Items

Forums
Horse Racing Scandals and Cheats
 By Winniefield Park   •   8th Jul 2018   •   433 views   •   0 comments


The newest triple crown winner may have been aided by a block. The newest Triple Crown winner may have taken his lead thanks to another horse, a long shot, Restoring Hope, swerving and then pinning another horse to the rail, keeping other contenders away from Justify. But, although the controversy lingers, officials are satisfied with that race. And, there have been lots of larger scandals in the horse racing world.

Doping is perhaps the best known method that causes scandals. And, every race day, there are accusations of bumping, jostling, weaving and blocking that change the outcome of races. But, there are a few big scandals, where cheaters prosper by millions, if only briefly, and investigations take months to sort out.



Fine Cotton
Many horses, especially Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds look almost identical. This makes it tempting for cheaters to switch out one horse for another. Add in a little hair dye and a criminal desperate to make some money and you’ve got all the elements necessary for a ringer or ring-in. One of the more famous switcheroo ringer stories involves an Australian horse named Fine Cotton. At stake were millions of dollars.

Fine Cotton, a brown TB born in 1976, was not an outstanding racehorse. Before the switch took place, Fine Cotton ran 10th in a field of 12. In his next race, with amazing odds starting at 33-1, Fine Cotton won the race. But, the horse was disqualified as officials, seeing what appeared to be a miraculous improvement in the horse’s performance, discovered that Fine Cotton had been switched with a much better race horse, Bold Personality. The dye used to disguise the horse also began to run, revealing the markings of Bold Personality.

Dr. Mark Gerard
Dr. Mark Gerard was a prominent veterinarian with a clientele that included Secretariat and Kelso. But unfortunately, Gerard is also known for a scandal involving two horses; Lebon and Cinzano. During a trip to South America, Gerard bought two colts, almost identical in coloration. Cinzano was Uruguay's’ Horse of the Year. Lebon however, did not show the same promise. Gerard sold both horses, but continued as their trainer and they were kept on his farm.

In 1977, Gerard claimed that the champion Cinzano had fractured his skull, and he was euthanized. The insurance money was collected. And, Lebon was later entered in a race, and ran with 57-1 odds. Gerard pocketed a large amount of cash when the horse won. And that alerted officials that something was amiss. A reporter from South America recognized the horse in a photo, and was revealed that the horse that ran the race was actually Cinzano, and not Lebon. Gerard spent jail time for the fraud. Cinzano however, went on to distinguish himself as a point-to-point champion with undefeated starts over 10 races.

2002 Breeders’ Cup
The 2002 Breeder’s Cup was run for the first time at Chicago’s Arlington Racetrack. But it wasn’t this ‘first’ that made this particular race different. After a longshot with 43-1 odds won the Breeders’ Cup Classic race, officials discovered that three men had manipulated the betting, netting them each about $1M. A computer programmer and two friends hacked the system so they could print unclaimed tickets. But, knowing they’d eventually be discovered, the programmer who worked at the track, conspired to go for one big win. Had a better horse won the race, they might never have been found out. But, the enormous amount of money paid to one person alerted officials to a possible scam. The upside is that the fraud prompted tracks everywhere to make their betting systems more secure. The three men all received jail time and their winnings were split amongst the rightful bettors.

Steve Asmussen
Anyone with even a casual interest in horse racing probably recognizes the name Steve Asmussen. Asmussen is a trainer with an impressive string of credentials including winning the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer twice and being inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. But many of us remember Asmussen being accused of cruelty by PETA. Their accusations included non-therapeutic drugging and using an electrical instrument to make a horse run faster. PETA posted a nine minute video supposedly exposing the trainers shockingly cruel methods. But, it was found during the investigations that PETA had edited the video footage to make things look much worse than they were. Of the fourteen complaints lodged against Asussen, only 4 minor infractions were found. All other cruelty complaints were dismissed.

