Vienna Fined $8,500 in Medici Code Cases
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 8/30/2008 4:20:13 PM
Last Updated: 8/31/2008 4:30:50 PM

Trainer Darrell Vienna has agreed to pay a fine of $8,500 for rule violations in connection with his graded stakes winner Medici Code, who was found to have excessive levels of clenbuterol in urine samples tested following consecutive races at Del Mar last summer.

The stipulated agreement was announced in a statement released by the CHRB on Aug. 30.

The 61-year-old veteran trainer, also an attorney, was contracted as an advisor to the CHRB on medication rule enforcement while Ingrid Fermin was the agency's director. He resigned in June 2007.

Clenbuterol in excess of authorized levels was found in Medici Code following his second-place finish in a division of the Oceanside Stakes, the fourth race at Del Mar July 18, and after winning the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT), which was the ninth race at the seaside track on Aug. 11.

The Maddy Laboratory at the University of California-Davis made the original findings. Industrial Laboratories confirmed them in both split samples.

Clenbuterol is an bronchodilator commonly used in horses. These are Class 3 violations.

Separate CHRB complaints against Vienna involving Medici Code were originally filed on Sept. 21, 2007. Stewards at Santa Anita issued rulings last November disqualifying Medici Code from those races and redistributing the purses. Medici Code had earned $107,260 from the two grass races for owners Bill and Donna Herrick, including $90,000 for his victory in the La Jolla.

Medici Code ran second in the Oceanside, losing by a head. He followed that race with a 1 1/4-length victory for jockey Martin Pedroza in the 1 1/16-mile La Jolla. Medici Code would go on to post a three-quarters of a length win in the nine-furlong Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT), also on turf, with Pedroza aboard once more.

In a separate case, stewards at Del Mar disqualified Zanda Blue and ordered the redistribution of the purse for the first race at Hollywood Park on July 2. Zanda Blue finished first.

The Maddy Laboratory reported that a sample taken from Zanda Blue exceeded the regulatory threshold for procaine. The finding was confirmed by Iowa State University Racing Chemistry Laboratory.

Procaine is a local anesthetic and is found in procaine penicillin G, a commonly administered antibiotic. For this reason procaine is a Class 3 violation rather than a Class 2, as are other local anesthetics.

A hearing is pending for Thomas Bell II, the trainer of Zanda Blue.


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