07/02/2003 12:00AM

Asmussen fined and suspended


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Steve Asmussen, the nation's second-leading trainer in both earnings and victories, has been suspended seven days and fined $1,500 for a Class 3 medication infraction at Lone Star Park.

The Asmussen-trained Lahinch tested positive for Acepromazine, a commonly used tranquilizer, following his second-place finish in a $20,000 claiming race May 31. The horse was claimed out of that race by trainer Patrick Mouton.

Asmussen, who also owned Lahinch, will lose the purse as part of the stewards' ruling. He had no comment on the matter Wednesday afternoon because at that point he had not seen the ruling of the stewards. A hearing was held Wednesday morning at Lone Star.

Asmussen, who has won the past four training titles at Lone Star, is vying with Cole Norman for the training championship at the meet, which closes July 13. He can appeal the decision, which was issued by the board of stewards Wednesday.