KHRC overturns levamisole rulings against Sharp

Kentucky stewards overturned five rulings made Jan. 14 against coach Joe Sharp in the state over a series of drugs positive for levamisole during races at Churchill Falls in November 2019.

Those test results and others that followed this winter in Louisiana came after Sharp said he started using a dewormer containing levamisole in late 2019. Louisiana issued a $1,000 fine. $ to Sharp but did not issue a suspension, unlike Kentucky, which fined Sharp $500 and issued a 30-day suspension, penalties Sharp appealed. Louisiana followed the Association of Racing Commissioners International drug guidelines in assessing their cases, Sharp said.

The Kentucky commissioners wrote that the earlier rulings were overturned “due to the declassification of levamisole in August 2015 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.”

“They basically called the false positives,” Sharp said.

Latest action does not change Sharp’s horse disqualifications, trainer says, after affected owners opted to accept loss of purse to maintain terms rather than run into eligibility issues during the ‘call.

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In describing Sharp’s appeal in January last year, Sharp’s attorney Clark Brewster pointed to a levamisole case involving coach Daniel Werre, whose one-year levamisole suspension was overturned by a Kentucky judge in 2015, with the judge citing the KHRC’s incorrect classification. medicine at the time. The KHRC then reduced the suspension to one week and fined him $500.

At a KHRC meeting in the summer of 2015, the commission removed levamisole from its classification schedule. Dr Mary Scollay, then KHRC Equine Medical Director, explained to the Stewards that levamisole metabolizes to aminorex, making it appropriate to drop a classification for levamisole.

Sharp’s horses have not tested positive for aminorex, Brewster said last winter.

Reached on Saturday night, Brewster slammed the KHRC for their initial actions, which under its own rules should never have happened. Sharp’s owners lost the purse money and some disqualified horses were transferred from the trainer, including that of Bruce Lunsford. art collector .

Art Collector won graduated entries in 2020 and 2021 for trainers Tommy Drury and Bill Mott.

“I’m happy the result was okay, but great damage has been done not only to him but also to the sport by letting this play out,” Brewster said. “And who steps in and says, ‘Hey, we’re sorry about that? Or, ‘Wasn’t that right?’ Who do this ? That answer, we know, is nobody.

KHRC officials have previously said they do not comment on regulatory matters.

Sharp, whose team won 103 races and $4.2 million in 2019 out of 652 starts, won 54 races in 2020 and 59 races last year with significantly fewer starts, 355 and 386, respectively. He has 675 career wins and stable earnings of $28.1 million since starting training in 2014.

Sharp thanked his owners who supported him throughout his appeal.

“It’s been two long years, and we’re happy to put that behind us and come out on top,” he said.


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