Day At The Track

Excessive cobalt in Breeders Crown winner

12:00 AM 10 Jan 2015 NZDT
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Cobalt stimulates the production of erythropoietin (EPO)
Cobalt stimulates the production of erythropoietin (EPO)

East Rutherford, NJ (January 9th) - The following statement was issued today by management at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

As a result of out-of-competition testing performed on horses that participated in The Breeders Crown, unfortunately it has been revealed from the testing lab in Hong Kong that the two horses trained by Corey Johnson, Traceur Hanover and Voelz Hanover, contained five times the threshold level of cobalt typically found in a horse's system.

Traceur Hanover was victorious in the Two Year Old Colt and Gelding Pace, while Voelz Hanover was unplaced in the Older Mare Pace. There are still several samples taken from Breeders Crown participants that were sent to Hong Kong that we are awaiting the results.

As a result, Mr. Gural has advised the owner of these horses, Richard Berthiaume, that by electing not to remove his horses from the Corey Johnson stable when Mr. Johnson's license was suspended, all horses owned by Mr. Berthiaume are now unable to participate at The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs.

The Meadowlands has notified The Hambletonian Society of these findings through its President, Tom Charters as well as the New Jersey Racing Commission through Executive Director Frank Zanzuccki.

We have also informed Corey Johnson and his assistant trainer that they will be unable to participate at The Meadowlands indefinitely. While the Hambletonian Society and the New Jersey Racing Commission wanted to scratch both horses from The Breeders Crown Finals due to the fact that Mr. Johnsons' license was suspended, unfortunately due to a controlling court case brought previously by the owners of Crys Dream, the Assistant Attorney General would not allow any action to be taken until a hearing was scheduled. Due to the timing of the suspension shortly before the Breeders Crown Finals, a hearing would have been impossible.

It is our hope that by making the owners responsible as well as the trainers, it will send a message to others in the industry that they should think twice before using a trainer who has been suspended in another jurisdiction.

In addition, we are currently investigating a matter involving trainer Doug Lewis in regards to an incident from the weekend of December 27th. Horses trained by Doug Lewis will be unable to participate at The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs until the investigation is complete.

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