Up in Smoke: Lynch’s Failed Drug Test Torpedoes Private Zone’s 2016 Debut

by | 06.08.2016 | 6:06pm
Private Zone has been sent to Rood & Riddle for treatment, and is likely done for the year

Multiple stakes winner Private Zone, the morning line favorite for Friday's G2 True North Stakes at Belmont Park, will be scratched from the race after the New York State Gaming Commission ruled that trainer Brian Lynch would be “ineligible to participate in New York racing for an undetermined period.”

According to a report in the Daily Racing Form, although a spokesperson for the gaming commission would not give a reason for the ruling, Rene Douglas, who heads Good Friends Stable, told the DRF that Lynch had tested positive for marijuana.

The gaming commission often conducts random drug tests on backstretch workers, and Douglas said that Lynch had been tested, although it was unclear as to why.

“I don't think it's fair for Brian, it's not fair to the owners or the horse,” Douglas said. “It's not Brian Lynch who is going to run, it's the horse. The horse is ready to run. We waited five months to run him.”

Private Zone is not the only horse that is slated to run for Lynch at Belmont Park this weekend. Royal Squeeze will run in the G3 Jaipur; he was entered under trainer David Cannizzo's name.

Lynch also trains the talented filly Lightstream, winner of Keeneland's G2 Beaumont Stakes; she is currently being pointed to the G1 Mother Goose July 2.

Read more in the Daily Racing Form


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