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Friday, December 2, 2011


Though appeals are to be expected, the NYSRWB has come down hard on sixteen standardbred trainers according to  Expect a whole lot of stable changes to be coming up.  Twenty-eight horses were treated with oxymetazoliine, a bronchial dilator which is a component of Afrin which is banned for use within one week of a horse racing.  By using this medication, a horses lungs open, allowing it to breathe easier.  This took place at Monticello, Saratoga, and Yonkers Raceway during a period of  March 21 and April 1 of this year.  The fact these suspensions are only being announced now, leads me to believe the NYSRWB has ruled out contamination and has done some testing to make sure this is not some freak occurance.

The sixteen trainers which have received fines and suspensions for violating this rule according to are:
  •  Joseph S. Anderson: 2 year suspension and $5,000 fine
  •  Paul Blumenfeld: 180 day suspension and $5,000 fine
  •  Robert W. Harmon: 180 day suspension and $5,000 fine
  •  Thomas Merton: 6 month suspension and $2,000 fine
  •  Lance Hudson: 120 day suspension and $2,000 fine
  •  Heidi Rohr: 120 day suspension and $2,000 fine
  •  Mark Kesmodel: 105 day suspension and $1,000 fine
  •  Christopher Oakes: 105 day suspension and $1,000 fine
  •  Richard J. Banca: 90 day suspension and $1,000 fine
  •  Paul N. Fusco: 90 day suspension and $1,000 fine
  •  Frank Yanoti: 90 day suspension and $1,000 fine
  •  Kevin W. Johnson: 60 day suspension and $1,000 fine
  •  Frank Calcagni: 60 day suspension and $750 fine
  •  Don C. Campbell: 60 day suspension and $750 fine
  •  David Duspiva: 60 day suspension and $750 fine
  •  Michael Vanderkamp: 60 day suspension and $750 fine

April Aldrich's case is still under review as it appears the NYSRWB has a show cause order out (look under main office rulings) to decide whether or not she should have her licensed permanently revoked in the State of New York.

My question is how did all these trainers decide on their own to violate the rule and use oxymetazoliine within the one week window?  I would suspect they didn't all come up with the same idea at the same time.  My guess is one found out about someone else who had success and then they tried it and then the next and then the next.  The point is at some point a trainer must have had the possibility to report what is going on to the racing commission, but the code of silence, not snitching on someone else must have come into play.  It was probably a case of it's up to the state to catch them, not for me to report what is going on.  The fact that sixteen trainers got busted is not the story; it is how it was allowed to grow.


Anonymous said...

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time!

P.Tester said...

Now we know why Lou Pena was allowed back. They need the horses....

Anonymous said...

pacingguy is pretty much out of the loop if he thinks there is a "code of silence". The drug users are right out there, plain as day, the younger ones even bragging on their fb pages. When they claim a horse and next week the horse trims 4 sec off it's lifetime mark, what does anyone believe is going on? Superior training in one week??? It hurts us honest stables, but until the horses serve time out as banned for positives(hitting owners in the pocketbooks), the practice of using illegal drugs will continue. And how about this idea: if a stable has a horse that has had a positive in the past year while in their stable, they are not eligible for recognition for their "superior success" at award ceremonies? It would seem like this stipulation this would be a given, right? Wrong. the Association passes out the awards based entirely on money, not integrity. And as far as getting caught, the horses never miss a race since they go under a "beard" as trainer(trainer in paper only), you can see a couple husband/wife teams in which the horses go back and forth as each partner serves out their time for positives, the beard even getting "Trainer of the Year" at year end award ceremonies in Saratoga!!

Anonymous said...

as far as why they all came up positive at once: bloods and urine are taken but infrequently actually tested. I doubt if there is a test for all the things that they are viagra for instance.

Anonymous said...

It had to be a vet.

Pacingguy said...

I don't think I am out of the loop when I say there is a code of silence. How many honest trainers will report a cheating trainer to the judges?

As for end of the year awards, I believe both in Canada and the United States horses are disqualified from end of year consideration if they get a positive. I know in Canada, a trainer can't win an end of year honor, not sure about in the United States.