By: Jim Dunleavy
BENSALEM, Pa. – Embattled trainer Ramon Preciado, who is facing 270 days in suspensions for two clenbuterol positives at Parx Racing, has been notified that he will no longer be allowed to race at the Bensalem, Pa., track.
But Preciado is not going quietly. On Sunday and Monday at Parx, Preciado won all seven races in which he had a starter. The leading trainer at Parx in both 2014 and 2015, he is on top of the standings at the current meet with a 22-for-49 record.
Parx management has informed Preciado that he will no longer be allowed to enter horses at the track. Beginning Saturday, he will no longer be allowed on track property. His final starters come Tuesday, when he has Que Facil and No Returns in the eighth race.
Preciado was fined $2,500 and suspended 90 days after Seventeenohsix tested positive for clenbuterol on Oct. 24 at Parx. He was fined $5,000 and given another 180 days for a Nov. 8 clenbuterol positive by Flattering Tales. Preciado has appealed both rulings.
He had four additional clenbuterol positives in 2015.
Preciado’s string of positives started in February 2015, when he had two overages at Parx. He was fined $1,500 for each violation. Over the summer, he had two clenbuterol positives at Delaware Park, one on Aug. 26 and the other Sept. 12. He was fined $500 and suspended seven days for the first positive and fined $1,000 and suspended 14 days for the second.
On Monday, Preciado transferred his 58 horses to Chloe Bradley, who trained in Florida for him this winter while he served a 21-day suspension for his two Delaware positives. In the first starts of her career, Bradley won two races and finished second four times from seven starts.
Preciado was still weighing his options Monday but said that rather than fight his suspensions in court, he was thinking about turning in his trainer’s license and disbanding his stable.
“Since I had the positive tests at Delaware over the summer, I have not had any clenbuterol in my barn,” Preciado said. “I don’t have an explanation for what has happened with all of these positives. If I mess up, I would say I messed up. That’s the way I am.”
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 being the most powerful and Class 5 drugs the least powerful.