Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings, May 8 – May 15

Sarah Andrew

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Every week, the TDN posts a roundup of the relevant Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) -elated rulings from around the country.

Among this week's rulings, trainer Pavel Matejka has been suspended seven days for four separate cannabidiol (CBD) positives. The four cases occurred between Feb. 17 and Mar. 15.

Under HISA, CBD is classified a Class B controlled substance. The massive proliferation in CBD products for humans has spilled over into the equine world. The purported benefits from CBD use in horses include treatment of inflammation, ulcers, laminitis, colic, and decreased anxiety.

This broader societal trend has led to several regulatory warnings issued to trainers in recent years about the largely unregulated market place for these products, leading to questions over purity, consistency, and safety.

Trainer Arturo Chavez has also been suspended for seven days for two capsaicin positives–from Bye Bye Brooky who won at Sunland Park on Mar. 7, and from Jr's Confidence, who won at Sunland Park on Mar. 15.

A Class B controlled medication under HISA, capsaicin is the active ingredient in chilli peppers causing burning and irritation. It can be found in topical analgesics.

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: 05/15/2023

Licensee: Bruce Levine, 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. Final decision by HIWU.

Explainer: For the presence of Dexamethasone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Fortune's Nephew, who finished third at Aqueduct on 12/30/23. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 05/15/2024

Licensee: Todd Pletcher, 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. Final decision by HIWU.

Explainer: For the presence of Dexamethasone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Give Me Kisses, who finished fifth at Aqueduct on 12/14/23. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 05/13/2024

Licensee: Pavel Matejka, trainer

Penalty: 7-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on May 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 2 Penalty Points. Admission. The following are treated as 1 violation under 09/08/23 HISA Guidance.

Explainer: For the presence of Cannabidiol (CBD)-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from Calrissian, who finished second at Oaklawn Park on 3/15/24 and on 2/23/24; in a sample taken from Erna, who finished third at Turfway Park on 2/24/24; and in a sample taken from Vicki Rose, who finished second at Oaklawn Park on 2/17/24. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Date: 05/13/2024

Licensee: Arturo Chavez, trainer

Penalty: 7-day period of Ineligibility for Covered Person, beginning on May 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 2 Penalty Points. This is treated as 1 violation with Jr's Confidence under 09/08/23 HISA Guidance. Admission.

Explainer: For the presence of Capsaicin-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from Bye Bye Brooky, who won at Sunland Park on 3/7/24, and in a sample taken from Jr's Confidence, who won at Sunland Park on 03/15/24. This is a possible violation of Rule 3312-Presence of Controlled Medication Substance and/or its Metabolites or Markers (Post-Race/Vets' List).

Pending ADMC Violations

05/08/2024, Dayson LaVanway, trainer: Pending medication violation 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.

05/08/2024, Michael Hewitt, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of Dexamethasone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Miss Double Glass who finished second at Will Rogers on 4/2/24.

05/08/2024, Michael Hewitt, trainer: Pending medication violations for the presence of Capsaicin-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from Daboogeyman who won at Will Rogers on 4/2/24; and from Shacks Way who won at Oaklawn Park on 4/7/24.

05/08/2024, Juan Cano, trainer: Pending vets' list medication violation for the presence of Omeprazole-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Ibn Al Arabi on 4/3/24.

05/08/2024, Francisco Ramos, trainer: Pending vets' list medication violation for the presence of Clenbuterol-A banned substance-in a sample taken from You're a Dandy on 4/14/24.

05/09/2024, Miguel Rodriguez, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of an Alkalinizing agent (TCO2) in a sample taken from Tilsa, who finished fifth at Parx Racing on 3/25/24.

05/09/2024, Silvino Ramirez, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of an Alkalinizing agent (TCO2) in a sample taken from Perfect Day, who finished fifth at Parx Racing on 4/17/24.

05/10/2024, Victor Carrasco, Jr., trainer: Pending medication violation 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.

05/10/2024, Gerald Bennett, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of Methocarbamol-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from She's So Sexy who finished second at Tampa Bay on 4/5/24.

05/10/2024, Jesus Nunez, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of Dexamethasone-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Run Auntie T Run who won at Los Alamitos on 4/6/24.

05/13/2024, David Jacobson, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of an Alkalinizing agent (TCO2) in a sample taken from Got Thunder, who finished second at Penn National on 3/21/24.

05/13/2024, Karen Yanez, trainer: Pending vets' list medication violation for the presence of Dantrolene-Controlled Medication (Class C)-in a sample taken from Jess's Vision on 4/6/24.

05/14/2024, Christophe Clement, trainer: Pending vets' list medication violation for the presence of Acepromazine-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from Mizoula, who finished second at Gulfstream Park on 3/3/24.

05/15/2024, Paul Valery, trainer: Medication violation interim suspension for the presence of Formestane and 4-Hydroxytestosterone-both banned substances-in a sample taken from Quincy Cafe, who won at Gulfstream Park on 3/13/24; and from Pure Speight, who won at Gulfstream Park on 4/21/24.

05/14/2024, Eric Reed, trainer: Pending medication violation for the presence of Gabapentin-Controlled Medication (Class B)-in a sample taken from Lost Bikini, who won at Mahoning Valley on 4/13/24.

Violations of Crop Rule

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

Golden Gate Fields

  • Francisco Duran – violation date May 10; $250 fine and one-day suspension
  • Leonel Camacho Flores – violation date May 11; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Penn National

  • Julio Hernandez – violation date May 10; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Prairie Meadows

  • Armando Martinez – violation date May 10; $250 fine and one-day suspension
  • Armando Martinez – violation date May 10; $250 fine and one-day suspension

Thistledown

  • Rocco Bowen – violation date May 13; $250 fine and one-day suspension

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: 05/10/2024

Licensee: Darin Ott, owner

Penalty: Suspension

Explainer: Owner Darin D. Ott having failed to respond to written notice to appear before the Board of Stewards at Santa Anita Park on May 9, 2024, 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- $1,237.30 to Southern California Equine Foundation Inc.). Suspension to commence on May 17, 2024.

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