07/07/2006 12:00AM

Asmussen won't contest suspension


Steve Asmussen, the second leading trainer in North America by both wins and earnings, said on Friday he has decided not to contest in court a six-month suspension levied by the Louisiana Racing Commission for a medication infraction. Asmussen will begin serving his suspension on Monday, July 10 and is expected to be out through Jan. 10.

Asmussen was issued the suspension after No End in Sight tested positive for Mepivicaine, a local anesthetic that is classified a class 2 drug by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, following a March 24 race at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La. His appeal of the original ruling to the Louisiana Racing Commission, was denied on June 23.

Scott Blasi, a longtime assistant trainer to Asmussen, is expected to train most of the horses that have comprised Asmussen's nationwide stable. As of Friday, Asmussen had divisions of his horses at Arlington Park in Illinois, Belmont Park in New York, Churchill Downs in Kentucky, Lone Star Park in Texas and Louisiana Downs in Louisiana.