Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings, Feb. 6 – Feb. 12

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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 Jonathan Wong has been suspended for two years and fined $25,000 for a post-race metformin positive from last June.

Wong told the TDN he has appealed the ruling which could now go before the Federal Trade Commission, head to federal court, or both. He also said that he would seek a temporary injunction against the ban.

Trainer Kari Craddock was issued a seven-day suspension for a post-race Methocarbamol positive. Methocarbamol is a Class C controlled medication, a first offense for which comes a possible $500 fine and loss of purse. This was Craddock's second Methocarbamol-related violation since HISA's Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) program went into effect.

Trainer Ismael Bahena has also been provisionally suspended after Bahena's trainee, Color Field, tested positive for methamphetamine–a banned substance under HISA and a ubiquitous drug of human abuse–when winning at Horseshoe Indianapolis on Oct. 30. HIWU has now brought 11 methamphetamine-related cases for adjudication since the ADMC program went into effect.

 

NEW HISA/HIWU STEWARDS RULINGS

The following rulings were reported on HISA's “rulings” portal and through the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU)'s “pending” and “resolved” cases portals.

Resolved ADMC Violations

Date: 01/06/2024

Licensee: Monte Gelrod, trainer

Penalty: Written reprimand. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Omeprazole-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Salto de Tigre. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 01/13/2024

Licensee: Jay Nehf, trainer

Penalty: A fine of $3,000; imposition of 3 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, Customer List. This was also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Date: 01/21/2024

Licensee: Fernando Abreu, trainer

Penalty: A fine of $3,000; imposition of 3 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, Sugar N Spice. This was also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Date: 01/07/2024

Licensee: Jose Delgado, 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 Buff Hello, who finished third at Gulfstream Park on 1/7/23. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 11/20/2023

Licensee: Kari Craddock, trainer

Penalty: 7-day period of Ineligibility, beginning on February 14, 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 1.5 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Methocarbamol-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Ekati's Hit, who finished second at Remington Park on 11/20/23. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 12/13/2023

Licensee: Darien Rodriguez, 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 Charlotte the Brit, who finished second at Tampa Bay on 12/13/23. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 06/01/2023

Licensee: Jonathan Wong, trainer

Penalty: 2-year period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on July 1, 2023; 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 $25,000; payment of $8,000 of HIWU's arbitration costs. Final decision by arbitral body.

Explainer: For the presence of Metformin-a banned substance-in a sample taken from Heaven and Earth, who won at Horseshoe Indianapolis on 6/1/23. This was a possible violation of Rule 3212-Presence of a Banned Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers.

More on the story here.

Date: 01/05/2024

Licensee: Carlos Gonzalez, trainer

Penalty: A fine of $3,000; imposition of 3 Penalty Points.

Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, Suertuda. This was also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Date: 12/06/2023

Licensee: Joel Gonzales, trainer (Desert Danger's trainer is listed on Equibase as Andres Gonzalez. In HIWU's final decision posted online, it appears that Joel Gonzales failed to respond to the agency's notices)

Penalty: A fine of $500; imposition of 1.5 Penalty Points. Final decision by HIWU.

Explainer: For the presence of Phenylbutazone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Desert Danger. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 01/14/2024

Licensee: James Tsirigotis, trainer

Penalty: A fine of $3,000; imposition of 3 Penalty Points. Admission.

Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, Melancholy Blues. This was also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Date: 01/05/2024

Licensee: Jose Delgado, trainer

Penalty: A fine of $3,000; imposition of 3 Penalty Points. Final decision by HIWU.

Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, Justintimeforwine. This was also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

 

Pending ADMC Violations

Date: 01/27/2024

Licensee: Reynaldo Yanez, trainer

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Pre-workout intra-articular injection violation

Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, That Magic Moment. This is also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Date: 01/27/2024

Licensee: Rohan Crichton, trainer

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Pre-workout intra-articular injection violation

Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, Fighter in the Win. This is also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Date: 01/26/2024

Licensee: Robert Dibona, trainer

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Pre-workout intra-articular injection violation

Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, Surrogate. This is also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Date: 12/31/2023

Licensee: Gerard Ochoa, trainer

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Medication violation

Explainer: For the presence of Phenylbutazone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Unxpected Tiger, who finished second at Tampa Bay on 12/31/23. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 01/03/2024

Licensee: Jorge Diaz, trainer

Penalty: Pending

Alleged Violation: Medication violation

Explainer: For the potential breach of Rule 4221-Alkalinization or use/administration of an Alkalinizing Agent (TCO2)-on Melina's Dream, who finished seventh at Parx Racing on 1/3/2024. This is also a possible violation of Rule 3313-Use of a Controlled Method During the Race Period.

Date: 10/30/2023

Licensee: Ismael Bahena, trainer

Penalty: Provisionally suspended

Alleged Violation: Medication violation

Explainer: For the presence of Methamphetamine-a banned substance-in a sample taken from Color Field, who won at Horseshoe Indianapolis on 10/30/23. This is a possible violation of Rule 3212-Presence of a Banned Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers.

Date: 12/19/2023

Licensee: Anthony Carango, trainer

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Medication violation

Explainer: For the presence of Glycopyrrolate-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Esor, who finished second at Parx Racing on 12/19/23. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 12/22/2023

Licensee: Angel Sanchez-Pinero, trainer

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Out-of-competition medication violation

Explainer: For the presence of Phenylbutazone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Jersey Coast. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 01/19/2024

Licensee: Gustavo Delgado, trainer

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Pre-workout intra-articular injection violation

Explainer: A possible violation of Rule 3314-Use or Attempted Use of a Controlled Medication Substance or a Controlled Medication Method-on the horse, Ocean Vision. This is also a possible violation of Rule 4222-Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

 

OTHER KEY RULINGS

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.

California

Track: Santa Anita

Date: 02/11/2024

Licensee: Dan Blacker, trainer

Penalty: Ninety-day suspension and $15,000 fine

Violation: Failure to follow pre-workout examination reporting rules

Explainer: Trainer Dan Blacker is suspended for 90 days from February 26, 2024, to May 25, 2024, and fined the sum of $15,000.00 for violations of California Horse Racing Board rule #1878 (Workouts – No seventy-two [72] hour pre-workout Veterinarian examinations [527 counts]) occurred between January 1, 2022, through July 1, 2023.

Read more on the story here.

Track: Santa Anita

Date: 02/11/2024

Licensee: Joel Rosario, trainer

Penalty: Three-day suspension

Violation: Careless riding

Explainer: Jockey Joel Rosario who rode Exultation in the sixth race at Santa Anita Park on February 10, 2024, is suspended for 3 racing days (February 18, 19, and 23, 2024) for failure to make the proper effort to maintain a straight course in the stretch, causing interference resulting in the disqualification of his mount from first to second; a violation of California Horse Racing Board rule #1699 (Riding Rules-careless riding).

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