The leading trainer at Philadelphia Park, Jayne Vaders, has had her license revoked indefinitely by the stewards effective May 8 after one of her horses tested positive for acepromazine, generally used in horses as a tranquilizer. Typically, the violation for "ace" might be 15 days and/or a fine. But Vaders has had multiple violations so the stewards used a rule that has been on the books for years, but apparently never used.
"Her license was revoked for multiple violations," said Sam Boulmetis Jr., one of the PhillyPark stewards.
"The rule that he's using says that if you have two violations you shall be ruled off," said Vaders' attorney, Alan Pincus. "It's a rule that's never been used before. If it was enforced, it will end horse racing in Pennsylvania because you'll be throwing half of the trainers off of the track. Either you're enforcing that rule or you're not. If you're saying that you're just taking it out of the scrap heap and using it against my client, then that's wrong."
Acepromazine is what is known as a Class III drug, with Class I being drugs that are generally illegal to possess at the track or anywhere else. Ace is commonly used at the track. It can be used in training, but is not allowed in a horse's system on race day. Sometimes, levels of drugs will stay in a horse's system for longer than a trainer expects. Still, it is the trainer's responsibility to make certain that does not happen.
"If you think it makes sense to take someone's livelihood away for a Class III drug for which you're convicting them of being negligent, not any overt act, you've got to be out of your mind," Pincus said. "You have to distinguish between permissive medication and illegal drugs. It is just something that happens in the course of racing."