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Trainers Vazquez, Garcia banished from Maryland
Maryland Jockey Club officials have notified trainers Hector Garcia and Juan C. Vazquez that they no longer will be able to race at Laurel Park or Pimlico and have given them two weeks to remove their horses from the Pimlico backstretch.
The ban comes in response to four recent medication positives that Garcia has had. Three of the offenses were for the anabolic steroid stanozolol, and the other was for the tranquilizer xylazine. Garcia has been suspended for 13 months, beginning Thursday, for the infractions.
Garcia took over as the trainer of Vazquez’s stable in November when Vazquez began a 90-day suspension for being the instigator in an altercation with jockey Trevor McCarthy near the Delaware Park winner’s circle June 23.
Vazquez, who has 40 stalls at Pimlico, is scheduled to complete his suspension next week.
“Basically, we’ve told Hector and Juan they are no longer welcome here,” said Sal Sinatra, general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “It’s about the integrity of the game. People are betting on these races. Horsemen are running against them. It’s not right.”
Three of the Garcia horses won the races in which they tested positive, and the other horse finished second. Today’s Man, who won at Laurel on Dec. 6; Winning Player, who won Dec. 19; and Conflicting Report, who finished second Jan. 17, tested positive for stanozolol, which can build muscle mass by maintaining a horse’s appetite.
Sherriffs Moon, who won Dec. 26, tested positive for xylazine. Under Maryland’s testing protocols, winners are tested far more often than horses who place, show, or finish out of the money.
According to Maryland Jockey Club officials, the attending veterinarian for the Vazquez/Garcia stable is Kaelynn Moury, Vazquez’s wife.
“There are just too many interruptions with this whole thing,” Sinatra said. “Juan transfers the horses to Hector, who gets the positives, and now Juan will be back from suspension, and the horses would go back under his name.”
Vazquez did not return a Wednesday phone call seeking comment.
Vazquez has had a number of medication violations over the years. He was suspended 21 days in 2012 when three horses he started at Delaware Park tested positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone. He also had a Boldenone positive at Gulfstream Park in 2012.
In 2010, Vazquez had two horses test positive at Philadelphia Park, one for capsaicin, an active ingredient in chili powder, and the other for capsaicin and methylprednisone, a corticosteroid.
Trainers A. Ferris Allen and Scott Lake also were suspended for positive stanazolol tests this week, but no further action will be taken against them, according to Sinatra.
Ferris has been suspended 15 days for his violation. Lake has been suspended 60 days for two positives. In a ruling, the Laurel Park stewards noted that Lake also had a horse test positive for stanozolol in mid-2014 in Pennsylvania.
Sinatra was scheduled to meet with Maryland Jockey Club veterinarians Wednesday to discuss the positives.
“I want them to know that if we have another rash of positives, we may ask the vets involved to leave,” Sinatra said.
BAN THEM. They are just going to go to another track and do the same thing.
THROW THE BUMS OUT! FOR GOOD! And the vet he's married to. Duh! Oh! I know. I know nothing! What a crock from a bunch of crooks. These people will render horseracing extinct along with the Dodo and honesty. GREED will win out and horseracing will lose. Mark my words, there is no need to keep letting these malcontents back into racing. Make them flip burgers or clean out porta potties, but get rid of them.( Nothing wrong with either of those jobs, but the point is those people CANNOT work in the sport) One strike and you're out. The sport would clean up quickly and maybe the fans would come back.
I see Sal has a new twist on positives since being at Parx! Remember the McCaslin / Vaders / Autwater saga? Maryland won't tolerate Parx games! Good for them!
Just to add a little insight into horse racing and all these drug charges. 99.99% of the time that these trainers get caught with a horse that is on a med that is not legal or over the limit. Has NOTHING to do with race fixing. It is just trying the trainer trying to take advantage of every option he/she can. Just like all of the human sports. If you ever wanted to change the outcome of a race for gambling reasons. You make sure the favorite(s) get beat and bet on the long shots in the exotics. This is something the general public never thinks about. No matter how much is done to get a hose to win, there is always a chance it will not happen. But it is pretty easy to get the favorite to finish off the board. Just saying...
While this sounds like a serious punishment for serious infractions, many many trainers get bad tests all the time with a relative slap on the wrist for punishment. Do you think Steve Asmussen minds a $1000 fine once in awhile when his horses are winning tens of thousands every week? Just a costs of doing business. And if he gets suspended, he simply puts the horses in the assistant's name and they go on without skipping a beat. Some will use their spouse's name as trainer. The tracks and racing secretaries have a dilemma from the conflict of interests that they don't like the cheating, but they need the cheating trainer's horses to fill races at the same time. From what I understand, Japan has figured all this out. Seems we could adopt some of their rules and processes. Unfortunately, the powers that be in the U.S. racing world are the same people that do whatever and use whomever they can to win.
this is equivalent to scraping off the 1st layer of hrs**t knowing you still have to walk through a gigantic field of it!
Eric you are right with most of what you posted. It is a business. But w/o bettor confidence the game is done. And thats whats happening. Ask 100 bettors if they thinks its honest? You will get over 95 no's.
This type of cracking down comes from Tim Ritvo coming in to lay the law down, he deserves a great deal of credit trying to restore Maryland racings expectations.
Not sure why so many people are missing the point and keep saying that they are stealing from the bettors. First do they think they have never won a race with a doped up horse. Second do they not realize that the same gets paid out to the bettors no matter who wins. Sounds like people are just making excuses for why they lose. The only people who can claim they are stealing money out of their pockets is the other horsemen who do it cleanly and assume the competition is as well. The reral point of all this is how Maryland a smaller struggling circuit can stand up and enforce the rules when the larger tracks who can afford to wont. Well done Maryland. hopefully more people will recognize your efforts and help your struggling circuit out and then you could lower your takeouts.
I don't how people keep saying they are stealing money from the bettors. Do they think they have never bet on a horse who was doped up. Or is it okay when their horse wins. Either way the same percentage of money goes out to horseplayers. The only people they would be stealing from is the other horsemen. Who are following the rules and assuming others are as well. So instead of making excuses and blaming others for why they lost at the track. Why not do as so many others have and stand up and applaud Maryland for taking a stand. Its sad when small struggling circuits will stand up for whats right yet the larger tracks wont.