Trainer Patrick Biancone has been ordered by Kentucky racing stewards to serve a 15-day suspension after a horse under his care tested positive for prohibited drugs at Churchill Downs this past spring, the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority said Aug. 30.
Biancone remains under investigation following a search of his barns earlier this year at Keeneland, officials said.
L’Aziza, a 2-year-old daughter of Zavata who won the fifth race at Churchill May 3, tested positive for caffeine and theophylline, both of which are Class B drugs under the KHRA uniform drug and medication classification schedule. Theophylline, used to treat respiratory ailments in humans, is pharmacologically similar to caffeine, which is a stimulant.
Due to the positive test results, Biancone has been ordered to serve a 15-day suspension from Sept. 5-19. The purse money from the May 3 race will be redistributed, and L’Aziza will be disqualified and placed last in the official order of finish.
“The positive test results were discovered by the Iowa State University laboratory and confirmed by the laboratory at Louisiana State University,” said John Veitch, chief state racing steward for the KHRA.
Biancone indicated he will not appeal the penalties handed down by the stewards in the L’Aziza matter, according to a KHRA release.
The investigation by the KHRA regarding the search of three of Biancone’s barns and veterinarian Dr. Rodney Stewart’s vehicle is ongoing. The KHRA hasn't disclosed the contents of the barn search, but it is widely believed snake venom was found in the search.