Daily Double: Vazquez Horse Disqualified Twice From Maiden Wins For Drug Violations

by | 05.14.2017 | 11:18am
Juan Vazquez

What are the chances a horse would be disqualified from a maiden win – not once, but twice – as a result of post-race drug tests?

That's what happened to J. J.'s Candy, a 3-year-old Sidney's Candy colt owned by Big Monk Stable and Liorah Stables and trained by Juan Vazquez.

J.J.'s Candy's first disqualification came at Parx Racing on Jan. 31, 2017, when a post-race test showed the presence of glycopyrrolate, according to a March 20 ruling from the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission board of stewards. On May 8, stewards fined Vazquez $1,500 and suspended him for 15 days, from May 21 through June 4, for the medication violation.

On May 12, stewards issued a ruling disqualifying J. J.'s Candy from an April 4 maiden win at Parx. Once again, the horse tested positive for glycopyrrolate, the generic form of Robinul, which reduces secretions in the mouth, throat, airways and stomach. It is a Class IV medication under the guidelines of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

A hearing will be conducted to determine any sanctions against Vazquez on the latest J. J.'s Candy disqualification.

J.J.'s Candy, meanwhile, ran fourth in the $100,500 Parx Derby on May 6. The colt was saddled that day by trainer Carlos Soto while Vazquez was serving a suspension for an unrelated medication violation. That suspension, to run from April 30-May 20, resulted from a positive test in the horse Red Doctober for the bronchodilator clenbuterol on May 8, 2016. Vazquez appealed the suspension and $2,500 fine but in February 2017 dropped his appeal.

Vazquez also faces a possible suspension for another 2017 medication violation after McKenzies Way was disqualified from a Feb. 14 win at Parx as a result of a post-race test showing the presence of the corticosteroid betamethasone.

Vazquez was recently notified by The Jockey Club that he is being denied all privileges of the American Stud Book for one year as a result of multiple medication violations in 2014-15.

  • Steve

    For most trainers, this would be shocking news. For Vazquez, just another day at the office

  • ridingtowin

    Perhaps it’s time for betters to start filing class action lawsuits against the tracks for offering rigged events/doping of horses, and that there alone may lead to a greater crackdown on permanently eliminating these cheat trainers.

    • Mindy

      you know what else might help? stop giving them the tv exposure of showing them on TVG/TVG2, get them to stop taking bets on those tracks, get other venues to stop taking their signal, hit them in the wallet, till they clean up their act, it’s probably all they’ll understand

      • ben

        Stop racing for a while

      • longshot

        Mindy, I understand where your coming , but guys like him cry innocent than they tie it up in court with their righteous lawyers get court injunctions and keep on racing and there is nothing the stewards or the commission can do till they get a court ruling. Its not the track its the legal system

        • Mindy

          which is why it needs to be outside the legal system, any track, being private property, can disallow anyone from having horses stabled there, entering horses there, even setting foot on the grounds, right? and if the trainer sues, it should be dismissed summarily, because it’s private property, they can control it completely

          • Vendettaroad

            Absolutely Mindy – the will has proven not to be there, which is an UNDENIABLE INDICTMENT on all involved. Dirty hands galore.

          • Mindy

            dirty hands which are making too much money from the dirtiness, to desire a washing, I’m afraid :(

      • greg

        they need to stop saying “Look at “””” barn, that trainer is hot, he wins around 30% in every category” as if even they have no idea what’s going on. If you don’t want to criticize or accuse then fine, but stop acting as if they’re all Charlie Whittingham

        • Mindy

          I agree, but they’re always going to point that out, because, at its heart, TVG is a betting operation, and they probably feel it’s their ‘duty’ to tout those stats, to encourage people to bet, or to bet more

    • greg

      Let me tell you something I have not shared publicly. I took evidence of cheating collected by a PI I hired and who worked on this for over 6 months to the racing board for this particular state, they looked and said “nothing we can do” I then took all the same info to the FBI in that state for exactly the reason you described, they looked over the evidence for ~ 10 days then had me pick it up and said “We just don’t have the manpower to look into this, take to the racing board” Nobody who should care does care, I spent ~$100,000 of my own money as I have raced and played in that state for over 25 years but stopped as this problem got worse. I have posted here and elsewhere about the problems I see there and have been very consistent Y’day 3 of the 4 trainers who I have thought were a problem won 6 of the first 8 races, it’s become a sad joke.

