1 1/2-Year Suspension for Trainer Gelrod; Stewards and Commissions Rulings, May 22 – May 29

Sarah Andrew

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Every week, the TDN posts a roundup of the relevant Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA)-related rulings from around the country.

Among this week's rulings, trainer Monte Gelrod has been suspended for 18 months and fined $12,500 after his trainee, Ratified, tested positive for cobalt salts after winning at Parx Racing on Feb. 19. Gelrod's suspension started Apr. 17.

HISA classifies cobalt salts as a banned substance. Cobalt has been proven to stimulate the production of red blood cells (erythropoiesis) which explains why some have turned to it as a potential performance-enhancer in both humans and animals. Greater blood cell production can help endurance and decrease muscle fatigue.

Present in all horses at very low baseline levels, cobalt is also found in all sorts of traditional feeds and feed supplements. There is currently no detailed explanation of the ruling on the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU)'s website.

Trainer David Jacobson has also been banned for 30 days and fined $2,500 after his trainee, Got Thunder, tested positive for an alkalinizing agent (TCO2) when finishing second at Penn National on Mar. 21.

High total carbon dioxide (TCO2) levels could be an indication of bicarbonate loading–otherwise known as “milkshaking”–which can neutralize the build-up of lactic acid in muscles, thereby helping the horse's performance. Jacobson's suspension begins May 30.

NEW HISA/HIWU STEWARDS RULINGS

The following rulings were reported on HISA's “rulings” portal and through the HIWU “pending” and “resolved” cases portals.

Resolved ADMC Violations

Date: 05/22/2024

Licensee: Gerald Bennett, trainer

Penalty: Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Methocarbamol-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from She's So Sexy who finished second at Tampa Bay on 4/5/24.

Date: 05/22/2024

Licensee: Christophe Clement, trainer

Penalty: 7-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on May 23, 2024; Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $1,000; imposition of 2 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Acepromazine-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from Mizoula, who finished second at Gulfstream Park on 3/3/24.

Date: 05/22/2024

Licensee: Sergio Ledezma, trainer

Penalty: Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a written Reprimand (per 9/26/23 HISA Guidance). Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Omeprazole-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Cousin Richie, who finished fourth at Aqueduct on 4/13/24.

Date: 05/24/2024

Licensee: Curt Ferguson, trainer

Penalty: Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Final decision by internal arbitration panel.

Explainer: For the presence of Dexamethasone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Cidstayinurlane, who won at Turf Paradise on 01/30/24.

Date: 05/24/2024

Licensee: Michael Hewitt, trainer

Penalty: Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Dexamethasone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Miss Double who finished second at Will Rogers on 4/2/24.

Date: 05/24/2024

Licensee: Jesus Nunez, trainer

Penalty: Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Dexamethasone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Run Auntie T Run who won at Los Alamitos on 4/6/24.

Date: 05/24/2024

Licensee: Karen Yanez, trainer

Penalty: A fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Dantrolene-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Jess's Vision on 4/6/24.

Date: 05/24/2024

Licensee: N/A

Penalty: Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable). Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of metformin-a banned substance-in a sample taken from Devil Pays in Gold, who finished second at Laurel Park on 3/8/24.

Read more on the story here.

Date: 05/29/2024

Licensee: Monte Gelrod, trainer

Penalty: 18-month period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on April 17, 2024; 6-month period of Ineligibility for Covered Horse, beginning on February 19, 2024; Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results obtained on 02/19/24 and 03/04/24, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $12,500. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Cobalt Salts-a banned substance-in a sample taken from Ratified who won at Parx Racing on 2/19/23.

More on the story here.

Date: 05/29/2024

Licensee: David Jacobson, trainer

Penalty: 30-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on May 30, 2024; Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $2,500; imposition of 3 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of an Alkalinizing agent (TCO2) in a sample taken from Got Thunder, who finished second at Penn National on 3/21/24.

Date: 05/29/2024

Licensee: Monty Meier, trainer

Penalty: 7-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on May 30, 2024; Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $1,000; imposition of 2 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Acepromazine-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from Blaze of Dreams, who finished fourth at Golden Gate on 4/20/24.

Date: 05/29/2024

Licensee: Eric Foster, trainer

Penalty: 7-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on May 30, 2024; Disqualification of Covered Horse's Race results, including forfeiture of all purses and other compensation, prizes, trophies, points, and rankings and repayment or surrender (as applicable); a fine of $1,000; imposition of 2 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Xylazine-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from P H Factor, who finished second at Keeneland on 4/21/24.

Pending ADMC Violations

05/23/2024, Juan Landeros, trainer: Pending vets' list medication violation for the presence of Aminocaproic Acid-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Point Maker on 4/25/24.

05/23/2024, Ramon Aguayo, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of Metformin-A banned substance-in a sample taken from Novellie, who finished fifth at Tampa Bay Downs on 4/26/24.

05/25/2024, Monica McGoey, trainer: Pending vets' list medication violation for the presence of Dantrolene-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Camdyn Race on 4/13/24.

05/29/2024, Faith Taylor, trainer: Pending vets' list medication violation for the presence of Acepromazine-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from Chilean Express on 3/24/24.

Violations of Crop Rule

One important note: HISA's whip use limit is restricted to six strikes during a race.

Churchill Downs

  • Luis Saez – violation date May 25; $523 fine and one-day suspension
  • Oscar Villarreal – violation date May 26; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Delaware Park

  • Ederik Robles – violation date May 23; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Horseshoe Indianapolis

  • Abel Lezcano – violation date May 22; $500 fine, no other details posted
  • Santo Sanjur – violation date May 23; $250 fine and one-day suspension
  • Gregory Romero – violation date May 28; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Prairie Meadows

  • Hugo Torres – violation date May 24; $250 fine and one-day suspension

The TDN also publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky.

Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where.

New York

Track: Aqueduct

Date: 05/24/2024

Licensee: Ron Anderson, jockey agent

Penalty: $500 fine

Explainer: Mr. Ronald Anderson (Jockey Agent) is hereby fined the sum of $500 for failing to honor riding commitments.

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