08/31/2014 5:14PM

Pender plans to appeal suspension, $5,000 fine


DEL MAR, Calif.- Trainer Mike Pender has been suspended three weeks and fined $5,000 for five class 4 medication infractions in a 12-month period, Del Mar stewards announced in a ruling on Sunday.

Pender said on Sunday afternoon that he plans to appeal the decision. He said he reached the decision after discussing options with his attorney.

Pender’s suspension covers 21 calendar days, from Sept. 22 to Oct. 12. The suspension covers the first three weekends of the Santa Anita autumn meeting, which begins on Sept. 26. During the time of the suspension, Pender cannot be at the racetrack at any time and cannot enter horses.

According to Del Mar stewards, Pender was cited for four overages for the analgesic  phenylbutazone and the presence of the commonly-used muscle relaxant methocarbamol in a period ending on June 15.

The methocarbamol positive was found in a post-race test taken from Takeit tothe Limit at Santa Anita on June 15. Takeit tothe Limit finished sixth as the even-money favorite in a $20,000 claiming race for maidens over seven furlongs.

In a one-page ruling, stewards Scott Chaney, Luis Jauregui, and Kim Sawyer recommended that if Pender has “a medication positive ruling” pertaining to unapproved medications, excessive amounts of approved medications or rules pertaining to horses on the veterinarian’s list in the next year that he be suspended for at least six months.

Pender, 47, is best known as the trainer of the multiple graded stakes winners Jeranimo and Ultimate Eagle.