03/28/2012 1:00PM

Ward requests later start to Kentucky commission duties


John Ward, the Kentucky Derby-winning trainer who was recently appointed executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, has asked the state to push back his official start date from April 1 to April 16, according to the agency that oversees the commission.

Ward said that he would need additional time “to comply with the Executive Branch Ethics Commission regarding the divestiture of his business relationships,” the Public Protection Cabinet said. Ward, who has agreed to surrender his training license when he begins working at the commission, co-owns a breeding and boarding operation in Kentucky with his wife, Donna, who is also a trainer.

Last week, the Executive Branch Ethics Commission approved an advisory opinion prohibiting Donna Ward from training or racing horses in the state while her husband is executive director of the commission.

The couple’s training activities have declined markedly over the past two years, and horses trained by John Ward have started in only 26 races since late in 2010. He has had three starters this year.