09/17/2008 12:00AM

Jones appeals suspension


The Delaware-based trainer Larry Jones has appealed a seven-day suspension handed down by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission on Wednesday for the postrace finding of a prohibited bronchial dilator after a race in June, Jones and officials of the commission said after the ruling was released.

The appeal, which will automatically stay the suspension, was filed late on Wednesday, and the commission has tentatively scheduled to hear the appeal at its meeting on Oct. 21, according to the commission's executive director, John Wayne.

Jones had a hearing before the commission on Tuesday. The ruling to suspend Jones for seven days beginning on Saturday was approved by commission staff on Wednesday. Also as part of the ruling, Jones was fined $500 and the horse was disqualified from the race.

The horse, Stones River, tested positive for clenbuterol following a win in an allowance race on June 8 at Delaware Park, according to commission officials. Clenbuterol is a bronchial dilator with steroidal properties that is illegal to administer on race day, though horsemen widely use the drug for horses in training.

The horse's owner, Jim Squires, has been a vocal critic of the liberal use of medication in racing, and he had previously claimed that the horse tested positive as a result of sabotage. Horses trained by Jones have previously been tampered with at his Delaware Park base, including an incident last year in which an unknown person inserted a sponge in one of his horse's nostrils.

"We didn't" give the horse clenbuterol, Jones said on Wednesday. "We've had so many horses been tampered with at Delaware, and I know there's a 100-percent trainer responsibility rule, but this has got to be looked at."