      • Lehane

        It’s a sad joke alright, corruption reigns in racing.

      • Vendettaroad

        To your credit and honour, you tried! Thanks for your efforts because a clean game is a great game (but there’s $$$$$$$ involved – rats come for the cheese)

        • greg

          thank u

    • Vendettaroad

      AMEN (but don’t hold your breath)

  • Guest

    This is utterly rediculous this guy isn’t good for racing ! How many positives can you have and keep running horses!!! Doesn’t seem right to me.

    • Bubba

      Maybe ray or the PR can contact sam the racing secretary who told everyone he was giving him one strike only. That was like 10 strikes ago.

  • Richard C

    It’s just meat on the hoof for such despicable characters and the officials who permit them to operate.

  • todd fortune

    For as many times as this guy is featured on this site, seems they should get a resent photo.

    • Bubba

      Maybe they can get the mug shot from his recent arrest, should be public.

  • Bryan Langlois

    Will be interesting to see if this comes up at the next Commission Meeting in a few weeks. I know one of his hearings on a suspension was supposedly heard by a hearing officer, I think the Commission is just waiting on that report from him or her.

  • Barrmorr

    It’s not the time to be politically correct so I won’t even try. As the chemistry labs that are Parx and Penn National continue to run unabated it’s pretty obvious that the Pennsylvania Racing Commission either does not care or are as corrupt as the lowlife trainers they are supposed to be regulating. As enablers the people on this commission are as guilty as the crooks they are protecting. As a racing fan I never thought I would say this but racing in Pennsylvania needs to be shut down, and prison time handed out to the criminals who make their living by defrauding the public. It’s challenging enough to find the best horse in a race without having to find the best chemist. I know this will never happen but the Racing Form should list the number of medication violations a trainer has had in the past performances. It just might be the most important piece of information the Form could provide.

    • Chris Lowe

      That used to be in about every edition of DRF at one time.

    • Bryan Langlois

      You can now view all sanctions and medication violations for trainers, owners, and jockeys online via the Horse Racing Commissions website

    • Mindy

      at least the cheating of the ‘betting public’ only involves money, I’m far more concerned with the life-and-death effects & consequences on the horses & jockeys

      • Barrmorr

        I am also a person that puts the welfare of the horses themselves above all else. A few months aho there was a report on this site about an FBI investigation into a trainer at Penn National with multiple drug violations. Drew Mollica, who used to be a jockey agent (Richard Migliore and Chris Antley) and is now an attorney who defends crooked trainers said in a response to a post of mine that caring about the animals more than the people who drug them is ‘sanctimonious BS.’ People like Mollica should know the dangers of horses running on illegal medication but no horse has ever written him a check but the lying trainers have. If a horse breaks down while running on illegal medication the racing commission, trainer and the lawyers who defend them should be held responsible. Sometimes there are cases where animals should come before the welfare of the people involved. I fully expect and understand the pushback I’ll get by putting the welfare of the horses above the rights of the people who drug them but as far as I know no horse has ever injected itself with illegal medication. If this is ‘sanctimonious BS’ as Mollica said bring it on. No amount of criticism will change my opinion on this subject. Prison time is too good for these jerks.

        • billy

          I agree

        • You need to understand that when one gets a law degree they automatically receive a ethics and morality waiver

          • Mike Hummel

            Just because you represent people doesn’t mean you agree with their stance.

            And just because you don’t like lawyers that doesn’t mean they are dishonest.

