02/23/2005 1:00AM

Kitchingman runners quarantined


Adam Kitchingman on Wednesday was announced as the fourth trainer at Santa Anita whose horses will be subject to a 24-hour quarantine, the result of one of his horses testing for a high reading of alkalizing agents, commonly referred to as a milkshake.

The sanction was disclosed by Dr. Rick Arthur, the spokesman for a consortium of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Thoroughbred Trainers, and Santa Anita, which is conducting and paying for the tests. The testing is being done by racetracks until a rule passed by the California Horse Racing Board takes effect later this year.

According to Arthur, Kitchingman was cited after his horse Always the Best was found to have a total carbon dioxide level in excess of 37 millimoles per liter of plasma - the minimum level for a violation - when competing in the fifth race on Feb. 16. Always the Best, who was making his debut in the maiden-claiming sprint, finished fifth at odds of 7-1, beaten by eight lengths.

"The racing officials were very kind to me," Kitchingman said Wednesday. "I got caught playing with fire, and I'll have to reconsider what I was doing. I'm not going to deny it like everybody else who got caught. It's not going to happen again. Unfortunately, because this is a competitive business, you do stuff you've got to do to try to win races."

The quarantine for Kitchingman's horses was to take effect with the horses scheduled to race on Thursday, Arthur said. For the next 30 days, all of his horses entered to run must be in the quarantine barn 24 hours before their respective races. Horses not entered to run can continue to train out of Kitchingman's regular barn.

In addition, Kitchingman's barn will be subject to extra surveillance for another 15 days following the 30-day quarantine period.

"That's something we've done with all the trainers," Arthur said.

Julio Canani, Vladimir Cerin, and Jeff Mullins are the trainers who were previously announced as having their horses subject to quarantine because of high readings for alkalizing agents.

The decision to place all four trainers' horses in quarantine was made by a five-member panel of Arthur, Ron Charles and George Haines of Santa Anita, Drew Couto of the TOC, and Ed Halpern of the CTT. That panel is evaluating all total-carbon-dioxide violations at this meeting.