08/23/2007 12:00AM

Biancone vet suspended


Dr. Rod Stewart, the equine veterinarian who is under investigation by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority for his involvement in the cobra venom case that also is focusing on trainer Patrick Biancone, has had his license suspended after he failed to comply with orders from chief steward John Veitch.

"Dr. Stewart did not cooperate with the investigation," Veitch said Thursday from Ellis Park. Asked where Stewart is, Veitch said, "I don't have any idea. We are working through his lawyer," Karen Murphy of New York.

Lisa Underwood, executive director of the racing authority, confirmed that Stewart had failed to respond after being served with several written orders for all documentation and computers with information relating to the purchase, possession, or use of any medication or drugs. Stewart had until Aug. 9 to comply with the orders but did not, and he was suspended Aug. 16.

According to an anonymous source close to the investigation, Biancone and Stewart were implicated in a June 22 search of Biancone's three barns at Keeneland, where cobra venom, a painkiller forbidden by racing, was found in a refrigerator in a tack room. Stewart's truck was also searched as part of the raid.

Biancone, currently based at Saratoga, was scheduled to have a hearing with the stewards, although the date and place will not be disclosed by the racing authority, said Underwood. Because of the seriousness of the case, the racing authority is following the letter of the law, and state regulations dictate that details of stewards' hearings not be made public until after the fact.