09/05/2003 11:00PM

Wesley Ward fined $30,000

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Trainer Wesley Ward has been fined $30,000 by the California Horse Racing Board after four of his horses tested positive for an excessive amount of clenbuterol in an eight-day period at Santa Anita in January 2002.

The fine is the largest issued by the CHRB in recent years, and may be a record. There was no suspension involved in the penalty. In 1999, trainer Ted West was fined $12,000 and suspended for 90 days after eight of his horses tested positive for clenbuterol.

Ward was not available for comment Saturday.

According to a ruling issued by the Del Mar stewards, the fine was part of a stipulated settlement between Ward and the CHRB.

The positives occurred in four consecutive Ward-trained horses who ran Jan. 4-11, 2002.

All four horses have been disqualified from purse earnings, resulting in the redistribution of $60,400. Three of Ward's horses won, and one was second.

Magic Weapon won a maiden claimer in the fifth race on Jan. 4 of last year. A day later, Bring the Heat finished second in the third race, an allowance. On Jan. 9, Workum won a starter allowance in the fifth race. On Jan. 11, Houston Wicked won the second race, a $22,500 claimer.

Clenbuterol is a bronchial dilator used to aid horses with breathing problems. It is permitted to appear in postrace tests at minute levels.