By Bill Finley
Veteran trainer Dick Clark, who was based at Prairie Meadows this summer, has received a 90-month suspension and an $62,500 fine from the Horse Racing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU). The lengthy suspension and the fines were the result of five different positive tests that occurred with horses trained by Clark from June 19 to July 24. He was suspended 18 months and fined $12,500 for each offense.
Clark's suspension is the lengthiest one handed down so far by HIWU.
According to the HIWU website, in each case there was, by Clark, “an admission of EAD rule violation on acceptance of consequence.” According to HIWU spokesperson, Alexa Ravit, Clark has the right to file an appeal to an Administrative Law Judge within 30 days.
“However, I'll point out that he admitted to the violations and accepted the consequences,” she said. “These weren't final decisions by an arbitrator.”
Clark's first positive came with Colonel Klink (Awesome Patriot) after he finished sixth in a starter optional claimer. He tested positive for methamphetamine. Colonel Klink ran back on July 3 and July 22 and again tested positive for methamphetamine both times. The Clark-trained Kissed A Cadet (Army Mule) tested positive for the same banned substance after winning a July 22 maiden special weight race at Prairie Meadows. Clark was also suspended for being in the possession of a banned substance, levothyroxine.
Methamphetamine is a widely used street drug that acts as a stimulant. In some cases, methamphetamine positives have been waived after regulators determined that the drug got into the horse's systems through environmental contamination. Levothyroxine is a medicine used to treat an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Levothyroxine is commonly supplemented to help strip weight off horses and to help horses perk up.
Clark has been training since 1976 and has won 1,576 races from 10,607 starts. He has not started a horse since July 23.