By T. D. Thornton
The Churchill Downs stewards have imposed a $10,000 fine and a one-year suspension on owner/trainer Lee J. Rossi following a positive post-race equine blood test for the Class A stimulant dextromethamphetamine that was sampled from a fourth-place maiden-claiming filly last autumn.
Dextromethamphetamine, which is also known as “ice” or “crystal meth” when the highly addictive drug is formulated in its more potent crystalline form for illegal human consumption, acts upon the central nervous system to boost the brain chemical dopamine while producing unusually accelerated heart and breathing rates.
The filly who tested positive in the seventh race at Churchill on Nov. 15, 2017, was the 20-1 long shot Our Bernattete (Discreet Cat).
The ruling, dated May 27, was posted to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission website on Wednesday.
Rossi, 73, has a training record that dates to at least 1976 according to Equibase. So far in 2018, Rossi-trained horses are 1-for-18, with that lone win being a maiden victory by Our Bernattete at Delta Downs on Jan. 18.
According to The Jockey Club’s online Thoroughbred Regulatory Rulings database, Rossi only has one previous penalty, which was a $100 fine for not having foal papers on file at Mountaineer Park in 2014.
TDN attempted to contact Rossi for comment or to find out if the ruling would be appealed, but several phone numbers listed in his name were no longer valid.