes to putting strong deterrents in place and severely punishing those who violate the rules.

We will continue to bring this message to regulators, horsemen, and veterinarians across the country. The sooner we realize, as others have, that we cannot survive with a win at all cost culture, the better this industry will be.

I thank you for the interest in the Round Table Conference, and I hope you enjoy the sport of Thoroughbred racing and come back and see us next year.

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