Ness Fined for TCO2 Overage at Tampa: ‘It’s Taking the Fun Out of It’

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Tampa Bay Downs leading trainer Jamie Ness has been fined $2,000 and horses from his stable entered for the next 30 days at the Tampa-area track are required to be under 24-hour pre-race security watch after the Ness runner Awesome Mich tested over the 37.0 total carbon dioxide threshold on March 17. Awesome Mich finished fifth as the 11-10 favorite in a $12,500 claiming race that day.

TCO2 testing falls under Tampa Bay Downs “house rules,” since Florida’s virtually non-existent regulatory agency, the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, has no guidelines for permitted levels or testing of TCO2. Overages of TCO2, which some horsemen claim can be caused by a number of factors, were commonly called “milkshakes” prior to testing, when tubing a horse with a water/baking soda solution reduced lactic acid buildup and prevented muscle fatigue.

Ness, who trains for Midwest Thoroughbreds, the leading North American owner by wins and earnings in 2011, 2012 and so far in 2013, told the Paulick Report he was at Laurel Park on the day Awesome Mich ran and has no idea why the horse had a 38.0 TCO2 level in a pre-race blood sample test. Tampa Bay Downs tests two horses randomly for TCO2 from each race.

The national leader by wins in 2012 with 395 victories from 1,264 starts, Ness is leading the Tampa Bay Downs meeting with 39 wins from 111 starts, a 35% win percentage. Ness said he has never had a prior TCO2 overage.

In addition to the $2,000 fine, Ness is responsible for paying the cost of security personnel required to keep watch over his horses, either at a receiving barn or at his own stable.  A second offense escalates to a $5,000 fine and third TCO2 overage would be a $10,000 fine.

“There’s no trial and no jury,” said Ness. “The TRPB (Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau) showed up and told my wife Awesome Mich came back with a high something. She didn’t even know what it was. When she called me, I said, ‘That can’t be.’ We are going to test the horse ourselves and try to figure out how this could have happened.”

Ness said a search of his barn was conducted for the fourth time this year.

“My horses have had to stay at the test barn an extra half-hour,” Ness said. “It’s B.S., but I didn’t want to stir the pot. They were testing for ITTP, they were testing for this and that. I bit my lip. I ain’t doing nothing. It’s taking the fun out of it, it really is. When you win at a high percentage all you get is extra scrutiny.”

Ness said Tampa Bay Downs is the only track that singles him out for additional security measures and testing.

“I have absolutely zero problems any other place I go,” he said. “Just here, and this is my home. I have my house five miles from the track. My family is here.”

Peter Berube, the track’s general manager, said Ness waived his right to a hearing before the stewards and that a formal ruling would be issued.

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  • InsideThePylons

    Maybe Ness should go to Turf Paradise where they don’t even test TCO2 levels. Chemical warfare at it’s best.

    • dcurtis

      Fact Check , they do test TCO2 levels at Turf Paradise.

      • InsideThePylons

        Has anybody ever had a high TCO2 at Turf Paradise? Research the answer and get back to me.

        • desert rat

          no positives and they only test 1 or 2 out of a few races a day. They also ship them off to Industrial Lab in Denver so by the time they arrive are they even testable? Az. spends about $35.00 a test on the samples they DO choose to send in so it is easy to see why there are not many positives for anything other than a high bute once in awhile.

          • InsideThePylons

            Correct…..they basically don’t test for anything….especially TCO2

            Chemical anarchy!

          • Tanner

            I dare someone to put a Public Record request in to Az Dept of Racing for all results of TCO2 tests this season at Turf.

  • ITPisbanned

    Maybe Ness should go to Turf Paradise where they don’t even test TCO2 levels.

