This week, 5MTP’s @starryday93 interviewed @LooochRacing owner Ron Paolucci. In this interview, Ron discusses the Breeders’ Cup’s recent decision to deny entry of his first time starter, two year old filly Heavenhasmynikki into one of its races, his strategy for running his stable, as well as his thoughts on the recent controversy surrounding trainer Jorge Navarro. 5MTP thanks Ron for his time and we hope our readers enjoy the interview!
5MTP: So why not go ahead and start with the big news: the Breeders’ Cup denied Heavenhasmynikki entry to the Juvenile Fillies. You told the DRF that you intend to pursue legal action, since there’s no rule against entering an unraced horse. This is the second time this year that you’ve had an otherwise-eligible horse denied entry into a stakes. That has to be frustrating to say the least.
RP: Honestly, it’s more than frustrating. It really makes you take a look at: A) why you’re in the game; and B) who’s running the game and why are they running the game. It’s very concerning.
5MTP: Has it made you consider leaving the game?
RP: Yes I have. I have a few special horses that would make it hard to completely get out of the game, but I’ve definitely done a lot of soul searching in the last day or two. Currently, I breed horses as well. I have a bunch of broodmares. I have a lot of horses that range from $5k to $20k in value. And I put so much into the game and I do everything the right way from every aspect, between owning, breeding, claiming, trying to get fans into the sport, and trying to bring acknowledgment to racing in my home state of Ohio. You just wonder sometimes, is it worth it? For sure I’ve thought about leaving the game, absolutely.
5MTP: And you do have a fairly large operation. What are the advantages and disadvantages of running such a widespread operation? How do you decide which horses go where?
RP: My main part of my operation is in Ohio because it allows me to keep my cost down and turn a reasonably good profit. See, this is the part that makes you wonder if it’s worth it. This isn’t a game to get in to make money- this is a game to get in because most people have money. So if you’re spending all your time, blood, sweat and tears doing it and you’re not turning a profit, is it worth it? So I keep a lot of my horses in Ohio to keep my costs down, and I actually make money in that venue. I race in a lot of other jurisdictions, though not anywhere near those kind of numbers because the cost is prohibitively more. And I don’t really make money in those venues, per se, unless of course I have a horse like a War Story or a Game Over that, when they win a race, they make a quarter of a million dollars; running second in the West Virginia Derby for Game Over was $150k. The advantages are that if I buy or claim a horse somewhere other than Ohio, I generally have a safe haven to go to, to try and get some money back on those horses, so that’s the advantage.
5MTP: Speaking of Ohio racing, you have an Ohio-bred running in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, Proper Discretion. What prompted you to enter there? She’s coming off of two straight stakes wins at Thistledown. How confident are you in her ability to compete against a horse like Unique Bella, who’s been regarded as a potential superstar from day one?
RP: Well, if Unique Bella lives up to the billing I think everyone is in trouble, not just my filly from Ohio. That being said, you gotta put them in the gate, they have to come out of the gate and we’ve seen a lot of crazy things happen in horse racing. I’m a big Ragozin sheet guy and her numbers on the sheets actually stack up with all the other runners in the race minus Unique Bella. And if you look at her past performance lines, we made a very good equipment change on her two back. We took the blinkers off of her and she’s shown a completely different dimension. Instead of going out and running her fastest part of the race in the first half-mile, she’s actually running it the last half-mile. She’s naturally very fast; with a clean break, if she’s not on the lead I’ll be shocked. She’s very, very fast. Hopefully she breaks well and if she does, she’s gonna give a lot of people a lot of scare for a long way in that race. [Trainer Phil D’Amato] is happy with the way she’s training and the way she moves. If he’d have told me, “Listen Ron, I don’t really think she can compete at this level,” I wouldn’t have done it.
5MTP: How gratifying would it be to win a Breeders’ Cup race with an Ohio-bred?
RP: It’d be the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done, and I thought that I had a filly that could’ve competed in the Distaff this year. That’s another thing that, when people bash on Twitter, they’ve got no idea what horse racing is about. I mean, you could do everything the right way and protect these horses and then they go out and get injured. I’ve watched people do everything the wrong way, run them every three days and they keep running. There’s no guarantee. So, I had a filly named Nikki My Darling and she’s probably the best horse I’ve ever owned, talent-wise. She was coming in, she was going to be 1-9 in the Best of Ohio and I was going to run her in the Distaff. I ran her in an allowance race instead of running her in the Cotillion and she got a minor injury in that race where she was 1-9 and won by as much as you can win, so she didn’t make the race. I thought she’d be a very good opportunity to win the Distaff, believe it or not, but I guess Proper Discretion has to carry the torch. And she’s talented. It’s a huge step up in class, but other than Unique Bella, there’s nobody in there that makes me go “oh man, I don’t really wanna run.” So we’ll see how she does.
