Veterinarian Hebert, Kohll’s Pharmacy Guilty In Dermorphin Criminal Case

by | 11.07.2017 | 7:42pm
Dermorphin was originally extracted from the South American tree frog

Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that a federal jury found a Lake Charles veterinarian and a Nebraska pharmacy guilty of conspiring to sell an unapproved opioid drug 40 times more powerful than morphine for the purpose of improving the performance of race horses.

Kyle James Hebert, 42, of Lake Charles, La., and Kohll's Pharmacy & Healthcare Inc. of Omaha, Neb., were found guilty on Monday of one count of conspiracy. Hebert was also found guilty of two counts of receipt of adulterated or misbranded drug with the intent to defraud and mislead; and one count of misbranding a drug while held for sale with the intent to defraud and mislead. Kohll's Pharmacy was also found guilty of two counts of introduction of adulterated or misbranded drug in interstate commerce with intent to defraud and mislead. United States District Judge Donald E. Walter presided over the trial. The defendants' trial started October 30 and ended on Monday, November 7, 2017 with the jury returning the guilty verdict after deliberating for three and a half hours.

Evidence admitted at trial revealed that from November 11, 2010, to December 2012, Hebert, Kohll's Pharmacy & Healthcare Inc. of Omaha, Neb., which operated as Essential Pharmacy Compounding, and others conspired to distribute a synthetic form of the drug Dermorphin, which was then given to racehorses to improve their racing performance. Essential Pharmacy Compounding repackaged a synthetic form of the drug that it obtained from a California chemical company, labeled it as D-Peptide, and sold it to Hebert and other veterinarians.

Hebert then put the drug into syringes and gave the loaded syringes to the racetrack trainers tasked with the horses' care. Evidence at trial revealed that Dermorphin is a strong painkiller that masks horses' pain and any pre-existing injuries. Depending on dosage, it can also act as a stimulant when injected in horses. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved the drug for use in humans or animals.

“This office is committed to vigorous prosecution of unlawful practices by pharmacies and/or distributors of harmful drugs that put humans or animals at risk,” Van Hook stated. “We are pleased with this verdict.”

“FDA is responsible for protecting not only human consumers, but also animals, including race horses, from unscrupulous distributors of illegal drugs,” said Justin D. Green, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations' Miami Field Office. “We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who attempt to evade the law.”

Hebert faces five years in prison for the conspiracy count and three years in prison for each of the other counts. Kohll's Pharmacy faces a substantial fine and other penalties based on its felony conviction. The court will set a sentencing date in the future.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph T. Mickel and David C. Joseph are prosecuting the case.

Indictments

Eight trainers received lengthy suspensions in the Dermorphin case. Read more here and here.

  • Jon

    Lengthy suspensions lol. Obviously the eight trainers tried to cheat undetected. Automatic ban for life. I have NO respect for the people who are in charge of horse racing in America. NONE

    • Valley Farm

      Jon, slow down. Read the story. Think about what the words are saying. Reflect.

      • Jon

        I did 5-10 years is a joke

        • Valley Farm

          Read the words and listen to the story they are telling. Who was deceived? What does the story say? Lives are not a joke.

          • Jon

            Horse trainers that give it to horse suspension. Guy who sells it to them looking at jail. Lives are a joke. Horses cant defend themselves. If you are implying I cant read more power to you.

          • Valley Farm

            The story says that Dr. Hebert and the pharmacy conspired together. The pharmacy was found guilty of felonious misleading. Since the pharmacy was found guilty of conspiring with Dr. Hebert, it follows that Dr. Hebert was not the one being misled.
            So who was?

          • Jon

            misbranding

          • Valley Farm

            Jon: The sentence continues….”with intent to mislead”. Misbranding could be a clerical error, human error, grabbed the wrong label in haste. Happens from time to time. Accident. Did not intend harm.
            The felonious part is not the misbranding, but rather the INTENT to mislead.
            Critical distinction.

          • Jon

            Huh, kinda like you judging me on how I read an article….

          • Valley Farm

            I am no judge. I’m just reading a story that I think is interesting. I was hoping to get your input on who you thought was being misled.
            Without any emotion.
            Enjoyed the discussion.
            Adios.

          • Jon

            The horses that were put in these kind of trainers hands were mislead. God knows what they try on these defenseless beautiful runners.

          • Larry T Sterne

            AMEN. THESE R ONLY THE SITUATIONS THAT WERE CAUGHT. THINK OF THE MANY TIMES THE DOPED THE HORSES ,NOT CAUGHT, STOLE FROM BETTORS, AND OTHER TRAINERS AND OWNERS. UNDER THE JAIL NOT TOO SEVERE.

