Trainer Vaders Loses Appeal in PA Court

Jayne Vaders, the leading trainer at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack in 2007, lost her appeal Jan. 9 in Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania for an indefinite ban from training due to multiple drug positives.

Vaders first had her training license revoked in May 2007 by Philadelphia Park stewards after one of her horses tested positive for acepromazine, a Class III drug that is used as a tranquilizer. Stewards testified that she had five or six positives prior to the acepromazine discovery, and had been warned that another violation would result in revocation of her racing license.

Vaders was granted a stay, after which her case advanced to the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission. The commission denied Vaders’ appeal April 16, 2008, and the case moved on to Commonwealth Court.

Though there is a code in place at the racetrack that contends any trainer with two or more positives must be banned from the track, stewards said they hadn’t previously enforced that rule because they had never before had a trainer with as many violations as Vaders.

“Vaders made no attempt to introduce evidence or testimony that she did not violate the commission’s regulations; nor did she ever deny that there were banned substances found in her horse,” Judge J. Butler said in his ruling. “Based on the reasons stated above, the commission’s order is affirmed.”

Chris Ryder, a spokesperson for the racing commission, confirmed that Vaders is no longer licensed as a trainer in Pennsylvania, though she is eligible to apply for a license in other states. Ryder said Vaders could reapply in a year to obtain another Pennsylvania license.

“(The Pennsylvania license) is a three-year application,” Ryder said. “Presumably, she could reapply, but the commission would have the final say on whether she would receive that. They would not have to give her a license if they chose not to.”

“The system in Pennsylvania for horse racing appeals is weighted so far in favor of the commission that it’s virtually impossible for a trainer to win,” said Alan Pincus, Vaders’ Las Vegas-based lawyer. “Her case was particularly unfair. She allegedly had seven violations in her career—they would never give me a copy of her records, so I don’t know that for sure--but they were all for therapeutic drugs, and the one that resulted in her revocation was for acepromozine, which usually gets a 15-day suspension and a small fine.”

Pincus claimed other well-known trainers who had received acepromazine positives in Pennsylvania in the past had walked away with only fines and no suspensions.

“There’s no way to justify that--it’s simply unfair,” Pincus said. “It’s an extremely unfair use of (the commission’s) power.”

Vaders, 51, trained and/or owned between 35 to 45 horses stabled at Philly Park. She had 527 victories to her credit from 2,286 starters, and lifetime earnings of $7,948,327 through January 2009. She worked as trainer John McCaslin’s assistant for nearly 10 years before taking over the operation. She took out a training license in 1994 and saddled her first winner in 1996.

Vaders won the Philly Park training title in 2007 with 117 winners and purse earnings of $1,902,476.

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