By: Jim Dunleavy
With trainer Ramon Preciado’s license set to be revoked Thursday, Parx Racing officials said they would no longer accept entries from him beginning Monday, when the track’s Dec. 26 card was to be drawn.
A Parx steward’s ruling dated Dec. 12 revoked Preciado’s trainer’s license for a clenbuterol violation in July. The July positive is one of a long list of infractions Preciado has had the past two years.
In 2015, Preciado had six clenbuterol positives, four at Parx and two at Delaware Park. He had eight more clenbuterol violations this spring. A former employee of Preciado’s has admitted administering clenbuterol to his horses in March and April as an act of retribution.
In August, the groom was charged by law-enforcement officials with one count of rigging a horse race. She was fired in April. The charge is still pending.
In addition to the July positive, Preciado has had several other positive tests for clenbuterol since the disgruntled worker left his employ.
Preciado’s attorney, Alan Pincus, has been denied a stay of the revocation ruling by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission. On Monday, he said he has filed for a stay of the ruling in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court and is hopeful the court will act on it before Wednesday.
“His license has been revoked for a single positive,” Pincus said. “How is that possible when there is an ongoing investigation into the eight other positives, which appear to be an act of sabotage? Should his license be revoked if he is found innocent of those violations?”
The Pennsylvania Racing Commission has a meeting scheduled in Harrisburg on Wednesday, and it may adjudicate his eight March and April positives at that meeting.
Pincus said he would be in attendance at the Wednesday meeting.
“We will listen to what the commission says and then Ramon will have to decide what he wants to do,” Pincus said.
On Thursday, a stewards hearing is scheduled regarding two additional clenbuterol positives Preciado had this summer. That meeting could be moot, if Preciado’s license already has been revoked.
Preciado has approximately 40 horses stabled at Parx.
Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator that has steroidal qualities and can help build muscle mass in horses. Clenbuterol is considered a Class 3 medication by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, which classifies drugs into five categories, with Class 1 drugs, such as opioids, being the most powerful and Class 5 the least powerful.