            – Mike Hummel KY BAR #90311

          • Agree
            once you accept the case you are legally obligated to provide the best possible defense regardless of guilt or inocent

            IMO unless you are a public defender you have a choice to accept or not based on you own morality and ethics

            The legal profession is one of the few that by its own existence perpetuates it’s own nessity 😉

        • greg

          Look at Darryl Vienna, was a “trainer” in So cal, he cried louder than most about the drugging that went on, however he was the lawyer who defended them all in hearings and court cases. He had a specific owner who I know very well, how do you think he felt when getting beat repeatedly by a cheating trainer only to have HIS trainer get the guy a suspended fine, I hated what he was doing and told him so, face to face

        • Mindy

          no push back from me, I agree completely, Barrmorr :)

      • afleet

        I’m concerned about the bettor. There would be no racing w/o betting

        • Mindy

          there’s no betting in the UAE, probably not in Saudi Arabia, either…and I say again, all the bettor can lose, is money, no physical consequences

    • Bristling

      The newly formed PA racing commission will get rid of him it’s sad tho the race track it self won’t kick him out. That being said there is one person protecting this guy. And everyone at Parx knows it.

      • billy

        Not just at parx just everyone

    • Neigh Sayer

      So you honestly think it’s just PA? Do you realize some of the big name trainers in CA have some of the most drug violations anywhere? And that a steroid positive horse ran in the BC at Santa Anita? The CHRB and the TOC would never allow drug violation numbers to be put in the past performances, they work closely together and you should take a look at who sits on the TOC board and it might enlighten you to the real problem.

      • Barrmorr

        I fully realize that Pa is not the only state where this goes on. I live in the Philadelphia area and refuse to go to Paex or wager on any races that are run there. It’s come to the point where I wont wager on any race at another track where there is a shipper from Parx entered. As you pointed out, it’s naive to think this is the only place this goes on but it seems to much more common here.

        • afleet

          One would have to be crazy to wager @Parx

    • Patrick Kane

      Have you ever attended a PA HRC meeting? It is handcuffed by our lousy judicial system.They’re forced to be enablers be/c of the judicial system and lawyers like AP.
      Why do you not hold the same disdain for DRF who do not publish the positive tests.
      To Mindy below – some of the betting public who lose money be/c of cheaters are the trainers and owners, who then perhaps have less resources, maybe the trainer works with 1 less assistant, That subtle swelling gets overlooked and so on… can be dangerous. Your train of thought is similar to those who think low level drug dealers are completely non-violent. But yes the cheaters also have more direct/heinous effect on the horse and therefore jockey.

    • theosmachine

      I will tell you this, they haven’t gotten a dime from me in over 4 years. If everyone would stay away the cheaters would only be gambling with themselves.

  • Kevin Callinan

    The public continues to be cheated by PARX. Vazquez has been ruled off every other track. A class action should be brought by all of the bettors that have been screwed in these races and/or the PARX signal should no longer carried by other tracks due to PARX’ blatant disregard for the gambler. No track abuses the rule that bets are resolved when the race is deemed official like PARX.

    • billy

      The people that wager there can shoot themselves in the foot all they want what about the horses there

  • Joey Seay

    My question is why does he get SOOOOO many chances… This is rediculous.. I was at Deleware when he beat up Trevor McCarthy in the winners circle.. And tossed the stall lady in the muck bin.. Insanity that he can still get a license anywere

    • Because the racing office needs his stock to fill races? Just a wild guess. Sorry.

      • forestwildcat

        Times are tough, kirk ziade and marcus vitali are currently licensed in Fl

        • Cooper

          🤔🤔🤔

        • greg

          I think you’re wrong about Vitale

          • forestwildcat

            Per the DBPR, tis fact

          • billy

            Wasn’t his license revoked couple months back

          • greg

            He actually gave up his license in Fla and also decided not to litigate

          • forestwildcat

            Might have, no starters shown, but per DBPR is licensed

      • Bristling

        Yes Sam Elliott is only concerned about quantity NOT quality. That’s why Suffolk Downs has a date with a wrecking ball.

        • Cooper

          😂😂😂😂😂😂

      • horsepower

        disgusting but accurate

      • No name

        Heard that he trains horses which belong to racing secretary.

