Quarter Horses accounted for less than half of the races in New Mexico in 2017 but 80% of the positive drug tests, writes Joe Gorajec in his InsideRacingRegs blog at the HorseRacingReform.org website published by The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Gorajec based the statement on the latest annual report from the New Mexico Racing Commission.
“Quarter Horse racing's appetite for drugs makes its Thoroughbred cousins look absolutely prudish,” the former executive director for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission writes. “It is a problem that pervades the breed at all levels and shows no sign of abating.”
Gorajec referenced a Paulick Report article concerning a positive test for albuterol in one of leading trainer Trey Wood's horses. The positive test and summary suspension of Wood forced the New Mexico Racing Commission to make a decision to either scratch 31 horses from Wood's barn that previously had been entered in trials for the rich All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs or to let them run in the name of another trainer.
“One option is bad, the other worse,” Gorajec writes.
The commission allowed most of the horses to be transferred to other trainers and run in the All American Futurity trials. Wood's positive test wasn't the only one that disrupted Ruidoso Downs races last week. Six horses trained by Jose Muela were scratched from All American Derby and Futurity trials after coming up positive for albuterol in out-of-competition hair tests.
“Trainers take their best shot in the trials in order to qualify for the big Labor Day pay day,” Gorajec writes. “Unfortunately, sometimes their best shot includes and needle and syringe.”
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