“Racing is in need of open-heart Surgery” Dean Crutchfield, senior vice president of Sterling Brands said in The Guardian story entitled “American horse racing isn’t dead – but it’s getting awfully close”.
Hall of Fame Jockey Gary Stevens says “we need to come together as a nation of horsemen with a commissioner.”
Bill Oppenheim in a Bloodhorse opinion piece wrote “the organizations with initials need to undertake a real effort to create an effective national office.”
The “Horse Racing Integrity Act” has been languishing in Congress since 2015. The idea here is to have a private, independent horse racing anti-doping authority manage a national medication program.
Respected horse trainer Graham Motion pointed out in a letter published by Thoroughbred Daily News “we constantly hurt ourselves not being represented by “a governing body who can guide us….and bring some kind of national stability to our industry.”
There was hope for an answer when three years ago the Association of Racing Commissioners International held “Town Hall” meetings across the country and convened a “leaders meeting” with the top brass from the “initial organizations.” These resulted in frank discussions.
With the issues being raised at Santa Anita and the Kentucky Derby on the horizon the national news services are paying attention. Thus, Governor’s in state capitals (33) will soon have racing issues on their desk.
Maybe what’s needed is for a Governor to step forward and ask their colleagues to send their Chair of the 33 state regulatory commissions to a national meeting. These are the people with the power to unite the industry, agree on regulations that would be the same in each jurisdiction and urge their Governor to issue an executive order putting them in place.