Ruidoso: All American Futurity the Last Straw for a Crackdown?

by | 09.25.2014 | 3:20pm
A racing official called it 'disturbing' that the Sanchez brothers were seen posing with the 2014 All American Futurity trophy despite having been suspended for 20 years

What was the tipping point for R.D. Hubbard?

The chairman of Ruidoso Downs racetrack in New Mexico – also a well-known player in the Thoroughbred industry – on Tuesday announced tough, new rules to crack down on cheaters, saying he will “not stand idly by and watch anyone attempt to ruin the sport.”

Was it Labor Day in 2010, when he saw a member of Mexico's drug cartel family in the winner's circle as the owner of Mr Piloto, winner of the All American Futurity, Quarter horse racing's signature race? A cartel member later said in a sworn affidavit that the stating gate crew was bribed to help the horse win, a charge track officials vehemently denied.

Was it having his track on the front page of the New York Times in March 2012 as the poster child of what's wrong with horseracing in the first article in the paper's critical series, “Death and Disarray at America's racetracks”?


Did the dermorphin epidemic of 2012 – when eight of 25 Ruidoso Futurity Trial winners tested positive for the powerful and illegal Class 1 drug – prompt any action?

How about last year, when 2013 Ruidoso Futurity winner Cartel Quick mysteriously died of kidney failure 24 hours after his victory?

Or was it this year's $2.6 million All American Futurity, won by a horse named JM Miracle? The circumstances leading up to and following the race certainly were unusual, to say the least.

JM Miracle is owned by Javier and Elsa Marquez's J & M Racing, which previously employed a trainer named Roberto Sanchez. That's the same Roberto Sanchez who was suspended 20 years by the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission after 10 of his horses tested positive for the powerful and illegal painkiller dermorphin at Remington Park in April and May of 2012. (The suspension, originally set at 100 years, was reduced by the commission.) Sanchez's brother, Alejandro Sanchez, received the same penalty, as assistant trainer for the 10 horses.

JM Miracle's victory on the track was not without controversy. The horse was in distress after pulling up past the finish and could not make it back to the winner's circle. A winning stablemate suffered the same fate in an earlier race that day. Both horses were pronounced in good health the following morning.

In the days after JM Miracle's victory, a photograph of two men in the Ruidoso Downs stable area celebrating with the All American Futurity trophy was circulated among people in the Quarter Horse world. Several sources contacted the Paulick Report saying the two men were the Sanchez brothers, who, under the traditional terms of a license suspension, would not be permitted in the stable area of a racetrack in any U.S. jurisdiction.

If it was Roberto and Alejandro Sanchez in that photograph, why would they be posing with the All American Futurity trophy?

Some in the Quarter horse racing community suspect that, because JM Miracle was not stabled at Ruidoso Downs, he may have been trained by someone other than Umberto Belloc. Prior to the All American, Belloc had never won a stakes race in four years as a trainer, according to the American Quarter Horse Association. This year he managed to qualify two of the 10 starters in the sport's most prestigious race.

One veteran conditioner who spoke to the Paulick Report under the condition of anonymity said JM Miracle was shipped back and forth from Ruidoso to a farm operated by the Sanchez brothers in Anthony, N.M., just north of El Paso, Texas. The same source suggested the brothers trained the horse at a nearby training center owned by Cynthia Dick. Not true, said Dick, who told the Paulick Report JM Miracle was boarded at her facility prior to the All American but was trained by Belloc – not by Roberto or Alejandro Sanchez.

Vince Mares, executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission, confirmed that he's seen the picture. “It's pretty disturbing that they are holding the trophy,” Mares said. “We are going to look into it.”

The purse for the All American Futurity was released last Friday after extensive post-race testing – conducted at the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Laboratory at the University of California in Davis – failed to detect any prohibited drugs. “I even had it tested for cobalt,” Mares said.

Mares added that Ruidoso Downs security is responsible for checking licenses and keeping undesirables out of the stable area.

