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Faraldo Opposes Proposed NYSRWB Rule

Published: December 8, 2012 5:23 pm ET

Last Comment: December 9, 2012 5:48 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Joseph A. Faraldo, President of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York (SOANY), issued a statement late Friday evening regarding the organization's oppposition to a proposed regulation by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board (NYSRWB) that would sanction owners for using trainers with a poor history, calling it an "ill-advised rule."

In his statement, Faraldo references a news article written by Tom LaMarra of titled "Integrity Push Continues Despite Obstacles," which reported on this week's Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming.

According to the article, Rick Goodell, Assistant General Counsel to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, said the NYSRWB is working on regulations to address the issue of horses being conditioned by a trainer other than the one listed on the record, which are referred to as "paper" trainers or "beards." Goodell suggested that one course of action would be targeting owners who use such trainers. The article quotes Goodell as saying, "We've tried to discourage owners from purposely hiring trainers with a history. We're proposing a new rule that would sanction owners."

Faraldo's response to Goodell's comments and the proposed rule is published below.

"Apparently, Mr. Goodell forgets that it his employer, the Racing Board, that licenses trainers, and not owners. Once again, the Board, through its counsel's office, is proposing yet another ill-advised rule, the clear intent of which is to place a chilling effect upon the retention by owners of fully licensed trainers who are Board targets, whether because the trainer is pursuing the right to clear his name through the courts, or is flippantly tagged by the Board as being a "beard" for a suspended trainer.

"Stripped of all doublespeak, the thrust is that owners are supposed to ascertain by reputation those trainers with a history the Board considers not so egregious as to legally deny them a continuing license, but bad enough in the Board's eyes that an owner should be penalized for utilizing their services, the Board's continued licensing of the trainer notwithstanding. Clearly, enough is enough.

"If a licensed trainer is alleged to be a beard, the New York regulators have the power to examine the books and records of this individual and take appropriate action against him or her, instead of passing the regulatory function over to the owners by threat of penalty via Board innuendo regarding their selected conditioner. If the owner is paying one trainer, but another is listed on the program, then the owner would also be an appropriate target. If, however, the Board suggests that the licensee on the program the owner is paying to train is not the trainer, then the Board should take appropriate action against both trainers, not the owner. To do otherwise is to say that it intends to penalize innocent owners because it, the Board, cannot perform its required regulatory function. To even propose such a rule is offensive, not to mention extremely unfair.

"The SOA of New York, on behalf of all innocent owners, will vehemently oppose any Racing Board regulation that would seek to impose a penalty on any innocent parties. We have seen too much of this kind of regulatory abuse in the recent past, be it with Levamisole or misapplication of veterinary invoices. The "gotcha" mentality, and self-professed purported "integrity" edicts flowing from it, are no substitute for legitimate and efficacious governmental regulation."

(With files from SOANY)

December 9, 2012 - 5:48 amClearly these are regulatory

Clearly these are regulatory issues not "integrity" issues. When the Racing Board cannot even do basic investigative work like finding out if the "beard" was employed by the suspended trainer as a groom before the suspension or check with the race secretaries who has been entering the horses or even with the sellers of horses who was actually involved in the actual sale of a horse you have blatant lack of effort or at best incompetence which reaches a level of absurdity. The "obstacles" referred to in the article are within the regulatory agency itself not with the horsemen. It's the NYRWB that's responsible for policing the sport not the owners. A good start would be to syncronize the recommended withdrawal times for common drugs used with the actual rules as stated on the NYRWB website. Another would be to not change guidelines in midstream without giving trainers notice so as to "catch" innocent trainers giving innocuous medications thereby filling their quota making it look like there is actual testing going on and filling their coffers with fines while the real culprits go on business as usual. This is not golf. The players are not supposed to call penalties on themselves. There has to be a ref and if there are rules they have to be applied forcefully and applied equally by the regulatory agency not by the players.

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