02/27/2013 5:56PM

Suspended harness trainer Pena gets temporary license


Lou Pena, the New Jersey-based harness trainer who was charged in 2012 with 1,719 violations of New York racing rules, had his license temporarily reinstated on Wednesday after a state court ruled that a state regulators were taking an “unreasonable amount of time” to consider his case, according to his attorney, Andrew Turro.

The ruling will allow Pena to train horses unless the New York Gaming Commission is successful in blocking the order, Turro said, or the gaming commission rules on an administrative hearing conducted in August, last year, regarding the violations.

“For the time being, Lou is back in business, which is where he should be,” Turro said. “That being said, I need to stress that this is temporary.”

Lee Park, a spokesman for the New York Gaming Commission, said that the board “is reviewing the situation.” He noted that the judge in the case said that he will revisit the matter on March 15.

Pena was suspended indefinitely by state regulators in May last year based on a review of his veterinary records, which, the board said, showed evidence that horses trained by Pena were administered medications in violation of state law more than 1,700 times over a 28-month period. None of Pena’s horses had tested positive for any prohibited medications.

The case raised thorny legal questions and was criticized by many horsemen’s advocates.

Pena was one of the leading trainers at harness tracks on the Eastern seaboard from 2009 to 2011.


Lmaris More than 1 year ago
His veterinary records show he persistently administered medications within the 48hr window when it is against the rules to give the drugs. So either he broke the medication administration rules on >600 horses, many multiple medications per horse, or his record keeping is in violation of the regulations. Either way, he's dirty as sin and has no place in the sport. Read the report here: http://rulings.racing.ny.gov/searchrulings.detail.php?ID=32276
Vince More than 1 year ago
none of his horses have tested positive...........
Steve More than 1 year ago
If Pena was white nothing would of happened, he's a dark skin mexican and that's the problem...look at Casie Coleman who wascaught with lots of positves...Burke another....Gural is still letting them race at the big m...Gilbert Garcia never had any positive but he's friend of Pena so the big m won't let him race there....this is still white america
John Bowers More than 1 year ago
What you just said is pure BS. Look at whats been done to Dutrow. I agree they are selective in meting out justice in the horse business but color of skin has nothing to do with it. I have been in the Thoroughbred racing business for over forty years and could educate on the what and why of how the justice is being meted out but it would take to long on a post.
Christine Race More than 1 year ago
thank you John...it was Lou himself that started that "it's because I'm brown talk and he should be ashamed of himself for that. If he doesn't want to fess up for all the juggin' - which he did - fine...he has the right to take it to the very end...but to say its because of "the race game" is all bad..and now his peeps follow in suit. Yep-all bad.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Steve, you're either a minority or even worse a white liberal democrat. People like you are constantly whining about racism. Pena was barely cracking 10% in Northern California, went back East and found the right vet and all of a sudden had the Midas Touch. I have no doubt that if Pena was white, you would have no problem with his suspension because deep down, people like you are the most racist of them all. In every single country in the world that is mainly populated by those with darker skin, all of them are 3rd world cesspools. I wonder why that is? Steve, anyway you look at it, people like you are whats destroying this country from the inside out.
Vince More than 1 year ago
mark , aren't you embarrassed to post such drivel..........By your logic a trainer could never improve at his trade............By the way the dry cleaner called , your sheet and hood are ready...........................from a white liberal Democrat who can read
Michael Lawson More than 1 year ago
Easy find a masking agent that allows you to admin legal drugs beyond the withdraw times prior to race day. Option2: Stack legal drugs in amounts just below what would be considered a positive test. Perhaps 10% of one drug does not help but 30 drugs at 10% does.
Justin More than 1 year ago
"None of Pena’s horses had tested positive for any prohibited medications." What exactly does this mean? Were the medications legal but the doses illegal?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
probably timing issue...given too close to a race...alot have withdrawal time limits.
Jason Scofield More than 1 year ago
the medications where legal but they were administered to close to race time but not close enough to show up in post race tests a method used by a lot of leading trainers... the issue is that they have never used vet records to prove this before
Dustin Miller More than 1 year ago
It means that while the medications were not illegal, they were administered too close to race time.
Scott Pratt More than 1 year ago
it is illegal to inject a multitude of medications into horses close to racing. The time period is different for different drugs. It is meant to even the playing fiels. This way a person with lots of resources can not treat a horse close to a race to induce an unnatural performance from him. Not only cheating his fellow competitors but also the betting public.
bill bailey More than 1 year ago
if they were to review all Pena's competitors vet records.... they would find all the same violations and then some.... but the commission did not look at a single other vet record......terrrrrrible injustice
Don Yeazel More than 1 year ago
The medications were given inside illegal time frames but outside the 48 hours to show up in a test. The state back doored Pena by getting his vets records showing it happened over 1700 times. If they did that to everyone, racing would cease to exist.
Lmaris More than 1 year ago
Actually, reading the suspension report shows he administered the medications WITHIN 48 hrs according to his veterinary records, a violation of the regulations, and regularly. Either he has been persistantly violating the mediation regulations or violating regulations on record keeping. And if all harness trainers do the, it is time to close up this sport. Read the report at http://rulings.racing.ny.gov/searchrulings.detail.php?ID=32276