Sadler Fined $15,000, To Serve 15-Day Suspension For Three 2019 Medication Violations

California Horse Racing Board stewards have fined trainer John Sadler $15,000 and suspended him for 60 days, with 45 days of the ban stayed, for three medication violations in April and May 2019.

The ruling, dated Sunday, was the result of a settlement agreement and mutual release between Sadler and the CHRB that stayed 45 days of the suspension provided he has no additional Class 1, 2 or 3 violations during a probationary year that ends June 28, 2021.

Cited were violations of CHRB Rule 1887 (trainer or owner to insure condition of horse) and 1843 (prohibited drug substances: gabapentin and clenbuterol.

The horses that tested positive were Field Bet, fifth as the favorite in a $50,000 maiden claiming race at Santa Anita on April 14, 2019; Jasikan, third in the $100,000 Singletary Stakes at Santa Anita on April 28, 2019; and Sneem, first in a maiden special weight race at Golden Gate Fields on May 10, 2019.

The ruling does not address whether the horses will be disqualified and any purse money won will be redistributed. All three horses were owned by Hronis Racing LLC.

Gabapentin is commonly used to treat shingles or neurologic conditions in humans, but also as an analgesic for pain management for aging horses or those with laminitis. It is classified as Class 3/Penalty B under Association of Racing Commissioners International guidelines. Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator classified by RCI as Class 3/Penalty B. Since the dates of the violations, the CHRB has further tightened use of clenbuterol in horses.

Sadler issued the following statement about the sanctions:

“Trainers are liable for the condition of their horses regardless of the acts of third parties. The imposition of the trainer insurer rule requires only the detection of a prohibited substance in an official sample and identification of the trainer of the horse. The trainer insurer rule is not based on actual administration of a drug or negligent care. Fault is not an element of liability under the trainer insurer rule.

“The incidents covered by the settlement agreement and the penalties imposed under the agreement reflect the fact that these incidents resulted from circumstances beyond my control but which nonetheless are my responsibility. Two of these cases involved the passive transmission by a groom of a medication prescribed for his own medical condition. The other involved detection of a prohibited substance in a horse over which I did not have actual custody or control.

“I want to thank the CHRB for their consideration of the mitigating circumstances underlying these complaints in reaching this agreement. My decision to enter into the settlement agreement was based upon the costs involved in defending against these allegations and recognition of the impact of the trainer insurer rule. Over my 40 years as a trainer, I can unequivocally state that I neither administered nor had knowledge of the administration of any prohibited substance to any of my horses.”

According to, hese are the first medication violations for Sadler since he was fined $500 for a positive test for the Class 4 muscle relaxant dantrolene on Dec. 1, 2017. Prior to that he was fined in 2013 for a flunixin overage and twice in 2011 for methocarbamol violations.

Sadler’s 15-day suspension begins Monday, June 29 and runs through July 13.

A licensed trainer since 1978, Sadler has won 2,551 races from 15,419 starts. His biggest career victory came in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic with Accelerate, who was voted an Eclipse Award as that year’s champion older male racing on dirt.

The post Sadler Fined $15,000, To Serve 15-Day Suspension For Three 2019 Medication Violations appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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