Trainer Scott Lake, who currently leads the nation in races won, is facing a 30-day suspension handed down by the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission after a second positive test for clenbuterol at the current Delaware Park meet.
The suspension and a $1,000 fine was issued Oct. 21, and Lake is likely to appeal to the Delaware Superior Court once he receives a final order that includes the date the suspension is to start. According to John Wayne, executive director of the racing commission, that order will be forthcoming before the Nov. 15 commission meeting.
On June 7, the Lake-trained Secret Run won the fifth race at Delaware Park and tested positive for clenbuterol, a bronchodilator, in both urine and blood samples. Earlier this year, Slew Proud tested positive for clenbuterol April 30 and resulted in Lake receiving a seven-day ban and $500 fine.
Lake and his lawyer, Wilmington, Del.-based Richard Cross Jr., had asked for a second continuance in appealing the initial ruling, but the commission did not grant it. The continuance was necessary in order to obtain testimony from a "disgruntled ex-employee" whom Lake believes administered the clenbuterol while the horse was stabled at Pimlico Race Course and then fled the country to Mexico.
When the final ruling is issued, Lake will file an appeal in Delaware Superior Court. The appeal will challenge the commission's fine and suspension on the grounds it denied the continuance without allowing Lake to obtain testimony from the ex-employee; and that the split-sample was smaller than required under racing commission rules, and a witness did not confirm the test results of the split-sample. It will also challenge the definition of Delaware's trainer-responsibility rule.
Through Nov. 1, Lake had saddled 501 winners, 237 more than runner-up Todd Pletcher. He also is the leading trainer at Delaware Park with 103 winners, 41 more than Steve Klesaris, and at Laurel Park, where he has 20 winners. He was the leading trainer at this year's Pimlico meet, which ended June 10.