By T. D. Thornton
Trainer Richard Mandella has been fined $500 by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) for a Class 4 and Penalty Category C methocarbamol positive that turned up in the post-race test of Jolie Olimpica (Brz) (Drosselmeyer) after the MGSW mare ran third in the GIII San Simeon S. at Santa Anita Mar. 13.
The stewards' ruling was issued May 29. According to the original May 7 complaint, split-sample blood testing had confirmed the presence of the skeletal muscle relaxant.
Methocarbamol's 4C categorization is on the least-severe side of the scale on the Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances list published by the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI).
Mandella, a Hall-of-Fame conditioner who has been training since 1974, shows three other low-category medication fines of $500 each in the ARCI's rulings database: One for phenylbutazone and flunixin in 2018 at Santa Anita, one for methocarbamol at Santa Anita in 2011, and one for naproxen at Arlington Park in 2007.
In California, a trainer's first violation within a 365-day period for a Category C drug violation can result in a minimum fine of $500 to a maximum fine of $1,000 (absent mitigating circumstances).
CHRB spokesperson Mike Marten confirmed that Mandella paid the fine the day after the ruling was issued.