12/22/2014 1:35PM

Ostrager cuts ties with Cannizzo after drug positive


Embarrassed by the fact one of his horses tested positive for a banned substance, owner-breeder Barry Ostrager has terminated his relationship with trainer David Cannizzo.

Ostrager was the owner of Ave’s Halo, one of three horses trained by Cannizzo that tested positive for the presence of the drug propoxyphene, a painkiller also known as Darvon, in its system following a race. Ave’s Halo tested positive after winning a claiming race Sept. 24 at Belmont Park. The horse was claimed out of that race.

Cannizzo was issued a 75-day suspension by the New York Gaming Commission but had 30 days stayed provided he does not incur another equine drug positive before Feb. 14, 2016. Darvon is a Class 3 drug, according to the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

Cannizzo also was fined $6,000 by the New York State Gaming Commission. The suspension runs from Jan. 1 through Feb. 14.

Ostrager, a member of the New York Racing Association’s Re-Organization board of directors, said he has moved the other horse he had with Cannizzo to another trainer.

“I could not be more embarrassed that a horse that I owned was associated with his situation,” Ostrager wrote in an email. “I have consistently and vigorously decried the use of performance-enhancing medications and I fully support the well-established trainer responsibility rule. NYRA must have a zero-tolerance position with respect to the administration to Thoroughbred race horses of any prohibited substances. The sport is severely tarnished whenever a racehorse tests positive for a prohibited substance. The betting public and Thoroughbred owners need to have confidence that the sport is 100% drug free.”

Michael Griffiths More than 1 year ago
So why don't you give back the checks for all those races he won for you. Do you think your horses were not on drugs?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He is paying the price he gets paid around 100 a day for each horse . If the owner takes away 5 that hurts This was an accident I doubt if was on purpose.
Michael Infurna More than 1 year ago
Who did he transfer horse to, Jacobson?
N Lad More than 1 year ago
Mr. Ostrager is correct with his assertion above. Cannizzo's miniscule penalty comes nowhere near matching his violation.
Chas More than 1 year ago
Great to see the owner step up move his horse...but, I wondered if he was not a member of the racing organization how 'embarrassed' would he be...and once again the full penalty is not enforced, why? Enforce the days issued and perhaps the trainers would start to clean their acts...
rdeeps52 More than 1 year ago
So even when an owner does the right thing, his motives and reasoning are still questioned? Gotta love this sport and its fans
Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
If only more owners step up and remove their horses from trainers that drug horses. Darvon? For horses? Maybe someone should take these trainers and pump this poison into them, then take it away and see how they feel. Cruel I thought Bute was bad, Darvon?
cherney19 More than 1 year ago
Finally an owner who stands up to these crooked trainers. Clean up the sport, these trainers that get caught need to be thrown out for life. NO EXCEPTIONS. Better yet, the horse that had the drugs need to be suspended for 6 months. Now the owners will take notice and use only honest trainers. This scumbag along with Doug O'Neil need to be banned for LIFE.
Jeff Smith More than 1 year ago
I would like to know how the suspension was only for 45 days when not just one but three horses came up positive for a class 3 drug that is not supposed to be used on the track. If that's the cases, what's all the hoopla about when it comes to banamine, which is like an aspirin compared to propoxyphene
scott More than 1 year ago
It is only 45 days cuz he promised the board he'd be a good little boy in 2015. Just smile and ask nicely, they'll knock off at least 30 days. At least the owner mentioned has moved on.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
I like this owner.