Trainer Reed Gets 5-Day Suspension For Bute Positive At Turfway

Trainer Eric Reed has been penalized with a five-day suspension and a $1,000 fine for a phenylbutazone positive in a $15,000 claiming winner last month at Turfway Park.

According to a Feb. 1 Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) stewards’ ruling, the 2022 GI Kentucky Derby-winning trainer waived his right to a hearing and will serve his days Feb. 10-14 without lodging an appeal.

The ruling stated that the offense was Reed’s second for a Class C positive within the past year. The KHRC classifies drugs on an A (most severe) to D (least severe) scale.

Phenylbutazone, also called Bute, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The test reported a finding of .62 micrograms per milliliter. According to rules posted on the KHRC website, bute is permitted on race day in concentrations at or less than three-tenths (0.3) micrograms per milliliter.

The disqualified winner was Golden Text (Danza), who wired the field in the fourth race Jan. 19, got claimed from owner Jackie Willoughby, Jr., and then had the claim voided because of the drug ruling.

Reed responded to a Friday voicemail request asking for his side of the story by texting that he had already issued statements to two other publications and did not wish to comment further.

Reed told Horse Racing Nation’s Ron Flatter earlier in the week that, “I waived my rights because I know I gave the horse Bute paste [which takes longer to clear a horse’s system]. I apologize to my friend Jim Willoughby, who owns the horse and had the win taken away. I also apologize to the racing industry. I used a Bute paste instead of the injection because he’s the kind of horse who fights you every time you give him a shot.”

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