Trainers in Drug Case Exonerated by CHRB


Fines against five trainers in a lengthy controversy over scopolamine positives have been rescinded, and the horsemen have been exonerated by the California Horse Racing Board.

The board announced Tuesday that it has accepted the recommendations of an administrative law judge.

Trainers Ron McAnally, Willard Proctor, Mark Hennig, Lewis Cenicola and Richard Mandella will not have to pay the fines, but their horses will still be disqualified and forfeit any purse money earned.

Mandella, who had two horses test positive, had been fined $750; the others had been penalized $500 each.


The races in question were run at Santa Anita during the winter of 1994.

The five trainers denied any guilt and gave 40 hours of testimony at appeal hearings that stretched over three months.

Scopolamine is a depressant that can affect a horse’s performance. The trainers said that the drug, which grows naturally in jimson weed and other vegetation, came from contaminated loads of feed or bedding that came in contact with their horses.

Lady Blessington, trained by Hennig, was the most prominent of the horses that tested positive. She had earned $66,300 for winning the Buena Vista Handicap.


The appeal by trainer Bill Shoemaker, who also was fined $500 after a scopolamine positive, is being processed separately.

James Grundy, a harness trainer who was fined $500 for a scopolamine positive, has not pursued his appeal.