By: Jim Dunleavy

Trainer King Leatherbury has been suspended 15 days and fined $500 by the Laurel Park board of stewards for a medication violation. Leatherbury’s suspension began July 11 and continues through Monday.

Classic Wildcat, trained by Leatherbury, won the third race at Laurel Park on April 22. Classic Wildcat tested positive for Mepivacaine after winning the $7,000 claiming race by one length.

Mepivacaine is a strong local anesthetic. It can block pain and is used around surgical sites and sometimes in lameness examinations.

In addition to the fine and suspension, Leatherbury was given four multiple-medication violation points.

Leatherbury, 83, is the fifth-leading trainer in history by wins with 6,474 victories. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year.

According to the Thoroughbred Regulator Rulings website, this is Leatherbury’s first medication violation since 2005, when he was fined $1,000 for a methocarbamol positive at Pimlico. Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxant that can block pain sensations that are sent to the brain.

During Leatherbury’s suspension, his longtime assistant Avon Thorpe is overseeing the stable. Thorpe had one runner at Laurel on July 17, has a horse entered Saturday, and has two entered for Sunday.