Stewards in Pennsylvania have suspended owner/trainer Juan Carlos Vazquez’s license until January 26, 2025 following the death of 5-year-old mare Shining Colors.
According to a decision released July 7, Vazquez shipped Shining Colors from Belmont Park to Parx on January 6 this year. On January 9th, Shining Colors was euthanized with a severe case of laminitis. Stewards held a hearing on the matter on June 23.
“The evidence presented by veterinary witnesses and the autopsy report clearly showed that the horse Shining Colors was suffering from this serious chronic condition and should never have been transported to Parx races by owner/trainer Juan C. Vazquez,” the ruling reads.
According to Equibase, Shining Colors last launched at Belmont on October 17, 2021, where it finished seventh out of eight. Vazquez conditioned Paynter’s daughter for Just In Time Racing. She ran 11 times and had one win on her record.
“After reviewing all of the statements submitted and the information and evidence that investigators from the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission submitted to the Board of Stewards, the Board of Stewards determines that owner/trainer Juan C. Vazquez was grossly negligent, cruel and abusive in shipping.” of Belmont Park’s horse Shining Colors to Parx Racing,” read the verdict.
Vazquez was also fined $5,000, due July 17. His suspension is scheduled to begin on July 18. The suspension is said to apply to the remainder of his Pennsylvania license. Race officials often choose the expiration date of a license as the end of the suspension so that the individual will have to apply as a new licensee in the future. Some officials have more legal latitude to deny a new license application than they do to nullify a current one.
Earlier this year, Vazquez was suspended for two fall 2021 levamisole positives at Parx, one of which resulted in Hollywood Talent’s disqualification from the Grade 3 Turf Monster Stakes. According to his record at Equibase, he has not yet served that ban.
In November 2021, Vazquez trainee Ekhtibaar was shipped to Belmont Park for a run and was found dead in the van at Gate 6. The cause of death is unknown, according to the New York State Gaming Commission database. After numerous inquiries to the Commission, the Paulick Report was told in March this year that the investigation was ongoing.
“Because this horse was shipped to Belmont Park on 11/17/21 from another racing jurisdiction and due to the need for multi-jurisdictional cooperation in this case, we expect this investigation to take some time,” NYSGC spokesman Brad Maione said per Email March 3rd.
Vazquez has a long history of infractions, with 125 infraction records in the ThoroughbredRulings.com database dating back to 2006, although it is important to note that some infractions create multiple records in that database as stewards issue later decisions that revoke previous rules cancel or change. Track administration at Delaware Park and Laurel Park barred Vazquez from those properties in 2015.