All American Futurity Winner Tests Positive After QH Trial, Then Runs Second In Derby At Remington Park

Mr Jess Jenkins, winner of the Grade 1 2019 All American Futurity, finished second in the Oklahoma Bred Derby at Remington Park on April 18, and not everyone was happy about it.

Following the 3-year-old’s performance in an April 5 trial for the Derby, trainer Marcos Carrizales and co-owners Jose E. Guzman and Rito Sosa were notified a urine sample from the horse had come back positive for 13 picograms/ml of clenbuterol, violating the Oklahoma rules of racing. Following the notification on April 16, the rules dictated Carrizales be summarily suspended and Mr Jess Jenkins be scratched from the Derby. Possible penalties for the drug violation included suspending the horse for 180 days, suspending Carrizales for one year and fining Carrizales up to $10,000.

Carrizales requested a split sample test be sent to another laboratory for confirmation testing.

On April 17, Carrizales and Guzman filed a petition for a temporary restraining order, as well as temporary and permanent injunctions against the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission to put a halt to the summary suspension and allow the horse, who had the fastest qualifying time in the Derby trials, to run.

A temporary restraining order was granted by Oklahoma County District Judge Don Andrews at 3 p.m. CT April 17. Andrews ordered the Oklahoma Board of Stewards to appear in court May 19 to discuss the temporary injunction. In the meantime, Andrews wrote, Carrizales and Guzman could not face sanctions on their licenses for the drug positive and Mr Jess Jenkins could not be barred from the entry box.

“That the restraint imposed hereunder by this Temporary Restraining Order is intended to, and hereby does, extend to any prevention of, obstacle to and/or denial of entry to any of the horses trained or owned by Plaintiffs, as well as any disqualification of any horses of Plaintiff, from any race in which they have been entered to run,” the order read in part.

On April 18, Mr Jess Jenkins collected $45,679 as runner-up in the Remington Park Oklahoma Bred Derby, while elsewhere on the card Carrizales-trained Eye Work for You won the Remington Park Oklahoma Bred Futurity, taking home $356,760 as the winner.

If that wasn’t enough to frustrate Carrizales’ competitors, the petition filed by attorney Carl Hughes on behalf of Carrizales and Guzman may be.

Hughes presented the argument, made by many other horsemen’s attorneys through the years, that the commission could not impose sanctions on his clients until the case had played out completely – that they were entitled to their due process, which they could not get without a hearing and a split sample test. Judge Andrews agreed with this argument.

However, Hughes further argued, “It would be impossible for a horse to test positive for clenbuterol and then pass a hair test the very next day.”

Not so fast, one drug testing expert says.

After his performance in the Derby trial, blood and urine samples were pulled on Mr Jess Jenkins. A hair sample was taken from the horse the day before the trial. Hughes claimed that if clenbuterol was found in the horse’s urine, it must be found in the horse’s hair.

But according to Dr. Rick Sams, former laboratory director for LGC Sport Science in Lexington, Ky., hair testing isn’t somehow more stringent than urine testing – its usefulness to a regulator is its ability to find a substance over a much longer period of time than blood or urine.

“A single dose of clenbuterol is readily detected in blood and urine but is reportedly not detected in hair so a single dose (or possibly a limited number of doses) could be given without the hair ever testing positive for clenbuterol,” Sams said.

Horse hair grows about one centimeter per month. When a substance enters the horse’s bloodstream, it comes into contact with the hair’s roots, and gradually works its way inside the hair shaft out from the root. Thus, if hair was cut for testing or in some way removed without the root, a recent dose of clenbuterol would probably not show up in hair testing – which is why hair testing is often done in conjunction with urine and blood testing.

There are other possibilities, too.

“Hair testing is not uniform from one laboratory to another, an issue that I find unacceptable despite pleas from me and others to standardize,” Sams said. “The reason that a laboratory might fail to detect clenbuterol that is present in a sample is that clenbuterol is tightly bound to melanin in the center of the hair shaft. The extracting solvent must be able to penetrate through the hair and interfere with the binding between clenbuterol and melanin if the clenbuterol is going to be detected.”

The petition for the temporary restraining order also contains discrepancies with Mr Jess Jenkins’ race record in Equibase. For one thing, it states that on April 5, Mr Jess Jenkins was entered in a trial race for the Remington Park Futurity. But trials for the Remington Park Futurity took place April 3 and 4, and Mr. Jess Jenkins couldn’t have qualified anyway – he is three years old, and the Futurity was open only to 2-year-olds.

“The expected purse for that race [referring to the Futurity] is estimated to be $891,000,” the complaint read.

Instead, Mr Jess Jenkins was vying for a spot in the Remington Park Oklahoma Bred Derby, which was worth $268,700.

The complaint also seems to incorrectly state Carrizales’ name at one point, as well as the dates on which Hughes reached out to stewards (the complaint suggests he did so on Jan. 17, despite the events in question occurring in April).

“If the suspension is finalized the horse cannot participate in any races anywhere for 180 days and Mr. Flores is subject to a $10,000 fine plus being suspended from being a horse trainer for up to one year,” it reads just a few paragraphs after naming Carrizales and Guzman as the plaintiffs.

There is no one by the last name of Flores named anywhere else in the petition, though the horse’s regular jockey is named James A. Flores.

Mr Jess Jenkins is the most successful runner for Carrizales, who began training in 2018 and won the Grade 1 All American Futurity and Grade 2 Southwest Juvenile Invitational Championship. Carrizales is also the trainer of Mi Amor Secreto, who won the Grade 1 Downs At Albuquerque Quarter Horse Championship and, earlier this year, the Grade 2 Bank of American Challenge Championship Stakes. In 2019, he ranked third in the American Quarter Horse Association trainer standings by money won and second in 2020.

Mr Jess Jenkins was previously trained by R.L. “Rick” Robinson, father to veterinarian Dr. Justin Robinson, who was recently indicted on eight charges of influencing a race outcome in Bexar County District Court in Texas. R.L. “Rick” Robinson was summarily suspended in Oklahoma last September for at least eight positive tests for albuterol. Robinson was honored earlier this year by the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association as the leading Quarter Horse trainer of 2019 at Remington Park and Fair Meadows. Robinson ranked third in the AQHA trainer standings in 2019 for races won.

The post All American Futurity Winner Tests Positive After QH Trial, Then Runs Second In Derby At Remington Park appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.