Shergar
Shergar was foaled in 1978 and after an impressive string of wins over a two year career, was retired to stud as a four-year-old. After one year of standing at stud, Shergar’s groom, who lived near the stable with his family, answered a knock at the door. What appeared to be a police officer entered, but the man was wearing a balaclava. Three men more entered and held the family at gunpoint. The groom was taken outside and forced to load the stallion on a trailer. He was taken in a car, but later pushed out onto the roadside. Thanks to bungling by the real police and the timing of the theft with a major horse sale that ensured the roads were full of horse trailers, Shergar was never recovered. It’s speculated that the Irish Republican Army was responsible for the theft. The motive was to collect a ransom, but it’s likely the kidnappers could not handle the stallion and some think he was shot within hours of being stolen. The scandal was later made into a Hollywood movie, and a race has been named in his honor.
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Triple Crown,
Horse News More In This Category:  Shows and Events      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 Related Horse News
Was the Greatest Racehorse a Gelding
8th Feb 2010   |   Shows and Events   |   mosquito
Since we recently had a story about Man O’War, I thought this month’s biography should take at look at what may have been his greatest descendant – his great grandson Kelso. Born in 1957, Kelso didn’t have the looks of his great ...
The Coveted Triple Crown
4th Feb 2011   |   Shows and Events   |   Chris Antley Memorial
Winning the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing is considered the greatest accomplishment of a Thoroughbred racehorse. The Triple Crown consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. One might think th ...
Triple Crown Hopeful American Pharoah Name Registration Issue
27th May 2015   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Did you realize that American Pharoah’s name is misspelled? My spellcheck picked it up right away! The Thoroughbred’s breeder, Zayat Stable held a contest to name their two-year-olds. And, the woman who submitted the winning name ...
Horse Racing Scandals and Cheats
8th Jul 2018   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
The newest triple crown winner may have been aided by a block. The newest Triple Crown winner may have taken his lead thanks to another horse, a long shot, Restoring Hope, swerving and then pinning another horse to the rail, keepi ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Winniefield Park
Horse Side Vet Guide App
16th Jul 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Horse Side Vet Guide was created so that you’d have important information at your fingertips no matter where you are - whether you have cell signal or wifi or not. Much of the content, concerning situations that are most likely to ...
The Columbus Mounted Police Unit
14th Jul 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
If you’ve ever wondered how mounted police units desensitize their horses to working around crowds in stressful situations, the Columbus Mounted Police unit provides a glimpse into their training process. ...
Horse Manure Turned Into Beer
13th Jul 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
At a meeting in Germany, scientists are looking for ways to monetize carbon dioxide emissions. And horse manure has been part of the discussion. Dried manure has been used as a fuel for centuries. And methane gas made from manure ...
Horse Health Tracker
6th Jul 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
There are many equine health apps out there and it’s hard to choose one that will suit your particular situation. Horse Health Tracker from the folks at Equine Guelph is an app for Android or iPhone that helps you keep records of ...
Tampa Bay Beach Horse Ride Mess
5th Jul 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Manure is also in the news along beaches in Florida. Horseback riders in the Tampa Bay area are being accused of fouling the water and destroying the natural beach habitat. Both private horse owners and tourist operations offering ...
Horse Farriers in Ethiopia
4th Jul 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Car tires, wood nails, knives and mallets. These are the tools used by farriers in Ethiopia for shoeing the horses and donkeys that are essential to their owners’ livelihoods. ...
Horse Band Member with Andrew Haung
30th Jun 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
Does your horse play the guitar, drums or flute? Andrew Haung might be interested in hearing it play. Haung is a musician and Youtube video producer who loves to find music in unexpected places. He is internet famous for his music ...
Equine Autism and Depression Therapy
23rd Jun 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Winniefield Park
With an awareness of what it takes to stay mentally health and recover from mental issues comes many, what seem like, novel approaches to treatments. One treatment is equine therapy designed to help those dealing with mental healt ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2019   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
408 Members Online 248,113 Registered Members 2,590 News Articles 10,894,521 Unique News Article Views 251,909,553 Website Views