07/30/2010 12:28PM

Pennsylvania trainer arrested on horse-drugging charges

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Darrel Delahoussaye, a trainer based in Pennsylvania, was arrested on Wednesday by Pennsylvania State Police and charged with multiple offenses related to the administration of illegal drugs to racehorses, according to the police.
Delahoussaye, who was barred from Penn National Racecourse earlier this year, was charged with one misdemeanor count each of rigging a publicly exhibited contest, administering drugs to race horses, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. In addition, Delahoussaye was charged with two felony counts of theft by deception, according to an indictment released by a Dauphin County grand jury.
According to the state police, Delahoussaye was arraigned on Wednesday and then released after posting bail of $20,000. Efforts to reach Delahoussaye were unsuccessful on Thursday.
The charges stemmed from an incident on Oct. 22, 2009, when state investigators searched a truck that had been used to ship a horse owned by Michael Gill into Penn National. According to the indictment, the search turned up substances that are used to concoct an illegal prerace solution called a milkshake, along with syringes. Milkshakes are illegal to administer to a horse on raceday, though Penn National did not at the time conduct tests for the substances.
Although the horse in the truck was trained by Anthony Adamo, the indictment said that Delahoussaye “was operating as the trainer that day.”
The indictment also says that an ex-employee of Delahoussaye testified to the grand jury that he “witnessed Delahoussaye frequently administering milkshakes to horses” on race day. The ex-employee also testified that he witnessed Delahoussaye administer snake venom to horses. Snake venom is a powerful neurotoxin that can be used as a painkiller.
The felony counts of theft by deception were based on Delahoussaye accepting three horses from trainer Stephanie Beattie under the pretenses that Delahoussaye would donate them to a “petting zoo,” according to the indictment. Instead, Delahoussaye transferred the horses to another party in order “to retire a debt,” the indictment said.
Gill did not return a phone call on Thursday. Earlier this year, he dispersed his racing stock, citing a decision by Penn National jockeys in 2009 to boycott his horses.