Former Indiana Horse Racing Commission executive director Joe Gorajec sounds off on the recent controversy surrounding the scopolamine positive test that was not called on Triple Crown winner Justify by the California Horse Racing Board following the 2018 Santa Anita Derby.
Writing in his InsideRacingRegs blog on The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's Horse Racing Reform website, Gorajec states that the absence of one set of national rules means the case would have handled differently in different jurisdictions.
In Indiana, for example, he said any mitigating circumstances “might affect a penalty but do not negate the fact that Justify had a positive test. … Even if the evidence of environmental contamination through the consumption of jimson weed was valid and convincing, I would have disqualified Justify. In Indiana we always disqualified horses with positive tests.”
But, as Gorajec also notes, that process of notifying the trainer of a positive test and waiting for results of a split sample would likely not have been completed before the Kentucky Derby.
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