Charters Comments On Cobalt Report
Published: January 9, 2015 9:30 pm ET
Last Comment: January 11, 2015 9:37 pm ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
Tom Charters, president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, which owns and administrates the Breeders Crown races, issued a statement on Friday evening regarding test results that indicated two horses that raced in the 2014 championships had elevated cobalt levels.
This afternoon, the Meadowlands Racetrack announced that out-of-competition testing from a Hong Kong lab performed on the 2014 Breeders Crown starters revealed that the two horses owned by Richard Berthiaume and trained by Corey Johnson, Traceur Hanover (Two-Year-Old Colt Pace winner) and Voelz Hanover (ninth in the Older Mares Pace), contained five times the threshold level of cobalt typically found in a horse’s system.
"It is an abiding principle of the Hambletonian Society that, in order to provide fairness for all participants and the wagering public, all the races which it owns or services for its clients will be strictly raced under the conditions of the race, as well as the rules of the State Racing Commission, as is stated in those conditions," said Charters in his statement. "The Society is strongly opposed to abuse of any prohibited substance in racing of any kind, as determined by science."
Charters' statement responded to a report published in Harness Racing Update on the issue.
"Mr. Finley's report in Harness Racing Update that I “don't take the issue seriously” is untrue," said Charters. "Given the Society's record and strong position on integrity, any statement by the Society on this particular instance is premature, a primary point which Mr. Finley elected to omit. I also said without qualification that I admire Jeff Gural's attempts to enforce integrity in racing.
"We understand and also feel the frustration of the industry and fans, given how long it has taken to reach a consensus among the regulatory scientists in establishing an effective cobalt threshold that is prosecutable, and will continue to work diligently toward that goal to protect the integrity of the sport," said Charters.