In addition, he has informed the New Mexico Racing Commission and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez that he will work to get other tracks to implant the same strict guidelines.
“I have been in the horse racing business for more than 50 years and I love the horses and the sport,” Hubbard said. “I will not idly stand by and watch a few mistreat these great animals and ruin the great sport of horse racing. Consequently, I have informed the New Mexico Racing Commission and the Governor of our intentions for the 2013 race season.”
The new guidelines will be that any positive test for a Class 1 or Class 2 drug will result immediately in the trainer having his stalls revoked and his or her ability to enter horses suspended as well. They will be banned from the grounds. These guidelines will be included in the stall application which trainers sign when applying for stalls.
“The race track provides stalls to trainers rent free and we pay all the utilities associated with them as well as the cost of removal of waste,” Hubbard said. “Most people do not realize that having stalls at a track is a privilege and not a right.
Consequently, anyone who abuses these great animals and this wonderful sport are not welcome at Ruidoso Downs Race Track.
The new rules come as test results from trials to the All American Derby and Futurity have been released. According to Vince Mares, director for the New Mexico Racing Commission, there were high levels of Albuterol and caffeine found.
By themselves, the substances are not illegal in race horses, the only concern was the levels in which they were found.
Additionally, Mares stated previous positive findings of Class 1 and Class 2 drugs in horses which ran trials to this year’s Ruidoso Futurity and Derby were upheld by second opinion tests which were guaranteed by due process.
With those tests coming back positive, Mares said the Commission can begin prosecution of those cases in earnest.
“This should not be a burdensome rule to anyone because there is no need for a Class 1 or Class 2 drug to be anywhere near these horses. We recognize that the majority of trainers are quality and trustworthy horsemen and it is just a few who have abused the system. This guideline will give all other owners and trainers as well as the fans the assurance that horses are all running with an equal opportunity.”
Hubbard did not stop there. “I have already spoken with Dr. Ed Allred (owner of Los Alamitos Race Course in southern California) and he fully supports this guideline and is going to institute it there as well,” Hubbard continued. “Furthermore, I am personally going to seek the agreement of the other tracks in New Mexico as well as Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana to join us in this effort.”
Executive Vice President Don Treadway of the nearly 300,000 member strong American Quarter Horse Association offered his support as well. “We very pleased to see this action taken by Ruidoso Downs and will do everything we can to take a leadership role in implanting this and other strong guidelines against illegal drug users in all areas of the country.”
Ruidoso Downs Race Track has been a strong supporter of active steps the New Mexico Racing Commission has already taken in cracking down on the illegal use of Class 1 and Class 2 drugs. It worked collectively with the Racing Commission to find one of the few laboratories in the country (University of California-Davis) able to detect the designer drugs that a few horsemen were using on Memorial Day weekend, the opening of the 2012 race season at Ruidoso. That enhanced testing resulted in multiple bad tests on opening weekend.
“The good news is that since May 26, there has not been one positive test for a Class 1 drug and only two high caffeine tests,” Hubbard said. “I believe everyone got the message and now are playing by the rules. This new guideline will be one more step in our effort to work with the Commission to clean house on anyone using illegal drugs. Everyone will have had plenty of notice that the sign is out that drug offenders are not welcome at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and in New Mexico.”