  • http://twitter.com/mrbelmont Tommy

    $2000, that must hurt

    • http://twitter.com/Bellwether4U Bellwether

      Chump Change…

  • Second Wind

    In my opinion Ness cheats. The litmus test for me has always been this. What happens when Jamie claims from accomplished horsemen and what happens when accomplished horsemen claim from Ness. In the former, they eat the horse in most cases. In the latter, Jamie gets them to rebreak at the 3/16 pole and they improve 20 beyer points. Sorry, a lot of people these days treat horses well and give good feed and vitamins. If Jamie Ness is clean then I’m the pope.

    • LongTimeEconomist

      Good point, but you have “former” and “latter” just backwards, confusing your point.

      • Don Reed

        Ouch.

      • Second Wind

        Big deal. I know how to use them and I think people get what I meant. Hope you feel better.

  • salthebarber

    For me, everytime Ness enters a horse, it takes the fun of the game. Sorry to be so harsh, but as a player that is the way I feel when I see his horses entered at Gulfstream.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Quinn/100000299053713 Bob Quinn

      When I see a Ness horse entered in a race, I pass 90% of the time. 100% if it’s first off a claim.

    • bohica tribe

      Kinda like when Miguel Silva or Robertino Diodoro run at Turf Paradise, takes the fun out for the gambler and other horse trainers

  • FIVE2_THREE

    Time to get the Program Trainer warmed up. he will be needed for the next 30 days

    • LongTimeEconomist

      The article doesn’t mention any suspension.

  • PG

    Ness is responsible to pay for Tampa security personnel because he runs a top notch operation who takes care of their horses and wins races. Four barn searches and nothing found and his horses pass the post race tests which I’m sure are rather extensive. You’ve gotta be kidding me…seems to me the only thing the guy is guilty of is being a good trainer.

    • FIVE2_THREE

      And when was the last time you heard of an honest man waiving his right to a hearing ?
      If you were accused of something I am sure you would want to see the evidence against you or fight to keep your name clean right ?

      • Brady

        Sometime when you fight back against the “house” they make thing unbearable for you, even if you were as innocent as Don Knots.

      • Brady

        Let me re-iterate. I don’t want to sound like I’m taking his side on this, but sometimes going against the powers at be is more of a hassle than it’s worth.

        • http://twitter.com/offbeatbull Offbeatbull

          EPO

        • http://twitter.com/Bellwether4U Bellwether

          Glad that’s not how George Washington/Thomas Payne and that crowd Felt…

          • HelenBach

            I suppose you equate this with the Revolutionary War. Totally illogical comparison.

          • Brady

            To compare Jamie Ness to anything in reference to The Revolutionary War is outlandish. We are talking about a thoroughbred horse racing trainer, and while I love this sport with all my heart, it’s nothing compared to Washington’s seige of Yorktown, or Payne’s “Common Sense”. I’m just saying that maybe he waived his stewards hearing because he just wants to be done with it. I don’t know the guy, don’t know anything about his training methods. I’m just throwing it out there.

        • thunderrun

          I agree. Sometimes it’s best to keep quiet because if you speak up, the stewards have the ability to make your life miserable.

      • PG

        Yeah those racetrack hearings always seem to work out well for the trainer whether they are guilty or not. If someone has broken the rules they should be punished, but to put on the facade of having a nonprejudiced hearing where everyone knows the outcome beforehand is a waste of time. Like Brady said it’s more of a hassle than it’s worth.

      • HelenBach

        I don’t know anything about Ness or his operation. However, I do know that steward’s hearings are nothing more than kangaroo courts. If you want to fight their rulings you have to take them to civil court. A lot more cost than $2000.

      • slicky

        this is a great point.
        if he truly feels it’s a witch hunt, why not pay the small fine and move on?..
        not claiming Ness is innocent, just saying penalty may not be worth the fight.. and Bellweather, your analogy gave me the runs.

