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The Week in Review: March 11, 2020
THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2020
by: Valerie Mellema
A lot of big things happened in the world of horse racing this week. Here's the scoop.
Servis and Navarro Among Others Indicted by FBI for Horse Doping
Perhaps the biggest breaking story this week was the 43 page indictment by the FBI detailing how trainers Jason Service and Jorge Navarro are amongst a group of 27 trainers, manufacturers, veterinarians and Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) distributors involved in a horse doping scheme. The bombshell report was released Monday implicating the two trainers for use and concealment of performance-enhancing drugs. The indictments reveal that the two trainers were in on it together. Also named in the indictment were Servis' assistant, harness racing trainers and two vets.
According to data by Chris Rossi, a racing researcher, the two trainers claimed horses off of each other in late September at Monmouth and Belmont Parks. The U.S. Attorney's Office stated that in addition to using these drugs, Servis and Navarro conspired in other ways to deceive the public. They were allegedly involved in a "widespread scheme of covertly obtaining and administering adulterated misbranded PEDs to racehorses." These drugs including blood-building and pain relieving substances.
The New York State Gaming Commission has suspended the licenses of trainers and veterinarians indicted on Monday. According to the indictment, Service allegedly gave PEDs to "virtually all of the racehorses under his control" including MAXIMUM SECURITY. According to investigators, he also had a veterinarian falsify records to prevent the colt from testing positive for SGF-1000, his drug of choice.
As far as Navarro, the investigators found that he covertly obtained and administered various misbranded and adulterated drugs to racehorses under his control and personally administered them to X Y Jet. The colt suddenly died in January from what Navarro said was a heart attack.
Coronavirus Shuts Down Racing and Sports
The NBA has suspended the season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The Houston Livestock Show was cancelled. And 69 year old harness racing trainer, John Brennan died after a case of the coronavirus compounded his other existing health problems. As a result, Yonkers Raceway canceled Tuesday night's races out of caution. Churchill Downs officials have stated that they will monitor how other racing jurisdictions and sporting events are handled ahead of the Kentucky Derby. Hong Kong and Meydan have already ran races without fans to prevent the spread of the disease. Sam Houston Race Park has sent out a statement detailing that they will be extra vigilant in the cleaning of the facilities, wagering machines and its restrooms.
War Emblem, Kentucky Derby Winner, Dies at 21
Old Friends has reported that the 21 year old Derby winner was found dead Wednesday afternoon. A necropsy is pending, but it appears that the cause was a fatal paddock accident. In 2015, the stallion was re-repatriated from Shadai Stallion Farm in Japan.
Have a great week!
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