Trainer Neil Drysdale.

Trainer Neil Drysdale.


Drysdale Granted Stay of Suspension by Illinois Court

The Illinois State District Court on July 23 granted trainer Neil Drysdale a stay of his 45-day suspension and $2,500 fine stemming from positive drug samples taken from Hawthorne Derby (gr. II) winner Flying Dash May 11.

Flying Dash, a German-bred owned by Japanese businessman Fusao Sekiguchi, tested positive for clenbuterol and promazine sulfoxide. The former is a bronchodilator and the latter a tranquilizer, and both are banned on race days.

The stay will remain in effect until December, giving Drysdale a chance to get reports back from doctors and prepare documents. "It's an extremely strange case," noted Drysdale's attorney, Neil Papiano. "Promazine is a depressant, and our experts tell us the amount that was allegedly in the horse's system was so great he would barely be able to walk. He would have been lethargic. It doesn't help the horse, and certainly wouldn't be given before a stakes race. The only reason you give the drug is to calm them down while traveling or to control a fractious horse. Flying Dash won the race by 3 1/2 lengths under a hand ride."

Although Flying Dash did ship to Illinois for the Hawthorne, Papiano noted he arrived a couple of days before the race, and that the drug has an active life of just 12-15 hours. He said Drysdale denied giving the drug to Flying Dash.