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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