Trainer Anderson Suspended Three Years

The Nebraska Racing Commission has suspended owner/trainer David C. Anderson for three years and fined him $4,000 as a result of positive tests for Class I drugs in two of his horses.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, Anderson's two horses in question — Storms of Life and Overnite Surprise — both finished second in their races at Horsemen’s Park July 16, 2009, and later tested positive for the banned pain-killers oxycodone and oxymorphone. In addition to the suspension, the two horses were disqualified to last and the purse money redistributed.

By a 2-1 vote, the commission ruled that Anderson cannot apply for a license until February 2013. The newspaper reported that the state attorney general’s office, which brought the charges against Anderson, recommended the maximum penalty of a five-year suspension and $5,000 fine on each of the infractions.

The newspaper reported that Anderson, a member of the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame, contended in a hearing last November that he was unaware of the drugs in question and that he did not know how the drugs got into the horses’ systems. It also reported that Anderson is already serving a one-year suspension in Iowa after regulators there heard evidence against him for a similar infraction that occurred last August at Prairie Meadows.

Anderson’s attorney, Mike Kelley, said his client might appeal the Nebraska suspension and fine, according to the World-Herald.

Commissioner Dennis Lee said the commission’s action against Anderson was the stiffest handed down since he began serving on the regulatory board in 1988.

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