By: Matt Hegarty
Trainer Kirk Ziadie has received a stay of a six-year suspension handed down in December by the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, his attorney said on Wednesday.
A Florida appellate court granted the stay on April 21, according to Brad Beilly, Ziadie’s attorney. The stay will likely remain in place until the court rules on Ziadie’s appeal of the suspension, which could take six months to a year, Beilly estimated.
Ziadie said on Wednesday he has not yet determined when or how he will return to training, though he said he will “start small.” He had 40-45 horses in his barn when the state denied his training license last summer, six months before issuing the six-year suspension, Ziadie said.
“I just want to come back real slow, make it a small stable at first,” Ziadie said. “I just hope everything can work its way out.”
Ziadie’s suspension was based on a report by the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings that had determined that the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering had proven that Ziadie had 18 medication positives in the prior four years. The violations were for positives of the bronchodilator clenbuterol, which can have steroidal effects when used regularly, and overages of the regulated painkiller phenylbutazone, the division said.
“The number of repetitions of offenses was significant and indicates a pattern or practice rather than an occasional oversight,” the agency’s order stated. “Repeated drug offenses have a direct impact on the integrity of the parimutuel industry.”
The division had denied Ziadie’s license in the summer because of what it described as 26 pending medication violations over a period from 2012-15.
Trainers typically appeal lengthy suspensions because of courts’ propensity to grant stays of suspensions until their appeals are heard.
Ziadie, who has been training since 2002, took the Gulfstream Park spring meeting title in 2015 with a record of 22 wins from 45 starts. He has a career record of 762 wins from 2,716 starts, for a strike rate of 28 percent.
Ziadie’s father, Ralph, is also a Florida-based trainer. Since the start of the year, Ralph Ziadie has a record of 32-4-6-3, according to Equibase records.