Masochistic (Sought After), second across the line in the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint last November, but subsequently disqualified after testing positive for the prohibited anabolic steroid stanozolol, will be ineligible to participate in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar, according to a formal statement from Breeders’ Cup Ltd. Tuesday. Additionally, trainer Ron Ellis and any horses directly or indirectly in his care have also been ruled ineligible to take part pursuant to BCL’s Prohibited Substance Rule and Convicted Trainer Rule. Breeders’ Cup rules prohibit the transfer of Ellis’s horses to “any other person associated with Mr. Ellis for the purpose of competing in the Breeders’ Cup.”
“Today’s actions affirm our determination to conduct the Breeders’ Cup under the highest standards of integrity and in a fair competitive environment for all participants,” Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel said in the statement. “Looking forward, we will be modifying our rules and protocols for out-of-competition testing to ensure that no horse testing positive for any anabolic steroid while in training or competition will be permitted to race in the Breeders’ Cup. There is no place for the administration of steroids to horses in training and racing, and we will be working closely with regulatory authorities to give the full effect to that principle in the Breeders’ Cup.”
Ellis, who trains Masochistic for owner Samantha Siegel and Los Pollos Hermanos Racing, acknowledged that he had administered the steroid to Masochistic 68 days prior to his anticipated start in the Breeders’ Cup, well outside the recommended withdrawal period of 60 days. Masochistic was subjected to out-of-competition testing three times, and Ellis said he was informed three days prior to the Sprint by the equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board that there was a risk that trace amounts of the steroid could result in a post-race positive.
Ellis has taken full responsibility for his actions.
“I have always played this game by the ruIes and we did that in this instance,” Ellis told TDN Editor in Chief Jessica Martini Dec. 19. “I am very proud of my medication history, which includes no suspensions in 35 years of training and only one minor infraction, a high Banamine, in the last 10 years. I apologize to the Breeders’ Cup and the racing industry for this unfortunate event.”