  • Uninvolved observer

    IMO he wins because he’s shrewd and aggressive. He consistently spots his horses well, uses good riders, doesn’t rush his horses, and has owners that want to play the game. While he has high success rates anywhere he runs, the two racetracks where he wins 35+% are Tampa Bay and Delaware Park. Two of the weakest venues on the east coast…

    • jack

      horses entering Ness’ barn improve at least 10 lengths. It has nothing to do with shrewd spotting, patience, riders, etc….either the guy is an absolute genius trainer or he has some ace in the hole…..I give him the benefit of the doubt……innocent until proven guilty…..I did say the same about Lance Armstrong, though……

    • HelenBach

      Interesting that you consider TMP a weak venue. Mott, Clemente, Motion, etc ship in $500k horses from Palm Meadows and Payson to run in $20k maidens!

      • Uninvolved Observer 2.0

        Right. They ship in primarily for turf Msw Alw and stakes. How many horses does Ness have of that description?

        • Jane C

          It’s a valid point. It can’t be argued that TBD is inferior in the types of races that are suited to Ness’ stock.

  • lisa

    ness run,s a great show can we fine bill gates 4 being smart

    • http://twitter.com/offbeatbull Offbeatbull

      Stupid analogy. Bill Gates does his own thinking. Ness is not doing the running the horses are. And they are benefiting from EPO to the detriment of the sport.

  • Tinky

    This should be VERY interesting. Let’s see what Ness’ percentages are during the period of 24hr security.

    Any one of his defenders care to wager that they will not remain the same?

    • nu-fan

      Yes. Otherwise, isn’t it like employing the fox to guard the chicken coop?

    • jack

      didn’t the same thing happen to Jeff Mullins? If so, anyone know how his horses performed during the supervision period?

    • McGov

      I think that 24 hour surveillance is a KEY tool for the great decision makers. Out of all the tools in the toolbox…this one stops them in their tracks.

  • Goodtime Charlie

    When is Tampa going to do something about Jane Cibili? That was really cheating.

    • lisa

      it,s who you know

    • Ernie Dutrow Mitchell-Mullins

      Great point.. Ness’ infraction doesn’t seem a shade as serious as Cibelli’s cheat

  • Lou Baranello Former Steward

    Is Ness a man of average intelligence? I don’t know, but if I have made a proper interpretation of Ray’s report, this man waives his right to a hearing before the stewards and then makes the claim that there is no judge or jury and that he will now ask to have the split sample tested. Procedurally, that makes no sense. It will be interesting to see if, in fact, he does have the split sent for testing and what possible effect the result of that testing has on the status quo. The regulation of horse racing in Florida is so flawed and ineffective I’m not sure the management of Tampa Bay Downs has a statutory or regulatory right to test selected horses and make the trainer the absolute insurer in the event of a positive test. Yes, I realize I’m sticking my neck out on that presumption but I feel that virtually anything is possible in Florida horse racing.

    • nu-fan

      Lou: Thank you for sticking your neck out. The horseracing industry needs more people like you; otherwise, those who remain silent are contributing to the problems that are seen on the tracks.

      • Lou Baranello Former Steward

        Thank you, nu-fan.

    • Bubba

      There is no option of a split sample when it comes to TCO2 testing. Trainer is screwed. System is flawed.

      • Old Timer

        Bubba,

        You are 100% right! what the rest of these posters fail to know about is that a TCO2 sample is arguably only good for 3 days or so, i.e. no way to have a split sample done to it.

  • jjmsmootie

    Its some vets! they know just how far to push the limit for some trainers I have seen at least once at lasix treatment next to me at reciving barn( just by chance) He had at least 7 syringes one 60 cc. caught both of us by suprise . just kept my mouth shut/
    yes the horse won by many.Talk to secuity on the job said they could not do anything would have to call someone higher up.I was hoping RCI or the states would move forward at least with stoping private vets from treating on race day/they are to slow!I think track management wants to clean it up to / as well as most horseman

  • FastBernieB

    “Back in the day” when “milkshaking” was commonplace in standardbred races, horses stayed strong throughout the mile and had a good late kick to the wire. Those of us who raced in Ontario remember it well and we also remember how all of those “super trainers” came back to the pack when the practice was declared illegal and testing was put in place. Of course most of these guys went back to their chemistry sets and found something else. But that’s another story.

