De La Torre Suspended

Trainer suspended for three years-plus.

CHRB Press Release

The California Horse Racing Board has issued an unprecedented 38-month suspension and $160,000 fine to a licensee who committed 13 serious medication rule violations within the last six years.

A hearing officer originally recommended a two-year suspension and $100,000 fine, but after reviewing the record, the Board substantially increased the penalty to trainer Jose P. De La Torre.

The decision came down after De La Torre was found in violation of CHRB medication rules four times with Quarter Horses racing in the fall of 2013 at Los Alamitos. De La Torre had nine previously adjudicated violations for the same drug, the bronchodialator Clenbuterol, within the last six years.

"Jose De La Torre is hereby suspended for a consecutive period of three (3) years and sixty (60) days and fined a total sum of one hundred and sixty thousand ($160,000) dollars," ruled the Board during a closed session November 19. The 38-month suspension is the most severe penalty issued by the Board in recent history, perhaps ever.

The Board instructed the Los Alamitos stewards to issue the actual ruling and set the dates for the suspension and payment of the fine. The stewards issued the ruling Friday ordering the suspension to begin immediately. As a consequence, De La Torre is deemed unfit to be licensed as an owner or in any other capacity during the same period.

"The Board is making it very clear that abuse of medication in racehorses in California won't be tolerated," said CHRB Chairman Chuck Winner. "We will protect not only the health of the horse but the integrity of the sport for all participants. As I have said, play by the rules or suffer strong consequences."

All four of the 2013 violations stemmed from positive tests for Clenbuterol found by the Maddy Laboratory at UC-Davis. These violations involved Zoomdasher, which finished second in the ninth race on September 29; Carlota (first in the eighth race October 25); Walked Away (first in the ninth race November 24); and Harrisburg (first in the 13th race November 24). In all cases, the stewards disqualified those horses and ordered the redistribution of the purses.

The two related decisions adopted by the Board can be found on the CHRB website or by clicking here.

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