08/07/2003 11:00PM

Three banned for milkshake


The New York stewards on Friday suspended three people in connection with an alleged milkshaking incident at Belmont Park on June 28.

John McGuire, a veterinarian, was suspended 60 days and had his matter referred to the New York State Racing and Wagering Board for further action. McGuire appealed his suspension and will be able to practice until the appeal is heard.

Trainer Gary Sciacca was suspended 45 days, which could be reduced to 30 if he waives his right to appeal. Paul Barone, an assistant to Sciacca, was suspended 60 days. Sciacca and Barone, who met with the stewards on Friday, have until Monday to appeal. Sciacca, who was not present at the time of the alleged incident, was suspended under the trainer's responsibility rule. On Friday, he said he would talk with his lawyers before deciding whether to appeal.

Oscar DeLeon, a groom for Sciacca, was at Monmouth Park on Friday and is scheduled to meet with the stewards on Monday.

On June 28, New York Racing Association investigators allege they witnessed McGuire, Barone, and DeLeon attempting to give Storm River Kelly, who was entered to race that day, a milkshake. A milkshake is a mixture of bicarbonate soda and sugar, administered via a tube through the nostrils. A milkshake opens up a horse's capillaries and helps guard against fatigue. Storm River Kelly was ordered scratched.

Sciacca, on vacation when the incident occurred, maintains that it was an honest mistake and that McGuire and DeLeon misunderstood Barone and went to treat the wrong horse.