06/25/2003 11:00PM

Trainer banned over cattle prod


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Trainer Troy Bethke, who has maintained a stable at Canterbury Park since it opened in 1985, was suspended for 90 days by the Canterbury Park stewards for possession of a cattle prod that was discovered in his tack room on June 14.

The stewards have forwarded the matter to the Minnesota Racing Commission with the recommendation that an additional 90-day penalty be levied because of the severity of the offense. Bethke's suspension was scheduled to have started Friday.

Bethke has appealed the decision and the matter will be reviewed by members of the Minnesota Racing Commission Sunday. Bethke's attorney Jack Walsh has said he will argue that a cattle prod does not meet the definition of a prohibited electrical device and that the cattle prod in Bethke's tack room was never used to influence a horse race.