03/15/2010 11:00PM

Trainer facing two positive tests


Joe Woodard, in contention to be leading trainer at both Turfway Park and Beulah Park at their winter meets, has been operating since March 4 under a stay of a 30-day suspension that stems from a positive test for the sedative xylazine in one of his horses, Nola Star, following a Dec. 29 race at Turfway.

Woodard subsequently has had a second positive test for a widely used tranquilizer, acepromazine, returned on one of his horses, as yet unspecified, although the split sample is still in the process of being analyzed, according to Kentucky s chief steward, John Veitch. Woodard said he believes foul play might well have been the reason for the positives and that he intends to fight both through legal means.

Both xylazine and acepromazine are Class B drugs that carry a penalty of 30 days for the first offense and six months or longer for the second offense, depending on extenuating circumstances, according to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission website.

Through Monday, Woodard, 41, led the Turfway standings by a 20-17 count over Mike Maker and trailed only Charlie Lawson by a 25-23 count atop the Beulah standings. His most notable feat in a training career that dates to 1995 was his 10 straight winners at the 2005 Churchill Downs spring meet.

Nola Star, a 6-year-old mare, was claimed out of the subject race, which she won by 3 1/4 lengths as the 8-5 favorite for Woodard and his main client, Billy Hays. The mare has been disqualified from the $5,100 winner s share. The new connections, owner Jerry Carden and trainer Kim Hammond, are not affected by the rulings.