09/09/2010 6:04PM

Judge upholds DQ of It's a Bird in Oaklawn Handicap

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Shawn Coady/Coady Photography
It's a Bird crosses the wire first in the 2009 Oaklawn Handicap.

A circuit court judge has upheld the Arkansas Racing Commission's decision to disqualify It's a Bird from his 2009 win in the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap after he tested positive for the anti-inflammatory naproxen.

Judge Alice Gray of the Pulaski County Circuit Court in Little Rock, Ark., ruled in the case late Thursday afternoon, according to Byron Freeland, an attorney representing the commission.

The decision can be appealed. An attorney representing the connections of It's a Bird did not immediately return a call on Thursday.

It's a Bird won the Oaklawn Handicap by six lengths in April 2009. He then tested positive for naproxen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that is a Class 4 medication violation. A commission hearing in the case was held in July 2009, and the panel disqualified It's a Bird and ordered the winning purse of $300,000 to be redistributed. The action elevated Runforthedoe, who was second in the Oaklawn Handicap, to first place. Marty Wolfson, who trained It's a Bird, was fined $500 by the commission. Arkansas has a zero-tolerance policy on naproxen.

It's a Bird was retired in January. He raced for Edmund Gann, who died in February at the age of 86. The horse's wins included the Sunshine Millions Classic, the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap, and the Grade 3 Spend a Buck Handicap.