02/19/2010 12:00AM

Pletcher not appealing ban


Trainer Todd Pletcher has decided not to appeal the 10-day suspension and $25,000 fine handed down last month by the California Horse Racing Board for a positive test for the anesthetic procaine from Wait a While following her third-place finish in the 2008 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. Pletcher will begin serving his suspension on Monday.

"By taking the days it in no way means I agree with either the ruling or the suspension," said Pletcher. "I think it's an unfair ruling particularly in light of the fact there were two procaine positives in California in and around the time of mine and neither trainer served any days. Apparently the board felt because my infraction came in the Breeders' Cup it was more important, but to me that makes it even more ludicrous and foolish to think I'd use procaine in any way before a race of that magnitude."

Procaine is a Class 3 medication often used with penicillin, an antibiotic. Pletcher offered documented evidence at his hearing from his veterinarians that the last penicillin shot Wait a While received came 18 days before the Breeders' Cup.

"Unfortunately the only way to fight these things costs a lot of money and you seldom can win," he said. "I also cannot afford to take the days at another time. We have a little window here where there's not quite as much action going on, and after talking to most of my owners, everyone felt it was better to get it out of the way now."

Pletcher has two horses entered at Gulfstream on Wednesday, both of whom will run in the name of his assistant Anthony Sciametta.

"I have a great staff in place and they can carry the banner while I'm away," said Pletcher.