Trainer (this is apparently the story; no one is really talking much) fails drug test > his horse is scratched > racing becomes dazed and confused.
I don't blame anyone for being a little upset about this. Although we know nothing about this case in particular, probable trace elements of THC are not the be all and end all in this world, and will likely be perfectly legal in 50 states and 10 provinces at some point during our lifetimes.
But, from the information we do know, I'm not a bit confused.
State run enterprises and their employees are usually under such rules because drugs like THC are still (for the most part) against the law. In addition, working with 1,100 pound animals in a dangerous environment poses particular risks. Drug, alcohol and other rules will be enacted and continue to be enforced in the sport, whether the product is legal or illegal.
Because the laws are on the books, NY State had zero choice in their enforcement of it. In the super-litigious U.S. it becomes even more obvious they had to act. Sweeping it under the rug, and having a horse get loose and killing someone will end up being a movie of the week with Julia Roberts kicking some NY State gaming board ass for not suspending 'Jeff Spicolli'.
As well, there are those who say 'let the horse run' and again they have a point; I understand it. However, the horse would be running under a beard trainer, and everyone hates those.
Following and enforcing written rules never seems to be overly convenient. But as long as they're written, and as long as racing is a quasi-public enterprise, rules like these will be around forever. If you work in the industry, you should probably take heed.
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