Mares enlisted extra security for the All American Futurity and Derby Trials at Ruidoso Aug. 14-16, bringing in as many as 15 investigators from other racing jurisdictions. Veterinary trucks and trailers were searched and a number of compounded or non-FDA approved products were said to be seized or photographed for further evalution.

During the course of the trials, a Los Alamitos-based jockey, Raul Valenzuela, was allegedly caught with an electrical device, or buzzer, after a race. Valenzuela was summarily suspended by stewards, but it appeared he would ride in the All American after an attorney got him a stay of that suspension in district court. Shortly before the big race, however, Valenzuela was arrested and charged with a pair of fourth-degree felonies.

Next year, under the new rules established by Hubbard and Ruidoso Downs, will be different.

We can only hope.

  • Southwest Dude

    15 extra investigators on the grounds and they couldn’t find Roberto Sanchez to evict him from the barn area.Yeah, New Mexico really has a handle on cheaters when they cant even keep a guy ruled off for 20 years out of the barn area.Typical New Mexico security.For a 20 dollar bill any ruled off person can get on the grounds in NM.

    • Horse guy

      Maybe the Sanchez Bros drove the booze truck. Track officials have been known to party a bit. Even in the test barn!

    • warson

      I think it’s time for the FBI, DEA and any other federal agency relevant to get involved and investigate the Martinez administration, the NMRC and it’s goons!

  • RA

    With Mr. Hubbard continuing to ignore all this for years, he is clearly part of the problem, not the solution. His comment that he will “not stand idly by and watch anyone attempt to ruin the sport” is idiotic. Another great example of the total lack of leadership in our business. They all seem to be dishonest, stupid, or both.

    • Pbchi

      guess you would to know how many trainers/owners there are straight. If there aren’t a large majority, then there is no reasonable chance of things ever getting better.. They exist in a culture in which all this things we see as crooked and cruel are normal.

      • Ben van den Brink

        Just stops that industry.

    • betterthannothing

      Perhaps Hubbard just found Jesus on top of his mountain of bad press.

  • jojo

    no one is still talking about fire tested , the horse that died on sunday of AA week….after first down dash race, dropped dead,,,,sad sad sad

  • cal gal

    haha you can see the guard that let them in at guard shack, perfectly posed pic to say screw all of you! we won…

  • warson

    Did NMRC ever DNA that horse after the anonymous tip and rumors that the JM miracle that ran in the Ruidoso Futurity was not the same horse that ran in the All American? The governor, Lt governor, NMRC all knew about the tip!

    • warson

      This was the talk all over the Heritage Sale!!!! yet no DNA and purse released? Unreal!!! Vote Martinez out, get new NMRC!!!!

  • jazz mania

    We should see more of this kind of actual journalism in mainstream media !!!

  • Wildflowers52

    “WE CAN ONLY HOPE”?????? Come on!
    Every possible measure HAS TO be taken in order to ensure the safety of every, single horse!!!!!
    Step up the security! It’s no secret that these scumbags are crooks who slyly sneak past authority, continuing their involvement in illegal drugs, pay-offs, essentially doing anything they want.
    Where is the outrage? They purposely damage the health and welfare of horses….Blatant Abuse!
    ‘Hoping for—‘. is nice. It’s a kind, empathetic and considerate phrase to use, but it surely doesn’t help these horses, does it?
    If nothing has been done to get rid of these Sanchez creeps and their equally evil comrades and SOON, this issue HAS TO be addressed by the New Mexico Board of Horse Racing, to PETA, to each and every
    Non-Profit organizations that focus on the safety of racehorses. Bring this issue to the attention of as many people as possible by spreading the word, all over the internet. I personally believe that there is power in numbers. It should be your MISSION to rid the state of New Mexico from these (and all of) law
    Breakers and race horse abusers!breakers,

  • warson

    Has AQHA responded? If so hopefully it wasn’t the lame cookie cutter one NMRC gave!

  • Grey Dream

    Here’s the tipping point for the Indiana Gaming commission and R D Hubbard as reported in the BH July 30, 2002
    Google this—Indiana Belterra Casino, Hubbard Fined by Gaming Panel

    You can read all about who RD Hubbard really is.

