LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After more than 40 hours of testimony over a three-month period, five trainers have been fined $500 apiece and one has been fined $750 for running horses at Santa Anita and Los Alamitos that tested positive for scopolamine, a prohibited drug.
Thoroughbred trainers Ron McAnally, Willard Proctor, Mark Hennig and Lewis Cenicola, and harness trainer James Grundy were each fined $500 by the California Horse Racing Board, and Richard Mandella, who had two thoroughbreds that tested positive, was fined $750.
Stewards Ingrid Fermin, Darrel McHargue and Dave Samuel, who issued the rulings, also ordered that the horses' purse money be redistributed. The biggest purse change affected Hennig's horse, Lady Blessington, who won the Buena Vista Handicap in February. The winner's share of $66,300 has been transferred to Skimble, the second-place finisher.
Attorney Richard Craigo, who represents Team Valor, the owner of Lady Blessington, and Robert Clay, another horse owner, said his clients would appeal the rulings and ask for a rehearing. Attorneys for the trainers could not be reached for comment, but some of them are also expected to appeal, according to Craigo.
Roy Wood, executive director of the racing board, declined comment.
Compared to penalties in other states and based on other rulings in California, the rulings appear light. A year ago, Gary Jones, a prominent trainer, was barred for 30 days after one of his horses tested positive for a narcotic painkiller. Jones said that he had not drugged the horse.
Besides Lady Blessington, the horses trained by Mandella, McAnally and Grundy won their races. The horses trained by Proctor and Cenicola finished second.
A hearing for trainer Bill Shoemaker, who ran a horse at Santa Anita in April that tested positive for scopolamine, has not been completed.