08/25/2006 11:00PM

Trainer Capestro fined, suspended


Trainer Paula Capestro has been suspended 15 days and fined $5,000 after her starter in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita in January 2005, A to the Z, tested in excess of the permitted level of clenbuterol.

Del Mar stewards Grant Baker, Scott Chaney, and George Slender issued a ruling on Friday ordering the purse redistributed.

Capestro's penalty will take effect on Sept. 27. The case had been heard before an administrative law judge, whose decision was adopted recently by the California Horse Racing Board.

Capestro said on Saturday that she will leave the decision on a possible appeal to her attorney.

A to the Z finished second in the Sunshine Millions Turf, earning $100,000. He has been disqualified and his portion of the purse redistributed to the original third- through sixth-place finishers, who have been promoted one place - Silver Tree, Continental Red, Icy Atlantic, and Union Place.

A to the Z is owned by Capestro and her husband, Andy. In the ruling, the stewards ordered that jockey Victor Espinoza return his portion of the purse.

Clenbuterol is a Class 3 drug used to aid breathing. Purses are redistributed in the event of positive tests for drugs in classes 1, 2, and 3.