08/26/2011 4:48PM

Arlington Handicap DQ overturned


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The disqualification of Tajaaweed from first place in the Arlington Handicap for a medication violation has been overturned because of problems with a urine sample taken from the horse, a stewards' ruling confirmed Friday.

Tajaaweed tested positive for the commonly used bronchodilator clenbuterol after winning the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap on July 9, and a ruling was issued Aug. 14 disqualifying him from purse money and fining trainer Dan Peitz $1,000. Both those penalties have been rescinded because a so-called referee sample that would have been used to confirm the drug's presence during an appeal process was compromised while at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Animal Forensic Toxicology Laboratory, used for drug testing by the Illinois Racing Board.

When a positive drug test is appealed, a sample from the affected horse is sent to a second laboratory to confirm the presence of the drug. DNA testing also can be performed to ensure that the sample belongs to the horse in question. Without a viable referee sample, an appeal cannot be properly conducted and a medication positive cannot be upheld.

The original ruling moved second-place Mister Marti Gras from second to first purse money.

This is the second year in a row that a medication disqualification from an Arlington graded stakes has been reversed. Upperline originally was disqualified from the 2010 Arlington Oaks after testing positive for etodolac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, but that ruling was rescinded last fall because the drug had been misclassified in Illinois.