Timely Writer, favored to win today's $169,800 Jerome Handicap at Belmont Park, was ordered scratched hours before post time when it was discovered the colt had a banned substance in his system.

The mile race was won by Fit To Fight, ridden by Jeff Bailey, in 1:35 2/5. Favored John's Gold was six lengths back.

An antibiotic known as sulfadimethoxine was found in Timely Writer's system. Timely Writer had been given the substance in the past for treatment of an intestinal ailment suffered before the Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Dominic Imprescia said the medication was administered Friday. It was given by William O. Reed, a veterinarian who has bought half-interest in the colt for $3 million. It was discovered during prerace testing required for all horses; only New York has a prohibition against the medication being in an animal's system at race time.

The drug is banned because -- due to the way it is administered -- an animal who has received it appears to have been given steroids.

Timely Writer, the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby before developing the stomach ailment and undergoing surgery, remains a contender for 3-year-old horse of the year honors, along with Conquistador Cielo, who was retired to stud Aug. 23.