Baltas Serving 15 Day Clenbuterol Ban Through May 17

POSTED ON  |  17-05-2020

Trainer Richard Baltas began serving a 15-day suspension on May 3 for a clenbuterol positive in Velvet Queen, first-place finisher of the third race at Santa Anita on Jan 31, according to a report in Daily Racing Form. A complaint from the California Horse Racing Board states that Velvet Queen was found to have between 15 and 20 picograms per milliliter of clenbuterol by the Maddy Laboratory at the University of California-Davis. A split sample confirmed the presence of the drug.

The CHRB adopted rules prohibiting clenbuterol – a bronchodilator – at any level.

Baltas told Daily Racing Form Velvet Queen was given the drug in error and that it was intended for another horse in his barn. “I take full responsibility for the mistake,” he is quoted as saying.

Another Baltas runner, Proverb, was placed on the CHRB vet's list for clenbuterol administration on Jan. 22. CHRB rules require that any horse prescribed clenbuterol be placed on the vet's list and is ineligible to race until a test sample shows no presence of the drug following a workout.

The stipulated agreement calls for a 30-day suspension and $3,000 fine, with 15 days of the suspension stayed provided Baltas has no additional Class 1, 2 or 3 violations during a probationary period, according to the Racing Form. Clenbuterol is a Class 3 drug and B Penalty under CHRB rules.

The suspension began one day after the close of the Oaklawn meet, where Baltas won four races in 20 starts. It runs through May 17, meaning Baltas will effectively be suspended three racing days in California, should Santa Anita reopen as planned on May 15. Santa Anita last raced on March 22.

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