Pletcher Begins Serving Suspension
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Todd Pletcher

Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out three winners of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prep races over the weekend, and then headed out for a 10-day hiatus.

According to the Daily Racing Form,  Pletcher began serving a 10-day suspension Feb. 22 he was handed by the California Horse Racing Board for a positive test for the prohibited substance procaine from Wait a While, who finished third in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita.

Pletcher had a banner send-off for his suspension, as the trainer had a personal Derby prep hat trick, winning the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (gr. II) with Eskendereya  , the Risen Star (gr. II) with Discreetly Mine  , and the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) with Connemara.

Pletcher told the Form that he decided not to appeal the 10-day suspension and $25,000 fine, even though he disagrees with the verdict.

"By taking the days it in no way means I agree with either the ruling or the suspension," Pletcher told the Form. "I think it’s an unfair ruling particularly in light of the fact there were two procaine positives in California in and around the time of mine and neither trainer served any days. Apparently, the board felt because my infraction came in the Breeders’ Cup it was more important."

Pletcher went on to say that to fight the ruling would be expensive and "you seldom can win," according to the Form.

A spokeswoman for Pletcher said Feb. 22 that he would have no further comment on the matter other than what he told the Form.

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