Gulfstream Park Suspends Privileges For Veterinarian Patrick
Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 1:29 PM
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2003 10:46 PM
Trainer Mark Shuman: "This whole thing has been insane."
Leonard Patrick, a veterinarian used by owner Mike Gill and trainer Mark Shuman, had his privileges suspended by Gulfstream Park on Wednesday for improper storage of Class 3 and Class 4 medications.
The irregularities were noted during a search of Patrick's vehicle on Monday, one week after the leg of Gill's Casual Conflict was amputated following the horse's breakdown. The amputation was performed by another of Gill's veterinarians, Philip Aleong, whose vehicle was also searched.
No action has been announced in regards to Aleong.
While Patrick's infractions were not considered major, Gulfstream President Scott Savin said that appearance of impropriety were enough to warrant the suspension. "The integrity of this meet and this sport is paramount," he said. "Gulfstream will enforce all laws, rules and regulations to the letter."
The action also bars the veterinarian from practicing at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream's new training facility and the location at which Patrick has spent most of his time this winter.
According to Savin, Patrick, who came to Florida for the first time this year to work for Gill, was already serving a one-year suspension for omissions on his Gulfstream Park application, even though his State of Florida application was complete.
Medication seized from Patrick's vehicle on Monday has been sent to the University of Florida racing laboratory and is being tested for banned substances. "But we didn't need to wait for that," said Savin.
Shuman and Gill have dominated the Gulfstream standings thus far this meet while drawing criticism for their free-spending ways. Shuman's 37 wins -- from 124 starters in 33 racing dates through Thursday -- were more than three-times his closest pursuer and he is on the verge of shattering the track's record for most training wins in a single meet.
But the private trainer for Gill was anything but upbeat following his vet's suspension. "This whole thing has been insane," Shuman said. "I think I'll break the record and then go home."
Patrick was unavailable for comment.
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