STRONACH GROUP BARS TRAINER AMBER COBB
Trainer Amber Cobb’s troubles continue.
The latest evidence: a weekend statement by 1/ST Racing, the consumer-facing brand of the Stronach Group, that she would not be welcome at tracks owned by the company. Those tracks include Laurel Park and Pimlico in Maryland, as well as Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.
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Cobb’s troubles began when a disturbing video came to light appearing to show her screaming obscenities at a horse in her care and brandishing a plastic pitchfork at it. The horse, tied to the wall of her stall and seeming terrified, finally reared up and then fell to the ground.
Though the incident took place in New Jersey, the video was brought to the state stewards at Delaware Park, where Cobb was stabled at the time. The stewards on May 26 handed her a two-year suspension, though that term subsequently was reduced to 60 days by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission.
More recently, the stewards on September 10 summarily suspended Cobb, alleging that she violated numerous state rules. Summary suspensions are imposed only when stewards believe “that a licensee’s actions constitute an immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare.” The most recent ruling came days before her earlier 60-day suspension would have expired.
And now this.
The 1/ST Racing statement didn’t mince words, calling her out for her “abhorrent conduct.”
“Individuals who abuse horses have no place in racing and certainly have no place at any 1/ST RACING venue,” the company wrote.
The move is more likely to be symbolic in effect than consequential. Cobb made two starts at Pimlico this year prior to her 60-day suspension, and in 2020 she made four starts at Laurel. She had no starts at either track, or at other 1/ST Racing venues, in 2019 and 2018. Symbols do matter, though, and other companies could follow suit.
The statement follows:
In August, 1/ST RACING reviewed the video of the abhorrent conduct of Amber Cobb as presented to the Delaware Stewards and we immediately elected to permanently ban her from training and racing at our facilities. Cobb’s actions are completely reprehensible and are totally out of line with 1/ST’s commitment to safety, integrity and accountability. 1/ST RACING believes that the care and safety of horses is the duty of all industry stakeholders. Individuals who abuse horses have no place in racing and certainly have no place at any 1/ST RACING venue.