Trainer Cox DQ’d from 2021 Stephen Foster for Bute

May 19, 2022

Ruling comes 11 months after Warrior’s Charge won

Three days before the 2022 Preakness Stakes the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s Stewards issued a ruling regarding a race that took place in June 2021. 

The ruling, issued May 15 (Ruling 22-0069) and posted May 17 on the KHRC website, was regarding a Brad Cox trained Warrior’s Charge who won the Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 26, 2021.

In a statement issued by Churchill Downs it stated: “We take medication overages and drug violations extremely seriously and believe there is no acceptable excuse for not following regulations that are in place in the interest of safety for the horses and protect the integrity of our sport.”

Almost two weeks ago, Brad Cox had three starters in the Kentucky Derby: Tawny Port finished 7th, Zozos finished 10th and Cyberknife finished 17th. 

Cox won the 2021 edition of the Derby by default with Mandaloun when the late Medina Spirit was disqualified. Cox has no runners in the Preakness.

Commonly used anti-inflammatory, Bute, or phenylbutazone, is permitted therapeutically. State withdrawal guidelines call for it not to be used within 24 hours of a race.

The amount of bute in Warrior’s Charge’s blood was detected at 2.51. Bute is a Class C violation.

The threshold for bute detection in Kentucky is 2 micrograms per milliliter in serum or plasma, according to KHRC online documents.

According to the ruling, Cox is to serve his suspension May 23-June 1. The May 15 ruling stated that “entry of all horses owned or trained by Cox is denied pending transfer to persons acceptable to the stewards.”

Churchill Downs stewards issued a $500 fine and a 10-day suspension to dual Eclipse Award-winning trainer Cox. 

The stewards’ ruling disqualified to last place resulting in Warrior’s Charge’s owners, Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables’ forfeiture of $115,200 in earnings. 

The KHRC further stated: “We are in the processes of reviewing the facts involved in this matter and will make further comment and take further action when we are prepared to do so.” 

Cox made no statement regarding the ruling or  nor who might act as trainer if entries from his existing stable are made during the dates of his suspension.

Warrior’s Charge was second to Maxfield the Stephen Foster June 26, 2021 at Churchill Downs by 3 1/4 lengths. The Munnings colt rallied from mid-pack with Maxfield but was no match for for the latter in the straight.

The then four-year-old was trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux. He is owned by Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables LLC.

Warrior’s Charge was fourth in the 2019 Preakness Stakes. He won the Razorback H. G3 at Oaklawn Park and the Philip H. Iselin S. G3 at Monmouth Park. 

With a career record of 22 starts, six wins, four seconds and four thirds, the dark bay horse had one win win in an AOC at Oaklawn Jan. 28, 2022 and finished fifth in the Essex H. G3 on March 19, also at Oaklawn. 

Making his debut at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25, 2018, Warrior’s Charge has been trained by Cox for his entire career. 

Past The Wire Staff
Photo of Brad Cox by Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

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