Zero Tolerance

Written by Posted On Friday, 04 June 2021 00:00

Thoroughbred racing has always been exciting to me. Perhaps because my family was involved for some 75 years — on the administrative side, not ownership or training.

I love watching those magnificent athletes run at some 40-45 MPH and compete for a victory. The Triple Crown comprised of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes (to be run next Saturday, June 5th) has always been a favorite.

The 146th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico race course in Baltimore on May 15th featured an upset with Rombauer ridden by jockey Flavin Plat and trained by Michael McCarthy, not the Dallas Cowboys head coach – he’s busy getting ready for the season. Rombauer came from 11th place to outrun Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit, who won the Kentucky Derby a couple of weeks earlier.

Oh yes, Medina Spirit still is this years’ Derby winner although the horse tested positive after the race. The use of betamethasone has been used to enhance a horse’s running ability, which was not found in ‘Spirit, but a medication used to treat dermatitis did show a positive drug use. Remember it’s not the horse’s fault that the use of a drug shows up in a urine sample.

This was not trainer Bob Baffert’s first “rodeo.” And this is not an accusation of his guilt. Baffert has won 7 Kentucky Derbies (a record) as well as 2 Triple Crowns (2015 and 2018). Baffert’s horses have failed drug tests for over four decades including four in 2020 and although he is in the Lone Star Park’s and the National Museum’s Halls of Fame his “leafy credibility,” as some have claimed, has caused damage to his outstanding accomplishments.

Here’s where my family enters this picture. My dad, Jim Sr., was a high school administrator in the mid-1940s when he was recruited by the California Thoroughbred Horse Racing Association to join them as a Patrol Judge and then as a Steward at their 3 California racetracks. Thoroughbred racing at that time was having problems with “fouls” being committed during the race. Mind you, dad had never ridden or even been on a horse – let alone a thoroughbred.

However, he was an outstanding sports official (football and basketball) and not only knew a foul when he saw one but had the integrity to enforce it when it occurred. He served in that capacity for 20 years until he passed away in 1965. Along with fellow stewards, his presence, experience, and integrity corrected those problems. Further, his son, Peter, served as General Manager of Golden Gate Fields in Albany, California for 30 years. His grandson, Michael, worked at the Del Mar Race Track (California) for 40 seasons.

Will you serve with integrity as your first and foremost quality?

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Dr. Jim Tunney

Jim Tunney had an exemplary career in sports. A former high school coach, teacher, principal and district superintendent, he had a 40-year career in officiating football and basketball.

Thirty-one of those years he was an NFL Referee working a record twenty-nine post-season games including four Super Bowls, ten NFC/AFC Championship games, six Pro Bowls and twenty-five Monday Night Games.

He officiated some of the most memorable games in NFL history. His book Impartial Judgment: “The Dean of NFL Referees” Calls Pro Football As He Sees It, chronicles his NFL career.

As a Professional Speaker, he is Past President of The National Speakers Association and a Charter Member of its most prestigious group – The CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame. Jim holds every professional designation of the NSA, including the Oscar of Professional Speaking – The Cavett. NSA named him Philanthropist of the Year in 2007.

Dr. Tunney (a doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California) continues to serve his community as  Trustee Emeritus of both Monterey Peninsula College and York School; where he once served as Headmaster. In 1993, he founded the Jim Tunney Youth Foundation to support local community programs that develop leadership, work skills, wellness and self-esteem in youth. He and his wife Linda live in Pebble Beach, California. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.

As an author he has written and/or co-authored thirteen books: Impartial Judgment, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan’s Soul, Speaking Secrets of the Masters, You Can Do It!, Super Bowl Sunday, Insights into Excellence, Lessons in Leadership, Build a Better You and his most recent book, It’s the Will, Not the Skill.

If you are looking for a keynote speaker who educates, motivates and entertains with a lifetime of stories about leadership, team building and sports 831-595-3258.

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.