Contessa Waits on Results of Ephedra Positives

Aqueduct-based trainer Gary Contessa is awaiting his fate on a slew of ephedra positives that have sidetracked his operation.

A sixth positive test was confirmed, and there were still a few test results pending from the days before Contessa scratched two days worth of runners to give every horse in his barn an opportunity to rid itself of any ephedra, an herbal remedy.

Contessa said trace amounts of ephedra were contained in an over-the-counter supplement he has used since the beginning of this year as well as last summer in New Jersey. He said his own Internet research showed dozens of other over-the-counter supplements that contain ephedra, which is used to treat such human maladies as arthritis.

Contessa has remained upbeat in the two weeks since the story broke. He has, however, made fewer visits to the winners' circle. Contessa won just one race in seven racing days after the first tests were confirmed, and he has surrendered his lead in the Aqueduct trainer standings to Richard Dutrow Jr.