12/20/2016 1:13PM

Masochistic, Ellis could be denied participation in 2017 Breeders' Cup

Benoit & Associates
Masochistic tested positive for the steroid stanozolol.

The Breeders’ Cup in a press release on Tuesday said it was “extremely disappointing” to learn of the confirmatory post-race steroid test for Masochistic - which will disqualify him from a second-place finish in the BC Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5 - and said it will wait until the California Horse Racing Board’s investigation is completed before deciding on penalties going forward for Masochistic, trainer Ron Ellis, or any of his assistants.

A Breeders’ Cup rule that says “no person may participate as a trainer” in the following Breeders’ Cup if during the preceding 12 months the trainer is found in violation of a jurisdiction’s rules regarding steroids. Similar rules are in place to deny entry of a horse who tests positive, and to prevent “a person associated with a trainer,” such as an assistant, from fronting for a trainer.

So, both Masochistic and Ellis stand to be prevented from participating in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup, which will be held at Del Mar next November.

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Masochistic tested positive for stanozolol, both Ellis and the racing board said on Monday. A hearing is scheduled with Santa Anita’s stewards for Dec. 30, but Ellis said he will not contest the charges.

“Following the conclusion of the legal proceedings we will immediately consider the application of Breeders’ Cup rules that preclude participation in future Championships by trainers found to have violated applicable medication rules,” the Breeders’ Cup statement said. “Whatever the outcome, we have undertaken a review of out of competition protocols and rules in jurisdictions where our event is conducted and will seek the elimination of the use of any anabolic steroid in horses in active training toward the Breeders’ Cup.”

Under California racing rules, there is no prohibition on giving stanozolol, but there is a zero tolerance for being able to race on it. The recommended withdrawal time is 60 days. Ellis said Masochistic was last treated with the medication 68 days out. That treatment was registered with the state racing board, as required 

Masochistic was tested three times in out-of-competition testing in the weeks leading up to the Breeders’ Cup. Ellis said he was informed of a finding of trace amounts of stanozolol three days before the race. It was left up to Ellis and the owners of Masochistic whether to run. Neither the state racing board nor the Breeders’ Cup ordered Masochistic scratched. Ellis said he was of the belief the medication would clear by race day. But the post-race tests showed it had not.

Masochistic finished second to Drefong in the six-furlong race, which had a purse of $1.5 million. Second-place money was worth $255,000, which will be forfeited by owners Will Shamlian and Samantha Siegel. Mind Your Biscuits, who originally finished third, will now be placed second and receive the runner-up share. A.P. Indian will be moved up to third, Limousine Liberal to fourth, Delta Bluesman to fifth, and Noholdingback Bear to sixth. There were seven runners in the race.

The Breeders’ Cup on Tuesday said it “has authorized the immediate payment of purse money to all participants in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint other than Masochistic.”