07/17/2001 11:00PM

Lake to serve 15-day ban


Scott Lake, the country's leading trainer in wins, was to begin serving a 15-day suspension on Thursday as a result of a horse testing positive for a banned substance.

Lake, who was also fined $2,000, was originally suspended for 30 days, but it was reduced by 15 days for waiving his right to appeal. The Lake-trained Baltimore Gray tested positive for clenbuterol, a bronchodilator permitted for training but not for raceday use, after winning the eighth race (via disqualification) on May 25.

Lake, who also has stables at Pimlico, Delaware, and Philadelphia Park, will be denied the privileges of the grounds of all North American tracks through Aug. 2.

"If you appeal I'd have to do the whole 30 days, and I wanted to get most of the meet in at Saratoga," Lake said Wednesday at Belmont, where he saddled Re Book to a second-place finish in the eighth race.

"I also want to make the Canterbury races on Aug. 4."

Lake was referring to the Claiming Crown, a series of rich races for claiming horses at Canterbury Park. Lake said he has eight horses pointed for those races.

While Lake is away, his assistants will be the listed trainers in the program. In New York, that's Gerald Brooks, in Philadelphia, Steve Krebs, and in Maryland, Tim Hooper.