5MTP: If you were the “czar of racing,” what kind of changes do you think need to be implemented first?
RP: Gary Contessa actually came out with a tweet the other day that said what I’ve been telling people for the last few years. A few things need to happen. There has to be one power over all racing. There needs to be a commissioner, for lack of a better term. That way everyone is on an equal playing field whether it’s an entry when you want to run in the Breeders’ Cup, or whether it’s a suspension for a violation of any kind. If you want an even playing field you need one voice at the top. We’re the only industry I can think of that doesn’t have one, and if any industry needs it, it’s this one. The second thing is we need to have is one panel of stewards that sit somewhere, just like the NFL does- whether it’s New York, California, or wherever that’s not associated with any of the jurisdictions, and they decide the inquiries and objections. And then you let the casual steward impose the penalties or fines based on what they think. But as far as deciding whether a horse is left up or taken down, you would think that would create some kind of unity as far as what you can and can’t get away with as a rider. So you’re not gonna have (a situation) like how at a New York track herding is almost acceptable; you’re gonna know that they call it, and if you do it in New York, California, Florida, or Ohio, you know that there’s going to be consequences. So I think those two things would be good places to start.
5MTP: Also in the Breeders’ Cup, you have Imperative, who hasn’t raced since the Charles Town Classic because of a setback he suffered prior to the Met Mile. How is he coming into the race? He’s had some foot issues in the past, but is he over those now and ready for the Dirt Mile?
RP: Yeah. You know it’s funny, when I bought him, I bought him with the intention to take him off of that hard surface in California, which they’ve since changed and made the track a lot deeper. But his feet really haven’t been much of an issue, though he had a bit of an issue with his ankle. We were very cautious with him, to the point where we could’ve kept going with him, but he’s such a classy animal and he really puts it all on the line. And we wanted to do the right thing by him- do the little procedure, give him the time and then kind of map out a schedule for next year because he’s remarkably sound for a seven-year-old who’s been through the wars he’s been through. I would expect him to fire a pretty good bullet. It looks like, on paper, that there’s plenty of speed which is why I chose this race. It also gives him plenty of time to go back to the next spot in Florida. We’re going to space his races out and obviously shoot for the Charles Town Classic again since he’s a two-time winner of that race and he loves that track. So that’s kind of our goal but he’s doing great. He actually caught Collected in a workout the other day. They hooked up by chance and just kind of worked together and he worked right with him, so he’s doing very well.
5MTP: Glad to hear he’s coming back to the Charles Town Classic! I’ve been to every running and he’s always caught my eye – he’s such a big, good-looking horse.
RP: He’s so classy and he’s so good to be around. He’s an owner’s/trainer’s dream, he just does everything with class. He’s a little bit rambunctious in the morning sometimes, Bob [Hess, trainer] has to take him out very early because he gets real headstrong. When he goes to the track, he’s all business- but once he’s off the track, he couldn’t be a sweeter horse to be around.
5MTP: What made you opt for the Dirt Mile over the Classic? Was it the distance? Competition? A little bit of both?
RP: I’ve always been a believer that this horse, with the right pace scenario in front of him, a mile would be his best distance. He likes to just sit back and make one run. You can’t start him up; once you do, you have to keep him rolling. I knew the principle horses that were aiming to the races, and I thought running a mile and a quarter against those horses off a long layoff might knock him out and I don’t want to do that to the horse. He’s earned a better spot than that. And I said to Bob and to my partner John [Guarnere, of Imaginary Stables] that, as long as he’s training the way he’s been, I would love to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. If he shows anything in the next week where we don’t think he should be in there, he won’t be, but right now he’s doing unbelievable.
5MTP: Why the Turf for War Story? Obviously he’s more of a router, but did you consider the Marathon as an option for him, even though it’s not really a Breeders’ Cup race anymore?
