06/05/2013 1:07PM

Woodbine: Martin picks up Lynch's local string after suspension

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Michael Burns
Trainer Brian Lynch has been suspended indefinitely by the Ontario Racing Commission.

With the Ontario Racing Commission upholding trainer Brian Lynch’s indefinite suspension at a hearing Tuesday, Robbie Martin will be the trainer of record for the stable here.

Lynch’s suspension stems from an alleged confrontation with jockey Sunny Singh in a Woodbine parking lot on May 24. Lynch was charged May 25 with uttering death threats and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

The Ontario Racing Commission, reacting to Lynch’s subsequent arrest, suspended him pending the result of its own investigation. That investigation will depend on how the case plays out in court.

Martin was a longtime assistant to trainer Mike Keogh, and he left the barn in 2000 and trained on his own for five years beginning in 2000. Martin, 44, then went back to his position with Keogh until leaving just recently for an assistant trainer’s role in the Lynch stable.

From 257 lifetime starters, Martin has compiled a record of 31-25-35 for earnings of $1.3 million. His winners included stakes successes with Bold Artic Ice in the Rainbow Connection and Golden Returns in the Expedite Plus, both at Fort Erie.

His first starter in his new role will be Ronin Dax in a $25,000 claiming race here Friday.

Meanwhile, the suspension for Lynch comes at a particularly inopportune time, with Clearly Now and Tiz Ro both entered in major stakes races this weekend.

Clearly Now, who has become one of North America’s top 3-year-old sprinters, will go in Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Woody Stephens with Erin Cotterill, Lynch’s assistant and partner, listed as the trainer.

Martin will saddle Tiz Ro in Sunday’s $500,000 Woodbine Oaks.

Lynch’s 45-horse stable here also includes stakes winner Coffee Clique and the stakes-placed Any Given Royal, English Class, Five Iron, and Hampstead Heath.