Brass Hat Disqualified From Second in Dubai World Cup

Brass Hat Disqualified From Second in Dubai World Cup
Photo: Dubai Racing Club
Brass Hat, here working up to Dubai World Cup on the track at Nad Al Sheba.
Brass Hat, who ran second in the March 25 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), has been disqualified because a post-race test revealed trace amounts of the drug methyl prednisolone acetate.

After a two-day hearing via teleconference May 2 and 3, the stewards ordered the disqualification. Owner Fred Bradley will lose $1.2 million in purse money while his son, trainer William "Buff" Bradley, was fined $5,400.

An appeal will be filed.

The owner and trainer do not dispute that the 5-year-old Prized gelding was administered methyl prednisolone acetate, but they believe they were misled by a two-page document listing allowable medications and withdrawal times.

The Dubai Equine Hospital document, titled "Medication Withdrawals," provided to Buff Bradley lists the drug with a withdrawal time of 23 days. Brass Hat was injected with the corticosteroid by Dr. Douglas Berry on Feb. 25, 28 days prior to the race.

In a sworn affidavit, Bradley said he was provided the two-page document by former Keeneland Association president William "Bill" Greely, who was acting as a representative of the Emirates Racing Association.

Though he had been notified a week after the race, Bradley was notified formally April 24 via a facsimile from Emirates Racing Association chief steward Fin Powrie that the drug had been detected in the post-race urine sample at the Equine Forensic Unit in Dubai. Bradley was asked if he wanted a split sample tested, which he did, and the positive was confirmed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Laboratory.

Contacted in Dubai today, Powrie would not comment further than the official ruling, which was sent to the Bradleys' attorney, William E. Johnson, the morning of May 3. The level found was 5.47 ng/ml.

Also sent was a copy of an e-mail from Greely confirming he had delivered (via e-mail) a copy of the Dubai Equine Hospital Medication Sheets to Bradley, as he had previously done with other trainers.

Bradley said he consulted Dr. Eric French, who had treated other horses that had run in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. French wrote a letter to Powrie stating in part, "Based on my past experience and the Dubai Equine Hospital medication withdrawals, Mr. Bradley was advised not to treat his horse with the intra-articular medication Depo-Medrol any closer than 23 days prior to the race. It comes as a great surprise to me that the post-race samples were positive."

Also filing an affidavit was well-known veterinarian, pharmacologist, and toxicologist Dr. Tom Tobin, who stated withdrawal times vary by horse. This particular medication, Tobin said, "has been detected for up to 44 days or longer after intramuscular administration."
Tobin further stated, "the Emirates Association does not follow a zero tolerance policy because the Dubai Equine Hospital Medication Withdrawal document lists the medications which may be administered outside of a specified number of days of the race."

"We're very disappointed," Buff Bradley said May 3. "We feel like we were misled. I was forwarded material by their representative that showed the withdrawal guidelines of all allowable medications. I gave copies to my vets and we gave the medication even further out than the withdrawal time. A very low amount showed in their post-race test.

"They asked if I was aware they had pre-race testing. I was never made aware of that; all we received was that two-page document we feel was an official document. This is very hard on me."

After spending time at the Bradleys' farm near Frankfort, Ky., following his return from Dubai, Brass Hat is now back with the stable at Trackside in Louisville, Ky. He is being pointed to the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) June 17 at Churchill Downs. Brass Hat had won three races prior to shipping to Dubai, including the Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 4 at Gulfstream Park.

The Dubai World Cup was won by Electrocutionist, who beat Brass Hat by 1 ½ lengths. The ruling moves Wilko to second and Magna Graduate to fourth.

Johnson said an appeal will be filed with the Emirates Racing Association, which, he said, "acknowledges Buff had been misled. But their argument is he should have relied on the racing rules and regulations, not the two-page document he was given."

In addition to Powrie, the other two stewards of the Emirates Racing Association are Capt. Mohdessa al Adhab and Gerald Bush.

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