RP: You know, I didn’t because shipping him halfway across the country for a $200k race, knowing the horse performs the best he can when you give him ample time between starts, it’s not really worth it. You spend $10k to ship him to run for $200k, it’s not really what you want to do with a horse like this because there’s just better spots for more money. If you look up his pedigree, his dam, Belle Watling, has thrown some very good turf runners. He’s got turf action and he’s got a big turf foot- he’s a stayer, to use the European term. If you get him out there and let him just do his own thing, he’s very, very tough. So it’s the distance, coupled with the fact I’ve wanted to get him on the turf for the last year. I gave into my partners for a few races where I let them pick and I said just give me one race and they gave me this race and we ended up 20th on the list. Which is a complete and utter slap in my face from the Breeders’ Cup yet again, with a horse that’s won a G2, was third in a G2, tackled the two highest rated horses in the world in Gun Runner and Arrogate, and ran fifth, beating eight horses in the richest race to ever be run in our sport, and yet they put me 20th on the list. They should be ashamed of themselves. Honestly, these guys need to go out and go get a different job because they’re so deluded in the way they look at these races. They kiss so many of these people’s asses from across the pond and domestically that are the bigger names- a guy like me has no chance of getting an equal playing field based on merit. And if you look at this horse’s PPs, who’s he’s run against and who he’s beat, he should not be last on the list in the race. It’s an absolute tragedy. These guys should all be fined. I wish I could get them in a room for about three minutes and talk some sense into them, but you know, the good old boy network will be the good old boy network will be the good old boy network. These so-called experts that are all racing secretaries, they can’t even fill their own races and yet they’re calling themselves experts. It’s an absolute joke. I can’t stress enough that I think the committee should be made up of an owner, a trainer, a racing secretary, a handicapper, and somebody from the Breeders’ Cup- not racing secretaries that are married to these big-name trainers that run these horses. It’s a travesty. It’s an absolute travesty. Why would you have a bunch of racing secretaries who make their living by getting these guys they work with on a daily basis into their races, because when they have a race to fill who are they going to call? The guy that they left out. So, who do you think they’re going to put in the race?
5MTP: Racing does seem to have its fair share of cliques.
RP: Cliques isn’t even a word for it. Bullshit is what I call it. We have a lot of bullshit. And I don’t play their game, so they don’t like me because I don’t play their game. I tell it like it is, whether they like it or whether they don’t. If you ask me a question I’m going to give you an answer. No status quo. I’m going to tell you what I believe.
5MTP: You’ve shown time and again that you’re an avid gambler and you’re not afraid to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to your horses. Do you think that you approach owning in the same way as handicapping and gambling in general?
RP: As I’ve gotten deeper into owning horses, I’ve definitely gotten away from playing as much as I played prior because it’s a lot of work. I used to be from the opening bell to the closing bell, whether that was Hong Kong or Australia, and I started off with Finger Lakes. Now I don’t play as much at night. I do more of my horse work at night. On these bigger days, absolutely. But I might bet a horse in a race and claim a different horse, it doesn’t necessarily mean the one I’m betting is the one I’m claiming. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I don’t put a horse in a race unless I believe they have a chance to win. Sometimes I believe some horses have a better chance than others, but you have to look at the risk versus reward.
Starting a first-time starter in a Breeders’ Cup race is different from putting a rabbit in in New York. I have to put in $60k, ship her across the country, you know, I’d better have some kind of merit as to why I want to do that. Now, if I want to run a rabbit in the Whitney in a six-horse field, where I make $11k no matter whether he finishes first or sixth, and it helps my other horse, who wouldn’t do that? Any smart businessman, when it gives your other horse an advantage and they’re essentially paying you to do it, I don’t understand why more people don’t do it. But when you’re talking about taking a two-year-old filly that’s never run before and you have to pay $60k to run, you have to have an inkling that she: A) might be able to do it; and B) if she does do it, what does that do for your life, your stable, your racing? It changes your life, and that’s what’s so great about our country. As long as you’ve got a horse and you’ve got enough money to put up, if the rules say you’re allowed to be in there and you’re not excluding someone better than you, how can they not allow you to live the American Dream? It’s what every guy that owns a horse should want to do. If you’re crazy enough to run a first-time starter for $60k in a Breeders’ Cup race, they should allow you to do it. As long as you’re not preventing somebody else who’s more worthy from getting in. Even if there was a horse that had run fifth, beaten 25 lengths at Charles Town in a maiden $5k, I believe that horse should probably get in before my first-time starter, even if I paid two million for her. Because you have no idea whether that horse could be better than the other horse. But if you’re not preventing anyone else from getting in, then why not? Are you afraid that something’s going to happen to her and PETA’s up your ass? Listen, anything can happen to any horse in any given race. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a first time starter or they’ve started four hundred times. Look at Eight Belles, how many times did she run prior to breaking down? The first time she ran, she didn’t break down. No owner and no trainer in this business, I don’t care who they are, is ever going to run a horse knowing that there’s a possibility that they’re gonna break down and injure themselves or a rider, especially on a stage like this.
