Saturday, February 7, 2009

License revoked from Philadelphia Park trainer


by Frank Angst

A court ruling will force Philadelphia Park’s leading trainer to stop racing Thoroughbreds there.

On January 9, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission order to revoke Jayne Vaders’ license. The April 16, 2008, commission order followed a steward’s ruling to revoke the license.

Vaders took her case to court, contending her due process rights were violated because the commission failed to turn over documents related to the charges against her, failed to allow the introduction of mitigating evidence, selectively applied a rule to her, and redistributed purse money without first conducting a hearing.

Granted a stay to train while her case was being heard, Vaders was leading the Philadelphia Park trainer standings through February 2 with 15 victories. She has not saddled a horse since January 21.

The case dates back to 2006, when stewards met with Vaders to warn her that her horses had so many positive drug tests that one more positive test would result in her license being revoked.

On February 4, 2007, Vaders’ horse Fourteentwentyone tested positive for Promazine Sulfoxide and Acepromazine. Acepromazine is a Class III drug used as a therapeutic drug and Promazine Sulfoxide is a metabolite of Acepromazine. The stewards then revoked Vaders’ license.

The court determined the commission acted properly, noting that discovery is not made available in administrative hearings and they found no evidence that the commission failed to provide any mitigating evidence. The court said Vaders’ attorney only made informal requests for documents relating to her case.

One of the stewards said the reason Vaders was the first person to have a rule addressing multiple drug offenses as grounds for license forfeiture is because the trainer reached uncharted territory in terms of drug positives.

A steward testified that Vaders had five or six positives from 2003-’07 before the sit-down warning. The steward testified that they had never previously enforced the license rule because, “they never had a trainer or owner with as many violations as Vaders.”

Fourteentwentyone won the February 4 claiming race by 4¾ lengths at odds of 2.30-to-1. In his previous start, which also was his first start for Vaders after a claim, Fourteentwentyone finished sixth, 24¼ lengths behind the winner at odds of 17.40-to-1.