    • Watch Your Step

      Wow—Hubbard is kicked out of Indiana and personally fined $750,00. for bringing in prostitutes on his private plane to entertain wealthy clients at his Belterra Casino in Indiana and the casino is fined 2.26 million for which he is Chairman?????
      How in the world did he get a license to operate Ruidosa Downs????

      Unbelievable……

      • buffy

        he got off,,,, in all reports

        • Watch Your Step

          A 750,000.00 dollar personal fine plus another 2.26 million fine to the Belterra Casino doesn’t sound like “getting off” unless it was a pun you intended. He was also “asked” to leave Indiana but was welcomed in NM with open arms. I would bet he is a very strong political contributor in that state. He was also granted a 2nd license in NM at Zia Park to operate another Racino.

          • buffy

            hehe, yep

          • Marlaine Meeker

            It is a good pun!

  • Lisa Forsell Perry

    I don’t know what went on in the stable area, but all these folks were celebrating a couple of hours after the race in the parking lot of the Ruidoso sales facility. They even had the wreath of flowers hung over the top of a pickup. We were there taking down a display that we had there for the sale. It is just outside the back gate to the stable area.

  • davidinD

    This is a GREAT piece of investigative journalism; really well done Ray Paulick and staff! As for New Mexico quarter horse racing (and maybe NM thoroughbred racing), this is yet another – in a long string – of indictments about the reckless nature of racing in New Mexico. Is there anyone in state government in Sante Fe paying attention? Evidently the rule of law and track rules mean absolutely nothing in New Mexico. Ruidoso Downs might as well be south of the Rio Grand in old Mexico.

    As for what to do about it; I encourage people to no bet on New Mexico racing. No takeout, no purses. That’s all non insiders can do until someone is serious enough to truly crack down.

    • Anger management

      Agree! Boycott racing and betting in/on NM Racing!

      • Bellwether

        HOO in their right mind would ever bet out there???…Nottapenny here ever!!!…ty…

  • Quarter Horse racing should be shut down by the attorney general of New Mexico. Take the license away from Ruidoso. Their sport is unbelievably polluted.

    • CircusTicket

      That’s an overreaction. A lot of honest hard working people would lose their livelihoods. So thank goodness our justice system is better than that.

      • betterthannothing

        Some serious cleaning is needed though and not just in Ruidoso, all over NM and beyond, starting with QH racing at racinos, a match made in horse hell!

      • buffy

        what are you smoking, this trainer has never had stakes races til this summer and some HOW qualifies 2 for AA? come on! and wins juvenile?? what have you been smoking circus ticket?and fast time in more at Albuquerque and ZIA

    • Pop N Go

      NM TBs are just as bad. Remover Ramon Gonzales? He’s in jail for trafficking. He even trained a stakes winner for Adena. Then graduated to several World Records with QH at Sunland under several Gonzales names. The TB trainers cheat every bit as much. How many bad tests did Assmusen have at Sunland before he quit stabling there

      • betterthannothing

        I agree. Wherever mixed racing is conducted, QH miscreants infect TB including in NM and LA where cheap racing, rich racino purses and lawlessness make it a match made in hell for horses.

        • James

          Really? I remember a bunch of trainers at Santa Anita get in trouble for milk shaking horses. I guess I missed the QH and Arabians running there

          • buffy

            we are talking NM tracks not california

          • betterthannothing

            Tragically for horses and TB racing as a whole, abusive and cheating miscreants and their enabler$ –frontside and backside– are everywhere. But there is no question that QH racing culture is dirtier, more toxic, brutal and lawless than TB racing and infects others.

      • horse guy

        go to the RMTC website and look at the drug rulings for the last 6 months. In New Mexico it shows only one token violation over the entire meet at Ruidodo. Who is responsible for running this “Charade”? is it the track, or the NMRC, or both? I dont know how anyone allows this type of behavior from a government agency. Im with Barry on this point….Federal intervention and support.

    • Anger management

      The Feds need to go undercover within the racing commission and track/trainers!

    • James H

      Yeah Barry let’s also get rid of MLB, the NFL shoot while we are at it. The Catholic Church too!
      Ridiculous comments only take up space

    • raceadvocate

      Barry, this is the smartest thing you have ever said.