      • afleet

        Hello Mr Irwin,
        Why are the cheaters never prosecuted? What if someone fixed an NFL game or threw an NFL game-would there be prosecutions?

    • billy

      Yup love 5 min locked in a stall with vasquez bets takin all proceeds to thoroughbred aftercare you interested juan??? Or you just into pick in on the ones that can’t defend themselves

      • Markie Marx

        Billy. This take a number and wait your turn. I have number ticket number 41.

    • Ky Race Fan

      This is insane that he would be allowed to race anywhere with his many violations. WHY? Think maybe a boycott of betting anytime he enters in any race might be a start. This industry needs to step up and cure this problem once and for all.

      • ben

        That is an viable solution too. Stop betting on races with one of Vazquez in

    • Arnold H

      He’ll probably be leading trainer at Delaware this year. Usually wins a bunch right away when the track opens.

      • Bristling

        Who ?

        • Arnold H

          Vasquez.

          • Bristling

            He hasn’t been aloud to run there for a few years.

          • Arnold H

            I guess I was mistaken. Remembering the past too much. Thanks for the correction.

    • ridingtowin

      The years that he was in the barn right next to the track kitchen at Delaware, someone was flushing needles and syringes down the men’s toilet in the track kitchen. They had to put signs up on the bathroom stalls, “Please do not put syringes in the toilet…it creates big trouble.” – (I have photos of the signs). Every year they were having this problem until he was ruled off. No more problem since.

  • Parx is a cesspool. Nobody should bet at this track.

  • youcantmakeitup

    The state is thinking about taking some money from the slot subsidies in PA. If Parx doesn`t show him the door forever then Im for it. If the horsemen went to Elliot and said they wouldn`t enter horses and if the IRS took a good look at Vazquez and his King Star stable, he would be done.I understand that he has legal rights but he is abusing them and everybody he comes into contact with.

    • Hamish

      Why don’t the local horsemen and board make a big stink about this guy, and others like him, if these type are truly jeopardizing, and it would appear so, the horse racing pot of gold monies?

      • Bristling

        The local horsemen DIDN’T want him there in the first place they were told that he was on a “strict one strike policy” . The horsemen cries fall on deaf ears. As I stated before and others stated on here as well there is one person that keeps him there and backs him 100% with everything he has.

        • guest

          If that is the racing secretary, you must write to the PA horse racing commission, Russel Redding, Chairman

      • Really?

        Because people that speak up about the cheating and animal welfare issues are looked upon as losers. They get the cold shoulder from those in charge. They also have to be worried about repercussions.

        • billy

          The track just wants to fill races and generate revenue Idk what the commission’s excuse is maybe court legalities poor excuse if that is the case and for some odd reason the people on the backside other trainers and such turn a cheek why is that fear of loss of stalls, there doing no different why would someone involved deal with this guy and or race against him don’t get it

  • Racing Fan

    Sam Elliiot is a coward for letting this guy run at Parx.

    • billy

      He’s looking out for his buddy the best he can lol

    • Bristling

      Coward ? He’s the reason he’s there in the first place and the reason he’s still there.

      • Hamish

        The racing secretary told DRF in December 2015 that “Vazquez was in the one-strike program, one strike and your out.” It appears he didn’t mean it.

        • guest

          The author should added to this piece the recent arrest for “theft of services” — it goes to the recidivism of this person which is part of the theme of the article. (No I’m not an English composition teacher). In addition, DRF or PR needs to follow the Vazquez saga with a published interview of sam elliot regarding his one strike policy.

  • This guy has now been enshrined in the wrong hall of fame. Needs to be renamed Hall of Shame.

    • Douglas Amos

      OK Barry; you have a voice – get your friends to boycott PA and find someone respected to organize players. No bets; no PA racing. It’s that economically simple. Then on to CA where the dentists with their nerve blocks rule.

      • Kevin Callinan

        Barry was happy to see the PA Derby elevated to a Grade 1. I hope this guy or Preciado wins it. You cant reward a track that has no ethics.