    • Always Curious

      I agree a lifetime ban from the sport for using this on a horse is appropriate. There is absolutely no excuse. Other countries do it. We have no racing authority to do it here, therefore you this is what you get. They bring other legal charges against them. (aka Al Capone) I checked the links and the trainers did skate for something like this. Top QH trainer among the guilty. Those were suspensions, not prison sentences or lifetime bans from the sport. Also it took years for this to happen after these trainers were “disciplined.”

    • Larry T Sterne

      They and owners need lifetime ban. Don’t need them to help destroy what integrity left in racing

      • Jon

        You bring up great point about owners.

      • HappyHarriet

        Owners forget all too often – TRAINERS WORK FOR YOU! What they do SHOULD BE under your direct supervision, or done under explicit contract signed by both parties.

        It is the underdeveloped owners, the “drop the horse off at the barn and walk away” owners who are FULLY RESPONSIBLE for every problem in racing today.

        If you leave undereducated people of questionable ethics unsupervised long enough, and they hire enough completely uneducated workers who can’t spell ethics, what do you expect is going to be the outcome?

        If that’s too complicated to think through, then here’s another example: drop your 4 year old and 2 year old off at the home of a teenage babysitter and go away for a few months, maybe make a phone call here and there to “see how the kids are”. Do you really think you are going to have a good result with that?

        THAT is what owners do every day, all day long, with horses.

        My personal solution? No tax deduction for owners who do not directly participate in the racing enterprise of their horses. Watch racing improve, or at least what’s left of it, after all the “investors” run for the hills.

        • Neigh Sayer

          How in the world can a trainer be under “direct supervision” by an owner. Very few owners actually know what the trainer is doing and rarely know when they are doing something illegal. Direct supervision would require the owner to be at the barn every second that any employee is there putting in more hours than anyone at the barn including the trainer. It simply is not possible, not realistic. Many owners aren’t even in the same state as their horses and have horses in multiple states, how would this be possible. If you want to talk about solutions, then talk about something realistic. If you punished owners for everything the trainer did, and then take away all tax deductions there would be no owners, you know, the ones putting the money into the sport for your enjoyment. And if you demand that the owners be at the barn, which is impossible, ownership would end tomorrow and horse racing would be over.

          • The best solution for this, ban all drugs from racing, everything! Then when a trainer gets caught, you make the fines so stiff, it’d put many of ’em right out of business! The fines are much too small to give a trainer cause to pause. Hit ’em where it hurts the most, in their pocketbook!

        • Even when you do and have a direct face to face with both the trainer and his two bit cracker jack track vet about meds and a direct edict that “you call me BEFORE any meds even if its A vacanation” they are so pathologicly addicted to that habit they still do. Untill they (trainers and vets) that do this are GONE ruled off for ever it will continue. And yes i have been there .. got the tea shurt (and a judgement agninst both) even with that they did not change there ways

          • Do you happen to know how many Vets and Trainers are doing this today? If you ruled ’em all off, you’d have no more racing at all! That’s the sad truth of it.

          • In the US 85% is my W.A.G
            And yes perhaps a re-boot is in order. Gone are the days of hush hush its in the public view now

          • I’d hazard to guess, it’s a might higher than that Mr. Moo!

            And I probably spoke a little out of turn about banning ALL drugs,… as I tend to not think Lasix is a drug, while indeed it is. Only a diuretic, yes, but still is considered a drug. And I know a good many horses, that truly need Lasix to race. So,… I wouldn’t actually want to ban Lasix. Although a really bad bleeder, such as my own horse,… he bled right through the Lasix. So I ran him on herbs instead.

          • Thats a hard question lasix use but i see it used in training befor a horse is even working hard enough to bleed and Neither do they. Some percentage are not lung bleeds but upper airway sinous bleeds (turblator bleed) that dont nesarly change with lasix. Only way to know for certain is a scope. For a bonified condition perhaps, but its pricipaly used as a PED now days. If 99.9 percent of american horses racing (look at any program) bleed and need lasix to run we very much have A problem with our american horses

        • That is an insane idea if you ask me! I’ve never heard of such a thing before. Most trainers, if not all of ’em, would prefer seeing their owners in the grandstands and not in their barns. What a cluster ____ that would be to have all your owners in the barn, in the a.m. during training hours, can you just imagine how that might work out? A few years ago, I had a horse in race training at the track. I had an agreement with my trainer (won’t give his name here) there would be NO drugs given to my horse, not even Lasix. He had agreed he would run my horse clean. When I went to the track to watch my horse run, I stopped by the barn beforehand, and the first thing I saw, was my trainer, there in the stall with a needle and syringe in my horses’ jugular. Now had I been 30 seconds later, I’d have missed this all together. How are you going to stop the cheating trainers? What you suggest isn’t a feasible answer. Many trainers don’t allow their owners in their barn till after training hours. I fired the trainer that doped my horse. I should have turned him in, but only removed my horse the following morning without paying my bill. He never asked for any money from me afterwards either.

