Statements On Glaucine Positives

Published: February 11, 2016 05:39 pm EST

The following statement was issued by Meadowlands Chairman Jeffrey Gural in light of recent reports that horses have tested positive for Class 2 drug glaucine in New York.

Although I am currently on vacation, I have been made aware that apparently several trainers at Yonkers Raceway including Julie Miller and Ron Burke have had horses test positive for glaucine. As you know, Ms. Miller trains several horses for me and Mr. Burke trains Gural Hanover, a horse of which I am a part-owner. Both trainers have already called me and vigorously denied the accusations.

At this point, I am unaware if any official action has been taken by the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) or Yonkers Raceway. I have reached out to officials at the NYGC in an effort to receive more information about the nature of the tests so that we can do our own analysis and draw our own conclusions. I want to be clear; we plan to see what actions, if any, are taken by the NYGC and Yonkers Raceway before we do anything.

In addition, representatives of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) contacted me and have strongly suggested that all of the trainers involved be given their due process rights before any action is taken by my racetracks. The SBOANJ re-affirmed their support for our strong stance on integrity.

As such, until an official announcement has been made by the NYGC, Ms. Miller, Mr. Burke, and other trainers whose horses received positive tests that are otherwise in good standing at our three facilities, will be able to race their horses at the Meadowlands.

I have directed our own investigator to immediately reach out to Dr. Wan in Hong Kong to see if we can have the many samples we have previously taken from horses trained by Mr. Burke and horses I own that were trained by Ms. Miller to see if glaucine was present in any of those samples. I believe that New York will make the methods used to test for glaucine available to Hong Kong. We are also waiting to see if any other horses in New York test positive for glaucine to see if there is any common element involved, such as the same veterinarians, same feed, same shavings, or the same legitimate feed supplements.

When contacted earlier in the day, Lee Park, Director of Communications for the New York State Gaming Commission, issued Trot Insider the following statement on the positive tests.

“The Gaming Commission is not going to comment or opine on rumors or speculation regarding any horseperson. At this time, the Gaming Commission cannot confirm or deny positive test results for trainers in question.”



A quote from Ron Burke during an 2013 Meadowlands interview regarding drug use in the industry and his barn in particular. Would be a shame if esteem and money sweep this under the rug.

But Burke has dominated with top competitors like harness racing's richest pacer Foiled Again. With success there often comes criticism, but Burke is not afraid to confront any rumours or speculations concerning his integrity.

"It does bother me.... We don't drug a little, we don't only use the little things, no, we do none, absolutely none. And I don't care what anybody says. Our barn is an open barn, anybody can come in and see. There's cameras running at all times and Jeff [Gural], we've offered, they can come in and they can watch it full-time if they want, it's not a problem with us. When you have nothing to hide you don't mind anybody coming."

I have never met and do not have any type of "relationship" with Mr. Ricard Berthiaume, who has been involved as a owner In Harness racing for decades and had one of his horses show up with a positive test after a race at The Meadowlands.. Mr. Gural summarily barred him. Mr Berthiaume had never had a positive test before and has been protesting his innocence. The curious part is technically by law/rule he has the right to a split sample test, but even with legal help and tremendous expense he has not been able to get any assistance in that regard. Now here comes a prediction one of many I have made and I have been near perfect in that regard as I do not make them often. Mr. Burke and Mss. Miller will continue to ply their trade at the Meadowlands over the next few months until split sample testing "proves" they were innocent!!

Please! Once and for all, let's admit that there is a huge problem plaguing the industry and let's do something about it.Keeping our heads buried and spinning the truth is a tactic for politicians.Some courage is warranted here, and radical changes. In the end, the game will be much better off for it.

"You can fool all of the people some of the time. You can fool some of the People all of the time...But you can't fool All of the people all of the Time!"

I think til we get all of the results in from Dr. Wan about past samples from these trainers we cant assume anything. Yes, from the article it seems these trainers Ron Burke, and Ms. Miller's horses have been tested positive for glaucine and appropriate measures I believe, will be taken once the reason is found out. As for past samples from these trainers being analyzed further, lets not accuse anybody yet til the analysis has been completed. Just as the Meadowlands has been turned around financially, as well as vast improvements made, the racing business doesn't need the kind of publicity that unfortunately this news brings.

I've always thought Mr. Gural was a little heavy handed when dealing with positive tests and anyone he suspected as a cheat. He didn't allow others their due process, now he's calling on due process for Burke & Miller. I hold no ill will toward Burke or Miller, however, the trainer of record is responsible for all the horses in his care and a positive test means a suspension. If Gural wants integrity in this sport then suspensions should be ordered and then investigate.

If Mr. Gural were to initiate a statement whereas, he was unaware of of any transgressions. Would it be suitable to poll Richard Berthiaume for his thoughts?

The reality is every trainer is trying to get an edge. Until and if the racing industry gets top calibre pre race testing it will be viewed by the public as a untrustworthy gambling option!!

Here we go. Gural is all for integrity in the sport, but when his trainers are caught he wants his own testing and still allows them to race at his tracks. are we hearing feed, shavings, maybe water, supplements, airborne microbes, contaminated breathe from other horses, take your pick.I was a fan of Gural, until I read this. Everybody in harness racing is for integrity until it affects them. Jeff have some guts and stand by your rules. Everybody treated the same whether you employ them or not. Drugs cheat the public, the public drive racing. Take the high road.

Will be interesting to see how Mr Gural deals with this issue if in fact his trainers did receive positive tests. His response will certainly show if integrity is important to him or not.

I think everyone in the industry is going to watch this carefully. Let's see how strong the stance on integrity really is. Again I am floored that we have to go to Dr. Wan in Hong Kong because nobody in North America can handle this.