The California Horse Racing Board released the following update on trainer Antonio “A.C.” Avila on Friday. Avila trains Masochistic, who tested positive for acepromazine at nearly 40 times the legal limit after a fifth-place finish on March 15. Stewards later investigated the ride given to Masochistic in that race. The horse ran on the Kentucky Derby undercard, where he posted a 14-length win in a stunning form reversal that prompted scrutiny by media and officials.
The Board conducted a hearing on the record in closed session February 18 and ordered that trainer Antonio “A.C.” Avila be suspended for 60 days and fined $10,000 for violation of CHRB Rules 1843 (a) and (d) and 1844 (e) (1) and (g) pursuant to Rules 1887 and 1843.3 after the Maddy Laboratory at UC Davis determined the sample collected from a horse in his care, Masochistic, contained acepromazine in excess of the regulatory threshold permitted for urine.
This was after the Board decided during closed session December 18 to reject the hearing officer's proposed penalty of 30 days and a $5,000 fine. By increasing the suspension to 60 days and the fine to $10,000, the Board issued the maximum penalty permitted under CHRB Rule 1843.3 for a Class 3 drug with a Category B penalty classification. Masochistic finished fifth in the ninth race at Santa Anita Park on March 15, 2014. The Board referred the matter to the stewards at Santa Anita Park to set the actual days of suspension and payment of fine.
The stewards earlier disqualified Masochistic and ordered the redistribution of the purse.
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