Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Integrity & Integrity

A couple of Wednesday notes from the world of racing.

A story on links to an opinion piece on the Bloodhorse written by US Representative Ed Whitfield. It is a piece on drugs in our game.

Congress first addressed drug use in the sport 27 years ago. U.S. Senator Mac Mathias and other leaders in Congress spearheaded efforts to enact legislation that would have banned a number of drugs from horse racing and established a clear, uniform rule to govern the sport in the United States.

State racing commissioners and industry leaders, however, quickly descended to thwart the senator’s efforts. They claimed federal intervention was unnecessary and pledged to crack down on the use of drugs.

Today, drug use in horse racing is worse than ever

As we have spoke about before on the blog - and this goes for many topics - if we do not fix our game, someone else will.

For nearly 30 years the industry has neglected to regulate drug use to the detriment of the horses, jockeys, fans, and the very integrity of American horse racing. The time has come for Congress to take the reins and find a way to eliminate drugs from horse racing.

The second story linked on Equidaily was about an inordinate amount of money bet on an Australian race at Betfair. What strikes me in the piece is not the race itself, I would think it is probably just an anomaly, but the fact that racing chatised betfair for allowing you to bet a horse to lose. In my opinion, it was simply a scare tactic, trying to make them the bogeyman. It is comical. Betfair has alerted the authorities to more funny betting patterns in five years than racing itself has in 55.

RACING Victoria stewards have launched an inquiry into the betting activities surrounding an unplaced odds-on favourite at Terang races on Tuesday after more than $360,000 was held by betting exchange Betfair.

The Ballarat-trained Ottens finished out of a place when starting a $1.30 favourite in the 0-68 Handicap at the Western District track.

The race was won by $4.20 second favorite Magic Brew with Ottens finishing fourth.

Chief steward at Terang Stephen Coombes yesterday said stewards would examine all aspects of betting on the race with an inquiry pending with a date to be fixed.

A spokesman for Betfair said it was a "high" amount of money to be wagered on such a lowly race with betting on Ottens fluctuating between $1.30 and $1.56.

Our pools, and this business is a multi-billion dollar one. I find it quite ironic that a vilified offshore wagering company is minding the store; and seemingly doing a good job doing it.

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