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Breeders Classic purse withheld as probe continues

November 08, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - It will be 10 days to two weeks before a hearing will be held regarding an investigation into the outcome of the West Virginia Breeders Classic race last month at Charles Town Races, a track official said Monday.

Rodney Peters, chief steward at the thoroughbred track, would not comment further on the process.

Meanwhile, the race's $150,000 purse has been held up until the case can be resolved, said Bill Bork Jr., director of marketing at the track.

Sam Huff, president of the Breeders Classics, said he does not know why it will take that long to set up a hearing.

"I don't have any idea what's going on," Huff said Monday night.

"It looked pretty clear-cut to me. That horse could run," Huff said.

The horse, A Huevo, shattered a 26-year record at the track in winning the Oct. 10 Breeders Classic, the feature race of the Breeders Classics, the park's largest annual event.

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A Huevo ran the 1 1/8-mile race in 1 minute, 50 seconds, breaking the old record Lexington Park set in 1973 by one-fifth of a second.

Urine and blood tests are conducted on all winning horses at Charles Town, but veterinarian Elizabeth Marshall declined to reveal the results of the test taken on A Huevo.

Huff said this is the first time in the 13 years of the Breeders Classics that the purse has been held up due to an investigation.

Mark Hopkins, the owner of A Huevo, has declined to comment.

About 5,000 people attended the Breeders Classics and bet $466,019, track officials said.

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

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