12/09/2009 12:00AM

Albertrani stung by positive test


Trainer Tom Albertrani said Monday he was stunned to learn that one of his horses tested positive for a banned substance at Keeneland in October, but that he would not fight a 30-day suspension handed him by the Kentucky Racing Commission, which is to begin Thursday.

According to Kentucky steward John Veitch, Gozzip Girl tested positive for the medication acepromazine, a tranquilizer, following her third-place finish as the 3-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 17. Gozzip Girl was placed last, according to Veitch, and the $50,000 she earned for finishing third has to be returned and will be redistributed, Veitch said.

Veitch said that a split sample tested at Louisiana State University confirmed the positive result first detected at the University of Florida laboratory. Acepromazine is a Class B medication, and Veitch said a 30-day suspension for a first offense "is what we normally give."

Albertrani, in a statement he released via e-mail, said he did not administer that medication to Gozzip Girl, who shipped to Kentucky from New York five days before the race.

"I would never administer a drug like this to a horse before a race," Albertrani said. "This substance was not in my barn. It would be both counterintuitive and downright foolish for me to give the odds-on favorite in a Grade 1 race a banned substance knowing that she would be tested."

Reached by phone, Albertrani said he would not contest the suspension because "it would be too costly, and if you lose you get 60 days or more."

Albertrani said that during his suspension, which runs through Jan. 8, his New York horses would run in the name of his assistant Daniel Blacker.