After “B Sample” Comes Back Positive, Weaver Faces Two-Year Suspension

The attorney representing trainer George Weaver has been informed by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) that a split sample taken from the horse Anna's Wish (Dialed In) has confirmed the earlier finding that the horse raced with the banned substance metformin during the Mar. 16 Cicada S. at Aqueduct. Trainers whose horses have tested positive for what HIWU considers banned substances face suspensions of up to two years. Weaver will be allowed to run horses that have already been entered, but cannot continue to enter horses and his...

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FTC Affirms Wong Suspension and Fine, Case Heads to Federal Court

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has affirmed an earlier Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) arbitration panel ruling against trainer Jonathan Wong, suspending him for two years and fining him $25,000 for a 2023 post-race metformin positive. Metformin is a type 2 diabetes drug that HISA has classified as a banned substance. The next step in the appeals process would be a request for review by the FTC of the FTC administrative law judge's decision, according to a Horseracing Integrity and Safety Unit (HIWU) spokesperson. Wong will instead take the...

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Morfin Meth Case Highlights Backstretch Substance Abuse Problems

Towards the end of December, the Sergio Morfin-trained Grazen mare Wishtheyallcouldbe was loaded onto a van from her stable at Los Alamitos to be shipped to Santa Anita for a $12,500 claimer. She would ultimately finish second. Isidro Paez was the freelance groom hired to care for the horse that day. In February, Paez had his license suspended for 90 days by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) for disorderly conduct "under the influence of Amphetamine and Methamphetamine" on Jan. 27, at Santa Anita. According to the stewards' minutes of...

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HIWU Hits Diodoro With Provisional Suspension

Top trainer Robertino Diodoro has been provisionally suspended by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) after he was allegedly found to possess the banned substance Levothyroxine. Levothyroxine is a thyroid medication. According to the National Library of Medicine the use of thyroid hormones for doping to enhance performance in human sports has long been controversial. There have been claims of abuse of these drugs, but they have not been prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Diodoro declined to comment and referred questions to his lawyer, John Holleman. At deadline...

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Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings, Mar. 15-21

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, an independent arbitration panel suspended trainer Jason DaCosta for 15 days (starting on Mar. 22) and fined him $1,000 after his trainee, Poker Partner, tested positive for Gabapentin when winning at Presque Isle Downs on July 18 last year. Gabapentin is a class B controlled medication under HISA that is an FDA human-approved anticonvulsant used to treat conditions like epilepsy, postherpetic neuralgia and in the...

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Rusty Arnold Joins the TDN Writers' Room

On this week's TDN Writers' Room, trainer Rusty Arnold speaks out on his recent suspension and discusses environmental contamination at the racetrack.

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HIWU Withdraws Farrior Suspension

Just one week after the Horseracing Welfare and Integrity Unit (HIWU) issued a public disclosure on its website that top Mid-Atlantic trainer Anthony Farrior had a horse test positive for the banned substance Metformin, Farrior's attorney Drew Mollica said that he has been informed by HIWU that the charges have been dropped. "The system worked and we are happy to clear his good name and his reputation," Mollica said. Mollica said HIWU's decision came about after a review of the split sample, which was requested by Mollica and Farrior. Mollica...

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Ortiz, Jr. Drops Appeal of Suspension For Winning Breeders' Cup Ride On Goodnight Olive

Irad Ortiz, Jr. has withdrawn his appeal of a three-day suspension for "for failure to maintain a straight course in the stretch and causing interference" aboard 11-10 favorite Goodnight Olive (Ghostzapper), who successfully defended her title by winning the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park. There was no stewards' inquiry posted after Goodnight Olive's win. The Equibase chart noted that Goodnight Olive "drifted in, taking the path of Society [Gun Runner] near the three-sixteenths pole" before she "quickly opened clear and held safely."...

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Trainer Lynch Plans Appeal After HIWU Arbitrator Imposes 4-Year Banned Substances Suspension

Natalia Lynch, a Belmont Park-based trainer who has been licensed since 2020, has been penalized with a four-year suspension and a $50,000 fine after a Nov. 9 Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU) arbitration judgment found her to be in violation of two separate anti-doping rules, one for the presence of a banned substance (Altrenogest) in a horse, and another for possession of a different prohibited drug (Thyro-L). Lynch's attorney, John Mac Hayes, told TDN Monday that the trainer plans to appeal the arbitration result to a Federal Trade Commission...

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Ryan Moore, Irad Ortiz, Jr., Penalized For Winning Breeders' Cup Rides

Two of the planet's top jockeys, Ryan Moore and Irad Ortiz, Jr., were penalized by the Santa Anita Park stewards for riding infractions aboard winning mounts on the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup program. Moore was fined $20,800 and suspended one day (Nov. 12) for being one whip strike over the limit of six when guiding 5-2 favorite Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) to victory in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf. Under Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) rules, the fine equates to 10% of Moore's personal purse winnings from...

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Dettori Handed Three-Day Ban by Santa Anita Stewards 

Frankie Dettori has picked up a three-day ban for interference caused in the fifth race, a 2-year-old fillies' maiden, at Santa Anita Saturday. The jockey is suspended for Nov. 5, 10 and 11, though he is already banned from riding for the last two dates for overuse of the whip on British Champions Day at Ascot. At Santa Anita, Dettori's mount Circle Of Trust (Union Rags) finished first past the post for trainer Philip D'Amato but was later disqualified and placed last after the stewards looked into an incident on...

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Doyle to Miss Breeders' Cup After Failed Appeal

Hollie Doyle will miss the ride on Bradsell (GB) (Tasleet {GB}) at next week's Breeders' Cup after failing in her appeal against the severity of a careless riding ban. Doyle incurred a seven-day suspension for her ride at Kempton last week. The British Horseracing Authority's independent disciplinary panel heard Doyle's appeal Thursday morning. The jockey contested the length of the ban rather than the riding offence itself. After hearing submissions from Charlotte Davison, representing the BHA, and Rory Mac Neice for Doyle, the panel concluded the original penalty should stand,...

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