The California Horse Racing Board is expected to make a decision today regarding the suspension and fine imposed upon Roger Stein after one of the trainer’s horses tested positive for cocaine after a race at Santa Anita last October.
Stein, who has denied responsibility in the drugging of the horse, was fined $2,000 and suspended for six months by the Santa Anita stewards. He obtained a court injunction, and his appeal of the penalty was heard by an administrative law judge.
The judge, Amanda Behe, presided over two days of testimony and gave a sealed recommendation to the racing board a couple of weeks ago. The board is not bound to follow her recommendation.
The board’s handling of the Stein case could be significant, because five other trainers--including nationally prominent Wayne Lukas and Laz Barrera--have also had horses test positive for cocaine at California tracks. Lukas, Barrera and the three others--Barrera’s son, Albert, Tony Hemmerick and Bryan Webb--say they are not guilty.
Today’s meeting will be held at Albany, Calif.
“My guess is that the board may try to reduce the fine and the suspension,” Stein said Thursday.
“But that won’t be acceptable. I don’t intend to pay one dollar of a fine or serve one day of a suspension, because I haven’t done anything. I’m prepared to fight this thing in court, where I’ll seek millions of dollars, because my livelihood has been taken away from me and my reputation has been damaged.”