On Tuesday, April 14, a Kentucky court denied the appeal of lawyer / horse owner Daniel Waxman in regard to a positive test produced
in 2005 by Loyal Opposition at the Red Mile.
According to a release from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet, Franklin Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd has issued an opinion upholding a ruling by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority’s racing judges disqualifying a horse owned by Waxman from a race run at the Red Mile in 2005. The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, now the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, had affirmed the judges’ ruling following an administrative hearing, and Waxman appealed to the Franklin Circuit Court.
The race in question was the Allerage Trot which took place at Lexington’s Red Mile during the Grand Circuit Meet on October 8, 2005. Loyal Opposition was the winning horse of the eighth race and tested positive for flunixin during a routine blood and urine test following the race. Flunixin is an anti-inflammatory drug used prior to races to lessen discomfort and soreness from training. Use of flunixin is permitted, but no later than 24 hours prior to a race. When test results indicated that flunixin was administered to Loyal Opposition after the deadline, the racing judges issued a ruling disqualifying the horse and ordering redistribution of the $80,000 purse.
“The Commission is pleased that the court believes, as we do, that the Commission acted properly in upholding the judge’s findings,” said Lisa Underwood, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
In ruling in favor of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, now Commission, judge Shepherd rejected several constitutional challenges by Waxman. The judge held that equine drug regulations applying different rules to thoroughbred and standardbred racing do not violate equal protection guarantees under the law. The judge’s opinion noted that meaningful differences exist between thoroughbred and standardbred horses and held that the state may distinguish between the two breeds in regulating their participation in racing.
Waxman has 30 days to appeal the April 14, 2009 Circuit Court ruling to the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
(With files from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet)