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State delays Vaders' license revocation

Her horse tested positive for a tranquilizer. Her lawyer says the response was excessive.

Jayne Vaders, the leading trainer at Philadelphia Park last year, has been granted a stay by the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission of the revocation of her license, which would have started today.

After a horse she trains, Fourteentwentyone, tested positive for the tranquilizer acepromazine after winning on Feb. 4, the track stewards decided on April 28 to revoke her license.

A hearing to determine the outcome of the stewards' ruling had not yet been scheduled.

According to a commission spokesman, the stewards are citing a rule in which multiple drug infractions can result in the revocation of a license.

Vaders, 50, also had rulings issued after positive drug tests on April 11 and Aug. 26 of last year.

"She was told that any further violation of this nature would result in the revocation of her license," a commission spokesman said.

Alan Pincus, a Las Vegas lawyer who represents Vaders, described the stewards' ruling "as the most amazing thing I've even seen."

"They're invoking an old rule that's never been enforced where a trainer who has two medication violations can be ruled off," Pincus said yesterday. "This would keep trainers like [Todd] Pletcher and [Steve] Asmussen out of the state. This was only a Class III drug, which typically involves a 15-day suspension and a small fine. Never before in racing history has a Class III drug resulted in the revocation of a license."

Acepromazine, known around the racetrack as "ace," is permitted for training and often used on high-strung horses in the morning workouts or for shipping the animals. But the drug must not be present in the horse's system by post time of the race.

Vaders led all trainers at the Bensalem track with 111 wins last season and is now on top of the standings again.

Preakness update. Slew's Tizzy, the Lexington Stakes winner, who did not enter the Kentucky Derby, will also skip the Preakness, his trainer said yesterday.

Besides Street Sense and Hard Spun, other Derby returnees could include the third-place finisher, Curlin; Sedgefield, who was fifth; and Teuflesberg, who finished 17th.

The Michael Matz-trained Chelokee might enter. Matz trained last year's Derby winner, Barbaro, who suffered catastrophic injuries in the Preakness and was euthanized in January.

Other possible newcomers, according to the Maryland Jockey Club, are C.P. West, King of the Roxy, Xchanger, Flying First Class, and Starbase.

Sad day. Chilukki, the runner-up in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, and her Ghostzapper colt died Monday after foaling complications.

High ratings. The Kentucky Derby broadcast ratings on NBC were up 12 percent from last year.