07/31/2006 11:00PM

Frankel cleared on old charge


A long-standing case against trainer Bobby Frankel alleging one of his horses tested positive for morphine six years ago has been dismissed by the California Horse Racing Board, board spokesman Mike Marten said Tuesday.

Frankel was cited after his horse Mojave Moon finished third in the Californian Stakes in June 2000. Two tests showed and confirmed positives for morphine. Frankel, who was not at the track the day of the Californian, has maintained for years that the test results were in error, believing the samples were contaminated.

According to Marten, speaking on behalf of Ingrid Fermin, the board's current executive director, an agreement to dismiss the case against Frankel was reached near the end of 2004 by the board's previous executive director, Roy Wood, in consultation with Neil Papiano, an attorney representing Frankel, and Roger Licht, who at the time was the chairman of the racing board. The agreement, however, was "never culminated," Marten said.

Marten said Fermin has made it a priority to clear a backlog of cases left over from the previous administration. Wood retired at the end of 2004.