“Significant Amount of Contraband” Found at Parx

Tuesday, during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Racing Commission, Tom Chuckas of the Dept. of Agriculture revealed that recent raids at Parx uncovered “a significant amount of contraband…dealing with medications, unlabeled, compounded or expired…needles and syringes and some other things.” Racing Commissioner Russell Jones told the Thoroughbred Daily News: “No names were given to us but I know they found a lot of (expletive)…a lot of evidence, syringes, whatever you call that stuff.”

Parx, like PA’s five other racetracks, is being propped up – to the tune of almost $250 million a year – by state taxpayers. That’s money that should be going to education, infrastructure, and the like. Meanwhile, 177 horses have died at Parx over the past four calendar years (’17-’20); Parx led the nation in kills in 2019 with 59.

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  1. That sounds so stupid coming from a racing commissioner to say, “…whatever you call that stuff.” Referring to drugs, legal and/or illegal (mostly illegal), used on racehorses and the drug paraphernalia that is used to administer it and so forth, that’s really a “good” technical term there coming from a racing commissioner, namely Russell Jones. I can speculate that he was too busy figuring out which horses to bet on to get the best Return On Investment of his $2 bets, etc. to be overly concerned about the safety of the horses. We know that the safety of the horses is not a real priority at all by anyone directly involved with the exploitation of horses for gambling bets and financial gain. Kill a horse, replace a horse, you know, like used cars. Crash one, buy a new one…?

  2. Signed & my donation will help spread this critical petition.
    The funding must END and so should this killing business.
    PA is a cesspool of corruption and just about every upper level Commissioner on the Board of Stewards owns racehorses are so does the head of the PA HBPA.
    They all have control over the massive millions, control over the allocation of stalls keeping Trainers out who don’t succumb to their power, control over the drug testing process and usually know when investigations are going on including knowing how to use the rules to their advantage.
    The other day on Twitter one of the gamblers asked “why has this not been cleaned up a long time ago?”
    The answer is simple: the people in charge of horse racing, the commissions and horsemen groups, are the only ones benefiting under this system at the expense of everybody else.
    So why would they want to end a system that makes them rich and unanswerable to anybody other than themselves?
    The saddest part of this entire scenario are the voiceless racehorses whose lives are snuffed-out every day in one form or another.
    Is horse racing finally cleaning up it’s act?
    Whatever is going on it’s too little too late and it can’t shut down soon enough for the sake of the racehorses.

  3. Racing has not been cleaned up for the same reason that PMU farms are still in existence: money. It’s amazing how all those animal welfare groups that are constantly condemning exploitation and abuse can turn a blind eye when it goes against the big Pharos companies or the racing industry with their billions of dollars. It doesn’t mean the animals involved suffer any less or that the cruelty they endure is in any way justified, but those dollar signs can sure cover a multitude of sin.

    • The love of money is a sin, the root of all evil. Also, I wonder if the young, not-yet-named, two-year-old horse that died allegedly of an adverse reaction to being treated for an infection might have been “tubed” with what is called milkshake race injection but got it in the lungs instead of the stomach. I don’t know.

      • Goes along with those “sudden deaths” that are suspicious as f***.

  4. I encourage everyone who reads this to sign that petition!

  5. I didn’t believe Pennsylvania even HAD a racing commission, with all the corruption, cruelty, and horse-kill cover-ups they’re famous for at Parx (and Penn, and Presque). What exactly would regulators do there, besides reallocate funds away from schools and other worthy PA social programs, then giving all that money to wealthy animal abusers (and themselves)?
    Oh, that’s right: every now and then their jobs require them to give a cursory glance around the tracks in order to reinforce to the public that they’re all chock-full of shady characters who’d poison their own racehorses (and those of their rivals) if they thought it would help them “win” more of that sweet subsidy money.
    (And we all know this latest bust will generate about as much meaningful punishment for the offenders as the previous raids. But at least they’re making it look like they’re trying to clean themselves up;)

    • Turns out the racing commissioner in PA is a lifelong member of the racing industry. What could go wrong?

      • *Scoff. Sounds about right for racing. And it’ll be exactly the same, protectionist “leadership” on the federal level when the comically-titled HISA goes into effect. So I don’t know what they’re so worried about; these are all the same folks who helped make it the fine game it is today!

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