NM Racing Commission passes tougher horse racing guidelines
Print This Post
New rules are in place; let’s see what kind of effect they’ll have.
On Thursday (June 21), the New Mexico Racing Commission – as expected — unanimously adopted horse racing guidelines in accordance with the nationally-recognized Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) in the hopes of establishing clearer standards and helping to track down unscrupulous horse trainers and owners.
“It’s going to give us and the stewards uniformity on how to apply penalties,” agency director Vince Mares said. “One of the issues [the commission has been criticized for in the past] has been the inconsistency of enforcement. What we’re hoping to do is now these [rules] have been adopted and once they get implemented we’ll have uniformity … and I think in the long run, it’s actually going to fair for anybody who has some sanctions against them.”
New Mexico horse racing came under withering criticism in a New York Times exposé back in March, declaring the state to be the most dangerous in the country regarding on-track injuries. The commission and horse racing officials disagreed with the methodology of the Times analysis but acknowledged there are serious problems in New Mexico that need to be addressed.
The ARCI guideines “provide for much tougher penalties on most of the drugs [used on horses] and I think this is a good day for New Mexico,” commission chairman Rob Doughty told Capitol Report New Mexico after the vote.
In yet another New York Times article that came out earlier this week, a number of horses in New Mexico and as many as three other states have come back with tentative positive tests showing they had traces of dermorphin in their system. Dermorphin is a painkiller that is considered more powerful than morphine that some trainers have been suspected to giving to horses to run hard, through injuries. It’s called “frog juice” because dermorphin comes from the skin from the backs of a type of South American frog.
Officials at the racing commission say a California lab has found dermorphin in six postrace tests from New Meixco and that more positive results could be coming.
“You see this in the Olympics, in bicycling, in swimming,” Doughty said. “New drugs are being developed and we’re having a hard time getting the capability to test for it … Hopefully other [testing] labs can figure this out. We’re trying to stay one step ahead of what new secret drug is going to be developed.”
On top of all that, last week federal agents descended on horse racing facilities, including Ruidoso Downs, as part of a massive roundup by the Department of Justice to nab what it says is a multi-million dollar laundering ring by the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel by purchasing, breeding and racing quarterhorses.
Authorities say that José Treviño Morales, a horse racing owner and a Mexican resident, is the brother of Los Zetas leader Miguel Angel Treviño Morales and that together with another brother named Oscar Omar Treviño Morales worked together to launder drug money in New Mexico, Oklahoma, California and Texas and allege the gang used “front” companies to conceal and disguise the true ownership of the quarterhorses.
Mares said Thursday he couldn’t comment on the federal investigation but Doughty said, “I’m proud that early on we were asked to be involved in the [FBI] investigation and Vince helped them out and did a good job … Hopefully that sends a message that that kind of behavior is not going to tolerated in New Mexico.”
Since the raids, the El Paso Times reported that informants say that Jose Treviño bragged that he had fixed the All-American Futurity run at Ruidoso Downs back in 2010 but track officials said earlier this week there are no merits to the claim.
Posted under Capitol Report.
Tags: All American Futurity, ARCI, Association of Racing Commissioners International, Capito Report New Mexico, dermorphin, El Paso Times, New Mexico Racing Commission, New York Times, Rod Doughty, Vince Mares
One Comment For This Post So Far
Black Caviar puts perfection on the line against 14 foes – Lexington Herald Leader | Global Sports Insiders
[...] the use of drugs in the state's horse racing industry and to impose tougher penalties …NM Racing Commission passes tougher horse racing guidelinesNew Mexico WatchdogNew Mexico Racing Commission approves new regulations …The RepublicNM [...]