01/19/2007 1:00AM

Takeover Target's owner/trainer fined


Owner/trainer Joe Janiak has been fined $25,600 by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for the drug positive that forced the scratching of Takeover Target from the Hong Kong Sprint on Dec. 10.

Takeover Target tested positive for a prohibited substance, a steroid called 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone hexanoate, on both his arrival in Hong Kong and on the morning of the race. Honk Kong stewards weighed Janiak's record of 34 years without a drug positive in assessing a relatively lenient fine that could have been accompanied by a long suspension.

* Epsom Downs and its Epsom Derby sponsor, Vodafone, announced jointly on Friday that the communications giant would end its 13-year association with Epsom Downs after this year's Derby on June 9. Vodafone will also discontinue its sponsorship of Epsom's other Derby Festival events, among them the English Oaks and the Coronation Cup. During Vodafone's 13-year partnership with Epsom, the value of the Derby ballooned from $1,243,000 to $2,340,750.