06/22/2012 5:33PM

Delta Downs stewards suspend two more Quarter Horse trainers six months for dermorphin positives


Stewards at Delta Downs have issued six-month suspensions to two Quarter Horse trainers after their horses tested positive for the potent painkiller dermorphin and have referred the cases to the Louisiana Racing Commission “for further action,” according to a listing of online rulings.

The suspensions to Gonzalo Gonzales and Alonzo Loya were both levied by the Delta stewards on June 20, according to the rulings. Stewards in Louisiana are prohibited from issuing suspensions longer than six months, but the Louisiana Racing Commission is capable of levying a suspension of up to three years based on recommended penalty guidelines for the powerful class of drugs that includes dermorphin.

Gonzales and Loya are the second and third trainers to be issued penalties by the Delta stewards for dermorphin positives in the past week. The first, Alvin Smith, was also handed a six-month suspension, and his case was also referred to the commission.

Louisiana has confirmed that 11 horses have tested positive for dermorphin – seven Quarter Horses, and four Thoroughbreds. The drug is an opioid said to be 30 to 40 times as powerful as morphine. Fifteen positives have also been called in Oklahoma, according to officials, though officials for the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission have yet to confirm the positives.

Charles Gardiner, the executive director of the Louisiana Racing Commission, said earlier this week that the commission expects to “deal swiftly and severely” with the dermoprhin positives. The minimum recommended penalty is a one-year suspension, loss of purse, and $10,000 fine.

The horse that tested positive for Gonzales, Be Home By Six, also tested positive for a flunixin overage. Flunixin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is in the lowest class of drugs. He was fined an additional $500 for the overage.

The horse trained by Loya that tested positive is named Courvilles Buff.

Misti Pate-Broughton More than 1 year ago
Just wait and see all the positives that are yet to come out.....that's the whole problem right now in OK, NM, LA....(no telling how many more states)...these bad tests are flooding the labs. There may not be many trainers left after this all gets done and over with...lol.
RunningDog More than 1 year ago
This is a crime, not a slap on wrist situation. Theft on many levels, they stole purse money, made a face out of the wagering, and not to mention cruelty to the animals. Theses guys are scum. 6 months is absurd.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's not just the bettors -- think about the owners and trainers that are actually NOT cheating.... I am so frustrated that I am ready to just get out of the game altogether (small stable owner). It's not fair to us, and its not fair to our horses. The "authorities" just aren't solving the problems. Makes you wish we had some good ol wild west justice.
Mooch J More than 1 year ago
Zero Drugs, Zero Tolerance, Zero Leniency.
RickMarciniak More than 1 year ago
Hate to say it...but the Federal Govt. needs to step in.
nicola c More than 1 year ago
what other drugs do they not know about yet just think about that because there is more trainers with 40% winning records isnt normal something is boosting the percentage
M_a_r_y_A_n_n_ More than 1 year ago
Christine Janks wrote an excellent article on dermorphin with excellent ideas on the drug situation. The industry needs to heed the warning because how long do they think bettors are going to put up with all this drug garbage. Handicappers want a fair shake in picking horses and are really sick of being deceived and are sick of hearing about these horses being abused. Christine's article appeared in the Paulick Report and you can read it here: http://www.paulickreport.com/news/ray-s-paddock/trainer-janks-it-s-fraud-and-it-s-a-felony/
john More than 1 year ago
Why not carry these trainers away from the track in handcuffs, this is nothing but race fixing when this happens. If other trainers see trainers locked up for breaking the rules this might stop some of them, fine and suspension is not even close to fitting this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John have you ever heard of innocent until proven guilty? There are people out there who will pop a horse with the drug just to get even or to sabotage someone. The drug test might be in error, there are contaminant at every level and mixups all over the place. That being said, I agree that the ones who DO use things like frog venom on their horses ought to be punished fully. But they deserve their day in court like everyone else.