By Charles D. Brunt / Journal Staff Writer
The New Mexico Racing Commission has sanctioned a racehorse trainer and a horse owner after their horse was found to have almost six times more of a regulated drug in its system than allowed after winning a race at Zia Park.
The owner has to give up that race’s first-place winnings of $7,027 as a result.
A gray filly named Silver Stone Bay won the fourth race at the Hobbs racino on Oct. 7, 2014, and then tested positive for clenbuterol – a drug that dilates bronchial tubes and aids respiration, according to rulings recently posted on the New Mexico Racing Commission’s website.
While clenbuterol is an effective treatment for respiratory disease, it mimics muscle-building anabolic steroids in higher doses.
Silver Stone Bay’s urine contained 828 picograms per milliliter – nearly six times the amount permissible under Racing Commission rules – according to lab reports.
The license of the horse’s trainer, Lillian Nichole Silva, was suspended from Oct. 23, 2014, through June 21, 2015. She also was fined $2,500. According to the ruling, the Oct. 7 infraction was Silva’s second drug violation within 365 days.
The horse’s owner, Carlos Jose Sosa, was sanctioned with the loss of that race’s first-place winnings of $7,027.
Racing Commission executive director Vince Mares said neither Silva nor Sosa filed an appeal with the commission prior to the 10-day appeal deadline.
In other sanctioning actions, the commission fined trainer Alberto Borunda $1,500 and suspended him for six months after a syringe and hypodermic needle were found in his vehicle on Aug. 14, 2014, at Ruidoso Downs. It is illegal to possess either on racetrack property without Racing Commission approval.
That same day at Ruidoso Downs, trainer Arturo Montes Jr. was found to be in possession of two syringes. He was fined $1,500 and suspended for six months, according to the ruling.
Citing rampant abuse, the Racing Commission banned clenbuterol for a year in 2012, then adopted regulations recommended by the Association of Racing Commissions International that took effect last August. The new regulation sets a clenbuterol threshold of 140 picograms per milliliter in urine, and prohibits administration of the drug within 14 days of starting a race. The threshold level is roughly 140 billionths of a gram of clenbuterol in one-fifth of a teaspoon of urine.
The Racing Commission contracts with the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California-Davis for its equine drug testing.
Racing Commission rulings are available online at www.nmrc.state.nm.us.