Jan. 27, 2017


NYTHA President Violette Testifies at Senate Hearing: Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee Chair Senator John J. Bonacic hosted a hearing entitled, “To Consider the Future of the New York Racing Association,” at the State House in Albany Jan. 17. New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Rick Violette Jr. was an invited speaker; click here for the video of his testimony.

NYTHA also submitted written testimony, in which Violette clearly and fervently illustrated the importance of New York’s Thoroughbred owners and trainers to racing and to the State’s economy.

“We represent the thousands of New York horse owners and trainers, who employ tens of thousands of grooms, hotwalkers, exercise riders, night watchmen, and assistant trainers. We are New York Racing,” NYTHA’s President stated.

“How did racing get started? It was one owner saying to another, “My horse is faster than yours,” and the other responding, “Wanna bet?” That’s still at the core of racing today. That is New York Racing.

“The heart of New York Racing is not Aqueduct or Belmont Park or Saratoga, any more than New York baseball is Yankee Stadium. Those are just playing fields. The Yankees wouldn’t be the Yankees without the guys in pinstripes, the Mariano Riveras and Derek Jeters and Mickey Mantles. New York Racing wouldn’t be New York Racing without the stars - the horses - and people who put on the show – the owners and trainers.  Without New York’s horses, and the owners and trainers who support them, Belmont Park is just a great place to practice your yodeling. We are the Yankees of New York Racing.

“It is the owners and trainers and breeders and farm owners who provide the bulk of the 33,000 direct and indirect full-time jobs and who are responsible for the lion’s share of the $4.2 billion in economic impact related to New York’s equine industry. We hire the veterinarians and blacksmiths and feed companies and tack shops and contractors and accountants. We buy the hay and grain and saddles and bridles, we pay sales tax, income tax and property tax.”

Click here for the complete written testimony.

The New York State Legislature convened Jan. 4, 2017. The session runs through June 21, 2017.
The New Out-Of-Competition Testing Rule: What You Need To Know: During the coming months, racing jurisdictions throughout the country will be modifying or adopting the new out-of-competition testing rule that was approved by the Association of Racing Commissioners International Dec. 9, 2016. The new rule was the product of an extensive collaborative effort by industry organizations, regulators, regulatory attorneys and the scientific community to identify the substances that need to be prohibited or regulated for horses in training and to implement comprehensive procedures to ensure that the rule is effective and legally enforceable.

Under the current model rule, the only substances prohibited in out-of-competition testing are blood- and gene-doping agents such as EPO, and protein and peptide-based drugs. The new rule expands the list of prohibited substances in training to mirror the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List—including anabolic steroids—and gives to horsemen and veterinarians a comprehensive list of prohibited substances.

For a limited number of prohibited substances that have some identified therapeutic purpose, strict reporting and racing restrictions are provided. Additionally, the new rule provides clear procedures for the uniform regulation and enforcement of the rule.

The THA has been a strong proponent of the new expanded rule. We believe it should become the fifth prong of the National Uniform Medication Program and intend to support its swift enactment in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions.

Click here to go to the new THA website for important information about the new rule.
EPA To Inspect Belmont Park:  Bobby Sica, NYRA’s Vice President of Security, is reiterating the need for all horsemen to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for keeping the backstretch clean. An inspection by the EPA is expected in the coming weeks.

Trash must be placed in the appropriate receptacles, the area around the barns and dormitories must be kept free of trash, and the area around the waste containers must be raked regularly during morning training hours and following afternoon feed. If the area around the containers is not cleaned by the waste removal company after they are emptied, please document the problem with photographs and email them to the NYTHA Office, abelfiore@nytha.com.  Horsemen will not be held responsible for lack of compliance by the waste removal company.
Are You Looking For A New Best Friend? The Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter is reaching out to the racing community to see if anyone is looking for a new dog. “We adopt out a lot of dogs, but we have about 150 in the shelter right now,” said Gerald Marino, a long-time horse owner, and Commissioner of General Services for the Town of Hempstead. “We are doing all we can to find them homes. We want to give these dogs a chance.”

The Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter is located at 3320 Beltagh Ave., Wantagh, NY 11793. If you are interested, call (516) 785-5220, ask for Mike Pastore and let him know you were referred by Commissioner Marino. You can also contact Commissioner Marino directly at geramar@tohmail.org.
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