06/26/2012 6:56PM

Ruidoso Downs: Nine horses positive for banned medication

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Nine horses who raced at Ruidoso Downs this spring have tested positive for three banned medications, including the powerful painkiller dermorphin, an official with the New Mexico Racing Commission said on Tuesday.

The names of the nine horses and their trainers have not been released because the commission is still finalizing its investigation, according to the commission's director, Vince Mares. The trainers involved have not been notified.
Once notified, they will be given a chance to request a second test.

At least five of the positives occurred in trials for the Ruidoso Futurity and Ruidoso Derby in late May, though none of those horses won their trial races. Mares said that the positives were identified recently by a laboratory at the University of California at Davis

The positive tests revealed levels of dermorphin; ractopamine, a muscle builder used to build mass in hogs; and stanozolol, a water-based steroid banned for use in racehorses in New Mexico in 2009.

Mares did not state how many positives occurred for each medication.

Dermorphin has surfaced in postrace tests in Louisiana and Oklahoma in recent weeks. Four trainers in Louisiana have been suspended six months for dermorphin positives, with their cases referred to the Louisiana State Racing Commission for possible further penalties.