Quarter Horse Trainer Bobby Martinez Hit With 34-Year Suspension For Eight Class 1 Violations

Quarter Horse conditioner Bobby R. Martinez, who has trained winners of more than $12.9 million, has been handed a potential 34-year suspension and fines of up to $480,000 after the New Mexico Racing Commission says he had eight positive tests for a Class 1 substance.

The rulings, issued March 31, were all for ostarine, which also goes by the names MK-2866 and enobosarm. Ostarine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in humans or animals and is not considered to have any legitimate purpose in a racehorse. Two of the positives were found post-race, while the rest were in out-of-competition tests.

The tests in question were:

  • FM Dynasty Rock, 10th race on July 5, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Ease Rock, 4th race on July 6, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Lion Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 14, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Bushwacker, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Cowboys Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Loko Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Party Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Tempting Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs

Martinez told Q-Racing, a publication of the American Quarter Horse Association, that he does not deserve such harsh treatment, as he was only serving as a paper trainer for another, unidentified person. Martinez said he never handled the horses, who were all owned by Jose Fabian Hernandez of Jarrell, Tex., himself. An email from the Paulick Report to Martinez’s counsel was unreturned Tuesday, but Martinez told Q-Racing that he was exploring his options to appeal and potentially sue the horses’ ownership.

Martinez has trained since 1991 and has conditioned more than 4,000 starters, including champion Open Me A Corona and world champion Oak Tree Special.

Ostarine falls into the category of SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulator substances) which are not anabolic steroids themselves but operate on androgenic receptors to create similar effects in humans. SARMs were originally developed to combat muscle wasting diseases and osteoporosis but became popular with human body builders. Experts say the metabolites of ostarine would differ in horses versus humans, reducing the chance that a positive test could be caused by a human near the horses taking the substance and corrupting the sample.

Like other designer drugs, ostarine is sold online and shipped with labels indicating it is a “research chemical” to evade restrictions on mailing it.

It wouldn’t be the first time ostarine has been discovered in connection with racehorses. In September 2019, the Emirates Racing Authority issued a press release detailing an inspection of the stables of Rashed Bouresly. Ostarine was among nine substances discovered in Bouresly’s medication room, including a product called Oxy-Gen, which was found to contain strychnine. Bouresly was fined AED 50,000 (roughly $13,612).

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