04/14/2009 11:00PM

Stewards hear Wait a While case


A hearing regarding a positive test for procaine found in Wait a While after her third-place finishers of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita last October was held by the Santa Anita stewards on Wednesday, who may decide to disqualify the mare and redistribute part of the purse.

Stewards Scott Chaney, Albert Christiansen, and Tom Ward are not expected to file a decision until later this month at the earliest, pending written closing arguments from attorneys.

A postrace urine test taken from Wait a While revealed an excessive level of procaine, a local anesthetic, according to California Horse Racing Board documents released over the winter. The urine test was conducted at the University of California at Davis, with a second test at a lab in Pennsylvania confirming the initial findings.

At Wednesday's hearing, the stewards heard testimony from racing board investigators, test barn staff, UC-Davis officials and a Louisiana State University chemist, Steven Barker.

At stake is the $213,000 earned by Wait a While. Procaine is classified as a Class 3 drug. Positives for drugs in classes 1, 2, or 3 can result in a possible disqualification and loss of purse. In addition, a positive for procaine could result in a penalty against trainer Todd Pletcher.

No hearings have been scheduled regarding Pletcher's case, which is independent from the possible purse redistribution hearing.

Wait a While was the champion 3-year-old filly of 2006 and is owned by Arindel Farm. She won 11 stakes in her career, and earned more than $2 million.