CHRB Charges Richard Baltas With Having 23 Horses Improperly Administered Race-Day Substance - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

CHRB Charges Richard Baltas With Having 23 Horses Improperly Administered Race-Day Substance

Richard Baltas

Trainer Richard Baltas has been charged with 23 counts of violating California Horse Racing Board rules prohibiting administration of race-day substances from April 15 and May 8, 2022. CHRB stewards also cited violations of the absolute insurer and conduct detrimental to horse racing rules in their complaint posted on the CHRB website on Tuesday.

According to the complaint, surveillance videos documented employees of the Baltas stable administering substances to horses on days they were entered to race on 23 occasions. The complaint states the substance was analyzed by the University of California, Davis, which reported the presence of Higenamine and Paeonol.

Higenamine is a dietary supplement that is prohibited in human athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a B2-agonist. It can occur naturally in a Chinese herb. Paeonol is another natural product that has been used in humans to treat inflammation. Neither is on the list of prohibited substances of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, but CHRB rules prohibit the administration of dietary supplements on race day.

Baltas was banned from participating at tracks owned by The Stronach Group after one of his entries, Noble Reflection, was a late stewards scratch on Santa Anita's 10th race on May 8. The CHRB said at the time it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the scratch, presumably by reviewing videos of the Baltas barn captured by one of the 1,000 state-of-the-art surveillance cameras that were installed throughout the Santa Anita stable area in 2016.

Santa Anita's state-of-the-art barn surveillance system

Although the Stronach Group ban was not a regulatory action that prevented Baltas from racing elsewhere, most of the horses from his large stable have been dispersed to other trainers. Since May 8, Baltas has had six starters at Churchill Downs and one at Lone Star Park.

Since taking out his trainer's license in 1991, Baltas, 60, has won 722 races from 4,265 starters for earnings of $43,7 million. He's won seven Grade 1 races among 50 graded stakes throughout his career. At the Santa Anita meet that ended on June 29, Baltas ranked sixth on the trainer standings by races won, with 24 victories from 164 starts despite having no runners at the Arcadia, Calif., track since May 8.

Baltas has been ordered to appear before the board of stewards at Los Alamitos racetrack on July 1 at 10 a.m. PT.

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