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Pena Comments On Infractions, Suspension

Published: May 25, 2012 12:53 pm ET

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Officials around the horse-racing industry and conditioner Lou Pena himself have gone on the record in regard to Thursday's massive announcement about the boatload of drug infractions which have been discovered pertaining to Pena-trained horses.

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board announced on Thursday, May 24 that it had suspended Pena effective immediately and indefinitely after it found that horses under his care were illegally drugged in nearly 700 races in New York State. It was also announced that horses from his stable had amassed roughly than 1,700 equine drug violations.

The violations were not found via post-race testing, but instead by referring to the veterinary records for the horses in question.

“We’ve been looking at ways to ratchet up fines and deal with habitual offenders, and New York may have just given us the answer we have been looking for,” Racing Commissioners International President Edward J. Martin has been quoted as saying in an article by The New York Times.

“This is one of, if not the most, unique and significant cases undertaken by a racing regulator, simply by the sheer number of violations uncovered,” said New York State Racing and Wagering Board Executive Director Ron Ochyrm.

According to the report, Pena stated that he was singled out in the probe. He cited two reasons, his success and his ethnicity, and later went on to indicate that jealousy of his success was another mitigating factor.

“I’m the token brown boy who everyone and their mother wants to talk about,” Pena was quoted as saying. He went on to add, “I’m the No. 1 trainer in the United States,” and also said, “It’s racism, dude.”

(In an effort to consolidate comments on topics, if you would like to comment on the story, please do so here)

(With files from The New York Times)

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