The California Horse Racing Board Thursday lodged formal accusations against trainers Wayne Lukas and Laz Barrera in its continuing crackdown on drug abuse in thoroughbred racing.
Lukas and Barrera each are accused of running horses last summer at Del Mar that subsequently tested positive for cocaine. Both have denied the charge.
Under racing's "absolute insurer" rule, the trainer is ultimately liable for the condition of his or her horse, however, and Lukas and Barrera are "subject to discipline, including revocation or suspension" of their licenses, according to CHRB papers filed Thursday at Santa Anita.
The next step in the process is for each trainer to have a hearing before the board of stewards, probably within the next two weeks.
The horse in question in the Lukas case is Crown Collection, who won the seventh race at Del Mar last Aug. 29 and was unplaced in another race there Sept. 14. Initial tests conducted by Truesdail Laboratory in Tustin showed "no prohibited drug substance" in the post-race urine and blood samples on either occasion. More sensitive retesting last month revealed traces of cocaine in each sample.
Barrera's horse, Endow, is involved in the same scenario, winning the sixth race at Del Mar on Aug. 31, at first testing negative and then retesting positive for cocaine last month.
In another drug-related case at Santa Anita, trainer Richard Mulhall was fined $500 by the stewards and his horse, Its Royalty, has been disqualified from its Jan. 11 victory. Its Royalty's postrace test showed the presence of procaine.