    Since all horses have slightly different natural TCO2 levels, the definitive test is one that establishes the horses natural level on a day it isn’t racing and compare that to its level on race day. I realize that fluctuations occur naturally and allowances must be made but it is still easy to determine when the leves go beyond an acceptable range.
    My jury is still out on Jamie Ness. His win percentage over the balance of the TBD meet will go along way in shedding light on what he is really all about.

    • http://twitter.com/offbeatbull Offbeatbull

      Fluctuations do NOT occur naturally. You are born with that level. It is genetic. No amount of training increases it. EPO adds the bump that allows Ness horses to go fast and slow down at a slower rate from lactic acid. It is a 5 – 10 length variable. He is a cheat like Lance. There are many others..

    • Barry Irwin

      Bernie’s statement — Since all horses have slightly different natural TCO2 levels, the definitive test is one that establishes the horses natural level on a day it isn’t racing and compare that to its level on race day. I realize that fluctuations occur naturally and allowances must be made but it is still easy to determine when the leves go beyond an acceptable range. — hits the nail right on the head.

      • johnthomas

        listen to barry irwin,he thinks every horse can run without lasik,but I’m not seeing him taking his horse’s off lasik!!! very simple ,send the split to doctor scott stanley at university of cal. He will find the answer of what the horse was running on!

    • Kim MacArthur (Anita Xanax)

      How about those horses dropped dead in their stall with a lungfull of milkshake from an idiot trainer missing the esophagus? I remember a nice sire stakes filly at Vernon Downs Rocky Manzi’s son killed…

  • Ohio Bred Girl

    No comment on Ness himself or his win percentage, but the headline is misleading and unfair; it gives the impression that Ness said being fined or getting caught is “taking the fun out of it.” The article clearly reports that he was referring to the intense (extra?) scrutiny his barn receives.

    • PG

      Agreed. It is a very unfair and poor choice for the title of the article.

  • elkton stable

    The statement about “no problems anywhere else” is not enttirely true. To my knowledge he is barred from Monmouth Park. I heard this last year and question its veracity. I have been too busy with my own horses to investigate further. Perhaps someone with accurate informaion can enlighten us? I make no claim here as to whether or not Ness is cheating. I do believe that a 35% win average sustained for over six months is highly unusual. I sincerely hope he is not cheating. Eventually the facts will come to light and he will be exonerated or indicted.

  • cuphorse

    Many horses tend to have a naturally high TCO2 for a number of reasons. Besides all that, people, look at the forest and dont be blinded by a “tree”! This was a “doped” favorite that finished fifth??? Give me a break! if doping or milk shaking is that potent at bringing a favorite in fifth, who needs luck, eh? Geeeze! I just wish some of you guys actually tried to dope your own horses and see how well they race. They don’t race any better than a clean horse. As a trainer, I have been there, done it. Its all a myth.

    • Lmaris

      What bunk. Keep telling yourself and others that nonsense. Show your work, the research. Won’t hold my breath. Dirty trainers make those claims, until taking away their toys proves them wrong.

    • Lhartley

      if doped horses don’t race any better than a clean horse, then why dope?

    • BansheeBreeze

      Then why aren’t other trainers horses consistently testing for it? Why does it only seem to be certain trainers whose horses “happen” to have high levels. A little bit too odd don’t ya think? Drugs are only one part of the equation in a race, they are there to enhance certain things about the horse. There is no drug that can literally make a horse run any faster than it’s capable of, but there are drugs that can mask pain, help poor airway function, or increase endurance, hence creating a better chance at winning. Just because a horse doesn’t win or performs badly doesn’t mean they couldn’t have been drugged. Many many many factors go into a winning or losing performance.

  • 13cardchamps

    The fact that horses have varying natural levels of TCO2 is factored into the threshold, that is not a viable excuse. The 37 threshold is nearly impossible to approach without some ‘supplementation’ going on. He simply (like many others) tries to get as close as possible, and gets burned once in a while due to the vagaries of predicting individual equine metabolisms. See O’Neill, Doug.

