Flagstaff Ordered Unplaced Over Bisphosphonate Positive; No Hearing Yet Scheduled For Sadler

A stewards’ ruling released on Saturday ordered Flagstaff unplaced from the Grade 2 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes Sept. 27, 2020, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., due to the presence of clodronic acid, a bisphosphonate sold under the brand name Osphos, in a post-race sample, reports the Daily Racing Form.

Flagstaff finished second in that race, and stewards have ordered the purse money to be redistributed.

The bisphosphonate positive was originally announced in late May and trainer John Sadler could still be facing Class 1 drug sanctions, but no hearings have yet been scheduled, according to the DRF report.

Because clodronic acid is not included on the CHRB’s current list of prohibited substances, under the regulatory body’s rules it automatically falls under the most severe drug category, Class 1. A medication classification proposal working its way through the CHRB’s approval process recommends classifying clodronate (clodronic acid) as Class 3, but in the A penalty category.

Sadler referred questions to attorney Darrell Vienna, who said Flagstaff was legally treated with Osphos on an unspecified date “late in 2019” when Flagstaff was 5 years old.

Vienna cited the extended half life of Osphos as an explanation for the positive test, saying it can linger in a horse’s system for many months or even longer than a year.

Read more at the Daily Racing Form.

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