Tuesday, March 10, 2020

"This is Going to Get Ugly"

Day two of the big racing news is upon us, and we have some reporting from the DRF's Matt Hegarty to consume. I thought it was a really good piece that I encourage you to read, if you're interested.

Matt interviewed an unnamed racing insider, who said:

"This is going to get ugly, it really will"

This is in reference to the inference that the investigation is ongoing, and plea bargain agreements are yet to come. In other words, according to this insider, there are probably a whole lot of people not sleeping very well.

Anyone who has been around the game may know the term "brown bottle medications", which are exactly what you'd think - meds that are sold cheaply on backstretches, that are unlabelled or mislabelled. If - this is conjecture on my part - there are records (or testimony) from some who are indicted, the chances of finding out the who's and when's (according to the insider) could be upon us soon. This might end up being very far reaching.

If my speculation is correct, and the mislabelled and unlabelled gets cleared up and the users purged, it could represent a pretty huge culture change for the sport. There's been somewhat, I feel, of a wink-wink-nudge-nudge aura to the brown bottle stuff, and this changes everything. Potentially being thrown into a jail cell tends to do that.

Some I have spoken to who would like the game to be cleaner are wary that the sport will look at the top-line (the two main trainers in question) as some sort of final fix, and that it will be business as usual next week or next month.  From what we read from Matt, we might reasonably conclude that's not the case. Perhaps this is the beginning of something much larger; something most in the business would say is long overdue.

Have a nice Tuesday everyone.


Pat Cummings transcribed Andy Beyer's thoughts on this matter today. As a horseplayer who too models and bets these incredible form reversals, it's nice to read. We're often discounted, and years later when some of these people get nabbed there's a "who could've known" vibe. Well, serious horseplayers know, that's who.

Jessica, as per usual, has a neat round-up of the news and opinion on this story via her pinboard. If you want to keep up to date, it's a good place to be.

Allow me a quick vent. Because harness racing connections are implicated, we see the Thoroughbred-Standardbred shuffle in some of the racing press ("those dirty harness guys!"). It maddens me to no end (as mad as I get, which is not very) because of two simple facts: Horses of each breed share the same DNA, and the money in both sports is green.

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