04/23/2009 11:00PM

Wait a While placed last in Breeders' Cup


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A portion of the purse of the $1,951,000 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita last October has been ordered redistributed by the Hollywood Park stewards after third-place finisher Wait a While tested positive for procaine.

The ruling, which was issued on Thursday, disqualified Wait a While from the third-place share of $213,000 and placed her last.

The decision may be appealed, according to attorney Neil Papiano, who represented owner Alan Cohen's Arindel Farm and trainer Todd Pletcher. Papiano on Friday said he has yet to speak to the connections about the case.

"I think it should be" appealed, Papiano said. "Will I advise them? Yes."

Stewards Scott Chaney, Albert Christiansen, and Tom Ward heard testimony in the case in a one-day hearing at Santa Anita on April 15. The ruling revises the order of finish and redistributes Wait a While's share of the purse to the original fourth- through sixth-place finishers - Visit, Vacare, and Mauralakana.

A postrace urine test taken from Wait a While revealed an excessive level of procaine, a local anesthetic. The urine test was conducted at the University of California-Davis, with a second test at a lab in Pennsylvania confirming the initial findings.

Procaine is listed as a Class 3 drug. Positives for drugs in classes 1, 2, or 3 can result in a possible disqualification and loss of purse. In addition, the procaine positive could result in a penalty against Pletcher, but no hearings have been scheduled.

Papiano contends that the case should have been dismissed because the test sample was driven to UC-Davis after the race on Oct. 24, 2008, and was not transferred by air, as is normally the case, he said.

"I don't know that anything happened, but it doesn't make any difference," he said. "You don't hand it to somebody in a car. We don't know what happened in the car. Was it hot or cold? There is a gap there. That's the reason why we were saying, 'Let's fill in that gap.' "

In their statement of decision, the stewards acknowledged Papiano's concern, but stated, "We find that the chain of custody was not interrupted and [was] more than satisfactory."

Wait a While was retired at the end of the 2008 season. If the disqualification is upheld, she will have a career record of 12 wins in 24 starts and earnings of $2,181,917. She was the champion 3-year-old filly of 2006.