Trainers Autrey, Pender Cited in Guanabenz Complaints

Two complaints against trainer Cody Autrey and one against trainer Michael Pender were filed by the California Horse Racing Board after horses in their care were found to have guanabenz in their systems in post-race urine tests.

According to the CHRB, guanabenz is an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist used to treat hypertension in people. This family of drugs also produces sedative and analgesic effects in horses and includes the FDA-approved equine drugs xylazine and detomidine. These are Class 2 violations.

After the initial finding by the Ken Maddy Laboratory at the University of California-Davis, the Iowa State University laboratory confirmed the split sample in one of the Autrey horses, Peace Pledge. The request to test the split from the second horse, Dunmore, was untimely under a CHRB rule and was denied, according to an agency statement.  

Peace Pledge finished third in the sixth race at Del Mar on July 18. Dunmore finished fifth in the second race at Del Mar on July 22.

Pender was cited when the urine sample collected from a horse in his care, Queen of the Derby, was found to contain guanabenz. The request to test the split sample from Queen of the Derby was also judged to be untimely and was denied. Queen of the Derby finished first in the eighth race at Del Mar on July 25.

Hearing dates have not been set.

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