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Quarter Horse Racing Trainer Fined and Suspended for Doping Horses


2020/05/05

From AQHA News – April 4, 2020

The New Mexico Racing Commission (NMRC) on March 31, 2020 issued rulings on eight Class 1 violations by trainer Bobby R. Martinez on horses that were tested between July 5 and July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico.

All eight violations were for the medication “Ostarine,” which is not approved by the FDA and has no known therapeutic use in racehorses. According to WebMD, Ostarine is part of a class of drugs called selective androgen receptor modulators.  

Martinez has since 1991 trained more than 4,000 starters that have combined earnings of more than $12.9 million, including world champion Oak Tree Special and champion Open Me A Corona. 

These violations were the first Class 1 violations in Martinez’s career. According to the Thoroughbred Regulatory Rulings website, since 2015, he has three rulings, each for overages of ARCI Class 4 or 5 medications, which are therapeutic medications with less performance-enhancing potential.

The current eight rulings from the NMRC cumulatively add up to $480,000 in fines and a 34-year suspension of all NMRC licenses through 2054. 

“The only thing I’m guilty of is lending my name out,” Martinez said, saying he was trying to do people a favor, but he never handled the horses. “I screwed up. But I don’t deserve 34 years and half-a-million-dollar fine. I’ve been in this business over 30 years and I’ve never, ever had this kind of problem. I’ve had butes, banamines, just minor stuff. But not this kind of stuff. I don’t do that.

“It’s embarrassing,” he said. “They ruined my life.” 

Martinez said he is exploring options to appeal and filing a lawsuit against the owners of the horses. 

 “This circumstance is exactly why regulators need to be diligent about ‘program training,’ ” said AQHA Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber. “It sheds light on a common occurrence in the industry, and is a warning to horsemen on how quickly a career can be damaged. This is an area in which all industry influencers need to collaborate to get it in control.”
  • For the first violation, Martinez was fined $20,000 and issued a two-year suspension of all NMRC licenses retroactive from July 13, 2019, to July 12, 2021.
  • For the second violation, he was fined $40,000 and issued a two-year suspension from July 13, 2021, to July 13, 2024. 
  • For the third violation, he was fined $70,000 and issued a suspension from July 13, 2024, to July 13, 2029.
  • For the fourth violation, he was fined $70,000 and issued a suspension until July 13, 2034. 
  • For the fifth violation, he was fined $70,000 and issued a suspension until July 13, 2039, and is required to pass a trainer’s exam before reinstatement. 
  • For the sixth violation, he was fined $70,000 and issued a suspension until July 13, 2044, and is required to pass a trainer’s exam before reinstatement. 
  • For the seventh violation, he was fined $70,000 and issued a suspension until July 13, 2049, and is required to pass a trainer’s exam before reinstatement.
  • For the eighth violation, he was fined $70,000 and issued a suspension until July 13, 2054, and is required to pass a trainer’s exam before reinstatement. 
Each of the horses is owned by Jose Fabian Hernandez of Jarrell, Texas.

The violations include:
  • FM Dynasty Rock, 10th race on July 5, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Ease Rock, 4th race on July 6, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Lion Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 14, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Bushwacker, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Cowboys Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Loko Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Party Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs
  • FM Tempting Rock, out-of-competition test taken July 15, 2019, at Ruidoso Downs


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