07/31/2013 2:41PM

Del Mar: Gaines hands reins over to assistant Quinn


DEL MAR, Calif. – Trainer Carla Gaines sat in the Del Mar grandstand at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, watching a few of her horses go through workouts. In many ways, it was a typical morning for Gaines, answering phone calls while overseeing the action on the racetrack.

It was also the last such morning for Gaines until the end of August.

Thursday, Gaines began a 30-day suspension for a medication violation from 2012. She will be eligible to resume normal activity with her stable on Aug. 31, days before the conclusion of the Del Mar meeting on Sept. 4. During her absence, her assistant trainer, Jerry Quinn, will assume control of the stable at Del Mar.

Gaines said that Quinn has been part of her staff for the last six months.

“He worked for me at Santa Anita and he’ll come down here now,” Gaines said.

Gaines was suspended and fined $2,500 last month after two of her runners tested in excess of the permitted level of testosterone at Betfair Hollywood Park and Del Mar within a seven-day span in 2012.

A hearing was conducted by stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer and Tom Ward at Hollywood Park in late May. They recommended a 30-day suspension and a $2,500 fine, penalties ratified by the California Horse Racing Board on July 18.

Gaines, through attorney and fellow trainer Darrell Vienna, launched an appeal in late July. Tuesday, she failed in an attempt to gain a temporary restraining order in Los Angeles Superior Court that would have allowed her to continue training until an appeal was heard. Racing board chairman David Israel had previously denied Gaines’s request for a stay of the suspension.

Wednesday, Gaines said she planned to spend the day contacting clients and making last-minute arrangements to leave her stable for 30 days.

Quinn takes over a stable that could have several runners in stakes in coming weeks. Irish Art, entered in an optional claimer on Thursday, is a candidate for the $200,000 Del Mar Mile on Aug. 25. Gervinho, who won a division of the Oceanside Stakes on July 17, is likely to make his next start in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 1, just as Gaines returns to the stable.

Wednesday, Gaines worked the 4-year-old filly Winding Way, who was one of the two female horses found to have excessive levels of testosterone in July 2012. Winding Way won the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Stakes here last August and could start in the same race on Aug. 18 for Quinn.

– additional reporting by Jay Privman