10/09/2007 11:00PM

Biancone gets stay of year suspension

EmailA hearing officer for the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority on Wednesday granted trainer Patrick Biancone a stay of a one-year suspension for possession of cobra venom until his appeal is heard, Kentucky's state steward, John Veitch, and attorneys for Biancone said.

The stay will allow Biancone, who was issued the suspension last Friday, to continue to train until his appeal goes before the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority or its designated hearing officer.

A hearing has not been scheduled, and Veitch said it is unikely that an appeal will be heard before Oct. 26, the first day of this year's two-day Breeders' Cup event at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. Biancone trains several contenders in the Breeders' Cup.

The authority's hearing officer, Jim Robke, issued the ruling for a stay.

"Mr. Robke did not believe that Mr. Biancone presented a clear and present danger to racing," Veitch said.

Frank Becker, an attorney for Biancone, said it was premature to speculate about when Biancone's hearing will be held.

"We need to agree on a date to suit everybody, and so we have to sit down to look at our calendars," Becker said.

The suspension of Biancone was the first issued by Kentucky's stewards that would require a trainer to transfer his horses out of his barn.

Cobra venom is a prohibited substance that can be used as a painkiller.