Trainer Kellyn Gorder has been suspended one year and fined $5,000 by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stewards after the discovery of methamphetamine in Bourbon Warfare, a 3-year-old Colonel John filly owned by Bourbon Lane Stable who finished first in a maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs Nov. 22, 2014.
Gorder was suspended an additional 60 days when a barn search at Keeneland on Dec. 27, the day Gorder was notified of the methamphetamine positive, turned up injectable medications, syringes, needles and oral medications not properly labeled.
Gorder is appealing the suspension and is represented by Lexington attorney Mike Meuser.
The drug, classified by the Association of Racing Commissioners International as Class 1, was detected in a blood sample by LGC Science in Lexington and a split sample confirmed by the Maddy Laboratory at the University of California-Davis.
Methamphetamine is a term used to describe a widely abused stimulant street drug, but it is also sold under the brand name Desoxyn to treat obsesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in humans.
Gorder believes contamination caused the positive test.
“There's no reason it should be there,” Gorder told the Paulick Report. “And there's no reason anyone would give that to a horse.”
Gorder said he had 33 of his employees given drug tests but there were “no positives…nothing.”
The “injectable” found during the barn search, according to Gorder, was Naxcel, an antibiotic being used on a horse that had been treated with a nebulizer.
Gorder, a 47-year-old Minnesota native, is a former jockey who previously worked under Jack Van Berg. He was first licensed as a trainer in 2001 and was coming off his two best years in 2013 (55 wins from 306 starts for $2.3 million in earnings) and 2014 (67 wins from 352 starts, $2.2 million). His only previous medication violation occurred with a clenbuterol positive at Ellis Park in 2013 when he was suspended 20 days.
“It's serious, serious shit,” he said. “Fourteen months. You're talking about starting over. The clenbuterol was a wake-up call for me and I really tried to tighten the operation, then this happens. It's very disheartening.”
Bourbon Warfare, who most recently won an Oaklawn Park allowance race on April 2, was disqualified from her Nov. 22 win at Churchill Downs with all monies redistributed.
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