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

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Northport
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:59 pm

RugbyGirl wrote:
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/
I completely forgot that Bolt D'oro finished 2nd. If anyone is willing to die on this hill, it's probably Mick Ruis.
weeeeeeeee
MySaladDays
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:34 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?
Yeah, amazing that Bloodhorse who I believe knew didn't publish anything at the time when the test came back
Catalina
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:44 pm

It may be a stupid question, but I wonder whether that sort of amount of scopolamine would leave some lasting detrimental effect even after the actual substance had cleared.
stark
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:47 pm

MySaladDays wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:34 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?
Yeah, amazing that Bloodhorse who I believe knew didn't publish anything at the time when the test came back
Anybody else listen to HRRN on the radio today?
BigAnthonyStabile of NYRA fame along with Ed DeRosa from Brisnet......rather than offer up their opinions on either Baffert or the CHRB, their primary area of concern had to do with the author of the story, Joe Drape. They sounded like they had plenty of prior bad experiences over the years with this guy and it generally sounded like they didn't trust him.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
greyhorse
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:00 pm

Somnambulist wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:13 am
So do people still really believe Bayern shouldn't have been DQed. The CHRB deserves to have the State take it over.
YES. I was standing in the box in front of owner Kaleem Shah and his family when the Bayern won, and former CHRB commisioner turned boss of Stronach Corp/Santa Anita (which was a big conflict of interest story), Keith Brackpool, came over and was yelling, jumping up and down and hugging Shah. I can understand a handshake and congratulations, but WTF. From my observations, the stewards were very impartial compared to everything else in racing, but who knows what really went down? Another time, I saw CHRB commissioner David Israel get back from what appeared to be a shopping trip with Bob and Jill and head inside the barn. Current commish Chuck Winner owns horses with Baffert. I bet there's constantly been at least one person on the board with friendly and/or business relations with Baffert. Most of them have all had huge conflicts of interest with horsemen and/or track management. It's so obvious, and in other industries it'd raise a huge eyebrow, but not here.
greyhorse
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:11 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:
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. :(
Not having active participants or relations to participants would be a good start. That would replace a big chunk of it. Maybe have rules they must have been inactive for a certain number of years. I agree some horse and/or racing knowledge is a good thing, but none of this active crap. And I feel like if they had no skin in the game, they wouldn't feel as much pressure to make certain people happy.
greyhorse
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:19 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.
YES. This is the story. Horsemen, Baffert fanboys and media cheerleaders are going on and on about jimsonweed, or the Derby points. I don't give a s*** if the horse never even ran after the SA Derby. The governing board showed themselves to be corrupt, and likely have been for a long time.
KatieK101
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Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:41 pm

Northport wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:59 pm
RugbyGirl wrote:
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/
I completely forgot that Bolt D'oro finished 2nd. If anyone is willing to die on this hill, it's probably Mick Ruis.
Shelbe Ruis has liked or retweeted every scandal related post today. I figured this was coming.
RugbyGirl
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:46 am

Meanwhile a New Zealand trotting stable have scratched all their runners today as a precaution after a drugs positive due to contamination....
IMG_20190913_163214.jpg
Ask me any questions you have about New Zealand and Australia racing
MySaladDays
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:10 am

greyhorse wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:19 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.
YES. This is the story. Horsemen, Baffert fanboys and media cheerleaders are going on and on about jimsonweed, or the Derby points. I don't give a s*** if the horse never even ran after the SA Derby. The governing board showed themselves to be corrupt, and likely have been for a long time.
Instead of realizing that we are standing on a precipice that requires change, we have apologists struggling to maintain the status quo, despite longtime racing fans (many personal acquaintances who have been thoroughly into our sport) walking away.

Others complain about media attacks, yet you cannot expect the media not to practice "same ol same ol" when racing industry keeps also practicing "same ol same ol".

All of this is heartbreaking to me. I feel very let down that I cannot find the passion I once had for this sport because there is no penalty for cheaters, no transparency in the racing boards, no publications that don't just support things the way they are despite its not working, and not even any major changes to address testing and safety, and so many other things.....like total lack of transparency that makes one feel *duped*.

If it's the sport of kings then maybe that is all who will be left because it doesnn't seem to be benefitting anyone else. $8.5 million yearling sold at Keen yesterday...... they have good insurance, and a great tax writeoff if things don't work out.

