By Ray Paulick
UPDATED 1:10 P.M.:
If Jeff Mullins serves a seven-day suspension from New York authorities scheduled to begin May 3, he could be the first winning trainer in Kentucky Derby history who isn't able to go to the stable area at Churchill Downs to check on his horse the morning after the race.
I Want Revenge, trained by Mullins, is the likely favorite in this year's Kentucky Derby, to be run May 2. Mullins' suspension is in connection with New York Racing Association detention barn rules he was found to have violated while administering an herbal product to Gato Go Win prior to the Bay Shore Stakes April 4, necessitating that the horse be scratched by stewards. It was at least the 22nd ruling by racing officials against Mullins since 2000.
UPDATE: After this report was published, we were reminded that Larry Jones, trainer of Louisiana Derby winner Friesan Fire, also will begin a seven-day suspension on May 3. That suspension resulted from a positive test for the bronchodilator Clenbuterol in a horse that won a June 8, 2008, allowance race at Delaware Park. It was the first ruling of any kind against Jones, according to the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
Suspensions generally prohibit licensed personnel from having access to secure areas of a racetrack, including the stable area. It is expected the New York State Racing and Wagering Board (and Delaware Racing Commission) ruling will be recognized by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
If I Want Revenge (or Friesan Fire) wins the Kentucky Derby, perhaps Churchill Downs will schedule a press conference at Wagner's Pharmacy, a popular breakfast spot for trainers just down the road from the stable gate. Dozens of reporters and camera crews traditionally flock to the barn of the winning Kentucky Derby trainer the morning after the race to get quotes for follow-up coverage. This year, they might be able to get some scrambled eggs to go with their stories.
Copyright © 2009, The Paulick Report
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