05/30/2005 12:00AM

Martin fined in music flap


The Belmont Park stewards suspended trainer Jose Martin for 15 days and fined him $2,000 for failing to run his horse, Starduster, in Sunday's second race, necessitating a late scratch. If Martin does not appeal, the suspension is scheduled to start Thursday.

According to the stewards, Martin claimed that there was too much noise outside of the paddock, creating a potentially unsafe situation for his horse. On Sunday, Belmont hosted "The World of Horses," exhibitions of different breeds conducted on the track between races. Music that accompanied the exhibitions was, at times, extremely loud. Starduster, a 3-year-old daughter of Western Expression, was entered to run in a one-mile maiden race for New York-bred fillies.

Martin, 61, has trained horses since 1967. He has trained three Eclipse winners, including 1987's champion sprinter, Groovy.

Martin did not return calls seeking comment.