- Eric Ledford’s attorney is preparing to bring his client’s case to a court of law after his appeal to the NJ Racing Commission was denied.
"My biggest problem," said [Howard] Taylor, "are the race-fixing charges. Race-fixing to the general public and to me is drivers colluding to determine the outcome by some drivers deliberately not trying to win. In Eric's case (which was about the possible use of the drug Aranesp, which was found at Ledford's stable), this is not race-fixing in any way.” [NY Daily News]I don’t think I have to elaborate on how idiotic that comment is. Call it race-fixing or whatever, pumping horses will prohibited medications to enhance their performance is cheating, period. Taylor should stick to the fact that the evidence in the case is purely circumstantial, and that there is nothing that directly ties Ledford to the drugs found at his father’s stable. (Nothing but repeated, inexplicable form reversals, that is.) Taylor is a harness horse owner, and said that the fact that the charges have been so widely publicized is “what really kills the sport." Then he adds:
"People have been asking me if Eric is going to go to jail. And I say to them: 'Jail? I think that he'll be back driving in two weeks.'"I’d think that anyone who really cared about the sport would be aghast to see Ledford back on the track before we know for sure that it's all a big misunderstanding and that he wasn’t involved. The sight of somebody under such a cloud of suspicion, as circumstantial as the evidence may be at this point, participating in an event that the public wagers on is what really kills the sport.
- First Samurai has been diagnosed with broken ribs, apparently suffered when he hit the starting gate in the Blue Grass.
- Jay Cronley of ESPN.com. on the perfect betting race:
Lots of handicappers love big fields, the point being, the more horses in the race, the larger the payoffs are apt to be. But my idea of the perfect horse race is a five-horse field at Blue Ribbon Downs where the odds-on chalk can't win and two others could use a long rest.- Bruce Gumer and Ronald Michelson pleaded guilty to charges of illegally scalping four tickets for the Derby; of that, there’s no question. But they claim that they had no intention whatsoever of doing anything illegal with the other 419 tickets that were confiscated by police, and they are suing to get them back. "He was going to dispose of these tickets in a lawful way," Gumer's attorney, Scott C. Cox, said after a court hearing Thursday. [Courier-Journal] I guess they were going to perform a public service by selling them at face value; Gumer says that they were purchased "for customers" of his jewelry store. Of course, they could have gone to Indiana, where ticket scalping is perfectly legal. A district judge will decide today whether they’ll have the chance to do so.