07/12/2007 11:00PM

Kentucky drops two Lasix cases

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The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has dropped two cases charging trainers with administering excess amounts of the diuretic Lasix because the trainers' split samples were mistakenly discarded, the executive director of the racing authority said on Friday.

Lisa Underwood, the executive director, would not reveal the names of the trainers whose penalties were thrown out, citing the authority's rules in drug cases. Over the past three months, five trainers - Bobby Frankel, Bob Holthus, Mike Maker, Mike Tomlinson, and Robert Pincins - have had postrace samples that tested positive for an excess amount of Lasix, a legal raceday medication that is used to alleviate bleeding in the lungs. Frankel has already paid his fine, and his case is not considered open.

The positives had led the trainers to question the racing authority's testing methods, because of several findings in which Lasix was detected up to 10 times the permissible amount. As a result, the authority had agreed to pay for a retest of the urine samples, using a split sample of the original split sample.

When state veterinary officials went to retrieve the samples two weeks ago, they found that two of them had been mistakenly discarded, Underwood said. The authority has since revised its procedures for clearing the refrigeration unit that stores the samples in order to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

The other two samples will be sent to the testing laboratory at Louisiana State University for the retest, Underwood said. The original tests were performed at the racing authotity's contracted testing laboratory at Iowa State University.