Barry Irwin, Author at Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Irwin: Why The Bob Baffert Case Is So Important To Horse Racing’s Future

The Bob Baffert “case” — the collection of errors committed or allowed to happen under the trainer’s watch — is extremely important to the survival of horse racing in the United States. Why? Because for the first time in memory, a well-connected actor in the Turf Sport found himself unable to manipulate a get-out-of-jail-free card […]

Irwin: USADA Essential To A Successful Horseracing Integrity And Safety Authority

It was not by happenstance that in a 2004 Op/Ed I wrote in The Blood-Horse and eight years later the Water Hay Oats Alliance in its mission statement both singled out the United States Anti-Doping Agency as the one entity that could rein in the rampant use of drugs both legal and illegal in horse […]

Irwin: Robust Investigative Force Critical For HISA To Effectively Combat Cheating

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) is not scheduled to begin operations until July of next year, but with release of the initial guidelines issued for public consumption last week and any number of Op/Ed pieces appearing in industry trade publications, the direction of the Authority that will steer the ship seems to be […]

Irwin: What Satisfaction Is There For Owners Who Employ Cheating Trainers?

In this Olympic year, when athletes and officials braved the scourge of COVID against difficult odds to conduct the Summer Games in Japan, I think a lot about what drives these individuals to achieve excellence and from where their satisfaction is derived. I love and have loved the Olympics since childhood, reveling in the stories […]

Irwin: Medina Spirit Positive Test A Shot Heard ‘Round The World

What’s the deal with Bob Baffert and his rash of positives over the past year or so, during which time he has run afoul of the rules on five occasions? Is Bob just unlucky? Is he running a sloppy shop? Are his vets dropping the ball on his behalf? Are the racetracks, racing regulators or […]

Irwin: Independent Overseer Will Ensure Integrity

What’s the big deal about the new racing legislation? When I called for horseracing to find a way to install the United States Anti-Doping Agency as the overseer of drugs in an Op/Ed for The Blood-Horse back in 2004, I did so with some specific goals in mind. My overriding reason, however, was to have […]

Irwin: With Horseracing Integrity And Safety Authority, Will The Culture Change?

Sixteen years after I first suggested in an Op/Ed in The Blood-Horse that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) should be hired to oversee drugs in American racing and eight years after like-minded horse folks founded the grass roots organization named the Water Hay Oats Alliance (whose mission statement mirrored my original suggestion), the sport […]

Irwin: States, Nearly All Horse Racing Institutions Lack Will To Clean Up Sport

Monday’s initiative to go after cheaters in horse racing starkly portrays the dilemma our industry faces. The initiative taken by the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was a victory for jurisprudence and a failure of every state in America, its regulators, racing boards, investigators, Thoroughbred racetracks and rank-and-file members of racing who […]

Commentary – Horse Racing: We Gonna Have A Sport Or Not?

Sport is characterized by a challenging dichotomy that threatens its very existence as a viable enterprise worthy of both participation and widespread appreciation. Athletes are drawn to sport in the main by those with a passion for contests and games of skill. It is this ardor shown on the courts, courses and battlefields that in […]

Irwin: Tennis, Track And Field Scandals Support Racing’s Path Toward Independent Oversight

Unbeknownst to many people involved in the movement to eliminate drugs in racing, a couple of months ago I lessened my involvement because I had become discouraged with the progress of the proposed federal legislation sponsored by Congressmen Andy Barr and Paul Tonko. Sparking my change in direction was an impassioned talk delivered by harness […]