  • El Espresso

    With a record like this and the ability to continue to race after all the bad tests plus racking up win after win: I would like to invite Vazquez to start racing quarter horses and Opening day at Ruidoso is fast approaching. He will fit in nicely…maybe not in Oklahoma… it appears they are cracking down; maybe. Come on down to the short horse busines Vazquez… a man with your talents will shine !!

  • albert

    This is just another example why many people ( trainers )got out too many snakes rose in the business while with the legitimate people learned how to operate honestly and lost out on opertuinty to get good owners everyday we here one thing or another unethical but when someone with good background all around experience from some of the most known there’s never a interview
    these trainers offer this 2 for 1 training bill needle training abilities and low pay and non American workforce as long as this industry containes these types of people this industry will suffer you can say and think as u wish it’s your right but after 30years in this industry from the bottom up I’ve found this industry a carnival I would love to be involved in a ask and answer situation with a legit owner breeder it all starts with them

  • Noelle

    Owners continue to place horses with Vazquez despite his record. At some point the owners should also be held liable when a trainer cheats with their horses. Perhaps they don’t care about the cheating as long as they benefit from whatever the cheater gets away with.

    • Bryan Langlois

      This actually can be done under the current regs and rules. Owners can be fined and sanctioned just as much as trainers. It is up to the Stewards and Commission to do so.

      • Noelle

        I never hear of it happening – I guess if Stewards seriously wanted the rules enforced, they would enforce them….

        • Bryan Langlois

          Completely agree. I keep bringing it up at Commission Meetings. Supposedly the argument against it (Which I personally think is BS) is that the owners will claim they had no idea he was doing it and did not authorize it, so you can’t penalize someone for an act someone else does without their knowledge or permission. Again, I think it is a BS excuse, but one that likely many courts would rule in favor of. The real question to turn around and ask these owners then is…Why would you, or are you still, use a trainer that has a drug rap sheet on horses a mile long?? How could you not know what he has been doing and the violations against him. Ignorance on your part in doing due diligence is not a defense here.

    • Ky Race Fan

      Good point! Why would any responsible owner have any stock in his care? They must be held accountable for their actions–period!

  • DAVE

    How is it possible to have a casino license, and allow this type of people running the business. I can only imagine what must go on at their tables.

  • Bryan Langlois

    I urge all those that are upset over this (and yes that is basically all of us), to attend the next PA State Horse Racing Commission Board Meeting and make your voices heard on it. We do have to realize that some of the reason that he is still able to train is the way the law is written and previous superior and Supreme Court rulings on the matter. However, the Commission does have the right to revoke a license (such as was done with Preciado) which is a harder thing to fight as it has to be appealed through the courts. Show up at the meeting and request to speak during public comment on the issue. You have to request to speak ahead of time by contacting Stephanie Pavlik at [email protected] and request to fill out the form for comment. The Commission recently made a ruling that in the future all ejections of members from a track will have their appeals heard by the Commission directly and the step of having the hearing in front of a hearing officer will be skipped. The Commission will then rule directly on that meeting on the issue. This will hopefully speed the process up a little bit.
    I also realize that people will say the Commission is just as corrupt as the the trainers and allowing it to happen. All I can comment on regarding that is the positive steps they seem to be taking to try and clean things up a bit. Is it enough?? No, but only with a collective voice at the meetings will any real change be forthcoming. It cannot just be me and 1 or 2 other people at every meeting speaking up. We need the place packed meeting after meeting with people that are just pissed off that this continues to happen. Especially nice would be those that left the game in PA because of this cheating that is going on and would love to come back into it if things got better.
    The next Commission meeting is at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg in the Susquehanna Room at 1PM on Thursday May 25th. If you cannot make it, write into the commission by addressing your comments to: The State Horse Racing Commission at, 2301 North Cameron Street, Room 301, Harrisburg, PA 17110.
    Nothing is going to change if we don’t stand up as one voice demanding it.

  • Racing Fan

    Juan Vazquez needs to get a visit from the FBI. Along with his veterinarian wife.