        • No, it would not improve Harriet, you’d never see these owners at the barns!! No trainer worth his/her salt would ever approve of such a thing as this. Improve? What a joke! You’d see all the little guys get out and let the sharks take over.

      • Neigh Sayer

        And what would be the basis to ban the owners for life? How were the owners involved and what exactly did they do to deserve a lifetime ban.

      • Lehane

        Most owners know that their racehorses are doped and many choose cheating trainers. Therefore the owners are complicit and should be punished.

        • Olebobbowers

          Is anyone besides me suspicious as to why the owner of Masochistic, that was DQ’d from 2nd in last years BC Sprint after a dirty post race test at a cost of $250,000.00 to the the owner, remains a year later with ron ellis as her trainer? He not only has applied tactics to keep her in the barn with him, hmmm, but has also conned the governing forces into sweeping the penalty that normally applies with a dirty test DQ under the muckpile thus far. As long as rules are not enforced, why wouldn’t cheaters feel they have a permit to continue their low class cheating ways. Add in that owners wonderful sportswoman like display of just shrugging off the DQ loss of a quarter million bucks to remain in that cheaters barn. SMH ~

          • David Juffet

            Like Ellis is the only trainer that uses that medication for a horse laying off. The mistake was running back too soon not the substance.

          • Neigh Sayer

            How convenient to hate some trainers for wrong doing and ignore and excuse trainers we like for wrong doing. Ellis knew he was positive and chose to run the horse. There is too much wrong with what happened to go into all of it here. But he knew, he ran, he got caught, and to this day, more than a year after has not received a punishment for it.

          • David Juffet

            Did I use the word hate?

          • Neigh Sayer

            It’s a general statement not necessarily directed to you, however you did excuse Eillis for what happened saying basically others use steroids as well.

          • Billy

            When u have testosterone as a therapeutic drug yea I’d say others use it

          • Neigh Sayer

            So exactly how does that excuse Ellis for starting a horse he knew was on steroids and knew he still had it in his system. And worse, still no ruling handed down on egregious wrong doing. How is he excused for that exactly?

          • Billy

            Oh don’t be confused he’s not excused from anything in my mind hes dead wrong shouldn’t be training….now I can’t prove this but I don’t think it was an isolated event check out seeking the Sherif he was a 12,500 claimer turned breeders cup participant look at the dates of his races around 60 day mark I don’t follow cal racing to much to keep up with here in pa….sham trainers everywhere

          • Billy

            And like I said I thought steroids were suppose to be phased out after the big brown deal and whatnot

          • Neigh Sayer

            And look at Skye Diamonds, she was a 40k claim to graded winner, caught training her on Clenbuterol with a positive.

          • Where in PA are you, Billy?

          • Billy

            Close to penn…where in tx are you jock

          • I live in a very small town called Ponder, about 40 min. from LSP.

          • I used to live on the E. Coast and have raced at Liberty Bell Park with the Harness horses. I loved that place! This was a whole lot of years ago though.

          • Olebobbowers

            mistake?!?!?! It fails the trainer responsibility rule. Mistakes are not usually legal reasoning for matters to be excused, naw, change that to NEVER in place of ‘not usually’…duh

          • David Juffet

            The horse was on the vets list, medication was legal. Sample showed trace. I’m done talking about this. Check the Vets list you’ll be surprised by what you see. Ellis ran back too soon.

          • Olebobbowers

            “The horse was on the vets list, medication was legal.”…lol…If he was on the vets list, he was barred from running, if he did run (which he did) medication was NOT legal. Strike two! Strike three was the owner having to forfeit a quarter of a million bucks, and Mike Smith having his 10% of that taken away. No one seems to feel that millions were stolen from the bettors through this scam. almost pulled off by the ‘trainer’.

          • David Juffet

            Ok my friend, I raise the white flag! Good points indeed. Let’s move on ok??

          • Olebobbowers

            Alright David, and I can’t tell you how much I honor you for realizing it on the eve of my oh so special holiday, Veterans Day. Six decades and one month ago I made the best investment of my life. For investing just a few years defending our great country, I walked away with a lifetime of pride.~

          • Jon

            From someone who didn’t serve. Thank you for your service and all others that did serve! Jon

          • Olebobbowers

            I appreciate that Jon…a lot! Not all served, but having people give me thanks, becomes more meaningful with each passing year. Now, let’s get down to business and hit a pick 6…lol

          • David Juffet

            Perfect timing. Thanks for your service my friend.

          • Happy Veterans Day to you Bob!! I thank you for your service!!!

          • Olebobbowers

            Thanks a million Jock. I appreciate your greeting. Good luck!

          • That’s really sweet of you to say Bob!! Hope it’s a great day for you! Again,… thank you for your service, Sir. Means a lot to me to be able to say that to the men that fought so bravely for the freedoms we, in this country, so often take for granted. My most heartfelt “thank you”!

