Hearing Date Set On Cocaine Positive

A formal hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 1 on the administrative complaint filed by The State of Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering against trainer Frank Passero. The complaint charges that metabolites of cocaine were found in his runner Hope In Private, winner of a claiming race at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 13.

According to Florida law, a formal hearing is opted when a respondent contests the charges as outlined. While a spokesperson for Florida’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering indicated that it was customary for respondents to be represented by counsel at such hearings, Passero has opted to represent himself.

“This is a plain case of contamination,” said Passero from his barn at Delaware Park. The 66-year-old trainer, the leading conditioner on multiple occasions at Delaware, Gulfstream, and Woodbine, refused further comment.

The complaint seeks that Passero’s training license be suspended or revoked and/or the imposition of a fine of up to $5,000, although Passero may continue to train until the administrative law judge rules on the complaint.