02/18/2012 3:08PM

Santa Anita: Trainer Aguirre admits to altering horse's registration papers


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Paul Aguirre has been fined $2,000 and suspended five days in a stipulated agreement with the California Horse Racing Board after admitting to altering the registration papers of a horse who won a race in which he was not eligible last summer.

Doc Can Dance won a starter allowance at Hollywood Park on June 10, 2011, returning $57. The conditions of the race were limited to horses that had won their maidens for a claiming price of $40,000 or less, or Cal-bred or sired horses which had won their maidens in a statebred race for $50,000 or less and which had never won two races.

Doc Can Dance entered the race with one win in nine starts. He won an optional claimer for maidens at Turf Paradise in January 2011, but was not listed as eligible to be claimed for $30,000 in that race. The absence of an optional claiming designation essentially made the race a maiden special weight race for Doc Can Dance, Hollywood Park stewards said at the time. Maiden special weight race winners are not eligible for starter allowance races.

Aguirre admitted to racing board investigators that he went to the racing office the day after Doc Can Dance won and altered the gelding’s papers “without permission from the Hollywood Park Race Track Racing Office,” according to a racing board statement. The statement said that Aguirre wrote the numbers “30000” near the category that reflected the type of race that Doc Can Dance won at Turf Paradise in January 2011.

At the time, Hollywood Park racing officials expressed regret that Doc Can Dance’s status for the June 2011 race was not caught by members of that department.

As part of the stipulated agreement, Aguirre must pay the fine by Wednesday. His suspension runs from Wednesday through Sunday.

Doc Can Dance, owned by a partnership, was disqualified from purse money in the June 10 race. A 4-year-old gelding, Doc Can Dance is winless in six subsequent starts.

Points Offthebench shoots, scores

Points Offthebench returned from a layoff of nearly six months to win an optional claimer on Friday that will lead to a stakes race next month.

Ridden by leading rider Joel Rosario, Points Offthebench ($11.60) ran 6  1/2 furlongs in 1:14.08, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over pacesetter, and 9-10 favorite, Three Vases.

Trainer Tim Yakteen said that Points Offthebench will be pointed for the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for 3-year-old California-bred sprinters on March 31.

The same March 31 program includes the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for Cal-bred 3-year-old fillies over 6 1/2 furlongs. Belloma, the winner of an optional claimer on Thursday, will start in that race, trainer Dan Hendricks said on Friday.

Dave Mason More than 1 year ago
Irrespective of what was reflected on the horse's registration certificate, the official Equibase records are controlling when determining eligibility. Question? What were the thoughts going through the minds of the entry clerk and assistant racing secretary when their computers "flagged" this entry questioning eligibility from the get-go?
Greg Jones More than 1 year ago
$2K fine and 5 days? What a complete joke! It is scum like Aguirre that give all the honest and hard working trainers a bad name.
Vikki Burnham More than 1 year ago
I'm an owner. No horses at the track, at the moment, and I haven't yet won a race, but at least I know my winning trainer was honest. Every time slime like Dutrow gets a pass to cheat again, and this loser gets an itty bitty 5-day suspension, it hurts our sport and every honest person in it. WHEN will racing officials and tracks get it through their heads that THEY are the reason we have the comments you see here?
Mike Bilinskas More than 1 year ago
The most dishonest sport gets worse and worse everyday, trainers injecting horses, changing foal papers, jockeys who really don't care about winning, what a joke that game has become, no wonder no one cares about it anymore.
YYZGUY1 More than 1 year ago
In related news, Dutrow and Mullins are kicking themselves for not thinking up this scam themselves. Bernie Madoffs only regret is that he didn't specialize in derfauding the horse racing public. He could have made is millions and only pay a few small fines along the way. No jail sentences for fraud in horse racing.
Troybuilt More than 1 year ago
That is the same as stealing and should be prosecuted to the max. Sounds like Park Officials had winning tickets on that horse.
William Hawk More than 1 year ago
Unbelievable! You talk about FRAUD! Kick these cheaters out of the sport! These type of incidents are why horse racing is looked at as crooked! Another shot to the horse player!
pick4win More than 1 year ago
The only reason to alter the papers is to cash a ticket. Another terrible ruling in California as he should be ruled off for a year or more. Unbelievable.