Cheaters Prosper at Calder Race Course

One by one, horses strut into the stadium for the second race of the day. Each is a sleek machine shining under the sweltering midday sun. Their sinewy legs sway under muscular torsos rippling with veins like river deltas. Portly Jamaicans and aging sailors with faded forearm tattoos stand in a semicircle, scrutinizing the contestants.

The bookmaker's favorite is On Appeal, a powerful animal that has won two races at Calder Casino & Race Course in the past month. His advantage is obvious: He's 100 pounds heavier and a hand taller than the smallest horse, a light-brown gelding called Sole Runner. The runt is a 16-1 underdog, for good reason. He has yet to win this year in six attempts.

The seven thoroughbreds line up on the far side of the gray dirt track in the shadow of Florida's Turnpike. An electronic bugle signals they are ready. With a crash of collapsing metal doors, the horses are off. In an instant, they are a blur of black and brown, moving almost as fast as the cars on the expressway above.

Sole Runner races to victory on June 28.
Michael E. Miller
Sole Runner races to victory on June 28.
Jockey Jonathan Gonzales and trainer Kirk Ziadie after Sole Runner's surprise win.
Michael E. Miller
Jockey Jonathan Gonzales and trainer Kirk Ziadie after Sole Runner's surprise win.
Mark Cantrell received 13 months in federal prison after telling prosecutors about his involvement in a $5 million fraud operation at Calder.
Michael E. Miller
Mark Cantrell received 13 months in federal prison after telling prosecutors about his involvement in a $5 million fraud operation at Calder.

As the horses reach the end of the back stretch, On Appeal is predictably at the head of the pack. Amazingly, though, Sole Runner is right next to him, having the race of his life. As they round the bend, Sole Runner edges ahead, running as if possessed. On Appeal drops back, and suddenly Sole Runner is true to his name.

"Sole Runner has run them right off their heels so far!" announcer Bobby Neuman shouts. The beasts burst down the home stretch. "Nobody's gaining ground on Sole Runner!" Neuman says in disbelief as the horse cruises to a five-length victory.

Jockey Jonathan Gonzales guides the champion to the winner's circle. The animal, whose head is covered by a white hood with blinders, is a quivering mass of muscle. Cameras click as Gonzales poses atop his mount.

"Returning to the winner's circle... Sole Runner," Neuman says. "He's owned by Frank Calabrese and trained by Kirk Ziadie."

"Kirk Ziadie?!" exclaims a wiry old Jamaican in an oversize shirt, belatedly recognizing the muscular man in ripped jeans who has entered the circle to hold the reins. "Aw, man. If I had known, I would have bet on him. He's a helluva trainer. He was trainer of the year a couple years ago.

"Then they suspended him," he adds in a whisper. "Something about using drugs on the horses."

In fact, this time last year Ziadie couldn't set foot inside Calder. That's because from 2004 to 2009, the trainer was cited 38 times by state regulators for pumping his horses full of banned steroids, tranquilizers, and painkillers — by far one of the worst records in the state. Many of those violations were at Calder. Yet Ziadie continued racing until one of his own employees blew the whistle. Now, after a short ban, he's back to winning. Fellow trainers are furious.

At tracks across the nation, a dark cloud of doping accusations hangs over the sport. Top trainers are routinely suspended for injecting animals with strange cocktails, including cobra venom and frog poison. The drugs mask the animals' injuries, which cause horses to break down and die on live television. Not even prestigious races such as the Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Derby are free of suspicion.

Calder shows exactly why. Records reveal dozens of cases of horse doping. Two ongoing lawsuits claim course officials conspired to steal horses, rig races, and ban anyone who raised objections. In May, three men connected to the track were sentenced to federal prison for running a $5 million scheme out of Calder for more than a decade.

Calder officials deny there is any widespread problem at the track, calling Ziadie's violations isolated and the fraud scheme a product of previous management.

"Calder is an industry leader for racetrack safety," says John Marshall, Calder's vice president of racing.

Yet a New Times investigation shows Calder officials knew for five years about Ziadie's record of positive drug tests but did nothing. Interviews with former Calder employees and horsemen also suggest the course cared more about keeping mum and making money than protecting horses and jockeys.

Larger blame also lies with the State of Florida, which has some of the laxest regulations in the country. With deliberately outdated testing techniques, fines that are a pittance compared to the prizes for winning dirty, and criminal charges completely unheard of, Florida practically encourages cheating at the track.

"Any time you're talking about a place with a lot of money, there is going to be fraud and rule-breaking," says Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University and an expert on gambling and sports. "The thing about racing is that the horse never testifies."

Long before Sole Runner's surprise victory, Kirk Ziadie was mysteriously turning mediocre horses into winners and making millions in the process. On one serene September afternoon in 2008, for instance, he entered a 4-year-old stallion named Cenzontle into a high-stakes Calder race.

Cenzontle started slowly. After a quarter-mile, the long-shot was laboring at the rear of the nine-horse herd. But as he rounded the bend, the stallion surged, blowing past two favorites and finishing a neck in front. Bettors quintupled their money. Ziadie and the horse's owner earned a cool $30,000 in just 88 seconds.

Long after the winnings were cashed, however, Cenzontle's stunning upset came under scrutiny. Blood and urine samples tested positive for high levels of clenbuterol, a drug that boosts a horse's breathing ability but also functions like a steroid to build muscle mass. It wasn't Ziadie's first drug infraction. In fact, at the time of Cenzontle's big win, Ziadie was appealing a 60-day drug-related suspension from the previous year.

Because of Cenzontle's failed tests, Ziadie was given a $500 fine and 15-day suspension, but he kept racing and breaking the rules. It was a pattern that would repeat itself again and again in his controversial career. In less than a decade, Ziadie built an incredible record, winning an astounding 551 races worth nearly $11 million, all while breaking doping rules 41 times. Yet Ziadie has served only brief suspensions and been fined a total of just $13,100.

"A trainer with 41 drug violations should be kicked out of the sport," says Dr. Sheila Lyons, one of the nation's leading horse veterinarians. "We are putting both the horses' and the riders' lives at risk by allowing these drugs."

Ziadie is a racing thoroughbred in his own right. He was born in Jamaica in 1968 to a long line of Lebanese horsemen; his father, Ralph, conditioned the Jamaica Derby winner in 1970 before moving the family to Miramar in 1977. Ralph sold cars for five years in South Florida before the bugle beckoned him to a recently built racetrack in Miami Gardens.

Calder was a gambler's dream. After opening in 1971, the mile-long track earned a reputation as a no-nonsense alternative to the grander Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. Calder was open for eight months a year, compared to Gulfstream's five, and soon became a proving ground for young horses on their way to bigger tests such as the Kentucky Derby. In 1999, Churchill Downs, the company that hosts the Derby and owns many of the nation's top racetracks, bought Calder for $87 million. Calder's annual Summit of Speed soon became one of the state's biggest affairs; in 2004, nearly $11 million was wagered during the one-day event.

