03/23/2006 12:00AM

Palomar hearing supported

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The California Horse Racing Board on Thursday passed a recommendation by its Medication Committee to allow protests to be submitted and conduct a hearing on the medication issue surrounding Intercontinental's victory in the $200,000 Palomar at Del Mar on Sept. 3, 2005. The action opens the door to a possible redistribution of the Palomar purse.

The Eclipse Award-winning turf mare last year, Intercontinental received a Lasix shot inside the four-hour limit before the Palomar. The violation was not discovered until after the race had been run. In a report presented to the board on Thursday, the Santa Anita steward Scott Chaney said the incident was "a clear medical violation" for which Intercon-tinental would have been scratched had the information been available before the race. Chaney was not a steward at Del Mar when the incident occurred. The veterinarian who administered the shot, Amy Lee Nevens, was fined $750 by the racing board in October for falsifying on a report the time she had administered the shot.

The board's action Thursday will allow for a hearing in a bid by Marsha Naify and Woodside Farms LLC, owners of the Palomar's runner-up, Amorama, for a redistribution of the purse. One other protest was also filed, and the board will allow other owners to file protests within 72 hours of notification of its Thursday action. Two protests that had been disallowed will now be considered valid without having to be refiled.

In his report, Chaney found no evidence of impropriety by stewards or officials involved in the incident and suggested a more comprehensive surveillance and reporting program could prevent a repeat.