Weekly Stewards And Commissions Rulings: May 16-22, 2024

Churchill Downs | Coady

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 Silvino Ramirez was suspended for 30-days and fined $2,500 after his trainee, Perfect Day, tested positive for an alkalinizing agent (TCO2) when finishing fifth at Parx Racing on April 17.

High total carbon dioxide (TCO2) levels could be an indication of bicarbonate loading—otherwise known as milkshaking—which can neutralize the buildup of lactic acid in muscles, thereby helping the horse's performance.

Veterinarian Donald McCrosky was also suspended 30-days for violating the terms of a prior suspension. HIWU's publicly-posted case resolution contains few specific details, other than to explain that McCrosky “participated in activities related to Covered Horses” during that period of ineligibility. His latest suspension runs May 18 through June 16.

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
Resolution Date: 05/21/2023
Licensee: Juan Cano, trainer
Penalty: A written Reprimand (per 9/26/23 HISA Guidance).
Explainer: For the presence of Omeprazole—Controlled Medication (Class C)—in a sample taken from Ibn Al Arabi on 4/3/24. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312—Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 05/21/2023
Licensee: Dayson LaVanway, 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 Triamcinolone—Controlled Medication (Class C)—in a sample taken from Sir Looking Glass, who finished second at Turf Paradise on 3/27/24. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312—Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 05/20/2024
Licensee: Silvino Ramirez, trainer
Penalty: 30-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on May 21, 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 $2,500; imposition of 3 Penalty Points. Admission.
Explainer: For the potential breach of Rule 4221—Alkalinization or use/administration of an Alkalinizing Agent (TCO2)—on Perfect Day, who finished fifth at Parx Racing on 4/17/24. This was also a possible violation of Rule 3313—Use of a Controlled Method During the Race Period.

Resolution Date: 05/17/2023
Licensee: Victor Carrasco Jr., 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 Perfectly Golden, who won at Tampa Bay on 3/8/24. This was a possible violation of Rule 3312—Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Resolution Date: 05/17/2024
Licensee: Dr. Donald McCrosky, veterinarian
Penalty:  30-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on May 18, 2024. Admission.
Explainer: Possible breach of ADMC Program Rule 3329(a) for the violation of the terms of the Covered Person's period of Ineligibility imposed for a prior violation of ADMC Program Rule 3510. During the terms of the period of Ineligibility, McCrosky participated in activities related to Covered Horses. McCrosky previously served a 30-day suspension between March 12 and April 10 for the breach of Rule 3510(a)—Disruptive or Offensive Conduct that does not rise to Tampering. The ruling involved the horse Madelyn Attack, who McCrosky bred.

Pending ADMC Violations
05/22/2024, Monty Meier, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of Acepromazine—Controlled Medication (Class B)—in a sample taken from Blaze of Dreams, who finished fourth at Golden Gate on 4/20/24.

05/21/2024: Pending medication violation for the presence of metformin—a banned substance—in a sample taken from Devil Pays in Gold, who finished second at Laurel Park on 3/8/24.

Update: According to a HIWU spokesperson, trainer David Howard was the trainer of record when Devil Pays in Gold tested positive for metformin. Howard passed away later that month. The only potential sanctions for this case, therefore, are the disqualification of race results and a period of Ineligibility for the horse, which has already been completed.

05/17/2024, Herold Simms, trainer: Pending intra-articular injection violation on Nature Boy within a timed and reported workout on 5/1/24.

05/17/2024, Sergio Ledezma, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of Omeprazole—Controlled Medication (Class C)—in a sample taken from Cousin Richie, who finished fourth at Aqueduct on 4/13/24.

05/16/2024, James Ferraro, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of Betamethasone—Controlled Medication (Class C)—in a sample taken from Meraviglioso, who won at Aqueduct on 3/10/24.

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: 05/17/2024
Licensee: John Elder, owner
Penalty: Suspension
Explainer: Owner John Elder having failed to respond to appear in person as ordered (April 25, 2024) by the Board of Stewards at Santa Anita Park on May 16, 2024, (at 10:00 a.m.) for a scheduled hearing is suspended for violation of California Horse Racing Board rule #1547 (Failure to Appear) pending an appearance at a hearing before the Board of Stewards to answer to charges alleging violation of CHRB rule #1876 (Financial Responsibility – $7369.25 to Trainer Leonard Powell). Suspension to commence on May 24, 2024.

Kentucky
Track: Churchill Downs
Irad Ortiz – violation date May 1; three-day suspension for careless riding
Martin Chuan – violation date May 2; three-day suspension for careless riding
Tyler Gaffalione – violation date May 4; $2,500 fine for touching a rival with his left hand nearing the finish

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