07/11/2008 11:00PM

Emerald trainer Chambers suspended


The Emerald Downs board of stewards has suspended Mike Chambers, one of the nation's leading trainers in terms of win percentage, for 45 days as a result of a positive test for clenbutorol.

After a hearing on Friday, the stewards suspended Chambers from July 21 through Sept. 3 because test results showed the Chambers-trained Your Highness Leia, who won the eighth race at Emerald on May 26, contained traces of clenbutorol, a bronchodilator. Presiding steward Doug Moore said the amount of clenbutorol was 25 picograms over the threshold limit. A pictogram equals one-trillionth of a gram.

Moore said the state's guidelines call for a 60-day suspension for an overage of a Class 3 drug such as clenbutorol, but that Chambers was given only a 45-day penalty owing to the small overage and his clean record. This is the trainer's first medication violation since 1993.

Chambers was the second-leading trainer at Turf Paradise before shifting his stable to Emerald Downs in April. Through Friday, he had won with 83 of his 201 starters this year. His win rate of 41.3 percent ranks among the highest in the nation.

Chambers has until July 18 to appeal the ruling, which also disqualified Your Highness Leia from all purse earnings from the May 26 race.