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Trainer Mudaris fined and suspended 18 months for Viagra positives on two horses

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

ARCADIA, Calif. – Trainer Mike Mudaris has been fined $17,500 and suspended 18 months after two of his horses that ran at the 2016 Del Mar summer meeting tested positive for the prohibited medication sildenafil, which is more commonly known by the trade name Viagra.

The penalties were proposed by stewards Grant Baker, Scott Chaney, and Kim Sawyer and were recently adopted by the California Horse Racing Board, according to a stewards ruling issued Monday.

Roger Diamond, an attorney representing Mudaris, said in a telephone interview Monday that Mudaris has appealed the penalties.

Diamond said Mudaris did not administer sildenafil to the horses and is being penalized under the absolute insurer’s rule, which states a trainer is responsible for the condition of the horse, including medication violations.

“He wants to correct the record,” Diamond said.

“The board of stewards did not find Mudaris put any Viagra in the horses’ food or drink. It was allegedly done by his employees. He was not there at Del Mar that day.

“It was a mitigating factor. He didn’t deliberately do it.”

The penalties are among the most severe for a Thoroughbred trainer in California this century.

The Mudaris-trained runners Iancol and Shakeitupbetty finished fifth in consecutive races on Aug. 12, 2016, at Del Mar and tested positive for sildenafil. Iancol also tested in excess of the permitted level of the anti-inflammatory dexamethasone.

Iancol tested for 12 nanograms sildenafil, while Shakeitupbetty tested for 5.2 nanograms, according to the ruling. A nanogram is a billionth of a gram.

In January, the stewards ordered the horses disqualified from their fifth-place finishes and that $900 in purse earnings be returned.

The suspension is scheduled to begin Oct. 20 and end on April 20, 2019.

Mudaris, who has had a small stable in California, has won 35 races. He is winless with 11 starters this year. His last winner was Iancol at the Big Fresno Fair in October 2016, one of six victories that year.

Mudaris, 54, did not have any runners from September 2006 to March 2016. In 2001, the Mudaris-trained Power Wing finished fifth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup.

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