Sarafan, who galloped over the track Thursday morning, was scratched from Sunday's Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) on the Hong Kong International Races program. The American-based runner, trained by Neil Drysdale, was reported to have tested positive for the steroid methylprednisolone.
There was the likelihood the medication would have been cleared from his system by Sunday's races, but Drysdale was given the option to scratch the horse or run with the possibility of having an overage. He opted to scratch.
After arriving in Hong Kong, urine samples were obtained from Sarafan. Upon analysis by Dr. T.S.M. Wan, head of the Racing Laboratory for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, it was found the samples contained methylprednisolone. Drysdale decided to scratch when he could not be sure the medication would have cleared his system by Sunday.
Sarafan, owned by Gary Tanaka, ran 17th of 18 in last month's Japan Cup (Jpn-I). He was fourth in the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) last year.
Expected to run a big one in the HK$18 million (approximately $1.8 million) Mile is Admire Max from Japan. The late closer, a son of Sunday Silence, drew the outside post 14 for the Mile which is run at one-turn at Sha Tin Racecourse. The only other U.S. representative, the Kristin Mulhall-trained Mister Acpen, drew post 9.
The highest-rated horse in the race, with an international rating of 122 is Lohengrin, also representing Japan. He won back-to-back grade II races earlier this year at a mile and 1 1/8 miles in Japan. He figures to be the favorite come post time.Hong Kong Mile (HK-I), $1.8 million, one-mile, Sha Tin Racecourse, Sunday, Dec. 14.
PP, Horse, Trainer, Jockey
1, Olympic Express, I. W. Allan, Doug Whyte
2, Telegnosis, Hiroaki Sugiura, M. Katsuura
3, Ninetyfive Emperor, Charles Leck, J. Saimee
4, Special Kaldoun, D. Smaga, Dominic Boeuf
5, Citizen Kane, Tony Cruz, R. Fradd
6, Meridian Star David Hayes, Gerald Mosse
7, Lucky Owners, Tonly Cruz, F. Coetzee
8, Ho Choi, I. W. Allan, Christophe Soumillon
9, Mister Acpen, Kristin Mulhall, David Flores
10, Firebreak, Saeed bin Suroor, Frankie Dettori
11, Passing Glance, A. Balding, Martin Dwyer
12, Lohengrin, Masanori Ito, Kent Desormeaux
13, Bowman's Crossing, David Oughton, Mick Kinane
14, Admire Max, Mitsuru Hashida, Y. Fukunaga