Some recent rulings…
In New Jersey, driver/trainer Jacob Cutting was “sanctioned” for the presence of oxycodone and oxymorphone in his horse Paloma Ruiz at Freehold last February. The sanction: 7-day suspension. 7 days.
In Ohio, trainers Bill Rhoades and Herman Hagerman were busted for methamphetamine positives in their horses – Sheswildnfree and Dashintothebeach N, respectively – at Northfield in November. While each was suspended for a year, one must ask, where’s the death penalty (metaphorically speaking, of course)? It’s meth.
In West Virginia, a sample from 3-year-old Lucylou Who at Charles Town January 14 contained benzoylecgonine – the main metabolite of cocaine. Lucy’s trainer, Emanuel Geralis, declined split testing. In other words, guilty. The stewards, however, found “mitigating factors”: the small amount detected and Geralis’ relatively good record. So, they determined this was “inadvertent exposure,” with no penalties for the trainer. The horse, though, was disqualified – Lucy, shock, finished first by over six lengths – “to ensure the integrity of racing and to instill confidence in the betting public.” Unsaid (if truly inadvertent) was who exactly was doing coke around the horses.
And finally, in Louisiana, jockey Gerard Melancon was merely fined – no suspension – $500 for “striking his mount 11 times, 5 over the max” at Fair Grounds January 14. The “mount,” Easy Aces, came in 4th, “winning” 900 bucks in the process, so maybe it was all worth it (at least for the trainer and owner).
This is horseracing.