Pearce Handed 1,950-Day Suspension After Six Out-Of-Competition Positives - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Pearce Handed 1,950-Day Suspension After Six Out-Of-Competition Positives

In a ruling dated Aug. 29, officials in Pennsylvania suspended Parx Racing-based trainer Penny Pearce a total of 1,950 days and fined her $23,500 after six of her horses were found positive for clenbuterol on out-of-competition tests (OOCT).

The penalties stem from a June 22 inspection of Pearce's barn at the Bensalem, Pa., track, when samples were pulled from her horses. A search also revealed hypodermic needles, syringes, and unnamed injectable substances, according to the ruling.

The clenbuterol positives came from Mischievous Jones, Musamaha, Relativlea, Call Me GQ, Market Maven, and an unnamed horse.

Pearce claimed Mischievous Jones in the gelding's maiden victory at Parx on June 15 on behalf of JKX Racing. That horse has not run since.

Musamaha was claimed by Pearce on May 25 from a maiden claiming race at Parx, where she finished fourth, and saddled by Pearce in her maiden victory June 28 at Parx. There, Musamaha was claimed by trainer Michael Pino for Bing Cherry Racing.

Relativlea ran for Pearce at Parx on June 11 and then debuted for trainer Bobbi Anne Hawthorne in a claiming race on July 11. Her owner of record for both starts was Edward Ridge.

Call Me GQ won a Parx claiming race for Pearce and owner JKX Racing on June 13, and was then saddled by Hawthorne on behalf of JKX on July 12. By his most recent race — another claimer on Aug. 31 — he was in the barn of Kim Graci.

Market Maven's last start was in last year's Grade 2 Wood Memorial, where Pearce saddled him for owner Gregory Gordon.

Each OOCT positive was assigned a separate and escalating suspension, with the first being 30 days, the second 60 days, etc., since stewards considered that multiple positives were an “aggravating circumstance.” They used the same system for fines for each positive, with the first being assigned a $2,500 fine, the second $5,000 and so on.

Pearce was suspended another 60 days for the presence of the needles, syringes, and injectables.

The suspension is scheduled to begin Sept. 11, 2022, and conclude Jan. 12, 2028. The fines are due on Sept. 11.

Alan Pincus, attorney for Pearce, told the Paulick Report she plans to appeal. Pincus declined further comment.

She will also have the right to request a stay of the suspension while the appeals process plays out.

In June last year, this publication reported that former trainer Ramon Preciado, who had his owner and trainer licenses revoked in Pennsylvania, had been licensed as a groom and was working for Pearce. State stewards ordered Preciado's licenses revoked in December 2016 after one of his runners was positive in a post-race test for clenbuterol. He had multiple positive tests for clenbuterol prior to that. The commission rejected Preciado's application for a stable employee license in 2018, but granted him one in 2021.

Pearce had been on track to log one of her most successful years as a trainer since taking out her license in 2012, with 23 winners from 84 starts thus far, making for a 27% win percentage. In 2021, she finished the year with 23% wins and stable earnings of $1,048,481. Her runners have brought in $738,149 so far this year.

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