SAN MATEO, Calif. -- Racehorse trainer Allen Severinsen, son of band leader Doc Severinsen, was suspended from the Bay Meadows track after a second horse he trained tested positive for a drug after winning a race.
Severinsen, 33, was suspended Sunday by the track's board of stewards, which in September had fined him $750 after another horse he trained tested positive after winning a race.
The tranquilizer Acepromazine turned up in a urinalysis of Lenora's Wine after the horse won a race Oct. 1, track officials said. On Sept. 14, a urinalysis turned up the local anesthetic Procaine in Lunar Beauty after she won a race.
'I don't know how this could have happened because we try to be so careful about everything,' Severinsen said. 'I'm 100 percent innocent. I'm not afraid to admit that to anybody. But due to the trainer-insurer rule, it makes me guilty.'
The rule is that a trainer is responsible for the condition of any horse he runs in a race.
'There is nothing I can do except to try to be more organized and make sure it doesn't happen again,' Severinsen said.
Steward Dennis Nevin said the supsension could have been more severe but 'his story was plausible enough that perhaps this was an error at the barn.'
Severinsen, a trainer in the Bay Area for seven years, had only one prior violation, a small fine for too much of a legal medication found in a horse's system.
Steward Leon Lewis commented 'To have that clean ofa record and then, boom, two positive tests right in a row...maybe he's not paying as close attention as he should.'
The two drugs are used in the treatment of race horses but their presence in post-race testing is a violation of California Horse Racing Board rules.
Acepromazine can have a settling effect on a nervous horse and Procaine is sometimes used with penicilin in treating infections, officials said.