06/11/2012 1:11PM

Mountaineer: Wedig's appeal on track ban to be heard June 29


The West Virginia Racing Commission has scheduled a June 29 hearing to hear trainer Mark Wedig’s appeal of his ejection from Mountaineer Park.

Jeff Blaydes, a partner with the Charleston, W.Va., law firm Carbone and Blaydes, will preside over the public hearing, said West Virginia deputy attorney general Kelli Talbot, who represents the state’s racing commission. The hearing will take place at the Holiday Inn Express in Newell, W.Va.

Mountaineer ejected Wedig on May 29, citing “corporate policy.” In early May, Wedig had been under investigation by track officials over a possible violation of track owner MTR Gaming’s anti-slaughter policy, which forbids participants from directly or indirectly causing a horse to be put to slaughter. Wedig later produced the two horses at issue in that investigation, Canuki and Cactus Cafe, alive at the In Front Training Center near Mountaineer. On May 25, track officials later received a copy of an e-mail from the Canadian slaughterhouse Viande Richelieu noting that it had sent Canuki and Cactus Cafe “back to the owner.”

Early this year, West Virginia changed its procedural rules to specifically allow racing permit-holders to appeal racetrack ejections. The change came after the state Supreme Court agreed with the commission in a November 2011 decision that appeals should be allowed.