ARCADIA, Calif. -- A day after his 3-year-old colt The Pamplemousse scored a dazzling six-length victory in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, trainer Julio Canani was pulled over while driving, arrested, and charged with driving under the influence.
Canani confirmed the incident at his Santa Anita stable early Monday, only hours after he was released from jail. Canani, who said he's 71, was on his way home Sunday evening after leaving Cafe 322 in Sierra Madre, about five miles northwest of Santa Anita. Sierra Madre police pulled over Canani for an unspecified driving infraction. They asked Canani if he had been drinking; he subsequently failed a field sobriety test and was arrested.
The "notice to appear" citation issued by Sierra Madre police did not specify his blood-alcohol content. It is unlawful in California to drive with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher. Canani admitted he consumed alcohol during the races Sunday at Santa Anita, but disputes that his driving ability was impaired.
Linda Halsey, co-owner of Canani-trained Fastongrass, was with the trainer at Cafe 322. She said Canani declined an offer of a drink.
"He had a big glass of water, we congratulated him on his win with The Pamplemousse, he picked up his food and left," she said.
Canani was pulled over and arrested soon after 6 p.m.; he said he was released at 2 a.m. Monday morning. Canani, who lives in Sierra Madre, is ranked sixth in the trainer standings at Santa Anita. He has won with 14 of 36 starters (38 percent).