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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Vodka Gives a New Twist on Race Fixing

Spend any amount of time around a horse track and you will hear stories of race fixing and insider tips on horses to either bet or stay away from for a certain race. As much as thoroughbred and harness racing organizing bodies work to keep cheating out of their sport, its backbone is gambling money and all bettors look for some type of edge. Most study The Daily Racing Form, but a veterinarian in Nebraska is alleged to have employed what just might become known as the James Bond solution.

Dr. Jay Stewart, the president of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association, is alleged to have injected thoroughbreds running at Fonner Park in Grand Island with vodka. Dr. Stewart denies the charges.

He is charged with four misdemeanor charges of trying to influence a race by tampering with a horse. The allegation is that vodka was administered to calm horses before races during 2005. Each count carries with it the potential of a $5,000 fine and a year in jail. The trial starts next week.

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