By Dave Johnson, email@example.com | 757-247-4649
3:21 PM EDT, June 21, 2013
Glenn Thompson says he didn't do it to get rich, and he offers proof. If you're unable or unwilling to pay $9.99 to buy his book, he'll provide a code that will allow you to read it online for free.
Thompson, a respected trainer for more than three decades, simply wants to deliver his message. And his message is that horse racing, the sport he loves, needs a makeover.
"Somebody had to stand up for these horses," Thompson said. "And I'm honored to do it."
Thompson is the proud co-owner and trainer of Two Notch Road, a 6-year-old gelding that will run in Saturday's Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs. But lately, he's been fighting to eliminate "raceday medication" of horses, which is often done for the best of intentions but can lead to disastrous results.
In his 2011 book, "The Tradition of Cheating at the Sport of Kings," Thompson estimated that 85 percent of trainers and veterinarians were guilty of it. Ten percent of them, he said, would do anything to win regardless of the consequences. Ninety percent, he said, mistakenly believe they are helping their horses with medication like B1, corticosteroids and ACTH.
Thompson spoke last year before members of Congress, where he accused the Jockey Club, the Graded Stakes Committee, and state racing commissions (among others) of being "complicit."
No, Thompson isn't interested in pulling punches. Nor is he interested in winning a popularity contest among his colleagues.
"I used to get 20 or 30 golf invitations from friends and I'd go out once a week with my buddies," he said. "I did not get one invitation last year. Not one of my buddies called and said, 'Hey, let's go play golf.' So, yeah, I lost some so-called friends.
"I'm trying to bring back horsemanship to horse racing. That's quite a chore. It's gotten better, but for a while it used to be the Wild Wild West."
With more marked stalls and third-party administrators of medication, Thompson said the cheating level is down to about 10 percent. But he still sees a need for universal rules and a horse racing commissioner.
Congress is getting involved. A bill titled "The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2013" was introduced in May. The bill would eventually prohibit a horse from receiving any medication within 24 hours of a race. It would also give the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees U.S. Olympic sports, ultimate authority.
One reason Thompson chose to write the book was Two Notch Road. Because of an injured tendon, the horse had to take more than two years off from racing.
Two Notch Road returned to competition two months ago in the Grade III Red Bank Stakes in Monmouth Park (N.J.). He finished fifth. Two weeks ago, he was third in the Grade II Monmouth Stakes.
"He looks great," Thompson said. "I think he's just starting to get fit now. With a horse with a tendon (injury), you'd have to be insane to train him hard enough to win the first time out. But he hasn't missed a beat since we started him back. I'm really happy with him.
"I've given him no pain meds at all, and that's sort of unchartered territory for me. He's definitely running better without the medication, and that's sort of why I wrote the book."
Saturday's 12 races at Colonial Downs begin at 5 p.m. The Turf Cup, which has a Grade II ranking and a $300,000 purse, is scheduled to post at 7:46.
If you want to read Glenn Thompson's book online for free, shoot him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for a code.
Colonial Turf Cup (Grade II)
WHERE: Colonial Downs, New Kent
WHEN: Saturday, 7:46 p.m. post (seventh of 12-race card)
DISTANCE: 1 3/16 miles (turf)
Post Name Jockey Trainer Morning line
1 Atigun Leparoux McPeek 3-1
2 Hyper Lezcano Brown 5-1
3 Roadhog Boyce Merryman 15-1
4 London Lane Karamanos Murray 20-1
5 Swift Warrior Espinoza Terranova 7-2
6 Air Support Castellano McGaughey 5-2
7 General Logan Prado Motion 6-1
8 Two Notch Road Uske Thompson 12-1
Copyright © 2015, Newport News, Va., Daily Press