Thoroughbred trainer Grover (Buddy) Delp was suspended for 20 days yesterday by the Maryland stewards in connection with two attacks on exercise boy Michael Smith Nov. 18.
The suspension of Delp, trainer of 2-year-old champion Spectacular Bid, was imposed in the offices of the Maryland racing stewards at Laurel Race Course during an afternoon meeting that lasted more than an hour. Delp was represented by attorney Donald N. Rathman. Smith was with attorney Stewart I. Schwartz.
Award-winning apprentice Ron Franklin came from Florida to testify that he was exercising a horse named Fortent for Delp and there were traffic problems on the track involving Smith astride a mare named Spring Switches just before the altercation.
Because of reciprocal agreements covering such actions, Delp also will be banned from Gulfstream Park in Florida, where he has Spectacular Bid stabled. The suspension will run through Jan. 19, leaving him little time to condition his charge for the Hutcheson Stakes Feb. 7 at Gulfstream.
Delp does have the option of pointing Spectacular Bid for the Fountain of Youth Stakes Feb. 19 and the March 6 Florida Derby. All three stakes were on the colt's schedule as preps for the Kentucky Derby May 5.
The stewards had witheld making a ruling on the matter in November to avoid possibly prejudicing court complaints made by Smith. When Delp sought and received a continuance in civil court, the officials called for yesterday's meeting.