The field leaving the gate for the Breeders' Cup Sprint Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park

The field leaving the gate for the Breeders' Cup Sprint Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park

Ryan Thompson

Breeders' Cup Sprint Purse Withheld by CHRB

Regulatory agency would not indicate why money has not been distributed.

The purse for the TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) is being withheld until at least mid-December, according to California Horse Racing Board spokesman Mike Marten.

Marten would not disclose why the purse was being withheld, but did say 12 Breeders' Cup races have been cleared in respect to drug test results and that the Sprint has not been cleared.

"At this point, the Sprint has not been cleared," Marten said. "All the other races have been cleared and we expect the Sprint to be cleared in mid-December."

Breeders' Cup confirmed the purse withholding in a Nov. 23 statement.

"Breeders' Cup has been advised by the California Horse Racing Board that 12 of 13 races from this year's event at Santa Anita, not including the Breeders' Cup Sprint, have been cleared following post-race testing by the Maddy Laboratory at the University of California at Davis," the statement read. "Inquiries relating to testing results or regulatory proceedings should be directed to the CHRB."

Purses can be withheld when there is a suspicious post-race drug test. This policy ensures purse money is not paid out, so that it would not have to be recollected should a disqualification occur and purse money needs to be redistributed.

The reactions from connections involved in the race won by Drefong at Santa Anita Park were varied.

NOVAK: Drefong Gives Baffert Fifth BC Sprint

Second-place finisher Masochistic's trainer, Ron Ellis, declined to comment on any issues related to the Sprint purse.

The trainers for A. P. Indian (Arnaud Delacour), Limousine Liberal (Ben Colebrook), and Noholdingback Bear (Michael De Paulo), said they were unaware the purse was being withheld.

"I'd hope if it was our horse (that was involved), I would have been informed," Delacour said.

Robert Falcone Jr., trainer for third-place finisher Mind Your Biscuits, said he was aware of the purse being withheld, but also noted he had not been told why.

"We haven't heard why," Falcone said. "Everyone is under hold. They're staying really quiet about it."

Drefong's trainer, Bob Baffert, and Jorge Navarro, trainer of sixth-place Delta Bluesman, did not respond to requests for comment as of 6 p.m. ET.