This is what people point to when they tell me the business is "healthy" Yeah right.
Tessablue
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:27 am

Because it's always a good idea to get really angry when you're trying to fall asleep, I went and read another response by Rick Arthur (from: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... stify-case). In it are even more lies that would sound official to anyone who doesn't have the access and knowledge to read obscure scientfic reviews about the topic. He also says the "easy" decision would have been to disqualify Baffert, and that their (closed doors, secret-until-yesterday) decision "should be praised" for being "courageous." Can a decision be courageous if it's blisteringly defended with half-truths and blatant lies once it's been dragged unwillingly out of secrecy? Just wondering.

Anyways, here's a statement from Arthur:
Arthur said the blood tests also were a factor in him recommending to the commission that a positive not be called.

"Even though the level was relatively high in urine, the blood level was actually quite low," Arthur said. "It basically tells me that anybody that would make a professional opinion based on urine levels should be ashamed of themselves."
Let's look past the emotional and unprofessional language here, and see what the research tells us. Here's a statement from the review discussed in my previous post (Brewer et al. 2014):
It is also advisable to promptly test the urine of other horses in the contact population for the presence of scopolamine and related substances. The samples, however, must be taken in the same manner as the sample in which the scopolamine was originality identified, i.e. usually a urine sample, and must be analyzed at the same level of sensitivity as the original samples. Looking for scopolamine in blood at the same level of sensitivity as a urinary positive is virtually certain to yield a negative and as such a forensically misleading result.
To back this up, previous studies of scopolamine in humans have found that it has a short half life in plasma (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16175141)
Here's another statement from Arthur:
"Scopolamine is a toxin in jimson weed. It comes along with atropine, which is what we saw in a number of these cases as well," Arthur said. "Buscopan can be easily differentiated in the laboratory (from jimson wood contamination) as only scopolamine or atropine is detected—not both. The reality of it is that six of these horses have both scopolamine and atropine in their systems. So they have two different plant alkaloids that are typically found together with jimson weed poisoning."
This is another blatant lie. Two or three of them, actually- Buscopan is a synthetic derivative that is structurally different from scopolamine, which I should hope he's aware of. Moreover, detection of one substance alone does not prove that it was pharmacologically administered, and it's incredibly unlikely that you would ever detect atropine without also detecting scopolamine in the case of contamination. Again from Brewer et al.:
Additionally, if the concentration of scopolamine in the sample is low (<75 ng/mL), then the absence of atropine is unremarkable, and the only administrative action that should be required is (as taken by the Australian regulators) to notify affected or potentially affected horsemen to watch for scopolamine-containing plants and, if possible, to change their fodder/bedding source. Because of the very large between-plant differences in the actual concentrations of atropine and scopolamine, the apparently different oral bioavailabilities of these substances, and the longer plasma or urinary half-life of scopolamine compared to atropine, the failure to detect atropine as a urinary companion to scopolamine in no way allows one to conclude that a finding of scopolamine alone is evidence of administration of pharmacologically pure scopolamine.
Meanwhile, the finding of atropine along with scopolamine does suggest jimsonweed contamination, but it does not rule out intentional treatment. The RMTC (https://rmtcnet.com/harness-rulings-and ... d-rulings/) records five instances of atropine detection among standardbred and thoroughbred racehorses, and notes that it is
RCI Class 3; popular as a pre-anesthetic agent due to its ability to decrease saliva. Used as a respiratory aid for similar reasons.
And finally, Brewer et al. note that there is precedent for the administration of both:
At Colonial Downs in Virginia in 2011 scopolamine and atropine plus other drugs were identified in a single horse, presumably the result of a therapeutic administration.
So, I have some questions:

1. Why does the equine medical director of the CHRB not know these fairly basic facts? If he does know them, then why is he so vehemently misrepresenting them to the wider public? His misrepresentation of scopolamine blood testing, intentional or not, is indefensible.
2. As stated above, the proper thing to do in this sort of situation is to issue a warning to affected parties that contamination is present. So these horses tested positive for multiple plant alkaloids, one horse in particular at a very high level, the board concluded it was accidental poisoning (their words), so they... covered up the information and never mentioned it to anyone, thus allowing the poisoning to continue unabated and indefinitely? What?
3. Only one other horse tested above the legal threshold. How far above the threshold was this second horse? What levels of scopolamine and atropine were found in all of the horses? Did they exceded the legal threshold of atropine as well, or are there even guidlines for atropine in place (and there should be; it's a dangerous substance)? Also, way to tell trainers that they can administed both and automatically have their positive thrown away. Great idea.
4. Arthur says the CHRB "hasn't pursued a scopolamine case since 2007."* What does that mean? How many cases are we talking about? How many horses have tested at 300ng/mL or higher during this time? Are there any patterns among the trainers who consistently test positive for it?
5. Why bother with thresholds at all if they don't matter? Arthur said in the above article, "it's changed. Part of our problem is that with improved drug testing, you can find things at levels you previously couldn't [what a familiar talking point. It's as if I just read it from Baffert's lawyer earlier today]. So you have to put some guidelines in there." Well, there were guidelines. Why don't they matter?
And most importantly, 6. Why drop the case and then quietly change the penalties behind closed doors afterwards. What else happens in those meetings?

