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Multiple Graded Stakes Winning Trainer and Second Winningest Trainer in Churchill Downs History

Dale Romans Op-Ed
January 25, 2023

Time to Work with HISA

No one should be surprised that a provision in the recently passed federal spending bill fixes a Constitutional weakness in the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which passed in 2020.  Lawsuits against HISA exposed this problem, and Congress rightly repaired it.  As far as I can tell, the justices that ruled on HISA did not have other issues with the law, and so strengthening the Constitutional muster of the bill makes sense.


What no longer makes sense is how some in the industry pledge to continue to fight HISA in the courts.  They should be in the streets, or shedrows, fighting to make HISA better instead.  The industry needs to come together now and work with HISA, not against it, to give it a chance to succeed.  


Trainers have legitimate concerns about how the medication rules from HISA will be implemented, and where those increased costs are going to come from.  But I also know that horse owners have real concerns about whether the playing field has always been level.  HISA will do a lot to address those concerns.  Along those lines, I am very encouraged that the widely respected HBPA President, Doug Daniels, was invited to join HISA's Horsemen's Advisory Group. His input has already made a significant impact.


A lot of money is currently being spent to pay lawyers to attack and defend the law. Let’s spend some of that treasure now to make sure the law works in every racing jurisdiction, and that real, day-to-day concerns of horsemen are addressed equitably.  We need to support HISA and its CEO Lisa Lazarus.  I have spent much time with Lisa and she is working tirelessly to understand our industry and to implement HISA in a fair and practical way.


We horsemen know of our love of horses, but outsiders often see a different picture.  It does not help that horsemen are leading the charge against a law that protects horses.


Let’s put the lawyers out of work. Let’s unite and work with HISA to make this new system the best it can be.


I know I plan to.

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