08/21/2009 11:00PM

Calder bans leading trainer Ziadie, two others


MIAMI - Track management has banned trainer Kirk Ziadie, jockey agent Richard Ciardullo, and veterinarian Dr. Raul Jimenez from being on the grounds or from racing at Calder, effective immediately.

"We are exercising our management rights and making a reasonable business decision to exclude Kirk Ziadie, Richard Ciardullo, and Dr. Raul Jimenez's participation at Calder," said John Marshall, the track's vice president and general manager of racing.

All three men were informed of the decision on Thursday, according to Marshall, who declined any further comment on the matter.

Ziadie was tied for leading trainer during the current session with Marty Wolfson entering Friday's program with 25 wins apiece. Ziadie is the two-time defending Calder training champion. He also won the 2006 and 2007 Tropical at Calder titles.

Ziadie was issued a 60-day suspension and fined $1,000 in late June after his horse Not Acclaim tested positive for the tranquilizer acepromazine after a race at Gulfstream Park on March 19, 2007. Ziadie appealed the decision and was granted a stay of his suspension by the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee.

Marshall would not comment on whether that ruling had any bearing on management's decision to bar Ziadie from the grounds.

Ziadie, who celebrates his 41st birthday on Saturday, had 42 stalls at Calder, a track owned by Churchill Downs Inc. He has four horses entered for Saturday's program, all of which have been scratched.

"I'm all shaken up right now," Ziadie said Friday. "This is crazy. They just walked me into the office, gave me a letter saying Churchill Downs doesn't want me on the track any more, and had nothing else to say. They wouldn't give me any reason for the decision. They did the same thing to [jockey] Paco Lopez last year."

Ziadie said that a handful of his horses have already been transferred to other barns on the grounds but that the majority of his owners are remaining loyal at this time.

"I pulled all my foal papers from the office as a precaution," said Ziadie. "Right now most of my owners are sticking with me. I've already checked with the Circle S Farm, a training center in the area, to see how many stalls they had available. I've also contacted several other tracks about getting stall space, although this is a bad time of year to start moving around. Delaware Park would be the most likely spot to try, if I can get stalls there."

Ziadie acknowledged having some positive medication tests over the years, including the recent acepromazine ruling from Gulfstream Park.

"I've had some positives for bute and a little acepromazine, which a lot of horses get," said Ziadie. "Those things are accidents. What are you going to do, crucify a guy and take away his livelihood for that? I put a lot of money into my outfit, it's run a lot different and my horses get far better care than most of the others on this backstretch. I also run my horses where they can win, and as a result more and more owners want to give me horses."