08/10/2006 11:00PM

Wolfson fined for positive


The Arlington Park stewards have fined trainer Marty Wolfson $1,000 and taken away second-place purse money from Can't Beat It, runner-up in the American Derby on Aug. 22, after the 3-year-old tested positive for trace levels of the prohibited substance isoxsuprine, the Arlington stewards said.

The ruling, issued Friday, infuriated Wolfson, who said he and Can't Beat It's owner, Charlotte Weber of Live Oak Farm, would likely appeal the decision. Wolfson said he would never race in the state of Illinois again.

"The fine I was given was twice the normal fine for an isoxsuprine positive in Illinois, and I was really insulted when the state steward asked me how many horses I trained, as if that went into the final decision regarding the fine," Wolfson said.

"It's also hard to believe there is no differentiation between whether a horse tests positive for a therapeutic drug, as in this case, or a narcotic when it comes to redistribution of the purse. It's the same penalty in both cases."

Eddie Arroyo, the state steward at Arlington Park, said Illinois Racing Board policy prevents him from commenting on the ruling.

Isoxsuprine is frequently used by trainers to increase blood circulation in the foot. Wolfson said he stopped administering isoxsuprine to Can't Beat It more than 10 days before the American Derby.

In Florida, where Wolfson stables year round, it is legal to administer the drug up to five days before a race. Wolfson said that after learning of his positive he was informed that Illinois guidelines caution trainers not to administer the drug within two months of a race under the state's zero-tolerance rules.

"This is a prime example of what is wrong with racing these days," said Wolfson. "The rules governing the administration of drugs varies from state to state."