So the Triple Crown cheat is the winner! The sporting media, which is watching the gradual decline of the racing industry, have had the US horse racing industry under a microscope after 30 horses died at Santa Anita in the first six months of this year. And just to add a cherry on top of an already rotten dessert, it has just emerged that last years Triple Crown winner, Justify, had tested positive just before winning the Kentucky Derby.
Introduction: The Triple Crown Cheat
According to the New York Times, which broke the story, the whole chapter and verse stinks of cheating and underlying corruption. The story goes like this: in order to qualify for the Triple Crown, Justify had to come home either first or second. The trail race was the Santa Anita Derby on the 7th of April this year. Up until now the horse saw outside odds of 12:1 at the Kentucky Derby. Well, guess what happened?
Triple Crown Cheat: Failed Drugs Test
He came first. Not only that but the horse was three lengths in front at the finishing post. Suddenly he was the favorite for the Run of the Roses. A great win if you were betting with Bovada. And, as we all know, two months later he became the trainer’s second Triple Crown winner in four seasons. The problem is that Justify failed a drugs test after his outing at Santa Anita. So without the drug aided win at Santa Anita, there would of been no Triple Crown race, let alone victory. It all stinks. Looking through sports book sites in the US, they think the same way. Whether you’re a hard working punter studying the form or you have an algorithm, you should still feel cheated.
The Horse is too Stoned to Speak
The drug itself is scopolamine. Though it’s a banned substance, the views on it’s performance enhancing effects are mixed. Many claim that the effects are marginal. To add to the confusion, it’s actually found in a weed called Jimson. It can sometimes inadvertently find it’s way into the horses feed. Trainers often say that this is how it makes it’s way into the horses system. The trainer’s lawyer was quick to point out, “there was never any intentional administration of scopolamine to Justify”. Later on adding that there is, “zero scientific evidence to suggest that scopolamine has any performance-enhancing properties”. Well he would say that. Unfortunately for him, the amount of the drug in the horses system points to “intentional intervention”. Those are the words of the vet who was responsible for the report.
Triple Crown Cheat: Think of the Money!
But the rub here is not so much about the means by which the horse was able to ingest the forbidden substance. As online sports book news in the US stated, it’s about fairness. when previous horses have tested positive they are instantly disqualified. It’s obvious that when a horse is found to have run with a high level of potentially performance enhancing drugs, it should certainly be withdrawn from any competition until further tests are carried out. But this part of the sad story shows that those responsible, namely the California Horse Racing Board, are not fit for purpose.
Justify Can’t Justify His Win
Let’s look at the time line for a better understanding of what came to pass. The positive result was returned from the lab on the 18th of April. Allegedly the trainer wasn’t informed of this until 26th of the same month. He immediately requested a second test. That was carried out on May 1st. And low and behold, those results came back a week later, also as positive. But three days after Justify had won the Derby. This last positive test should of bought about a swift disciplinary action. Instead, in a close meeting of the CHRB committee, chaired, by the way, by another one of the same trainers customers, they voted to simply forget about this sordid chapter. Justify went into retirement as the Triple Crown winner. Thereby guaranteeing a stud fee that would amount to over $60 million. Let’s not give a fig about the punters who, with their collective form knowledge ultimately support the racing industry.
Sorry, My Clock Stopped Three days Ago
As they say in politics, it’s not the wrongful action that get s you, it’s always the cover up. And so it proves in this case. I guess they took an unwise gamble that those test results would remain under wraps for ever. Unfortunately for book makers like Bovada, right now any little faith in the system just evaporated. It appears the rules are for some but not for others. How on earth will the punters have trust in the real odds?