(The colors of Barry Irwin’s Team Valor Stable / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Every so often, we will be addressing a few things: comments, decisions, people, whatever that – for one reason or another – should be tossed into the literary “muck pit.”
It is in the spirit of cleanliness, recycling, and protecting the environment that we offer this service of “addressing the muck” – free of charge. After all, someone has to do it, right?
And, it didn’t take long for us to find a few pounds of, well, manure.
Here is a look at our “22nd Edition”:
Just the other day, we wrote an edition of the “Muck Pit,” and we promised you the “Good; the Bad; and the Uglies.” Well, we ran out of both time and space and we didn’t finish up with “The Uglies.”
So today, we will give you are final dose:
The Last of the Uglies:
Did anyone read the “Commentary” in “The Paulick Report” penned by that noted and artistic fellow Barry Irwin? It is entitled: “Commentary — Horse Racing: We Gonna Have a Sport or Not?”
If you didn’t waste your time reading his garbage, I’ll say you a lot of time and effort. Here are a few jewels from this masterpiece:
“Sport is characterized by a challenging dichotomy that threatens its very existence as a viable enterprise worthy of both participation and widespread appreciation.”
What? The hell? Is that crap?
But let’s not linger. Because here comes the good part:
“Lovers of sport, both the players and the audience, want a sport that is conducted on a level playing field so that they can trust and believe in the results.
“Cheaters in sport lack the faith in their own skill set to think they can win on the up and up, so they seek an edge.
“Hence organizers of major sports implement guardrails to protect the honest athletes and the viability of the contests.”
OK. OK. OK. Here’s is where we have to step in. This is written, mind you, by a guy who owns a horse that was disqualified from a race at Keeneland, the most sacred of all alters, for a positive test result.
Not long ago, mind you. Just last April.
Last April, Talk Veuve to Me — owned by Team Valor International, Barry Irwin and others — was disqualified after winning an allowance race when a test came back positive for the prohibited anti-bleeder medication aminocaproic acid. A drug more commonly known as Amicar. A drug that has been strictly prohibited in Kentucky since — get this — 2012. It is a Class 4 drug that calls for a Class C penalty.
Barry Irwin’s horse was disqualified. For cheating. Moved from first to last. Purse money removed.
Kettle. Meet. Pot.
But, let’s look at the bright side.
I guess, Barry Irwin — a supporter of Water, Hay, Oats Alliance — can speak (and, in this case, write) with some validity about cheaters. After all, his horse was found to be one. A convicted one. A proven one. I guess he knows — first hand — when one loses the “…skill set to think they can win on the up and up, so they seek and edge.” He knows. His horse trainer — who is ultimately responsible for all that happens under his shed row and watch — did it. Knowingly? Not knowingly? Doesn’t matter. The horse tested positive. The horse was disqualified for cheating.
Yet, there is more from “Barry The Hypocrite:”
In writing to support the so-called “Horse Racing Integrity Act” that is currently being debated in the U.S. House of Represenatives, at the low Subcommittee level, Irwin writes:
“It behooves those who have worked so long and tirelessly, invested so much time and money and put their hearts and souls into legislation designed to bring enhanced integrity to our sport and to best ensure the well-being of its athletes to be aware of these wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing and to meet them head on in the light of day in order to expose them and their motives for what they are.”
Does Barry Irwin really have the guts to suggest that he is one of those people who have “…worked so long and tirelessly, invested so much time an money and put their hearts and souls into legislation designed to bring enhanced integrity to our sport…”
Trash bag. Where’s the trash bag?
An owner whose horse was disqualified less than a year ago for cheating? How does the “Water, Hay, Oats Alliance” even keep this guy in the mix? How do you allow him in your own ranks? Does credibility not mean a thing any more?
And, truthfully, how does Barry Irwin call out Churchill Downs, among others, as being one of the “…wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing…?”
The truth is very simple. The facts tell the story.
Fact: Barry Irwin hired Rodolphe Brisset to train some of his horses. The same young man who served as an assistant to the infamous Patrick Biancone. The same young man who served as an assistant at the same time that BianconeMbecame the focal point of an investigation by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority in 2007 when his barns at Keeneland were raided by investigators commissioned by the Kentucky Racing Stewards at the time.
Fact: Cobra venom, which is prohibited by state regulations from being on any licensed racetrack grounds, was found in a crystalline form in a refrigerator in Biancone’s barn during that raid. Do we need to remind anyone that snake venom is a neurotoxin that can mask pain when injected into a joint or nerve?
Fact: On Sept. 17, 2007, Dr. Rodney Stewart — Biancone’s veterinarian at the time — was suspended for 5 years by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.
Fact: On Oct. 4, 2007, Biancone was suspended by the KHRA after reaching a settlement with the regulatory body.
Fact: Brisset was the trainer of record when Talk Veuve to Me tested positive for a prohibited drug while racing at Keeneland.
Fact: Barry Irwin has the audacity to call out others.
Wolf. Meet. Sheep’s clothes.
Fact: Barry Irwin is a hypocrite.