Once Ralph found a spot at Calder, it didn't take him long to dominate. He won three straight training titles beginning in 1990. By 2001, he was in the Calder Race Course Hall of Fame.

Kirk was his sidekick. He's handsome, with dark features and deeply tanned skin from working outside with his father's horses. But the two had a falling-out on August 17, 1996, when they got into a screaming match at the track. The younger Ziadie began punching his father in the head, according to a police report. The case was dropped, but a judge ordered Kirk to stay away from his old man.

By 2002, Kirk Ziadie had made his own name. He won four races his first year, 14 the next, and then 41. By 2006, he was statistically among the best trainers in Florida, guiding horses to nearly $2 million in prizes (purses are usually shared between a horse's owner and trainer). During the 2006-7 season at Calder, Ziadie won 53 percent of his races on his way to being crowned trainer of the year. His win rate was incredible — in both senses of the word.

"All things being equal, you would expect a trainer to win 12.5 percent of the time in an eight-horse race," says journalist Ray Paulick, who covers the industry. "There are some very good trainers that win 25 percent of the time. Then there are some that win more than that, and that raises red flags."

In fact, there were signs of systematic rule-breaking. Like other states, Florida permits trace amounts of medications in a horse's system. Ziadie's thoroughbreds, though, began routinely exceeding those limits in 2004. That year, three of his animals tested positive for drugs: twice after winning and once after finishing second. Despite netting $27,130 from the three suspect results, Ziadie was fined only $1,100 and suspended for 15 days.

A pattern quickly emerged. In 2005, two more of Ziadie's horses won, only to fail post-race tests. The trainer was fined just $550 and allowed to keep more than $20,000 in purse money. Then, in 2006, seven of his horses flunked tests, most of them for high levels of a powerful anti-inflammatory called phenylbutazone, commonly known as "bute." One horse, a filly named Rgirldoesn'tbluff, won a race worth $24,000 before testing positive for excessive bute. Ziadie was fined $1,000.

"Just about every trainer has made an honest mistake with therapeutic medications," Paulick says. "But it just struck me as amazing for a horse trainer to have so many medication violations in such a short period of time."

When Ziadie's horse Not Acclaim won a race on April 19, 2007, but then tested positive for a tranquilizer, it seemed as if the state's Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering would finally make an example of him. The agency fined him $1,000 — still only a fraction of the winnings — but suspended him for two months.

Ziadie appealed, though, and won a Tallahassee court injunction. His punishment wouldn't be confirmed for another couple of years, even after he admitted to giving the tranquilizer to his horses. Ziadie pleaded for leniency, arguing that his finances were "in chaos" but that he wasn't deliberately cheating.

As his case dragged over two years, more than a dozen Ziadie thoroughbreds failed drug tests. Cenzontle failed twice. Yet when Ziadie's luck finally did end, it was no thanks to state regulators.

In July 2009, the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering received three anonymous complaints. "He... come[s] late at nights when no one is there to give his 'vitamins,'" began a letter from someone who said he worked for the trainer. "He carries a black briefcase and sometimes he takes the needles out of it to inject the horses."

The letter continued, "If you get someone to search the car or truck, you will find the drugs there... That is the real stuff that he gives the horses to make them run faster or hide their pain so they could run on race days."

Another letter claimed, "I have known this young man since his teenage years and ever since then, he was filled with greed to win races." A third accused Ziadie of avoiding suspensions by racing his horses under other trainers' names.

One of Ziadie's employees began cooperating with Calder. The unnamed assistant gave the track's security manager, Steve Diamond, hypodermic syringes full of drugs that he claimed Ziadie had told him to inject into various horses shortly before their races.

"I hope I am not placed in danger and that my name is not revealed," the informant wrote, adding that Ziadie often killed barn pigeons with a shotgun. "[If] he finds out... he is crazy and capable of killing me or paying someone else to do it for him."

On August 20, 2009 — five years after Calder was first informed of the trainer's drug violations — Ziadie was finally banned from the track. Calder officials gave him 72 hours to remove his 50 horses.

Incredibly, state regulators closed their case against Ziadie a few months later when the informant abruptly disappeared. Even more outrageous: Despite 38 drug violations in less than five years, Ziadie never returned a cent of the more than $10 million his horses won. State law allows the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to reclaim winnings after tainted races, but the agency simply never asked. Instead, it fined Ziadie a total of $13,100 — less than the prize for a single race.

He was also banned from other tracks in Florida, including Gulfstream and Tampa Bay Downs. But other states weren't aware of Ziadie's record. It wasn't long before Laurel Park in Maryland gave him ten stalls. And Chicago horse owner Frank Calabrese hired him to train his thoroughbreds. Soon, Ziadie was back in Florida. Gulfstream agreed to give him a stall in February 2011. Then, last October, Calder granted the disgraced trainer five stalls and permission to race.

Calder officials defend their handling of Ziadie's violations. Marshall says the track took action to ban Ziadie before the state's two-month suspension, and denied numerous reinstatement requests from the trainer until they were satisfied he'd reformed.

"It's important to understand that legal medications are a part of racing," Marshall says. "Most of those violations on Kirk's rec­ord weren't for illegal drugs; they were for legal medications that exceeded state limits."

Ziadie is now back to his winning ways. Last fall he won 33 percent of his races, fifth-best among trainers who raced at least ten horses. So far this year, he has won 23 of his 68 races (34 percent), putting him on track to finish as one of Calder's top trainers.

His other habits have resurfaced too. His horses have already tested positive for high bute levels three times this year, including twice at Calder. Because state regulators recently lowered the allowed limit, however, they gave him a free pass. Other trainers at Calder are furious that the race course has allowed Ziadie to return. "After all those positives?" said one, who asked to remain anonymous. "It's unbelievable."

In an interview with New Times, Ziadie gives contradictory statements. He claims his two-year ban was due to financial problems after several horse owners stopped paying him. Confronted with records showing the ban was actually due to drug infractions, he admits to having "some positives." But he describes the drugs as "low-grade medications similar to aspirin for humans."

Ziadie says he's a winner because he treats his horses better — not worse — than other trainers. "I love my horses. My horses run because they are happy. They are treated like King James in my stalls," he says. "They've got no proof of me doing anything wrong. They've never found a needle on me."

Presented with specific evidence of doping — including the drug-filled syringes his employee handed over to Calder — Ziadie admits to making "mistakes."

"How many horses have I trained?" he says. "Over a thousand. So to me, [41 positives] is nothing. That's just carelessness."

Then Ziadie becomes defiant, calling the employee who ratted on him a "faggot."

"I didn't want no faggots working for me, so I fired him."

And he blames his bad reputation on the "enemies" he's made by winning at the track.

"Look at Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant," he says. "Any time you do anything in life and you are successful, they are always going to try to bring you down."

