Two years for Nebraska frog juicer Veerhusen

  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X


  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X

Owner-trainer Kim Veerhusen has been suspended two years and fined $1,000 by the Nebraska State Racing Commission after one of his horses tested positive for dermorphin, the highly potent painkiller also known as frog juice. The drug was detected by Truesdail Laboratories in the horse Cheatin Cowboy, who finished second in a July 15, 2012, race at Horsemen’s Park.

Dermorphin is a Class 1 drug under classifications developed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, making it among the most dangerous and nefarious medications used to enhance performance in a racehorse. It originates from the secretion of South American tree frogs and has been used by tribal hunters to stay awake for days at a time. A synthetically manufactured version is said to be at least 40 times more powerful than morphine.

Stewards at the Nebraska track previously fined Veerhusen $1,500 and suspended him the balance of the Nebraska racetrack’s 2012 meeting, plus 10 days, the maximum permitted. The case was then referred to the commission, which met on Wednesday. Veerhusen’s suspension runs through Aug. 4, 2014.

Tom Sage, director of the Nebraska State Racing Commission, said commissioners could have suspended Veerhusen a maximum five years and fined him up to $5,000. He deferred comment on the penalty to the panel’s chairman, Dennis Lee. Lee was not available for comment at his Omaha law office.

Racing commissions in Louisiana, New Mexico and Louisiana have also dealt with dermorphin positives, suspending trainers on average five years for each positive test, with some suspensions up to 10 years per violation.

Phil Hanrahan, president of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, said last year after Veerhusen’s suspension by stewards that “dermorphin is a true ‘cheater’ drug.  Trainers who use it should be severely punished.”

Veerhusen, brother of Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association president Todd Veerhusen, has not started a horse since being suspended by stewards in August. He won 28 of 156 starts in 2012 and has 240 lifetime wins from 1,490 starts.

Veerhusen has 10 other medication violations in Nebraska since 2005, according to ThoroughbredRulings.com. Three of those violations came in 2012, including the Class 1 violation for dermorphin.

Cheatin Cowboy had finished off the board in five consecutive starts for owner-trainer Philip Oviedo at Turf Paradise in Arizona from January to March 2012. Apparently purchased privately after his final Arizona start on March 10 by Veerhusen, Cheatin Cowboy then rattled off two consecutive second-place finishes and two wins at Fonner Park and Lincoln Downs in Nebraska. After an eighth-place finish at Prairie Meadows in Iowa, Cheatin Cowboy returned to Nebraska where he finished second in the July 15 race where frog juice was detected.

Cheatin Cowboy has not raced since the July 15 contest in which the dermorphin was detected.

New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry
  • Meyer1127

    WOW.what’s up with that? SLAP ON THE WRIST.
    No wonder racing public image is in tatters.

    • tfly

      Bet you his hand is really smarting.   Geez.  Should have been 5 yrs. min.

  • Meyer1127

    WOW.what’s up with that? SLAP ON THE WRIST.
    No wonder racing public image is in tatters.

  • Nucky Thompson

    So one Cheatin Cowboy got two years suspension, what has happened to the other one ?

    Just saw that the horse Cheatin Cowboy was hopping all over Fonner Park in a breeze last week

  • Nucky Thompson

    So one Cheatin Cowboy got two years suspension, what has happened to the other one ?

  • tfly

    Bet you his hand is really smarting.   Geez.  Should have been 5 yrs. min.

  • Hadrianmarcus

    If someone exits a restaurant without paying there $20.00 tab or steals a pack of cigarettes out of a store…the police is called and they are arrested. If someone juices race horses, thus manipulating the results of a race on which $1000′s of dollars were waged and endangers the welfare of jockey & horse…they get a slap on the wrist. Horse racing unwillingness to come down on cheaters….amazes me. Let the buyer (er..bettor) beware.  

    • nu-fan

      And, California has some stretches on country roads with a $1,000 fine–for littering!  Nebraska, and any other state with such nonserious penalities for these kinds of crimes, should be embarrassed.  Obviously, Nebraska is not taking this case seriously.  Why not?  Because Kim Veerhusen has connected relations?  Fines for these crimes should be substantial for those convicted and, at the same time, forewarn others of what consequences they should expect if they have any plans of doing the same.  Personally, I would like to see jail time and life-time bans in the industry included.

  • Hadrianmarcus

    If someone exits a restaurant without paying there $20.00 tab or steals a pack of cigarettes out of a store…the police is called and they are arrested. If someone juices race horses, thus manipulating the results of a race on which $1000′s of dollars were waged and endangers the welfare of jockey & horse…they get a slap on the wrist. Horse racing unwillingness to come down on cheaters….amazes me. Let the buyer (er..bettor) beware.  

  • nomoralcompass

    My gawd what a punishment! Such severity boggles the mind! I am so glad that the Nebraska State Racing Commission has acted fearlessly and demonstrated its determination to lead the nation in wrist slapping. 

  • nomoralcompass

    My gawd what a punishment! Such severity boggles the mind! I am so glad that the Nebraska State Racing Commission has acted fearlessly and demonstrated its determination to lead the nation in wrist slapping. 

  • Otis

    That’s it???? Shame on the Nebraska State Racing Commission.

  • Otis

    That’s it???? Shame on the Nebraska State Racing Commission.

  • Anderson5999

    You know what they should do to creep like this? Inject them with the same crap they inject into their horses. That’ll teach ‘em.

  • Anderson5999

    You know what they should do to creep like this? Inject them with the same crap they inject into their horses. That’ll teach ‘em.

  • Hossracergp

    Class 1 drugs should be a mandatory lifetime ban for those caught using them.

    • nu-fan

      Agreed, but, who is going to step up to the plate and do so?  Have you ever seen so many gutless and ethically comprised people as those who allow these kinds of crimes to continue and with very, very little consequences or penalites? 

  • Hossracergp

    Class 1 drugs should be a mandatory lifetime ban for those caught using them.

  • nu-fan

    And, California has some stretches on country roads with a $1,000 fine–for littering!  Nebraska, and any other state with such nonserious penalities for these kinds of crimes, should be embarrassed.  Obviously, Nebraska is not taking this case seriously.  Why not?  Because Kim Veerhusen has connected relations?  Fines for these crimes should be substantial for those convicted and, at the same time, forewarn others of what consequences they should expect if they have any plans of doing the same.  Personally, I would like to see jail time and life-time bans in the industry included.

  • nu-fan

    Agreed, but, who is going to step up to the plate and do so?  Have you ever seen so many gutless and ethically comprised people as those who allow these kinds of crimes to continue and with very, very little consequences or penalites? 

  • Lou Baranello, Former Steward

    This is a classic example of a gubernatorial appointed racing commission failing to fulfill its’ responsibilities.  These clowns in Nebraska make a mockery of a serious violation which deserves a greater penalty.  These so called commissioners should hang their heads in shame.  Rest assured, they will not because they are INCOMPETENTS WITH IMPUNITY.  The governor that appointed these morons will have nothing to say about this travesty and Nebraska racing regulation will continue as it is.  No politician should have the power to appoint unqualified people, but I am sorry to say, that will continue also.  

    • Trackbratz

      Here in Okla it’s called, “campaign contributions”.

  • Lou Baranello, Former Steward

    This is a classic example of a gubernatorial appointed racing commission failing to fulfill its’ responsibilities.  These clowns in Nebraska make a mockery of a serious violation which deserves a greater penalty.  These so called commissioners should hang their heads in shame.  Rest assured, they will not because they are INCOMPETENTS WITH IMPUNITY.  The governor that appointed these morons will have nothing to say about this travesty and Nebraska racing regulation will continue as it is.  No politician should have the power to appoint unqualified people, but I am sorry to say, that will continue also.  

  • SheaMizer

    They probably only gave him 2 years because 2013 is probably going to be the last year that Nebraska even has a racing commission…..
    I can’t imagine using frog juice to win those miniscule purses. 
    From what I heard, the majority of this frog juice is compounded at a horse clinic in Nebraska by a very well known, ruled off racetrack vet…..

  • canada forever

    I could not understand the light punishment until the 7th paragraph.  Disgusting, although he may be suspended longer than Nebraska racing exists the way things are going.

  • SheaMizer

    They probably only gave him 2 years because 2013 is probably going to be the last year that Nebraska even has a racing commission…..
    I can’t imagine using frog juice to win those miniscule purses. 
    From what I heard, the majority of this frog juice is compounded at a horse clinic in Nebraska by a very well known, ruled off racetrack vet…..

  • canada forever

    I could not understand the light punishment until the 7th paragraph.  Disgusting, although he may be suspended longer than Nebraska racing exists the way things are going.

  • love the game

    Ray–What about the vet in Louisiana that was implicated for multiple demorphin violations? Is he still practicing at the track?

  • love the game

    Ray–What about the vet in Louisiana that was implicated for multiple demorphin violations? Is he still practicing at the track?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink

    Just a shame.!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink

    Just a shame.!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink
  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.vandenbrink.52 Ben van den Brink

    These punishment will help to clean up violators:

    http://xwebapp.ustrotting.com/

  • Nebraskan

    Typical good old boy network in Nebraska. They are all on the take. Everyone knows it. Sad state of affairs. Take that statement literally

    • canada forever

      yep, makes it tough to race there. Exactly what is happening in Arizona. Come to think of it, racing is dying in both of these states.

  • Nebraskan

    Typical good old boy network in Nebraska. They are all on the take. Everyone knows it. Sad state of affairs. Take that statement literally

  • Causey84632

    If Nabraska is part of RCI they should be kicked out. And full marks to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town for their proactive approach to trainer cover up having ejected trainers Scooter Davis, Douglas Shanyfelt and assistant trainer Cliff Tuomisto from their grounds. As a former steward I could not agree more with Lou Baranello. The Governor appointed Commissions are responsible for a lot of racings problems.

  • Causey84632

    If Nabraska is part of RCI they should be kicked out. And full marks to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town for their proactive approach to trainer cover up having ejected trainers Scooter Davis, Douglas Shanyfelt and assistant trainer Cliff Tuomisto from their grounds. As a former steward I could not agree more with Lou Baranello. The Governor appointed Commissions are responsible for a lot of racings problems.

  • Bristling

    Two years ?? What a JOKE should have been life !!!!!!!

  • Bristling

    Two years ?? What a JOKE should have been life !!!!!!!

  • StraightLineRacer

    If the day ever comes that we can no longer wager on horse racing, we will look back on cases like this and understand why. Until the punishment for the crime is severe enough to scare even the worst horsemen from cheating, it will continue. “They” are killing all of our businesses. It’s time we stand up and say enough is enough.We have identified the enemy, and the enemy is ourselves. We will all pay for for the sins of the few.

  • StraightLineRacer

    If the day ever comes that we can no longer wager on horse racing, we will look back on cases like this and understand why. Until the punishment for the crime is severe enough to scare even the worst horsemen from cheating, it will continue. “They” are killing all of our businesses. It’s time we stand up and say enough is enough.We have identified the enemy, and the enemy is ourselves. We will all pay for for the sins of the few.

  • C-Town C

    Slap that wrist! Give the cheat a pass! — new lyrics for a classic Devo song.

  • C-Town C

    Slap that wrist! Give the cheat a pass! — new lyrics for a classic Devo song.

  • canada forever

    yep, makes it tough to race there. Exactly what is happening in Arizona. Come to think of it, racing is dying in both of these states.

  • Trackbratz

    Here in Okla it’s called, “campaign contributions”.

  • Choochy420

    It is a disgrace to the horseracing industry that not all tracks test for this substance. There has to be a major change to this industry!  It’s getting almost impossible for trainers who do not cheat to compete anymore, what a shame.  

  • Choochy420

    It is a disgrace to the horseracing industry that not all tracks test for this substance. There has to be a major change to this industry!  It’s getting almost impossible for trainers who do not cheat to compete anymore, what a shame.  

  • Greengorilla_16066

    Wonder if that is what she gave my old horse gingers Ladd.

Twitter