02/02/2007 12:00AM

Guild files petition over DQ


The Jockeys' Guild has filed a petition with the California Horse Racing Board asking the board to reimburse jockey Roberto Gonzalez for his purse winnings from a horse who was disqualified from a race because of a drug infraction.

The petition cites a portion of California's Business and Professions Code that states that in the event of a disqualification because of an illegal drug, not administered by a rider, the board "shall have the authority to order, in the interests of justice, that a jockey be permitted to keep his or her share of the purse."

The race in question was Feb. 24 at Bay Meadows, a maiden claiming event with a purse of $14,900. Gonzalez rode Magic Destiny to a first-place finish, but the horse, trained by Richard Baltas, was later disqualified after testing positive for two drugs: the antihistamine hydroxyzine, and an allergy suppressant, cetirizine.

Barry Broad, the guild's California-based attorney, said the petition is the first of its kind to be filed after the legislature approved the new law in 2005.

Richard Shapiro, the chairman of the state racing board, said Friday that the petition has been passed on to his staff.

"Honestly, I didn't even know this law existed," said Shapiro.