Florida pinhooker Randy Hartley, who owns an interest in Gato Go Win, said he wasn’t angry at trainer Jeff Mullins for an incident that caused the colt to be scratched by stewards from the April 4 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct the same day Mullins sent out I Want Revenge to win the Wood Memorial (gr. I).
The stewards acted after New York Racing Association personnel saw Mullins use a syringe (without a needle) to orally administer a substance to Gato Go Win in the detention barn. Joe Mahoney, a spokesperson for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board identified the substance as “Air Power,” an over-the-counter herbal cough formula.
“(Mullins) just wasn’t thinking and just made a mistake,” Hartley said April 7 during the final session of the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training in Lexington. “He thought it was OK. With all the hype and excitement with I Want Revenge, he just didn’t realize what he was doing.”
Hartley owns Gato Go Win in partnership with his business associate, Dean De Renzo; Joey Platts; and William J. Sims. A 3-year-old son of City Place, the colt has won twice and finished third in the San Vincente Stakes (gr. II).
“I’m not mad,” Hartley said. “(Mullins) was trying to do what he thought was the right thing by the horse. I don’t know what they’re going to do as far as fining him or whatever, but we’ll find another race for the horse. He’s a good trainer. He’s just a down-to-earth guy who made a mistake. We all make mistakes.”
Hartley said he gives horses he consigns to juvenile auctions a similar product before they work in under-tack shows.
“We rinse their mouths out; put the bridle on them; and we all always give them a little ‘Windy,’ in the nasal (passages),” he said. “It’s like a cough formula. It’s all-natural, and they sell it in feed stores.”