The California Horse Racing Board has filed medication complaints against trainers Ron McAnally and Richard Mandella, two members of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame who have rarely been cited for violations throughout their careers.
McAnally was notified of a positive test for the Class 1 drug 7-Carboxy-Cannabidiol in Roses and Candy, winner of the third race at Del Mar on Nov. 22, 2020. A split sample confirmed the presence of the substance and a complaint filed on Monday.
Better known as CBD – and marketed widely for a variety of health benefits to humans – Cannabidiol is found in a number of equine products, including tincture oil, pellets, liniment spray and poultices. While it is believed to work as an anti-inflammatory there is limited research on the possible benefits of CBD in horses and its use remains controversial. Because it is not included in the CHRB’s classification list of drugs, it becomes a Class 1/Penalty Class A by default, according to CHRB spokesman Mike Marten. The Association of Racing Commissioners International lists Cannabidiol as a Class 2/Penalty Category B substance.
According to a report in Daily Racing Form, jockey Geovanni Franco, who rode Roses and Candy to victory Nov. 22, admitted to McAnally assistant Dan Landers that he used a product containing CBD the day of the race.
Marten said a proposed rule change to make Cannabidiol a Class 3/Penalty Category B drug is currently out for public comment and CHRB executive director Scott Chaney and investigators will recommend that stewards treat the alleged infraction as a Class 3 violation. It would still result in the disqualification of the horse, Marten added.
The 88-year-old McAnally has not been sanctioned for any medication violations in California since 1998, Marten said. According to www.thoroughbredrulings.com, McAnally received a warning for a positive test for the Class D drug Cimetidine in Kentucky in 2009.
The CHRB filed a complaint against Mandella on May 7 after Jolie Olimpica – third in the Grade 3 San Simeon Stakes on March 13, 2021 – was found in a post-race sample to have 6.1 ng/ml of the Class 4/Penalty Category C drug methocarbamol – a muscle relaxant. A split sample confirmed the presence of the drug.
Mandella was fined $500 in January 2018 after two anti-inflammatories were found in a post-race sample – his most recent violation. He was also fined $500 for a methocarbamol positive in 2011.
Stewards hearings will be scheduled for both trainers.
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