Saturday, December 10, 2022

The National Horse Racing Safety Rules are going into effect on 1 July.

Lisa walked around the backstretch at Belmont Park nine days before the final leg of Lazarus Horseracing’s Triple Crown sale to observe as much.

CEO of Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Spoke with trainers, riders and other equestrians about the new governing body mandated by the sport’s federation that he has been tabbed to oversee. Lazarus was filled with questions and complaints about the new rules that are about to become the national standard.

Once he explained what would change — and what wouldn’t — Lazarus said the most common reaction he received was, “It’s nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.”

One reason for that reaction in Belmont? New York is among states that already comply with several safety regulations, which begin July 1, and antidoping rules, which go into effect in early 2023.

Lazarus said policies to become federal law about four weeks after this year’s final Triple Crown race are already in place in California, Kentucky and New York.

Now that Congress has passed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, the rules will be the same across the track as well in America

“The biggest thing to change is uniformity,” said Lazarus. “Uniformity, really above and beyond: It’s going to be one set of rules for everyone.”

Unlike other sports, horse racing does not have a long-established national governing body, which would lead every state and track to be on the same page. With an eye on the cleanliness of the game, HISA is the closest to that.

Mark Kasey, who defeated the Golden Glider at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, three years after winning the race with Sir Winston, said he and other trainers are still learning what is to come but is relieved that the rules have been standardized in all jurisdictions. Will be done.

“It’s a guess everywhere,” Cass said. “You’re like, ‘What can we do here? What can we do here?’ We have a lot of similar rules. Not a lot of rules are changing. I’m just hoping they can be implemented in a better way.”

Seven rules that go into effect in July include jockey safety (including a national concussion protocol), riding harvest and how often riders can use it during a race, racetrack accreditation and training, and reporting of veterinary records. All those involved in horse racing must register with the new security agency by the end of this month.

Drug regulations including drug testing policy aimed at getting rid of doping following federal charges brought against 27 people in 2020 For what officials described as a comprehensive international plan to speed up drug horses, effective January 1. Lazarus said his agency will take an extremely harsh stance against banned substances “should never be in the horse” with transparent procedures and strict punishments, and “practical and firm” regarding therapeutic substances.

“There is no doubt in my mind that whoever is involved, or the vast majority, loves their horses and cares for their horses,” she said. “So, there is a real and, I believe, principled disagreement about what helps a horse and what doesn’t and what puts the horse at risk.”

Betamethasone, the steroid that can help horses’ joints, which 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit Bob Baffert tested positive for suspension by Churchill Downs and is considered a therapeutic drug. This is in contrast to performance-enhancing substance trainers Jason Service and Jorge Navarro, who were accused of using it.

Casse, who is among those calling for stricter rules in the game, hopes HISA can “control a little bit better and identify bad apples.” Lifetime ban is one of the possible punishments,

Lasix, the well-known anti-hemorrhagic drug that also acts as a diuretic to help horses urinate and lose 20 to 30 pounds of fluid, which can increase their ability to run faster, will be closer to the next three years. will be seen from The new safety agency will begin by restricting the use of Lasix on race day, while allowing the tracks to apply for an exemption.

Three Triple Crown races are in their second year running without Lasix. New York also prohibits it for 2-year-olds and in all-stakes races.

“You almost don’t notice it,” said Dave O’Rourke, president and CEO of the New York Racing Association. “It’s really a best-case scenario. You don’t really hear much about it, which I think is great and says something about it.”

NYRA executive Glenn Kozak is on HISA’s racetrack safety committee. O’Rourke said the NYRA has been at the forefront of horse safety issues for a while, other than appointing people to specific positions as part of the adjustments to the new rules that will not change to reach the code. .

“Many of these best practices — and we haven’t done it alone — will now be adopted across the industry, which we think is great,” O’Rourke said. “It’s great for sports. It’s great for everyone who participates in sports, especially equine athletes and jockeys.”

Lazarus said that success will be judged by the horse death rate, which is declining, and hopes the authority will gain the trust of industry and the general public, based on in-depth research, in developing these policies.

“I think you’ll really see a change in the culture over time because the programs are going to be very strong and the enforcement is going to be strong and it’s going to be national,” she said. “There will be a cultural shift when there is a real recognition that doping will not be tolerated in horse racing. It simply will not happen.”


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