02/07/2009 12:00AM

Asmussen hearing postponed again


A Tuesday stewards' hearing for trainer Steve Asmussen, concerning a horse in his care who tested positive for lidocaine, has been delayed again after stewards granted a request for postponement made by an attorney representing the Texas Racing Commission. The nine-month-old case centers on Timber Trick, who won a maiden race at Lone Star Park on May 10.

The attorney, Mark Fenner, has recently been assigned to lead the case after it had been in the hands of the Texas attorney general's office. Their offices took over the case last summer when Asmussen's attorneys filed a petition in district court seeking a blood sample and additional split-sample test data in advance of the originally scheduled stewards' hearing in July.

"Mr. Asmussen's attorneys had raised a question, or concern, about the attorney general office's participation in the stewards' hearing, so we decided to go back to our normal course of action with our attorneys handling the case," said Jean Cook, spokesperson for the commission. "Now, we need additional time to prepare for it."

Maggi Moss, an attorney representing Asmussen, said her team had recently been informed by letter that in addition to prosecuting the case, the attorney general's office would also be representing the stewards. She learned of the postponement late Friday.

"We did not want or ask for a continuance," Moss said. "And we not only were going, but we had Bill Mott and Dr. Steven Barker getting on a plane."

Mott, a trainer, and Barker, a scientist with Louisiana State University, were set to testify in the case, Moss said.

A new date for the stewards' hearing has not been set. Lidocaine is a Class 2 medication violation.