Justify - postive drug test - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 09-14-2019, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Justify - postive drug test

There was a New York times article that came out on Tuesday stating that Justify had a positive drug test after the Santa Anita Derby. The details and what happened (and didn't happen) after is also discussed.

There was a followup article the next day with Baffert's response.

This USA Today article was also an interesting read.

I will be interested to see what, if anything, actually happens as a result. Are they really going to disqualify a triple crown winner months after the fact?

There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #2 of 28 Old 09-14-2019, 04:25 PM
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If the test was positive then yes, they should disqualify the horse and the trainer should be heavily fined.

The fact that they knew the result two weeks prior to the horse running shows that there was a cover up.

American horse racing has to improve its act.

Last edited by Foxhunter; 09-14-2019 at 04:34 PM.
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post #3 of 28 Old 09-14-2019, 05:35 PM
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Here I thought this was going to be a thread on how to justify testing postive.

He should be disqualified. No passes just because they are a winner. Even CDJ was eliminated the other week for blood on the spur, even if it was accidental.
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post #4 of 28 Old 09-14-2019, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
If the test was positive then yes, they should disqualify the horse and the trainer should be heavily fined.
I agree they should, but then they shouldn't have covered up the whole thing to start with! Can't say I have much faith anything will happen. Too much money involved.

Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Here I thought this was going to be a thread on how to justify testing postive.
Well it sort of is, depending on who's side you take. Baffert certainly had some excuses *cough* reasons for the test outcome..

There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #5 of 28 Old 09-14-2019, 09:45 PM
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The racing board hasn't acted on ONE positive result for this substance in years because it's so prevalent in forage (jimsonweed) in California, and it's now obsolete in its usage therapeutically, so there's not really any reason for a trainer to give it. It would be one thing if Justify was the only horse that tested positive and wasn't taken down, but he's not. There have been numerous horses who failed this test upon initial urine testing, then, like Justify, were found to have very low or nonexistent levels in a blood test in addition to testing positive for atropine, which points to ingestion rather than administration.

This article reiterates what other vets are saying:

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post #6 of 28 Old 09-15-2019, 11:51 AM
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I don't know much of the details, but I do know Datura grows all over the place here, horses don't eat it. It could so easily be baled into hay, it grows all over the place here. Doesn't matter where in the state you are it's everywhere in the spring.

Some people use it to trip out, but it's not a good time, the drug isn't fun. Some people just want experiences. I'm not seeing why it would be used on the horse as I'm sure there's much better and less toxic drugs available that would do the same thing.

Datura is used more to hurt someone than help them. It's known to me as a poison. My mind wonders...
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post #7 of 28 Old 09-15-2019, 01:58 PM
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For me, having been involved in the TB breeding industry, the fact that Justify may have won the triple crown but, it wasn't on his ability but on his enhanced ability. That should knock his stud fee down a peg or two. It won't as it seems the racing business in the US is corrupt.

Those that hid the facts should be sacked from whatever position they hold.

Many moons ago a filly belonging to the Shah of Persia tested positive after winning the Oaks (the fillies race par with the Epsom Derby)
She had traces of eucalyptus in her blood. Nothing that would enhance her performance. It was proven to be in the shavings of her bedding which age may have ingested,

That filly lost the race and the Shah didn't have any horses in training in the UK for many years because the decision was upheld.

US needs to clean up its horse racing industry.

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post #8 of 28 Old 09-15-2019, 02:28 PM
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I agree that the drug problem is a huge PR blow to US racing, but itís not just a US problem. Justify is owned as a stud by Coolmore and spends as much time standing in Australia as here. As a fan, it sure seems all the big $$ players are complicit and there are no geographical boundaries though undoubtedly the lax regulations in the States enables this bad behavior (eg, all the top Euros who race enthusiastically without Lasix in Europe add it when they come here for the big Grade 1s).

Iíve been a racing fan since a child, having grown up near historic Saratoga race course and having extended family involved in Standardbred racing. This was the year that turned me away-horse deaths mounting, controversy at the Kentucky Derby, now all this. This is the least amount of racing Iíve watched in my adult life and I imagine it will decline from here without a seismic shift. And yes, I know losing a casual fan has no bearing whatsoever on the industry...
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post #9 of 28 Old 09-15-2019, 07:25 PM
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Some of what I read today said lab testing can determine differences between what mght be the intentionally administered "drug" or ingested in hay. There were 5 or 6 horses at that same track during that same period who tested positive, but further testing suggested all but one ingested it in hay and that included Justify.

Now the person who made the decision not to pursue is also apparently a close friend of Baffert's, so that is a problem. But I'm on the fence about disqualification since some evidence suggests it wasn't intentional. Apparently jempsom weed is hugely prevalent in California.
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post #10 of 28 Old 09-15-2019, 11:18 PM
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I don't post much anymore, but will for this. This may get long. So if that or me bothers you click away now. Sliver Maples post was on point.

Some thoughts in no particular order.

This is a non story. Put out by a discredited organization for their sjw followers and to further an agenda. Weeds in feeds are not performance enhancers. It didn't give him anything he didn't already have, more on that later. What is actually kind of amusing is there is a big push in racing called WHOA- water, hay, oats. In this case the hay is the source.

He passed all three drug tests in the Triple Crown races. The Santa Anita Derby was 4 weeks before so even if this hay weed had helped, it wasn't helping then.

He will not be disqualified because it isn't called for. Just like the DQ this year. It may not be popular to the Social media crowd, but it's the right thing to do.

He absolutely did it on his own ability, the likes of which I doubt we see again. For those that follow football know Brent Mushburger. He doesn't call games anymore but does a show in Vegas. Before the Derby he had a panel of sports book mangers on. They where telling how they got calls to book action on Justify. They didn't have him in any future pools because he had not even run a race yet. But it was obvious to those who saw him how special he was. Some got him at 300/1.

I never understood the hate for this horse. One wrong step and people said he was lame. Said he was tried and giving after the Preakness. Mike only tapped him once in the beginning on the last furlong. That's unbelievable.

As for the breakdowns. We had a discussion during the Santa Anita stuff so my thoughts on that are out there. What I am tired of is the sensationalism. HBO real sports did a piece on it. Predictably they presented it in a way that isn't real. Showed a lot of breakdowns at Charlestown. I play them every night they run. Didn't remember any last year and have not seen any I don't think this year. I just saw my first one that I can remember in a long time. Friday 3rd race on the turf at Belmont, the 4 went down. I watch A ton of races. Watching Los Alamitos and Australia right now. I'm not saying they never happen but it just isn't like its presented. Saw some numbers that during that time of the 30 deaths at Santa Anita what wasn't mentioned there were over a quarter million safe trips around the track. Not that any number is ok, but that does put it in a different perspective.

Anyway sorry it got long.
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