          • Olebobbowers

            Read what you wrote again dude…”The mistake was running back too soon not the substance.” ‘Not the substance’ ?, Do you actually think he would’ve gotten DQ’d without the substance?. There’s something missing there, oh, I get it, but you sure don’t. Duh…

          • Eric

            The bad test didn’t cost Ms Siegel any money. She had the option of scratching and earning zero dollars, or running, and possibly getting a DQ.

            I have NO idea what these “tactics” are that you refer to about Ellis keeping her horses in his barn. They have already announced that Masochistic will be trained by Bob Baffert when he returns to training. And Samantha Siegel is a powerful, successful, competent owner that is free to transfer her horses to whoever she wants, anywhere in the country.

            Also, do you care to share your evidence that Ellis has “conned the governing forces” into delaying the final ruling here? Ellis has no power over the CHRB. Its the CHRB’s own d*mn fault that they haven’t announced a ruling.

          • Neigh Sayer

            Ellis, along with Baffert and other trainers are on the TOC board and work with the CHRB. It has now been over a year and the CHRB has not made a ruling as to punishment.

          • Eric

            I don’t know why there has been no ruling or punishment yet. On the harness racing side, it was announced that several major names on the East coast had bad tests as soon as they started testing for Glaucine in Feb of 2016, and they still haven’t announced penalties for that 21 months later. I would guess that everyone is lawyering up (both in the Ellis case and the harness racing case), but I can’t explain why, in either situation, there has not been a ruling, even though there are black and white penalty guidelines. But I highly doubt that Ellis’s standing on TOC would cause a delay. At times the TOC is at odds with the CHRB, its not like the CHRB has any reason to do the guy a favor by dragging their feet.

          • Neigh Sayer

            A ruling should be quick, then they can lawyer up and go to court, waiting this long could certainly be seen as a favor. If he were to take it to court which is absurd, by waiting this long to make a ruling it will just be years more with no punishment.

          • Shoulda, woulda, coulda and you know how this goes.

          • Gls

            Get your facts straight before you open your pie hole.

          • Olebobbowers

            I didn’t open my pie hole, I swear~ I only typed that in!

          • Billy

            Weren’t steroids banned period in like 08 09 after the big brown deal….also what’s up with a fully or mare with testosterone being given as therapeutic

          • Yes, they were.

      • David Juffet

        Integrity left? Zero

    • David Juffet

      The problem is no one is in charge.

      • Jon

        Well put!

      • Minneola

        Perhaps, they don’t want to be responsible so that they can claim that, “Gee, I didn’t know.”

  • McGov

    So, let’s say I bought this drug from these people and then gave it to a human. Say I gave it to a child.
    Am I going to jail THEN?????????
    Horses DEPEND on us to make good, ethical decisions for them. Protect them.
    Why do the drug distributors go to jail but not the people who ACTUALLY gave it to the horse?

    • El Espresso

      Because it all went down in Louisiana.

  • Hamish

    Was Hebert the only vet that was working with Kohlls to get this product into the marketplace?

    • SunnyD

      Doesn’t sound like it which is interesting- they said it was sold to “Herbert and other vets”. So who else bought D-Peptide and what did they do with it?? Which tracks? Or practices and why? Why would a vet need it?

      And how does a compounding pharmacy get their hands on it in the first place if the drug isn’t approved for humans OR animals? What’s it used for legally that it can even be sold or manufactured? I did a quick google search but nothing really came up as to its “real” purpose.

    • RayPaulick

      According to a letter from the Kohll’s attorney to the U.S attorney, 32 other veterinarians received Dermorphin in 2011. The letter stated there were numerous maladies for which a veterinarian might use the substance. The source of the Dermorphin, according to the Kohll’s attorney, was a California company, Bachem Chemical Co. of Torrance, Calif.

      • Hamish

        Just saw your tweet and read the Kohll attorney letter. Starting to wonder if this Hebert case wasn’t just a “test drive” for the U.S prosecutors? Logic suggests they must have looked at the paper trails involving the other 32 vets that received the dope from Kohlls. Now that they have a conviction, perhaps there are cases coming down along the same lines as this one in other jurisdictions?

      • gus stewart

        i live 10 minutes from their location. in a completely different business, but I have gone into their office for business, lol

      • Jake

        So is anyone investigated all those other vets?

  • Lifetime bans in order. Does it get any worse than this?

    • Olebobbowers

      No! Last night I ordered frog legs for dinner. After a sensational nights sleep, I awoke this A.M. totally painless, first time since I turned 75. I had my neighbor time my morning run earlier, and he got me 3/8’s in 34.3. Anyone know if frog legs are addictive? I hope not cos my Social Security Pension limits me to one order of two legs, which btw, look more appealing than Betty Grable’s did to me as a teenager.

