The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission has amended a stewards' ruling in the case of owner/trainer Mario Rafael Rodriguez, whose horse Silent Ruler was discovered in a stall at Penn National in late September with a swollen and fractured ankle.
Initially, a board of stewards voted to suspend Rodriguez for 45 days beginning in January and issued a fine of $500 for “failure to provide proper veterinarian care” to the 6-year-old gelding. Per a commission ruling dated Dec. 15, Tom Chuckas, Bureau Director of Thoroughbred Racing “conducted a review of the underlying factual reports, evidence, testimony received by the Stewards at the Nov. 28, 2017 hearing” and amended the ruling due to “the nature of the violation … the best interests of racing and the health and welfare of the horse.”
Chuckas changed the penalty to a one-year suspension beginning Dec. 26 of this year and a $2,500 fine.
At the time of a Dec. 7 Paulick Report article on the stewards' ruling, Chuckas had said, “The Commission will not undertake additional actions.”
Silent Ruler made his last start in a $4,000 claiming race on Aug. 26 and was placed on the veterinarian's list after finishing sixth. A CANTER listing indicated the horse was injured in a race but that no diagnostics had been completed to determine the exact nature of the injuries. He was found in apparent physical distress on Sept. 24 and found to have a sesamoid fracture with multiple fragments. Silent Ruler was taken in by Pennsylvania Racehorse Rehoming, Rehabilitation and Rescue and is recovering from surgery to repair the fracture.
Rodriguez has 10 days to appeal the commission's modified ruling.
A complete copy of the Dec. 15 ruling can be found here.
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