      • Humberto

        That’s a pretty low bar.

    • Convene

      And unfortunately, in the public’s eyes, it’s all, “racing,” so everyone takes the hit.

    • Bellwether

      WADR…They have just cover it up and looked the other way better with the T-Breds…Same old song and dance Baby and you know it…

    • Horse guy

      Barry, the AG and leadership of New Mexico are the problem. They have allowed the track Barons and their cronies to call the shots. Spend a few days there are smell the sour breeze of corruption. TB’s are no exception.

  • Jay Stone

    The Feds were involved there at one time with the cartel owning horses. The purse shouldn’t be paid until there is a federal investigation into who really trained the horse. The picture of the two brothers is a disgrace to the sport and shows how corrupt the state racing industry is.

    • Anger management

      And add the rumor of the horse swap tip and look at the pictures circulating of the horse that ran in the Ruidoso Futurity and the horse that won the AA and it’s alarming!

  • Needles

    Hubbard = Goodell

  • STOPHATING

    PEOPLE DO YOUR HOMEWORK YOU THINK RUNNER UP FOR THE AA FUTURITY” MAD ABOUT THE MOON” IS REALLY TRAINED BY GENE BURDEN? COME ON NO ALL THE HORSES THT HE RUNS UNDER HIS NAME ARE NOT HIS HES HELPING OUT ANOTHER TRAINER THAT HAS BAD TEST AS WELL. DONT BE SO SUPRISED ABOUTH THE SANCHEZ BROTHERS AND UMBERTO BELOC……..THERE IS ALOT OF THIS GOING ON STOP HATING. ITS NOT EASY QUALIFYING FOR THE AA FUTURITY ITS ALL ABOUT LUCK RUIDOSO DOWNS IS THE HARDEST TRACK TO RUN AT REASON THE WEATHER IN SECONDS CAN CHANGE IN FAVOR OR AGAINST YOU. JM MIRACLE TEST CAME BACK “NEGATIVE” AS WELL AS CARTEL QUICK……. I LOVE THIS SPOT THE BAD THING ABOUT IT THERE IS SO MUCH ENVY!!

    • jojo

      then why isn’t belloc training now???? hhmmm bad test? ah yep, we aren’t talking about burden we are talking about how many trainers jm Miracle has had and where he was stabled…really >? hating?? hell yes I hate cheaters, why wouldn’t they let him have out of comp tests? please just answer that one, everyone knows he refused and whats worse is they let him run, but now one again he will need another trainer if and when he runs

    • Anger management

      I’m interested in the horse swap rumor/tip, the pictures circulating are cause for alarm I would say!

    • betterthannothing

      All of doped Lance Armstrong tests and those of his doped teammates came back clean too and the authorities were REALLY after these guys for years…

      • cal gal

        heard the guy who caught lance is looking into this deal to help

      • One has to know exactly what he/she is testing for in order to find it. That is how it works. If the drug is a designer drug and nobody knows what it is, chances are very remote that it can or will be found. A clean test means very little in these instances. Marion Jones tested clean. Lance Armstrong tested clean. Ben Johnson was caught because he used a known drug.

        • Jon Doe

          Actually, there is an outstanding chance the drug will be found. The same outfit keeps winning trials over and over … at Zia, at Albuquerque… word on the street is that NMRC was offered a sample of the drug so that their lab would be able to profile and then detect it.

    • Either lay off the hard stuff or only post when he are coherent, then maybe we can understand what on earth you are trying to tell us.

      • Humberto

        “he are coherent”
        Nuff said.

  • Anger management

    I am reading a lot from Ruidoso downs about cheaters being a cancer but if my memory serves me correctly is paul jones not the trainer who trainer for Hubbard for yrs and still has a pending ZILPATEROL case with the nm racing commission that is now 3 or 4 yrs old! Pot/kettle because that bad ZILPATEROL test was on hubbards horse if I remember right

    • cal gal

      yes it was with hubbards lawyer, but due process is going forever for some

  • Marlaine Meeker

    PR thanks for not letting this story go undercover. The more people see and hear these articles the better chance we have a major cleanup for real. Not just blowing smoke. Keep up the good work.

