(Maximum Security and rider Luis Saez after the 2019 Kentucky Derby / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Anybody else find it a little bit strange and hypocritical that Saudi Arabia racing stewards decide to hand down such a severe penalty to Hall of Fame Rider Mike Smith for allegedly over-using his whip with the courageous mare Midnight Bisou in the Saudi Cup, but those same chaps had no problem allowing Luis Saez to ride Maximum Security in the same race in the first place?

After all, Saez has more pending penalty days that any other rider in the world, and still has not served a single day of the suspension he was given for the crazy-dangerous ride he put on the disqualified Kentucky Derby winner a year ago?

Selective memory, double standard, or prejudicial enforcement?

I’ll go with the latter.

After all, Midnight Bisou is a female, right?

No big deal, really.

Not until Saez hurts someone for his reckless conduct on the back of a horse.

But it is interesting that California will honor the Saudi Arabian stewards decision, but will allow another rider — who was suspended a year ago for much, much, much worse and has yet to serve a single day — the privilege to continue to ride. With no threat of penalty.

Each racing jurisdiction and each racetrack retains the right to deny the privilege of a license. They can rule people off the grounds that they deem dangerous and unscrupulous. Maybe it is time that they do so. Like now.

Anybody else find it a little bit strange and hypocritical that PETA officials cry publicly about the use of a riding crop in a horse race, but those same cheap-shot artists have absolutely no problem funding and supporting animal shelters that kill dogs and cats?


No big deal, really.

After all, we live in a world of hypocrisy today. Right? Maybe we should all get some inflammatory signs made up, and pay some kids to stand out in front of those kill mills and let PETA know that their behavior is less than civilized.

Anybody else get a little sick to their stomach when you see trainer Patrick Biancone and his band of merry followers jumping and jogging to the winner’s circle after a major victory in a Kentucky Derby prep race?


This is the same guy that was found by Kentucky Racing Commission investigators to have cobra venom in his tack room at Keeneland just a few years back (2007, to be exact). This is the same guy who was banned — rightfully so — from getting a trainer’s license for years. This is the same guy who should have never, ever, ever been allowed to be around another racehorse in this country, or any other for that matter.


Biancone now has two horses — two — that may be headed to the sport’s greatest race of all time. He is preparing Sole Volante — recent winner of the Sam F. Davis Stakes — for the upcoming Tampa Bay Derby. His is also in charge of recent Fountain of Youth winner Ete Indien, who is reportedly headed to the G1 Florida Derby.

Anybody else concerned that both of these horses have suddenly gotten so much better?

Anybody else worried that this guy truly is not the poster child for the sport right now? And, should never be the poster child for any sport in the future?

Anybody else think this guy should be headed to the Kentucky Derby?

No big deal, really.

I’m sure all the Water Hay Oats Alliance peeps will take care of it. After all, WHOA is dedicated to getting rid of cobra venom right after they take care of that gosh-awful, therapeutic drug Lasix.

(Trainer Joe Sharp / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

Anybody else concerned that trainer Joe Sharp has now had three horses disqualified for positive drug tests at the Churchill Downs’ November meet, and a couple more at Fair Grounds this winter?

After all, when you get up to 5 positive test scores in the matter of a few months, it certainly seems more like a pattern of poor decisions or behavior than an accident, right?

Especially when one of those disqualified horses, Blackberry Wine, was on a roll toward to the trail leading to the Kentucky Derby.

May be time for the officials in both Louisiana and Kentucky to have a little chat and come up with a pattern of their own. One of penalties. One of restrictions. One for more oversight. One that demands compliance.

The man is young. Maybe with some guidance, he can learn that this is not the way to go. Maybe, he can learn that mistakes must be corrected and changers must be made. Maybe.

Let’s just hope that he is not a fledgling Patrick Biancone.

Anybody else wonder why Belinda Stronach has the nerve to kick Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer off the grounds and not allow him to train at Santa Anita, but stands and applauds the likes of Patrick Biancone?

How does she have the nerve — truly — to hand Biancone something that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred would call a “Hunk of Metal?”

No big deal, really.

Unless you want to have some modicum of respect built on consistency.

Anybody else ever wonder why the Commissioner of Major League Baseball says that cheating will not be tolerated in America’s pastime, and then doesn’t disqualify the Houston Astros and, perhaps, the Boston Red Sox for stealing signs, and, obviously, using that information to impact (if not change) the outcome of the game’s championship events?

No big deal, really.

All we’re talking about here is a “Hunk of Metal.”


Anybody else ever wonder how this same “Commissioner” cannot entertain — of stomach, for that matter — the idea of reinstating the greatest player in the history of the game or consider allowing him to join the game’s Hall of Fame (even though neither the prejudicial Dowd Report or the sleazy Ken Starr ever accused the man of betting “against” his own team), but will promote one of the game’s greatest admitted cheaters — A-Rod — in every segment of the sport?

You can’t swing a corked bat with a steroid-infused arm without hitting this guy these days.

No big deal, really.

Guess A-Rod married up better than Pete did.

Anybody else ever wonder how MLB can allow cheaters to cheat and win the game’s biggest event; how the NFL can allow cheaters to cheat and get to the game’s biggest event and nobody feels for the sports bettor that was cheated, too, or calls the game out for being crooked?

But, at the very same time, if a horse turns up with a positive drug test result in a claiming race at Suffolk Downs, then the world cries aloud that the sport of horse racing is fixed?

No big deal, SportsCenter. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the advertising dollars those sports spend with your network, or with the zillions that ESPN has paid for the rights to televise the “cheaters.” No way, right?

Yet, there is one thing we can all hope and pray for at this time of moral crisis in these other sport’s leagues.

Maybe there is still time for Congressman Andy Barr to include the MLB and NFL in his federal legislation. It’s painfully obvious that both of those sports need some federal supervision, as well, despite the presence of a “Commissioner.”

After all, horse racing — at the very least — has the guts to take away the “Hunk of Metal” from the cheaters.