04/03/2004 12:00AM

Fonner trainer, vet, banned


The leading trainer at Fonner Park, David Anderson, and a veterinarian, Pat Duncan, have been suspended for the remainder of the track's meet and fined $1,000 each for the administration of a so-called milkshake to a horse on race day. Anderson's assistant trainer, Chuck Wiley, was fined $500 for assisting in the treatment.

"Milkshaking" is the practice of administering a mixture of baking soda, confectioner's sugar, water, and electrolytes into a horse's stomach through a tube run through a nostril and the esophagus. It is thought to help reduce fatigue and speed recovery from the rigors of racing but is also suspected of masking illegal drugs. There was no indication, however, that the treatment was being used as a masking agent in this incident, according to stewards.

The incident in question occurred March 20 when a mare was observed with a tube in her nostril with Duncan and Anderson present and Wiley holding the horse. The mare, Astrickyas, who had been the expected favorite in a $2,500 starter allowance that day, was ordered scratched.

The suspensions were to take effect on Monday, April 5, allowing Anderson to complete the weekend with the horses who had been entered before the hearings.

"We didn't want to penalize the owners of the horses," said steward Rol Shaal. It was not certain Saturday if there would be any appeal of the rulings.

The Fonner meeting ends May 8.