California trainer Reed Saldana, provisionally suspended by the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit this summer for the presence of the banned substance diisopropylamine in the post-race sample of one of his horses, was issued a formal 24-month suspension and fined $25,000 by an arbitrator earlier this week.
In a decision issued Dec. 4, arbitrator Jeffrey Benz determined Saldana was responsible for his first anti-doping rule violation under HIWU and suspended him through Aug. 5, 2025. He further ordered the forfeiture of $4,560 earned by his trainee, 5th Street Stables' Ice Queen, for running third in a June 16 starter allowance race at Santa Anita Park, from which she exited with a positive test. Benz also ordered Saldana to pay a contribution of $12,000 toward HIWU's share of arbitration costs.
According to arguments from HIWU, diisopropylamine is classified as a secondary amine due to its chemical structure but is also considered a vasodilator due to its general pharmacological effect of causing blood vessels to open or dilate.
Saldana argued the urine sample collected from Ice Queen was not collected, stored, or transported securely, but Benz found "there were no irregularities or departures from the relevant standards or procedures."
Saldana raced primarily at Santa Anita Park and Los Alamitos Race Course this year before his provisional suspension. He has trained 88 winners from 656 starts in Thoroughbred races and 17 more winners in mixed-breed events.
He served a 30-day suspension in 2021 after one of his horses tested positive for clenbuterol.