  • a

    What a shock the test came back clean. I guess when they took the other horse to get tested worked. when is someone going to realize that a minimum wage security guy is not really security. that when you flash enough money in front of someone they will look the other way. they will do tests on other horses so they will comeback clean. NMRC & Hubbard has known this has gone on for years. He gets what he wants from the commission when he wants. just as long as the money is there. He has his son set as the GM at Ruidoso track which is one of the biggest jokes . Ask his son about anything his response I don’t know nothing, I haven’t seen nothing. It doesn’t surprise me that the switch in the Ruidoso Futurity and All American happened.

    • Mimi Hunter

      The fact that the tests came back clean doesn’t mean the there were no drugs there – all it means is that there weren’t any illegal amounts of known substances, and that the trainer and his/her employees are very good with withdrawal times. You can’t test for unknowns – there has to be a test developed, and checked, etc before it can be used – by that time a whole new set of drugs will be in use. Look back at the 60’s and 70’s when chemists were coming up with new mind altering substances faster than the rest of us could come up with the tests and laws to do anything about it

      • a

        yes the 60s and 70s had there faults but nothing like what is going on now days . Between the track ownership & racing comm. putting on blindfolds for what has gone on and continues . If they think just bringing a horse on grounds 10 days before trials will make the difference. get real. all it means is the papers will be in the office. nothing will change. and they know it.

    • Woody Gilliland

      Can the AQHA have a role……

  • La Paloma

    Good Reporting

  • rayctrack

    great job. now head out to California and see if you can determine what killed seven of Baffert’s horses.

  • Humberto

    I wuz at Los Al last weekend and heard that a big name trainer that had a horse in the big Ruidosa races just got kicked off Los Al cuz of a bad test. Heard it just happened.

    • El Capitan

      The Trey Wood / Blane Wood team (father son team) had their stalls taken away from them at Los Alamitos. Horses had to be given to other trainers. Los Alamitos would not let all the horses stay in one barn and just have a new trainer name used.

      • Humberto

        Really weird that none of these websites have picked up on that story. I think those guys train for really well known AQHA owners. I wonder if they got a bad drug test?

        • cal gal

          johnny trotter probably why they have been moved? aqha president

        • El Capitan

          Clenbuterol positive at Retama Park in July 2014

        • dean

          Thats because no one really cares about QH racing anymore. Its been a dieing sport for decades :(

      • dean

        More corruption at Los Al. Now you know why they are trying to get TB racing dates. Only problem is the same person owns the track :(

  • Filly70

    The funny thing about this”no one knew the sanchez brothers trained Jm Miracle” get real the NMRC knew they even sent one of there Investigators to the Sanchez Ranch to bleed JM Miracle weeks before the final. Also Let me educate you. All the medication they used in diffrent tracks was sold buy the Vets on the track. Such A Coverup, Negative Test People thats what counts the Results Speak For Themselves.

  • a

    breaking news the American quarter horse racing assn. has changed its name to the cartel racing assn. where there is no rules anything goes.

  • rob

    I will tell you exactly what he’s using. It’s a compounded form of clenbuterol that is much stronger than ventipulmin. It’s a clear watery liquid, he starts his horses out at 2cc given orally. The horses sweat and get very restless for 3 hours post administration. After 15 days he UPS the dose to 5cc. After 30 days the horse is noticeably more muscular and aggressive. He quits giving it 9 days before the race so it’s difficult to detect in blood or urine. This is EXACTLY his program, I am an insider who is tired of his cheating ways

    • Peyton

      Where does he get this compound? Is it administered by a vet or himself? Thanks for speaking up.

  • tom Dubrick

    Awful. U lost me…..TPD

  • Voodoo1

    Talk is cheap … We shall see

  • Richard C

    Jose Canseco also found a real loud voice…..when money was to be made.

