08/28/2016 7:50PM

Trainer Hector Palma fined, suspended by Del Mar stewards


DEL MAR, Calif. - Trainer Hector Palma has been fined $3,000 and suspended seven days after one of his starters tested in excess of the permitted level of the tranquilizer acepromazine at Santa Anita in May, according to a ruling issued on Sunday by Del Mar stewards.

Palma, 79, was suspended 30 days, but 23 days of the suspension have been stayed provided Palma is in compliance with the terms of a stipulated agreement with the California Horse Racing Board for a one-year probationary period through Aug. 28, 2017. Palma will serve his seven-day suspension from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2.

During the probationary period, Palma cannot have any positives of medications in classes 1, 2, or 3. Acepromazine is a class 3 medication.

The overage was found in a post-race urine test taken from Legal Authority, who finished second in the fourth race at Santa Anita on May 8; it was a maiden race at a mile on turf.

Legal Authority was found to have 208 nanograms of the medication. Tests in excess of 10 nanograms are considered a violation.

Legal Authority earned $11,200 for finishing second, and was disqualified from the purse, according to a ruling issued at Santa Anita in early July. The purse was redistributed to the original third- through sixth-place finishers - Bombard, Oso, Dreamy Martini and Specimen – who were each promoted one position.

During the seven-day suspension, Palma is denied access to racetracks.

Legal Authority finished last of 10 in his only subsequent start, the second race on June 4 at Santa Anita.

:: Enjoy news and analysis from DRF? Get handicapping analysis, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.


Jim Fields 4 months ago
I'm not going to berate you gamblers, who deserve a fair shot in your gambling, but, ace, is used primarily by horsemen, in any form, to quiet a nervous horse.  This practice is used, when shipping a horse from the farm to the track, it's used when shoeing a horse that is afraid when being shod, it's used when breaking a frightened baby, it's used when getting a horse used to the starting gate, it's used when loading a nervous horse into a horse trailer, and for many other legitimate reasons.  The problem is, how long it will stay in the blood stream or the urine.  Example: Shoeing a nervous filly before she races for the first time, and they need to give her 2 cc of ace, but they forget that she is going to run in three days, caught for overage!!!  This happens in 90% of these overages of many different types of meds.  It aint always an honest mistake, but in 90% of the time, it is.
Nathan 4 months ago

of course the horse finished 10th next out.

had to race with the legal limit.

Mark W. 5 months ago
Dementia may be prevalent when you exceed limits by 2,000%, in my opinion.
mark 5 months ago
who cares 
u mean the humane treatment of animal pain is denounced
how dare they
let the trainers train
Gaye Goodwin 5 months ago
 it is not "humane" to mask pain for a race.
let idiots remain silent
Frank 5 months ago
You are an idiot - To bad we cant do the same to you and this idiot trainer.  

Ray Sousa 5 months ago
I guess he thought they would not test for second. 208 when only 10 allowed ,
Gaye Goodwin 5 months ago
Or A C Avila is giving him pointers ...