Following a ruling by the Circuit Court of Pulaski County, the Estate of Edmund A. Gann has returned the winning purse from the 2009 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), originally paid to the connections of It's a Bird. The son of Birdonthewire had been disqualified by the Arkansas Racing Commission.
“The funds will be redistributed at once,” Oaklawn assistant general manager of racing David Longinotti said in a release. “We look forward to finally being able to put this issue to bed and would like to commend the Arkansas State Racing Commission and its Attorney Byron Freeland for its continued pursuit of this resolution.”
This case began more than 20 months ago, when It’s a Bird tested positive for naproxen following his six-length win in the $500,000 race. Naproxen is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is not allowed in a horse’s system while racing.
The Arkansas Racing Commission disqualified It’s a Bird, ordered the purse re-distributed, and gave Runforthedoe the victory, but the connections of It’s a Bird appealed the ruling to state’s circuit courts. In the time between the Commission’s ruling and the appeal hearing, Gann passed away but the case was continued on behalf of his estate. Pulaski County judge Alice S. Gray upheld the Commission’s ruling and ordered the purse repaid.