Updated on 09/17/2011 9:50PM

Dickinson's suspension begins


Trainer Michael Dickinson began serving a seven-day suspension Sunday after one of his horses tested positive for a banned substance last summer at Belmont Park.

Lofty Call, who finished third in the fourth race July 21, tested positive for flunixin, an anti-inflammatory. Lofty Call was disqualified and was unplaced in the order of finish.

"We were very surprised that Lofty Call tested positive for flunixin," Dickinson said in a statement. "It may have been a mistake on our behalf. We obviously would not use such a well-known and easily detectable anti-inflammatory on purpose. We asked for the split sample of blood to be sent for independent testing, but we were disappointed to learn that the New York State [Racing and] Wagering Board had lost the blood. The stewards were fair and understanding. We accept their ruling because even unintentional and mistaken use should be held accountable."

Carmine Donofrio, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board steward, said no blood sample was lost. Donofrio said there wasn't enough blood from the original sample to be retested. Donofrio said the horse's urine was retested and confirmed the presence of flunixin.

The suspension runs through Saturday. Dickinson has not run a horse in New York since Dec. 3.