On Tuesday, the California Horse Racing Board announced that it had begun releasing to the public all complaints involving class four and five drug violations, including one mentioning Breeders' Cup Classic contender Higher Power, trained by John Sadler. Previously, the board had released only higher-level complaints.
The complaints all are alleged violations prior to hearing and had not been heard at the time of complaint.
The CHRB said the change in policy is a result of “increased emphasis on all medication violations in horse racing.” The change also made public previous complaints, including seven from 2020. Information on one of the complaints, involving Bob Baffert, can be found here.
The alleged violations all carry category C penalties, which include a minimum fine of $500, maximum of $1,000 on first offense.
The complaints involve four Thoroughbreds:
• Higher Power, trained by John Sadler, tested positive on Aug. 10 at Del Mar for phenylbutazone. The complaint carries a level four violation with a category C penalty. A request for a split sample by Sadler was honored, and the second test confirmed the results.
• Miss Indefatigable, trained by Blaine Wright, tested positive on Sept. 7 at Golden Gate Fields for hydroxydantrolene, a muscle relaxant. The complaint carries a level four violation and category C penalty. Miss Indefatigable finished first in the seventh race at Del Mar on Sept. 7.
• Run Like Kona, trained by Robert Hess Jr., tested positive at Del Mar on Sept. 5 for scopolamine, which is used to treat gastrointestinal problems. The complaint carries a level four violation and category C penalty. Run Like Kona finished second in the seventh race at Del Mar on Sept. 5.
• Expensive Devon, trained by Rosemary Trela tested positive on Sept. 19 at Los Alamitos for phenylbutazone, a pain reliever. The complaint carries a level four violation with a category C penalty.