Hammond Fined, Suspended for Lidocaine Violation

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Kim Hammond, the winningest female trainer in North American Thoroughbred racing history, was fined $500 and has begun serving a 15-day suspension after one of her winning horses, Floroplus , tested positive for 3-hydroxylidocaine after a race at Turfway Park last month.

3-hydroxylidocaine is an active metabolite of lidocaine, a local anesthetic used in equine medicine that is also present in some over-the-counter pain-relief products for humans. It carries a withdrawal guideline of 72 hours before a race to ensure it does not impact racing. 

The presence of the drug in post-race samples of horses has led to a number of recent medication violations. Trainers Bob Baffert, Doug O’Neill, and Robertino Diodoro were among those sanctioned after their horses tested positive for lidocaine over the past year.

The Association of Racing Commissioners International classifies lidocaine as a Class 2 violation with a Class B penalty. Kentucky also considers it in Class B, having the potential to impact performance but to a lesser extent than drugs in Class A.

In a ruling issued April 5, stewards in Kentucky stayed 15 days of an original 30-day suspension issued to Hammond, provided she does not have any Class A or Class B medication violations within a year. They cited “mitigating circumstances (number of violations in relation to overall record)” in determining her fine and suspension.

Her suspension began April 6 and is to continue until April 20, the ruling stated.

Test results from Industrial Laboratories indicated the presence of 58 picograms per milliliter in the blood of Floroplus. The permitted level of lidocaine in plasma or serum in Kentucky is 20 pg/ml. 

Small Town Paddock’s Floroplus has been disqualified from his 4 1/2-length victory in an $18,000 claiming race at Turfway Park as the 2-1 favorite March 18, resulting in the forfeiture of the $10,500 first prize. Pari-mutuel payoffs were not changed following the ruling, standard practice for post-race disqualifications.

Floroplus returned following his March 18 race to win a starter allowance at Turfway Park March 26.

Hammond, 63, has won 2,331 races from 15,298 starters, though April 7, according to Equibase statistics. The daughter of late trainer Everett Hammond, Kim Hammond has been a trainer since 1980, competing largely in the Midwest. She runs mostly claiming horses in Kentucky and Indiana and topped the trainer standings at Ellis Park in 2003.

A native of East St. Louis, Ill., Hammond built a horse farm near Shelbyville, Ind., and made Indiana her primary base beginning in the late 2000s.

Her career victory tally leaves her ahead of Kathleen O’Connell (2,234) and Linda Rice (2,096) among other leading female trainers.

Hammond’s horses have made $19 million, far behind the $85 million earned by Rice-trained runners.

 



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