The Illinois State District Court on July 23 granted trainer Neil Drysdale a stay of his 45-day suspension and $2,500 fine stemming from positive drug samples taken from Hawthorne Derby (gr. II) winner Flying Dash May 11.
Although the names wouldn't lead you to think so, Flying Dash and Orchard Park were heading into the fifth running of the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs Saturday touted as a monster matchup.
It's nothing new: put up the money and they will show up to run. Colonial Downs has done that, raising the purse for Saturday's Virginia Derby to $500,000, which attracted the attention of such trainers as Bill Mott and Neil Drysdale.
Fusao Sekiguchi's Flying Dash was installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite when seven horses were entered for Saturday's $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs.
The late nominations of Orchard Park, Flying Dash, and Van Minister has increased the potential quality of the $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. The 1 1/4-mile turf race will be contested July 13.
Attorney Neil Papiano said he is convinced the positive drug test attributed to disqualified Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIT) winner Flying Dash was a case of mistaken identity.
Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale was suspended by Illinois stewards and Flying Dash disqualified from his win in the May 11 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) after a sample from Flying Dash tested positive for clenbuterol and promazine sulfoxide.
Flying Dash rallied along the inside to win Saturday's $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) on a rain-softened turf course at Hawthorne, giving jockey Victor Espinoza his second derby win in as many weekends.
Fusao Sekiguchi's Flying Dash was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT), the 1 1/8-mile turf feature Saturday at Hawthorne.
Trainer Neil Drysdale said Fusao Sekiguchi's Flying Dash will run in the April 27 Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and then go on to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) if the German-bred performs well in the one-turn mile event.
German-bred Flying Dash balked entering the gate in the $100,000 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland Friday, but was full steam ahead at the wire. Attendance of 14,879 at the Lexington, Ky. track was the largest for a spring opening day since 1985. Attendance last year on opening day was 11,646.
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