MULLINS NO STRANGER TO CONTROVERSY

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:46am
By Ray Paulick

The investigation by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board into possible violations by Jeff Mullins in the detention barn prior to the running of Saturday's Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct is the latest in a string of controversies involving banned medications by the California-based trainer. Gato Go Win was scratched by the stewards after security personnel alleged Mullins was attempting to give an over-the-counter cough formula, Air Power, to the horse while in the detention barn.


A short time later, Mullins saddled I Want Revenge for an impressive victory in the Wood Memorial, setting him up as the potential favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby.


Twice in the last 4 ½ years, Mullins-trained horses tested for a higher than permitted level of sodium bicarbonate (commonly called milkshakes) in California, forcing his starters to undergo 24-hour pre-race surveillance for a specified period. Last year, Mullins was also suspended 90 days, with 70 days stayed, after a horse he trained tested positive for mepivacaine at Hollywood Park in 2006.


After Mullins received his first sodium bicarbonate warning in 2005, he created a firestorm when quoted by a Los Angeles Times columnist calling horseplayers “idiots.” He went on TVG a few days later to apologize for the comments, even though he said he was quoted out of context. Earlier that year, Mullins was fined $1,000 for a positive drug for a horse running in a stakes race at Fair Grounds in Louisiana.


According to the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Mullins had his first medication violation at Wyoming Downs in 1986 when RCI shows that he received a one-year ban and $1,500 fine for a positive test for prednisolone.


Mullins is currently ranked 14th among North American trainers by 2009 earnings. He's won 38 races from 150 starts (25%), with $1,443,330 in purses through April 5.


Following is a list of rulings against Mullins since 1986, compiled from the RCI and California Horse Racing Board databases:


September 2008, necessitated late scratch at Del Mar, $300 fine


August 2008, excessive levels of sodium bicarbonate at Del Mar, horses put under 24-hour pre-race surveillance


June 2008, late to the receiving barn with a horse at Hollywood Park, $100 fine


May 2008, late to the receiving barn with a horse at Hollywood Park, $100 fine


January 2008, mepivacaine positive at Hollywood Park (in 2006), suspended 90 days, ,with 70 days stayed


September 2007, ineligible starter at Los Alamitos, necessitating late scratch, $300 fine


February 2007, prenisolone positive at Santa Anita, $400 fine


June 2005, Bute overage at Hollywood Park, $300 fine


February 2005, ranitidine positive at Fair Grounds, $1,000 fine


January 2005, excessive levels of sodium bicarbonate at Santa Anita, horses put under 24-hour pre-race surveillance


November 2004, failed to deliver horse to receiving barn at Bay Meadows Fair, $200 fine


October 2004, Methocarbamol positive at Oak Tree, $300 fine


October 2004, failed to comply with official veterinary directive at Oak Tree, $100 fine


July 2004, horse improperly shod for turf course at Hollywood Park, $100 fine


April 2003, late to the receiving barn at Santa Anita, $100 fine


December 2000, entered ineligible horse at Turf Paradise, $100 fine


October 2000, entered ineligible horse at Turf Paradise, $100 fine


January 2000, entered ineligible horse at Turf Paradise, $100 fine


January 2000, dimethylsulfoxide(DMSO) positive at Turf Paradise, $250 fine


January 2000, dimethylsulfoxide(DMSO) positive at Turf Paradise, $250 fine


January 2000, failure to appear, $250 fine


March 1999, unlicensed employee at Turf Paradise, $100 fine


November 1994, dimethylsulfoxide(DMSO) positive at Turf Paradise, $250 fine


April 1992, failure to have owner's license at Turf Paradise, $50 fine


January 1990, failure to take care of business in proper manner (no foal papers in racing office), causing late scratches in two races, $200 fine


August 1988, positive tests for poly-ethylene glycol in two horses at Wyoming Downs (no fine or suspension listed)


September 1986, prednisolone positive at Wyoming Downs, suspended one year and fined $1,500

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