Mike Mitchell, one of the leading Southern California trainers, has begun serving a 15-day suspension resulting from one of his horses testing positive for an excessive level of total carbon dioxide.
Presence of an excessive level of total carbon dioxide is known as “milkshaking” and involves treating a horse with a mixture of bicarbonate and/or other alkaline substances that is fed to a horse shortly before it competes.
The mixture produces higher levels of carbon dioxide, which delays the buildup of lactic acid in a horse’s muscles and is believed to increase stamina.
According to a ruling from Hollywood Park stewards, Mitchell was initially fined $5,000 and suspended 60 days after The Phenom tested positive following the first race at Oak Tree Racing at Hollywood Park on Oct. 24.
However, under terms of a stipulated agreement, 45 days of the suspension are “stayed,” with Mitchell on probation for one year. During the probationary period, Mitchell must not be in violation of any rules and regulations of the California Horse Racing Board relating to Class I, II, or III drug substances. Mitchell began serving the suspension Dec. 5.
The Phenom, owned by Little Red Feather Racing, finished second but was disqualified from any purse monies as a result of the positive test.