      • Jon

        You ARE the best!

        • Lehane

          Second that.

        • Olebobbowers

          Sorry you didn’t see my reply Jon, but it was deleted by management, I think. It just displayed a red deleted sign in lieu of the msg. I sent. I guess the freedom of speech I defended while serving as a U.S. Soldier is no longer in effect. They could at least inform me of the reasoning behind that action, so I could’ve amended it, if necessary. Geeze ~

          • Jon

            I saw it and loved it. Sometimes this site acts like north korea. They want you to see what they believe is true. Godbless you!

        • Olebobbowers

          Sorry you didn’t see my reply Jon, but it was deleted by management, I think. It just displayed a red ‘removed’ sign in lieu of the msg. I sent. I guess the freedom of speech I defended while serving as a U.S. Soldier is no longer in effect. They could at least inform me of the reasoning behind that action, so I would have amended it, if necessary. Geeze ~

          • Jon

            Godbless my friend!

          • Jon

            Hope you got my message… i”m on paulick report terrorist watch list…:)

      • Jon

        If you and ray race 1 furlong at the track of your guys choice, ill donate $200 to old friends equine. You will be drug tested. I’m not saying who ill bet until line comes out. But just between you and me do you like the mud? just in case it rains….

        • Olebobbowers

          Jon, as far as the mud question, I wear a superior mud mark .(*). I’ll also clear the drug test, but I might stop by the O’neill Milk Shake Shop. It’s located only two doors away from the CHRB building in Sacramento. The menu declares they are normally undetectable, but if perchance you do get DQ’d, bring your receipt in for a full refund. Bring it on…

          • Jon

            You always make my day!

    • Romanella

      Everyone should read this one sentence, period
      If we can’t listen to Mr. Irwin then who can we listen to?
      We should also listen to Dr. Bramlage about national regulations on drugs
      These are the experts and know the answers
      How lucky we are to have Barry Irwin’s opinion

  • Jake

    Is there any investigation towards the lab in California? I’m curious to see if other people in racing were also using. I’m sure there is a paper trail.

    • perks

      you can bet there were more, this was not an isolated incident it was being used in every state..

      • Hamish

        If this is the case that this crap is being used in every state, then can we anticipate quite a round-up of perps coming soon? There may not be enough paddy wagons available to assure that everyone being brought in has a seat!

  • El Espresso

    Just tiny bit of justice due to the racing industry in Louisiana. Sad part is Heath Taylor is just about due to be back training along with all the other culprits (trainers) in this case. Louisiana needs to take a long look at the standards it sets. Clenbuterol is still legal there and I know trainers who are giving it as close as 4 days out and clearing the test barns. Man do I remember the days in good ol Louisiana when you couldn’t even bribe the headers to get out clean. When I left there I knew I wouldn’t ever be back. Crooked crooked crooked… truth again folks…. but this instance of justice is a shimmer of hope… a fleeting shimmer

  • Big G

    IF LOUISIANA,, racing does not act in the best interest of racing and the welfare of the thoroughbred , and state officials continue to do nothing about this pandemic of drugs and cheaters destroying this great sport, I call on the owners with integrity to boycott the entry box for 1 week too send a message to the state that people are tired of what little is being done to correct this ugly situation,, plus when and if the FEDS step in i would love too see major jail time to fixing the outcome of a sporting advent ,, major fines ,and jail time,, and never being able to compete in racing at any level should go a long way into stopping these cheaters ,,, big g.

    • Billy

      I agree big g….but look what happened in pa when the feds came in their 5 yr investigation was a joke and everyone pretty much got off on things

  • Larry T Sterne

    WHAT ABOUT THE OWNERS? THEY R NOT DEAF AND DUMB. NEED TO BE BARRED THAT WILL WAKE UP THE CHEATERS

    • Minneola

      Some will defend the owners by saying that the owners “did not know” but, then, is that any excuse? Shouldn’t they be held liable to some degree? Perhaps, if they were, some might think twice about the trainers that they hire.

      • Neigh Sayer

        Of course if they had no knowledge of this it’s more than an excuse. How can you hold them liable if they didn’t know. How can they be at the barn every second any employee is there watching everything. A barn in another state than they run their business to pay for the horses or where they live? Horses in different states? They can make decisions of who they hire, then cannot know what goes in that barn, it’s an impossibility.

        • Jon

          What’s your solution to the problem?

          • Neigh Sayer

            Better testing and that includes cobalt and blood doping and gene doping which no one is even thinking about even though warned and discussed many years ago. National governing body to handle severe punishments on a uniform basis avoiding long drawn out court battles. Bring in the USADA yesterday. Ban drugs like Clenbuterol which is abused for it’s anabolic properties. More OOC testing on a regular basis.
            Going after owners who can be a surprised as the rest of us when a trainer gets caught doing something is ridiculous. If these things and more are done and trainers get caught more often and punished properly, the all falls in place including owners taking their horses elsewhere.

