The New York State Racing and Wagering Board, after a comprehensive and ground-breaking investigation with assistance from racing officials from New Jersey, has suspended harness racing trainer Luis (Lou) Pena immediately and indefinitely for illegally drugging horses in nearly 700 races in New York State and amassing more than 1,700 equine drug violations.
In addition to the immediate suspension, Pena faces a possible revocation of his license to participate in New York State and substantial fines (up to $25,000 per violation). The Board's overall investigation into the matter is ongoing and further actions, including the recovery of more than $2.5 million in purse monies won with horses that were illegally drugged and possible rule changes regarding access and disclosure of veterinary records, are possible.
Pena regularly raced horses between New York while stabling them in New Jersey. New York formed a partnership with New Jersey which allowed for a joint review of veterinarian records. This collaboration between the two state racing agencies led the Racing and Wagering Board to take this unprecedented action. The investigation determined that Pena amassed a total of 1,719 equine drug violations in 675 races between January 2010 and April 2012.
"I applaud and thank NJRC Executive Director Frank Zanzuccki and the entire Racing Commission for partnering with New York State on this important investigation and look forward to continuing the collaboration to bring increased integrity and accountability to horse racing," said Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John D. Sabini.
Pena's drug violations from 2010 to present included a litany of substances, most of which were administered to horses outside the permitted timeframe as set forth by Board rules.
A hearing into the matter has been scheduled for May 30.
He has been suspended on the following 15 charges:
1) Fraud and Misrepresentation.
) Adrenocorticotropic (ACTH), hormone.
) Betamethasone (Celestone), steroid.
) Clenbuterol (Ventipulman).
) Cromolyn Sodium, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID).
) Fircoxib, NSAID.
) Flumethasone, Steroid.
) Glycopyyplate (Robinul).
) Gonadorelin or GnRH (factrel) hormone.
0) Hyaluronic Acid derivative.
1) Joint injection of steroid (Celestone).
2) Joint injection of steroid (Cortistone).
3) Levothyroxine, hormone.
4) Methocarbamol (eg: Robaxin)
5) Magnesium Sulfate (Mag).
BY THE NEW YORK STATE RACING AND WAGERING BOARD