12/01/2014 4:36PM

Trainer De La Torre suspended for 38 months


Quarter Horse trainer Jose De La Torre, who trained the Quarter Horses of the Year in 2012 and 2013, was suspended 38 months and fined $160,000 by the California Horse Racing Board last month for a series of clenbuterol positives over the last six years, the board announced Monday.

The decision was reached by the racing board in a closed session after its monthly public meeting at Del Mar on Nov. 19. The penalty is perhaps the most severe issued by the racing board in its history and was much greater than the two-year suspension and $100,000 fine recommended by a hearing officer earlier this year.

The decision was published by Los Alamitos stewards on Friday and prevents De La Torre from being licensed in any capacity during the term of suspension.

De La Torre, who trained World Champion Running Quarter Horses One Dashing Eagle in 2012 and Last to Fire in 2013, had six positives for clenbuterol at Los Alamitos in 2008 and 2009, resulting in a 60-day suspension and $25,000 in fines. He had an additional four positives in September, October, and November of 2013. As a result, he was told by track officials to vacate his stalls at the end of the 2013 season. In a statement released Monday, the racing board said De La Torre had 13 clenbuterol positives in the state within the last six years.

In December 2013, De La Torre won the Champion of Champions with Last to Fire and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity with Foose Cash Sr on consecutive nights, two weeks before his horses were shipped out of the track.

De La Torre did not immediately return a phone call Monday seeking comment.

In a statement, racing board chairman Chuck Winner said the penalty makes it “very clear that abuse of medication in racehorses in California won’t be tolerated. We will protect not only the health of the horse but the integrity of the sport for all participants. As I have said, play by the rules or suffer strong consequences.”

While De La Torre has been banned, his presence has been felt at Los Alamitos in recent weeks. Seven of his former runners were among the 10 qualifiers for the $972,100 Los Alamitos Super Derby on Nov. 22, all now trained by Eloy Navarro. Three of those runners swept the first three positions, including race winner Foose Cash Sr, who is co-owned by Gustavo De La Torre, Jose’s brother.

Buy Clenbuterol More than 1 year ago
Clenbuterol is very heavy pill, suspension is needed
Ken Wiener More than 1 year ago
Better late than never with a significant suspension. Let's hope (naively) that it is a deterrent for at least some other crooks.
mark More than 1 year ago
Its too bad that these powerful cheaters are allowed to compete and the main reason the sport is viewed by the public as being totally corupt. I just hope for every bad egg like this parriah, there are 10 good ones to undo his damage. How do these guys look into a mirror and feel good about themselves? Obviously money if the answer, and no matter how they attain it is irrelevant. The creep can't be a very good trainer if he has to dope every horse he runs. The solution is LIFETIME BANS to all guys like him. Its the only solution. LIFETIME BANS to the trainer and all involved! Nuff said.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Make it 38 years.They run the horses under another name and the boss gets paid under the table.These fines are a joke.
tommy More than 1 year ago
I would keep the money and not give it to the boss!! Now whose your boss/daddy now lol!!
Chas More than 1 year ago
The only statement this makes is that the CHRB is always late to hand down timely penalties....just look at the end of 2013, when after the positive tests, the track was the one who gave De La Torre until the end of the yr. to move out, but, his horses were still able to race...why? All his horses should have been banned from racing until they were pre-tested to make sure they were clean...De La Torre won two big races at Los Al... Another harsh penalty after the damage has been done...nice going, CHRB...