By Bill Finley
Having been suspended at Gulfstream for allegedly violating rules regarding the use of clenbuterol, trainer Rohan Crichton may not be able to run his filly Bajan Girl (Speightstown) in the GI Juddmonte Spinster S. to be run Sunday at Keeneland.
Keeneland released a statement Tuesday indicating that it is considering its options.
“We are in the process of obtaining information regarding the reported suspensions from Gulfstream Park so Keeneland is in a position to make an informed decision about race entries,” it read. “As you know, and as is clear from our actions for 85 years, Keeneland continues to work in furtherance of our mission to perpetuate the best in Thoroughbred racing, which definitely includes fair competition and integrity.”
“Right now she's being trained towards her next start,” Crichton told the Daily Racing Form. “Preferably we'll be able to run her in the Spinster. Our second option is the Beldame. I've been very forthcoming with Keeneland and have asked if they will take my entry. There is also the possibility they would let my owners enter her with one of the other trainers they use in Kentucky.”
The Spinster is a “Win and You're In” race for the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff.
So far as the GII Beldame S. at Belmont, also scheduled to be run Sunday, goes, NYRA spokesman Pat McKenna said the matter is under review.
It was announced last week by Gulfstream that Crichton was among five trainers that were suspended after they were found to be in violation of house rules at the Florida track regarding the use of clenbuterol. The others were Georgina Baxter, Daniel Pita, Peter Walder and Gilberto Zerpa. The finding came after out-of-competition testing, which included hair and blood samples, was performed.
Crichton was suspended by Gulfstream and not by the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, which means his status is not clear cut. Unlike a suspension issued by a racing commission, a suspension by one racetrack does not have to be upheld by another. However, as first reported by the Paulick Report, there is a clause in the Keeneland condition book listed under “special notices” that appears to cover the Crichton situation. It reads: “At the discretion of the stewards, and without notice, the entries of any person, or acceptance or transfer of any entries, may be refused.”
Keeneland's barn notes on Sunday and Monday listed Bajan Girl as a probable starter in the Spinster. Tuesday's notes did not include her name among a list of potential starters.
Owned by Robert Slack and Daniel Walters, Bajan Girl was fourth in the Love Sign S. at Colonial Downs in her most recent start and is three-for-13 lifetime.
A native of Jamaica, Crichton was the leading trainer at the 2020 Gulfstream Park West meet. He is 33-for-161 on the year for a winning percentage of 20%.