BigDaddy News

Horse Racing News

Hong Kong Harry DQ’d From Second in Turf Classic

For the third time since 2020, a horse has been disqualified by stewards from a grade 1 race at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week.

Hong Kong Harry , second across the wire behind Up to the Mark  in the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1T) on Kentucky Derby Day, May 6, was disqualified in an Aug. 26 ruling and trainer Phil D’Amato was fined $1,000 after the gelding’s urine sample and follow-up split sample showed the presence of mofebutazone. With his disqualification, owners Scott Anastasi, Jimmy Ukegawa, and Tony Valazza forfeit $194,000 in earnings.

The six starters that finished behind Hong Kong Harry have been elevated one position, leaving Spooky Channel  as the runner-up and Ocean Atlantique  in third.

The stewards’ rulings noted Hong Kong Harry’s owners and D’Amato waived their rights to a formal hearing.

Conclude&#39;s jockey Juan Hernandez, left, is congratulated by trainer Philip D&#39;Amato after winning the $100,000 Desert Code Stakes Sunday, May 21, 2023 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.<br>
Benoit Photo
Photo: Benoit Photo

Trainer Phil D’Amato congratulates jockey Juan Hernandez after a May 21 race at Santa Anita Park

Sign up for

Hong Kong Harry’s disqualification follows two others in recent years from some of Churchill Downs’ elite racing days, beginning in 2020 when Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine  was disqualified from third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). A year later, Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit  was disqualified after finishing first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1). The two Bob Baffert trainees tested positive for betamethasone. The Medina Spirit disqualification is expected to be appealed in court.

This year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) were clear of violations, a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission spokesperson stated this spring.

Mofebutazone has been used to treat joint and muscular pain but is not approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in any species. Some medications that are not FDA-approved are used off-label. Lacking FDA approval, mofebutazone is considered a banned substance by the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority.

HISA medication rules under its Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program were not yet in effect on Kentucky Derby Day this spring, with implementation delayed until May 22. As a result, stewards issued a ruling in the case based on KHRC rules and cited the drug’s Association of Racing Commissioners International classification.

Under HISA rules, banned substance findings can result in up to a two-year suspension and a $25,000 fine for the trainer.

In February, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium’s board of directors approved a recommendation from its Scientific Advisory Committee to designate mofebutazone in ARCI drug class 4, penalty class B. Medications in drug class 4 are deemed by ARCI to be primarily therapeutic medications that “may influence performance, but generally have a more limited ability to do so.”

Drugs are classified on a 1-5 scale and penalties are on an A-D scale. Drugs in class 1 and penalty class A have the most potential to impact performance and typically result in the stiffest penalties.

The Southern California-based D’Amato, who currently co-leads the Del Mar trainer standings with Baffert, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Hong Kong Harry, a three-time graded stakes winner, has raced once since the Turf Classic, finishing third in the May 29 Shoemaker Mile (G1T) at Santa Anita Park.

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video

Want To Earn From Skills ?

Bonus On New ID