Article in New York Times states Justify failed a drug test before the Derby

Somnambulist
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:07 pm

This is not going to bring about any change, unless it prompts further government control.
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Somnambulist
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:13 pm

luvsgeldings wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:58 pm
by the way, Justify seemed to have a lot of big time owners buying in on the horse - right before the KY Derby - did they all know about this failed drug test?


the only one I feel sorry for in this whole thing, is Justify - that poor horse - it really just makes me sick for him.
The PRC bought into him. That PRC is on display at Belmont forever literally kills me.
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Curtis
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:29 pm

Charlie wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:01 pm
For all the talk we made about various horses winning the TC with an asterisk, will Justify be the first to actually get that *.
If it turns out to be irrefutable that Justify was aided in the Santa Anita Derby by the said PED, I would imagine and advocate his DQ from the KY Derby. As far as the other two legs, as long as he tested clean post race, he should stay up as points are not an issue for those two races.

I understand that the “tainted feed” defense is good old fashioned lawyering but to me it doesn’t matter how the PED got there, it’s there and it shouldn’t be gray area. I know that one of the reasons for the gray area is the possibility of sabotage, however the eradication of cancer often causes severe side effects.
BaroqueAgain1
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:39 pm

Re: the CHRB: I understand why these 'conflicts of interest' are considered a problem, but....
If there is a board that will affect how my sport is officiated, I know I'd prefer to have people on that board who are well-informed and intimately familiar with my sport.
Where do you find qualified people for the CHRB who AREN'T former owners, trainers, breeders, etc.? I could see restricting the board to those who don't have current financial involvement, but I still think that we might not find many qualified folks who fit those parameters...and who WANT to work on the board. And who have the knowledge AND the nerve to stand up to outside pressure. :(
luvsgeldings
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:46 pm

so it got into the horse's feed somehow (according to the baff camp) - from bad straw - - baff has such a big barn with so many horses, if it did come from bad straw, wouldn't more of his horses have ingested it also. seems odd to me. only this one horse. I must be missing something.
stark
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:56 pm

Good news for some!
Belinda Stronach is hiring.
Preferred candidates will have their minds already made up with strong opinions.
Respect for the judicial system is NOT a requirement.
Just be prepared to deny some parties stall space and access to the entry box.
She's already taken down a King, this should be a piece of cake.
What a wonderful world we could live in, just follow Belinda's lead.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Tessablue
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:57 pm

Having read Baffert's lawyer's response, I'm afraid there's not much room for generous intepretation left. Here's what might be the most egregious part:
Fourth, your article neglects to mention the miniscule levels at issue with JUSTIFY. You report an alleged finding of 300 nanograms. What you fail to inform the reader is that one nanogram is a billionth of a gram. This is one of the problems with modern day testing. It has become so sensitive that we can now detect trace amounts of substances that are only consistent with environmental contamination - not intential administration - and clearly have no pharmocological effect on a thousand pound animal.
I have some spare time, so let's count the lies, shall we?

1. The finding was 300ng/mL, NOT 300ng total.
2. 300ng/mL is not a trace amount. The legal limit in California is 75ng/mL, and it is 30ng/mL in Europe. This is consistent with studies examining the levels of scopalomine associated with environmental contamination in equine feed.
3. There are drugs that are effective at picogram concentrations, let alone nanogram. I've found very little information about scopolamine dosages in horses, but either way, the statement is a lie.
4. Higher sensitivity of drug testing is not a problem. Unless you're using those drugs, I suppose.

In addition, I want to share some quotes from the research article that has been circulating (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24440440)
A study by Galey et al. (1996) reported that ingestion of 6.5 g of Datura plant material by horses resulted in peak urine concentrations of scopolamine approaching 100 ng/mL with no clinical symptoms.
6.5g is a lot of plant material. Note here that it still only "approaches" a level 1/3rd that of which was found in Justify.

The study also states that the scopolamine cluster detection in 1994- the one involving multiple trainers- was a "minute" amount between 15 and 47ng/mL. It also cites several research studies which administered scopolamine orally over multiple days and found maximum concentrations of 100ng/mL.

