07/21/2009 12:00AM

Oaklawn Handicap winner disqualified


The Arkansas Racing Commission on Tuesday disqualified It's a Bird from his win in the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap and ordered the purse of the race redistributed after the horse tested positive for naproxen. The panel also fined Marty Wolfson, the trainer of It's a Bird, $500.

Mike Meuser, an attorney representing Edmund Gann, the owner of It's a Bird, and Wolfson, said he and his clients are determining whether or not to appeal the decision.

"We're disappointed with the forfeiture of the purse and we're going to have look at that hard to see what to do, if anything, relative to that," he said. "We're going to have to evaluate it."

If the decision that was issued on Tuesday is appealed, the case will move to circuit court.

Arkansas has a zero-tolerance policy on naproxen, which is a Class 4 medication violation. Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory that is sold for human use under the brand name Aleve.

It's a Bird earned $300,000 for his six-length win in the Oaklawn Handicap on April 4. He is now unplaced in the race as a result of the disqualification, a move that elevates runner-up Runforthedoe to first place.

It's a Bird is one of the top handicap horses in the nation. He won the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic in January, and following the Oaklawn Handicap won the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Park Handicap. It's a Bird last raced on July 4, finishing seventh in the Grade 2, $400,000 Suburban at Belmont Park.