04/19/2009 11:00PM

NYRA may sanction Mullins


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Jeff Mullins, already suspended and fined by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board for a race-day security barn violation at Aqueduct on April 4, could face further penalties from the New York Racing Association's Barn Area Violations Panel.

On Sunday, the board suspended Mullins for seven days and fined him $2,500 for administering the over-the-counter medication Air Power to his horse, Gato Go Win, prior to the running of the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes. The suspension, reduced from 15 days for Mullins waiving his right of appeal, is scheduled to begin May 3, the day after Mullins is to saddle I Want Revenge as one of the favorites in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Mullins was penalized for violating the rules of the race-day security barn. Under those rules, nothing other than Lasix may be administered to a horse, who must report to that barn six hours before his race. Also, no oral dose syringes are allowed in the barn, and Mullins used an oral dose syringe to administer the Air Power, which is akin to cough medicine.

NYRA's BAVP, which meets once a week, postponed a hearing last Thursday and is hoping to deal with the Mullins case this week. Penalties at the discretion of the panel include denying stalls, barring entries, and/or a fine. Mullins is not stabled here, and presumably the next time he would run a horse in New York would be if I Want Revenge were to run in the Belmont Stakes.

Karen Murphy, the attorney for Mullins, said in an e-mail that she is not available to meet with the BAVP this week, and added that three correspondences she made to NYRA have not been acknowledged. The panel is made up of NYRA security chief Ken Cook, NYRA steward Braulio Baeza Jr., and Jim Gallagher, executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.

Meanwhile, Mullins, in a statement issued through Murphy, said that he decided not to appeal the penalties to put this episode behind him.

"To put an end to this unfortunate event, I take responsibility for the infraction and accept the penalty imposed,'' Mullins said. "I have dedicated my life to caring for Thoroughbred racehorses. I owe it to I Want Revenge, his owners, the racing fans, and, indeed, the entire racing industry to end this distraction now.''