09/15/2006 11:00PM

Second positive for Wolfson colt


CHICAGO - Can't Beat It, already disqualified from second-place money in the July 22 American Derby after testing positive for the drug isoxuprine, has received a second positive test for the same race, this time for the commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug naproxen.

Trainer Marty Wolfson, already fined $1,000 for the isoxuprine positive, was handed another $1,000 fine for the naproxen positive. Wolfson's attorney has appealed the first ruling.

The ruling on the positive test for isoxuprine, commonly used to increase circulation in the feet, was issued more than a month earlier than Saturday's naproxen ruling. Shelley Kalita, legal counsel for the Illinois Racing Board and the chief overseer of the board's laboratory, said the rulings were spaced so far apart because the protocols for the tests were different. The isoxuprine test was performed under the regular testing regimen conducted on Chicago racehorses, known as the ELISA system; the naproxen positive came through a stakes-race testing protocol established by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Kalita said testing at the lab was anonymous; no lab employee knew whose sample was being tested.

Both medications are Class 4 drugs, meaning they're approved for standard therapeutic use, but are illegal on race day. Isoxuprine is not permitted even in trace levels in Illinois; some states don't take punitive action for trace-level isoxuprine positives.

Kalita said the board was attempting to follow national guidelines enacted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Under ARCI guidelines, Kalita said, trace levels are allowed for only three drugs - Bute, Banamine, and ketoprofen. Trace-level positives of DMSO and cocaine are permitted under rules governing environmental contamination.