05/18/2011 2:56PM

Keeneland: Vinery Madison under appeal


The trainer of the third-place finisher in the Grade 1 Vinery Madison Stakes on April 14 at Keeneland Racecourse has filed an appeal of a complaint that the second-place finisher should not have been allowed to start, according to Kentucky racing officials.

Joan Scott, the trainer of Dr. Zic who ran third in the Madison, first lodged the complaint shortly after race, claiming that the second-place finisher, Amen Hallelujah, should have been scratched because the horse’s trainer at the time of entry, Richard Dutrow, did not have a license. The appeal will be heard by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

John Veitch, Kentucky’s chief state steward, said that stewards denied Scott’s initial complaint because a Kentucky circuit court had ordered that Amen Hallelujah be allowed to start after the Kentucky Licensing Review Committee denied Dutrow a license following the entry of the horse. Under an agreement that was reached between the commission and Amen Hallelujah’s owners just before post time of the race, the horse was allowed to start under the name of trainer Justin Sallusto.

Veitch notified the commission that Scott had appealed the initial ruling at a commission meeting held on Wednesday outside of Lexington, Ky. Scott is seeking a redistribution of the purse. Amen Hallelujah earned $60,000 in the race, and Dr. Zic earned $30,000.

Also at the meeting, the commission unanimously approved an overhaul of the state’s Kentucky Breeders Incentive Fund. In the largest change under the overhaul, breeders will receive an identical award if a horse wins at a track in Kentucky as at a track in other states. Previously, horses who won in Kentucky were eligible for larger awards than horses that won out of state.

Also at the meeting, the commission formed a Raceday Medication Committee to study the use of the diuretic furosemide to treat bleeding in the lungs. Furosemide use on race day has emerged as a leading matter of debate over the past several months in the industry, with a handful of major racing organizations calling for its ban.

– Matt Hegarty