*In a delightful twist of irony, this last case was against Hollendorder. The horse in question was, per the rules, DQ'd (https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... amine-case)

I'll just end this post with a tweet from Eric Guillot https://twitter.com/EricGuillot14/statu ... 8328795139:
Nope not the truth I’ve been using this drug for years and know exactly what it does and has properties as anti inflammatory big time [or] they wouldn’t test for it so now my question is can u give it and blame the hay from now on or what?? Realistic question 🤷‍♂️
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Ridan_Remembered
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:58 am

stark wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:47 pm
MySaladDays wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:34 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?
Yeah, amazing that Bloodhorse who I believe knew didn't publish anything at the time when the test came back
Anybody else listen to HRRN on the radio today?
BigAnthonyStabile of NYRA fame along with Ed DeRosa from Brisnet......rather than offer up their opinions on either Baffert or the CHRB, their primary area of concern had to do with the author of the story, Joe Drape. They sounded like they had plenty of prior bad experiences over the years with this guy and it generally sounded like they didn't trust him.
The only problem with the "blame the messenger" viewpoint in this instance is that Justify DID TEST POSITIVE for that drug. He did. Everyone involved acknowledges it, but the Baffert/Justify camp are offering up the lame old excuse that it was in the feed. Yeah...right. Just like I'm the Queen of England...not.
Somnambulist
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:00 am

Who cares if they don't trust him lol. We don't any of these people personally. We can't trust any of them.

Maybe racing should have cared anytime over the past 50 years to improve it's public image and then one NYT story wouldn't look so bad.

Treating fans like they're stupid is silly. A lot of us smelled fished that entire TC trail and were railed for it. But I forgot, sound prey animals visibly limp.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
MySaladDays
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:17 am

I spent time thinking this over.

Lance Armstrong was stripped of his 7 titles. Ben Johnson was stripped of his medals.

This is what needs to happen here.

And, Anyone in CHRB part of this needs to be investigated. Baffert needs to be investigated, and so does his special sauce, which everyone kind knows about anyway since all his horses get Arnold bodies w/in months and I suspect this was just one of the ingredients anyway.

All the money needs to be returned to rightful winners and if Ruis or Catholic Boy (who may have missed the race due to Justify taking up a spot) or anyone else, if they want to bring a lawsuit I would start the Go Fund Me for their legal fees without any hesitation.

Crimes have been committed here. I have no questions.....I prefer to let the reporters, attorney's and judges ask those questions. All these people should be barred from the sport for life.

race fans are used to putting up with so much crap that they just shrug and figure "this is reality". No, it isnt' and doesnt have to be. US racing and any situation like this needs to be turned on it's ear.....more status quo and gentle wrist slaps are not waht is needed here.

I will never put $0.10 into U.S. racing now, but would reconsider if they got a governing body and these and others like them face the full penalty of what they deserve and are no longer welcome in the game.

Without a thorough investigation this will not be resolved and statements and press releases from people who baffert trained horses for who are also involved in the cover up isn't valid. :) the investigation can't come from within the racing industry, it's time the foxes are not allowed to guard the henhouse anymore. Or are we numb to corruption now because it seems to be the norm? That would be a sad place to be!

So yeah, I'm hoping Ruiz and/or others will bring a lawsuit because that is the only way real evidence gets examined and presented and all parties will ahve to do that in a court of law
luvsgeldings
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:51 am

yes I too hope that a lawsuit is filed here in this case - I do not want this thing to be pushed to the side and forgotten - I want to see the CHRB and Baffert investigated - this has been a long time in coming in my opinion.

and no matter what Drape may or may not have done in the past - and what people may or may not think of him.... I am certainly very glad he put this thing out there. the truth of it is, it happened and its long overdue that we are all hearing about it.

people need to know the truth - and while Baffert and the CHRB might think otherwise, no one is bigger than any sport.
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Treve
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:36 am

Mylute wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:03 pm
I too am withholding any stance until everything develops more.
Treve wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:28 pm
The fact that nobody asked, yet Baffert's lawyer felt the need to release a statement speaks volumes.
It doesn't really say anything. You do not have to be "asked" by anybody to give a statement when stories break or an accusation is made. If he hadn't said anything and still hadn't two days from now people would say that "speaks volumes" as well.

