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Cobalt Violations Announced

Published: January 9, 2015 2:36 pm ET

Last Comment: January 15, 2015 4:34 pm ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Friday, January 9, officials with the Meadowlands Racetrack announced that a pair of horses trained by Corey Johnson that participated in the Breeders Crown at the East Rutherford, New Jersey track this past November have tested positive for cobalt levels that were five times the threshold level typically found in a horse’s system.

Via release, the Meadowlands announced that the findings were made at a testing lab located in Hong Kong. The Meadowlands has stated that the testing lab determined that Johnson trainees Traceur Hanover and Voelz Hanover were the horses that contained the elevated cobalt levels. Traceur Hanover was victorious in the Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace, while Voelz Hanover finished ninth in the Older Mare Pace

Meadowlands officials have announced that, as a result, Jeff Gural has advised Richard Berthiaume, the owner of Traceur Hanover and Voelz Hanover, that by electing not to remove his horses from the Corey Johnson stable when Johnson’s license was suspended, all horses owned by Berthiaume are now unable to participate at the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs.

The Meadowlands release also states that officials at the track have also informed Johnson that he will be unable to participate at the Meadowlands indefinitely.

Additionally, the Meadowlands also announced in its release that it is currently investigating a matter involving trainer Doug Lewis. The release states that the investigation is in regard to an incident from the weekend of December 27. The release states that horses trained by Doug Lewis will be unable to participate at the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs until the investigation is complete.

The contents of the release from the Meadowlands appear below.


Meadowlands’ Statement on Corey Johnson Using Excessive Cobalt

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. Johnson's 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.


January 15, 2015 - 4:34 pmI was looking up some

Al Morrison SAID...

I was looking up some information about CalExpo Harness Racing in Sacramento California and noticed that their website contains their written policy regarding the use of Cobalt. It states that any horse testing over 25 parts per billion (ppb)of cobalt in serum will be placed on the Veterinarian's List and will not be able to enter until the level drops below 25 ppb.

In addition, all horses in the care of a trainer with an excessive cobalt test will be tested at that trainers expense for 30 days. The cobalt sampling is to be conducted by either the CHRB official Veterinarian or his/her designee. The analysis for cobalt levels will be conducted at University of California,Davis.

Perhaps Canada could level the playing field by adopting something similar here.

January 12, 2015 - 3:41 pmInformation to the betting

jeff batucan SAID...

Information to the betting public...
from
http://www.smh.com.au/sport/horseracing/racing-struggling-to-counter-new...

Cobolt enhances performance in horses. Cobalt chloride makes the body believe that it is not receiving enough oxygen, which results in the body producing more EPO, the hormone responsible for controlling red blood cell production.

"A harness racing official said that one horse 'went around the track like a new Learjet' after being treated with cobalt chloride."

January 10, 2015 - 2:26 pmRight on Mr Bush.Ontario

Ted Decker SAID...

Right on Mr Bush.Ontario needs to adopt thought rules for those achieving positive tests.Positive test.....find a new career. No exceptions.

January 10, 2015 - 2:05 pmAll those who are surprised,

Rob MacKay SAID...

All those who are surprised, raise their hands...

January 10, 2015 - 10:31 amCobalt has been a scourge on

chris bush SAID...

Cobalt has been a scourge on the industry for years. Again, the industry is lucky to have a true visionary like Mr Gural for taking on the tough subjects that have been previously ignored. The bureaucracies should have put more effort into these enhancers instead of the therapeutic ones whose withdrawal times now have become so ridiculous that, in effect, have put the horses health and safety more at risk, and has done next to nothing for the integrity of racing. Its the performance enhancers that are industry killers.

January 9, 2015 - 11:32 pmRandy fife says I hope

randy fife SAID...

Randy fife says I hope someone from our neck of the woods see this article maybe they don't test the way Meadowlands do in ontario

January 9, 2015 - 7:39 pmGood for the management at

Ted Decker SAID...

Good for the management at the Meadowlands for denying Johnson's horses the ability to race at its track. Someone is finally doing something to protect the public.


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