07/17/2002 12:00AM

Prairie Meadows evicts trainer

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ALTOONA, Iowa - Prairie Meadows has evicted trainer Ray Stifano from the grounds and given him until Friday morning to remove his 36-horse stable from the backside here.

The eviction stems from a dispute between Stifano and racing officials over his stall allotment, which was cut from 36 during the Thoroughbred meeting, which concluded on July 6, to 16 during the current mixed meeting, which began on Monday.

Stifano, who had eight winners from 70 starters during the Thoroughbred meeting, met with Derron Heldt, the track's director of racing, after receiving his stall notice for the mixed meet in late June and requested more stalls but was told that the previous decision was final and that the barns would be full during the mixed meet, according to Heldt.

Stifano has since refused to remove any of his horses from their stalls despite repeated requests from track officials. He was served with the eviction notice on Tuesday morning.