04/06/2009 12:00AM

Mullins could face sanctions over Gato Go Win


Jeff Mullins, the trainer of potential Kentucky Derby favorite I Want Revenge, could face sanctions from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board after Mullins was observed giving Gato Go Win medication in the race-day security barn Saturday, necessitating the colt's scratch from the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes.

According to Joe Mahoney, a racing board spokesman, "Mr. Mullins was observed administering an over-the-counter product called Air Power to the horse in the security barn. He had also apparently taken a syringe into the security barn. As a result, the stewards directed that Gato Go Win be scratched."

Air Power is an expectorant that helps loosen phlegm and clear bronchial airways. One New York trainer likened it to a liquid form of Vick's VapoRub that can be given in most states. It is administered orally by use of a metal dose syringe. Mullins could face penalties because it is forbidden to bring anything into the race-day security barn, which the New York Racing Association instituted in 2005.

The board said the stewards did not deem it necessary to scratch I Want Revenge from the Wood Memorial - a race he won by 1 1/2 lengths despite a brutal trip.

"There was no incident involving I Want Revenge, who was under surveillance in the security barn prior to racing," said Mahoney.

Mahoney said the stewards are still investigating the matter and that it would be "premature to get into any discussion of potential penalties," he added. "We're of the view that if a horse needs Air Power to get to the finish line, he doesn't belong in the race."