  • Bocephus

    It’s amazing to me how everybody loves a winner, even if there is strong evidence that they cheat or lie. A lot of well known trainers were milkshaking just a few years ago, although it was obviously cheating and performance enhancing. There are so few trainers with any horsemanship skills that they will do anything and everything that they can get away with. There is a lot of money to be made if you don’t get caught, so it’s predictable that a lot of people would be trying to get away with it. Time to name names and clear these people out, especially when these guys are doing things with horses that Hall of Fame trainers can’t do (move a horse up 10 lengths off a claim, etc.). Milkshaking, Clenbuterol, steroids, pain killers, muscle relaxers–this garbage has to stop. It’s time for state vets only. No more drug store cowboy vets who’ll sell anything to trainer to make a buck.

  • we’re watching

    What a surprise!! And here I thought he was just the most talented trainer in history. Huh, really,
    oh man, Maybe it’s why it seems people like him have been tolerated with a wink and a nod because so many cash on him. Go away and don’t come back.

    • Smarty pants

      Yeah they cash in their $3.60. That’s some solid logic

  • ChiSpy

    Ness came to Chicago several years ago for the Hawthorne fall meet and was gangbusters, hitting at an unusually high rate and, yes, improving claimed horses by several lengths. Fans and horsemen were asking, “Who is this guy and how does he do it?”

    The following fall he stabled at Hawthorne again and struggled with a much lower win rate. The story around the backstretch was that he had been called in by the stewards and told, “You must be doing something illegal, and you better quit it, because we are watching you and will come down hard if we catch you.”

    He never came back to stable and campaign in Chicago. But Midwest Thoroughbreds, the outfit Ness trains for, now has a Chicago trainer. Ever since this fellow got the Chicago job for Midwest, his win rate is way above what it was before he became associated with them. There is extreme pressure to win for Midwest so they can be the nation’s leading owner. Who knows what that leads one (or more) to do.

    • jack

      Roger (their Chicago trainer) has always been a great trainer…..he trained for me when I owned horses in Chicago in the mid 90′s. Although he was a complete unknown at the time, I noticed how much horses improved for him. That’s why I asked him to be my trainer. Picking up a few claimers every now and then, I never had a losing year (thanks in large part to Roger). Roger is a very soft spoken, simple guy. He isn’t cheating. He doesn’t train exclusively for Midwest. If you take them out of the equation, he is still winning at the same clip.

      I don’t know the Papiese’s, but I read a story on this web-site that they donated a nice sum of money for some retired thoroughbreds, so that makes them ok in my book.

  • All winners cheat

    Jeez it really is guilty until proven innocent with you guys

  • Gallop

    When you have a threshold for something you encourage trainers to push right to the line and I’d argue they are within their rights to do so.
    I am continually interested that the AAEP doesn’t seem to frown on bicarb loading, only the potentially dangerous practice of tubing a horse. Does that mean if a vet has a needle based alkalizing agent it’s ok as a prerace? Prevents fatigue right?

    Ness should man up and keep on loading right under their noses.

    I think they should add a question to the trainers test that asks about bicarb. Apparently O’Neill and Ness, two of the big US trainers have no idea what it is and have to google it! Poor Dennis. that’s gonna haunt him forever!

  • Big Red

    Come on folks, does ANYONE really think Ness doesn’t push the envelope and is an expert on what / how much to give on race day? If you think not then I’m sure the Easter Bunny will visit your house this weekend !

  • ShuveeIL

    Ray’s article neglected to report that Awesome Mich is owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds. I often wonder, when trainers get caught, where is the owner in all of this? It seems to me if a horse tests positive for something illegal (or, in this case, has an overage according to “house rules”) the owner would move the horse to another barn. Especially true in cases of the same owner/trainer combo. I know that is a completely naive viewpoint but it’s really unfortunate that owners aren’t doing more to to clean up horse racing.

