JC / Railbird

Hit the Owners

Commented John S. on an earlier post:

I’ve said this about enforcement in the game over and over again: If you want to clean up racing, hit the owners…. If you made their horses come off the track, no owner in their right mind would send a string to known cheaters.

Which I was thinking of as I read that Randy Hartley, part-owner of Gato Go Win, isn’t upset with trainer Jeff Mullins over getting the horse scratched from the Bay Shore last Saturday after he was observed dosing him with a substance in the Aqueduct detention barn:

“I’m not mad,” Hartley said. “[Mullins] was trying to do what he thought was the right thing by the horse. I don’t know what they’re going to do as far as fining him or whatever, but we’ll find another race for the horse. He’s a good trainer. He’s just a down-to-earth guy who made a mistake. We all make mistakes.”

As long as owners like Hartley are willing to dismiss rule-flouting as a mistake, the ethically challenged will always have horses in their barns.


Mullins, Hartley claims, tried to do “what he thought was the right thing by the horse,” a statement which, unless Hartley nicknames his bank account “the horse” strikes me as a disgusting statement. How is it in the horse’s interest to get medications that don’t serve any purpose other than making him run more successfully (on second thought, considering the Paragallo affair, maybe it is). Owners who send their horses to known cheaters make a conscious decision to profit from cheating, even if it’s done at the expense of their horse’s health.

Posted by Malcer on April 10, 2009 @ 7:02 am

Lanzman was on HRTV a couple days ago and I was surprised that HRTV even phrased a question to him that hinted about changing trainers. After all, I have seen Biancone during their Santa Anita coverage this meet at least 4 different times (and I only watch on weekends!) and it’s softball city in their treatment of him.

While Lanzman seems likeable enough and conveyed almost verbatim what Hartley is saying, he struck me as tone deaf.

I get the feeling that these owners are walking the Tony LaRussa path of defending Mark McGwire.

Posted by o_crunk on April 10, 2009 @ 7:58 am