10/27/2014 9:54AM

Breeders' Cup expands 'convicted trainer rule'

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Horses who have been transferred to assistants of trainers who are serving suspensions for serious drug infractions will not be able to run in the Breeders’ Cup races as of next year, according to a rule approved by the Breeders’ Cup board of directors.

If applied this year, the new rule would prohibit Goldencents from starting in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Goldencents, who won the Mile last year, was transferred to Leandro Mora this month after trainer Doug O’Neill began serving a 45-day suspension for a positive for the Class 2 drug oxazepam, a sedative. Mora is O’Neill’s assistant.

Banning the horses was approved as part of a revision of the Breeders’ Cup’s so-called “convicted trainer rule,” which bars trainers who have had a horse test positive for a Class 1 of Class 2 drug in the “A” penalty category within a year of the event. Both classes include drugs that have a high potential to affect performance and little to no therapeutic value.

The Breeders’ Cup board also expanded the rule to include a ban on any horse who tests positive for either a Class 1 or Class 2 drug in the “A” penalty schedule in the preceding 12 months.

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“We are hopeful that in selecting a trainer, owners will exercise the utmost care to assure themselves that a horse in that trainer’s care will not be treated improperly,” Breeders’ Cup president Craig Fravel said in a statement. “A commitment to playing by the rules is vital to the future of the sport.”