  • Getalife

    People need to start focusing on a job well done by the trainers with Hispanic last names born in the USA!!!!! If any of the famous trainers with American last names who are ruled off would have won the AA Futurity none of this would have happened. The Sanchez Brothers are not the only ones who have been ruled off for the same medication that other American Trainers have tested positive for and yet are still training under another name. Why doesn’t Paulick mention them??? How is it possible that The Bothers are ruled off for a medication that was administered by the veterinarians on Ruidoso Downs racetrack premises and Oklahoma Racetrack. Do you believe that these trainers are guilty and should be punished for using a medication that was distributed by veterinarians?????
    Paulick, how is it possible that Trey Wood tested positive in Los Alamitos for a horse owned by Johnny Trotter the president of AQHA and is still training and running horses??!!! What do you have to say about that??? And how is it possible that the winning trainer of the AA Derby Wesley Giles is also ruled off running the horses under his sons name and you mention nothing???? I believe that if you consider yourself a great journalist then you should be partial and not only write about the Hispanic trainers and the rumors circulating about them.

    • cal gal

      I for one have always said what you said however, yes anyone using something illegal from vet or owner, you are out , white black, or Mexican…and vets should roll too, I believe that is coming also….:)

      • training at the trining

        no one is picking on the mexicans i wish the racing comm.would release how many horses they haved killed the last few years.i dont think its right letting all these trainers keep trainging at the traing track even if they own the barn its not right and they keep letting them put there horses in somebody elses name the racing comm knows they ara doing it but wont stop them

    • Tom Goncharoff

      The other guys didn’t win the All American for starters. Trey Wood had a slight overage for clenbuterol – not quite the same as demorphin. Bringing up the race card? Really?

      • buffy

        tom did you really just say a little over? please! eddie willis said the same thing to clients and he’s twice the allowed, court soon, and he didn’t turn in a horse that died sunday AA weekend..FIre Tested..so don’t say hes a little over! so there is the race card, there is no race card , crooks across the board…of course IMO

  • tdg

    Quarter horse racing should be stopped period ! Corrupt sport has been dieing for decades. More drug positives per capa than any other breed.

  • Neal Baker

    Great example of investigative journalism. Stories like this one is why I read The Paulick Report. So many questions left unanswered in the sport’s premier event is inconceivable.

  • Tromper

    D. Wayne Lukas…..Bob Baffert…..strong roots in Quarter horse racing & the “tricks of the trade”. They brought their insipid tricks right along to TB racing — and, mixed with some dubious charm & salesmanship, managed to infect the sport. Add Asmussen to that duo. Insiders know the truth.

  • 1bighorse

    There is a can of worms in New Mexico no one can ever clean up..The NMRC investigators need to read you comments. They can find out everything that is happening at NM tracks in one place. Other wise they can’t find their butts with both hands (or don’t want to). They keep putting and pushing every bad thing that happens here back until it never gets right side up. They believe all of us involved are way too dumb to know what is going on. NEWS FLASH! We try to tell you these things are happening and just as others have said…You can’t handle the truth! Vince Mares gets a national award for his “Tireless Efforts” in cleaning up things..He can’t be found with a search warrant. Hopefully one day soon all of those involved in this unimaginable mess will join the rest of the crooks in federal prison. Just please try to remember there are a lot of honest and hard working people in NM that are just as disgusted with what’s happening as you are.
    .

  • David

    My buddy David Valdez had it but got bumped. Still mysterious about JM Miracle and The trainers.

  • Michael Haney

    Best thing that could happen is Hubbard gets out of the business. HE is making new rules? Are you kidding me? Thats not going to help when he has turned a blind eye for years.
    Maybe D Wayne Lucas could step in and buy Ruidoso and clean house.

  • Humberto

    Dr. Allred from Las Al should buy Ruidosa. At least he has the courage to evict the President of the AQHA’s race horse trainer who I hear just gotta bad drug test in Texas. NO media coverage but I’ve seen several things that confirm the bad test.

  • Jim McClanahan

    Until you get rid of lasix and quit letting vets park at the big barns all day on trial dayyou cannot start. Until trainers become horsemen again and actually show up at the barn and run their horses out of the feed tub and not the vet box, you cannot start to clean it up.

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