Suspension, Pair Of Revocations In Iowa ‘Hidden Syringes’ Case

by | 09.11.2017 | 5:17pm
Prairie Meadows

Stewards at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino have revoked the licenses of an assistant trainer and veterinarian and suspended a trainer for a year following a security episode in a barn last month.

Stewards ruled assistant trainer Victor Ibarra and vet Verlin Jones should lose their licenses and that trainer Kenneth Laymon's license should be suspended for a year, in addition to a $1,000 fine.

The incident in question occurred the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 25 in barn D1. Security officer Victoria Palmer said she was patrolling the barn when she heard a pair of male voices. She turned down her security radio and rounded a corner to see Ibarra walking in front of her. She saw him put something behind a bale of hay and confronted Ibarra to hand it over. Ibarra gave her two syringes in bubble wrap that each contained an unknown substance. Ibarra told Palmer that Jones told him to hide the syringes. Ibarra later testified he hid the syringes because he was scared not because Jones told him to.

Jones disputed Palmer's report that she saw him in the barn that day. He also said the syringes contained Aminoplex plus and Monster Energy Booster, which is sugar based. According to a stewards' report, Jones said the syringes were wrapped in bubble wrap to “keep them together.” Jones also said he gave the syringes to Ibarra to hold because he forgot to bring supplies with him to the barn and needed to go back to his truck. Security officer Palmer said when Jones returned he did not have any supplies with him.

The stewards ruled Jones' testimony was not credible.


Trainer Laymon said, according to the Board of Stewards ruling: “Ibarra has been with him for approximately eight years and he (Laymon) is in the process of handing his training business over to him (Ibarra.) Laymon testified he did not know Ibarra was going to inject his horses.

“Laymon stated he allows Ibarra to run his shedrow as he (Ibarra) feels is best. Laymon testified he does go to his barn on a regular basis and discusses how the horses are doing and their training with Ibarra. Laymon further testified Dr. Verlin Jones is his practicing veterinarian and has authority to treat his horses as he (Jones) feels they need it, usually on a Monday or Tuesday for horses racing that week. Laymon further testified he knows the rules of racing and he is ultimately responsible for this horses and his employee (Ibarra).”

Jones violated Iowa's rules of racing in that “No veterinarian shall within the facility premises furnish, sell, or loan any hypodermic syringe, needle, or other injection device, or any drug, narcotic, or prohibited substance to any other person unless with written permission of the stewards.”

As for Ibarra, “A person found within or in the immediate vicinity of a security stall who is in possession of unauthorized drugs or hypodermic needles or who is not authorized to possess drugs or hypodermic needles shall, in addition to any other penalties, be barred from entry into any racetrack in Iowa and any occupational license the person holds shall be revoked.”

  • Bristling

    Stop wasting your talent there go to Parx you’ll get a whole barn.

    • Dave Hunter

      Or Penn National…

      • Bristling

        Penn National ? Parx makes Penn look like childs play. Not even close !!!!

  • Richard C

    Their attorneys will tell the judge and jury — If the syringes don’t fit, you must acquit.

    • Blue Larkspur

      if they get Pegram/Earnhardt attorneys behind them

  • Manefan

    Great job, Victoria Palmer.

  • Condor

    Monster energy boost?!! Wouldnt that test for caffeine?

  • lastromntribune

    just like its done at EVERY TRACK in the country….day in / day out….if you want security you have to have more than mere chance or happenstance to prevent it. but were not serious about it now are we ? at least the tracks are not. when you win at more than 20 % on a regular basis its not hard to figure out what is going on. that is why the game is in a death spiral.

  • Larry sterne

    Now this. Is a good deal for racing!!!!

  • whirlaway

    Maybe worse at some tracks but it undoubtedly goes on in various degrees everywhere would
    not surprise me.

  • Permitted pre-race Lasix engenders this doping behavior by veterinarians and trainers. Lasix must be banned to change the doping mindset. Pre-race Lasix is the doping precedent trainers follow. Much of the doping is facilitated by permitted pre-race injections of the PED Lasix, an unnecessary and unwelcome aspect of the sport, one that must be eliminated to end this performance enhancing medication culture.

  • Concerned

    The occured last month and the substance in the syringe is still a mystery to authorities? If the enforsement agencies were really serious about stopping illicit drug use they’d make it a priority to know what’s in those confiscated syringes.
    Can’t stop the cheaters if you don’t know what they’re using. Apparently they were confident “these syringes” wouldn’t result in a positive test!

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