12/05/2008 1:00AM

Wait a While tests positive for procaine


Wait a While, the top-class mare trained by Todd Pletcher, tested positive for procaine, a local anesthetic, after her third-place finish in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 24, according to the California Horse Racing Board.

Under California regulations, procaine is a Class 3 drug. The minimum penalty for a Class 3 drug is a 30-day suspension "absent mitigating factors." The penalty also includes disqualification of the horse and loss of purse.

The stewards at Hollywood Park, which is currently holding a live meet in Southern California, have scheduled a hearing for Dec. 14 to determine whether Wait a While will be disqualified from her third-place finish in the Filly and Mare Turf. Her purse earnings in the race were $213,000. It is standard in California to hold a hearing before disqualifying a horse.

No hearing has yet been scheduled for Pletcher, according to the California racing board.

Wait a While, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2006, is owned by Arindel Farm. She has won 11 stakes in her career, including the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Invitational Stakes at Santa Anita twice, and has earnings of more than $2 million.

Pletcher, a former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, has won the Eclipse Award for top trainer four consecutive years. He has trained eight champions, including two-time champion Ashado.

Late in 2006, Pletcher began serving a 45-day suspension for the finding of the drug mepivacaine in a horse he trained. The horse, Tales of Glory, tested positive for 1.6 nanograms of mepivacaine after a race at Saratoga in Aug. of 2004, but Pletcher did not begin serving the suspension until he had exhausted his appeals at the state level. Mepivacaine is a painkiller.