‘Ludicrous’: Miller Unhappy With California Rule That Scratched Wrecking Crew From Arkansas Derby

Rockingham Ranch’s Wrecking Crew was scratched from the first division of Saturday’s Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark., because he remained on the California Horse Racing Board vet’s list for clenbuterol treatment on March 10, three days after finishing fifth in the G2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Peter Miller, the colt’s trainer, said he was unaware of a CHRB rule stating that in order for a horse to be removed from the vet’s list after being prescribed clenbuterol by a veterinarian, the horse must be drug tested to show there is no detectable level of the drug in blood or urine “after a workout to demonstrate its physical fitness.”

Most U.S. racing states honor vet’s lists from other states, just as they do license suspensions.

In October 2018, California regulators adopted a zero tolerance rule for clenbuterol – the strictest in North America. A bronchodilator designed to treat airway obstruction in horses, clenbuterol has come under greater scrutiny in recent years because of widely held beliefs it is being used “off label” by some veterinarians and trainers for its anabolic, muscle building effect. It is banned entirely in Quarter Horse racing, which often uses hair testing to detect the drug.

Earlier this week, Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton announced tighter restrictions on clenbuterol in auction horses.

“It’s ludicrous to have a rule that requires owners to pay to test for a drug that has zero tolerance,” Miller said.

The trainer was also upset that the Oaklawn racing office accepted the entry for Wrecking Crew, even though he said the InCompass software system used by most tracks should have flagged the horse as being on the CHRB vet’s list. Entries for the Arkansas Derby were taken on April 25 and Miller said he was not notified that he would have to scratch Wrecking Crew until April 29, the day after he shipped the colt to Arkansas from Southern California.

“How do they accept the entry?” Miller asked. “They deemed him eligible.”

Efforts to reach the Oaklawn racing office were unsuccessful.

Runner-up in the G2 Best Pal and G1 Del Mar Futurity before a third-place finish in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Wrecking Crew shipped to the United Arab Emirates to run in the G2 UAE Derby on March 28. When that race and all events that were part of the Dubai World Cup program was cancelled because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,the Sky Kingdom colt was returned to Miller’s base at San Luis Rey Downs in California and recorded three workouts in April, most recently six furlongs in 1:11.80 on April 22.

“The horse owners get the short end of the stick, and that’s why we have dwindling numbers,” Miller said. “It’s a dying sport because of self-inflicted wounds like this.

“The horse is magnificent, majestic and wonderful,” he said. “The sport is beautiful, exciting and vibrant. And the industry is in complete disarray.

“I stay in it for the horses and the sport,” he added. “But the industry is driving me out and it’s driving the owners and the gamblers out. It’s very disheartening.”

The post ‘Ludicrous’: Miller Unhappy With California Rule That Scratched Wrecking Crew From Arkansas Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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