By: Jim Dunleavy
Trainer Ramon Preciado has yet another clenbuterol positive at Parx Racing. The positive, from Flattering Tales – winner of a $10,000 maiden-claiming race Nov. 8 – is the sixth for Preciado during 2015 and comes less than a week after the stewards issued a ruling for Preciado’s fifth positive.
Last week, the stewards suspended Preciado 90 days and fined him $2,500 after Seventeenohsix tested positive for clenbuterol while finishing second in a $5,000 claiming race Oct. 24 at Parx. In their latest ruling, the stewards suspended Preciado 180 days and fined him $5,000 for Flattering Tales’s positive.
According to track officials, Preciado has appealed the rulings. On Tuesday, he was allowed to enter horses for the Saturday card at Parx, including Flattering Tales, who is in the second race. Preciado’s suspension for Seventeenohsix was to have begun April 7 and run through July 5. His suspension for Flattering Tales is to start July 6 and continue through Jan. 1, 2017.
Preciado has been the leading trainer at Parx the past two years. He was at a loss to explain the positives when returning a phone call Saturday.
“I don’t know what is going on,” Preciado said. “I am resigned to the fact that whatever is going to happen is going to happen. Since we had the positives earlier this year, we have been very careful with this medication. You know all of this started after I won the training title in 2014. I just don’t understand how these horses could be testing positive at a high level.”
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.
Horses are allowed to train on clenbuterol, which does has therapeutic value. It has a recommended withdrawal time of at least 14 days.
Preciado’s clenbuterol positives began when Boss Cat and Main Entrance both tested positive after racing Feb. 23, 2015, at Parx. Preciado was fined $1,500 in each case.
On Aug. 26, Trouble Kid tested positive after winning a $25,000 starter allowance at Delaware Park. Preciado was fined $500 and suspended seven days.
On Sept. 12 at Delaware Park, Jake N Elwood tested positive after winning the restricted New Castle Stakes. Preciado was fined $1,000 and suspended 14 days.
All of the horses involved were disqualified from the purse money.
Preciado’s Roxbury N Overton tested positive for dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), a topical analgesic that can help relieve pain, on Oct. 17 at Parx. DMSO is a Class 4 drug. Preciado was fined $1,000, and Roxbury N Overton, who finished second in the Pennsylvania-bred allowance race, was disqualified from the purse money.
Prior to 2015, Preciado had not had a medication violation since 2011, when one of his horses tested positive for phenylbutazone, or bute, a Class 4 medication.