Mark Cantrell had just finished climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge when he saw the message blinking on his phone. With long, stringy hair and a supersize upper body, Cantrell resembled a professional wrestler past his peak. He was on vacation with his fiancée in Australia, but suddenly he became very worried. The message was from Steve Cross, Calder's track superintendent. Cantrell excused himself and called Cross. Over the whipping South Pacific winds, he could just make out Cross's message: The jig was up.

"Churchill Downs has lawyers all over this place," Cantrell remembers Cross telling him in March 2008. "They are on to us."

For ten years, Cross, Cantrell, and a man named Israel Campos had run a massive fraud operation out of Calder. As the person in charge of maintaining the grass and track, Cross ordered nearly $4 million of chemicals from Cantrell and Campos (plus almost another million from unidentified plumbing, welding, and painting contractors). But the goods were never delivered, and Cross received roughly $2 million in kickbacks from the phony vendors.

The trio was finally charged this year. On the surface, it seems like an open-and-shut case of employees ripping off their clueless bosses. But there is more to the story, Cantrell claims. He says Cross could never have ordered $5 million of fake goods without his supervisors noticing.

Current Calder officials acknowledge the track had management problems that contributed to the scheme but say they've solved the problems with new leadership. "I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Steve Cross, but our company has identified the improprieties under his watch through a thorough audit process," Marshall says.

When Cross first met Cantrell in 1999, he was convinced the guy was a cop. But Cantrell was in trouble. He and his dad owed thousands after a failed exterminator business. Cantrell had two kids, and his wife was pregnant with twins.

A friend had told Cantrell about the operation Cross and Campos had started the year before at Calder. It was as easy as filling out fake receipts and then cashing the checks, the friend said. Cantrell showed up at Cross's trailer on the backside of Calder. Eventually convinced that the cash-strapped mess wasn't a cop, Cross cut Cantrell in on the scam.

Every week for the next decade, Cantrell stopped by Cross's trailer and exchanged a phony receipt for a real check, issued by the Calder accounting department. Then Cantrell would pass Cross an envelope with his half of the fraudulent funds, usually $3,000 to $5,000. Campos did the same. The simple deception earned them each roughly $150,000 a year, while Cross made twice that much.

Flush with cash, Cross began driving a Corvette and taking gambling trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Cantrell, meanwhile, went downhill after his divorce. He wallowed in drugs and prostitutes for a couple of years, he admits.

There was too much missing money to hide forever, though. Campos had Cross issue the checks to one of his employees, but cashed them himself. When the woman received a W-2 listing income of more than $300,000, she freaked out and went to the IRS. By March 2008, Calder was swarming with Churchill Downs attorneys. That's when Cross called Cantrell in Australia and told him to keep quiet.

But when Cantrell returned to Florida, there was a subpoena waiting for him. He promptly spilled his guts to Calder's lawyers about the $4 million scheme in return for immunity from a lawsuit.

"You can call me a fucking rat. I don't care," he says. "In the end, it's your own skin that you're worried about."

Calder fired Cross and then sued him. The case remains open.

Cantrell's deal with Calder didn't protect him from federal investigators. He and his co-conspirators were indicted this past February. Again, he cooperated in hopes of reducing his sentence. It worked. On May 22, he got 13 months in prison. Campos received 33 months, and Cross nabbed nearly five years. In court, prosecutors admitted that Cantrell had made their case.

Standing beneath the hulking stone awn­ing of the federal courthouse in downtown Miami, Cantrell seems at peace. After a decade of thrills financed by fraud, he no longer looks much like a cop. His long hair is greasy and streaked with bleach like a surf bum's. His face is half-frozen by all the Xanax and codeine syrup he's been taking to avoid violating his parole. And he's wearing a blue Smurf T-shirt that reads, "Call Me Big Papa."

Yesterday was Independence Day; today he's turning himself in. "I never lied to anybody," he says in the shadow of the federal prison where he'll be locked up for the next year. "As soon as I got caught, I turned myself in and told them everything."

Two things still bother Cantrell, though. First, he'll miss a year of his kids' lives. But he's also pissed that it's business as usual at Calder. The race course recouped most of the stolen money thanks to its employee theft insurance. Cross was the only Calder employee charged in the scheme; he told prosecutors that his bosses played no part in it. Cantrell claims Cross was simply covering for his higherups.

He walks into the tomb-like building and hands his parole card to a U.S. Marshal. "It's time to pay the pied piper," he says, but not before one last warning: "Calder is one of the dirtiest racetracks around. There are a lot of secrets still buried there."

That claim is backed up by an unlikely source: Steve Cross. A few weeks before beginning his own prison sentence, Cross gruffly answered one question before hanging up on New Times. "What really goes on behind the scenes at Calder?" he asked, repeating a reporter's question. "Everything."

At Calder, crime goes well beyond fraud cases and drug violations for trainers like Kirk Ziadie. Records show cops responded to the track and its attached casino nearly 500 times in the past five years. More than 600 pages of state and city records suggest that guns, drugs, and counterfeit cash are common at the track.

These crimes bolster claims contained in two lawsuits pending against Calder in South Florida courts that claim Calder officials ignored rampant wrongdoing at the racetrack and banned horse trainers who complained. The suits allege:

• the track banned a horse owner named Dennis Fisher after he complained about race fixing and drug abuse at the track;

• track officials helped a horse owner claim animals belonging to trainer Rene Wagner after she ratted on abuses, including the use of electric "buzzers" to spur horses during races;

• and a breeder named Gina Silvestri lost horses after a track secretary illegally transferred their ownership.

Calder officials declined to comment specifically about any of those cases because both remain open. Fisher says the cases, taken together, demonstrate that track leaders try to throw whistleblowers out rather than take allegations seriously.

"Calder higherups believe that they are holier than thou, but I caught them breaking every rule in the book," he says.

Fisher, a bear of a man with a belly that barely fits under his shirt, was a successful horse owner and trainer for two decades in his native South Africa, he says, before he was forced to leave after speaking out about corruption and racism in that nation's racing industry.

After moving to Miami and setting up his operation in 1997, Fisher won 14 races worth $116,000 around the country over the next 13 years. But he never won at Calder, which he found suspicious.

Fisher says Calder officials constantly tried to influence races. Some, like former racing secretary Bob Umphrey, secretly owned horses and wanted them to win, Fisher claims in court records. (Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a former Calder official told New Times that Umphrey indeed owned horses and bet on races — in violation of track rules. Umphrey died in 2005. Marshall says that to his knowledge, no course official has ever improperly influenced a race.)

Fisher insists the formula was simple. With its private security force, Calder could rule off or ban anyone at any moment. Meanwhile, drug use was rampant among jockeys and employees on the backside. But officials looked the other way if employees followed orders, he says. Other track insiders echo that accusation.

