04/18/2016 4:40PM

Preciado loses dozens of horses to trainers Gargan, Zulueta


On Monday at Parx Racing, several of embattled trainer Ramon Preciado's owners transferred horses out of his care to Danny Gargan and Marcos Zulueta.

Gargan, who is based at Belmont Park, will be opening a second stable at Parx. On Monday, owners Barbara and Bill Hopkins and Silver Trail Stables were among the owners who transferred 32 horses to Gargan. The horses joining his stable include Trouble Kid, Amelia's Wild Ride, and Roxbury N Overton.

Another 12 of Preciado's horses were turned over to Zulueta.

"These are true transfers," said Sam Elliott, the director of racing at Parx. "Danny Gargan trains horses for the Hopkinses in New York. The Hopkinses are friends with the owners of Silver Trail Stables, who I understand tagged along. The horses going to Zulueta have been moved to his barn. Marcos now has an entire barn here."

The transfers leave Preciado with about 14 horses. He is facing a total of 270 suspension days for two clenbuterol overages at Parx last fall. Those positive tests were Preciado's fifth and sixth of 2015.

Preciado's lawyer, Thomas Pfender, appealed Preciado's suspensions to the Pennsylvania Racing Commission, and he was granted a stay. But Parx began refusing Preciado entries last week and ruled him off the grounds as of last Saturday. Pfender, however, appealed Preciado's ejection to the racing commission and was granted a writ of supersedeas, or a stay of the ejection.

While Preciado is currently allowed on the grounds to care for his horses, his entries are not being accepted by the Parx racing office. Because Parx is in the midst of an equine herpesvirus quarantine, Precaido cannot remove his horses from the grounds.

Gargan has 32 horses stabled in New York, about 20 of which are owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds.

"I think this is a good opportunity," Gargan said. "These are some pretty nice horses, and once the quarantine is over at Parx, I think some of them will fit in New York, and I'll bring them here. I'll also be sending some of the Midwest horses to race at Parx. We'll rotate them in and out."

Gargan said he may hire some of Preciado's help but would be sending in an assistant to run his new barn.

"I'll have 70 horses, which can be complicated," Gargan said, "but I'll only have four owners, which will simplify things.”

Gargan is a 45-year-old native of Louisville, Ky., who grew up in the neighborhood around Churchill Downs. He has been training on his own since 2013. He has won 77 races from 367 starters (20 percent).

Gargan's biggest win came with R Free Roll in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss at Saratoga in 2014. Three weeks ago, on New York Claiming Championship Day at Aqueduct, he won the $80,000 Karakorum Electra with Nuffsaid Nuffsaid and the $60,000 Caixa Eletronica with Cerro. Both horses are owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds.

Zulueta, a 47-year-old native of Cuba, has been training since 2011. He has won 211 races from 792 starts (26 percent). Zulueta is coming off a career-best year in 2015, when he won 81 races and finished third in the Parx trainer standings.

Allison Ash More than 1 year ago
I just bought a mare who was owned and raced by Marcos Zulueta. She was covered in abrasions, and starved to near death. She was in need of hospitalization. She could barely ride in a trailer. That is what he does to thoroughbred racehorses.
Harry Mollineaux More than 1 year ago
As long as drugs are legal in horse racing which I wish they weren't ,why not appoint a vet at every track who would be the only one allowed to administer meds to a horse.  Have the list of drugs be made common knowledge to all and if any drugs are found in a horse outside of what the track vet has administered suspend both owner and trainer for a year,second violation lifetime ban!!!! 
Melissa Kauffman More than 1 year ago
Because these bad trains obtain the drugs else where and give to the horses behind closed doors. They are supposed to report every med given and its dose.... they refuse to follow the rules. They donit to gain an adge and hope to win without getting caught. They also do it to continue to run an unfit, lame, or out of condition horse.... blled the last bit of money they can from them! Sad situation that the tacing industry needs to do better at cracking down on nationwide!
Michael Infurna More than 1 year ago

According to Equibase, Barbara Hopkins ranks #47 of 14,092 Owners with $435,892 in earnings in 2016.

In 2015, horses that raced under her name won at a 33% clip with 153 starters. Added to that were 41 second place finishes.

From 2007 to the present time, she has won with 27% of starters that ran in her name and finished in the money 60% of the time. Not bad for mostly playing the claiming game.

My guess is that with her new hand picked trainers, these statistics will not suffer one bit.  Mrs Hopkins appears to be a very very lucky and knowledgeable owner to be this successful over a long period of time!! 

Frank More than 1 year ago
Just goes to show what a massive scale this cheating is....

If the trainer cheats and abuses horses like this guy did -- why wouldnt all the owners leave him?  Answer: Because they cheat too.  

The cheating is at all levels of the sport and what they dont get is that we get it and that is one of the biggest reason why the sport doesnt not attract new young fans.

The kids today (my nephew and son) dont like horse racing because they think they abuse these animals -- running and breaking them down and destroying them.  

We are the last generation for horse racing -- it will never be as big it was and will continue decline from here...
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
I know this will never happen but the best way to stop this is to suspend the trainer for a year minimum and for life if caught more than once. and then suspend the owner from entering his horses for a month. And the horse in question for 2 months. This would stop owners from supporting trainers that cheat. An owner that has had his horses test positive in different trainers stable..would be subject to a minimum 4 month suspension. Another more radical approach would be to ban from racing or breeding any horse that has tested positive for doping. Any trainer who had a few of these would be run out by the owners themselves as no one would risk a horse with them.
Arlene Factor More than 1 year ago
when they stop "suspending" them and instead prosecute them for grand larceny AND put these thieves in JAIL - which is where they belong -  then it will stop
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Can't argue with that.
john g More than 1 year ago
Trainers that repeatedly have drug violations against the beautiful animals is one of horse racing worst public relations nightmares. It gives us a bad reputation from the public. The whole industry should do all it can to stop the repeated violations. If they need to change the rules, or whatever, act faster to ban these type trainers who could care less about the beautiful animals, or the racing industry.Why keep giving trainers more chances? After 5 or 6 times in one year? C'mon, 2 strikes and your out, clean up our industry.
Ivan More than 1 year ago
FROM PRECIADO to GARGAN...hahahhahahaha! FROM RODRIGUEZ to JACOBSON hahahahahahha! FROM NAVARRO to ZIADIE hahahahahahha! FROM DIODORO to D'AMATO...hahahhahaha!
Connie Hampton More than 1 year ago
what is so funny?

barrbeantown More than 1 year ago
whats is so funny?

Katrina Sheldon More than 1 year ago
Dont forget Preciado to Zulueta...Hahahahahahah
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
how bout Dutrow to Dutrow....hahahhahaha
barrbeantown More than 1 year ago
drf.u guys cover for all the cheaters hype them up as kings u guys outta be schamed liked tvg
Frank More than 1 year ago
Good point Ivan,  they just transfer from one cheater/horse abuser to the next....

Sport of Cheats/Abusers!
Glen Brown More than 1 year ago
A good handicapper can't break even anymore let alone win anything.Unless you have inside info like trainers,jockeys,racing secretaries,etc.Thoroughbred game has gone the way of harness racing.Can only bet graded races and not to sure about that.