01/09/2009 1:00AM

All-American winner disqualified


Stolis Winner has been disqualified from his win in the $1.9 million All American Futurity for Quarter Horses following a lengthy stewards' hearing at Sunland Park on Thursday. The horse tested positive for caffeine following the Sept. 1 race at Ruidoso Downs.

Heath Taylor, the trainer of Stolis Winner, was suspended six months and fined $1,500.

Stewards issued two rulings in the case, one disqualifying Stolis Winner, who races for Jerry Windham, from the purse money, and the other suspending Taylor. Both rulings were appealed to the New Mexico Horse Racing Commission and Taylor was granted a stay of his suspension, according to Kenneth Hart, a steward at Sunland.

Billy Blackburn, an attorney representing Taylor, said documents provided reported 45 nanograms of caffeine were found in Stolis Winner's blood test by Iowa State University, an amount he termed "miniscule."

"Anytime you have such a small reading, when you're getting into the low nanograms, I think it's standard in the industry that there's always going to be a case of possible contamination," Blackburn said late Friday. "We intend to explore it in its entirety."

Julian Luna, executive director for the racing commission, was not available for comment Friday.

The stewards' ruling elevates Jet Black Patriot, the All American runner-up by a half-length, to first place.

Taylor has denied any wrongdoing since the caffeine positive was made known by the commission last fall. Stolis Winner, who is currently sidelined with a minor physical setback, also won the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity and Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity last year.

Stolis Winner's case is so high profile in Quarter Horse racing circles that the American Quarter Horse Association issued a statement late Friday that its announcement of 2008 champions that was scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 14, has been postponed indefinitely due to the rulings issued on Thursday.