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Jockeys Call for Transparency in U.S. Racing
Friday, December 16, 2016 RSS Feeds

After listening to Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB) vice president of wagering analysis Curtis Linnell talk about the importance of letting investigators know when inside information may be involved with a horse, several jockeys questioned the level of transparency in U.S. racing.

The discussion on transparency followed Linnell's Dec. 12 presentation on wagering and integrity at the Jockeys' Guild assembly in Las Vegas. The TRPB is a subsidiary of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations and operates as the racing industry's national investigative agency. 

In Linnell's presentation, he defined inside information as details known about a race horse being held by just a few people for purposes of a betting coup. Such information is of renewed concern with the launch of exchange wagering in New Jersey, where bettors essentially can wager on a horse to lose. Linnell encouraged riders to report any incidents in which they hear of inside information for a possible betting coup. 

"By keeping integrity in racing, it can help fuel the purses that we all rely on," Linnell said in encouraging riders to report such situations. "We all rely on wagering integrity for the industry to sustain itself."

The Jockeys' Guild is looking for guidance and a strong industry position on integrity issues as exchange wagering has arrived in New Jersey. Jockeys' Guild national manager Terry Meyocks noted that riders have been suspended or ruled-off for multiple years for their involvement in such situations in Europe.

After listening to the presentation, several jockeys suggested that some current, acceptable practices in U.S. racing amount to inside information.

Jockey Robby Albarado noted that when a horse is injected or receives a throat surgery, it is not reported to the betting public. Retired rider Ramon Dominguez said that such information is readily available in Hong Kong. 

When U.S.-based Pure Sensation was having problems that would eventually see him scratched from this year's Longines Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I), the issues were reported by the HKJC. A release on the Wednesday before the Sunday race noted that Pure Sensation had been reported to be lame in his left hind leg and a Thursday release noted that the leg was being treated for lameness and the horse missed track work.

Meyocks noted that the Guild, in an effort to improve rider safety, wants more reporting on when shockwave therapies are administered to horses.

Kent Desormeaux and Dominguez said information on timed workouts needs to be improved. Desormeaux said every horse should have a chip, similar to what they wear in the TRAKUS system, so that it registers every time they go on the track, especially every time they work. Dominguez said reported workout times are frequently inaccurate.

Meyocks and jockey James Graham noted that they've seen trainers in pre-race interviews on television say a horse may "need a race." Linnell said in such interview situations, in terms of wagering pool integrity, such comments are not a concern because the trainer is giving an honest assessment to a large segment of the public as opposed to providing such information to a single bettor or two for wagering purposes.

Courtesy of the Bloodhorse

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