"For big races with lots of money in them, the officials actually set up the race ahead of time," claims Gabriel Myatt, a former jockey and security guard at Calder. "They pick the horses, then they set up the odds and tell the jockeys: 'You are fourth, you are fifth,' and so on. If you're a jockey and you listen, you might make some extra money. If you don't listen to them, you don't get paid and you get blackballed."

Marshall says he's never heard an official complaint from Myatt, who worked at the track from April 2006 to May 2007. "We take these kinds of allegations very, very seriously," he says.

Fisher also claims that his complaints led to mysterious retaliation. In 2005, his horses at Calder began to go crazy. After finding them banging their heads against the wall or scratching their hooves raw, he suspected they were being drugged. He once found filly urine spread in his barn to make his male horses go wild, he says. Another time, he arrived early in the morning to find Majestic JCE — one of his most prized horses — with fractured legs after escaping from his stall the night before. He had to put the stallion down.

In December 2005, Fisher went to the FBI. He told agent Cynthia Levinson that Calder officials were fixing races, allowing drug use, and securing false social security numbers for undocumented immigrants to work at the track. (Miami-based FBI spokesman Mike Leverock declined to comment about Fisher's claims.)

Days later, Fisher met with Calder officials. He claims they demanded he drop his complaints. Fisher refused and was banned from the course. He sued several months later.

Calder conspired to defame Fisher because of his knowledge of foul play, corruption, and race fixing, he claimed in his suit. Track officials then "banished" him as "retaliation for speaking out." The case remains open.

Marshall declined to talk about Fisher's accusations. "He hasn't presented these complaints directly to me or come to me with these allegations," he says.

Fisher's close friend Rene Wagner, another South African trainer, has also battled track officials. When Fisher was ruled off, Wagner trained both of their horses. Like Fisher, she soon began to suspect that jockeys, horse owners, and Calder officials were conspiring to rig races.

In a complaint to the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering filed in April 2010, Wagner accused horse owner Allen Bruce Gottlieb of instructing jockey Carlos Camilo to zap horse Raisinaboveonly with a battery, or electric buzzer, hidden in his hand. The horse went wild and finished last. Wagner's complaint set off a bitter feud. Gottlieb sued her, calling Wagner and Fisher "scam artists." But Wagner won in court, claiming Gottlieb conspired with Calder officials to have her blacklisted. (Gottlieb declined to comment.) Wagner is now planning her own lawsuit against Calder.

The second suit comes from horse breeder Gina Silvestri. In 2006, she had more than a dozen stalls at Calder. When another owner died in November, she agreed to take on a horse named Greenwood Mystery. Silvestri's trouble began six months later, when someone else claimed ownership of the animal.

Sure enough, when Silvestri checked the horse's papers, she says she discovered the transfer had been signed in December — not by the dead owner, but by Calder racing secretary Michael Anifantis. When Silvestri and 15 witnesses turned up at a hearing to determine how a corpse could have given Silvestri a horse, the event was abruptly canceled. Steward Jeffrey Noe refused to take depositions. Three more hearings were scheduled and then canceled. In January 2008, Silvestri was banned from Calder for life. She sued the track in Broward County Court and sold all of her horses to pay nearly a half-million dollars in legal bills.

"Everybody is scared to death of Churchill Downs," she says. "But it's not fair that people are treated like this."

In court, the track's attorneys have sought to discredit Fisher, Wagner, and Silvestri. But some of the trio's allegations are supported by police reports and state regulators' investigations.

Fisher and Wagner's claim that Calder is awash in drugs is corroborated by repeated narcotics arrests at the racetrack. On July 12, 2009, for instance, a groom was arrested for selling cocaine and marijuana out of his room on the backside of Calder. Two months later, another horse handler was busted for selling and smoking crack. A year later, another dealer was caught with ten grams of pot and a digital scale. At least six arrests related to drugs have been made in the past five years.

Meanwhile, shady business abounds at the track. According to police reports, Calder employees accepted stolen checks and credit cards. One man lost $7,000 when his bank account was hacked by someone at the track.

There's at least one undeniable villain in the eyes of those who value clean contests at racetracks: the State of Florida. The Sunshine State not only has some of the most lax penalties in the nation, but state law also mandates testers to use outdated equipment that can't screen for a majority of modern cheating methods.

"Many drugs simply aren't detectable at all" in Florida, says Richard Sams, who used to run the University of Florida's Racing Laboratory, which tests all post-race samples in the state.

For horses and jockeys, the issue isn't just about fairness — it's life-or-death. Trainers who use powerful painkillers and stimulants to force horses to run through their injuries make accidents more likely. A recent investigation by the New York Times found that the rate of deadly breakdowns doubled when drug restrictions were loosened. Race horses die twice as often on the track in the United States as they do in England, where drugs aren't allowed.

"The only way to protect horses and jockeys is to get rid of the drugs," says Lyons, the equine-sports veterinarian. "The public is tired of seeing carnage on the racetrack."

There's a long history of politics undermining drug detection in Florida. Wayne Duer was in charge of drug-testing horses in the state from 1977 to 1986. In 1984, he and his fellow lab technicians discovered such rampant doping among quarter horses at Pompano Park that Florida banned quarter-horse racing for an entire year.

When racing restarted in 1986, Duer and his team resumed testing — at least until Bob Rosenberg, then the head of the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, sent his staff into the laboratory. "They took our samples — which constituted evidence that doping was going on again — and sent them to a lab in Colorado that couldn't even test for the drug that was being used," Duer says. He was fired, and it was back to business as usual at tracks around the state.

"It was all covered up," Duer says.

Politics again stymied efforts to clean up the sport in the 1990s. After the testing lab at UF began using newer techniques, the number of violators skyrocketed, as did fines and suspensions. Owners, trainers, and track officials, in turn, lobbied legislators to change state law to mandate the older, outdated methods. "It wasn't a budget issue," Sams says. "It was motivated by a desire to avoid longer detection periods."

Sams left UF in 2010 for a state-of-the-art private lab in Kentucky. He doesn't miss working with limited funds and one hand tied behind his back. "They were crude and outdated methods," he says. "I wouldn't propose that anybody use them."

Florida combines lax testing with some of the nation's weakest penalties. Consider: Of 15 recent violations in seven states for use of caffeine (which can boost horses' performance), 14 resulted in trainers being suspended or horses being disqualified. Not in Florida, however, where the trainer escaped with just a $250 fine.

State leaders seem disinclined to address the issue. Of more than a dozen pari-mutuel bills proposed by this year's Legislature, none suggested harsher penalties or increased testing standards.

On a federal level, meanwhile, the Times investigation has spurred some action. Thirty-four years after Congress last regulated horse racing, New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall called a hearing last month to discuss the "alarming level of corruption and exploitation" in the sport. "Horse racing... has run off the rails," he said. "The chronic abuse of horses with painkillers and other drugs is just plain wrong."

