Mark's Miner, a 2-year-old making his first start at Saratoga in the summer of 2000, returned a post-race positive for traces of Lidocaine, a local anesthetic. The SRWB hearing officer, George Dranichek, noting no Zito horse had had a positive test in 28 years, recommended a fine, but no suspension. The board, by a 2-1 vote, opted instead to add the 15-day ban to the trainer's punishment. "Some of the most respected names in racing testified in my behalf," Zito said. "I just don't understand. We didn't do anything wrong."
Trainer Nick Zito says he'll take a New York appeals court ruling Thursday upholding a 15-day suspension and $2,000 fine for a positive drug test for Lidocaine involving one of his horses to a higher court ."I'm dumbfounded," Zito, a two-time Kentucky Derby-winning conditioner, told the New York Post after an appellate division of the State Supreme Court voted 5-0 against him. "Now I'm insisting to go before the magistrate. I'm adamant. It's a matter of principle." Zito was appealing a decision by the State Racing and Wagering Board.