As a result of a hearing held on Nov. 30, the New Jersey Racing Commission has suspended trainer Ake Svanstedt 15 days and fined him $500 as a result of a positive test on Resolve in the $273,600 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot on Aug. 6 at the Meadowlands. Svanstedt also received a second positive on his trotter Blue Muse, who won an $8,000 amateur race on Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands with his wife, Sarah, driving, and received the same penalties.
The positives were for Dexamethasone, which is a Class C violation as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
With Ake Svanstedt driving, Resolve won the Cashman in a career-best 1:50.2, besting Obrigado by 1 1/4 lengths. As a result of the positive test and subsequent disqualification of Resolve, Obrigado is now the official winner of the race.
According to the New Jersey ruling, Svanstedt's two 15-day suspensions will be served consecutively, starting on Jan. 2, 2017, and continuing through and including Jan. 31, 2017. The ruling also states that "in addition to the penalty issued, a total of two Multiple Medication Violation points, as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, shall be assigned as a result of these Class C violations."
New Jersey Racing Commission executive director Frank Zanzuccki told harnessracing.com that Svanstedt has 10 days from the date of the ruling to appeal.
In the aftermath of the ruling, the U.S. Harness Writers Association has announced that any member who has already voted for Dan Patch divisional award honors and wants to change their vote from Resolve, could do so by emailing Paul Ramlow at the U.S. Trotting Association at firstname.lastname@example.org before the voting deadline of 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15.