Prozac-Positive Suspension Upheld in Kentucky

The Kentucky Racing Commission on June 25 upheld a hearing officer's recommendation that trainer William Deaton be suspended 150 days because one of his horses tested positive for Prozac this winter at Turfway Park.

Deaton was suspended by the stewards April 10 after the gelding Explodo Red had the positive test. Prozac is a Class 2 drug "which has a high potential for affecting the outcome of a race," the hearing officer's report said.

Louisville, Ky., hand surgeon Dr. Joseph Kutz admitted he added Prozac to a food supplement for 8-year-old Explodo Red, a horse he owns. The horse finished second in the Feb. 17 race but was disqualified from purse money after the positive test.

Deaton, who continued to race pending the result of his appeal, said he wasn't aware Prozac had been added to the feed supplement. Kutz, who already served a 30-day suspension from April 16-May 15, told the Louisville Courier-Journal he forgot to tell Deaton he had doctored the liquid glucosamine used to treat the horse's arthritic joints.

The commission on June 25 ordered Kutz to show cause why his license shouldn't be revoked.

Part of the hearing officer's recommendation was based on Kentucky statutes, one of which says a trainer bears primary responsibility for the condition of all horses under his or her care.

In another medication matter, the commission approved an agreed order for trainer Warren King, who was suspended in March after his horse, Warship, tested positive for lidocaine, a topical anesthetic. King was suspended by the stewards for 90 days, but it was reduced to 30 days and he was placed on probation for one year as a result of a settlement conference.

Trainer Steve Penrod also was slapped with a lidocaine-related suspension, but he appealed.