10/27/2009 11:00PM

Guillot agrees to fine, suspension


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Eric Guillot served a five-day suspension that ended Tuesday and paid a $3,000 fine because one of his starters at Del Mar tested positive for the banned steroid trenbolone this summer.

The post-race test was taken from Champagne d'Oro, the winner of the sixth race on Aug. 9. The filly is among the pre-entries for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 6, with the Juvenile Fillies listed as a first preference.

The California Horse Racing Board and Guillot agreed to the fine and suspension on Oct. 21. Guillot was actually suspended for 30 days, but 25 of those days were stayed on the provision that Guillot not have a medication violation in Class 1, 2, or 3 through Oct. 10, 2010.

Trenbolone, a steroid used to build muscle and increase appetite, is not permitted to appear in post-race tests. It is listed as a Class 3 medication.

The $27,540 winner's share of the maiden race purse was ordered redistributed earlier this month. Champagne d'Oro is owned by Southern Equine Racing.

Guillot said he agreed to settle with the racing board to put an end to the situation.

"I still don't know how it got there," he said of the banned medication.

Jeranimo launches comeback

Jeranimo was a cut below the best 3-year-olds earlier this year, finishing third behind Pioneerof the Nile in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes and sixth in the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in April. He was later sidelined with a foot problem, and resumed training in the summer.

Trainer Michael Pender is hopeful that Jeranimo can prove he will be one of the top 4-year-olds in California next year, as the Strub series during the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting draws closer.

Friday, Jeranimo starts for the first time in more than six months in an optional claimer over six furlongs at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet. Pender had hoped Jeranimo could start in the Oak Tree Derby here on Nov. 7 but ran out of time.

"That race just came up too quick," Pender said.

Owned by B.J. Wright, Jeranimo has sprint experience. Back in January, he won a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs by two lengths, his only win in five starts. The distance of Friday's race does not concern Pender as much as a start against older horses.

"He's taking on his elders for the first time, and that's a good jump in class," Pender said. "He couldn't be training any better."

Jeranimo has drawn the rail in a field of nine. He will be fully extended to beat horses such as Charm N Chuck, Monolingual, and Pray for Action.

Charm N Chuck and Monolingual were second and third in an allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs on Oct. 14. Each is seeking a second win.

Pray for Action, 3, won the Ocala Breeders' Sales Sprint over six furlongs in February, a non-betting race held in Ocala, Fla., Unraced since that $75,000 race, Pray for Action will be making his sixth start on as many racetracks and first start for trainer Lisa Lewis.

Nakatani ailing, plans uncertain

It appears the Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita will be held without the participation of jockey Corey Nakatani, who has not ridden since Oct. 15. Earlier this month, Nakatani cited personal reasons for taking off his mounts on the weekend of Oct. 16-18.

Wednesday, he said he has been bothered by a sore back and a bout with flu, and did not know when he would return to riding. He said he plans to do color commentary on TVG in coming weeks.

"I'll do some TVG to keep up with everything," he aid.

As for a return to riding, Nakatani said he has no plans. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do," he said.

Nakatani has won seven Breeders' Cup races, most recently the 2006 Sprint at Churchill Downs with Thor's Echo.

Trainers of first-time geldings fined

Trainer Adam Kitchingham and Brian Koriner were each fined $750 earlier this month for failing to report that horses they started at Fairplex Park in September had been gelded since their preceding start, according to stewards' rulings.

The California Horse Racing Board has enacted tougher penalties in the last few years against trainers who fail to note when a horse is making his first start as a gelding. Trainers must inform track officials that a horse has been gelded when entries are submitted a few days before a race. Horses racing as geldings for the first time often show improvement.