06/09/2008 12:00AM

New Biancone hearing set


The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has scheduled a hearing for June 17 to consider whether trainer Patrick Biancone violated the terms of a one-year suspension, according to court papers and officials involved in the case.

The hearing will consider whether Biancone has conducted any training activities earlier this year at a property outside of Lexington, Ky., that he has agreed to purchase with a partner, Fabien Ouaki. In early November last year, Biancone agreed to stop training for six months after investigators for the authority discovered three vials of a prohibited substance, cobra-snake venom, in his barn during a search at Keeneland in the summer. The settlement also prohibited Biancone from seeking a trainer's license for one year.

Biancone and his attorney, Frank Becker, had previously reached a renegotiated settlement with racing authority officials after authority investigators alleged that Biancone was training on the farm. But the full authority did not approve the settlement and instead asked for a hearing. In response, Becker asked a Franklin County Circuit Court judge to stop the authority from conducting the hearing.

In an opinion signed May 29, Judge Thomas Wingate denied that request, citing Biancone's right to appeal the hearing in civil courts.

"Plaintiff has failed to establish that he will be irreparably harmed if the authority is permitted to hold its scheduled hearing," Wingate wrote.

Becker said on Monday that Biancone will challenge the authority's position that he was conducting training activities in violation of the settlement.