This filly I was going to run, whether she won or whether she got beat 75 lengths is irrelevant; she was allowed to be in there based on the rules, which I followed. And I checked those rules prior to even thinking about doing it. She’s unbelievably calm, she breaks out of the gate like a rocket, she’s got an unbelievable stride to her, and can I say she would win for certain? Absolutely not. Can I say she would even beat a horse? Absolutely not. They paid $16 million for The Green Monkey and he never won a race. You never know until you put them in the starting gate, but all the signs leading up to her being in that spot, she’s passed every test with flying colors. So based on risk versus reward, in the field she’s running against, I thought it was worth it for me to do it. I could’ve run her two weeks prior, to get another start, but I didn’t want to bring her back in two weeks. I wanted to have the best chance I could have; give her the best chance to run the best she could, give my trainer the best chance to win a race and give myself the best chance to win a race, and I thought not running her would be the best way to do it.
5MTP: What’s the plan for Heavenhasmynikki now?
RP: She’s probably going to run Breeders’ Cup day in a Maiden Special Weight at Aqueduct, and probably going to run in a tougher spot than she’d have been running in the Breeders’ Cup. There’s two horses in there that I know are very highly regarded. One is a Shug McGaughey filly named Barrier Island who ran second in a Maiden Special at Belmont, and she’s a freak. Plus it’s going three-quarters, and my filly has a big stride so can I win that race? I don’t know. Just because I would put her in the Breeders’ Cup doesn’t mean she’s going to win a Maiden Special Weight at Aqueduct at a distance that’s not favorable for her. Her speed, stamina, and stride is her strength, so having to run six furlongs is not an ideal spot. And I have to run her somewhere obviously, so that’s the tentative spot right now. If she gets beaten 30 lengths they’re going to crucify me, but you know what? I don’t care because there have been a lot of horses that work really well in the morning who don’t perform in the afternoon. That being said, I think she’ll run well. I wish it was a mile and a sixteenth around two turns, but it is what it is; it’s the race that’s available to me and she’s ready to run, so we’re going to run her.
5MTP: What is it that you tend to look for in a horse, whether you’re claiming, privately purchasing a horse that’s already raced, or buying an unraced horse?
RP: Well I generally try to buy or claim a horse with a race or a plan in mind. So I know if I’m going to go out and claim a horse that’s won eight races but still has a first level allowance condition, that’s when I claim it. Or if I claim a horse that I believe might be a turf horse that’s run a bunch of races on the dirt, I’m claiming it for the turf. Generally, I have a plan in mind where I’m gonna run when I claim them, and when I buy them, it’s the same way. I guess it’s based on where I can fit that horse into my program and what track they can fit into. I am a big stride analysis guy. A lot of people look at a horse and go, “oh that horse can’t run that far, he’s a sprinter,” but I look at stride and I’ve got some kind of calculation in my brain that tells me this horse can do this. They’re maybe not doing it with him now, but he can do it. So when you play at the level I play at, which believe it or not is not the highest of levels, you’ve got to invent things and be creative to try to compete with the rest of horse racing, because there’s a lot of money in this sport. And a guy like me, I’m not playing with the most money, so I’ve gotta be able to buy a Ria Antonia for $100k and know that she’s going to be better going two turns and on the dirt. I’ve got to buy a War Story coming out of a Maiden Special Weight where he got a bad number at Churchill and think that this horse can go longer. I’ve got to buy an Imperative, knowing that if I take him off that west coast that I think he’ll perform well in the deeper tracks in the east. And in the back of my mind I know he likes Charles Town, so if he wins [the Charles Town Classic], that’s a homerun. And he did. I’ve got to have a plan when I go to buy horses, but I don’t have, like, Juddmonte Farms money. And I’m a scary judge of talent. Finding diamonds in the rough is what I do, it’s how I survive.
5MTP: Do you think your willingness to be ambitious in placing horses has contributed to your success as an owner?
