12/31/2001 12:00AM

Texas owner suspended for year

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Owner James Donnan has been suspended one year by the Texas Racing Commission after the Sam Houston Race Park board of stewards ruled that Donnan submitted a "false, fraudulent, or incorrect" document to the Texas Throughbred Association to make the horse Chauffe au Rouge eligible for accredited statebred races in Texas.

The ruling, which suspends Donnan through Dec. 25, 2002, has been appealed, and pending a hearing, Donnan has been granted a stay by Paula Flowerday, executive secretary of the Texas Racing Commission.

The TTA will conduct a separate hearing into the matter Jan. 18. Chauffe au Rouge has won $90,000 in Texas-bred races this year, which is being withheld by the commission.

The TTA "will determine whether or not the horse was properly accredited and whether or not he should remain accredited," Flowerday said. "Once they make that decision, that may dictate more action on the part of stewards [with regard to the purse money]."

Donnan and Gerald Mackey, whom the commission considers a silent partner and who is not involved in the ruling, claimed Chauffe au Rouge, who turns 6 on Jan. 1, for $20,000 in July.

Donnan took steps to make the Texas-foaled horse eligible for accredited races in September, including submitting a letter of intent - which the stewards' ruling states to be false - saying that the horse's dam, High Rent, was to have been bred back to an accredited Texas Thoroughbred stallion the same year as she foaled Chauffe au Rouge. The letter of intent is necessary to satisfy the state's breed-back rule because Chauffe au Rouge is High Rent's last known foal.

In his first start against Texas-breds, which came in October, Chauffe au Rouge set a course while winning the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes at Retama Park near San Antonio. Last month, the horse remained perfect in statebred company when he won the $50,000 Richard King Handicap at Sam Houston.