Four Quarter Horse trainers suspended between five and 10 years for dermorphin positives in horses racing in Louisiana reached the end of the road in their appeals process last week when the Louisiana Supreme Court on Friday denied their applications for writ to argue their case. They previously lost an appeal before Louisiana's Third Circuit Court of Appeal that upheld a lower court affirming the Louisiana State Racing Commission's actions.
Charles Gardiner III, executive director of the Louisiana State Racing Commission, told the Paulick Report that trainers John Darrel Soileau, Alonzo Loya, Alvin Smith and Michael Heath Taylor have been notified that their entries will no longer be accepted beginning April 17 and they are to disperse their stables.
Loya and Taylor each received $10,000 fines and were suspended five years. Soileau and Smith were fined $20,000 and suspended 10 years. Taylor is the most prominent trainer in the group, having ranked eighth nationally by wins in 2014, according to the American Quarter Horse Association.
Dermorphin, also known as frog juice because in its natural form iit is derived from the South American tree frog, is a Class 1 drug said to be 40 times more powerful than morphine.
The Louisiana Racing Commission took the cases after stewards imposed $1,000 fines and six-month suspensions – the maximum penalties allowed under Louisiana law. Four other licensees received lesser penalties – three-year suspensions and $2,500 fines – after giving cooperative testimony to the commission.
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