On Monday, April 27, the New York State Gaming Commission announced a six-figure fine and a years-long ban against trainer Lou Pena.
In 2012, the NYSGC (formerly the Racing and Wagering Board) suspended Pena after what it determined was more than 1,700 drug violations. Pena would go on to fight the suspension, and, in the fall of 2013, The State of New York Supreme Court rendered its decision in the case, directing the State of New York to dismiss all charges against Pena. The NYSGC then appealed the Pena ruling, and received a stay against the court action. It did not take long for the New York State Supreme Court to re-affirm its dismissal of the license revocation proceeding brought against Pena by the commission.
The Journal News has reported that, on April 2 of this year, the court decisions that had dismissed state charges against Pena were reversed by an appeals court; thus the commission has 'renewed its actions against Pena.'
On Monday, April 27, the NYSGC announced that it has issued Pena a $343,400 fine and a three-year ban.
The contents of the NYSGC’s announcement appears below.
NYS Gaming Commission Holds Harness Trainer Lou Pena Responsible For 1,700 Equine Drug Violations
The New York State Gaming Commission today issued a $343,400 fine and three-year ban against harness trainer Luis (Lou) Pena, holding him responsible for 1,717 equine drug violations.
In 2012, the Commission (formerly the Racing and Wagering Board) took action against Pena after a comprehensive investigation of veterinary records determined that he was responsible for racing illegally drugged harness horses between January 2010 and April 2012. The original hearing and notice detailing all of Pena’s violations, including a list of all the violations by horse, drug, administration date, race date and track can be found here.
“We are pleased that this case has finally come to a close and that Mr. Pena is being held responsible for his actions,” Commission Executive Director Robert Williams said. “The Commission takes all allegations of administrations of illegal substances seriously and will continue to uphold the integrity of racing in New York State.”
Pena regularly raced horses in New York while stabling them in New Jersey. In 2012, New York, with assistance from racing officials in New Jersey, conducted a thorough review of veterinary records, which illustrated the 1,717 equine drug violations.
The violations included a litany of substances, most of which were administered to horses outside the permitted timeframe as set forth by Commission rules, including:
Adrenocorticotropic (ACTH), Hormone
Betamethasone (Celestone), Steroid
Cromolyn Sodium, NSAID
Gonadorelin or GnRH (Factrel), Hormone
Hyaluronic Acid Derivative (Polyglycan, GEL-50)
Magnesium Sulfate (MAG)
After a subsequent hearing and adjudication, Pena and his attorney pursued various legal attempts to avoid his responsibility, all of which were ultimately rejected. Pena never testified to deny that he repeatedly cheated by administering illegal substances to race horses more than a thousand times.