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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On Barry Irwin

Just a quick comment here on Barry Irwin's televised comments in the immediate aftermath of the Derby to the effect that he hired Graham Motion because he was tired of trainers lying to him; a comment that has drawn criticism from some in the press and blogosphere, and from trainers themselves. I wasn't particularly surprised to hear Irwin say that; in fact I was rather amused. He's long been a colorful guy who says exactly what's on his mind. And, as Bill Finley relates in his column today, he has no tolerance for those who dishonor the game by not playing by the rules. Whatsmore, he's a strong-willed and a strongly opinionated owner, and not the only one, I'm sure, in this highly subjective game, who might equivocate an honest difference of opinion with his trainer as a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. Same as an investor who might have similar sentiments about his stock broker. And, as Pletcher said, sometimes people say things in the heat of a momentous occasion that they might not totally mean. (Not to say that he definitely didn't!)

So, I wouldn't be too harsh on the guy. The sport could do far worse than for him to be in the spotlight for the next five weeks. And as far as the trainers who, as reported by David Grening in the Form, were disgusted by Irwin’s nationally televised remarks, unfortunately, they, as a group (emphasized here because surely some among the complainers cited may have a clean record), don't really have much to say on the matter. After all, as Joe Drape has repeatedly pointed out, Graham Motion is one of only two trainers in the top 20 earnings list without a drug violation. And using banned medications is kinda like lying, isn't it?


Kate Hunter said...

Who is the other trainer on the top 20 with no drug violation?

Mary P. said...

What does the fan have to interpret? We don't know for sure and this leads to speculation.

Anonymous said...

i believe it's christophe clement

Teresa said...

By "banned medications," do you mean medications that are illegal, or violations of legal meds too close to race day or exceeding permissible amounts, or both?

I wouldn't characterize overages of legal meds, especially in small amounts, as "lying."

Thoroughbred Ed said...

Teresa - I wouldn't characterize overages of legal meds, especially in small amounts
Not sure I would call it telling the truth.

As Bill Finely wrote (see link in the blog) " Whether it's drugging horses, duping gullible owners at the sales or trainers lying to owners, the sport as a whole has too long looked the other way, accepting the unacceptable". Thus, accepting that small amounts of legal drugs is not lying would be continuing the policy of "accepting the unacceptable".