02/18/2012 2:08PM

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.