RP: I think I was way more ambitious when I first started out. Now, I think I’ve done it at a much smarter, much more lucrative scale. I also think it has hurt me, I think it hurt me in the Breeders’ Cup with this filly. I think that running some horses where people believed they didn’t belong maybe put a perception in the mind of the committee that, “oh here’s this guy that just wants to be here,” not realizing that I have another horse in the race already so if I wanted to just be there, I could be there with the other horse. So I think my reputation has helped me and I think it’s hurt me. But at the end of the day I’m going to do what I want to do with my life, my horses and, my stable, and I’m never going to chance. I’ll probably go down in history as the guy who changed the most rules in horse racing. I’m the first guy to ever announce a rabbit and not be allowed to run, I’m the first guy in thirty years to enter a first time starter in a Breeders’ Cup race when there was no rule in effect, and I’m sure there’ll be the “Loooch Rule” now. They’ll place in effect the Juvenile rule where you must have started in order to be able to run. Although I will say that I think at some point that rule will be broken. Bob Baffert, Steve Assmussen, Chad Brown, Richard Mandella, one of them is gonna have a horse that they think is unbelievably good, miss a race that they wanted to be in, and then enter and be able to run. So while I think that I will have created the rule, I think that one of those trainers will break it. I beat to my own drum. I’m not a blue blood. I have to take horses that are way less valuable and try to figure out a way, like with War Story, to make $1.2 million with him, when everyone wanted me to run him in a N2L/$12.5k claimer after he was a three-year-old. Everybody called me crazy for buying Imperative- they said he was done, and I said this is what I’m going to do with him. I have a horse named Mo Don’t Know that’s made almost $700k in Ohio that I paid $50k for. I’ve claimed five horses, to my knowledge, for $62.5k and won stakes races with them. If I’m not the leading owner in the last five years in wins, I’m either first or second. I’ve won more stakes races than any other owner over the past five years. Not graded stakes, just overall stakes races, but when you’re on a committee and you’ve got a guy who’s won more races than anybody in the country in the past five years and there’s an average of 36,000 stables across the United States, and you’ve won more stakes races than anybody in the last five years and you’ve won a Breeders’ Cup, you think you might give him a little bit of credence when he wants to run a first-time starter in a Breeders’ Cup race. I think I’ve earned that respect just on what I’ve done in the last five years. Apparently, they don’t believe that, but I think I’ve earned it.
5MTP: You grew up going to the track with your grandfather, what is it that drove you to become an owner in 2011?
RP: When I was a kid, I used to live to go to the racetrack, whether it was to play with my friends or to pick up tickets to see if I could find winners in there. When I was a kid, we used to grab sticks out of the yard and line up, call ourselves our favorite horse, pretend the sticks were a whip, and run around and see who would win. It’s been my love since I was old enough to know what my love was. One of my friends told me back in 2011-2012, “I’ve never seen anyone who’s watched more races or bet on more races in my entire life than you. Why don’t you use that and start owning horses? You’re so smart at it!” And I thought, “you know what maybe this guy is right, maybe I can do this.” So I claimed my first Thoroughbred for $2,500 – I actually owned a harness horse first, that’s how I got started. I had such success with it that, every time I won a race, not only did I bet on the horse but I won the purse, so every time I won a race I would just buy another one. Next thing you know, two years later I’m winning a Breeders’ Cup race and I’m leading owner in Ohio. I don’t think I’ve ever been less than tenth in the nation in wins in the last six years. It’s just kind of snowballed into things like winning two Claiming Crown races in one day, winning the [Sunshine Millions Classic] with a horse I claimed for $62k right off the claim, to running in the Kentucky Derby, and running second in what I consider the most prestigious filly and mare race aside from the Breeders’ Cup- the Spinster at Keeneland- with Ria Antonia, and selling her for $1.8 million. It’s been a great ride.
5MTP: You mentioned earlier on that you like to try and get more people into racing and bring people to the track. This past summer you gave away three all-expense-paid trips to the Woodward for war veterans, what inspired you to do that and how did it go?
RP: The inspiration was War Story himself, derived from his name and I thought what better way to do something than to give back to the people who served our country. You know, without them we’re not playing horse racing, we’re not playing football. We’re not able to express our rights to take a knee and spit in the face of the people that defended our country. Without them, none of us would be able to put our head down on the pillow at night and sleep sound knowing that we’re safe so I thought of a way to try and give back something. I’ve done contests before, I’ve brought people to the Breeders’ Cup, so let me do something, amidst all the chaos in the world, for people that love the sport and have never been to a venue like Saratoga and a G1 race and make a day of it. You know, put them in a nice hotel, put them in a box right next to Chad Brown and Terry Finley from West Point, bring them in the paddock, it was an unbelievable experience. [They were all] very nice people. I think they loved it, I loved it, it was just great.
