Sadler to answer for steriod use

Updated: September 20, 2008, 6:50 PM ET
By Steve Andersen | Daily Racing Form

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- John Sadler, the leading trainer at the Hollywood Park spring-summer and Del Mar meetings this year, had four horses test in excess of the permitted levels of anabolic steroids at Del Mar in early August, the California Horse Racing Board announced on Saturday.

Sadler will not face a suspension or a financial penalty for the excessive tests, but will appear before the Santa Anita stewards on Oct. 2 for a hearing. Pending that hearing, Sadler is likely to have the four excessive tests appear on his permanent record as warnings.

In the past year, the California Horse Racing Board has enacted rules that will essentially ban steroids. Only four steroids are now allowed to appear in post-race tests  boldenone, nandrolone, stanozolol, and testosterone  and only in minute quantities.

Through the summer, penalties were phased in. Trainers that had horses test in excess of the permitted levels in July were issued notices. In August, the excessive tests resulted in official warnings. Beginning with races run on Sept. 4, trainers face suspensions and/or financial penalties as well as a loss of purse for excessive levels of steroids.

The racing board filed complaints against Sadler for excessive levels found in post-race urine tests taken from Soupy, the winner of the third race on Aug. 1; Tizsweetdreams, who finished third in fourth race on Aug. 1; Chanjo, the winner of the 10th race on Aug. 2; and Sunshine Ridge, the winner of the fifth race on Aug. 3.

Sadler said on Saturday that as a result of the complaints he is no longer administering steroids to his horses.

"We're completely out of it," he said. "We're not going to use any of it. We'll keep it simple."

Sadler said that he will present his case before the stewards.

"I've got to get with the legal guys and figure out how we're going to do this," Sadler said. "We're going to get our hearing with our lawyers and medical guys and make our points and we'll move on."

Zenyatta cranks it up

Zenyatta, the leading older female in the nation, worked six furlongs in 1:12.80 at Hollywood Park on Saturday, preparing for a start in the $250,000 Lady's Secret Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.

The Grade 1 Lady's Secret, run over 1 1/16 miles, will be Zenyatta's final start before the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic on Oct. 24, a race known in past years as the BC Distaff.

Saturday, Zenyatta worked in company with stablemate Bronzino. Zenyatta started three lengths behind Bronzino, caught up with him on the turn and pulled about four lengths clear. Bronzino was timed in 1:14.60.

"We're just doing the same thing, steady and maintaining her condition," trainer John Shirreffs said. "She acts like it was a two-minute lick. Her stride just increases the farther she goes."

Zenyatta, who races for Jerry and Ann Moss, will be a strong favorite in the Lady's Secret. Her principal rival will be Hystericalady, the multiple graded stakes winner.