EDIT: It is entirely possible that the trace amounts of the drug were caused by feed or plants. Many drugs, poisons, etc. are found naturally in plants, many of which we consume every day. Poppy seeds contain morphine, apples contain arsenic, etc. and it's surprising how easily they can give false drug test readings.
I know you have worked with a backside vet before, but do you have understanding of pharmacology in the way TB does (who if I'm not mistaken, makes her living in the field?) Because if you would you would realise the amounts found in this case are not anywhere near trace amounts, let alone amounts that could come from cross contamination.

As somenoe who works in entertainment, actually, yes from a PR perspective it is a really bad look when you put out a statement, from your lawyer, without being directly asked or obligated to. The most effective PR strategy when a scandal comes up and your client is innocent, is usually to withhold statements and remain uninvolved until it blows over. I didn't see anyone ask for statements from the Baffert camp, not even on twitter - I've seen people asking questions to the CHRB, primarily.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
Tessablue
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:16 pm

Treve wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:36 am
I know you have worked with a backside vet before, but do you have understanding of pharmacology in the way TB does (who if I'm not mistaken, makes her living in the field?) Because if you would you would realise the amounts found in this case are not anywhere near trace amounts, let alone amounts that could come from cross contamination.
For clarity, because I've made a lot of big statements in here, I'm a cell/molecular biologist. Pharmacology is pretty far out of my comfort zone, and I would welcome the input of any veterinarians on here who have additional perspectives on the matter. But the review discussed above is very clear and well-written, and the last author of the review is a very big name in the field of racehorse drug testing and development. So although this isn't an area I have personal research experience in, biology is a shared language, and that review does make it appear that Justify's situation is deeply unusual. There's not a lot of research out there, but what research we have does indicate that a horse needs to eat an unprecedented amount of tainted hay to test at those levels- an amount that would warrant an immediate widespread warning to all horsemen on the grounds.

I also think that regardless of what actually happened to Justify, Arthur's comments are terribly alarming. It's almost unfathomable that a licensed veterinarian would say something like "well the blood didn't show much so maybe the urine test was wrong." I can't overemphasize how shocking that is, especially when you already have a guideline on the drug itself written by somebody Arthur is definitely familiar with. Moreover, the fact that he repeated Baffert's lawyer's talking points almost word-for-word should be deeply troubling to anyone observing this situation.
MySaladDays
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:26 pm

Mylute wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:03 pm
Iit's surprising how easily they can give false drug test readings.
If it's so common and not a big deal, then why did the CHRB engage in a cover up?

They could have just explained this at the time, made the same explanations.

Legally they have violated the Brown Act. The AG will be getting letters.
luvsgeldings
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:50 pm

exactly.... why did the CHRB hide this info and do the closed door meeting crap - if there was nothing wrong, or out of the ordinary - or if this was totally done above board - then this info should have been available and put out there well over a year ago - but no, that is not what happened.
MySaladDays
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Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:02 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:16 pm
For clarity, because I've made a lot of big statements in here, I'm a cell/molecular biologist. Pharmacology is pretty far out of my comfort zone, and I would welcome the input of any veterinarians on here who have additional perspectives on the matter. But the review discussed above is very clear and well-written, and the last author of the review is a very big name in the field of racehorse drug testing and development. So although this isn't an area I have personal research experience in, biology is a shared language, and that review does make it appear that Justify's situation is deeply unusual. There's not a lot of research out there, but what research we have does indicate that a horse needs to eat an unprecedented amount of tainted hay to test at those levels- an amount that would warrant an immediate widespread warning to all horsemen on the grounds.

I also think that regardless of what actually happened to Justify, Arthur's comments are terribly alarming. It's almost unfathomable that a licensed veterinarian would say something like "well the blood didn't show much so maybe the urine test was wrong." I can't overemphasize how shocking that is, especially when you already have a guideline on the drug itself written by somebody Arthur is definitely familiar with. Moreover, the fact that he repeated Baffert's lawyer's talking points almost word-for-word should be deeply troubling to anyone observing this situation.

Just want to say that I got a LOT out of your scientific articles so far. Thank you for explaining everything that you did.
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