05/11/2009 11:00PM

Asmussen lidocaine hearing delayed again


A stewards' hearing for trainer Steve Asmussen concerning a horse in his care who tested positive for lidocaine in May 2008 was postponed on Tuesday after a key witness in the case was unable to travel to Lone Star Park for the hearing because of inclement weather. A new hearing date has yet to be set, but both sides were hoping to determine one as soon as Wednesday.

Steven Barker, a scientist with Louisiana State University, was scheduled to testify on behalf of Asmussen, who was at Lone Star on Tuesday along with his attorneys. Barker could not fly in from Baton Rouge, La., however, because of inclement weather, said Maggi Moss, an attorney representing Asmussen.

"Dr. Barker is our main witness for Steve," she said. "He tried all day to get here. Due to weather, he can't get here. [The stewards] wanted the whole case heard. They didn't want to split it up. We were willing to go forward with part of it. They wanted to hear the whole case. We'll reconvene and get a date where we can all come.

"But Steve wanted to go forward. I wanted to go forward. But the weather and flying kept us from going forward."

"We in no way want to present half a case," said steward Jerry Burgess.

There have been a number of delays in the case on both sides since the filly in question, Timber Trick, won a maiden race at Lone Star on May 10, 2008. Lidocaine is a Class 2 medication violation, and Texas has a zero-tolerance policy on the local anesthetic.