11/06/2003 12:00AM

Milkshake charges may go


The Nassau County, N.Y., district attorney is prepared to drop criminal charges against three individuals who were allegedly involved in a milkshaking incident at Belmont Park in June.

Paul Barone, a longtime assistant to trainer Gary Sciacca, Oscar DeLeon, a foreman for Sciacca, and veterinarian Dr. Jack McGuire were arrested in June and charged with tampering with a sports contest, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, after investigators for the New York Racing Association claimed to have caught them administering a milkshake to the horse Storm River Kelly on June 28, hours before he was scheduled to run. Storm River Kelly was ordered scratched.

On Thursday, all three men were in District Court, apparently willing to accept a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. But after reviewing the minutes of a hearing held by track investigators in August, the district attorney noticed inconsistencies with the testimony of a NYRA investigator, Juan Dominguez, and asked the judge for an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, meaning the charges would be dropped if none of the defendants is arrested in the next six months

While the criminal charges will most likely be dropped, the three individuals and Sciacca face punishment from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. Barone, DeLeon, and McGuire were each suspended 60 days and Sciacca, under the trainer responsibility rule, was suspended 45 days. All four have appealed.