The New Mexico Racing Commission will permit horses from the barn of suspended Quarter Horse trainer S. Trey Wood to be transferred to other trainers, allowing the horses to run in the Aug. 16-17 trials for the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.
Wood already had 31 horses entered in the All American Futurity trials – 12% of the total horses competing for spots in the Labor Day race – when he received a summary suspension on Aug. 9 for a medication violation. The suspension was issued after Gold Heart Eagle V tested positive for albuterol following a victory in the fourth race at Ruidoso July 27. Albuterol is a Class 3 drug with a Class A penalty in Quarter Horse racing under Association of Racing Commissioners International guidelines. Wood, currently the leading North American Quarter Horse trainer by money won and leading trainer by money and races won at Ruidoso this year, was suspended in 2018 for an albuterol positive at Remington Park in Oklahoma. His father, Blane Wood, took over the stable during that suspension and went on to win the American Quarter Horse Association's Blane Schvaneveldt Champion Trainer Award.
New Mexico Racing Commission rules no longer permit horses to be transferred to assistant trainers, employees or relatives of a suspended trainer.
An attorney for Wood and his owners asked the commission for the transfer if a requested stay of the suspension was denied. Ismael “Izzy” Trejo, executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission said the stay was denied in light of Wood's previous suspension.
However, the commission did approve the transfer of Wood's horses to other trainers. The AQHA, quoting the New Mexico Racing Commission, already had stated Wood's horses would be scratched.
“Under advisement from the attorney general's office, after reviewing all the facts, it was felt this was only fair to allow these owners to have their horses transferred to other trainers,” Trejo said. “The stewards will come in tomorrow to process trainer transfers for these horses.”
The All American Futurity is Quarter Horse racing's most famous race and was won in 2018 by Apocalyptical Jess, trained by Blane Wood.
Trey Wood's suspension is not the first of a well-known Quarter Horse trainer at Ruidoso this summer. On July 22, stewards summarily suspended Bobby R. Martinez after the detection of the Class 1 Penalty substance Ostarine in a number of horses during out-of-competition testing. Ostarine is a trade name for a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) that can have anabolic steroidal effects. Martinez has won numerous graded stakes among his 882 career victories from 4,076 starts.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, the New Mexico Racing Commission sent out the following statement, addressed to “the racing community” and signed by Trejo. It reads:
“We understand that the decision regarding the transferring of several horses to new trainers previously trained by Trey Wood may be seen as an unpopular one in the world of public opinion but what people must understand is that the New Mexico Racing Commission as a government agency is tasked to regulate the New Mexico horse racing industry in a fair and equitable manner with the best interest of horsemen, breeders and race track managements at heart. We take that responsibility seriously. When rendering the decision, the NMRC and its legal counsel took a hard line look at the facts surrounding the matter including the timing of when the lab results were sent to the NMRC offices from Industrial Laboratories. When reviewing the timeline in regards to Mr. Wood's notification of the violation (August 9, 2019) and the time the results arrived at the NMRC offices (August 7, 2019), it was clear that in the spirit of fairness, the decision to allow the transferring of horses to new trainers was the right decision.”
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