    • Parxhater

      He’s with Jockey Carol Cedeno now, don’t know about the vet wife.

      • Joe Schmo

        Not sure about his status with Carol Cedeno but I know his wife left him last year.

  • Michael Infurna

    PARX doesn’t give a crap about racing or its customers. If they weren’t getting casino subsidies, their name would be LOEWS!!

    • Douglas Amos

      None of them do Michael. Drive up to FL and tell them 1 Englehart/race please. Perception is everything. Only a fool would get involved in these joints.

  • Mike Oliveto

    Racing in Pennsylvania is chemical warfare. It’s that simple.

  • Billy

    Ok this is beginning to be a joke with this guy! Multiple positives and still racing. Hmm doesn’t seem right. And the owners who want horses in his barn are to blame too, owners seem to want their horses in cheating barns, claiming oh we didn’t know he was doing anything. Give me a break. Something has to be done here. Racing is always talking about the “integrity ” of the sport. Well this is not it! For the integrity of the sport this can’t be tolerated! Maryland and Delaware had it right looks like…

    • Hamish

      Wouldn’t it be nice if the owners that support Vazquez as a part of the adjudication process had to stand up and tell the racing world and public their real name, occupation outside of horses, why they are involved with horse racing and what attracts them to Vazquez.

  • longshot

    Does sound preposterous. Same horse same drug.Com’ oooon man

  • billy

    It’s not just the drugs at parx it’s the overal lack of care about horses im not sure how a horse suffers a broken back and broke ribs in a fall has a vet exam gets returned to stall and is found dead the next morning…it gets worse too

    • Nybred13

      Wow.. what poor horse was that?

      • billy

        Diggers jigger

  • Raycing W

    If he was a great guy, here is what the typical headline on this site would read: Clearly another couple of cases of contamination.

  • Victoria Doyle

    Um… maybe it’s time he’s ruled off, for good, at all tracks. 1 time, OK, you can have a bye. 2 times, some time off. 3 times? You’re out. And this guy sounds like he’s currently up to 4 times. Enough already.

    • Bristling

      4 ?????? He passed 4 a looooooong loooooooong time ago.

      • Victoria Doyle

        The article only alludes to 4… if it’s 4, it’s probably more.

  • horsepower

    Of course it is possible that it just real bad luck and a case of environmental contaimination. Suppose some poor bird with ulcers goes and gets some Robinul. After consuming the product , he flies right into the Vazquez stall and poops in J.J.’s stall. Then a few weeks later the same bird is felling a little better and goes and gets a 2nd round of Robinal from the Vet ( or Vasquez leaves his window open and the bird flies into his back seat and gets some). The the same bird flies into exactly the same stall and poops again and VOILA – we have 2 positive tests in a row due completely to a run of really bad luck. And maybe the same bird has been following Juan for years and is responsible for his other 1,000 problems as well. This makes a MOCKERY of this business and it is farcical that it has NOT been STOPPED. WAKE the FK&*% UP !

    • Bryan Langlois

      Come on now…you know that bird will refuse any subpoena to testify in a hearing…

  • Agatha

    same old song and dance here. Multiple violations, and still can keep running horses! Where is this sports ethics and integrity ? Somewhere it has been lost with this guy he’s made a mockery of racing wherever he goes.

  • afleet

    oops

  • greg

    Seems the one’s who really get screwed are those who bet whomever ran 2nd in both races

  • papi chulo

    Doesn’t he own most of his own horses? King Star?

  • Robin

    Why is he still working? Who would stable horses with this man?

  • gus stewart

    This kind of madness couldn’t, wouldn’t, and would be a non factor as it is with every other sport because they all have a leader or commissioner thats not biased. They look out for the perception of the sport that allows for more advertising and people continuing to spend their money even when shady situations are always still going on in other sports. But not in horse racing. Its run like lawn bowling in a park.

  • Vendettaroad

    How many times does this sleazeball have to prove he’s an incompetent game player. If there’s any officials in those racing districts that care something about the sport, and aren’t corrupt, they’ll throw this stupid weasel out of racing.

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