07/01/2016 3:26PM

New Mexico adopts stricter penalties for horses testing positive for banned substances


They’re calling it the “monster” rule.

The New Mexico Racing Commission has adopted an emergency rule that suspends horses from competition for a minimum of 60 days if they test positive for substances in five different categories. The rule went into effect late Wednesday, executive director Izzy Trejo said.

“It’s a monster rule in that it takes care of multiple issues we’re facing in racing, with just this one rule,” Trejo said.

Horses testing positive for any substance that carries a Class A penalty under Association of Racing Commissioners International guidelines, or for clenbuterol, cobalt, steroids, or growth hormones, will be placed on the stewards’ list for a minimum of 60 days. The action, which makes the horse ineligible to enter or start, will be immediate, and the rule gives the stewards authority to increase the time the horse is on the sidelines.

The rule applies to both post-race tests and out-of-competition testing, Trejo said. He said horses on clenbuterol for medicinal purposes will have to have a form signed by a vet on file with the commission to avoid being cited during any out-of-competition tests.

New Mexico summit set

Trejo said the New Mexico Racing Summit has been set for July 19 at Ruidoso Downs. The purpose of the event is to bring all of the industry stakeholders in the state together to discuss a host of different issues. The topics will include battling drug positives, race dates, and streamlining the adjudication process.

Trejo said the commission also will hold its monthly meeting at Ruidoso, on July 21.

Ruidoso adds to Hall of Fame

Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico held inductions into its Racehorse Hall of Fame on June 24, with the latest class comprised of owners John and Sue May, trainer Bill Leach, jockey Casey Lambert, and All American Futurity winner Ochoa.

Lambert, 50, retired from riding in 2015. His father, Cliff Lambert, also is in the Ruidoso Hall of Fame.