The state stewards at Bowie Race Course, at a loss to explain the negative results of postrace tests on several horses given the drugs Butazolidin and Lasix, have turned the cases over to the Maryland Racing Commission.
The test results involved horses documented to have been given shots of the drugs the mornings of their races.
"I don't really know how to deal with this in good conscience," said steward J. Fred Colwill. "It's true we have fined several well-known trainers for similar violations, but they were under different circumstances."
Colwill was referring to the fact that trainers can give horses Bute and Lasix pills but only a track veterinarian, who documents the injection, can give shots of the drugs.
One of the trainers who has had a horse test negative is Ron Alfano, Bowie's current leader with 19 victories.
"I was told to keep this quiet until the stewards had a chance to contact the racing commission," he said. "However, since you know about it I'll tell you straight. My foreman gives each horse on Bute medication a pill in the evening before a race, then the vet, in this case, Dr. Jim Stewart, comes in the morning of the race and gives the horse a shot of Bute. Between the two, there couldn't be a slipup. It was documented.
Veteran jockey Herb Hinojosa visited Bowie Wednesday and the current leader at Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts said he plans to return to Maryland to ride.
Jockey Charles Cooke left for Santa Anita Wednesday to ride the fine filly, The Very One, when she makes her turf debut there next week. "I haven't got that many good horses to ride," he said. "I'd go to the North Pole to ride a top horse like The Very One."
Dr. Vincent Palumbo of the Maryland Harness Board was once a top amateur boxer at the University of Maryland. His team was so dominant that West Point decided in 1954, after being soundly whipped by the Terrapins, to drop boxing.
Palumbo, a Washington dentist, said, "Our team was so strong we were often considered professionals in ability. In 1956, I whipped the national Golden Gloves champion. I was topseeded to go to the Olympics that year but decided to go to dental school, instead."