A complaint by the California Horse Racing Board claims that clodronic acid, a bisphosphonate known as Osphos, was confirmed in a split sample taken after Falstaff finished second by a head to C Z Rocket in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2) on Sept. 27.
The complaint orders Sadler to appear before a hearing, although a date for the hearing was not specified.
Sadler is in the midst of a one-year probationary period that ends June 28 for violations involving medication violations for three horses. He also was fined $15,000 and suspended for 60 days, although 45 of those days were stayed.
During probation, according to the complaint, Sadler may not have any violation of Class I, II or III drug positives. If terms of the probation are violated, the 45 days of stayed suspension could be imposed after a hearing.
Clodronic acid is a bisphosphonate that inhibits bone breakdown, according to TheHorse.com.
The complaint was earlier reported by Thoroughbred Daily News and others. Sadler's attorney, Darrell Vienna, told TDN that Osphos is listed as a Class 1 drug because it is currently unclassified in California. But it is going through the administrative process of being classified a Class 3 medication, he said.
Vienna told TDN that it was his understanding Flagstaff was administered Osphos in late 2019, but that because of a very slow rate of elimination in a horse's system – sometimes years – the medication showed up in last year's test.
“I don't think anything in the report shows any evidence of misfeasance or malfeasance by Sadler,” Vienna told TDN. “This isn't him denying the administration. It's a case of the administration being completely legal at the time. The finding is a result of the pharmacology of the substance, not of any wrongdoing.”