Parx-Based Trainer Joe Taylor Receives Six-Year Ban

Parx Racing | Sarah Andrew

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Joe Taylor, who has been among the top trainers at Parx since he began his career about eight years ago, has received a six-year suspension from the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) after two of his horses tested positive for the banned substances clenbuterol and methylphenidate.

According to a posting on the HIWU website, Taylor has admitted the violations and accepted the penalties. However, his attorney, Alan Pincus, raised questions about the positive tests.

“No trainer is going to give his horse two different easily detectable illegal drugs and do it two different times,” Pincus said. “Somebody got to them. Obviously, we can't prove anything. We asked HISA to investigate and they didn't. So what can he do? Their system for banned substances is profoundly unfair. To have any chance at all, you have to prove how it got in there and prove that you were not negligent in letting it get in there. We have suspicions of how the drugs got in there, but we can't prove them. Under their system, you can't win.”

With two horses having tested positive for two different substances, Taylor received 18 months for each offense, which ads up to the six years. He was also fined $12,500 for each offense.

The first positive came when Cajun Cousin (Cajun Breeze) finished seventh in a June 18 claiming race at Parx. Two days later, the Taylor-trained Classy American (Uncle Lino) finished tenth in a starter allowance at Parx.

According to the National Institute of Health's website, methylphenidate “is a powerful central nervous system stimulant with a high potential for abuse in horse racing.” Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator that can treat lower airways disease but also has a steroid-like effect that can help build muscle mass.

Both Cajun Cousin and Classy American will be prohibited from racing for a period of 14 months.

Taylor, who began his career in harness racing, started training Thoroughbreds full time in 2017 when he had 30 winners. His career peaked in 2019 when he won 111 races. He had 103 victories that year at Parx to lead all trainers in the standings. For his career, Taylor has won 327 races from 2,011 starters.

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