Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings, Jan. 16-22

Coady 

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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 Daniel Kenney has been banned18 months and fined $12,500 for possession of the thyroid drug, Levothyroxine, which HISA has listed a banned substance. Kenney's ban began on Oct. 5, 2023.

In a brief explainer on the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit's (HIWU) website, HIWU Investigators allegedly found the Levothyroxine—otherwise known as Thyro-L—in one of Kenney's tack rooms at Arapahoe Park in Aurora, Colorado on Aug. 25, 2023.

The case was resolved without a hearing after Kenney admitted to the possession error, according to HIWU.

In a curious chain of developments, possible sanctions have been issued against trainer Joel Gonzales, after the horse Desert Danger returned a Phenylbutazone (bute) overage, from a sample dated Dec. 6, 2023.

Originally, charges were filed against Patricio Venzor, who is listed as Desert Danger's owner on Equibase. The charges were recently withdrawn against Venzor, though there's currently no explainer on the withdrawal of the charges on the HIWU website.

On Jan. 22 this year, HIWU filed new charges for Desert Danger's Phenylbutazone overage against trainer Joel Gonzales. On Equibase, Desert Danger's trainer is listed as trainer Andres Gonzalez.

When asked about these developments, a HIWU spokesperson wrote in an email that Venzor was listed in the HISA portal as the horse's “Responsible Person” at the time of the phenylbutazone positive.

“Following the service of the Charge letter, HIWU was able to get in touch with all the relevant parties in this case and determined that Joel Gonzalez was the appropriate Responsible Person. There was no intention to specifically pursue a violation against Desert Danger's owner, which remains Venzor,” the HIWU spokesperson wrote.

The spokesperson added that “it is the responsibility of the owner and/or trainer connected with a Covered Horse to ensure that the information associated with the horse is up to date in the HISA portal. In this vein, Covered Persons must contact HIWU as soon as possible should they receive a Notice or Charge that they believe was sent in error.”

NEW HISA/HIWU STEWARDS RULINGS

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

Resolved ADMC Violations

Date: 12/27/2023

Licensee: John Kimmel, 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, Im Just Kiddin. 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: Gerald Brooks, 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 Phenylbutazone—Controlled Medication (Class C)—in a sample taken from Jareth, who won at Turfway Park on 12/06/23. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312—Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 08/25/2023

Licensee: Daniel Kenney, trainer

Penalty: 18-month period of Ineligibility, beginning on October 5, 2023; a fine of $12,500. Admission.

Explainer: For the possible possession of Levothyroxine (Thyro-L). This was a possible violation of Rule 3214(a)–Possession of Banned Substances.

Pending ADMC Violations

Date: 01/05/2024

Licensee: Carlos Gonzalez, 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, Suertuda. This is also a possible violation of Rule 4222—Intra-Articular Injections Within Seven (7) Days of Timed and Reported Workout.

Date: 11/09/2023

Licensee: George Weaver, trainer

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Medication violation

Explainer: For the presence of Dantrolene—Controlled Medication (Class C)—in a sample taken from Typhoon Fury, who won at Aqueduct on 11/09/23. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312—Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 12/24/2023

Licensee: David Geofroy (listed as the horse's owner on Equibase)

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Medication violation

Explainer: For the presence of 5-Hydroxy Dantrolene—Controlled Medication (Class C)—in a sample taken from Typhoon Fury. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312—Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 12/09/2023

Licensee: Salvador Naranjo, 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 Fever, who finished fifth at Los Alamitos on 12/9/2023. This is also a possible violation of Rule 3313—Use of a Controlled Method During the Race Period.

Date: 12/06/2023

Licensee: Joel Gonzales, trainer (Desert Danger's trainer is listed on Equibase as Andres Gonzalez)

Penalty: Pending

Alleged violation: Medication violation

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).

Violations of Crop Rule

One important note: HISA's whip use limit is restricted to six strikes during a race.

Santa Anita

Santiago Gonzalez – violation date Jan 20; $250 fine and one-day suspension, 7 strikes

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