Trainer Gaines Named in Two CHRB Complaints

Horses in her care, including Winding Way, allegedly raced with excess testosterone.

Trainer Carla Gaines is the subject of two complaints from the California Horse Racing Board alleging that two fillies in her care both tested positive for levels of testosterone in excess of the authorized amount.

The CHRB announced in a media advisory Sept. 12 that Harris Farms' juvenile A Little Luckier and Spendthrift Farm's 3-year-old Winding Way were both found to have exceeded "decision levels" for testosterone in urine samples collected from the horses this summer. Excessive testosterone, which is a naturally occurring anabolic steroid, is listed as a class 3 violation.

A Little Luckier's violation is alleged to have occurred following a second-place finish in a maiden special weight race at Betfair Hollywood Park July 14. The violation on Winding Way came in an allowance optional claiming victory at Del Mar Aug. 12, the CHRB alleges.

Winding Way, 3-for-3 in her career, returned to capture the Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar in her next start.

The CHRB reported that the University of Florida Racing Laboratory confirmed the excess levels of testosterone in split samples.

Gaines, 60, whose high-profile owner clients include Warren Williamson and CHRB chairman Keith Brackpool, could not be reached for comment.

Brackpool has recused himself from the proceedings against Gaines so that "there is no semblance of impropriety," agency spokesman Mike Marten said. John Harris, owner of Harris Farms, was a longtime CHRB board member and twice chairman prior to stepping down earlier this year.

Hearings on the two complaints have not been set, according to Marten. The disqualifications of the two horses and the redistribution of the purses are also pending.