Emirates Racing Authority Fines Trainer, Issues Disqualification Over Levamisole Positive - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Emirates Racing Authority Fines Trainer, Issues Disqualification Over Levamisole Positive

Trainer Kahlil de Burca has been fined AED 40,000, or about US$10,890, after the Emirates Racing Authority confirmed a positive test for levamisole in his trainee Augustus Caesar. The horse, which finished 12th in the “Dubai Real Estate Centre Handicap” at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Feb. 12, 2022, has been disqualified.

Levamisole has been in the United States' racing news several times in recent years.

The 108-1 longshot winner of the G3 Turf Monster Stakes at Parx Racing on Sept. 25, Hollywood Talent, was found to have tested positive for levamisole, and was subsequently disqualified; his trainer, Juan Vazquez, was issued a 30-day suspension and $1,000 fine.

(Read more about Juan Vazquez' suspension here.)

A total of 8 horses conditioned by Joe Sharp tested positive for levamisole in Louisiana in 2020, for which the horses were disqualified and he was fined $1,000 each; a further five trainees tested positive for levamisole in Kentucky in 2019 and were disqualified, though Kentucky wound up vacating the sanctions against the trainer (this did not affect the disqualifications).

(Read more about Joe Sharp's levamisole rulings here.)

According to the ERA stewards' report, the following matters were established during their inquiry:

1. On Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, ERA Stewards were advised of the irregularity to Levamisole in respect to the post-race urine sample taken from Augustus Caesar at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022.

2. On Tuesday, March 1, 2022, the ERA Stewards informed de Burca via a visit to his stables at Green Stables at Meydan Racecourse of the sample irregularity to Augustus Caesar. De Burca advised that all his horses are routinely treated with Levamisole after they travel, however he had stopped using the product on all his horses after his horse Are You Dumb had an adverse reaction to Levamisole and required treatment at the Dubai Equine Hospital on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. Further, Stewards took samples from de Burca's four (4) horses located at Green Stable, which included Augustus Caesar.

3. On Tuesday, March 1, 2022, de Burca advised that he wished to exercise his right to have the reserve portion of the sample analyzed by another accredited racing laboratory in accordance with ERA Rule 95D(ii).

4. On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the ERA Stewards received confirmation from LCH Laboratory, France, that the presence of Levamisole was detected in the reserve urine sample of Augustus Caesar.

5. On Friday, March 8, 2022, the ERA Stewards were advised from the Dubai Equine Forensic Unit that the samples taken from the day of notification (March 1), did not contain Levamisole.

6. De Burca advised that on investigation the bottles of Levamisole provided in the UAE had a larger concentration than the product that he uses in Europe. As a result, he had overdosed his horses when You Are Dumb was admitted to the Dubai Equine Hospital.

7. Dr. Kieran Finn (ERA Regulatory Veterinarian) advised that Levamisole is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic drug used to control/treat internal parasites in animals and has been used in human and veterinary medicine for over 30 years. (“Another major characteristic ascribed to this drug is its immunostimulatory effects” (Miwa et al 1978)). Levamisole when found in a race-day sample is considered to be a prohibited substance. The ERA advised de Burca to use a five (5) clear day withholding period and was further advised that it is considered to be an unregistered drug in the UAE. Levamisole is metabolized into several metabolites within the horse, one in particular “aminorex.” The ERA would classify Levamisole as a therapeutic substance. Dr. Finn added that if Augustus Caesar stopped receiving Levamisole on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, the drug should have no longer been present in the sample taken on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

De Burca pleaded guilty to a charge under the provisions of ERA Rule 95AAA 2, in that he presented and raced Augustus Caesar in Race 3 the “Dubai Real Estate Handicap” at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, which was subsequently found, upon analysis of a post-race urine sample, to have had Levamisole administered to it, a prohibited substance under the ERA Rules of Racing.

In determining an appropriate penalty, the Stewards considered a number of factors including:
• The circumstances of the offence;
• The seriousness of the offence, involving the presentation of Levamisole in a race-day sample;
• General and specific deterrence;
• The integrity and image of racing in the UAE;
• Mr. K de Burca's guilty plea.

Considering these circumstances, Mr. K de Burca was issued a fine of United Arab Emirates Dirham 40,000, or about US$10,890.

Pursuant to ERA 86(ii), Augustus Caesar was disqualified from 12th place of Race 3 the “Dubai Real Estate Centre Handicap” at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, and the placings amended.

Mr. K de Burca was advised of his rights of appeal.

Relevant Rules:
ERA 86(ii) – Where any declared runner has been the subject of an examination under the Rules 8(vi) and or (vii) and has been found to have received a Prohibited Substances, the Horse shall be disqualified from the Race and from other Races as the ERA determines.

ERA Rule 95AAA 2 – Any Trainer or other Person in charge of a Horse, which is presented to Race or perform a Test, or has Raced or performed a Test which is found (upon analysis) to have had administered to it a Prohibited Substance, shall be liable to a Penalty.

ERA Rules 95D(ii) – Upon the detection by an Accredited Racing Laboratory of a Prohibited Substance in the Sample from a Horse, such laboratory shall notify its finding to the Stewards, who shall then notify the Trainer of the Horse of such finding and give him the option to have the reserve portion of the Sample Tested at another ERA-approved Accredited Racing Laboratory. The Trainer will have 3 days to notify the Stewards of such requirement. A refusal by the Trainer to Test the reserve portion of the Sample shall not prevent the Stewards from having the reserve portion of the Sample Tested.

Stewards Panel:
• Mr. Sam Shinsky (Chairman), Mr. Taylor Wilson, and Mr. Rashid Alblooshi.

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