Nutshell: Trainer Juan Vazquez, on suspension since November and asked to leave Maryland in the meantime, has three horses scheduled to run in the coming days.
by Frank Vespe
He may be persona non grata in Maryland. But that doesn’t mean Juan C. Vazquez won’t be showing up in an entry box near you.
According to Equibase, Vazquez has three entries in the coming days: two at Charles Town on Wednesday and the third at Parx Racing on Sunday.
Vazquez, the controversial trainer originally from Argentina, had a busy 2014 and early 2015.
Early in the Delaware Park meet, he was arrested and charged with assault after an altercation with rider Trevor McCarthy near the winner’s circle following a race. The stewards hit him with a 90-day suspension in that case.
Later in the year, he appealed a non-disqualification — the stewards let stand the results of a race rather than disqualifying the winner, which would have put his horse up to first — all the way to the Maryland Racing Commission. Only one problem: he neglected to appear for the hearing he sought, resulting in a 15-day suspension and a hefty fine.
Vazquez’s last runner was on November 15, 2014, at Laurel Park. He went on suspension shortly thereafter, and while he was serving his time, his replacement, assistant Hector Garcia, racked up three stanozolol positives and a xylaznine violation in a six-week period of December and January.
At that point, the Maryland Jockey Club, which operates the two so-called mile tracks in Maryland, Laurel and Pimlico, “asked Garcia and Vazquez to leave,” MJC General Manager Sal Sinatra told The Racing Biz.
On Wednesday, Vazquez will saddle Luna Brava (5-2) in a $5,000 claiming event and Richard Croy (7-2) in an alllowance/optional claiming race. The former horse is owned by Vazquez’s own King Star operation, while the latter is owned by Luis Gambotto’s Kera Stable.
On Sunday, he will send out Big Momma in a $25,000 claiming race. She is the property of William Austin.
How is this possible,was he not ruled off or suspended. I thought one state respected the rules of other states in racing
He was ruled off in Maryland, but that’s a house rule – only applies to Maryland. And he served his suspension, so that’s up now.
This is ridiculous!!
There was just an article in the Feb 28th Blood Horse magazine about this very issue. The article talked about why adoption of the multiple medication violation reform program was so important and highlighted the case of Scott Lake, who had multiple violations in several states. The article explained how without the MMV program, trainers who race in multiple states get by relatively unscathed with small fines that are only a fraction of what they earn in purses and how much of a patchwork exists without MMV rules. Behaviors won’t change until horsemen can no longer escape strong penalties by crossing state lines and this can be accomplished by having all racing states make the MMV program a priority.
Thanks for checking in, Diane. What you say is true, but this situation’s a little different b/c Juan has served his suspension. He can’t race in Maryland b/c the track told him to go away, not b/c he is suspended.
“So called mile tracks”?
April – tracks in Maryland have historically (including in state law) been referred to as “mile tracks” or “half-mile tracks,” which basically means full-sized tracks or bull-ring tracks. These days, Laurel and Pimlico are the remaining mile tracks (though they are technically more than a mile around) and Timonium the last half-miler (though it I think is 5/8).