It's a Bird Positive After Oaklawn Handicap

It's a Bird, winner of the Lone Star Handicap (gr. III) on Memorial Day, could lose the purse from his April 4 victory in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) as the result of a positive test for the prohibited substance naproxen, an anti-inflammatory medication.

State steward Gary Wilfert said a hearing has not been scheduled, and a ruling has not been issued because the stewards and Arkansas Racing Commission attorney Byron Freeland are awaiting a response from trainer Martin Wolfson, who has been contacted about the positive.

According to model rules of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, naproxen is a Class 4 drug for which the recommended penalty is disqualification and forfeiture of the purse and a fine for the trainer. It's a Bird earned $300,000 for owner Edmund Gann with the Oaklawn Handicap victory.

Because the Oaklawn meet has ended, and the stewards are now serving in other locales, Wilfert said the hearing would likely to handled via telephone. A ruling would follow.

Freeland said the matter would be on the agenda for the June 9 racing commission meeting.

Efforts to reach Wolfson May 27 were unsuccessful.

(This article first appeared on

About the Author

Ron Mitchell/The Horse

Ron Mitchell is Online Managing Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine. A Lexington native, Mitchell joined The Blood-Horse after serving in editorial capacities with The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times, specializing in business and auction aspects of the industry, and was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Horsemen’s Journal. As online managing editor, Mitchell works closely with The Blood-Horse news editor and other departments to make sure the website content is the most thorough and accurate source for all Thoroughbred news, results, videos, and data.

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