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Thursday, September 13, 2012
Judge upholds Veitch suspension

The Associated Press

The one-year suspension of John Veitch, Kentucky's former chief racing steward, in connection with the Life At Ten case was upheld by a judge Sept. 12.

Veitch's attorney, Tom Miller, told the Louisville Courier-Journal his client will appeal the ruling by Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate.

Veitch was given a one-year suspension over his handling of issues surrounding Life At Ten's performance in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs. A hearing officer found that Veitch mishandled Life At Ten's appearance in the Ladies Classic after her rider commented on television before the race that the horse wasn't warming up as she normally did.

Veitch argued that he was singled out over other stewards and racing officials working that day and said the regulations detailing a steward's job duties are vague.

Wingate had earlier ordered a stay of the suspension pending his ruling. His action Sept. 12 lifts the stay.

Miller said he didn't know whether he would ask that the stay be reinstated until an appeal is decided. The suspension keeps.Veitch from getting a job in racing where a license is necessary. Most state racing commissions honor each other's suspensions

Both parties have spent more than $100,000 in legal fees in connection with Veitch's case

Veitch has denied any wrongdoing in not reporting the comments to on-track veterinarians and not ordering the horse be sent to a detention barn for post-race blood and urine samples.

Veitch was fired last November by Public Protection Cabinet Secretary Robert Vance and is seeking to overturn the firing in a separate lawsuit. Veitch alleges age discrimination and contends he wasn't given a chance to challenge the firing.

Vance and the commission haven't given a reason for the firing.