The current rule allows trainers to transfer responsibility to another person when they’re not at the track on race day. It was meant to give them a way to run their horses when they were sick, for example.
But the commission’s executive director, Vince Mares, tells the Albuquerque Journal that the rule is being abused.
Mares says the biggest problem is with trainers whose licenses are sanctioned and put the horse in a family member’s name.
The New Mexico Horsemen’s Association says the rule needs to be preserved because of overlapping live race meets.
This debate comes on the heels of a number of incidents affecting the state’s horse racing industry, including positive tests of illegal drugs in horses which ran in trials for the Ruidoso Futurity and Derby at Ruidoso Downs this year.
Four trainers – Carl Draper, John Bassett, Jeffrey Reed and Carlos Sedillo – were accused of using illegal drugs like dermorphin, ractopamine and stanozolol to help their horses win.
The commission likely will consider the change at its Aug. 23 meeting.