In an era when the North American horse-racing industry is struggling with secular stagnation of pari-mutuel handle, any internal action that signals to betting customers, or potential customers, that the industry is serious about strengthening the integrity of its product is a huge step in the right direction.  One sure means to advance integrity is to crack down harder on trainers who are found guilty (with proper due process) of medication rules and policies.

With this end in mind, consider the recent recommendations to racing states from The Association of Racing Commissioners International’s board and its model rules committee pertaining to changes in the multiple medication violator provision, or MMV, of the National Uniform Medication Program.

Here is a true or false quiz about said recommendations:

1.  The points required for a trainer to receive an initial MMV sanction should be increased.

True or False?

2. The length of time that points remain on a trainer’s record should be shortened.

True or False?

3.  Points assigned to a trainer for lower-level violations (on the ARCI’s uniform classification guidelines) should be decreased.

True or False?

4.  Stewards should be given more discretion in assigning points to trainers for violations when a violation is caused by contamination.

True or False?

If the MMV intended to assuage bettors’ doubts about integrity, a bettor’s answer to each of the forgoing questions, with the possible exception of question 4, would, of course, be “false.”  In fact, the MMV answer to all of the questions is “true.”

From the all-important bettor’s perspective, the Association of Racing Commissioners International flunked its own test.

Copyright © 2016 Horse Racing Business


  1. How can a group do the reverse of what is in the best interests of horse racing??? Looks like the HBPA exerted control. The trainers are evidently intent on helping themselves and the betting public be damned.

  2. This is exactly what is wrong with racing and why the industry continues to decline! This headline about clueless regulators came out today, on the same day the favorite and 2nd place finisher of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Masochistic) was disqualified …. and the trainer and stewards apparently knew there was a chance steroids were still in the horse’s system BEFORE THE RACE.

    Here’s the thing. The entire article about the disqualification focused on the owners having to return their purse earnings and the trainer possibly getting a couple thousand dollar fine, plus a few days suspension. It never mentions the fact that over $6,000,000 was bet on that race, all the payoffs on those bets were as tainted as could be due to the disqualification, and all bettors were screwed due to racing’s lack of integrity!

    The lack of concern for the consumer remains absolutely stunning in racing, and is a CORE cause of racing’s continual decline!

    The attraction and game has to change, and the integrity of the game is just one key, if we ever want to really engage “todays” consumer. Unfortunately no one in racing seems to know this.

    Proof Point…..look online at your local horsemen’s organizations and your racetracks, and see how many written policy positions these organizations have online about their stance related to assuring integrity in the product they present to consumers.

    Horse folks, racing executives and many regulators are simply clueless, and their inability to advance contemporary thinking into racing exhibits unfettered laziness and delusion.