Nick Zito has found himself embroiled in a positive drug test on Alvito, the winning horse in the fifth race on February 24 at Aqueduct. Apparently, Alvito came up positive for an excessive level of clenbuterol, a bronchial dilator.
The New York State Gaming Commission posted this notice on its website.
The popular bronchial dilator clenbuterol is frequently used for therapeutic treatment of horses that have respiratory problems. The problem with clenbuterol is that it is often used to build muscle mass when the drug is regularly and frequently administered to a horse. Last year, the rule was passed to prohibit cllenbuterol within 21 days of a race, quickly amended to 14 days based on national recommendations.
Initially, Zito was suspended for 30 days. He waived his right to appeal, and received a reduced penalty of 15 days, starting March 11 and lasting until March 25. Included in the suspension was a fine to be paid by Zito of $1,000.
Zito, based in New York, has been one of the best known racehorse trainers in the racing world. He currently ranks 13th in trainer standings based on monies won at Gulfstream Park in Florida where he races during winters.
Zito could not be reached for comment.
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