10/31/2008 12:00AM

Asmussen positive case stalled


Trainer Steve Asmussen's request for a blood sample and additional split-sample test data on a horse in his care who tested positive for lidocaine was stalled at the district court level in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, when a judge said she had no jurisdiction in the case, according to attorneys representing both Asmussen and the Texas Racing Commission.

According to John Langley, an attorney for the commission, the judge viewed the case as still pending at the state agency level. There is not yet a stewards' ruling on the positive test for Timber Trick, who won a maiden race at Lone Star Park on May 10. The next step is a stewards' hearing, and a date for it had not been set as of Friday, according to commission spokesperson Jean Cook.

The original stewards' hearing was to be in July, but Asmussen's legal team sought the court's intervention to obtain the blood sample and additional split test data in advance of that hearing. The case was further delayed when the Austin district court granted a continuance to the commission. Karen Murphy, an attorney representing Asmussen, said she will now request the data from the stewards.

"The science is going to tell you with a high degree of certainty whether this was administered, or whether it was unavoidable contact," she said. "In my mind, after the work I've done, it's 100 percent contamination."

Lidocaine is a Class 2 drug violation. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy on the local anesthetic.