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Up the Elevator Dictatorships Ain't All Bad. When it Comes to Horse Racing, at Least

I've been watching this whole Trump-Train (for 47%; for the other 53%, Trump Trainwreck may be more apt) a little the past few months. One of its characteristics, I must say, is pretty entertaining.

You've probably seen various CEO's head up that elevator of doom to meet with The Donald in his office in New York. When they come back down to meet the press - after getting threatened with a cancelled contract, or can of 35%-tariff-whoop-ass  - most of them look like a deer in the headlights. Soon after, we often hear they're lowering the contract price of some good they're selling the government, moving jobs back from some foreign country, or similar. Just last week when The Donald said something about prescription drug prices being too high for people, drug stocks immediately tanked, and we can mentally picture drug company CEO's scurrying for the nearest bottle of bourbon.

A lot of these dictator type actions don't sit well with a whole lot of people (for good reason, see Venezuela), but there's zero denying that fear, and fear of power, gets results.

Count me in the camp of folks this does not sit well with in a larger perspective, but for racing, holy crap, I think can we use a little of this.

Just today, Joe Gorajec in the Paulick Report examined the regulatory morass with out of competition testing, which has been asked for by most in the sport for a dozen years. It's pretty much gone nowhere.

Admit it, don't you want to send the folks who've blocked this at every turn "up the elevator"? I'd push the button for them.

"Try running your sport as I leaf through this Interstate Horse Racing Act," might be the response. I bet we'd see something done by next Tuesday.

Uniform rules have been spoken about in the sport of horse racing since Dwight Eisenhower signed the Highway Act. But there ain't no uniform rules, whether you are an owner, jockey, driver, trainer or bettor.

"Up the elevator", a holding call is the same in an NFL stadium in Minnesota as Dallas (OK, no Dallas officiating jokes), and the functioning of the sport of football depends on it.

Racing's response of uniform rules being "too complicated to fix" turns into "we should be able to make this work" pretty quick when the purse for next Thursday's MSW drops from $45,000 to zero.

It's taken years in California to pass "third party lasix". Something as minor, common sense, and used just about everywhere should take like a day, maybe two, three if it's a long weekend, to pass. "Up the elevator" you go, California people.

There are a number of other simple things in the sport of horse racing that most other businesses would long have fixed, (that probably could be fixed) in less than a month - if the sport had the elevator.

No, a few people being sent up, then sent down with that deer in the headlights look, wouldn't be all bad.




Comments

Anonymous said…
Yes, whatever did happen to that 2015 bill sponsored by Udall and Pitts to repeal the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (which allows interstate simulcasting) in order to bring medication abuse to an end? And the other one that would have put USADA in charge of all US racing drug tests? Did those bills’ sponsors get an elevator ride to their respective governors’ offices?

Team sports may have uniform rules (now ever-changing as well) but those rules are not interpreted uniformly. Unless you believe Nobody-Checks-Gretzky and Shaq-Can-Walk-All-He-Wants were official league rules. No bans for life or any serious punishment that I can see in those worlds. No elevators there? Nowadays, racing would benefit hugely by settling the drug question, publicly and loudly throwing out the bad actors and loudly telling people “See, we’re cleaning up and football ain’t. Play with us and you can get odds besides.”