$5K Bisphosphonate Fine for Sadler

Trainer John Sadler has been fined $5,000 by the Del Mar stewards, and has entered into a settlement agreement and mutual release with the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), for "knowingly" bringing a horse into a CHRB enclosure "that had been administered bisphosphonates within previous six months," according to a ruling Friday. The horse in question--as first reported by the BloodHorse--was GISW sprinter Flagstaff (Speightstown), who was recently retired at the age of seven. Flagstaff tested positive for the bisphosphonate "clodronate" after finishing second in the 2020 GII Santa Anita...

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Peter Miller Taking 'Temporary Hiatus' From Training

When Nov. 29 rolls around, trainer Peter Miller, one of the most numerically powerful stables on the Southern California circuit, will embark upon a temporary hiatus from training to spend "more time with his family, focus on overall health and wellness, and pursue other interests," according to press release issued Thursday evening. While Miller's assistant, Ruben Alvarado, is expected to take over the everyday running of the barn, Miller will take on an advisory position and maintain his role as an owner, the release states. "I have been working virtually...

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All Breeders' Cup Tests Come Back Clean

All samples collected from 2021 Breeders' Cup horses have been cleared by the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. All horses competing in Breeders' Cup races this past weekend at Del Mar were tested for TCO2 levels in blood. Post-race testing was performed for prohibited drugs on the first four finishers in all Breeders' Cup races and any additional random horses selected by the stewards consistent with California Horse Racing Board protocol. Post-race testing was done on both blood and urine samples. The...

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Additional Statement on Juvenile Turf

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Breeders' Cup issued a collective statement Saturday regarding the incident at the gate prior to the start of Friday's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, which results in the eventual winner, Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), ultimately being withdrawn from pari-mutuel pools and competing for purse money only. The statement, in its entirety, reads: "The CHRB, Del Mar, and Breeders' Cup officials reviewed the circumstances of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last night and again this morning. "The CHRB determined...

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O'Neill Summoned to Explain Substance Administration at Los Al

Two-time GI Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O'Neill has been summoned to a stewards' hearing to address a California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) complaint that revolves around a potential illegal administration of a substance prior to races four months ago at Los Alamitos Race Course (LARC). According to an Oct. 22 CHRB complaint, back on July 5, "Investigators received information from Los Alamitos track security steward, Michael Kilpack, regarding seeing someone at trainer Doug O'Neill's barn possibly giving an illegal substance to a horse that had already been entered in a...

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Taskforce Not Penalties for Equine Fatalities, Said CTT at CHRB Meeting

If reception is any guide, the main takeaway by far from Tuesday's California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) Medication, Safety, and Welfare Committee meeting was the suggestion of an accident prevention taskforce to systematically study the myriad factors behind fatal equine injury. The primary discussion on the meeting agenda was a highly anticipated one, concerning the possibility of penalizing trainers for injuries and fatalities for horses in their care. During the meeting introduction, CHRB executive director, Scott Chaney, and CHRB chairman, Gregory Ferraro, explained that while California has witnessed a sharp...

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Penalize Trainers for Equine Fatalities? The Ins and Outs

An indication of just how prickly an upcoming California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) Medication, Safety, and Welfare Committee meeting discussion will likely be--one on potentially penalizing trainers for equine injuries and fatalities--can be evinced through a tweet the agency's spokesperson, Mike Marten, issued on Sept. 26. The digital missive goes: "Considerable interest in this Oct. 19 CHRB committee agenda item: 'Discussion regarding the advisability of penalizing trainers for injuries and fatalities for horses in their care.' Emphasis on the word 'discussion.' Very early in a complicated process." A "complicated process"...

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Third Class 4 Drug Complaint Issued Against Miller This Year

The Peter Miller trained Mr. Dougie Fresh (Ghostzapper) tested positive for phenylbutazone--a class 4, penalty category C drug--after the horse worked at the San Luis Rey Downs training center Sept. 19, according to a California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) complaint dated Sept. 26. Miller, who did not request a split sample in this case, is scheduled to appear before the Santa Anita board of stewards at an unspecified date. This is Miller's third overage offense in 365 days. On April 10, Miller was fined $500 after Hembree (Proud Citizen) tested...

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Stronach Group Warns About Buzzer Use in Training and Racing

September was a busy month for buzzers. On Sept. 15, the Monmouth Park board of stewards suspended jockey Tomas Mejia for 10 years and fined him $5,000 for possessing an electrical device--commonly referred to as a "buzzer"--during a race run there Sept. 3. That same day at Indiana Grand, leading Quarter Horse jockey, Sammy Mendez, was "summarily suspended for actions not in the best interest of racing," and is awaiting a full hearing before the track's board of stewards. According to the Paulick Report, the suspension is connected to use...

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Bisphosphonate Complaint Against Metz Dismissed

A complaint against trainer Jeff Metz regarding a positive bisphosphonate test from last year was dismissed during a closed session vote of the California Horse Racing Board commissioners Sept. 15. According to a release from the CHRB, the board believed it would be unfair to punish Metz for the positive test of his trainee, Camino de Estrella, because testing and a subsequent investigation revealed that the substance had been administered in 2018--well before the horse was in Metz's care. The Maddy Laboratory at UC Davis detected the presence of Tiludronic...

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Dennis Alfieri Reappointed to CHRB

Dennis Alfieri has been reappointed to the California Horse Racing Board of Directors, where he has served since 2018, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday evening. The 62-year-old Alfieri has been Managing Member of Mission Real Estate Group since 2005. He was Chief Executive Officer of the Sheriff's Youth Foundation from 2017 to 2020. He was Principal and a Founding Partner at Bantry Property Services LLC from 2005 to 2010 and General Partner and Founder of Twin Palms Restaurants from 1991 to 2005. Alfieri is a 40-year member of the...

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'22 California Schedule Could Include One-Week Break

As the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) begins the planning process for crafting 2022 race dates on both the Southern and Northern circuits, it appears as if there is some consensus for including a one-week break with no racing, although no exact time frame for any proposed hiatus has been publicly identified. At Wednesday's monthly meeting, CHRB vice chair Oscar Gonzales updated the full board on the two-hour dates subcommittee teleconference that took place Tuesday and included representatives from tracks and horsemen's groups. "We obviously didn't take a vote on...

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