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Appellate Court Rules In Favour Of Pena

Published: November 8, 2016 4:51 pm ET

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Last week, an appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court ruled in favour of suspended trainer Lou Pena in his legal fight against the New York State Gaming Commission. In its ruling, the appellate court overturned the three-year suspension that the conditioner was serving.

The ruling is the latest development in the years-long situation between Pena and the NYSGC. The ordeal has seen rulings, appeals, and reversals.

The appellate-division court released its memorandum and judgment on the situation last week. The USTA recently touched base with the NYSGC in regard to the ruling, and the gaming commission conveyed that it would not be imminently issuing a press release in regard to the situation.

In the spring of 2015, the gaming commission announced that it was holding Pena responsible for 1,700 equine drug violations, even though none of Pena’s horses had produced a positive test. The commission issued a $343,400 fine and three-year ban as a result of its findings.

In 2012, the gaming commission (formerly the Racing and Wagering Board) took action against Pena after a comprehensive investigation of veterinary records determined that he was responsible for racing illegally drugged harness horses between January 2010 and April 2012. The original hearing and notice detailing all of Pena’s violations, including a list of all the violations by horse, drug, administration date, race date and track can be found here.

Pena had been out of the limelight since the gaming commission’s actions, but he recently made headlines due to a situation that led to the scratching of a horse during the meet of live harness racing at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio.

In its response to the situation, the Ohio State Racing Commission issued $1,000 fines to trainer Matias Ruiz and veterinarian Dr. Louis Bauslaugh for their part in what led to the scratching of I Said Diamonds from the Jugette for three-year-old filly pacers on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Delaware, Ohio.

The morning before the Jugette, Dr. Bauslaugh was in the Jugette Barn stall of I Said Diamonds administering treatment, joined by Lou Pena, who currently does not hold a race license in any jurisdiction and is not licensed by the U.S. Trotting Association. The pair were in the stall prior to the prescribed time, thus the OSRC sanctioned Bauslaugh for conducting "yourself in a manner that was detrimental to the sport of horse racing by injecting and administering IV fluids to the horse I Said Diamonds during the time frame not allowable by detention barn rules and was not granted permission by the security staff to do so. Furthermore you allowed an unlicensed person to assist you with an injectable device."

(With files from the OSRC, the USTA and the New York State Supreme Court)


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