05/15/2002 11:00PM

Six horses get special bleeding medication

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BALTIMORE - Connections of six of the 13 horses in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday have told Maryland racing officials that they intend to run on adjunct bleeder medications, three drugs that are allowed to be administered with Lasix four hours before a race to treat bleeding. The horses are U S S Tinosa, Magic Weisner, Medaglia d'Oro, Harlan's Holiday, Easyfromthegitgo, and Menacing Dennis.

The adjunct medications are carbazochrome, transexamic acid, and aminocaproic acid. Carbazachrome, which is also known as Kentucky Red, is used to treat high-blood pressure. Both transexamic acid and aminocaproic acid are blood-clotting agents.

Earlier this year, the Maryland Racing Commission passed a rule requiring trainers to notify regulators if they planned to use any one of the drugs in conjunction with Lasix. The drugs had already been in use for several years, but the state did not enforce a prohibition on the raceday use.

Ken McPeek, the trainer of Harlan's Holiday, said Thursday that if he used any medication on his horse, it would be carbazachrome. McPeek said he has used carbazochrome on some horses in Kentucky, where the medication is also legal.

Adjunct bleeder medications, which are not believed to affect performance, are also legal in Louisiana. Neither Louisiana nor Kentucky requires trainers to disclose what horses are administered the medications, but those states also do not require notification about anti-inflammatories, steroids, or a host of other legal raceday medications.

Keeping things in perspective

Before the Kentucky Derby, Jack Wolf had a large entourage surrounding him. Yet after Harlan's Holiday, the colt Wolf owns with his wife, Laurie, finished seventh as the favorite, the Wolfpack was culled. Wolf said just one-third of the group he had at the Derby will make the trip to the Preakness.

A few minutes after Harlan's Holiday arrived at Pimlico on Wednesday, Wolf stood next to his colt's stall, with no one else around. "The best call I got was from a friend of mine who said, 'Loser,' " Wolf said, laughing.

Wolf has had a grounded approach to the Triple Crown. He scheduled a party the night of the Derby, and promised it would be held, win or lose. "It went until the cops shut down the band," Wolf said. "They had to help drive some people home. There weren't any tears at that party."

McPeek offers no alibis

Preakness trainers got an opportunity to offer excuses at an alibi breakfast held Thursday. Seven of the eight trainers who spoke complied, while the other, McPeek, the trainer of Harlan's Holiday, the third choice on the morning line, instead came close to guaranteeing a win.

"What if I told you I didn't need an alibi before this weekend?" McPeek told Chris Lincoln, the television broadcaster who emceed the breakfast.

Bob Baffert, trainer of the front-running Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem, came up with three alibis. War Emblem, who was purchased for $1 million 3 1/2 weeks before the Derby, will be ridden by Victor Espinoza. But Baffert also hinted that his horse would stalk the leaders, part of the cat-and-mouse game that has been going on all week.

"The first alibi is, 'The bastards got me,' " Baffert said, referring to the trainers who have announced that they will not allow War Emblem to take an uncontested lead. "The second one is, 'I told Victor that this horse wouldn't rate;' and the third one is, 'I knew there was a reason we got him so cheap.' "

Medaglia d'Oro blows out at Belmont

Medaglia d'Oro, the morning-line favorite for the Preakness, blew out three furlongs in 35.02 seconds Thursday morning at Belmont Park. Jerry Bailey was aboard for the move - the second fastest of 36 at the distance - and will ride the horse on Saturday.

The three-furlong move was primarily down a straightaway as Medaglia d'Oro broke off at the quarter pole and worked to the 1 3/8-mile pole. Belmont clockers timed him in 23 seconds from the quarter pole to the wire.

Marasca euthanized

Marasca, the winner of the Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream Park, was euthanized on May 10 after fracturing both sesamoids in his right foreleg on May 4, trainer John Kimmel said.

Marasca suffered his injury when he was working out at Fair Hill, Md., in preparation for the Lone Star Derby. Owned by Martin Cherry, Marasca had a 2-3-1 record from seven starts and earned $196,460.

Former steward honored

John Heisler, a former Maryland state steward, received the Special Award of Merit from the Maryland Jockey Club on Thursday morning, also during the Alibi breakfast.

Heisler, who worked in the racing industry for 50 years, retired on March 30 after 19 years as a steward in Maryland.

Jay Privman, a reporter for Daily Racing Form, was presented the David F. Woods Memorial Award for the best Preakness story of 2001. Michele McDonald, the news editor of the Thoroughbred Times, shared the Old Hilltop Award, to honor members of the sports media "who have covered Thoroughbred racing with excellence and distinction," with Stan Charles, a Baltimore radio broadcaster.

In other awards, Molly Riley, a photographer for Reuters, received the Nikon Preakness photography award for a photo of 2001 Preakness winner Point Given. John Buren, a Baltimore television broadcaster, was named the Honorary Postmaster.

- Holiday Thunder, a multiple-graded stakes placed colt, has been retired after bowing a tendon in his right foreleg, trainer John Ward said. Holiday Thunder injured himself winning an entry-level allowance race at Keeneland on April 25. Owned by John Oxley, Holiday Thunder had a record of 2-4-3 from 10 starts and earned $197,213.

- additional reporting by David Grening and Karen M. Johnson