Udall is proposing a stark reform: banning all drugs from horse racing, with no variations between state and federal oversight. Any positive drug test would disqualify a horse and suspend its trainer. Three violations would ban a trainer for life.

Don't expect that kind of change to come easily. Among those testifying in Washington were Kent Stirling, executive director of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

"The New York Times' assertions are badly flawed and seriously misleading," Stirling said before bizarrely claiming a drug ban would be dangerous. "The call for a medication ban is premised on misconceptions by industry participants who put their own agenda ahead of the welfare of horses and jockeys."

Marshall says Calder would consider supporting a federal agency overseeing horse-racing standards. "If it would make racing a better sport, sure, we'd consider it," he says.

Ironically, the biggest threat to Calder might not be corruption, drug use, or regulation, experts say. Rather, as at tracks across Florida, slot machines are replacing the messier, more expensively maintained world of trainers, jockeys, and thoroughbreds. Like Gulfstream Park and Hialeah Park, Calder is now a "racino," having added slots and card tables in 2010. On some race days, a couple dozen old-timers watch a race from the grandstands. Meanwhile, inside Calder's new casino, thousands tempt their fate with the tap of a computer screen.

"Track owners don't want to have horse and dog racing," gambling expert Jarvis says. "It's very expensive. Profits are just not very good."

For now, Calder and other tracks can operate casinos only if they maintain their horse racing. Marshall says, "Horse racing remains at the center of everything we do."

But Calder and other racetracks' promise to Florida that winning purses would increase with the casino revenue hasn't happened, according to Jarvis. "That was the lie that was told," he says. "Their argument was that gambling meant bigger purses, better horses coming to Florida, more people at the tracks, and more people gambling. It was supposed to be good for the state and good for racing. But it was nonsense."

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38 comments
locomoco
locomoco

Crooks, Crooks and more Crooks. Anytime there is money involved. Money becomes the number one priority. Forget the integrity of the sport or the well being of the horses. Screw the customer and take all their money at any cost...I been going to calder for over 20 years and i have seen scams there that leave you stunt. Why do you think there is no quality horses or trainers at calder. For a while not even  VEGAS would take bets for Calder. BUT EVERYBODY GETS THERE IN THE END!! KARMA IS A BITCH!!!

ted.mizerak
ted.mizerak

As usual another article bashing horse racing by a writer that knows nothing about the sport. Please go to www.thoroughbredrulings.com and look up any respected horse trainer and look at the number of violations. Joe Woodard has 61 violation, Steve Asmussen (most wins in nation) has 43 rulings, Tom Amoss 15, etc etc. Why single out Kirk ? Do more research before you cast blame on one man.

Thegospeltruth
Thegospeltruth

Three people mentioned in this article are paranoid about everything and everybody.  The world is against these three individuals.  Don't believe me?  See all the stories that come up when you Google "Denis Fisher South African Horse trainer" and "Gina Silvestri and Calder Race Course."

DirtyYellowVisor
DirtyYellowVisor

 

Dennis I see you got a new person to listen to all your conspiracy theories

MoseswiththeTabloids
MoseswiththeTabloids

Didn't even want to go near the Cross, Cantrell BS. You want kickbacks, graft and corruption, look at any state governement. They are the masters. Smiley face.

MoseswiththeTabloids
MoseswiththeTabloids

Not exactly fair and balanced journalism.  Hard to take it seriously with the Asian Massage parlor advertisement popping up. And to the author, please at least do some cursory homework. Stallions breed. They don't race. Oh and horses enter the track, not the stadium.  And unless you're in jolly old England, bookmakers went the way of the Edsel. I would also question Jarvis with regards to the corrolation of purses to slots. In many cases, New York has seen a huge increase directly attributable to slots. Similarly, when Atlantic City helped subsidize Monmouth Park maiden races were carded at $ 80,000. And I always love the non specific terms such as "drugs" and "doping". Especially when that powerful painkiller bute, is aspirin. Not saying Ziade is innocent, but how many of these violations were for cobra venom, or truly ILLEGAL drugs. Horses are often given steroids, (as are humans) to help them heal quickly when used correctly. The contradiction is hard to ignore as well. Let's see, Ziade is doping his horses, so they run beyond their pain tolerence, but he's guilty of giving his horse a tranquilizer. So in theory he wins because he's doping, fixing races because he's giving tranquilizers....Got it. Didn't realize Kirk was such a multi tasker. Finally, Dennis Fisher and Rene Wagner are not exactly Ogden Phipps and Wayne Lukas.  They are both pikers in an industry that swallows those liitle minnows with glee. Wagner has earned exactly $ 16,545 in her sparkling career of 46 starts while Fisher can't pay the bills with his $ 567 per start over a 7 year period. Let's be real, you didn't need a battery to beat these horses. All you had to do is show up. Trainers like this are routinely denied stalls because THEY DO NOT EARN!. The rest of the article is spot on.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

it still is less risk than the stock market on wall street for "entertainment" value

 

i remember forty years ago jockeys were taken from YONKERs RACEway in a big scam and i cannot think this sport will ever be "clean" even forty year in the future from now - period

 

the only reason it exists is that people have to actually want to participate so who really cares that these various agendas are being pursued among the players, some who are legitimate can go and file lawsuits against the others

 

if gamblers want to gamble - so what ?

jockeylydon
jockeylydon

I work at Calder. Your words are giving an impression that is way off course. Your hurting a great business by giving the impression of so many ugly over exaggerated truths. Your missing the very truth of the amount of drugs found positive on horses, is the amount you can fit on the tip of a needle. NOBODY shares that part in their story. It is true that the "SO CALLED DRUGS" are the same as Advil. It is unfair for theses horses that are incredible athletes that love to run, will be getting their bute taken away.  There has been a legal amount which is the same amount as you taking two aspirins. The projection of it being the reason it breaks horses down is NUTS. Therefore, this out of control, over exaggerated rumor of drugs are going to take away the very little thing that does make them feel a little bit more comfortable. Advil doesn't make me win a game but it does help me to feel better. That is COMMON SENSE. I am a athlete and every once in a while before I ride, I need Advil. The break down are more so due out of the LACK OF Horseman that get the license to train such an amazing animal and the do not do the right thing by them. There are many trainers that complain to get those type of people off the grounds. Sadly, your story leaves out the majority of people in our business that LOVE them and bring out the best in them. Sadly, you pick on a man who DOES fed his horses great and bed them very well as he has serious personal issues. I, like SO MANY, in our industry care for horses by fueling them with proper care and compassion. Story like yours and so many more like you, are going to kill horses due to closing tracks down with falsely projecting such a negative industry and theses horses will have no where to go but slaughter houses. Who is the killer now? AND SHAME ON OBAMA for bring back horse slaughter in our Country. It just breaks my heart he didn't come up with a plan to stop horses from being transported over the boarders to Canada or Mexico. Many more options but Validating killing them here is sick. Shame on any KILL shelters for animals. But, that is a different story I can go off on.

