Updated on 09/15/2011 12:28PM

Lake: Positive won't hurt business


ELMONT, N.Y. - Scott Lake, the leading trainer in the country in wins, does not believe a recent clenbuterol positive on one of his horses will affect his business.

"If it was some class 1 drug or something, yeah, it's going to hurt you," Lake said Friday morning at Belmont Park where he has 17 horses stabled. "It's something you're allowed to use in training. This horse just carried it in his system a little longer."

The horse in question is Baltimore Gray, who turned up positive for the banned substance clenbuterol following a victory in a May 25 race at Belmont Park. The case is still under investigation, according to assistant state steward Stephen Lewandowsky, but Lake does face a possible suspension and fine.

In the last two cases of clenbuterol positives at New York Racing Association tracks, trainers Janice Nini and John Servis were each suspended 30 days and fined $2,000. Both had their suspensions reduced by 15 days for waiving their right to appeal.

Lake said he would wait until his penalty was handed down before deciding whether to appeal.

Lake, who also has 52 horses stabled at Philadelphia Park and 60 at Pimlico, has won 218 races - 80 more than any trainer in the country - from 742 starters this year. All three states have different out times - the days out from a race a horse can be treated - for clenbuterol which make medication positives an occupational hazard, according to Lake.

"If you run enough horses and you're in the game long enough you're going to get a positive," Lake said. "If the level of Bute [allowed] in a state is 5.0, your job as a trainer is to be at 4.99."

Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator and helps horses who bleed and/or have respiratory problems. Lake said he found both problems in Baltimore Gray following a fourth-place finish in a Feb. 1 allowance race. Lake had claimed Baltimore Gray one race earlier from trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. for $70,000.

In seven starts since, Baltimore Gray has two wins (one via disqualification), three seconds, and three thirds in eight starts. Baltimore Gray finished third the day he turned up positive.

Xtra Heat preps for Prioress

Xtra Heat, winner of 13 of 15 lifetime starts including 12 stakes, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 Thursday at Laurel Park in preparation for the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes at Belmont on July 4. It will be Xtra Heat's first start in a Grade 1 sprint.

"That suits what we're looking for," trainer John Salzman.

The Prioress will give Xtra Heat a chance to avenge her only loss sprinting, which came at the hooves of Cat Chat, who caught Xtra Heat in the final jump of the Nassau County. In that race, Xtra Heat opened a 3 1/2-length lead at the eighth pole before loafing under Rick Wilson.

"When she switches leads going into the turn she just wants to take off," Salzman said. "If [Wilson] can rate her a little bit more I believe she'll give that spurt at the eighth pole or the sixteenth pole."

Salzman said Wilson was able to do that in the Arctic Cloud Stakes at Pimlico, a race Xtra Heat won by 16 1/4 lengths against two opponents.

Astrapi, the undefeated New York bred, drilled five furlongs in 59.80 seconds Friday at Belmont Park. Before the work, she stood in the gate and then popped out of there into a gallop. After getting out of the chute and onto the main track, she began her workout.

Include works for Suburban

Include, winner of the Pimlico Special and Massachusetts Handicap in his last two starts, breezed six furlongs in 1:13.60 Friday at Laurel Park, his final major move before running in next Sunday's Grade 2 Suburban Handicap.

"He had a nice work," trainer Buddy Delp said. "He came back good, cooled out good. He finished his last eighth in 11.40 [seconds] and galloped out seven eighths in 1:27-and-a couple. He'll have a little blow out Wednesday and get up there Thursday morning."

* E Dubai, prepping for the July 8 Dwyer Stakes, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.90 over Belmont's main track on Friday. Trippi, who is expected to run next in the Tom Fool Handicap on July 4, went four furlongs in 47.51 seconds over the training track.