Horse trainers banned from Remington Park ask judge to allow them to race

Four trainers accused of doping their horses allege their constitutional rights to due process have been violated.
by Ed Godfrey Published: February 26, 2013
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Four racehorse trainers accused of doping and banned from Remington Park are asking an Oklahoma County judge to force the track to allow them to participate in the spring quarter horse season.

Oklahoma trainers Robert Dimitt, Rodney Harmon and Jeffery Heath Reed and Texas trainer Karl Broberg allege their constitutional rights to due process have been violated by Remington Park.

The trainers were barred from the racetrack for the upcoming season before being found guilty of anything and are unfairly being smeared as horse dopers, said John Mac Hayes, attorney for three of the trainers.

The trainers have asked District Judge Bill Graves for a temporary restraining order against Remington Park to prevent the track from barring them from the spring quarter horse season, which begins March 8.

“In Oklahoma, if you are a horse trainer and are going to make a living, you have to race at Remington Park in March, April and May or you are not going to survive,” Hayes said.

A hearing was held in Oklahoma County District Court on Friday, and Graves took the request under advisement.

Two trainers — Dimitt and Harmon — were banned from participating in the upcoming quarter horse season at Remington Park because of pending medication violations before the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, according to the lawsuit.

Dimitt trained “a horse or horses” that competed at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore last fall that tested positive for an unauthorized Class II substance, court records show.

“These alleged medication violations are routine,” Hayes said. “They happen all the time. You can get a medical violation for the stuff you just rub on their legs.”

Last spring, Harmon trained a horse at Remington Park that tested positive for Demorphin, an unauthorized Class I substance, according to court records.

Neither trainer has yet to have a steward's hearing on the alleged violations, the first step of the legal process, Hayes said.

After that hearing, the plaintiffs can contest the allegations before the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission and then appeal to district court, if necessary, Hayes said.


by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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