08/11/2006 12:00AM

Trainer blameless in drug positive

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City Avenger, a 2-year-old colt who finished third as a first-time starter in the second race at Belmont Park on June 25, tested positive for the banned substance fluphenazine, and was ordered unplaced in the order of finish.

No action was taken, however, against the colt's trainer, Tim Salzman.

According to the New York stewards, veterinary records proved that the fluphenazine, a tranquilizer used to calm a horse, was administered within the legal time frame. In New York, it is recommended to take a horse off fluphenazine a minimum of seven days before the horse is to race.

Dr. Ted Hill, a former veterinarian and the current Jockey Club steward, said fluphenazine is known to linger in a horse's system, but that it is less likely to affect a horse's performance beyond seven days from being administered.