UPDATED: Trainer Brad Cox Suspended 10 Days, Fined $1,500 For 2021 Bute Overage - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

UPDATED: Trainer Brad Cox Suspended 10 Days, Fined $1,500 For 2021 Bute Overage

(Editor's Note: Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stewards on May 20 posted a corrected ruling 22-0069, stating that trainer Brad Cox was fined $1,500, not $500 as ordered in the original ruling.)

Reigning champion trainer Brad Cox will serve a 10 day suspension from May 23, 2022, through June 1, 2022 (inclusive), according to a ruling from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission dated May 15, 2022. The KHRC issued the penalty, along with a $1,500 fine, due to a positive test for phenylbutazone (Bute) in one of Cox's runners in June of 2021.

Industrial Laboratories testing revealed that Warrior's Charge, who ran second in the G2 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on June 26, 2021, had 2.51 micrograms per milliliter in blood plasma of bute after the race. The positive was confirmed by Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. Warrior's Charge has been disqualified, and all purse money ordered redistributed.

During the course of his suspension, Cox may not enter horses and any of his trainees transferred to new trainers for racing must be approved by the KHRC.

Bute is a Class C positive in Kentucky. The NSAID is not to be administered within 48 hours prior to post time; post-race, a level above below a concentration of three-tenths (0.3) microgram per milliliter of serum or plasma does not constitute a violation.

For a first-time Class C violation within a 365-day period in any racing jurisdiction, the KHRC is permitted to issue a zero to ten day suspension, absent mitigating circumstances, and a $500 to $1,500 fine, also absent mitigating circumstances.

Cox's medication violation history includes the following, according to Thoroughbredrulings.com:

  • 10/28/2020 – KHRC – phenylbutazone
  • 3/5/2019 – LSRC – Dextromethorphan
  • 3/5/2019 – LSRC – Dextromethorphan
  • 3/2/2018 – LSRC – Acepromazine
  • 1/25/2018 – LSRC  – Phenylbutazone
  • 12/5/2014 – KHRC – Procaine Penicillin
  • 7/27/2014 – NYSGC – Flunixin
  • 9/17/2005 – IRGC – Nandrolone

Find the corrected  ruling here.

UPDATE: In the wake of the ruling, Churchill Downs – which issued a two-year private property exclusion of trainer Bob Baffert last year following a positive test for the corticosteroid betamethasone in Baffert-trained Medina Spirit in the Kentucky Derby – issued the following statement:

“Churchill Downs became aware of the failed drug test involving Warrior's Charge in the 2021 Stephen Foster Stakes with the release of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's Stewards Ruling 22-0069 issued on May 15, 2022. We take medication overages and drug violations extremely seriously and believe there is no acceptable excuse for not following regulations that are in place in the interest of safety for the horses and protect the integrity of our sport. We are in the processes of reviewing the facts involved in this matter and will make further comment and take further action when we are prepared to do so.”

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