Report: Nebraska Probes Dermorphin Positive

The powerful pain-killer was found in a urine sample taken at Horsemen's Park.

The Nebraska Racing Commission is investigating a positive test for dermorphin, a Class 1 pain-killer more powerful than morphine.

The Journal Star of Lincoln, Neb., reported Aug. 20 that a urine sample from a July 15 race at Horsemen's Park in Omaha turned up the drug, which has been found in Louisiana and New Mexico. The substance is known as "frog juice" because it comes from a type of South American tree frog.

The Journal Star reported that Kim Veerhusen has been suspended through Sept. 19 and ordered to pay a fine of $1,500 pending review of the matter. Cheatin' Cowboy, the horse in question, finished second but was disqualified from purse earnings, and the stables' horses can't be entered in races, the newspaper reported.

"The matter is under investigation," NRC executive director Tom Sage told the newspaper. "I wouldn't have any other comment, except for what's in the ruling."

The Journal Star said it was unable to reach Veerhusen for comment. According to Equibase, Veerhusen has four wins, four seconds, and six thirds from 36 starts during the current meet at Columbus in Nebraska., and won one race from 10 starts at the Horsemen's Park meet.