09/28/2005 11:00PM

Bernstein starter exceeds CO2 level

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer David Bernstein had a starter at Del Mar test in excess of the permitted level of total carbon dioxide last month, and for 30 days will have his horses placed in a prerace security barn for 24 hours before they start. The sanction was to begin on Friday and lasts through Oct. 29.

Bernstein was informed by racing officials that Truly a Judge tested in excess of the permitted level, 37 millimoles per liter of plasma, as a result of blood tests taken before he finished third in the $86,225 Windy Sails Handicap on Sept. 5. Details of the test were not released.

Bernstein's stable will be the subject of surveillance for 15 days after Oct. 29. The horses will be housed in their own stalls during that time. Bernstein becomes the seventh trainer in Southern California to be cited for excessive carbon dioxide levels since the racetracks and two horsemen's groups - the Thoroughbred Owners of California and California Thoroughbred Trainers - launched a prerace testing program at the start of the year.

Through the Fairplex Park meeting, which ended last Monday, testing was conducted by a consortium of those groups. The California Horse Racing Board assumed responsibility for testing at the start of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Wednesday, after legislation was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last month.

Under rules enacted by the CHRB, trainers who have horses test in excess of permitted levels will be subject to fines, a suspension, and the loss of purse money.