Trainer Thomas Albertrani will serve a 30-day suspension after one of his horses tested positive for a prohibited substance at Keeneland in October.
In a Dec. 5 ruling by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, it was reported that Albertrani’s stable star Gozzip Girl had the medication acepromazine, a tranquilizer, in her system during the running of the Oct. 17 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) at Keeneland.
“It was very alarming and suspicious as to how she would have had any contact with the drug prior to leaving New York or the entire time she was (in Kentucky) five days prior to the race,” said Albertrani. “She was never given the medication, and we didn’t have it in either place before she ran.”
Farnsworth Stables' Gozzip Girl placed third in the race, but she was disqualified to last, according to KHRC officials. Her earnings of $50,000 will be redistributed. The 3-year-old daughter of Dynaformer had won three graded stakes prior to the QEII, including the July 5 American Oaks Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
Albertrani, who waived his rights to a formal hearing on the matter before the board of stewards, will serve his suspension Dec. 10 through Jan. 9.
“I would love to fight it, but in these situations, it’s not worth the expense and the time,” he explained. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the proof to try to contest it. So the best thing to do is just get it over and done with.
Albertani said he has tried to investigate the incident and find out how it had occurred. “We spoke to the plane company that flew her (to Kentucky), and spoke to everyone we could, and basically just kept running into dead ends. Unfortunately, (the KHRC) is going by a test, and all we can do it give our honest statement of how we know she didn’t come into contact through myself and my team.
“I thought 30 days was a long suspension under the circumstances,” added Albertrani, whose New York horses will run in the name of his assistant Dan Blacker. “I think anyone would see in the time frame it would be pretty ridiculous to give a horse acepromazine that’s going into a grade I race as the 3-5 favorite. There would be no reason for it.”