06/30/2008 12:00AM

Levine horses test negative


All 41 horses trained by Bruce Levine at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., tested negative for blood-doping drugs, the executive director of the New Jersey Racing Commission, Frank Zanzuccki, said Monday.

The results were reported to the racing commission six days after officials for the regulatory body drew blood from Levine's horses at Monmouth as part of an 8-month-old out-of-competition testing program. Zanzuccki stressed that Levine - who has posted a 52 percent win percentage this year at Monmouth - was selected at random.

Levine said he was confident the tests would come back negative, but did say he feared potential sabotage since he has horses in different barns.

"I'm glad they tested the whole barn," he said. "It makes you nervous that someone didn't spike a horse on you. I knew if a guy was trying to get you, he wouldn't select 41 horses because it's kind of expensive. I didn't give the horses EPO. It's a big relief having that off your back, I can tell you that."

New Jersey passed rules allowing for out-of-competition testing for blood-doping drugs in October. Since then, the commission has pulled samples from "15 to 20" trainers, Zanzuccki said, and reported positive tests from one individual, harness trainer Ernest Adam.

Blood-doping drugs like erythropoeitin and darbepoeitin are typically administered well in advance of raceday, and the drugs are difficult to detect several days after administration.

- additional reporting by David Grening