    • nu-fan

      Agree. The owners of businesses are held responsible for their employees. Why would horseracing think they are exempt from this? When owners have high fines levied against them, they may take these kinds of cases more seriously.

    • Sunny

      I’ve worked as a groom for many years. I’ve held horses while syringes of unknown meds were given, Lasix gets a “top up”, unknown cocktails are given via nasal tube or IV throughout the morning before the race. And I’ve heard the trainers say, “this goes on my bill”. In all my years, I have never had a truly hands on owner who had more than a passing knowledge of their horses (or horses in general). Most couldn’t even pick their horses out of the shedrow line ups! While Mid West is obviously a lot more involved than many, don’t be so sure they are “in the know” or that they must see the vet bills for all the “extras”. In one barn I worked for, all the vet bills went to the trainer, and he billed it to the clients himself. So he could pick and choose what they saw. Crooked yes. Blame the owners? Not really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

    He was busted in 2009 for loaded syringes, etc. He is a cheater. Leopards don’t change their spots. He is what he is. Kind of disappointing when Midwest helped the rescue in TExas.

    • Sunny

      Loaded with what out of curiosity? While needles are not allowed on most tracks in the hands of trainers, saying loaded syringes were found is a bit misleading- what was in them? Dermorphen? A loaded syringe does not preclude guilt of illegal medication usage. Our vets used to give us the lasix shots for our morning workers because they were not on site at 3am when we gave them.
      Also, why would you say it’s disappointing that Midwest has helped rescues (also donated a load of hay to another struggling rescue). That’s a bit of a heartless attitude- do you not see value in TB rescue? Why shouldn’t they distribute money and assistance to rescues if they can? Regardless of their assumed guilt in this case, they helped others. That’s a good thing.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

        The report on Thoroughbred rulings just says a clear liquid. Also a bottle of liquid meds for a horse never even stabled at that track. He has also had a stanzolol positive.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

          Also, I did not say that it is disappointing that Midwest helps rescues. It is disappointing to learn this about their trainer

      • upstarthere

        Have you or anyone else asked Richard or Karen Papiese (Midwest) what has happened to all the horses they have claimed that are no longer running? They all can’t be on the farm in Ocala. Has anyone asked Jamie or Mandy? Maybe Brad Cox knows.

      • theloopsteer

        i believe two of the syringes contained injectable clenbuterol . :By the way clembuterol i its injectable form is illegal in the USA.” The other two syringes to my knowledge the ingredients never were able to be determined.or it was never disclosed.

    • S

      Where is that ruling or is that a rumor?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

        It is on the Thoroughbred Rulings database. Look up Jamie Ness and you will be able to see all his rulings. I only checked a couple-didn’t go through the rather long list.

  • trainersjuice

    Every year at Tampa Bay Downs,its the same vendetta,go after Jamie Ness.Im not a defender of the Man,but you sure cant argue about his success.As to what he is doing over and above what another trainer is doing to his horses,none of us know???Why is there nobody complaining about trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason daCosta,suddenly “Supertrainers”,with winning statistics far exceeding Ness,and without an owner like Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. behind them.And of course,what about Jane Cibelli,whose long time Vet gets caught red handed injecting one of her horses right there in her barn,he is thrown off the track,and she goes on without so much as a slap on the wrist.Yes,the same Cibelli,who was winning at TBD at a 39% clip when the incident happened,currently has lost 14 straight and is 2 for her last 31 at TBD.

  • I’m not a dummy

    We are supposed to believe that Mandy Ness didn’t know what a high TCO2 reading was? That is the indicator , that Ness is lying through his teeth. Mandy Ness (formerly marred to a jockey that was barred from numerous tracks) has been around racing for a very long time. I’m calling horse crap on that. Ness has credited her in the past for the reason his barn does so well. He can’t have it both ways. http://tracksideview.org/trainers-and-jockeys/ness-goncalves-midwest-thoroughbreds-top-tampa-bay-meet/

    • Roisin

      I agree. I found it hard to believe how clueless she was and even if she were she would have had the person repeat and have written it down. I thought she must be a bit slow. Now knowing her background, someone is lying !!!

