Ness Suspended Until March 2023 Over Bufotenine Positive, Files Appeal

Trainer Jamie Ness has been given a six-month suspension by stewards in Pennsylvania after one of his horses tested positive for Bufotenine.

The positive test came from Crabs N Beer, after the horse won the sixth race at Parx on Feb. 23. Crabs N Beer has been disqualified and Ness has also been fined $5,000. The suspension is scheduled to run from Sept. 5 to March 2023. According to his attorney, Drew Mollica, Ness has already begun the appeals process. The ruling, dated Aug. 18, states that the fine is due by Aug. 28 and if not received the suspension begins immediately. It is common for suspension and fine requirements to be stayed while an appeal is pending.

Bufotenine is a a hallucinogen and is a derivative of tryptophan. It was originally constituted from secretions from the skins of frogs and toads, but may also be found in plant material.

Bufotenine is not commercially available in any form, but according to the Association of Racing Commissioners International it is a metabolite of another substance found in some grasses, and has been found in the urine of horses that have eaten grass hay carrying the substance.

In an interview with the Thoroughbred Daily News, Mollica said his client vehemently maintains his innocence and plans to fight the charges all the way.

Ness is leading trainer at Parx this year, where he has a 31 percent win percentage and his 107 wins are more than double his closest pursuer. He ranks third by wins among trainers nationally and was 12th last year.
He has an extensive regulatory history, with 108 separate line items listed in the database Thoroughbred Rulings. (Note: the database includes rulings for clerical errors as well as medication issues, and separate stewards’ actions on the same case often relate in separate line items — i.e., a suspension and later amendment to the same will show up as two items.) He has previously served a suspension for multiple clenbuterol overages and was fined for a TCO2 overage, among other issues.

The post Ness Suspended Until March 2023 Over Bufotenine Positive, Files Appeal appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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