10/18/2006 11:00PM

Deep Impact tests positive after Arc

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Japanese champion Deep Impact has tested positive for the banned substance ipratropium following a routine drug test after his third-place finish in the Oct. 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Trained by Yasuo Ikee, Deep Impact was sent off as the 1-2 favorite, but he failed to live up to expectations at Longchamp when he was beaten to the line by both Rail Link and Pride. His postrace positive was for a drug generally used to treat respiratory problems. The stewards at France-Galop, the French racing authority, are currently deciding whether the offense merits Deep Impact's disqualification.

Masayuki Takahashi, president of the Japan Racing Association, made the following statement concerning the affair:

"I would like to say to all the racing fans who came from many different places to give their support to this horse in this event how immensely saddened I am that this news will effect the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, which is revered as the pinnacle in world horse racing. "While this incident occurred in France, I would like to say on behalf of the JRA that I intend to be meticulous and take a strong lead in raising the awareness among all connections in Japan about prohibited substances and those running abroad."

Ikee announced last week that Deep Impact would be retired at the end of the year. A Sunday Silence 4-year-old, he is currently being prepared for a year-end campaign that could include the Autumn Tenno Sho, the Japan Cup and/or the Arima Kinen.