  • ed montanile

    Tampa Bay Downs has plenty of time,energy and resources to go after Ness every season,while their product is a pathetic laughingstock in the industry.Did you know they pulled the 10th race off of the turf this past Sunday even though it never rained?Do you kinow that there Vice President,Margo Flynn,owns horses,and is in a relationship with trainer Jane Cibelli,whos Vet was busted right in her stall,he getting banned,her without even a slap on the wrist.Did you know that Tampa Bay Downs charges the customer extra for a Daily Racing Form while not allowing that paper to be sold in the area at any store?

  • Richard C

    Nobody ever knows nothin’ when the police hammer on the door — just make sure the loaded dice and marked cards are tossed out the bathroom window!

  • Juan Carlos Dutrow

    He’s just milkshaking to throw you off what he’s really doing

    • slicky

      Juan Carlos Dutrow, lol..
      that name made me laugh

  • Jack Brown

    I know Jamie well. We used to run together. Jamie Ness is a cheater, we all know that. Just look at his face. He has larceny written all over it. And, he is a coward. Did you see how when he got busted for cheating, he tries to bring his wife into the deal and hide behind her skirt? C’mon. That is so weak.

  • Jack Brown

    I will say one more thing, which ALL of you know is true. There is a guaranteed way to slow down the cheating. IF they severely fined and punished the OWNERS who use Jamie Ness and other cheaters, the cheating would be curtailed. The cheating is rampant because there is no risk to the cheaters! If they get caught, they lie. Then they get a lawyer and appeal. Nothing of any consequence happens to them…but IF a serious Fine and being ruled off were in play…the cheating would cease.

    • http://www.facebook.com/denise.s.knight.5 Denise Smith Knight

      take away the purse.

    • Convene

      Yes! Responsibility should move along the line. If I had invested thousands of dollars – or HUNDREDS of thousands – in something, count on it I’d make sure to learn everything I possibly could about the care, handling and use of said investment. Partly because misuse could take away from the return on the investment and partly because misuse is generally in some way injurious to that living investment. I really do think owners have to shoulder a share in this.

  • Douglas

    How about 47 violations as reported by Thoroughbred Rulings. Takes the fun right out of this sport.

    • PG

      How about it. Those “having no foal certificates on file” or “bringing a horse to the paddock with the wrong shoes” or “arriving late to the paddock” really does take the fun out of the sport. Out of the 47 total rulings, how many are for major drug violations?

      • johnthomas

        That a true fact. The worst was presque Isle downs horse Id man jeff. He cried everytime the coggins wasn’t on the back of the papers/ The track is a ship in track,the trainer needed the coggins to get into the gate. They were shipping for that day and just needed to have him make a copy.That guy would get bent out of shape,calling the stewards to scratch your horse. Some trainers do all the work themselves,they just didn’t have time to get a copy made. I understand they should have the orginal copy on the papers,but that place got out of hand with that guy!!!

  • jack

    Ness is a cheater.Any horse he claims improves by leaps and bounds.Jack VanBerg has forgotten more about training a horse than Ness has ever learned yet he cannot win a race.Lets get the disgusting drug cheats like Ness,Dutrow,and Mullins out of the game for good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1617198633 Vince Lentini

    I am NOT justifying Ness’ actions but this thought that if trainers win they MUST be cheating is silly. By this logic all owners should just use 5% trainers. …..which is of course , silly

  • Don Reed

    “There’s no trial and no jury,” said Ness.

    Said noted Constitutional & Bill of Rights scholar Ness.

    Funny how these trainers – rugged individualists – start whine about “due process” and join the ACLU only after things don’t go their way, isn’t it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/denise.s.knight.5 Denise Smith Knight

    how come d r f and bloodhorse have NOTHING in thier websites on this?

  • AGameofSkill_com

    The owner has a big say in the cheating ways on some of these particular trainers. Midwest Thoroughbreds, Frank Calabrese are among the worst culprits in the game. A blind man could see this.

