Parx, horsemen agree on new racing integrity policy

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: May 30, 2017

The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and management at Parx Racing have agreed on a new policy designed to strengthen the integrity of racing.

The policy, which covers trainers, owners and horses and takes effect June 1, was unveiled at a PTHA general meeting May 27 at the Bensalem Township, Pa., racetrack. It uses allocation of stalls to penalize those who don’t play by the rules.

PTHA Executive Director Mike Ballezzi May 30 said the horsemen’s group, which along with breeders and tracks petitioned the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission to enact integrity standards, worked with Parx management on the new policy.

The policy is as follows:

Trainers who have three medication violations that result in a fine or suspension or have two medication violations that result in a suspension during any 365-day period, in addition to any stewards’ penalties or penalties imposed by the PHRC, will have their stalls revoked and all horses will have to be removed from the grounds immediately.

Action will be taken as soon as a trainer exhausts his or her appeals to the racing commission.

Horses that have a medication violation will immediately be placed on the racing secretary’s list for 45 days. During that period the horse may not be sold or transferred on the grounds at Parx, if sold or transferred the horse must leave the grounds.

Trainers to be in possession of injectibles or syringes will have their stalls revoked immediately and their horses must be removed immediately.

All horses listed on the stall application and in the racing program must reflect actual ownership. Any trainer found to be a program trainer for a different person will have their stall allocation revoked and have to remove the horses from the grounds. Any hidden ownership will be reported to the board of stewards for action as it deems appropriate.

“Parx racing is intent on fixing the public perception and confidence in the integrity of its racing product,” the track said in a statement released to horsemen. “Far too many purses have been redistributed and suspensions served.”

(PTHA photo)