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Two horses trained by US Hall of Fame and Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert have tested positive for a banned substance according to a report in The New York Times.
Both horses, the undefeated Charlatan and his stablemate Gamine, are reported to have tested positive for lidocaine, a numbing agent, at Oaklawn Park, Arkansas.
The anesthetic is considered a Class 2 drug by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Using the substance carries a penalty of a suspension ranging from 15 to 60 days, coupled with a fine of between $500 and $1,000. It could also lead to Charlatan being disqualified and his owners having to forfeit the $300,000 won in the recent Arkansas Derby.
Charlatan, one of the top contenders for three-year-old honours in the USA this year, was victorious in the Arkansas Derby on 2nd May last, and is ranked fourth on the qualifying points list for the Kentucky Derby on 5th September.
Sixty-seven year-old Arizona native Baffert has exercised his right to have a second test run on the samples, with results expected in about a week’s time.
Confirmation of a positive test, however, could mean Charlatan will miss the first leg of the 2020 American Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes in New York, on 20th June.