08/11/2013 4:46PM

Del Mar: Gaines can attend races while serving suspension


DEL MAR, Calif. – Even though trainer Carla Gaines is serving a 30-day suspension, she is allowed to attend races, according to the language of her ruling, which was clarified in a series of letters in recent days between the California Horse Racing Board and her attorney, trainer Darrell Vienna.

The Gaines situation became a cause celebre at Del Mar on Saturday, when she was seen at the races near the paddock at around the time Glorious Luck was winning the ninth race. Glorious Luck, a homebred for former racing board chairman John Harris, is now trained by Jerry Quinn, who has taken over Gaines’s horses during her suspension. Glorious Luck had raced twice for Gaines, winning both times.

Data released by the racing board Sunday show that last week, Vienna asked for clarification on the terms of Gaines’s suspension. There was nothing in the original ruling barring Gaines from being at the track. Robert B. Miller, racing board counsel, informed Vienna in a letter dated Thursday that Gaines could be at the track in areas accessible to the public – such as the stands – but not those areas where a license is needed – such as the stable area.

Gaines is under suspension for having two of her horses test positive for excessive amounts of testosterone last year. That ruling was made in late July. The ruling was adopted by the racing board after originally being made by Del Mar’s stewards and was issued by the board.

Nowhere in the board’s ruling does it say Gaines cannot be on the grounds. There is language in the ruling that says a licensee is automatically barred if a suspension is for 60 days or more, but Gaines’s was for 30 days through the end of August.