Local Race Horse Loses Million Dollar Winnings

By: Destaney Sperry Email
By: Destaney Sperry Email

He may be only three years old but he's already earned nearly $2 million, but that number could change if the racing commission has anything to do with it.

Stolis Winner is a College Station-bred quarter horse and is one of the best racers in the industry. As a two year old he won the most money ever in two year old quarter horse racing--nearly $1.8 million dollars.

On September 1st he became the champion of the richest quarter horse race, The All-American Futurity. The race has a total purse of $1.9 million dollars, and Stolis Winner took home a million dollars.

Just weeks after Jerry Windham and his horse Stolis Winner won the prestigious All-American Futurity, the sudden high turned into a nightmare.

"The first [drug] test cleared, and they didn't do anything else, they weren't supposed to," Jerry Windham said, "When they went back and tested him, they did find a little trace, and with the blood they found a little bit that time. They didn't find it the first time."

The horse tested positive for caffeine, a Class 2 substance that is banned for race horses in New Mexico.

Stolis Winner's test confirmed he had 40 nanograms of caffeine in his system. The legal limit is 100 nanograms, but New Mexico has a zero tolerance for substance.

"This was such a trace amount, it should have been a non-issue." Windham said.

Jerry Windham denies any wrong doing. He has been in the horse racing business since the 70's, and has won many championships.

He also says Stolis Winner's trainer, Heath Taylor, would never cheat. Taylor has started over 5,000 horses and has never had a problem.

But how could the million dollar horse get caffeine in his system?

Jerry Windham thinks the sample may been been contaminated during the testing.

"The racing commission does not allow any food or drink or any substance in the test barn," Windham said, "It's been documented, it's already been proven, and the commission accepts that they had food and drink in the test barn."

Windham also speculates it could have happened as easily as someone touching his horse after drinking a cup of coffee or giving Stolis Winner a piece of candy.

Stolis Winner's trainer Heath Taylor has been fined $1,500 and is suspended for six months. Immediately following the decision, Windham and his trainer filed an appeal and have hired attorneys.

Right now, Jerry Windham and his farm must wait for the New Mexico racing commissioners to appoint a hearing's officer and a court date will be placed. Windham says no one has asked to give the purse money back, which he says he'll resist until found guilty.

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