          • Jon

            Great statement. I believe most owners know who is doping just like you and me the racing fan. So I do believe they have some accountability.

          • Neigh Sayer

            Thanks but owners cannot be accountable for something they don’t know about or had nothing to do with. . How does Baffert, Asmussen, Hollendorfer, Sadler and many others even have horses then. Why aren’t people up in arms as one on here argued extensively with me saying that all owners should not use a trainer who has or ever had a drug positive. Yet I have no doubt they rooted for either Gun Runner or Arrogate. I’ll bet they love and admire many owners using trainers with multiple drug violations, yet they want to punish the owner. It’s ridiculous and a hypocrisy. What punishment would you suggest to Porter who owned Song Bird or the owner of Gun Runner for using trainers with a very high violation count. Now here is one I’m not happy with. Skye Diamonds tested positive overage for Clenbuterol, so we know she was being trained on the stuff. And the owners came out and said they gave their trainer full support. So at least I’m not a hypocrite, I spoke about that and how wrong it was. Yet I wonder if those screaming about the owners rooted for Skye Diamonds and have no problem with the owner and trainer. Hypocrites.

          • Jon

            I agree

          • Minneola

            Jon: You are right. Some owners seem to want the rest of the world to be held accountable but not themselves. That is the most absurd thinking in that they are the ones who hire these trainers. Unless they are really stupid, they should have done their research about those that they hire. It’s not as if there isn’t a lot of talk among those that work on the tracks about what is going on. And, there is a lot on file with those trainers that have been caught with something. It appears that some of these owners just want to relinquish their responsibility and, instead, prefer to fall back on a lot of whining if their trainer gets caught with the “Gee, I didn’t know.”

          • Billy

            Couldn’t catch people elite athletes but you think they are going to catch racehorses……urine test is bogus cause of lasix blood test also has ways of getting around it’s 2017 hair follicle but then again when the guy at Los al tried that I believe it was ruled unconstitutional hair testing would be best bet….

          • Neigh Sayer

            Yep, I couldn’t believe the court ruled with horsemen that hair follicle could not be used when you had someone taking a hard stance against the abuse of Clenbuterol. And that’s all we need to know about that, basically admitting they are using it, training on it and had to go to court so the one thing that would be definitive couldn’t be used.

          • Billy

            Trainers have worked very hard on beating the system any way they can and they do and will for the same reason….ban the drugs period….if your horse needs something have proof of it through veterinary science and do what is in the best interest of the horse forget money being the bottom line

          • Minneola

            Probably doesn’t believe that others should be held accountable for those they hire. That doesn’t work in the real world, does it? Just wants to pawn off owner’s responsibilities by pleading ignorance. In the field of law, that is no defense at all. It’s not as if there isn’t a lot of talk among the others at a track. They know which trainers run clean.

          • Neigh Sayer

            LOL, you choose to not read my experienced and knowledgeable response to Jon. In the field of law, you are very wrong and continue to be very wrong and hypocritical in your beliefs. Don’t make things up and put words in my mouth to make yourself feel better about your hypocrisy. Did you root for Gun Runner? Asmussen has one of the highest drug violations for a top trainer and so much more. How about so many horses and trainers you like, who may have more or not far behind. Hypocrite.
            Name all the trainers that don’t have a single violation and explain to me how all the owners are going to use only those trainers across the country. The problem is deeper and more complex than as you said before many times, that an owner should only use a trainer that has never had a drug violation.

          • Lehane

            You are the one who is wrong.

          • Neigh Sayer

            Ha, not even close.

          • Minneola, in this country, you’d still have to PROVE they had knowledge to hold them complicit for these acts. You can’t just charge people with a crime, without showing proof,… which you have none of. Only your suspicion,… and that wouldn’t be enough in any court in the land. Thank God!!

          • Minneola

            No one suggested otherwise. In a court of law, that would be true. However, what some may prefer is to be absolved of all responsibility in whom they hire. That doesn’t work. Additionally, outside that legal jurisdiction is the one belonging to racing. And, there, they can suspend, fine, etc. without going to court. That is the more immediate focus that should be looked at. Again, there are files on those trainers that have been found using drugs as well as other actions, and those are public. Anyone can look up the backgrounds of those trainers, so these owners have that access as well. Can’t plead ignorance.

          • Who are you speaking about specifically? I don’t know of anyone who’s looking for absolution on the backside of a racetrack. Except maybe those seeing Chaplain Sam.

            The Stewards have a limited amount of power, yes. However,… the accused has every right to appeal any decisions handed down. So they are not actually free to do whatever they like as you suggest. Weren’t you just saying elsewhere, they weren’t doing enough?

