Hong Kong Harry Disqualified from Second Place in GI Turf Classic

Hong Kong Harry | Benoit


Hong Kong Harry (Ire) (Es Que Love {Ire}), who crossed the wire second in the GI Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic S. at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day was officially disqualified by the Churchill Downs stewards in an Aug. 26 ruling. The ruling came after the post-race urine sample and a subsequent split sample tested positive for the substance mofebutazone.

In addition, trainer Phil D'Amato was fined $1,000 and owners Scott Anasstasi, Jimmy Ukegawa and Tony Valazazz had to forfeit $194,000 in purse earnings. D'Amato and the owners waived their right to a formal hearing.

The Blood-Horse was the first to report the story.

Mofebutazone is a drug used for joint and muscular pain, but is not approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in any species. Because it is not FDA approved, it is considered a banned substance under the Horse Racing Safety and Integrity Act (HISA). However, HISA's Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program did not go into effect until May 22. Had HISA rules been in place, D'Amato could have been charged with using a banned substance, which can result in a suspension of up two years and a $25,000 fine.

At deadline for this story, D'Amato's attorney Darrell Vienna had not returned a phone call from the TDN. He told the Blood-Horse, “We presented some evidence and it was reviewed by the stewards,” Vienna said. “Based upon the specific facts and circumstances in the case, the stewards reached what in my opinion was a fair and appropriate decision. What we're talking about is a substance that is essentially very weak (phenylbutazone). The substance, to my client's knowledge, he neither administered nor caused it to be administered. It was basically of unknown origin.”

This was the third disqualification from a race run during Kentucky Derby week due to a drug positive. In 2020, Gamine (Into Mischief) was disqualified after crossing the wire third in the GI Kentucky Oaks after testing positive for betamethasone for trainer Bob Baffert. The following year, the Baffert-trained Medina Spirit (Protonico) also tested positive for betamethasone after crossing the wire first in the GI Kentucky Derby. Owner Amr Zedan is still contesting Medina Spirit's disqualification in court.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. One in a Mullion: Full-Brother to Mandaloun 'Looks Like a Carter-Met Mile Type of Horse'
  2. Liberal Arts A Ferraro Family Adventure
  3. HISA: No Specific Cause for Laurel Fatalities Last Spring, Mirroring No-Fault Findings in Churchill Deaths
  4. Making Waves: Exosphere's Easter Sets Holiday Tone
  5. The Week in Review: 'Stars of Tomorrow' Showcases Aspiring Humans as Well as Horses

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.