JM Miracle, winner of Monday's $2.6 million All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, was vanned off the racetrack in distress, suffering from an unknown internal ailment immediately after his half-length victory in Quarter Horse racing's most prestigious event. One hour earlier, JM Specialwynn – owned and trained by the same connections as the All American Futurity winner – was in similar condition after crossing the line first in the $100,000 All American Juvenile Stakes.
JM Miracle and JM Specialwynn race in the name of Javier and Elsa Marquez's J & M Racing and Farm of Monahans, Texas, and they are trained by Umberto Belloc.
“Both horses were in bad shape post-race,” Vince Mares, executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission, said Monday night. “I just got off the phone with the state vet and he said they are OK now. But the vet said they were in bad shape when he first saw them. We did get blood samples from both horses prior to them being treated and we will send those samples off to UC-Davis (the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California-Davis, New Mexico's official testing lab).
“We are going to see how the samples come back,” Mares added. “It is very concerning to us.”
UPDATE: On Tuesday morning, New Mexico Racing Commission veterinarian Dr. David Fly reported to Mares that both horses “seem to be OK. Dr. Fly had the horse (JM Miracle) two hours in the test barn and couldn't get any urine, but we did get the blood before the vets treated him.”
Both JM Miracle and JM Specialwynn were previously trained by Jose Luis Muela, who was suspended July 1-Aug. 30 for a medication violation after one of his horses tested positive for clenbuterol in April.
In July 2013, the Quarter Horse Cartel Quick was euthanized after being stricken with kidney failure after winning the $750,000 Ruidoso Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. No illegal drugs were found in his system.
The incidents involving the two Labor Day stakes winners came shortly after Lincoln County police arrested jockey Raul Valenzuela as he was preparing to ride Apollitical Blood in the All American Futurity.
Valenzuela had been summarily suspended by New Mexico Racing Commission stewards after allegedly being caught with an electrical device during the All American Futurity Trials in August. The New Mexico Racing Commission beefed up security during the trials, with special emphasis on the starting gate, Mares said. “Agents witnessed him with a machine and it was confiscated,” said Mares.
Valenzuela obtained a temporary injunction from Lincoln County District Court Judge Karen Parsons, however, putting the suspension on hold and allowing him to ride in the All American – at least until the police got involved.
Omar Reyes substituted on Apollitical Blood, who finished fourth in the All American finals.
Mares said the racing commission was not involved in the arrest and he had no further information about Valenzuela being taken into custody.
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