A. U. Miner, who earned a second automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon (gr. II) by virtue of winning the $250,000 Greenwood Cup July 16 at Parx Racing, has been disqualified from the first-place purse earned in that victory as a result of a positive drug finding.
According to Association of Racing Commissioners International records, A. U. Miner tested positive for methylprednisolone, with the positive finding confirmed by a second testing laboratory. RCI’s drug classification schedule lists methylprednisolone as Class 4 substance, meaning it is in a group of medications comprised primarily of therapeutics routinely used in racehorses.
Trainer Clark Hanna was fined $1,000 as a result of the positive and A. U. Miner was disqualified from first purse money, which was $120,000. The redistributed winner’s purse went to 11-10 favorite Birdrun, who finished second.
It is still unclear at this point whether A. U. Miner will be awarded an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Marathon. Hanna said he is appealing the decision and plans to run A. U. Miner in the Nov. 4 race regardless of the outcome of the appeal. But clearly, he believes he did nothing wrong. Louisville-based attorney Joel Turner will represent Hanna and owner Don Benge.
"I know there have been a bunch of methylprednisolone positives (at Parx) recently," Hanna said. "On a stewards ruling they usually make their decision within 24 hours and it took them until the last day of September and I just got the ruling a couple days ago. Something is off somwhere. If you go back and look there were a bunch of methylprednisolone positives in the spring but not a lot of people fought them.
"I treated the horse exactly like I did last year going into the Greenwood Cup; I don't know how testing has changed. We did everything by protocol and even called up there beforehand to make sure we were following their rules and regulations. I don't understand it, but we're still going to run (in the Marathon) regardless."
In last year’s Breeders' Cup Marathon, A. U. Miner was involved in a bumping incident that escalated into one of the most dramatic moments in Cup history. When the jockeys were weighing out, jockey Calvin Borel, who was aboard fourth-place finisher A. U. Miner, became engaged in a fight with jockey Javier Castellano, with the skirmish shown to millions of ESPN viewers. Borel contended that Castellano and his mount, Prince Will I Am, who finished second, had impeded Romp, who then bumped A. U. Miner.
Borel and Castellano both were fined for their actions. Castellano was also suspended six days.
Jason Shandler contributed to this report