Prominent North American harness racing trainers believe the New York State Racing Wagering Board (NYSRWB) is being pedantic for last week suspending Lou Pen for nearly 1,700 equine drug violations in nearly 700 races.
They have told Harnesslink the Wagering Board singled Pena out because they had "bigger fish to fry" and this was just a way of getting him.
"He's done nothing wrong except win too many races for their liking. The vets are the professionals and the ones who should know the rules and know the intake levels and deadlines.
"We are horse trainers and we rely on their medical expertise. I don't see how this could be Lou's fault," said one of Canada's top conditioners, Rene Allard of Rene Allard of Saint-Esprit in Quebec.
Former Australian and now prominent New Jersey trainer, Noel Daley believes there should be one nation-wide legislature when it came to vets dosing horses prior to race-day.
"What Lou has done is the same as what every trainer is doing. I think New York just wanted him and got him on this minor technicality.
"In my eyes he's certainly not guilty but there does need to be one vetting law for all. In Pennsylvania for example you can give your horse clenbuterol up to 24 hours before a race,where as New York it's four days," Bordentown-based Daley said.
Although they didn't say it, both Casie Coleman and Rene Allard stopped short of saying Pena had been hard done by.
"I can't see where the charges are. I think if he fights it he should win," Cambridge, Ontario based Coleman said.
Both Coleman (0.455 and Allard (0.415) have a better winning strike rate in 2012 than Pena (0.393), (USTA stats).
All three have already won just over $1 million in stakes each and love competing against each other.
"I have nothing against Lou. All I know is that he is hard to beat. I like competing against the best whether it is a horse, trainer, or driver. He has returned no positive so I'm happy to compete against him," said Allard, who has trained 147 winners this year.
"I'll keep racing him until he's found guilty. I don't know this case well enough but from what I've read I do think it's all a load of bullsh** . I can't see where they are coming from.
"But in saying that I'll take it as a lesson to ensure all our paperwork with the vet is spot on. I think it's important that the labeling is done properly. But that shouldn't be a problem, we have great vets at our stables. We have a really good relationship with them," Coleman the winner of 69 races in 2012, said.
Allard insisted vets needed to take a greater role in safe guarding from further Lou Pena-like situations.
"Horsemen are already very busy training and travelling everywhere with their horses and staff. It's up to the vets to know all the correct dosages and the race regulations but I'm thinking that not every vet know these.
"We have to follow rules and it would be nice if the vets could follow them too and just make some trainers exactly aware of what medication has been given.
"I see this as a medical rather than a Lou Pena problem," Allard said.
Daley also used the bullsh** word when asked his thoughts on Pena's suspension.
"Everything that has occurred has been given via a vet. From what I have read Lou administered nothing.
"Of course it's easier for us not to race him but the man has done nothing wrong except been bullied. If they were consistent there would be hundreds of trainers in the same situation as Lou right now," Daley said.
"All I can say is watch out - it could be you tomorrow," he added.
Meanwhile East Windsor (New Jersey) trainer, Jimmy Takter wanted to steer clear of the Pena controversy.
"I have no comment to make on this subject. I am in the racehorse business and I don't want to jeopardise that,"he said.
By Duane RANGER(editor)