By: Jim Dunleavy
To improve public perception of its racing product, Parx Racing will institute several house rules to discourage medication violations and hidden ownership of horses, according to Sam Elliott, the track’s director of racing.
Beginning June 1, any trainers who within a 365-day period accumulate three medication violations that result in a fine or suspension, or two medication violations that result in a suspension, will have their stalls revoked and must immediately remove their horses from Parx property.
The eviction will take place when the trainer has exhausted his appeals with the Pennsylvania Racing Commission.
“We had 55 purse redistributions last year, which is way too many,” Elliott said. “The bettors come out on the short side of it. It’s clear that suspensions and fines are not enough of a deterrent.”
Any horse who has a medication violation will be placed on the racing secretary’s list for 45 days and not be allowed to race. During that time, the horse may not be sold or transferred at Parx. If the horse is sold or transferred, it must be removed from Parx.
To ensure that horses listed on stall applications and in the program reflect actual ownership, any trainer found to be misrepresenting himself as a different person will have their stalls revoked and will have to immediately remove all of their horses from the grounds.
Any hidden ownership also will be reported to the board of stewards.
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association is in favor of the new rules, according to Elliott.
“I believe wagering on our product should be higher than it is,” Elliott said. “I think the public’s perception is holding us back. I hope not to have to invoke any of these rules, but I believe they will help level the playing field and lead to a betterment of the game.”
The new policies will begin with any medication positives or ownership irregularities as of June 1, and will not include any retroactive rule infractions.