Pletcher Suspended 14 Days, Fined $2,000 For 2022 Bute Positive - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Pletcher Suspended 14 Days, Fined $2,000 For 2022 Bute Positive

Todd Pletcher

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher has been suspended 14 days and fined $2,000 by the New York State Gaming Commission for a July 30, 2022, positive test for the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone in the then-3-year-old Tapit colt, Capensis. It is the sixth positive test for a Pletcher runner in the last year.

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert V. LaPenta, Gainesway Stable, Winchell Thoroughbreds, and Stonestreet Stables, Capensis finished sixth as the even-money favorite in a Saratoga allowance race on turf going 1 1/16 miles on July 30. Capensis was making his second career start, following a five-length maiden win on the Belmont Park turf course four weeks earlier.

Capensis, the $2 million sale topper at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, subsequently won the Grade 3 New Kent County Virginia Derby by two lengths as the 8-5 favorite at Colonial Downs on Sept. 6. He has not raced since but returned to the work tab at Saratoga May 21.

The ruling, dated Sunday, June 11, states that phenylbutazone was present at a concentration in excess of 0.3 micrograms per milliliter in violation of 9 NYCRR 4043.3 (a) (26).

Capensis was also disqualified from his share of the purse money.

Pletcher has appealed and a stay of the suspension has been granted.

Pletcher has also appealed a 10-day suspension given him last month for a positive test for another anti-inflammatory, meloxicam, after Forte won the G1 Hopeful at Saratoga last Sept. 5. Florida regulators have issued three complaints for overages of permitted medications in Pletcher horses racing at Gulfstream – two last December and one in February. Those cases have not been adjudicated. Neither has a positive test for G1 winner Mind Control after a victory via disqualification in the Parx Dirt Mile Stakes at Parx Racing last Sept. 24.

An eight-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding trainer, Pletcher is Thoroughbred racing's all-time leading money-winning trainer, with his horses earning over $462 million.

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