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Horse trainer's suspension extended

French Thoroughbred trainer Patrick Biancone definitely will spend a few more months banned from training horses and will not be able to race any horses in his name at this year's Breeders' Cup.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Monday voted to approve a settlement reached with Biancone that will result in his license remaining suspended until Nov. 1.

Biancone had served an agreed-upon six-month suspension from Nov. 1, 2007, through April 30, 2008, with a subsequent six-month prohibition on entering the non-public areas of racetracks.

The penalties were levied last year after prohibited medications, including cobra venom, were discovered in his barns at Keeneland. He was originally suspended Oct. 17, 2007, just before last year's Breeders' Cup championships, in which he had horses entered. One horse, the colt Nownownow, won the Juvenile Turf.

Monday's action comes after an investigation last spring. Biancone was suspected of training horses privately in violation of his original settlement.

Racing authority staff had followed and filmed Biancone at Hurricane Hall Farm in Lexington; with partners, Biancone purchased the farm's private training track.

According to a KHRC press release, Biancone maintains he complied with the original suspension and said "that agreeing to the settlement does not imply an admission of guilt."

Biancone was not present at the meeting Monday.

"All disciplinary agreements approved by the commission are expected to be carried out by all parties and Mr. Biancone is no exception," said KHRC executive director Lisa Underwood in the release. "The commission will take the actions necessary to make sure its orders are followed. These actions are taken to ensure the integrity of horse racing in Kentucky."

The suspension will mean Biancone cannot train horses anywhere, including in advance of this year's Breeders' Cup championships at Santa Anita Oct. 24-25.

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