01/19/2002 12:00AM

Horse loses Texas-bred status

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The Texas Thoroughbred Association's board of directors voted to rescind its accreditation of Chauffe au Rouge during a lengthy hearing Friday in Austin. The decision could strip Chauffe au Rouge of the $90,000 in purses he earned for winning last year's $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes and $50,000 Richard King Handicap, two races restricted to accredited statebreds.

The decision to disqualify Chauffe au Rouge from the purses now lies with state stewards, who last month suspended the horse's owner, James Donnan, for one year for submitting a "false, fraudulent or incorrect" document to the TTA to make Chauffe au Rouge eligible for statebred races in Texas.

Donnan was granted a stay by the Texas Racing Commission, and is to appear before the state office of administrative hearings Feb. 7. That office will make a recommendation on Donnan's case to the commission, which could then rule on the issue in March or April.

"We were shocked at the ruling from the racing commission, and extremely shocked at the ruling from the TTA," said Donnan. "I did nothing wrong."

At issue is whether Chauffe au Rouge's dam met the requirements of the state's breed-back rule.