With Suspension Behind Him, Heath Taylor Resumes Career With Gratitude, Patience

It’s been a long and arduous seven years, but on Monday, Jan. 28, trainer Heath Taylor, was restored to good standing by the Louisiana State Racing Commission. His ordeal began in May 2012, when Taylor was cited for a drug violation at Delta Downs.  The drug, Dermorphin, also known as frog juice because it originally […]

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

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., […]

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Pharmacy Contesting Federal Conspiracy Charges In Louisiana Dermorphin Case

Kohll’s Pharmacy & Homecare in Omaha, Neb., has filed court documents in which it contests federal conspiracy charges that allege it was involved in a scheme to “manipulate” horse races in Louisiana. The pharmacy is accused of obtaining a synthetic version of the drug dermorphin – a Class 1 synthetic opioid said to be 30 times […]

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Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss Criminal Charges In Dermorphin Case

U.S. District Court Judge Donald Walter denied a motion earlier this month to dismiss federal charges against Louisiana veterinarian Dr. Kyle J. Hebert and Essential Pharmacy Compounding. Hebert is accused of providing trainers with injectable vials of dermorphin, a synthetic opioid said to be 30 times more powerful than morphine and which he allegedly obtained […]

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Federal Charges Brought Against Veterinarian In Louisiana Dermorphin Case

After an investigation that spanned close to five years, federal authorities have indicted a Louisiana veterinarian with treating horses with an illegal synthetic drug. The Associated Press reports that veterinarian Kyle Hebert has been charged with injecting at least four horses with dermorphin, a powerful Class 1 painkiller. Authorities charge that Hebert intentionally mislabeled syringes containing the drug, claiming […]

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Combating A Culture Of Cheating: Betting On A New Paradigm

(Second of a two-part series. Click here to read part one.) In U.S. racing, each state has the sole authority to regulate all racing within its borders. There is no central, unifying authority. This has led to state-to-state differences in medication rules, drug testing procedures and penalties for violations. These differences often can be stark. In […]

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Mares Leaving New Mexico Racing Commission Post

Vince Mares, who guided the New Mexico Racing Commission through some difficult years since coming onboard as executive director in 2009, has stepped down from that position. Mares, who retired as chief of police in Raton, N.M., before joining the commission, said his resignation gives him “an opportunity to enjoy my retirement,” though Mares added […]

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Detection Of New Synthetic Drug Disturbing But Less Problematic Than Dermorphin

An announcement by the Association of Racing Commissioners International that the New York Equine Drug Testing Program confirmed the first incidence of a particular synthetic opioid in a racehorse was met with surprise and frustration. The finding of the drug, called AH-7921, may be unsettling, but experts say the substance is nothing new, and it […]

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Louisiana Supreme Court Denies Taylor, 3 Other Trainers Suspended for Dermorphin

Four Quarter Horse trainers suspended between five and 10 years for dermorphin positives in horses racing in Louisiana reached the end of the road in their appeals process last week when the Louisiana Supreme Court on Friday denied their applications for writ to argue their case. They previously lost an appeal before Louisiana’s Third Circuit […]

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