New York Regulatory Board Responds in Dickinson Case

A spokeswoman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board said Tuesday that a blood sample taken from a horse trained by Michael Dickinson was not lost but that there was an insufficient amount of the sample to be sent for independent testing.

Dickinson received a one-week suspension in the case of Lofty Call, who finished third in a race at Belmont July 21 and was disqualified from that finish after a post-race test proved positive for Flunixin, an anti-inflammatory used to treat horses with musculo-skeletal disorders and colic.

In a statement concerning the positive, Dickinson said, "We asked for a split sample of blood to be sent for independent testing, but we were disappointed to learn that the New York State Wagering Board had lost the blood."

Stacy Clifford, spokeswoman for the board, said the blood was not lost but there was not enough of the sample left after the state's testing lab personnel at Cornell University had performed their function to be sent for independent testing. Clifford said a urine sample taken from Lofty Call was sent for an independent test that confirmed the Cornell positive.

Dickinson said he was surprised that the horse tested positive for Flunixin and said the stewards had been "fair and understanding" in their handling of the case.