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Board probes Charles Town race winner

November 03, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - An investigation is being conducted into last month's West Virginia Breeders Classic at the Charles Town Races, where the horse A Huevo shattered a 26-year record at the track.

Rodney Peters, chief steward at the thoroughbred track, would only say the Board of Stewards is investigating the outcome of the race.

The Board of Stewards is the local arm of the West Virginia Racing Commission, and is responsible for enforcement of all state racing laws at Charles Town.

"We're not at liberty to say what the problem is," said Elizabeth Marshall, the veterinarian who oversees urine and blood testing that is conducted on all winning horses at Charles Town.

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Marshall would not disclose the results of tests conducted on A Huevo, who set a track record of 1 minute, 50 seconds for a 1 1/8 mile race. The time broke the old record Lexington Park set in 1973 by one-fifth of a second, said track officials.

Marshall said there needs to be a hearing before the Board of Stewards before they can make a ruling in the investigation.

A Huevo was foaled and raised at the Country Roads Farm along W.Va. 9 just outside of Charles Town.

Mark Hopkins, the owner of the 3-year-old gelding, said the investigation is revolving around "unsubstantiated rumors."

If details of the investigation are made public, Hopkins said he will "have plenty to say, in no uncertain terms." Otherwise, he will have no further comment, he said.

Dickie Moore, general manager of racing operations at Charles Town, would say only that the case is in the hands of the racing stewards.

"I think they will do a very good job with it," Moore said Tuesday.

Neither Michael Dickinson, A Huevo's trainer, nor assistant trainer Joan Wakefield could be reached for comment.

A Huevo won the $150,000 Breeders Classic, the featured race of the West Virginia Breeders Classics XII, held Oct. 10 at the track. About 5,000 people attended the event and bet $466,019 on the races.

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