Some more:
The Louisiana 75 ng/mL regulatory threshold is consistent with what concentration data are available for naturally occurring scopolamine identifications and with the Respondek et al. (2006) administration data. This threshold is of the same order as the Asian Screening Limit of 25 ng/mL for the closely related therapeutic compound, n-butylscopolamine (Tobin et al., 2012). We note that the lack of quantitative data for naturally occurring scopolamine identifications is in large part due to the reluctance of racing chemists and regulators to make (or reveal) any good faith estimates of the concentrations of scopolamine and atropine in post-race urine samples.
With respect to interpretation of the forensic significance of urinary scopolamine findings, it appears that low concentrations of scopolamine, i.e., less than the 75 ng/mL Louisiana regulatory threshold, are forensically unremarkable and fully consistent with an environmental source (Galey et al., 1996), given the worldwide distribution of scopolamine-containing plants.
If, as has occurred in many of the events listed in Table 4, there is more than one horse and/or trainer involved in scopolamine findings (as is often the case in Thoroughbred racing) then the probability that the event is an innocent inadvertent environmental contamination becomes overwhelming.
In other words: if, as was reported, the concentration was 300ng/mL and he was the only Baffert horse to test positive within this span, the options for innocence narrow quite a bit. In lieu of this supplemental information, one must ask: why all the lies?

I don't want to take away from the fact that the CHRB's systemic actions were the root scandal here, however. I'm just hoping that if we can get past the intial Baffert sticking point (you're still allowed to like his horses even if he drugs them, I promise), we can start discussing the real issue here: trainers who are too big to fail, and the legislative bodies that capitulate to and cover for them.

Oh, I also want to point out that there's no way Rick Arthur doesn't know all of the above information. The fact that he knows it and still came out to say- without any hesitation or qualification- that it was the result of contamination says all you need to know.
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Diver52
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:45 pm

Let me say this again. The CHRB found that Justify was the winner of the SA Derby and this entitled to the points. So you all want Kentucky to say "Oh, we disagree, so we're going to DQ him (even if there is no mechanism for retroactively recalculating points) and declare a new winner.". What's to stop California from deciding that Chad Brown's payroll issues deserve punishment and retroactively disqualifying his CA runners? Attack the CHRB by all means, but don't encourage states to second guess each other (especially without all the evidence). Or do you want California to declare that Maximum Security is the" real" winner of the KD?
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luvsgeldings
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:57 pm

if he had the drug in his system, should he have been DQ'd from winning the santa anita derby then? and if he was DQ'd from the santa anita derby, did he have enough points without that win to make it into the KY Derby field?

are there any horses in California who tested positive for this drug, and who were then DQ'd from their placements in races here?

curious.
Catalina
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:09 pm

Excellent summary, Tessablue. Isn't the CHRB accountable to anybody? It would be nice if there were somebody. If the amount really was 300 nanograms per milliliter, that's not just a wee bit of jimson weed making it into Justify's hay ration. That's apparently a multiple of the previously posted limit.
Catalina
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:16 pm

luvsgeldings wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:57 pm
if he had the drug in his system, should he have been DQ'd from winning the santa anita derby then? and if he was DQ'd from the santa anita derby, did he have enough points without that win to make it into the KY Derby field?

are there any horses in California who tested positive for this drug, and who were then DQ'd from their placements in races here?

curious.
Apparently so. Scroll up a ways to the message from Coronado's Quest.
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ThreeMustangs
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:32 pm

I am a little surprised as to how long they were able to keep this information covered up. Wonder who tipped Drape off?
luvsgeldings
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:37 pm

thanks Catalina.... I did just read the post with that info on the other horse's DQ's -- my fault for missing it - but got it now - and thank you!!!
Somnambulist
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:41 pm

Cali government now has the authority to outrank the CHRB and can suspend racing at SA as Cali Gov sees fit, right?

The BC still wants it's marque event in this cluster of a state?
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stark
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:27 pm

Nobody has more power in California than Belinda "judge'njury" Stronach.
She just might deny stall space, wouldn't that be something!

