The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority has looked into the information provided by trainer Patrick Biancone on his license applications from 2004 through 2007, but at this time there is insufficient reason to further investigate the matter, according to state senior steward John Veitch.
The Louisville Courier-Journal,which reviewed the trainer’s Kentucky license applications in response to an open-records request, reported that in 2004 and 2005 Biancone answered “yes” to the question of whether he previously had been suspended but answered “no” in 2006. While the 2007 license application was not available under the newspaper’s open-records request, KHRA executive director Lisa Underwood said the answer was again “yes” on the latest application.
Biancone is the subject of an investigation begun by stewards after one of his horses reportedly tested positive for a prohibited substance during the Churchill Downs meet. Biancone’s barn at Keeneland Racecourse was subsequently searched by KHRA security personnel, as was the truck of Biancone’s veterinarian, Rod Stewart. Sources have said snake venom was among the substances found during the search. No action has been taken as a result of the positive test and barn search.
Biancone’s case was not discussed during Monday’s KHRA meeting. Asked about the investigations following the meeting, Veitch said no hearings have been scheduled for Biancone.
Veitch said he discussed the license application with Biancone and was satisfied that no disciplinary action should be taken at this time. When applying for his 2004 and 2005 licenses, Biancone believed he had a previous suspension, Veitch said. When he applied for a Texas racing license in 2006, he was told that there were no suspensions showing on his record, leading the trainer to respond with a “no” in 2006, according to Veitch.
A search of the database maintained by the Association of Racing Commissioners International shows no suspensions for Biancone, Veitch said.
After spending most of the 1990s training in Hong Kong, Biancone reportedly left that country in 1999 after his license was suspended for the remainder of the season as a result of positive drug tests on two horses under his care.
Until the KHRA receives written documentation of the Hong Kong suspensions, Veitch said the license application matter would not be pursued by the stewards. He said it would be up to the racing authority to pursue getting copies of Biancone’s Hong Kong record.
While the KHRA has reciprocity in which they honor suspensions and other fines imposed by racing jurisdictions in other states and countries, Veitch said that in the past such information has been difficult to obtain from Hong Kong.
“I can’t comment on anybody’s situation in any other country unless I have seen personal documentation from that jurisdiction,” Veitch said. “We have no information about suspensions on Mr. Biancone. I am not actively pursuing it right now.”
Lexington attorney Frank Becker, who represents Biancone, said Monday that he has sent a letter to the KHRA addressing the license applications and that “as far as we know the entire matter has been cleared up.”