Being a insider, I am disappointed in your story leaving out anything good that you and other reporters, obviously do not care about.

RichRoma
RichRoma

After re-reading the article again, I feel the need to clarify one other item:  

 

"Yet a New Times investigation shows Calder officials knew for five years about Ziadie's record of positive drug tests but did nothing. Interviews with former Calder employees and horsemen also suggest the course cared more about keeping mum and making money than protecting horses and jockeys."

 

If you read that paragraph and couple that with the line above it regarding the bookmaker's choice, you may incorrectly assume that ANY horse track has a vested stake in the outcome of a race. The way the pari-mutuel system works (and how tracks derive their income) is a % taken facilitating the exchange between two gamblers. As an example, if  I bet $5 on the 5 and Mr. Miller bets $10 on the 6, if the 6 wins the race, Mr. Miller gets my money. Conversely, if the 5 beats the the 6, I win Mr, Miller's money. That is how the odds are figured. More money=lower odds BECAUSE there will be more winners. With that said, and using this example, the track takes $.20 of each dollar that I AND Mr. Miller bet and pool the rest back into the 'pool'. So quite literally, the track wants you to WIN. Why? Well, it is exponentially more likely that if you win, you will bet again. And when you do, win or lose, the track gets $.20 on each dollar you bet...win OR lose. Just wanted to clear that up for anything who may have extrapolated incorrectly.

RichRoma
RichRoma

Some points of clarification: First, there are no bookmakers legally operating in the United States and taking bets on horse races. The system used is pari-mutuel wagering where the odds are determined based on the dollars wagers by the fans.  Next, when Raisinaboveonly and Carlos Camilo ran and was supposedly 'plugged in' (industry term for a jockey carrying a battery): 1. It took place at Gulfstream Park....not at Calder as insinuated 2. The horse was 168-1 in the race and had not finished better than 5th in over 2 years, with the large majoirty of those races being significantly 'easier' than the race in question. Based on the above facts, it's taints the entire article (for me anyway). Upon further research, trainer Rene Wagner has NEVER, again NEVER won a pari-mutuel horse race in North America. Record stands at 0 for 46 with 1 second, 1 third and career earnings of $16,545. So I think the facts safely illustrate that the Wagner portion of the story and everything involved in it is simply unfair and sour grapes from those involved. My sympathies to them all.... With respect to the Kirk Ziadie portion of the story, I have no objections. The facts listed seem to be accurate and journalistic freedoms being what they are, I cannot gripe about that. My other point of contention stems from the insinuation that the HBPA 'bizarrely claims that drug ban would be dangerous.' I think it rather presumptous that the author took the liberty to use the word 'bizarre' without substantiating why he felt the comment to be bizarre and what frame of reference he had for making such a statement. It did not strike me as objective nor based in fact. I can summarize my thoughts on the article by saying that it was written by someone who clearly does not have a strong handle on the horse racing industry and insinuations were made by the author that are either factually incorrect (as illustrated with Wagner) or without the proper frame of reference established for making the statements. That is to say, if we were in court, the author could not be called to give 'expert testimony' and thus, could not assert many of the insinuations and facts as they are listed here.

wrobriordan
wrobriordan

"Corporate Greed" is destroying what is good in everything we know as human. All government will be brought to it's knees once again for this neglect to human life. In its simplest form of demise, it eats at every core value that we are instilled with from little innocent kids. Honesty, compassion, are a few on the list of good, but are thrown out the window when we graduate into the real world of staying ahead. Devious, ruthless, become the everyday way of life. We work hard at our education, and are rewarded by the hand that will take all mankind to an end. It is sad, but is the truth!!! 

farstar
farstar

This piece is wrapped in a lot of irresponsible innuendo. For instance not all longshots are drugged and not all favorites that lose is due to criminal intent. Focus your message on nailing the cheaters and the abusers and be sure to recognize the presence in all professional sport and gaming operations. You need to be a horseman to write accurately about the sport or have someone edit your work that is. I suppose Joe Namath was on steriods when Jets beat Colts. Very poor article!!    

dennis.fisher
dennis.fisher

Come on wagering public horseman/tax payers and American/International simulcast audience etc John Marshall has to be the biggest liar of all times, he knows everything of owner/trainer Dennis Fisher/Rene Wagner/Gabriel Myatt/Gina Sivestlvestry lawsuits and manipulation events even to the 200 lawsuits filed against Churchill Downs (CDI) and their associated companies racetracks by disgruntled horseman and wagering public etc. But the catch 22 to the Steve Cross white collar crimes it was secretly well supported by certain unnamed high authorized co -conspirators namely Thomas Meeker/Robert Evans the late Sir Graham Beck (deceased July 2010) known as the mastermind to the late Bobby Umphrey Ken Dunn/Antony Beck to Frank Stronach -Joseph De Francis - Kenny Noe - Jeffery Noe and other Churchill Downs shareholders and executives. How do they Churchill Downs executives ad certain shareholders explain about their former Vice President  Roy Schneider and the Chairman of CDI namely Carl Pollard and certain unnamed co-conspirators of CDI Kentucky Derby ticket scandal meaning money laundering etc or deliberate theft of moneys from the CHDN Nasdaq company, to the eye opener of all time the housing and employment of illegal aliens on and around their private property racetracks like Calder Racetrack as only one example, note certain executives and certain shareholders/management like John Marshall - Austin Miller - to questionable security officer Steve Diamond/Kent Sterling/Tim Ritvo/Sammy Gordon and obviously the questionable CDI/- Calder/ Gulfstream Park - MID Group former mickey Mouse Steward Jeffery Noe who was part and parcel of the king of the Calder faggots David Brownlee the organizer of the Calder swinger parties etc. bear in mind the list that goes on and on etc who undoubtedly have supplied all these illegal aliens for over 30 years with false social security numbers which has allowed for CDI/MID Group's State Department puppets to State register these illegal aliens which allowed the above CDI/MID Group hierarchy to supply these illegal aliens used as cheap labor with false identification cards or badges so that they can cash weekly wages earned on and around CDI/MID Group's private property racetracks etc. obviously a major eye opener and mind blower to their private property banking system and INS/IRS conniving schemes which by any Court of Law is as a criminal offence to the 10th degree    

