Trainer Nick Zito felt the stewards’ sting when his license was suspended for 15 days and he was fined $2,000 by the New York State Racing association after one of his horses came up positive for the analgesic Lidocaine at Saratoga race course last August.
The three-person board decided to suspend five days of the penalty if Zito does not have another positive in the next 12 months. The board imposed the penalty at its regular monthly meeting in Albany last week.
According to board records, it was the first time the two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer had been cited for a drug positive. The dates for the suspension, which was handed down last Thursday, have not been released.
Zito’s horse, Mark’s Miner, tested positive for the analgesic after the second race on Aug. 2, 2000. Initially, the three stewards suspended Zito for 15 days and imposed a $1,000 fine. Zito appealed, and the board’s hearing officer George Dranichak recommended a fine but no suspension.
The board then decided to impose a fine and suspension that was consistent with similar cases.