Had Saturday's Kentucky Derby been run in Florida, there's a possibility the winner's growingly contentious disqualification might not have ever happened.
While most of Florida’s horseracing community went about its business on Jan. 4, 2012, the State of Florida’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering quietly repealed a slate of regulations pertaining to Thoroughbred racing under the cover of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s 2011 Executive Order to repeal regulations that are “unneeded” or “unnecessarily burdensome to small business.”
Delving further into self-regulation, each of the three remaining Florida Thoroughbred tracks (one owned by Churchill Downs) is free to have its own “house rules.” The question is ... do they? The answer is muddy.
Meanwhile, it appears from this Associated Press report that things in Kentucky may not conclude as gracefully as racing's old guard may hope for.
Jennifer J.H. Pierce is a public relations and public affairs specialist, particularly on the subject of Florida pari-mutuels, gambling and casinos. She has also worked at the executive level with property casualty insurance, and municipal issues. She lives in Fort Lauderdale.