Officials at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino have zipped their lips, but Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Chip Woolley admitted to the Paulick Report that he publicly urinated near a slot machine in the Altoona, Iowa, casino Saturday night, an incident he now says he deeply regrets.
“I don't know what I was thinking,” said Woolley, a 47-year-old who rose from obscurity in New Mexico to saddle Mine That Bird to a 50-1 upset of the 2009 Kentucky Derby. “I messed up. I know I did, and it's something that will never happen again. It's a regrettable situation. I went and met with the Prairie Meadows people, and we've gotten it taken care of.”
Woolley, who was escorted out of the casino by security after the incident and temporarily put on a “trespass” list (meaning he was banned from the casino premises), said no charges were filed against him by the Altoona or Polk County police, and that the association and Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission stewards told him they plan to take no action against him.
“There's not going to be a hearing in front of the stewards. It's all been taken care of,” said Woolley, who has won five races from 24 starters at the Prairie Meadows meeting for $45,546 in total earnings.
“Was nobody who actually seen it,” Woolley said of the incident, though he said it was caught on surveillance video. David Kinder, the director of surveillance for the casino, would not confirm whether or not that was the case.
Director of security Clint Pursley refused to comment on what he described as “an incident or a non-incident” but did say Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulations require all surveillance videos be kept for a minimum of seven days and that they can only be viewed through a court order or subpoena.
Jack Ketterer, administrator for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that oversees tracks and state casinos and all licensees, called it “an association issue. I really haven't looked into it any more than that. It's a situation where it's up to Prairie Meadows if they want to do something.”
Earlier this year, Prairie Meadows and the local media trumpeted the arrival of Woolley and his 13-horse stable as a sign the track was luring some big names from out of state. ”Everything I've seen here so far I really, really like,” Woolley told the Des Moines Register in April.
Now, Woolley hopes the incident doesn't affect his career.
“It's very out of character for me to do something that stupid, but we just move on,” he said.
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