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 Looking Back

This month in mid-atlantic thoroughbred history! For Looking Back archives click here.

One story dominated the headlines. “The most prosperous racing season Maryland has ever seen, albeit it was an abbreviated one, wound up in a haze of allegations of doping horses, fixed-races, suits, injunctions and much bitterness, suspicion and ill-feeling,” wrote Don Reed. “Under the current wording and interpretation of the Maryland Rules of Racing a decent man has no chance to defend himself against an unjust charge of doping horses that he trains, even though the actual guilty party is apprehended in the act, should a positive saliva or urine test be returned from the chemists. . .

“The thought that five men, in the face of a widely publicized drive against doping should use morphine, of all things, is so ridiculous that no man in his right mind would believe it possible. Yet that is what the chemists claim.”

A report from the Maryland Horsemen’s Protective Association noted that “horsemen had come to the ‘end of the rope’ with the Maryland Racing Commission pulling it ever tighter around their necks. . .”

And Maryland Horse editor Humphrey Finney weighed in after listening to days of testimony by the state’s witnesses: “It does not make sense that four men on one and the same day should suddenly use morphine on their horses. . . Somewhere along the line there is a reason for these tests showing as they did. It will come out one of these days.”

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