02/02/2006 12:00AM

Sciacca aide to serve ban


A barn foreman for trainer Gary Sciacca was to begin serving a 45-day suspension on Friday for his role in an alleged milkshaking incident at Belmont Park dating back nearly three years.

According to Sciacca, the foreman, Oscar Deleon does not have the necessary funds to fight the suspension through the court system and therefore has agreed to take his days.

Paul Barone, a Sciacca assistant, and Sciacca himself have appealed their suspensions for the incident to the state supreme court. On appeal to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board in September 2004, both Barone and Sciacca had their initial bans of 60 days increased to 120 days.

Jack McGuire, the veterinarian who allegedly administered the milkshake, had his appeal of a 180-day suspension turned down by the appellate division of the state supreme court on Jan. 26. The NYRA stewards were waiting to hear from McGuire if he was going to appeal that ruling to a higher level of the state supreme court before meting out his suspension.

On June 28, 2003, Deleon, Barone, and McGuire were arrested and charged with tampering with a sports contest after New York Racing Association investigators allegedly saw McGuire administering a milkshake - a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and electrolytes - to Storm River Kelly on the morning the horse was to race. Those charges were later dropped, because, in part, of inconsistencies in a NYRA investigator's testimony.

Sciacca was not in the country at the time of the incident, but was suspended under the trainer-responsibility rule. According to Sciacca, Barone had instructed McGuire to treat the horse stabled next to Storm River Kelly with a product called Lifeguard, which, like a milkshake, is administered through a tube and through the nostrils.