LEXINGTON, KY—The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority welcomes four new members to its Horsemen’s Advisory Group: Consignor Craig Bandoroff, owner John Green, owner Michael Levinson and trainer Todd Pletcher. The Horsemen’s Advisory Group is the body of racing industry participants formed in 2022 to provide formal feedback to HISA’s executive team and standing committees. The new members will replace outgoing Horsemen’s Advisory Group members Mark Casse, Tom Drury, Jr., Linda Gaudet, Fred Hertrich III, David Ingordo and Tom Robbins.

“I want to thank all of the members of the Horsemen’s Advisory Group who are rotating off their roles. Their dedication and insightful feedback have been instrumental in tangible changes that have made HISA’s rules better,” HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus said. “As we welcome a new group of horsemen, I look forward to continuing our collaboration and further improving HISA’s programs. Their guidance and input will be invaluable as we work together to uphold the integrity and safety of Thoroughbred racing.”

Craig Bandoroff owns and operates Denali Stud with his son Conrad. Denali Stud, an 800-acre nursery located in Paris, Ky, is annually a leading consignor in Thoroughbred auctions in Kentucky and Saratoga. Prior to establishing Denali in 1990, Bandoroff worked at Fasig-Tipton auction house and Barry Weisbord’s Executive Bloodstock. Bandoroff was also an apprentice jockey in New Jersey before a serious injury sidelined that career. 

Jonathan Green lives in New Jersey and manages D.J. Stable, LLC, one of the largest racing and breeding operations in the country. Under his leadership, D.J. Stable has achieved international success with two Sovereign Awards, two Eclipse Awards (Jaywalk and Wonder Wheel), 14 leading owner titles, over 150 stakes race victories, and 2,500 overall wins. In addition, D.J. Stable has sold more than $100 million in horses at public auction. Green serves on the executive board of OBS and is a Breeders’ Cup member. Green was recently elected as the vice president of the Florida Horsemen’s board of directors, where he chairs the finance subcommittee.   

Michael Levinson is the racing manager and part-owner of L&N Racing, based in Tulsa, Okla. L&N Racing was formed in 2014 and has 30 Thoroughbreds in ownership or part ownership groups. In partnership with Winchell Thoroughbreds, Levinson’s L&N Racing campaigned Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1)-winner and champion 2-year-old filly Echo Zulu. 

Todd Pletcher is a Hall of Fame trainer based out of New York. Pletcher began his training career in 1996 and has trained more than 5,700 winners with amassed earnings of more than $480 million. Pletcher has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer eight times. He has trained 15 Breeders’ Cup winners and six winners of Triple Crown races. 

The Horsemen’s Advisory Group has been instrumental in recommending several meaningful changes to HISA rules that have been submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, including:

  • Delaying any provisional suspension of a trainer until the B sample has confirmed the presence of a banned substance.
  • Creating a new rule on the treatment of human drugs of abuse, such as methamphetamine, cocaine, THC and oxycodone, which caps sanctions at 60 days, with the possibility to reduce the sanction even further.
  • Re-classifying Altrenogest from a Banned Substance to a Controlled Medication.
  • Allowing unsupplemented isotonic electrolyte solutions by oral or intravenous administration up to 24 hours before post time.
  • Eliminating suspensions for violations related to working a horse within seven days of an intraarticular injection.
  • Treating the first positive vets’ list sample for a Controlled Medication as a warning and reducing the penalty for ulcer medication in vets’ list samples from a sanction to a warning.
  • Allowing a four-millimeter hind leg traction for horses racing on dirt.

In addition to program changes, the Horsemen’s Advisory Group has been instrumental in helping foster an industry-wide focus on advancing equine and human safety. For example, the Horsemen’s Advisory Group prompted HISA to reach out to sales companies to involve them in strengthening anti-doping and medication control policies for horses at the major auctions. They also played a role in the appointment of an ombudsman to help horsemen navigate the ADMC Program.

The Horsemen’s Advisory Group has 18 members with a wide variety of viewpoints from across racing. Its membership includes trainers, owners, veterinarians, backstretch employees and representatives of racing offices and aftercare initiatives. The full list of the Horsemen’s Advisory Group members can be found here.

Return to the June 11 issue of Wire to Wire