05/26/2016 10:25AM

Stable employee of trainer Umarov suspended

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A stable employee for the suspended trainer Otabek Umarov has been suspended by the Kentucky stewards for removing a horse from the trainer’s barn several days prior to Umarov being ejected from Churchill Downs in Louisville, according to stewards.

Yuliia Burdeniuk, the employee, was suspended May 11, “pending her appearance to answer questions regarding her actions and her complicity in removing” a stakes-winning horse, Looks to Spare, from Churchill on April 30, according to the ruling. Umarov was ejected from Churchill on May 2 for unspecified reasons and was subsequently suspended by the stewards, who are representatives of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Looks to Spare, who ran third in last year’s Clark Handicap at Churchill and had earlier won the West Virginia Governor’s Stakes, is the highest-profile horse in Umarov’s barn. Umarov claimed the horse at Hawthorne in Chicago in April 2015 for $5,000, and the horse rapidly moved through the claiming ranks and started in four straight graded stakes races following the West Virginia win.

Barbara Borden, the chief state steward in Kentucky, said that Burdeniuk was suspended as a result of an investigation into the Umarov matter, but she declined to comment further. Umarov has had a hearing, but stewards have declined to comment on the investigation until a formal ruling is issued. That ruling is expected to be issued soon.