dennis.fisher
dennis.fisher

Wake up horse racing fans and enthusiast, the Elite Breeders/owners led by the late Sir Graham Beck (deceased July 2010) Gainesway Farm /Thomas Meeker - Antony Beck - Joseph De Francis - Frank Stronach - Robert Evans etc known as the Horse racing rat pack are to blame for the destruction of the Thoroughbred horse racing industry meaning the fixing of races which enables them the Rat Pack to secretly attain personal tax free financial wealth from their private property racetracks, which allows them as self Governing Masonic bodies to drug horses with their schedule 7 horse racing cocktail drugs. In other words there is more going on than what the human eye of the trustworthy wagering public and tax payers can see or their intellect can understand.  Come on lets face the facts to why are there so many race horses breaking down at daily race meetings via American race tracks, which have to be euthanize or retired etc. Simply because of the illegal use of the degrading horse cocktails named as M99 etc - Morphine nicknamed Elephant Juice - Snake Venom - Dermorphin nicknamed Frog Juice etc, which has spread through out the world of horse racing, remember the champion horse named George Washington trained by the Englishman, who broke down in the Breeders Cup run at Churchill Downs simply loaded with elephant Juice and sublimaze - not forgetting Eight Bells in the Kentucky Derby how she broke both her front legs after the races and recently winners like I'll have Another and even Union Rags winner of the Breeders Cup etc that had to be retired recently because of distressful breakdowns of the secret use of horse cocktails like Dermorphin (frogs juice) -M99 (Morphine) nicknamed Elephant Juice - Snake Venom etc. The above scheduled 7 illegal drugs undoubtedly numbs the horses brains and releases all pain etc - which then creates horse to be as junkies who run their hearts out until they break down in many different ways or mannerisms. Is it a coincidence or fact that certain quarter horse and Thoroughbred  trainers in Louisiana have been caught in 2012 for the use of the illegal drug called Frog Juice   - Dermorphin, remeber that the above drug Frog Juice is about +- 20 years old, like Elephant Juice which is 30 years old which has been cleverly yet secretly used by the Elite Breeders/ owners of Kentucky - California - New York to Florida etc on their horses via their hand picked trainers meaning former quarter horse trainers and their assistants now converted to Thoroughbred trainers and certain of the Beck's/Thomas Meeker/De Francis- Stronach pay role vets which has been for over 30 years 

Unknown or unrealized the above Elite Breeders and certain owners horse cocktails are used way before horses are due to race (30 days or so) which is then supported by the use of sublimaze (fentinal) 30 minutes before a race. A typical case of miss management by Todd Pletcher and his questionable vets was the case with Life at Ten in the Breeders Cup in 2010. But notice the blame  for the failure of Life at Ten was placed onto honorable Kentucky State Steward and Hall of Fame Trainer John Veitch,  what a joke! Recall John Veitch was fired by Churchill Downs Inc who operate like MID Group as self Governing Masonic bodies (Government unto themselves) meaning over the Kentucky States etc  

Please refer to conspired corruption.wordpress.com for more facts of horse racing being fixed!   

305carolann
305carolann

Horse racing is one step up from Greyhound racing - both are fucking sickening... nothing like watching a horse being euthanized right on the track...

Shell Cribbs
Shell Cribbs

No i moved out of miami and left the hater behind. Lol. Its just so sad that NO good news ever comes from there. Only shady business in sunny south Florida.

Mark
Mark

This story contains truths and half truths but is primarily off the mark. The "Cross scandal' has nothing to do with racing. The so called widespread drugging of horses does not take place. Drug dealing occurs at many places and a great bet is that its occurred and is still ongoing at the New Times. Im not a fan of this disgusting paper. They like to investiagte people and never know the real truth. I've seen this on several occasions!!!!! PS Horses are strong yet very fragile and their form does not hold well which is why favored horses lose 66% of the time-not because of a fix.The last three major sports champions were ALL underdogs.The 2011 St.Louis Cardinals, the 2012 NY Giants and the 2012 Miami Heat. All underdogs yet still won. Are those sports cheating too?

Shell Cribbs
Shell Cribbs

Cheaters in south Florida? Nooooo can't be!!!!! Not Florida! ! :-/

dennis.fisher
dennis.fisher

Great article, finally the truth comes out - that John Marshall is an absolute liar from the pit of hell

renewagner
renewagner

 @Thegospeltruth The 3 people mentioned and others have worked hard at saving the lives of the horses and jockey's that can be seriously hurt by the abuse of some of these trainers/owners/breeders that are "needle happy" - the reason why you can find all this info on the internet is because it is put there by these 3 people, in order to educate the ignorant public, such as yourself - here go to the website created www.conspiredcorruption.wordpress.com, but if that isn't enough information for you here is some more form other journalist: Louisiana HBPA (horsemen association in Louisiana) the directors plead guilty to not only stealing $25 million of the horsemen's money that they had settled for in a lawsuit, in which they where supposed to get $95 million but also used social security numbers of members in regard to mail fraud - http://www.wwltv.com/news/Defendant-in-horsemens-scandal-expected-pleads-guilty--112318079.html and http://conspiredcorruption.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/investigation-1-19-2010-louisianna-2.pdf 

Now is you feel that we are still paranoid why don't you go tell that to Senator John D. Rockefeller at the Senate Hearing in Washington D.C on July 12,2012 who said,"Unfortunately, the inappropriate use of otherwise therapeutic medication in racehorses has long been a problem that has plagued the sport.  Medication such as phenylbuterol or “bute” can legitimately help in the healing process of an ailing horse.  But when bute is used to mask pain on an unsound horse so that he or she can race on the track, the drug becomes an abusive practice that puts the life of the horse and jockey at risk.  Other drugs, such as cobra venom or demorphine, which is a powerful painkiller recently discovered in over 30 horses in 4 different states and is found on the skin of South American tree frogs, have absolutely no therapeutic value and are used purely to cheat.  Any trainer caught using these types of cruel drugs should be banned from the sport."  - I will take it one step further, these people who are using these drugs for personal wealth should go to jail - maybe you need to get paranoid Thegospeltruth - but here is some more if the info provided hasn't clearly proven the point http://conspiredcorruption.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/possible-ticket-scandal.pd - Rita Grundwell a breeder stole $30 million from her home town, they had to close public schools because of her Corporate Greed, White Collar Crimes and State Crimes - now that's the gospel truth!!!!!

renewagner
renewagner

 @DirtyYellowVisor Why is everyone such a bunch of cowards on this website - looks like Fisher's so called conspiracy theories weren't to wrong after all, hey Dirty - maybe if you had a set of balls like the people mentioned in this story, who are still going thru what fisher and his family experienced, then maybe you wouldn't feel the need to be such a coward, Like Humphrey's wasn't a drug addict? Stoney McLaughlin wasn't such a crooked pig, like Cruz doesn't fix races and ride with a buzzer, O, wait I guess Enron never happened either - or Madoff is just a ghost - wait , wait, wait Rita Crundwell a breeder didn't she allegedly steal $30 million - your name shouldn't be Dirtyyellow, it should be YELLOW BELLY, like the rest of the horsemen who have turned a blind eye to the corruption and want to then give a big long speech about how they love their horses, yeah love them as long as you can stick a nail into them, drug them up and for them to bring home a check.. You can write your cheap little pathetic coward statement, dupe - but the facts are loud and clear - I guess you never listened to that hearing before the Senate at Washington D. C., I guess now they must also be a bunch of conspiracy theorist.....lol - you must be so soar :) and tormented to write something so pathetic.....lol

