Southern California-based trainers Peter Miller and Carla Gaines have each been fined $1,000 and ordered to serve a seven-day suspension after horses in their care tested positive for the tranquilizer acepromazine, according to the public disclosures section of the website for the Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU), the enforcement arm of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA).
Three of Miller’s trainees tested positive after racing at Santa Anita Park in early June. Each has been disqualified with purse money ordered returned.
- Forgiving Spirit tested positive after finishing second in an allowance optional claiming race at Santa Anita on June 11. A claim on the horse was voided.
- Anmer Hall tested positive after finishing first in a claiming race at Santa Anita on June 4; the horse was claimed by Steve Knapp. The claim may be voided under HISA rules, unless the new connections opt to keep the horse; Anmer Hall breezed once at Santa Anita on June 22, but has not started since that June 4 race.
- Giver Not A Taker tested positive after finishing fourth in an allowance optional claiming race on June 4 at Santa Anita. The horse has since finished third in an allowance optional race at Los Al, second in the Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar, and fifth in an allowance optional race at Del Mar.
Miller’s seven-day suspension began on Sept. 16, 2023. The trainer was also assessed two Penalty Points, the accumulation of which can lead to suspensions (6-7 points leads to a 30-day suspension).
Gaines’ trainee Summer Lake tested positive for acepromazine after a vet’s list workout at Santa Anita on July 14. The 4-year-old daughter of Lakerville made two starts in April and May of 2022 for trainer Blake Heap; her best finish was a fourth in a maiden special weight event at Santa Anita. Summer Lake resumed workouts in April of 2023, and is not currently listed on the California Horse Racing Board vet’s list.
The seven-day suspension for Gaines began on Sept. 16, 2023. She was also assessed two Penalty Points.
As a reminder: HIWU’s regulations for vet’s list workouts include stricter medication restrictions than those for horses completing routine timed workouts. Horses on the veterinarian’s list are required to complete a recorded work before a veterinarian and undergo post-race drug testing to be taken off the list. Horses completing routine, non-vet’s list workouts are prohibited from having analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids, and local anesthetics in their system, but other therapeutic medications are permitted.