Standing with the Kentucky Derby trophy at Equestricon Aug. 15 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Team Always Dreaming announced its support for the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017.
The bill, H.R. 2651, would create a national, uniform anti-doping and medication control program for horse racing.
The large partnership that owns the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner was represented at the announcement by Brooklyn Boyz' Anthony Bonomo, St. Elias Stables' Vinnie Viola, and West Point Thoroughbreds' Terry Finley. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Always Dreaming is owned by MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola, St Elias, Anthony Manganaro's Siena Farm, and West Point.
"To help ensure the safety of the horses and the jockeys and to enable racing fans to take comfort in the integrity of the sport, it is vital that the industry adopt a uniform set of rules across the 38 jurisdictions regarding testing and penalties administered by an independent body," Viola said in a written statement. "We have an opportunity now to improve significantly the safety and fairness of this beautiful and proud sport that has brought joy to millions of fans. It is important that all of us act on it with a sense of urgency."
Stonestreet Farms' Barbara Banke spoke in favor of the bill at the Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing Aug. 13.
"Vinnie and I listened to (Banke) talk from the heart and explain her reasons for supporting the bill," Finley said. "We know it's time for fresh ideas. ... we need a new path."