Gural Joins WHOA in Support of Uniform Medication Legislation
Meadowlands owner Jeffrey R. Gural, a prominent owner and breeder of Standardbreds, has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) as a supporter of federal legislation to enforce new uniform medication standards in American horseracing. Gural said aggressive action to clean up the sport is the only way to combat the growing public perception that it is “drug-riddled”. Gural has hired private investigators to gather evidence against cheaters at the Meadowlands and two other tracks, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, owned by his American Racing and Entertainment Alliance.
Gural is the first prominent leader in the Standardbred industry and the second important racetrack owner to publicly state that federal legislation is needed to create a more uniform set of medication rules and enforce strict penalties for violators. Frank Stronach, a leading owner and breeder of Thoroughbreds whose Magna Entertainment Corp. owns six major race tracks including Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, and Pimlico, took a similar position last year. They are the first racetrack executives to publicly support the group of influential owners and breeders pushing for legislation mandating that the United States join the rest of the world’s major jurisdictions in banning all race day medication.
“The continued use of performance-enhancing drugs is dangerous to both our horses and human athletes,” Gural said. “Customers have lost confidence betting on horse racing because of the lack of integrity in regards to drug use, and the public views our sport as dirty. Members of our industry have refused change for too long. This step towards cleaning up the sport and restoring integrity must be taken if our sport is to survive.”
“At the three racetracks that I own, I have taken an unprecedented approach towards integrity to ensure the racing is clean and fair for both horsemen and, most importantly, our customers,” Gural said in a personal commentary to WHOA. “I hired a private investigator to protect the public and our vested interests in horse racing. Unfortunately, we have discovered that performance-enhancing drugs continue to be used and sold despite the efforts of the individual states to clean it up. They simply don’t have the financial resources that are necessary.”