09/12/2017 11:45AM

Juan Vazquez gets 30 days for steroid violation

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Juan Vazquez has dozens of medication positives over the last five years.

Juan Vazquez, the mid-Atlantic-based trainer who has had a rash of medication positives over the past five years, has been suspended for 30 days by the board of stewards at Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts for a positive of a corticosteroid.

The suspension is scheduled to run from Sept. 6 to Oct. 5, according to a copy of the ruling provided by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Suffolk Downs, which has held six live race dates this year, separated by a month, is scheduled to hold its last weekend of live racing on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

Vazquez, who started more than 400 horses in 2013 and 2014, has been hit with dozens of medication positives over the past five years, and has a checkered history that led to his ban at a number of tracks in the mid-Atlantic in 2015. During a 90-day suspension in 2015, his assistant, Hector Garcia, was suspended for 13 months due to four medication positives.

The horse that tested positive, Here Comes Gary, won the second race at Suffolk on Aug. 5 at odds of 6-5. Here Comes Gary was disqualified from the race, a $25,000 claimer, and placed last. Vazquez was also fined $2,500.

The drug, hydrocortisone hydrogen succinate, is a corticosteroid, most commonly used to reduce inflammation. It is considered a Class 4 drug, with little potential to influence performance and some therapeutic effect, but it is not one of more than two dozen drugs that are commonly treated as regulated therapeutic medications. The drug was found at a concentration of 4.94 nanograms per milliliter of blood plasma, according to the lab report.

Vazquez has started 227 horses this year, with 43 wins (19 percent), and purse earnings of $1.2 million.