Bombshell: Steve Asmussen, who won the training title in a romp and was nearly unbeatable in the waning days of the recently concluded Churchill Downs Fall meet, will begin a 30-day vacation courtesy of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
The ruling was issued on NOV 30 but Asmussen was allowed to finish the meet which ended Sunday, DEC 3. The suspension was for two positive findings for Acepromazine in the horses Thousand Percent and Boldor.
Acepromazine is a sedative/tranquilizer used as a preventative measure to calm horses down prior to shipping. It is quite commonly used but, empirically, overages for it doesn’t often make headlines. Asmussen, however is a member of Thoroughbred Racing’s Hall of Fame.
Holding Asmussen to account is proper, of course, but shouldn’t the KHRC have some explanation for the delay? Thousand Percent’s redistributed share of the purse was earned on June 28–of 2018. Boldor was for a race at Keeneland the following October.
Asmussen was fined a total of $3,500 for both overages; $1,000 and $2,500, respectively. Asmussen will serve his time from DEC 20 through JAN 18 inclusive.
Each offense carried a 30-day suspension. However, the second 30-day suspension was stayed pending no Class A or B violations for one year.
This comes on the heels of two other recent 30-day suspensions, to Anthony Quartarolo and Brian Lynch. Asmussen intends to appeal the ruling