We're Getting Closer

We have a long way to go to fix betting problems, as witnessed below in Joe Riddell's interview, but we are getting there on other fronts. The NTRA, a couple of days ago announced their 7 point plan. It is a de facto commissioners office on several pressing issues. It will not be funded by fans, as these things tend to be. And so far all tracks seem to be on board.

The initiatives include:

• A continued move toward uniform medication rules;
• A ban of steroids from racing competition;
• Out of competition testing for blood and gene doping agents;
• Uniform penalties for all medication infractions;
• Mandatory on-track and non-racing injury reporting;
• Mandatory installation of protective inner safety rails;
• Mandatory pre- and post-race security; and
• Adoption of a placement program for retired Thoroughbreds.

To implement the plan, a heavy hitter who is highly respected, former governor of Wisconsin Tommy Thompson. One blogger doesn't like him because he is a republican, but it is an election year, so that is to be expected in hyper-partisan times. He is clearly a good choice by any non-partisan measure and the industry all seems to think this is solid.

Included in the praise is professional player Mike Maloney.

"The NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance is great news for horseplayers. These reforms, along with the promise to address wagering security, are the kind of common sense ideas the players and fans have been looking for.
-- Mike Maloney, Member, Horseplayers’ Coalition Advisory Task Force

He is right, most of this is common sense. But we move slow in racing and we have rarely had to cater to its problems due to the monopoly status. This is clearly a good start.

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