Unusual twist: Suspended trainer can exercise horses

December 09, 1990|By Dale Austin

The Maryland Racing Commission made one of its most unusual rulings last week when it suspended owner-trainer Michael Angelastro 15 days because of a positive test for Lasix that was not authorized, then permitted him to go to the track each day to exercise horses.

The action greatly reduced the penalty that normally prohibitpersons from going on the grounds of a track while suspended.

The only restriction on Angelastro would be that he could traihorses but would have to turn them over to a licensed trainer for them to be entered and run.

The stewards originally issued the ruling, but would nocomment about the reduction in penalty last week, after an appeal by Angelastro.

Bruce Spizler, assistant attorney general representing thcommission, would not say why the members had cut back on the penalty, but noted that the decision followed somewhat the action taken involving Danny Murray, who trains harness horses and also works as a maitre d' in the Rosecroft Raceway dining room.

When Murray was suspended for a positive test, the boarpermitted him to be on the grounds at night for his dining-room job.


The appeals of two positive tests for the medication Bute arscheduled for the Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis tomorrow.

They involve horses trained by Dale Capuano and MarilyGoldman. The horses raced in 1989 when their post-race blood tests revealed more Bute than permitted. Each trainer received 15-day suspensions from the stewards.

The trainers first appealed to the racing commission, then in thPrince George's Circuit Court. In each appeal, the stewards' rulings were upheld.

The Court of Special Appeals is the last resort. If the trainers losthere, they begin serving their suspensions.


Remember Ricky Frazier, the jockey who received a six-month suspension after weighing in with three fewer pounds than he started with in a race at Bay Meadows, near San Francisco?

Frazier got a court injunction and has appealed his case to thCalifornia Horse Racing Board. He will ride until the board hears his case.

The stewards at Bay Meadows investigated the incident andisqualified his mount from all purse money in a $100,000-plus race. They declared the horse a non-starter and refunded all money wagered on him.

They also said that "we felt he [Frazier] was the persoresponsible for the unexplained missing weight."


The Daily Racing Form, reporting on a racing industrsymposium in Tucson, Ariz., last week, recounted testimony on decisions by stewards and judges.

The Form reported that one of the speakers, Jewel Klein, aIllinois lawyer who deals in racing cases, said it has been her experience that "most of the time when commissions overturn decisions by stewards, it has been because the stewards were poorly trained to make those initial decisions.

"She was challenged by Kent Hastings, president of the NortAmerican Judges and Stewards, who said the opposite is true and that the judges are the experts."

Hastings is a former chief judge at Rosecroft. He left for higher-paying job in New Jersey after property at his home was mysteriously fire-bombed.


Bill Furey, former chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission, recovering from bypass surgery at Washington Hospital Center last week.


Jamie Saults, production assistant for ABC-TV's racing shows, is working at Laurel and Pimlico race courses as television coordinator.

She produces the daily closed-circuit TV handicapping show ancoordinates satellite feeds.


Pat Valenzuela appears to have lost out on another good horse a big race because of his troubles over reports of cocaine use.

His first major loss was Sunday Silence in the 1989 BreedersCup Classic with its $3 million purse. Valenzuela was suspended at the time. Chris McCarron subbed and got the winning rider's fee.

Valenzuela got to Pimlico for the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, but canceled his ride on Sunny Blossom because he said he was ill. Sunny Blossom, second choice, ran sixth, so Valenzuela didn't lose anything there.

He was supposed to ride Best Pal in the $1 million HollywooFuturity today, but the Hollywood Park stewards suspended him for failing to report for his riding engagements at Santa Anita Nov. 3.

Best Pal is part of an entry that will be heavily favored. JosSantos has the mount.

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