            Yes, there are many in racing who are less than desirable, but I’m not sure what it is you’re suggesting. Can I have the URL to that site where I can look up whatever I want to? As a racehorse owner,… I can tell you now, that I was never given any such information as this!! So, don’t say all owners have, because its not what is true.

          • Minneola, quite honestly,… it sounds like you’re ready to burn anybody and everybody at the stake! It really does,… and I don’t know probably any of the people you’re talking about. Not really.

          • Neigh Sayer

            I’ve been in similar discussions with her, she doesn’t have a clue about the business or how it works and just likes to slam people and things she doesn’t understand. She wants to hold all owners accountable for everything the trainer does assuming they have full knowledge or he does it under their direction. Ridiculous. She also said owners should directly supervise the trainer. Incredibly ridiculous. And she thinks the owners are legally liable for what the trainer, an independent contractor does. She has no clue.

          • Yeah, I was just trying to explain it to her. I mean, … anyone at all has the right to appeal, even in court. But if there is no proof, the Stewards wouldn’t have any right to ban an owner for this or that. Because they assume they do something illegal. It’s not so different on the racetracks as in life. You sure as hell couldn’t ban an owner or even a trainer, cause you think they’re dirty. Yeah, maybe many of ’em should be banned. I’ll agree with that one whole heartedly, but not because I assumed something about them.

          • Hey, I got it, lets ban all the grooms too! All of ’em that look after all the runners who’ve had a bad test!! Between them, owners, trainers, and jockeys,….! That ought to just about do it, don’t ya think?

          • Neigh Sayer

            And that pretty much sums it up, except she wants the only person, the owner, who isn’t there and doesn’t have anything to do with the horses care be responsible for everything that happens. If she had her way there would be 8 trainers having to care for every horse in the country, not a lot of thought goes into her statements.

          • Which eight trainers?

          • Yeah, but it’s like you said, she doesn’t know the track or what happens there, and how many owners aren’t there, and can’t be there.

          • Neigh Sayer

            Correct she doesn’t know so she has no knowledge from which to preach from her high unintelligent box calling people names and disparaging them about things she knows nothing about.

          • Which 8 trainers does she think should be in the industry I wonder. Ha ha ha! Curious to know the answer to that one.

          • Neigh Sayer

            If she can find 8.

          • Are there 8?

          • Are there even 8 that have perfect records?

        • Lehane

          The owner’s ignorance is not and should not be a defence.

          • Neigh Sayer

            LOL, in what world do you throw someone in jail for having no knowledge of something illegal and having no involvement in said crime. Ignorance is not a defense? So your neighbor just robbed a bank, ignorance is no defense, you should have known and stopped him, you go to jail. LOL.

          • Lehane

            You are being ridiculous. Having worked in the legal profession for many years, Judges have stated in the decisions they hand down that a person should have known.
            The Briginshaw rule “in all probabilities”.

          • Neigh Sayer

            So having worked in the legal profession you should also know that all things are not the same. A trainer would an independent contractor not a direct employee. Minnie said that all owners should directly supervise their trainer. Please explain to me how an owner, with horses usually hundreds of miles away from their home and business or job and in different places could possibly do that, please explain. It’s impossible to have a conversation using logic and common sense when so many here use neither.

          • Tango F

            Gee, NS, how does a CEO of a large company, with employees hundreds of miles away from him, be responsible for how the business is run?
            You are the one who is illogical and ignorant.

          • Tango F

            Ignorance is not a defense. That is pretty much known by everyone ( but you )

          • Minneola

            You are very correct in this. If an employee commits an unlawful or negligent act on behalf of the owner, the owner will be held liable. They do not need to even be a direct employee but, even, working on a contract basis. Kind of like a building contractor cannot relieve himself of the work that his subcontractor might have completed. Some may not like that but, then, they shouldn’t be in a position where that kind of responsibility is too much for them to handle. “I didn’t know” is a laughable defense.

          • Neigh Sayer

            If the owner didn’t know then it was not “on behalf of the owner”, you make an incorrect assumption to always come to the wrong conclusion. The only thing laughable is assuming the owner knows everything the trainer is doing which is ridiculous and proves you know very little about the business.

          • Minneola

            Nahhh. It’s not hard to tell when a person wants to have the goodies in life and, yet, not want to be held responsible for activities that are committed by those they hire. Good luck with that thinking.

          • Neigh Sayer

            I ran a very large business. I owned and raced horses. The two are not alike. It’s clear you like to throw mud at people and things you don’t understand. You never owned a horse and were never in the business, that is obvious, yet you are so sure that every owner on earth knows exactly what his trainer is doing. You have never explained to me or anyone how an owner can directly supervise his trainer or trainers. You have no clue.

          • Minneola

            Still grousing over those two posts of yours that got deleted by the site. Seems it was on the same topic. Some people learn. Some people do not.

