The New York State Gaming Commission today issued a $343,400 fine and three-year ban against harness trainer Luis (Lou) Pena, holding him responsible for 1,717 equine drug violations.
In 2012, the Commission (formerly the Racing and Wagering Board) took action against Pena after a comprehensive investigation of veterinary records determined that he was responsible for racing illegally drugged harness horses between January 2010 and April 2012. The original hearing and notice detailing all of Pena's violations, including a list of all the violations by horse, drug, administration date, race date and track can be found here.
“We are pleased that this case has finally come to a close and that Mr. Pena is being held responsible for his actions,” Commission Executive Director Robert Williams said. “The Commission takes all allegations of administrations of illegal substances seriously and will continue to uphold the integrity of racing in New York State.”
Pena regularly raced horses in New York while stabling them in New Jersey. In 2012, New York, with assistance from racing officials in New Jersey, conducted a thorough review of veterinary records, which illustrated the 1,717 equine drug violations.
The violations included a litany of substances, most of which were administered to horses outside the permitted timeframe as set forth by Commission rules, including:
- Adrenocorticotropic (ACTH), Hormone
- Betamethasone (Celestone), Steroid
- Clenburterol (Ventipulmin)
- Cortisone, Steroid
- Cromolyn Sodium, NSAID
- Fircoxib, NSAID
- Flumethasone, Steroid
- Glycopyrrolate (Robinul)
- Gonadorelin or GnRH (Factrel), Hormone
- Hyaluronic Acid Derivative (Polyglycan, GEL-50)
- Levothyroxine, Hormone
- Magnesium Sulfate (MAG)
- Methocarbamol (Robaxin)
After a subsequent hearing and adjudication, Pena and his attorney pursued various legal attempts to avoid his responsibility, all of which were ultimately rejected. Pena never testified to deny that he repeatedly cheated by administering illegal substances to race horses more than a thousand times.
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