LAUREL -- Trainer King Leatherbury has been suspended 15 days because of an extremely large dose of Butazolidin, or Bute, reported in a test of the filly Wait for The Lady, who won the fourth event at Pimlico Race Course on Sept. 15.
The filly tested 4.2 micrograms per milliliter of blood plasma morthan is permitted under Maryland rules.
Leatherbury lodged an appeal yesterday, so the suspension bthe stewards that was to start Monday won't go into effect until his case is heard by the Maryland Racing Commission.
Trainers are permitted to train with Bute, and traces of thmedication are allowed in the blood test of horses. No positive is usually reported until the Bute level is 2.5 micrograms per milliliter of blood plasma.
Wait For The Lady tested 6.7 micrograms of Bute by the racincommission laboratory, and, when the sample was sent to a second lab for confirmation, it was reported at 6.4.
Wait for the Lady was disqualified and placed out of the money.
Because the sample tested so high, Leatherbury said hbelieves "it was either tested wrong or it was sabotage.
"I didn't do anything," he said. "This was so much that it had tbe an accident. It's not like somebody deciding to give the Bute a couple of hours later than usual and hoping the lab won't pick it up. This was too high. Everyone at my barn knows that Bute shows up in the test and they know you lose the purse. This disqualification cost the owner [Elaine Bassford] $10,200."
If the commission upholds the stewards, Leatherbury will not bpermitted on the Laurel Race Course grounds during the suspension.
Leatherbury, who races the largest stable in Maryland, said thban was only his "third penalty in 30 years. Considering all the horses that I run, I think that's pretty amazing."