The Friday Show Presented By Woodbine: Who Are Those Boots On The Ground? – Horse Racing News

The Friday Show Presented By Woodbine: Who Are Those Boots On The Ground? – Horse Racing News

|10.14.202210.14.2022|10:33am10:35am

Earlier this week, horse owner Barry Irwin wrote an Op/Ed stressing the importance of having “boots on the ground” investigators to help combat illegal drugs and other forms of cheating in racing. Surveillance and investigations should play an outsized role, Irwin wrote, especially as the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control program prepares to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

In this week’s Friday Show, we spoke to one of those “boots on the ground,” Don Ahrens, director of security of Sam Houston Race Park in Texas and an officer with the Organization of Racing Investigators, a membership association of security personnel from throughout North America.

Ahrens has also worked as part of a Racing Integrity Team that tracks, racing associations or regulatory agencies retain for major events such as the recent Pennsylvania Derby day program at Parx, when surprise searches yielded contraband that included syringes, an electrical device, and firearm.

Ahrens outlines the general duties of racetrack security personnel, which often work in concert with state racing commissions. He also explains the benefits that the Organization of Racing Investigators provides in the area of networking and sharing of information from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and organization to organization.

“The industry has to work together, regardless of the organization or entity,” Ahrens said, “because the goal is common.”

Watch this week’s episode of the Friday Show below: