Director of NM racing commission speaks out on recent Dermorphin positives

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Racing at Ruidoso Downs Racing at Ruidoso Downs

In an interview with SureBet Racing News, Vince Mares, the agency director of the New Mexico Racing Commission discussed the recent rash of positive tests for Dermorphin and two other banned substances that were found in several horses that ran in both the Ruidoso Derby and Ruidoso Futurity. Four trainers have been implicated in these cases.

The positives are considered the ‘latest black eye’ for New Mexico racing, which has been under fire since a New York Times article earlier this year alleged that horses in the state were “often drugged and abused” and that enforcement of racing regulations in the state were “lax and inconsistent”.

“It casts a shadow or at least the perception,” said Mares. “There are some good trainers and owners who want to do the right thing, but like in any sport, you have a group of people that will do whatever they want. They want to cheat at the expense of the horse, at the expense of the jockey. Their main focus is the purse.”

One of the accused trainers, Carl Draper, spoke out against the charges, saying, “In 34 years in racing, I have never had a positive test. Never had a purse taken away, never been in trouble with the Racing Commission. I’m not a dirty trainer, never have been.”

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  • theinsider

    Horse Racing can police itself.  Take away the stalls of accused trainers and dont give them any more.  The owners will find honest trainers!

    • Clyde Veltmann

      The trainers will keep the same barn and horses…just under their assistant trainers name.  The barns should be disbanded.

  • theinsider

    Horse Racing can police itself.  Take away the stalls of accused trainers and dont give them any more.  The owners will find honest trainers!

  • rhare

    So another slap on the hand and dont do it again for at least a year! 

  • rhare

    So another slap on the hand and dont do it again for at least a year! 

  • Guest

    Not condoning ANYTHING here, the crap going on in NM has got to stop. But, I will say that 3 years ago, when the “pig juice”  and the so called “Mexican Holy Water” was really starting to get used a lot in NM, Carl Draper went to a Commission meeting and stood up and DEMANDED that the Commission do it’s part and up the testing and “Catch these guys before the rest of us are out of buiness!!”  An investigtor for the commission had even had a few samples tested, at her own expense (!), under stronger protocols and found the ractopamine in the horses. Yet, NOTHING happened. Nothing was done. Nothing changed.

     Not saying it is right, but I would believe that after another year of getting their clocks cleaned by the cheaters that a few trainers took the “If we can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach. I won’t name names here, because I lack proof, but several Anglo QH trainers who were watching their numbers swirl down the toilet for 18 months started winning races again about 9months after that public outburst. They were all at that meeting and all echoed Draper’s plea, which fell on deaf ears. I will say that the system in NM, under the old Governor and Commission may have very well pushed some trainers to use things they otherwise never would have considered.

     Lest the world conveniently forget, Hubbard’s main QH trainer, Paul Jones still has a zapitorol (bovine growth steroid) positivefrom some trial last year that has nver been dealt with. Hubbard’s other QH trainer, Sanchez, had so many of the demorphin positives in OK that it is doubtful he will be in business much longer anyhow. Not sure if Hubbard can get him off in OK as easy he might in NM.

    • Tom Goncharoff

      I believe you’re referring to zilpaterol.  Paul Jones faces the racing commission next week for his positive.  Why would Hubbard be interested in “getting Sanchez off” for his positives in Oklahoma?

  • Guest

    Not condoning ANYTHING here, the crap going on in NM has got to stop. But, I will say that 3 years ago, when the “pig juice”  and the so called “Mexican Holy Water” was really starting to get used a lot in NM, Carl Draper went to a Commission meeting and stood up and DEMANDED that the Commission do it’s part and up the testing and “Catch these guys before the rest of us are out of buiness!!”  An investigtor for the commission had even had a few samples tested, at her own expense (!), under stronger protocols and found the ractopamine in the horses. Yet, NOTHING happened. Nothing was done. Nothing changed.

     Not saying it is right, but I would believe that after another year of getting their clocks cleaned by the cheaters that a few trainers took the “If we can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach. I won’t name names here, because I lack proof, but several Anglo QH trainers who were watching their numbers swirl down the toilet for 18 months started winning races again about 9months after that public outburst. They were all at that meeting and all echoed Draper’s plea, which fell on deaf ears. I will say that the system in NM, under the old Governor and Commission may have very well pushed some trainers to use things they otherwise never would have considered.

     Lest the world conveniently forget, Hubbard’s main QH trainer, Paul Jones still has a zapitorol (bovine growth steroid) positivefrom some trial last year that has nver been dealt with. Hubbard’s other QH trainer, Sanchez, had so many of the demorphin positives in OK that it is doubtful he will be in business much longer anyhow. Not sure if Hubbard can get him off in OK as easy he might in NM.

  • Tom Goncharoff

    I believe you’re referring to zilpaterol.  Paul Jones faces the racing commission next week for his positive.  Why would Hubbard be interested in “getting Sanchez off” for his positives in Oklahoma?

  • May Flower

    Loose the word “perception” already, the public got it right.

  • May Flower

    Loose the word “perception” already, the public got it right.

  • Ljuniorm

    Well I hope all these guys get a fair punishment, but as we know that in New Mexico if you got the money you will eventually get away with a slap on the wrist. I’m pretty sure if it was a small time trainer he would get crucified. I find it ironic that the only ” professional horseman” in New Mexico gets busted for the thing he most cried about.

  • Ljuniorm

    Well I hope all these guys get a fair punishment, but as we know that in New Mexico if you got the money you will eventually get away with a slap on the wrist. I’m pretty sure if it was a small time trainer he would get crucified. I find it ironic that the only ” professional horseman” in New Mexico gets busted for the thing he most cried about.

  • dr barry b thompson

    quarter horse racing is on the verge of becoming an abandoned sport. who in their
    right mind would continue to pay trainers, vets, and “hanger ons” to only be outrun by
    cheaters and mexican drug lords. betting on quarter horse races is akin to the old
    brush track days when any drug could be administered and most horses were abused.
    the new mexico racing commission has a huge job ahead; either take control of the
    mayhem and come down hard on the offenders or to continue to be irrevalent. if the
    testing of the splits confirms the us of the illicit drugs then justice must be served.

    barry b thompson, ph.d.
    west, tx

    • Don S. Apodaca, MD

      What short memories you have. I suppose you want to go back to the good old days of Johnny Goodman and all his cronies who made elephant juice famous. Its incredible that you want to blame Mexican drug lords for the drug abuse in horse racing when its a well known fact that it has been rampant in the thoroughbred industry as well with such exotic stimulants as cobra venom. I’m against the use of drugs in our sport but it’s not an ethnic phenomenon. Your boys do it too.
      Don S. Apodaca, MD

  • dr barry b thompson

    quarter horse racing is on the verge of becoming an abandoned sport. who in their
    right mind would continue to pay trainers, vets, and “hanger ons” to only be outrun by
    cheaters and mexican drug lords. betting on quarter horse races is akin to the old
    brush track days when any drug could be administered and most horses were abused.
    the new mexico racing commission has a huge job ahead; either take control of the
    mayhem and come down hard on the offenders or to continue to be irrevalent. if the
    testing of the splits confirms the us of the illicit drugs then justice must be served.

    barry b thompson, ph.d.
    west, tx

  • Clyde Veltmann

    The trainers will keep the same barn and horses…just under their assistant trainers name.  The barns should be disbanded.

  • Don S. Apodaca, MD

    What short memories you have. I suppose you want to go back to the good old days of Johnny Goodman and all his cronies who made elephant juice famous. Its incredible that you want to blame Mexican drug lords for the drug abuse in horse racing when its a well known fact that it has been rampant in the thoroughbred industry as well with such exotic stimulants as cobra venom. I’m against the use of drugs in our sport but it’s not an ethnic phenomenon. Your boys do it too.
    Don S. Apodaca, MD

  • concerned horseman

    Is Mares a veterinarian, horse trainer or horseman for that matter? I don’t think so. Sore horses don’t break down, they slow down and usually take care of themselves. Mare’s comments about the what these drugs do to horses should not be printed because he doesn’t know. His comments don’t make him sound too bright. His comments on what is legal and not legal should be printed because he should know that.  Something should be done about it, but as we all know, when the lawyers get involved it will go on forever, just like it has in the past.
     

    • delta

      i train horses at delta im sorry to say sore horses with big hearts do break down

  • concerned horseman

    Is Mares a veterinarian, horse trainer or horseman for that matter? I don’t think so. Sore horses don’t break down, they slow down and usually take care of themselves. Mare’s comments about the what these drugs do to horses should not be printed because he doesn’t know. His comments don’t make him sound too bright. His comments on what is legal and not legal should be printed because he should know that.  Something should be done about it, but as we all know, when the lawyers get involved it will go on forever, just like it has in the past.
     

  • Awb2760

    Nothing will happen to anyone. what has gone on for years but has just gotten worse . no slap on the wrist no fine. they will just appeal after appeal. and keep on going just like nothing ever happened. the honest horseman dont have a chance.

  • Awb2760

    Nothing will happen to anyone. what has gone on for years but has just gotten worse . no slap on the wrist no fine. they will just appeal after appeal. and keep on going just like nothing ever happened. the honest horseman dont have a chance.

  • Awb2760

    As far as Mr. Draper is concerned. I do belive he didnt do that to his horses. (1)  why didnt the Horse that won the futurity have a bad test. Like he said in 34 yrs never a bad test.  Has anyone thought that the test may have been switched. To get the focus off of the people that  really are droping and doing anything to buy a race.

  • Awb2760

    As far as Mr. Draper is concerned. I do belive he didnt do that to his horses. (1)  why didnt the Horse that won the futurity have a bad test. Like he said in 34 yrs never a bad test.  Has anyone thought that the test may have been switched. To get the focus off of the people that  really are droping and doing anything to buy a race.

  • delta

    i train horses at delta im sorry to say sore horses with big hearts do break down

  • Dsantisteven

    My hope is that those trainers who were caught have a big fine put upon them
    and are suspended from racing in New Mexico. It gives New Mexico horse
    racing a bad name and a dirty taste in our mouths

  • Dsantisteven

    My hope is that those trainers who were caught have a big fine put upon them
    and are suspended from racing in New Mexico. It gives New Mexico horse
    racing a bad name and a dirty taste in our mouths

  • pat saywa

    I been reading up on this however in South America on a matchstick rubbed on your skin ,the drug penetrates the skin, not sure on horse however I don’t like the idea that someone could rub a matchstick on your animal. a possibility. I am thinking about testing my animal at a outside source before and after a race

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