11/28/2012 5:58PM

Louisiana Racing Commission suspends trainer for three years


The Louisiana Racing Commission has suspended owner-trainer Joseph Randy Hebert a total of three years after eight horses in his care tested positive for benzonatate, a Class 2 medication violation. All of the horses won their races during a two-week span in July at the Delta Downs meet for Quarter Horses. Hebert has a 30-day window to appeal, but his suspension will begin Dec. 2, said a spokesperson for the commission. The purses of the races Hebert’s starters won were ordered redistributed.

* Fair Grounds on Tuesday received approval from the Louisiana Racing Commission to add two dates to its 2013 calendar, Nov. 15-16. Track officials wanted to secure the dates in the event Fair Grounds is awarded the Challenge Championships for Quarter Horses, a track spokesperson said. Fair Grounds hosted the event in 2010. The dates would create the option of running the Challenge Championships over two days, in a format that could provide for some Thoroughbred races also, as horses will already be at Fair Grounds preparing for the fall meet that opens each Thanksgiving. Fair Grounds is not expected to run the two dates if not awarded the Challenge Championships.

* Under a new Louisiana rule that will go into effect Dec. 20, horses with common ownership running in stakes races worth $50,000 or more may be uncoupled at the discretion of the stewards.