Jeff Mullins, the leading trainer during the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting, has been notified that one of his horses had an excess amount of mepivacaine, a local anesthetic, after a post-race test last month. If the positive drug test is confirmed, he could be sanctioned by the California Horse Racing Board.
The test result, first reported by the Daily Racing Form, was confirmed Monday by Mullins’ attorney, Neil Papiano, who said Mullins indicated the horse was “the healthiest in his barn and didn’t require any medication.”
The CHRB is testing a split sample of the urine taken from Robs Coin, who finished second in the seventh race at Hollywood Park on July 8. That test will determine whether a suspension or fine can be imposed.
Select horses are tested after races depending on their odds, the type of race and where they finish.
Mullins wasn’t aware of the drug or what it does, according to his attorney. “He has been accused, but there’s a long way to go,” Papiano said.
Trainer Steve Asmussen was given a six-month suspension and fined $2,500 in June by the Louisiana State Racing Commission after one of his horses tested positive for mepivacaine.
One use for the drug would be to block pain in a horse’s leg, a veterinarian said.
Mullins’ horses were subjected to 30 days of detention-barn surveillance last year during the Santa Anita meeting when he ran a horse who tested with excessive sodium bicarbonate levels, known as milkshakes.
Mullins has won four races during the opening two weeks of the Del Mar meeting, putting him in a tie for second place in the trainer standings.
-- Eric Sondheimer