09/29/2012 9:15AM

Bret Calhoun suspended 30 days for medication violation


Veteran trainer Bret Calhoun has been suspended 30 days by the Kentucky stewards for a positive test for a Class 3 drug stemming from a race in late May at Churchill Downs.

The subject horse, 4-year-old Make a Fortune, was making his first start when he captured a five-furlong maiden special weight race on May 26. The colt tested positive for guanabenz, a medication used for high-blood pressure and which is used to lessen the chance of a horse suffering from exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging.

Calhoun also was fined $500 because Make a Fortune tested for more than the permissible amount of the bleeder medication Lasix.

The suspension is scheduled to begin Oct. 8 and run through Nov. 6. Calhoun said through his attorney, Karen Murphy, that he will not appeal the decision. He currently is racing at Remington Park and at a variety of other tracks in the East and Midwest.

Calhoun, 48, has won 2,079 races in a stellar career dating to 1994. His best year was 2010, when his stable earned nearly $8 million and he won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint with Dubai Majesty and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with Chamberlain Bridge.

Make a Fortune, a $160,000 yearling purchase for Gary and Mary West, has raced three more times, finishing third, fourth, and third. The winner’s share of $26,000 from the subject race was revoked and the purse redistributed.

Phil C More than 1 year ago
Bret Calhoun is a great trainer and runs lots of horses. The administration of this prescription calming agent must have occurred too close to post time by accident. It is certainly much better than using clenbuterol on a horse and many feel it should be an allowed medication. It doesn't enhance performance, it simply allows the horse to not suffer from hypertension. Is this not what's best for the horse and the betting public if the administration occurs well prior to post-time?
Richard Zabel More than 1 year ago
"the winners share 0f 26,000 fro m the subject race was revoked and the purse redistributed" awesome however the simulcast players and white collare bums the losses remain losses lol loolo lol lol go bret the doper calhoun
Richard Zabel More than 1 year ago
thats one issue horse racing needs to revamp "commissions" need only one commission that regulates all states etc,like NFL this way calhoun,dutrow,oneil etc cannot race anywhere when suspended,likewise jockey(pval)example previous years drugs ran out california then to lousisana lol, joke WE NEED ONE COMNMISSION TO RUN IT ALL get the dead weight out become stronger!!!!!!!!!!
Richard Zabel More than 1 year ago
amber you said it perfect,plus brett has changed since his early days sam houston 1994 when he was little down to earth man riding dabie coco and adrian barron on his "hay oats and water" horses he went to spotlight with cowboy dan that was great runner now 20 years later he is cheater and mean lol
Richard Zabel More than 1 year ago
brett calhoun dutrow junior
amber More than 1 year ago
colette he WAS DOPING OK
amber More than 1 year ago
mariln quit drinking while posting not his first time to cheat ok lol
amber More than 1 year ago
brett clhoun dutrow junior
amber More than 1 year ago
even with the suspension and fine for race cheating brett........we the public still lose in the race you cheated in....i could not see in form you were going to cheat...shame shame shame YOU HAD to do that???? lol
Dennis Geier More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lasix is not used in almost everyother country in the world besides the United States. It is not a class 1 violation. Most other countries do consider it as a performance enhanser because of the lower blood pressure that results from the dehydration. There is a reason that almost all trainers use lasix. Most horses would not have a bleeding problem and to say it is all for the horse is not being quite geniune. The biggest reason to stop the use of lasix is because it helps to cover up the use of other performance enhancing drugs. It does this by the same dehydration process of clearing the system. If no lasix was allowed it would be easier to pick up these performance enhancing drugs. Im not implying that is the reason this horse had a high level but it is used by some for this very purpose. It also has helped make the breed more prevalent to bleeders over time by covering up bleeders with this drug. The industry would be better off without the use of lasix. Our horses are weaker because of it and this is proved by how much better European horses are than American horses. I watch alot of European races and they are not bleeding as they race. There would be some short term pain but the breed would greatly benefit from its ban.
Dr LGH More than 1 year ago
European racing is completely different from American racing, they have multiple short meets so horses do not run as frequently, they run on turf almost exclusively, run slower longer races than we do, train much differently than we do...and they do use lasix to breeze in the mornings, indicating they also recognize it helps to prevent EIPH (bleeding). The use of lasix to cover other medications is no longer a viable argument as testing sensitivity has overcome this possibility. Lasix does help prevent EIPH, which is in the best interest of the horse. The ubiquitous use of lasix for morning works/breezes both here and abroad supports the therapeutic benefits of it and also negates the idea of it to cover other drugs as trainers are not concerned about testing positive for anything in the morning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a known fact that EIPH is passed on from generation to generation. Granted we didnt know this when we started down this path but it is time for a change. Prior to 1967 no drugs were allowed during race day in the U.S.. The average starts per year were 10.2 and today with these drugs they are 6.3 starts. I know you can say there are other factors and I do admit that there are. It is common sense that a fully hydrated horse before a race would recover quicker than a dehydrate horse with lasix would. Try to run the Boston marathon with lasix and see how that works out. Hong Kong allows no drugs in races or training. There horses average 7.4 starts with a much shorter racing season. The horse owners are afraid of not having this crutch to protect there investments. The reality is that the U.S. is known as the drug capital of the world in horse racing. Many foreign buyers wont risk buying a bleeder for there breeding shed. This is making our horses inferior in the eyes of the world and in the world wide sales ring.
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
Apparently it doesnt cover up adjunct bleeder meds.