Testafly-Mills drug case takes an unusual turn Report of 75-day suspension is disputed by N.J. official

October 31, 1998|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

The drug case of Testafly and his Maryland trainer Dale Mills keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

The Daily Racing Form reported in today's edition that Mills had been suspended 75 days by the New Jersey Racing Commission for Testafly's positive test for clenbuterol after the Philip H. Iselin Handicap in August at Monmouth Park. But neither Mills nor his attorney, Alan Foreman, had been notified of the ruling, Foreman said last night.

Foreman said that yesterday he called Francesco Zanzuccki, executive director of the New Jersey Racing Commission, and that Zanzuccki told him the story was wrong. According to Foreman, Zanzuccki said that Mills' penalty would be determined at a hearing before the state stewards, who enforce the rules of racing at the racetrack. Foreman said neither he nor Mills had been informed of a date for the hearing.

The Racing Form attributed its information to one of New Jersey's stewards. Foreman said the stew- ards previously had leaked information about the case to the Racing Form before informing him or Mills.

"This case is beginning to have a stink about it," Foreman said.

Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator that helps clear horses' lungs of mucus and helps them breathe. It was legalized in May for use during training but cannot be in a horse's system when it races.

Although Testafly tested positive for clenbuterol, Mills says that he has never administered the drug to Testafly and that he doesn't know how it got into the horse's system.

Foreman was negotiating a penalty with the stewards but had become increasingly frustrated with their handling of the case. He said they wanted to punish Mills far more severely than similar cases in New Jersey and around the country.

In Maryland, the one clenbuterol positive since the drug became legal resulted in a 15-day suspension for a Standardbred trainer. In New Jersey, a trainer with a clenbuterol positive received a 45-day suspension.

The Laurel Park-based Mills, a native of Trinidad, is black, as are the owners of Testafly, a 4-year-old colt who has won stakes races in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The Racing Form quoted Foreman as raising the issue of race. Foreman said he was misquoted.

Foreman said that the reporter asked him about race, but that he replied: "The facts of the case speak for themselves."

NOTE: Carolyn and Sonny Hine, owner and trainer of Skip Away, will be the subjects of a feature tomorrow on CBS News' "Sunday Morning." The show starts at 9 a.m.

Pub Date: 10/31/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.