  • STIXNSTONES42

    NESS IS RIGHT. IT IS TIME TO “TAKE THE FUN OUT” OF CHEATING. THIS CAN NOT BE DONE

    UNDER THE PRESENT SYSTEM OF FINES AND SUSPENSIONS DIRECTED AT TRAINERS WHO

    SIMPLY “GO FISHING” AND HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS OR FRIENDS TAKE OVER THE BUSINESS FOR A WHILE. ONLY WHEN OWNERS FEEL THE PINCH WILL THIS UNIVERSAL NONSENSE END.
    HOW? IT’S EASY – JUST SUSPEND THE HORSE. FIRST BAD TEST, THE HORSE CAN’T RUN FOR 6 MONTHS. SECOND BAD TEST, THE HORSE IS BANNED FOR LIFE.
    UNDER THIS RULE, OWNERS WILL SEEK RESPONSIBLE AND HONORABLE TRAINERS AND WILL AVOID THE SHARP-NEEDLE WISEGUYS WHO SO ABOUND TODAY.

  • Francis Bush

    If Ness had no idea about the high CO2 then he ought to be doing closer checks on some of his help. It is disgusting to see trainers, particularly those who win so consistently, attempt to gain some advantage by over treating horses. If he and others continue to “know nothing” then they should not be the kind of watchful trainer we need in racing.

  • northlands

    “It’s taking the fun out of it, it really is” statement by Jamie Ness
    So is he referring to his screwing of the other horsemen and the betting public, isn’t as much fun as it used to be?

  • Md

    Guys, a source told me the women there are protecting each other. Racing secy a woman, owner of track a woman; plus I here they are pressuring security guard to change his story. Cibelli well “connected” there. I also hear that no one claims from her because they will not get stalls at tampa next year nor will racing secy write a race for horse you claim from cibelli. Cibelli is a cheater and is scum for blocking horses leg.

  • Tinky

    Ness has two runners at Tampa on the 29th: fourth at 3/1, and 7th of eight as the 5/2 favorite.

    On Saturday the 30th he has ZERO entries.

    Surely just coincidences…

  • manuelB

    I recently read in a French racing paper the following penalties for an elevated CO2:

    Trainer: 6 months suspension and a 12.000 euro fine.
    Horse: 1 year suspension

    If we did this in North America owners wouldn’t be so blase about using crooked trainers.

  • PG

    Public service announcement: Jamie Ness won with both runners today after TCO2 overage led to extra security

    • RayPaulick

      Thanks for the heads-up. I noticed one was 11-10 and the other 7-10 odds. Both won by a neck. Still, a win is a win.

  • RayPaulick

    It is my understanding trainers are notified by Tampa Bay officials if their horses test above 35 but below 37. They don’t make public how many of those warnings are issued.

  • jttf

    i havent seen any trainer suspended or fined for having a level below 37. if he is being notified by tampa on a hush hush basis. maybe this is why his barn is raided so often ? the new york times had stats on jamie ness in 2010. it listed him with a med violation every 217 starts. which was the highest among large barn trainers back then. what were the med violations back then ? isnt this the time when he left chicago racing ? midwest t-bred’s owner is still in chicago. calabrese left chicago after his horses had 6 positives a couple of years ago. is chicago’s testing better than other race tracks ?

  • Charlie Davis

    I wish they did make that info public. It would put an end to all this nonsense about how they have no idea why they tested positive. It would clearly show those trainers that are manipulating tcO2 levels, even if they’re not testing positive. If you’re manipulating levels, sometimes you’re going to screw up and get an overage. Pretty simple.

    I know as a handicapper I’d like to bet on the horses with a higher level.

  • Janet delcastillo

    No racetrack wants bad publicity so they try to keep problems “in house” until facts prove otherwise. As a very small trainer, I can only hope to have a chance when the playing field really is equal.

  • PG

    Don’t ever post ANYTHING…ty…

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