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Witnesses say horse's blood test negative

May 11, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The trainer of a horse that was disqualified from last year's Breeders Classics race after the horse tested positive for Clenbuterol continued his appeal before the state Racing Commission Thursday.

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Michael W. Dickinson, the trainer for A Huevo, is appealing the decision by the Charles Town Races Board of Stewards to disqualify the horse, which shattered a 26-year-old record in the Breeders Classics Oct. 10.

Dickinson began presenting his case to the Racing Commission during two days of testimony in March, but the hearing was delayed until Thursday to give attorneys more time to prepare.

It is not known how A Huevo tested positive for Clenbuterol, although all winning horses are required to have blood and urine tests completed.

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A witness called by Dickinson's attorney, Karen Murphy of New York, testified Thursday at the track that there was no Clenbuterol in A Huevo's bloodstream.

When determining if a horse tests positive for Clenbuterol, Dr. Steve Barker said he always wants to determine whether the drug is present in both the urine and blood of a horse.

Barker, who tested a blood sample from A Huevo, said he could not find any Clenbuterol in the sample.

"I would have expected to see something," said Barker, a doctor at Louisiana State University who does blood testing for the Louisiana Racing Commission.

Clenbuterol, which opens the nasal passages, is prohibited under West Virginia racing laws.

Testimony in Dickinson's appeal was expected to continue into today at Charles Town Races, Racing Commission member Jim McClure said.

The Racing Commission is not expected to make a decision for weeks, Murphy said.

Dickinson was handed a 30-day suspension, which denied him all rights and privileges at all state racetracks.

But after the ruling from the Board of Stewards, Dickinson won a preliminary injunction in Kanawha County Circuit Court which prohibited the suspension from going into effect until his appeal before the Racing Commission is completed.

The $150,000 purse from the race is also being held up until the appeal is completed, said Bill Bork Jr., director of marketing at the track.

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