11/07/2008 12:00AM

Seven-day ban for Jones upheld


The Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission has upheld a seven-day suspension issued by stewards at Delaware Park to trainer Larry Jones, denying the trainer's appeal of a positive test for a horse he trains, parties involved in the case said on Wednesday.

The positive test for the prohibited race-day medication clenbuterol arose from Stones River following the filly's win in an allowance race at Delaware Park on June 8. Clenbuterol is a bronchial dilator that is frequently used by horsemen during training, but most state racing regulations prohibit the administration of the drug within 72 hours of a race.

Stones River is owned by a partnership headed by Jim Squires, the owner of Two Bucks Farm in Versailles, Ky. On Wednesday, Squires said that he would not appeal the decision further, although he still believes that the positive postrace test result was in error and that Jones was innocent.

"We thought we would take it as far as we could go in Delaware without attacking Delaware's rules in the state court system," said Squires. "They are sort of a leader on the medication front."

Squires and Jones have both contended that Stones River was not administered clenbuterol within 72 hours of the race. All state racing commissions hold the trainer responsible for a positive postrace drug test unless the trainer can prove that he did not administer the drug.

Jones, 52, said on Wednesday that the ruling was "fair" based on the trainer responsibility rule. It is the first positive postrace test for a horse trained by Jones in his 26-year career.

John Wayne, the executive director of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, said that Jones's seven-day suspension would become effective after the state's deputy attorney general prepared the official decision and order. Jones will be unable to start horses in any state during the seven-day suspension.