          • Neigh Sayer

            You never have responded to any question because you have no answer nor the logic or intelligence to respond to the very bad argument you made. I understand. Why would I be upset because someone hated the sound logic and intelligence i used in a completely benign response . One should never hate someone because they are right and can learn something from them, and you have much to learn. But you won’t because you’re so occupied with screaming about things you have no understanding of.

      • I don’t agree Minneola. I think they’d just get out, and get out quick too!

      • Tango F

        I think the owners should be held accountable – they are the ones getting the purse money by employing unethical trainers

    • When I raced my horse here in TX. I had an agreement with my Trainer
      that he’d not give my horse anything at all. He stood in his barn, shook my hand on the deal, without giving it a second thought. And if I’d not caught the
      trainer myself, I’d never have known any different. Thirty seconds later,
      is all this would’ve taken, and I’d not have been the wiser. So,… what about this
      Larry T Sterne? I am not deaf, nor dumb, but I’d never have known,… should I have been banned? I won’t cheat, never, not knowingly!

  • Minneola

    Does anyone know what exact penalties Kohll’s Pharmacy received? “..substantial fine and other penalties” seems a bit vague. It would seem to me that they need the most severe form of punishment that is allowable by law, including their top management. Although they were found guilty in this specific case, it does make me wonder what other criminal acts they have performed as well as other possible unlawful compounds that they have developed?

  • gus stewart

    The vets, the trainers, the owners. These people are not to blame for the problem. Its the racing commissions that allow the lax profiling of what gets into the backside at the gates entering the backside. If they know you at the bacside gate, u could walk in with a weapon, drugs, obviously meds for enhancing horses performaces. Im tired of hearing this cant be fixed. On track phamacies ans strict searched every car and body. And please dont tell me grooms or other backside help besides a trainer or vet is going to risk it. Its racing still doesn’t want to clean it sll up.

    • Lehane

      The cheating vets, trainers and owners ARE to blame. Near impossible for the commissions to police this scourge and put a stop to it.

      • Minneola

        They are all to blame. And, it does look like they conspire to stay quiet about this. Because this occurs, mostly, on the tracks, it would seem that the tracks hold the greatest chunk of responsibility. How many allow those that have been convicted, in the past, to continue their roles at racing there? It is not required that they do so much like a bank, for instance, is not required to hire a former thief. If it is relevant to their operation, it gives them grounds to determine whom they allow to work on their premises.

      • gus stewart

        well like I said, until its implemented which will be never, then you could say it couldn’t be stopped, they don’t want it stopped completely. Take your head out of the sand, they just talk it away until the next time!!!

        • Billy

          Your not 100 percent correct Gus….take brophy and motta from Penn license yanked by commission but still treating horses daily now I’m not sure if that was part of their plea Bargin but still licensed vets and treating horses daily right outside the gate from what I’ve heard and there’s no legality to prevent that how does the vet board not yank their license to practice after what they’ve been found GUILTY of…..its a straight up mess but you are correct the tracks and commission don’t want things cleaned up would hurt all their bottom lines in an already struggling business

  • Brent T

    I wish they would come to Louisiana and straighten out some of these cheating (deleted).
    They could start at Delta Downs and fill up a wagon full of them. And the excuse of well some have so many horses you would lose entries, B.S. Others would eventually buy them or claim from elsewhere to enter.

  • Minneola

    While this article focuses on the vets that cheat, there is another story under the horse care listing “One in a 100,000 Horse” story that shows the flip side to those vets that are miracle workers. Kind of nice to have a little faith restored regarding veterinary work.

  • Sara swope

    Just keep these immoral, & illegal activities up, trainers, vets, & owners, & pretty soon there won’t be anymore horse racing left in this country anymore. Is that what you want?

  • Sara swope

    Perhaps, attempted murder charges would be more appropriate. After all, there was no regard for the welfare of the horse(s), or riders, running in that field. I don’t know how anyone could argue otherwise.(?) A horse, who needs that powerful of a painkiller, has no place in a racing field. Period. Blatant disregard for life. Equine & human alike. Any attorneys catch my drift out there?

    • Tango F

      reckless endangerment; I have run that past a few attorneys about prosecuting those people running horses that are not sound, and they tell me it would be a legal stretch to win a case ; sad, but true

  • imsweets

    It gets harder and harder for me to defend my love of racing. The safety of horse and jockey are my main concern, always, but I spend countless hrs. and $ studying and betting, trying to avoid “shady ” races, tracks , trainers. Not that I know but I have doubts about several. It didn’t break my heart that Baffert was shut out B.C.. He gave human thyroid meds to some in his care a few yrs. ago. Why isn’t there a public record of med infractions, per trainer, per yr. ? Having worked on the track I know , sadly, almost anyone can dope or sponge a horse without the trainers’ knowledge, but if publicity effects business it will diminish. Not end tho as shown by P. Biancone.
    ,

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