01/20/2005 1:00AM

Trainer fined for mix-up

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Delta Downs stewards have fined trainer Kearney Segura $1,000 and referred him to the Louisiana Racing Commission for further action after finding that Segura ran the wrong horse in the seventh race at the track on Jan. 1.

Association steward Aaron Emigh said it was still not clear whether the mix-up was intentional.

Segura started an unraced 3-year-old named Caro's Majesty in the race instead of Swim Easy, who had been entered in the $20,000 optional claiming race. Caro's Majesty, sent off at 5-2, was pulled up shortly after the start of the five-furlong race by jockey Jerri Nichols. Both Caro's Majesty and Swim Easy are owned by Mohammed T. Islam.

Trainer Traci Vickers put in a claim on Swim Easy for $20,000 on behalf of the horse's former owner, Lloyd DeBruycker. After the race, Vickers began to suspect that the horse in her barn was not Swim Easy, and an investigation ensued. Two days after the race, Swim Easy was transferred to Vickers's barn and Caro's Majesty was returned to Segura.

The stewards have voided the claim and ordered Swim Easy be returned to Segura and Islam.

The stewards also fined Ryan Long, the identifier at Delta on Jan. 1, $200. Boyd Gaming, which owns Delta Downs, has since moved Long to another position at the track.

Emigh said that the $1,000 fine was the maximum the stewards could impose. They had the option of suspending Segura for up to six months, but could not both fine and suspend him.

"We didn't feel the penalties we could impose on him were sufficient, which is why we referred it to the racing commission for further action," Emigh said.

Segura claimed Swim Easy on behalf of Islam on Dec. 13, 2003, for $5,000 from DeBruycker. Swim Easy has started 14 times for Segura, winning seven races and earning more than $93,000.