By: David Grening
The New York stewards suspended owner Raj Jagnanan for 30 days and fined him $1,500 for having a bottle of the medication albuterol in his car. Albuterol is a bronchodilator that is only permitted to be in the possession of a licensed veterinarian.
The suspension begins Monday, and Jagnanan will not be able to run horses in his name or assist with any aspect of ownership during the suspension.
Also, the stewards suspended veterinarian Camilo Sierra for 30 days and fined him $2,500 for knowingly prescribing albuterol for a horse without examining the horse and using a fictitious horse’s name for the prescription.
Sierra has appealed the suspension, and a stay was granted.
The rulings, issued separately by the New York State Gaming Commission, state that Jagnanan and Sierra “committed and attempted to commit a fraud and misrepresentation in connection with racing.”
Jagnanan told Daily Racing Form that he had the bottle of albuterol in his car, but it was unopened and had been there since October, when it was first prescribed for a horse he had based at Finger Lakes.
“This was given to me in October,” Jagnanan said. “It was never opened.”
Jagnanan has horses with trainer Joe Parker at Aqueduct. Jagnanan said his car was searched by investigators outside of Parker’s barn. State investigators did search Parker’s barn and its surroundings in part because Parker was enjoying an unprecedented run of success this winter at Aqueduct. Parker had won 12 races from his first 35 starters at the meet. He ended the meet losing with his last 12 starters.
There are no rulings against Parker, who said he does not use albuterol.