12/14/2010 1:58PM

Stidham granted stay of medication ban


CHICAGO – A 15-day suspension that trainer Mike Stidham began serving Dec. 4 for a medication positive has been stayed by the Illinois Racing Board, and horses racing Thursday at Fair Grounds will run in Stidham’s name rather than for Hilary Pridham, Stidham’s longtime assistant who had taken over the operation during his suspension.

The racing board issued the stay as it continues to sort out the particulars of a positive called on Upperline after her win July 3 in the Arlington Oaks. Upperline tested positive for the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug etodolac, which is not permitted at any level on race day in Illinois. Besides the 15-day suspension, Upperline’s positive test also triggered her disqualification from the Grade 3 race.

Stidham, who declined to provide details concerning the stay, appealed the ruling, and a hearing was to have been held on the matter Dec. 13. That hearing was canceled, however, and Upperline’s case has been remanded back to stewards for further consideration. The stewards, now at Hawthorne, could issue a new ruling on the positive test in coming days, officials at the racing board said.