California Horse Racing Board stewards have suspended trainer Michael Pender 30 days for violations of animal welfare and trainer insurer rules.
Pender, who was ordered by Santa Anita management to vacate his stalls last month, was charged with “knowingly” working a horse at Santa Anita on March 24 after a veterinary examination disclosed an injury, and then entering the horse to race at Golden Gate Fields on April 6. New Karma was a veterinary scratch from that race.
Details of the May 14 hearing, in which private veterinarian Dr. Heather Wharton served as a witness on behalf of the CHRB, are in the Santa Anita stewards minutes.
New Karma, a 7-year-old gelding with seven wins 43 lifetime starts and $213,077 in earnings, was claimed by Pender Racing LLC and partners for $20,000 at Del Mar last Nov. 15. He ran twice for his new connections, finishing seventh on Jan. 12, 2019, in a $22,500 claiming race at Santa Anita, then ran second in an $18,000 waiver claiming race on Feb. 17 at Santa Anita. He was entered for a $12,500 claiming tag at Golden Gate when the CHRB veterinarian ordered the horse scratched.
Pender was suspended for violation of CHRB Rule 1902.5 (animal welfare) and 1887 (trainer or owner to insure condition of horse).
Pender, who has not started a horse since May 12, has 200 career wins from 1,631 starts and $8.4 million in earnings from 2004-'19. His leading runners were G1 Eddie Read winner Jeranimo and G1 Hollywood Derby winner Ultimate Eagle.
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