In a February 27 Arizona Department of Racing ruling (below), owner/trainer Alex J. Torres-Casas was punished after four of his horses tested positive for caffeine. Caffeine. But it’s worse: three of the four also tested positive for strychnine – yes, strychnine, of rat poison fame. (Apparently, strychnine was once considered a performance-enhancer – acting as a stimulant – for humans.) The four horses – Windi’s Moment, Straightcash Homie, Giro Candito, and S S Taylor – all raced for Torres-Casas at Turf Paradise in January/February.
At this point you’re probably wondering what exactly was that punishment? A lifetime ban? Perhaps some jail time, to boot? Please. This is horseracing. For shooting his horses up with caffeine and strychnine, Torres-Casas was fined $2625 and suspended for 180 days. Yes, that’s right, this scumbag will be back at it again in just six months’ time. Imagine that.
But wait, there’s a complicating (though certainly not mitigating) circumstance, for you see this is not Torres-Casas’ first foray into heavy-duty doping. According to the Thoroughbred Daily News, Torres-Casas has a 2017 cocaine positive on his resume. Cocaine, caffeine, strychnine – slap the wrist and move on. And that, folks, is what this industry really thinks of its horses.