5MTP: Thanks again for taking the time out of your day to talk with me here. I do have one more question: as a client of his, are you willing to comment on the recent controversy surrounding Jorge Navarro?
RP: I think he’s a victim of his own attitude, kind of like Richard Dutrow. He’s a guy where if you ask him a question, ask if he thinks his horse can win, he’s going to say yeah. He’s not going to say no, not sure, let’s see how he comes out of the work- the standard Todd Pletcher type answer – who I like by the way, he’s great for the game, but if I hear “let’s see how he comes out of the work” one more time from these guys I’m going to throw up, you know? So I think being outspoken and winning at the percentage he does, there’s absolutely a witch hunt out for [Navarro]. I’m not going to condone anything that comes up that’s performance-enhancing, let me go on record as saying I am absolutely, positively 100% against that.
The problem with our industry is all kind of like this “don’t run a maiden in a Breeders Cup race” – the perception is worse than reality in most cases. You hear “positive” and you’re thinking the guy’s put a milkshake in the horse and they’re gonna run and the horse is going to die of a heart attack, but 90-95% of those positives are overages on non-performance-enhancing drugs. Do they help horses? I can’t say, I’m not a chemist, don’t really know. Like this most recent thing, if you look at it on its merit, it’s “Jorge Navarro gets a positive.” They don’t mention that four other trainers got it with him, some got worse than him, it’s just “Jorge Navarro got a positive.” Think about how crazy it is; he got a cocaine positive. It wasn’t in the horse’s blood or horse’s urine, so it was obviously contamination. There’s no other way to give it to a horse, unless it’s in their blood or in their urine, and Ray Paulick did say that and a couple of people in the DRF said that but in my opinion, I think it’s a witch hunt. I think if he does do something wrong, he should be penalized to the fullest extent of the law. He’s always going to be under a microscope. A guy like Joe Sharp gets a positive for the same thing and it’s not even mentioned; it’s just one line at the end of a paragraph in the DRF. Jorge Navarro and it’s like Donald Trump doing something – they’re going to magnify it seven thousand times. I even told him, “Jorge, you want this to go away, then don’t win so much.” That’s just the bottom line. People, if they can’t beat you, they want you out. And he’s an arrogant guy, but you’ve gotta be arrogant to be successful for the most part. You have to believe that you can do something. I haven’t seen many people being like Linus from Charlie Brown, “oh I don’t know if I can win” – those guys aren’t winning. The Chad Browns of the world, the Bob Bafferts of the world, the Jorge Navarros of the world, they win because they believe they can win.
So my take is, has he done some things wrong? Probably. Everybody in the racing business has done something wrong at some point, I’m sorry. How many times has Doug O’Neill? I mean I know his assistant trainer better than I know him. Leandro Mora has been in the Form as much as Doug O’Neill, and yet he’s a nice guy, and so everybody gives him a break on it, and they should. Ron Ellis, another nice guy, got tested by the Breeders’ Cup two days prior to running [Masochistic in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Sprint]. The steroid was still in the horse’s system, and not only did the Breeders’ Cup allow him to run, but Ron Ellis and the owners of the horse decided to run. If that was Jorge Navarro, and they tested War Story or Sharp Azteca two days before and it was still in the horse’s system, do you think the Breeders’ Cup is going to allow Jorge Navarro to run? Not a chance on God’s green earth. If you believe that if it did happen and it did slip through and he ran, they would massacre him on Twitter.
Unfortunately, that’s why there needs to be one commissioner. There are different rules for different people and it’s unfortunate. And Twitter is the death and the evil of all things that are good because you’ve got a bunch of people hiding behind a fake name and a fake account, abusing people and taking their livelihood away and not knowing what they’re talking about, and it only takes one idiot to start something, then a bunch of other idiots are running with it that know nothing about horse racing or owning or training a horse. If I could blow up one thing on earth, it’d be Twitter. I do it because I like to answer people in horse racing, to give them an idea of what I’m thinking and what goes on in the horse racing world. I do it to inform and to bring people to the sport. I don’t really even defend myself anymore on there because the people you’re defending yourself against are complete idiots. They’re out to antagonize people because they can’t get off their couch to do anything else. So I wish I could blow Twitter up, but besides that I’m alright, everything’s good. But to answer your question, I think he’s a marked man, I think he brought some of that onto himself, and if it proves to be that he does something he shouldn’t do, then punish him to the fullest extent of the law.