By Ray Paulick
Troubled Mid-Atlantic trainer Juan Vazquez – ejected this year from tracks in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – is appealing a June 17 ruling from stewards at Pennsylvania’s Penn National racetrack fining him $2,000 after a horse he trains tested positive for the short acting sedative xylazine.
The official chemist from the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission reported that Corinthian Luck, nine-length winner of Penn National’s fifth race on March 25, tested positive for xylazine, which Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification Guidelines list as a Class 3 drug with Penalty Class B. It is one of the 26 approved therapeutic medications in uniform national rules adopted by the RCI in 2013. Xylazine has a suggested withdrawal time of 48 hours.
Industrial Laboratories in Wheat Ridge, Colo., on May 15 confirmed the presence of xylazine in a split sample.
In a ruling dated May 29, Corinthian Luck, owned by Los Aguacates LLC, was disqualified from purse money and the order of finish revised. The Corinthian filly came into that event, an allowance/optional claiming race, off four consecutive wins. The May 29 ruling stated that “the liability for this positive is under investigation.”
A separate ruling fining Vazquez $2,000 was dated June 17. In it, the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission said the violation was the “2nd positive in five months” for Vazquez.
Vazquez has appealed the penalty to the commission.
Subsequently, Vazquez was cited on June 28 for a methylprednisolone violation (Class 4 Drug, Penalty Class C) from the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission after second-place finisher Edyanne tested positive for the drug in a May 18 race at Delaware Park.
The Delaware ruling said Vazquez was assessed one point toward the ARCI multiple medication violation point system.
The Pennsylvania ruling made no mention of the multiple penalty violation rule.
Xylazine is sold under the trade name Rompun, whose distributor says it “can be used in horses when it is desirable to produce a state of sedation accompanied by a shorter period of analgesia.”
Vazquez recently was banned at Delaware Park, where he was leading trainer in 2014, for an undisclosed reason. That ejection from track management came after the Maryland Jockey Club, Penn National and Charles Town in West Virginia told Vazquez he was not permitted to stable or enter horses at their tracks. He has been based at a private training center in Delaware and is currently running horses at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa.