Pletcher Slapped With 45-Day Suspension

Top trainer Todd Pletcher has appealed a 45-day suspension and $3,000 fine levied by New York State Racing and Wagering Board stewards who found that a banned substance was used on a horse that won a race at Saratoga last summer.

The 2004 Eclipse Award-winning trainer was penalized because his horse, Tales of Glory, was found to have mepivacaine, an anesthetic, in his system, Daily Racing Form reported.

The appeal will be heard later this year.

"My attorneys advised me not to comment on it," Pletcher told the Form, "so I won't comment until the appeal is official."

Tales of Glory won the third race at Saratoga last Aug. 14, but later was ruled unplaced in the order of finish.

Used as nerve block, mepivacaine is grouped as a Class 2 drug by the Association of Racing Commission and has "a high potential to affect performance."

Richard Dutrow Jr. drew the same penalty for a mepivacaine positive stemming from a race at Aqueduct on April 27, 2003.

Pletcher, who won 35 races at Saratoga in each of the last two summers, was awarded his first Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding trainer in 2004. Through July 3, Pletcher led the nation's trainers in purse money won this year with $7.9 million, and was fifth with 115 winners from 452 starters.