A horse named Drag Malibu tested positive for meth after winning a race May 29 at Prairie Meadows in Iowa KCCI8 News reported Monday.
“The horse had trace amounts of methamphetamine in his body when the horse ran in the race,” said Brian Ohorilko, administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, according to KCCI8.
While it is not unusual for the Racing and Gaming Commission to see positive drug tests a few times a year, Ohorilko stated that a horse testing positive for meth is almost unprecedented.
A drug test that revealed a winning horse during a race in May tested positive for meth and has had its winning stripped from that race.https://t.co/1UNfgZMQLe
— OutKick (@Outkick) July 14, 2022
The culprit behind the positive result appears to be the horses’ groom who also tested positive for methamphetamine about a week later after an altercation at Prairie Meadows, KCCI8 reported. The groom later admitted to the Iowa Gaming Commission that “meth could have been on his hands” when he was handling the horse. (RELATED: Flushing Drugs Down The Toilet Can Lead To ‘Meth Gators’, Police Warn)
“The groom had put a tongue tie on the horse and it’s very reasonable to assume based on the level of methamphetamine detected, that’s probably how the horse tested positive,” Ohorilko stated, according to KCCI8.
As a Class I drug, methamphetamine has “no business being in an animal at all” Ohorilko told KCCI8. Normally, the penalty for such a violation would carry with it a 1-year suspension, but as trainer and owner Kenny Smith had no prior violations and didn’t knowingly give Drag Malibu meth, so the suspension was cut to 15 days and a $1,000 fine, according to KCCI8.
Drag Malibu’s win was also disqualified, but gamblers’ bets from that day are locked in place. “There is no method or mechanism to reimburse the gamblers that finished second,” Ohorilko explained to KCCI8.
Smith called the situation extremely frustrating and has cut ties with the groom that handled Drag Malibu that day. Drag Malibu was also put on a veterinarian’s list, but according to Smith has now been cleared for racing again, as reported by KCCI8.