Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Double Secret Probation

A great moment in comedy happens in the movie "Animal House", when the exasperated college dean, realizing he has come to the end of his options, puts a fraternity on double secret probation.

Jockey Rene Douglas must know how that feels. Charged with no rule violation, Douglas was "excluded" from riding at Calder last month for reasons unknown, although everyone implied that it had something to do with an ongoing investigation by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB). This exclusion was then "honored" by Tampa Bay Downs, and, subsequently, by Gulfstream Park.

Now Gulfstream has changed its stand. In an interesting choice of words, The Blood-Horse reports that Douglas is now "cleared to ride" at the Magna-owned track. Cleared? Not charged with anything, it's difficult to imagine how he could be cleared. Why not invent a new term, in the spirit of Animal House, to describe the situation more accurately? Let's just say Gulfstream un-honored Calder's exclusion.

With another seven jockeys on the equivalent of double secret probation for the past six weeks at Tampa, said "exclusions" also currently being honored by Gulfstream and, it's rumored, Turfway Park, we all have to wonder when, if ever, the TRPB will produce the goods.

And who will be responsible for the jocks' financial losses if this "jockey scandal" just turns out to be a bad joke?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one can understand why these jockey's aren't charged with something. GLD is getting ready to open and riders are badly needed at this bush, no money meet. The repercussions of ruling these jockeys off can go all the way down to how many horses are in a race. Something management doesn't want to hear.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tampa bay Downs, who started the jockeys suspensions should be taken for everything they are worth. Judice and Houghton have brought so much to that track over the years, Judice has won 4,000 races and Houghton will be one of the best American born jockeys to ever live when it is all said and done. Tampa has shown no respect what so ever to these guys who have brought them so much over the years. Whoever is responsible definetely should be fired and sued for millions.

4:46 PM  

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