Trainer Suspended in Guanabenz Case

Trainer Michael Pender began serving a 15-day suspension Jan. 3 stemming from a medication violation for guanabenz, which was found in one of his horses during the Del Mar meeting.

Guanabenz, used to treat hypertension in people, is a class II violation. Under an agreement with the California Horse Racing Board, Pender received a 30-day suspension with half of the penalty stayed pending successful completion of a one-year probation period with no further medication violations. He will be eligible to train again on Jan. 18. Pender was also fined $7,500.

Santa Anita Park stewards made the announcement Dec. 31.

Pender was cited when the urine sample collected from a horse in his care, Queen of the Derby, was found to contain guanabenz by the Ken Maddy Laboratory at the University of California-Davis, the state's official equine drug-testing clinic. Queen of the Derby finished first in the eighth race at Del Mar on July 25. Purse money was ordered redistributed.

According to the CHRB, guanabenz is part of a family of drugs that produces sedative and analgesic effects in horses and includes the FDA-approved equine drugs xylazine and detomidine.

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