Disillusioned
Disillusioned

 @MoseswiththeTabloids You are part and parcel of the problem with horse racing - finally a journalist comes out with the truth and you nit pick on bull shit, why don't you rather comment on the number of times Zaidie got caught and that the officials turned a blind eye or the millions Zaidie got away with - it is more than just bute that these guys are being caught for, it has just not come out properly yet - but it started at the Senate hearing in Washington. These guys like Zaidie,Baffet, Lukas, Pletcher, elite breeders and owners etc are using "M99", "Elephant jucice" - in regards to Wagner and Fisher - Wagner in 2007got a letter from Gov Charlie Crist about how they are going to open and re-open up a multi- State MASONIC investigation into horse racing and its masonic ties- so no Wagner or Fisher would never like to be a Phepps or Lukas those drug abusing, drug pumping, stealing from the horsemen and public alike trainers - Fisher and Wagner where persecuted  a long time out for opening and exposing the drug abuse, and illegal wagering and not to mention giving illegal aliens false social security numbers - OMW,  not to mention Wagner and her 10 horses she personally owned where placed on the Stewards list since 2010, and while being 7 months pregnant was assaulted by Shorty the pony women and Calder guess what, turned a blind eye( guess what Calder and CDI set this up and used her as a lacky) - John Marshall personally told Wagner after she took her groom who Steve Diamond used as a snitch for a drug bust @ Calder that "if you are lying you will never race at Calder again." (Lying about Steve Diamond using her groom as a snitch for a drug bust ) O, wait a minute Steve Diamond tried that with Myatt as well Wagner and Fisher having been exposing this for years and now it has come to light - So why don't you take your blinkers off Moses - you seem to be like the Moses in the bible who led the people the wrong way for 40 years!!!! - Here Moses use this as a tabloid - http://conspiredcorruption.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/copy-of-rw-letter-from-state.pdf @ www.conspiredcorruption.wordpress.com - 

Michael.Miller
Michael.Miller

 @farstar Nowhere does the article claim that all long-shots are cheaters. Ziadie's record speaks for itself. If you read the article, you would know about his 41 drug violations, nearly all of them within a five year period. You would also know about Calder's internal investigation into Ziadie, in which one of the trainer's own employees brought forward syringes of performance enhancing chemicals that Ziadie had allegedly ordered injected into the horses. Read the story before you write it off.

dennis.fisher
dennis.fisher

 @Mark Come on Mark you are allowed your opinion about the newspaper, but at least they are not like the other news media's or television broadcasting stations that are on the pay role of Churchill Downs Inc and their co-conspiartors MID (Magna) Group and certain Government Departments who are merely yes sir no sir because of vested interest the part of drugging horses Mark you are very wrong is happening 24x7   

Bebep
Bebep

Well at least you cleared absolutely nothing up.

Thegospeltruth
Thegospeltruth

 @renewagner

 I've got no use for Calder or its management, but you three are paranoid kooks which you basically admitted when you identified yourself as that 3rd missing paranoid person.  You love to ramble on in your responses and make little sense.  What does the LA HBPA have to do with this article and your clueless responses?  John D Rockefeller did not Chair the recent Senate hearing, Senator Udall did.  Other than Udall only 2 other Senators showed up of the 30 plus Senators on the Commerce committee, and then each for only a few minutes.  I never heard of "phenylbuterol" although I do know phenylbutazone is known as bute and can't mask pain so a lame horse could race. You actually are correct about dermorphin, and then you go off on a  tangent about some breeder somewhere stealing $30,000,000 from her home town.  Do you actually ever read what you write? 

DirtyYellowVisor
DirtyYellowVisor

I didn't know they had internet access at the homeless shelter

dennis.fisher
dennis.fisher

 @FUCKYOU identify yourself half breed! That's easy to say, you Calder goon! Can't handle the truth - that must my be your last name. Is this Niki Hattingh the illegal alien that CDI and Calder gave a false social security number to...hahaha - you obviously have something to hide...lol

renewagner
renewagner

 @Thegospeltruth O, your one of those self - righteous assholes, everyone speaks shit and is no good, but you and your mouth piece - good luck to you Ostrich with it's head stuck in the sand, let's see who wins in the end....hahahaha - you admit to not even knowing  about phenylbuterol, then your not a horsemen and a waste of time, but you are a lucifierian - you know like Lucifer in the gospel

Thegospeltruth
Thegospeltruth

 @renewagner  @Thegospeltruth

 Then I take delight in making you sick!  Barry Irwin is a loud-mouth buffoon, sort of like you and your friends, Witman said nothing of any interest and wasted time speaking.  As for Sheila Lyons, she is one of the biggest phonies I have ever seen, and would fit right in with  your gang!   I listened to your boyfriend rant on that website he mentioned until I was sick.  You guys are all looney-tunes and truly deserve one another!

renewagner
renewagner

 @Thegospeltruth I''m not embarrassed to let people know what I stand for, that is why my name is out there. The reason why I mentioned LAHBPA, Rita Grundwell and so forth is to show there is a problem all over America, if your not offended at $55 million of horsemen money (in just these two instances)  being spent on lavished holidays, parties and retirement plans for these people who stole this money, and if your not offended that public schools had to be closed because they couldn't afford to keep them open, if your not offended that the money stolen has affected the lives of those children, who are now in a lower education level because of this theft. Then you need to go to hospital and get a heart, this time try not to order a black one.

 

Udall read Rockefeller's Statement on his behalf - so what's your point - did you hear or even download the statements from Barry Irwin, Sheila Lyons, Witman. With this journalist who mentions about Lyons and websites going up all over the place starting to take action to clean up horse racing, it's a huge step, the only unfortunate part is that when they really start pricking and probing they are going to find more and more corruption, and that is what is going to be the hard part to clean up.

 

So if your not offended and going off on a tangent, then maybe it's because you have never had the unfortunate experience of having to watch a horse starve to death because he has broken down and is no longer earning a wage check or watching a horse go threw withdrawal symptoms because of the amounts of drugs pumped into him over a period of time, that his body learned to depend upon but is not longer receiving  - well then how lucky for you. But if this isn't the reason, then you should be ashamed of yourself - now that's going off on a tangent, the other stuff was just gravy. And yes, I read what I write, but what makes me sick is what you write!

renewagner
renewagner

 @thegospeltruth My name is mentioned in the article, so I don't think anyone was wondering, you Calder goons really need to do a little bit better than this!

renewagner
renewagner

 @DirtyYellowVisor spoken like a real coward! But see how wrong you are, you can't even get this right....soar tormented yellow belly....lol, hahahaha - I wonder how it feels to be wrong

 
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