08/26/2011 4:19PM

Breeders' Cup berth in doubt as Parx investigates Greenwood winner


The purse of last month’s Greenwood Cup Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania, is being withheld because of the result of a postrace drug test on the winner, A.U. Miner, according to the horse’s trainer and his legal counsel.

Clark Hanna, the trainer, said on Friday that he would not comment on specifics relating to the case, but he acknowledged that the Pennsylvania Racing Commission informed him that A.U. Miner’s postrace test was not clean. He referred all other questions to his attorney, Joel Turner.

Turner also would not provide any details about the postrace test, but he strongly suggested that A.U. Miner tested positive for a trace amount of a drug.

“Pennsylvania is taking positions that are not widely believed to be in the realm of reasonable within the drug-testing world,” Turner said. “The horsemen are being subjected to standards that do nothing to protect the integrity of the game.”Turner said that the commission has not yet charged Hanna with any specific violation. He said that if a charge is lodged, he expected Hanna to appear before the stewards within the next three weeks. Turner also said that Hanna would contest any penalty handed down by the stewards.“There is a lot at stake here,” Turner said.

Officials for the racing commission and Parx Racing did not respond to messages on Friday.

A.U. Miner won the 1 1/2-mile Greenwood Cup Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths at 3-1, earning $120,000 of the $200,000 purse. The 6-year-old horse, who finished fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Marathon, is owned by Don L. Benge.

Under the Breeders’ Cup Challenge format, the winner of the Greenwood Cup receives an automatic fees-paid starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon. If a horse is disqualified as the winner of any Win and You’re In race, the horse who is elevated to the winning position would receive the automatic starting berth, according to Jim Gluckson, a spokesman for Breeders’ Cup.

Bird Run, owned by Preston Stables, finished second in the Greenwood Cup.