01/14/2016 3:22PM

Preciado begins suspension after appeal denied

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The Delaware Racing Commission at its Wednesday meeting signed off on the appeal decision and penalty order for trainer Ramon Preciado, who had two clenbuterol positives at Delaware Park last summer. Preciado’s 21-day suspension began Thursday.

A blood sample taken from Trouble Kid, who is trained by Preciado, tested positive for clenbuterol after his nine-length win in a $25,000 starter allowance Aug. 26. Trouble Kid set a 5 1/2-furlong track record of 1:02.58 in that race. That record has been rescinded.

Preciado’s second positive came when blood and urine samples taken from Jake N Elwood contained clenbuterol following the horse’s 7 1/2-length victory in the restricted, $72,000 New Castle Stakes on Sept. 12.

Preciado was fined $500 and suspended seven days for Trouble Kid’s positive and fined $1,000 and suspended 14 days for the second infraction. Both horses were disqualified, and the purses of both races were redistributed.

Preciado had split samples tested on both horses, and they also came back positive. He was granted a stay from the suspensions after he filed an appeal with the Delaware Racing Commission. His appeal was heard Dec. 16, and the penalties were upheld by a 5-0 vote.

Preciado has been the leading trainer at Parx Racing the last two years. In 2015, his stable won 170 races and $5.57 million in purses.

Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator that has steroidal properties and can build muscle mass. It is legal to use in training but cannot be in a horse’s system on race day. Clenbuterol is considered a Class 3 drug by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, with Class 1 being the most severe level and Class 5 the least severe. Preciado has been given two points for each positive on the ARCI medication points list.

With his penalty looming, several of Preciado’s horses were entered earlier this week at Penn National and Laurel Park with Marcos Zulueta listed as trainer. The horses include Jake N Elwood and Beach Hut, who are entered in the $75,000 Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel on Saturday.

Zulueta has been training since 2010. He has sent out 192 winners from 720 starters, a win average of 26 percent. His horses have earned just under $5 million. In 2015, Zulueta finished third in the Parx trainer standings with 65 wins. In total, he won 81 races last year from 265 starters, a win average of 30 percent.

Ian GW More than 1 year ago
There is so many more doing the juice. Its a joke. I just keep passing races with any of these guys.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
What exactly is an honest mistake when the whole game is ' how can I cheat and not be caught' an honest mistake is when the withdrawal time of a prohibited substance is miscalculated or the dose is miscalculated?. Clenbuterol has been around a long time at least since the 80's and it has been used and abused since then. 36 years and the industry still has not figured out how to deal adequately with positives. Let's face it any medication that can help a cheap claimed horse become a stakes winner is going to be used. How hard is it to be a honest trainer these days. In my opinion practically impossible.your horse is a 15000 claimer if you run him above that you can't win if you run him for 15 k you loose him ,only to see him improve and gain all sorts of muscle and go on to win allowance races and even minor stakes. Your owner call you and asks what kind of an idiot are you running that horse for 15 k.. You try to explain the trainer that claimed is a crook he is using stuff that will eventually kill the horse. The owners says yeah then how come he doesn't test positive..until he does .by then you're no longer a trainer. And the other guy gets a slap on the wrist a small fine and picks up another 15 horses .hey he's a winner gets things done. The super trainer adjusts his withdrawal times and looks for new drugs that don't yet show up in testing. After 15 years or so he will either have become a superstar and been inducted into racing hall of fame .and become untouchable. Or his many positives will finally get him a real suspension. Of course by then he will have millions in the bank. And racing fans will have lost millions .a sort of parimutuel transfer of funds from their pockets to his. Mr Preciado will take his 21 day vacation and transfer his horses to a relative ( I've seen a few Preciados at the same venue Guadalupe etc.) and then come back ready to do it all again and can you blame him considering the alternative. The honest trainers he claimed from are probably washing dishes in the track cafeteria..etc..
Eleanor Sniegowski More than 1 year ago
I'm sure it was an honest mistake that wont happen again!But just in case he"s got probably 3 attorneys on retainer.