Horse Trainer Cited for Milkshake

Trainer David Bernstein has been sanctioned by the California Racing Board because his horse Truly A Judge tested too high for an alkalizing agent at Del Mar on Sept. 5.

Truly A Judge, a 7-year-old gelding, finished third in the $86,000 Windy Sands Handicap. Because the violation was against a house rule, the purse of the race won’t be affected.

Since then, the California Horse Racing Board has been able to implement a state rule that can result in redistribution of purses and fines and suspensions for trainers.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Bernstein, who’s now stabled at Santa Anita. Starting today, his horses will run out of a detention barn for 30 days and they will be subject to special surveillance for an additional 15 days.


The alkalizing agent, referred to as a milkshake, supposedly helps a horse perform better by reducing fatigue. Del Mar was the first California track to test for milkshakes, in 2004, and there have been several violations since.

Truly A Judge won the Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park in December and the San Gabriel Handicap at Santa Anita in January. He was scheduled to run in Saturday’s $500,000 Goodwood Handicap at Santa Anita, but a leg infection knocked him out of the race. Truly A Judge ran fourth in last year’s Goodwood.

-- Bill Christine