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Jul 11, 2012 7:21 PM by Jenise Fernandez

Horse Trainers Speak Out After Their Horses Tested Positive for Dermorphin

After a full-scale investigation, the Louisiana Racing Commission suspended nine Louisiana trainers for six months, after 11 racehorses tested positive for dermorphin. Dermorphin is 40 times more powerful than morphine, causing horses to run faster without feeling any pain.

Horse trainer Anthony Agilar says his veterinarian told him the medicine he was injecting into two of his horses was a natural herb to boost energy.

"I questioned him probably 3 or 4 times and he told me not to worry that it was a natural supplement. Come to find it's a class 1 narcotic," said Agilar.

Bad John and Lapile Creek tested positive for Dermorphin. Agilar has trained horses for 16 years and has had a clean record, until now.

"This is my livelihood, what I've known my whole life, just mess around with horses," said Agilar.

"They look at us now like we've been cheating and it's not like that," said Keith Charles.

Trainer Keith Charles used the same vet and was shocked to find his horse tested positive too.

"The first thing I did was call the vet and he told me there's no way that's possible. I've been dealing with it ever since," added Charles.

"It's not like I was going out on the street trying to buy stuff. The vet was giving medicine. I have no control what he puts in that syringe," said Agilar.

Agilar says making sure his horses are healthy is his number one priority, because the jockey riding the horses is his son.

"Jockeys fall every week. I sure wouldn't do anything to jeopardize my own son," he added.

Both trainers say they're reputations are now tainted. Agilar and Charles say the vet would inject the horses an hour before the race. That one injection costs $103. Both trainers paid $1,000 to appeal their suspensions.The racing commission will hear their cases at the end of the month. Calls were made to the veterinarian, but have not been returned.

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