Probe into thoroughbred deaths under wraps
The findings of an investigation into thoroughbred fatalities at the Aqueduct Racetrack earlier in the year has been kept under wraps for more than a week by the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety was created in late March at the behest of Cuomo to investigate the deaths of 20 horses during the winter meet on Aqueduct's inner track. The four-member task force consisted of retired jockey Jerry Bailey, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Chairman and CEO Alan Foreman, New Jersey Equine Clinic hospital director Dr. Scott Palmer and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission medical director Dr. Mary Scollay.
Three people familiar with the report, who didn't want to be identified, said officials in the Cuomo administration were briefed on the task force's findings and received the report last week. None of them knew when the report was going to be released publicly.
Two spokesmen for Cuomo did not respond to multiple questions about the release of the report.
The report had originally been scheduled to be released the week of the Travers, but was delayed, most likely to not draw away attention from the race.
This report isn't the only thing in limbo, as the fate of the New York Racing Association is still formally up in the air. Cuomo has yet to sign legislation that would allow the state to take over the scandal-plagued NYRA board. It is assumed, though, that he will sign the legislation, which was drafted at his behest.
Besides reviewing the physical condition of Aqueduct's inner track, the task force was told to look into policies on public disclosure, necropsies, track conditions and the pre-race examination of horses. The task force also examined claiming procedures, veterinary procedures and equine drug use.
According to the release from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board that announced the task force, its report and recommendations will be delivered to NYRA, the racing board and the public.
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