Mares Leaving New Mexico Racing Commission Post

by | 12.08.2015 | 1:53am

Vince Mares, who guided the New Mexico Racing Commission through some difficult years since coming onboard as executive director in 2009, has stepped down from that position.

Mares, who retired as chief of police in Raton, N.M., before joining the commission, said his resignation gives him “an opportunity to enjoy my retirement,” though Mares added he would be doing “some law enforcement work” on a part-time basis.

Under his leadership, the New Mexico Racing Commission adopted model rules from the Association of Racing Commissions International, got significantly increased funding for drug testing, and contracted with the Maddy Laboratory at the University of California at Davis to conduct drug testing.

New Mexico was hit hard by the New York Times investigative series, “Death and Disarray at America's Racetracks,” and has been ground zero for cheating in both Quarter horse and Thoroughbred racing with such drugs as dermorphin, ractopamine and other illegal medications polluting the sport. Major races, including the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, have been tainted through allegations of influence by Mexico's cartel.

The misuse of clenbuterol – both the FDA-approved syrup and a compounded variety known as “holy water” – led the commission to ban its use entirely.

But Mares has been frustrated in recent years as the court system repeatedly granted stays to suspended licensees, making many of the tough sanctions moot.

“We were recognized for raising the bar,” Mares said. “It's been a team effort and I've enjoyed working with people in this industry. This is a great opportunity for me and I wish this industry all the best.”

  • Fred

    What ever happened to R D Hubbards horses bad test?

    • ben

      I suppose, it went under the rug from the carpet.

      • Susan K Vescovo

        The new joke in NM racing is the Fish and Game Dept. have taken over the commission. This is because of what people are calling the “Catch and Release ” program. No days for trainers that take the “deal” on positives, only fines…ugh, what was the comment about following ARCI, not with this group!
        Take a look at RMTC rulings, don’t think you’ll see any NM violations after 2013, really? Where in New Mexico’s AG?
        Probably close to 200 Out of Competition samples tossed? Did you mention under the rug in your comments?

  • NM Racing Owner and Breeder

    Mares was a BIG part of the problem with his elitist can do no wrong attitude. The commission made rules and then he played by his own. Ha guess your gig is over VINNEY!

    • Susan K Vescovo

      Well, only a couple of years before we will have, a much needed, new commission that will hopefully follow ARCI. Next time around they might also actually draft a RFP for labs that does not violate statute. How many have been written by this group only to be tossed 3? 4? There is only one way to go from here, as we cannot reach a lower level.

  • Susan K Vescovo

    Well, if the new Exeuctive Director is given free rein, the bar can be raised. But, we all know the Exeucitve Director works for the commission and does what he is told to do.
    The person, I believe coming in, is a leader in the industry; he is a gentleman. Mostly importantly, we will have someone with an understanding of ARCI Model Rules and medication standards, which are currently not followed. Apparently our Governor is misled on these issues.
    I understand, this commission has made terrible mistakes in testing which may mean that everyone with a Dermorphin positive will walk. Now people are concerned with the commissions new “deal” which is being refered to as “catch and release” or “amnesty.” Apparently, fines are being issued and no days for positives…let’s see what was that about following ARCI??? Many believe this is a way to sweep the tremendous backlog under the rug. Where is our AG? Are any of these from the almost 200 Out of Competition tests at were ignored? If a trainer had given Clenbuterol (which I’m told was much of the problem) why didn’t someone just come at 12 hours post administration, since that is what the levels were based on? What is so hard about that? This brings us to commission receiving more testing dollars, which as you can see from the Out of Competition fiasco, have not been well utilized. Acquisition of this new money, was NOT the work of the commission! A couple of years ago I worked with Sen. Papen and Rep. Ezzell on a Bill which used track dollars that paid off Expo New Mexico Bonds, for testing. This went into effect Jan 2015 after there had been a sunset on the bonds. These monies probably amounted to over $800,000. over and above any testing dollars in their budget.

  • Susan K Vescovo

    Charlie Smith, In my opinion yours are the only comments Paulick should have posted.
    NM Racing Owner Breeder, Fred and Ben If you are going to make comments at least have the guts to state your name.

  • Susan K Vescovo

    Wait, you may see the NM Dermorphin positives walk, because of this commissions errors.

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