07/09/2017 1:45PM

O'Brien fined after assistant found with injectable electrolytes


ELMONT, N.Y. - The New York Gaming Commission fined trainer Aidan O’Brien $1,500 for having three sealed bottles of an injectable form of electrolytes in his assistant trainer’s care at Belmont Park.

According to a Gaming Commission ruling issued Sunday, O’Brien was fined for having “three sealed bottles of Duphaylyte Solution for injection.” The ruling said the solution contains “vitamins, amino acids, electrolytes and glucose.”

O’Brien, a multiple champion trainer based in Ireland, shipped three horses to New York for Saturday’s Stars and Stripes Racing Festival at Belmont Park. Homesman and Whitecliffsofdover finished third and seventh, respectively, in the Grade 1, $1.2 million Belmont Derby. Key To My Heart finished last of 11 in the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks. O’Brien’s horses were cared for by assistant T.J. Comerford.

Duphaylyte Solution, a injectable electrolyte typically used to treat dehydration, is permissible to use with a prescription. The problem isn’t that the substance is illegal or deemed to be performance-enhancing, it’s that it was possessed in injectable form.

The Gaming Commission rule the state says O’Brien violated was 4012.1 (A) (1) which states, “No person other than a commission veterinarian, track veterinarian or a practicing veterinarian licensed by the commission shall have or possess in or upon the premises of a licensed or franchised race track … or shall have or possess in his or her personal property or effects upon such premises the following: (1) any equipment that may be used for hypodermic injection or other infusion into a horse or any vial, bottle or cartridge designed and usable for such purposes …”

“You can’t have injectables in the barn,” said Steve Lewandowski, the steward for the New York Gaming Commission.

There were no hypodermic needles discovered.

Electrolytes are typically given to horses after shipping by plane or van; the three horses were given the Duphaylyte Solution under supervision of the USDA after the horses arrived here Tuesday. Veterinary records for all horses running in the Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks were posted on the Gaming Commission website beginning Wednesday.

Homesman and Whitecliffsofdover were two of seven horses in the Belmont Derby that received Bute on Thursday.