PA Pony Roundup: Contraband Raid at Parx and OTB Zoning Determination Nonetheless Pending for South Philly

A every day double of PA horse racing tales. OTB places and medicine at a observe units the tempo for this month’s Pony Roundup with implications for the broader enterprise of Pennsylvania horse racing.

The tales are simmering however ought to break quickly. Each have far-reaching penalties for all PA racing and the long run places of off-track betting venues that includes pari-mutuel playing and sports activities wagering.

Let’s begin with the pari-mutuel off-track betting location story for Parx Racing, formally named South Philadelphia Turf Membership, however largely simply known as the Turf Membership. The present location is throughout the road from Stay! On line casino Philadelphia.

Then we’ll segue into an ongoing investigation which officers say uncovered stashes of “contraband” – described by unofficial sources as medicine for each people and horses – on the backstretch space of Parx racecourse in suburban Philly.

Parx and Chickie’s and Pete’s OTB sluggish drama nonetheless unfolding

The Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment has slogged its method by way of 4 conferences and numbing hours of contentious testimony thus far in regards to the relocation proposal.

Into consideration is a plan to maneuver the Parx OTB operation from the Turf Membership to a location a number of blocks away however nonetheless on Packer Avenue into an present Chickie’s and Pete’s restaurant and sports activities bar surrounded by a residential rowhome neighborhood.

A neighborhood civic affiliation opposes the transfer. Annoyed by the sluggish tempo over the past Might 25 zoning assembly, Chairman Frank DiCicco ordered each side to submit written ultimate arguments. A choice ought to be obtainable by June 9.

Irrespective of which method the vote goes, a courtroom enchantment appears possible, which means extra delay. Doubtless central to a problem would be the board not requiring a variance for the transfer as an alternative of permitting a “particular exception.” The town’s personal authorized division raised questions in regards to the transfer.

At one level, metropolis lawyer Leonard Reuter had steered the proposed web site would must be licensed as a on line casino to adjust to town’s zoning legislation language, which varies from the wording of state gaming laws.

PA Horse Racing fee caught within the gate on OTB

In January 2021, the PA Horse Racing Fee petitioned to approve the OTB transfer and permit playing at two extra Chickie’s & Pete’s places. The plan was for one in Delaware County and to maneuver one location from Montgomery County to Chester County.

Nonetheless, the fee has sat on the proposals, maybe ready on the zoning determination. The Packer Park Civic Affiliation needs to voice its case to the racing fee. The subsequent race fee assembly is June 29, however agendas solely come out days earlier than.

Paperwork and a lawyer repping Parx indicated Parx has a longer-term plan to set up betting retailers at extra Chickie’s & Pete’s places. The lawyer mentioned stand-alone pari-mutuel places, even with sports activities betting, are now not a viable enterprise mannequin.

A Chickie’s & Pete’s location is deliberate for Parx’s proposed mini-casino in Shippensburg.

If Parx succeeds in combining playing with restaurant places, it appears seemingly different OTB operations may strive related couplings. What makes this enticing is just not the moribund pari-mutuel racing finish of the equation. It’s the sports activities betting aspect, which is allowed by default alongside pari-mutuel wagering.

Parx backstretch raided for contraband

The fee’s workers raided the backstretch at Parx racecourse in Bensalem, Bucks County, on the finish of Might.

The raid bought an 80-second cursory point out on the final racing fee assembly on Might 25. Nonetheless, the extent of the search – and the important thing element that the longtime coach at Parx was suspended – was not talked about.

A fee spokeswoman later detailed the extent of the search, which netted the next “contraband”:

  • 64 car searches
  • 7 veterinarian car searches
  • 3 veterinarian workplace searches
  • 6 Barn searches
  • 6 tack room searches
  • 5 groom’s quarter searches
  • 5 exterior tack room searches

Testing outcomes for Parx and Penn Nationwide horses that weren’t raced not too long ago however had been within the observe’s barns stay pending. Penn had no studies of contraband.

The raid at Parx got here at a fraught time for racing. The winner of the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit, was disqualified for a failed drug take a look at. Medina Spirit’s coach Bob Baffert was slapped with a two-year suspension from Churchill Downs Racetrack.

Horse coach at Parx says he’s harmless

PlayPennsylvania independently confirmed the suspended coach is Parx Corridor of Fame coach, Richard Vega, and that Vega had till not too long ago skilled thoroughbreds for racing fee member Sal DeBunda.

Vega asserted innocence throughout an interview final week with PlayPennsylvania.

Nonetheless, the Paulick Report reported Wednesday he was suspended “after a number of loaded needles and syringes had been present in his tack room at Parx.” A stewards’ board on Might 27 upheld his preliminary suspension, in line with the publication. There’s a proper to an enchantment.

DeBunda wears many hats in horse racing. He’s additionally a companion in a legislation agency. He mentioned he’d by no means heard of any points with Vega. DeBunda additionally mentioned none of his horses ever misplaced winnings because of medicine.

DeBunda can simply lose his seat on the fee. He and at the very least three different sitting commissioners are carryovers, however he isn’t in line for reappointment.

Russell Studying, chairman of the racing fee and PA’s Secretary of Agriculture, has but to remark in regards to the Parx investigation and the suspension.

In different PA horse racing information

  • The fee has unanimously authorised restrictions on clenbuterol use. The drug treats respiratory points. However it might have steroid-like results. A prescription and analysis at the moment are essential. The vet now should report the horse’s id and a analysis to the fee. Trainers likewise should additionally report use to the fee. The drug beforehand carried a 2 picogram per milliliter threshold. Now any detectable degree is problematic.
  • The Horseracing Integrity and Security Authority, charged with growing uniform security and integrity guidelines for the horse racing trade, has held its first assembly. Charles Scheeler is now chairperson. He’s a former federal prosecutor. Some PA racing organizations are opposing the group and difficult the creation in a lawsuit.
  • Crossing the end line on a optimistic word and since it’s commencement season. Brandon Davis, who attends Duquesne College, received the Penn Range Scholarship from The Meadows. He’ll obtain a 4 12 months $20,000 scholarship. Brandon is the son of Melinda Nearing, a Racing Teller at The Meadows for 36 years.

Lead picture through Dreamstime.

The submit PA Pony Roundup: Contraband Raid at Parx and OTB Zoning Determination Nonetheless Pending for South Philly appeared first on Play Pennsylvania.

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