04/16/2011 2:54PM

Aqueduct: Rodriguez gets seven-day ban for medication violation


Trainer Rudy Rodriguez will serve a seven-day suspension beginning with the April 29 opening of the Belmont Park meet after one of his horses tested positive for an overage of flunixin, a nonsteroidal inflammatory that is not permitted for use on raceday.

The suspension was reduced from 15 days after Rodriguez waived his right of appeal. Rodriguez also was fined $1,000, according to the stewards.

Flunixin was found in the post-race sample of Eve of Destruction, who finished in a dead heat for third in the second race at Aqueduct on March 11. Eve of Destruction will be ordered unplaced in the order of finish, and owner Michael Imperio will have to forfeit the $1,585 the horse earned in purse money for that race.

According to the stewards, the medication is permitted to be given up until 24 hours before raceday. Rodriguez said the medication, which also is known as banamine, was administered at 11:30 a.m. the day before the race.

“I don’t understand how she came up positive,” Rodriguez said. “You’re allowed to give it until 24 hours before the race, so it wasn’t like we were doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing.”

It is the first medication violation for Rodriguez, who began training on his own in February 2010 and ended that calendar year as the third-leading trainer on the New York Racing Association circuit with 71 winners. Along the way, Rodriguez won the prestigious Belmont Park fall meet trainer’s title.