Sincerely,
Jerry H.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
MySaladDays
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:39 pm

luvsgeldings wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:57 pm
if he had the drug in his system, should he have been DQ'd from winning the santa anita derby then? and if he was DQ'd from the santa anita derby, did he have enough points without that win to make it into the KY Derby field?

are there any horses in California who tested positive for this drug, and who were then DQ'd from their placements in races here?

curious.
Yes. I thought I already posted this.
It happened to McAnally and Mandella many years ago. Both horses were DQed entirely from the race and striipped of titles.

Of course, they didn't have the CHRB changing the rules after-the-fact in their case.
MySaladDays
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:46 pm

ThreeMustangs wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:32 pm
I am a little surprised as to how long they were able to keep this information covered up. Wonder who tipped Drape off?
This is easy. Plenty of people, like the lowly ones who muck stalls not just in Cali but in other places.

they will tell you things like how baffert doesn't bed on straw, that he uses shavings in some places, and stuff like that.

(I imagine that many trainers who took "CHRB's warning that jimson weed had been found in bedding straw, and because the weed can contain scopolamine" to heart back in 2016, so that BS that bloodhorse article wrote may not necessarily imply. If you're using shavings, you are not getting jimson weed........so maybe he was using straw.......sometimes he uses shavings. )

Justify's test was 4x the threshold. This speaks to more than casual environmental contamination. Plus we have a trainer who has already been known to administer some rather strange substances (thryro-L) so my feeling now is that the horse was *dosed*. If and when a situation goes to a court of law, every detail is examined, including every detail of a horse's medical record, and many people who are just lowly backside workers are put into depositions. And lab experts will tell IF 4x the threshold is possilbe with just laying on some straw, etc.

When you are in these type of barns before the level of qual races like for the KY derby, there's a HECK OF A LOT of extreme vigilance taking place on the backside, as regards feed, any supplements in the feed, the hay (and c'mon, baffert barn isn't receiving "cheap hay").......every detail is vigilantly gone over.

Nevertheless, the chrb acted to hide information, then did closed sessions, changed rules after the fact, and other levels of high impropriety.

And if this goes to a court of law, as we have found with cases involving human atheletes, passing a test (like in TC races) doesn't mean you're clean. If that were true, people wouldn't work so hard at circumventing tests. Many human athletes have been stripped of titles, DQed and/or suspended despite "testing clean" because a lot of other evidence was brought to bear.
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Starine
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:15 pm

MySaladDays wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:46 pm
Nevertheless, the chrb acted to hide information, then did closed sessions, changed rules after the fact, and other levels of high impropriety.
This will be the hardest to explain away.
MySaladDays
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:26 pm

Starine wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:15 pm
MySaladDays wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:46 pm
Nevertheless, the chrb acted to hide information, then did closed sessions, changed rules after the fact, and other levels of high impropriety.
This will be the hardest to explain away.
IT's a slap in the face to every person in the industry who works hard every day to do things right, when we don't go after cheaters and bad guys who bring great disrespect to the sport, when most people don't deserve to end up in a disrespected line of work. Think about that.

We have to support the good people, and that cannot be done if we have a trainer who is too big to fail and a board who breaks laws in order to protect them.

Also, the KY Derby is a race you have to earn your way into. Not a race you get "cheated into" by CHRB and Dr. Arthur.


I would love to see this go to a court of law. The level of every detail of this horse's medical history, and every testimony of even the lowliest worker who came in contact with him would be investigated. Experts would testify on that 4x threshold level because that's way too high for casual environmental contamination. Just look at the nets that hold the hay.....that jimson weed tastes awful, and there would have had to be a whole lot in there, and horse would have poked mouth thru net and eaten what tasted good and let the rest drop. They aren't stupid and lapping up bitter-tasting morsels out of a hay net.

There's just so much here to me that is completely impossible to overcome. And, if a proper investigation was done, it would all come out.

Unfortunately most of that probably will not happen.
RugbyGirl
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:57 pm

The first lawsuit is being considered by the trainer of the runner up
https://www.courier-journal.com/story/s ... 303812001/
Ask me any questions you have about New Zealand and Australia racing
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