Stewards at Turfway Park in Kentucky have issued a ruling suspending trainer Jeffrey Scott Raley for one year after one of his employees was seen with a hypodermic needle and syringe containing vodka in the receiving barn prior to a race.
According to the ruling, which Raley has 10 days to appeal, the incident occurred Feb. 28 when the horse Spontaneous Diva, who was entered in that day’s fifth race, was in the track’s receiving barn. The ruling states that Richard Lawson, who worked for Raley, "was apprehended in the presence of Mr. Raley with a hypodermic needle and a syringe containing vodka."
The horse was scratched from the race. According to the ruling, ethanol alcohol, a Class A substance under the penalty section of the state’s rules, is a metabolite of vodka.
Raley was held responsible for "all events and actions that occurred Feb. 28" since he was the trainer of record for Spontaneous Diva, the ruling states. The suspension is scheduled to take effect March 18 and run through March 17, 2011.
If Raley appeals, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will schedule a hearing on the matter.
According to The Jockey Club Information Systems, Raley has been represented by 34 winners from 236 starters, with earnings of $256,649 since 2004. During the period from Feb. 7-March 8, Raley had two winners and three placed horses from eight starters.