03/15/2010 11:00PM

Groom suspended for two years


The groom accused of preparing to give a horse a syringe of vodka before a Feb. 28 race at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., has been suspended for two years, effective March 25. Kentucky chief steward John Veitch said Tuesday that the groom, Richard Lawson, waived his right to a hearing and that Lawson informed him he does not intend to appeal.

Lawson was employed by trainer Scott Raley, who on Monday filed an appeal of a one-year suspension for the offense and is expected to be granted a stay, meaning he can continue to operate as usual until his case is heard before a commission hearing officer or the full commission. Raley was penalized under the umbrella rule of trainer responsibility.

Veitch said last week that commission investigators had placed the Raley stable under observation when acting on a tip, but Raley, 42, said he was "set up" during the prerace incident. The subject horse, Spontaneous Diva, was scratched.

Kentucky hoops may hurt Turfway

Turfway officials certainly didn't get what they wanted with the NCAA tournament when the University of Kentucky was seeded No. 1 in the East region. That means if it advances that far, Kentucky would be playing for the regional title on March 27, the same day as the showcase race at Turfway, the Lane's End Stakes.

Turfway's president, Bob Elliston, said before the pairings were announced Sunday that a March 27 game for Kentucky could adversely affect ontrack attendance for the Lane's End in a substantial way.

* That was Craig Braddick filling in for longtime Turfway race-caller Mike Battaglia for the nine-race Sunday card. Braddick, 33, is the regular race-caller at Arapahoe Park in Colorado and occasionally fills in at Turfway and at Charles Town in West Virginia.

* The carryover into the Turfway pick six for Thursday has edged up to $21,071. First post for the nine-race card is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.