Horses Test Positive for Class 1 Drug in Texas, Judge Rejects Request to Block Summary Suspensions
Speedhorse Update, August 3, 2017--Trainers Judd Kearl, Jose Sanchez and Brian Stroud face fines and suspensions for Class 1 drug violations at Texas tracks after receiving notification from the Texas Racing Commission (TRC) on July 21 for positive tests at Sam Houston and/or Retama Park involving the human antidepressant Nomifensine.
Public hearings for Sanchez and Stroud were scheduled for August 2, and Kearl’s hearing was scheduled for August 3, but the hearings have been postponed.
According to attorney Darrell Vienna, who is representing Kearl and Sanchez, “My clients have neither knowledge of or have administered or instructed for it to be administered the substance in question.”
To summarize the events to date, Texas Racing Commission stewards on July 31 issued immediate summary suspensions for the three trainers, and then legal counsel for Kearl and Sanchez asked for a temporary restraining order to stay the suspensions. A spokesperson for the TRC verified that a judge from the 53rd District Court of the State of Texas on Aug. 2 denied their request and that both Kearl and Sanchez remain suspended.
The TRC spokesperson also stated that any of the horses entered by these trainers at Retama Park this weekend will likely be scratched unless the trainers can find relief elsewhere.
Since summary suspensions in one jurisdiction are honored in other racing states, Ruidoso Downs president and general manager Shaun Hubbard confirmed that barns occupied by Kearl’s horses at the track have been vacated and that Sanchez had never applied for any stalls at the track. “Those horses have either dispersed to other trainers or have been removed from the property,” Hubbard said when contacted by Speedhorse. Hubbard also said the track has increased security measures, is closely watching what is happening, and is happy that both the Texas and New Mexico racing commissions are staying on top of the situation.