06/22/2005 12:00AM

Muniz purse reassigned


Rapid Proof has been disqualified from his victory in the Mervin Muniz Handicap on March 19 at Fair Grounds after testing positive for the prohibited drug dexamethasone. The purse for the $500,000 Muniz has been re-distributed and Hal Wiggins, Rapid Proof's trainer, fined $1,000.

The positive finding and Wiggins fine were announced in a May 25 ruling handed down by Delta Downs stewards, who wound up with the Rapid Proof case because the Fair Grounds meet had ended by the time Louisiana racing officials were prepared to issue a ruling. The ruling was upheld in a Monday meeting of the Louisiana Racing Commission, which then chose to redistribute the purse of the Grade 2 Muniz.

Dexamethasone, known under the brand name Azium, is regularly used therapeutically as an anti-inflammatory medication but is illegal on raceday in Louisiana. Wiggins has 30 days to appeal the ruling in court.

In the Muniz, Rapid Proof narrowly beat A to the Z and America Alive, to whom the ruling awards first and second money.