Vet Caught Injecting Cibelli Horse Suspended 90 Days, Agrees to Cooperate

by | 05.24.2013 | 10:59am
Trainer Jane Cibelli
Trainer Jane Cibelli

The veterinarian who injected a Jane Cibelli-trained horse on the day it was to race at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 27 has been suspended 90 days as a result of a stipulated agreement with the state of Florida's Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

Dr. Orlando Paraliticci, who was seen injecting the horse Raven Train inside of the Cibelli barn at the Oldsmar, Fla., track by a veterinarian conducting pre-race examinations, has admitted the charges brought against him in the investigative report.

As part of the stipulated consent order, Paraliticci “expressly agrees to cooperate with the division's continuing investigation or prosecution of other parties/ licensees” involved in the case, meaning he will “comply with any subpoena for deposition or hearing” issued by the DPMW. Failure to do so could result in potential revocation of his pari-mutuel occupational license in Florida.

No one else, including Cibelli, has been charged in the incident, under the state's trainer responsibility rule or the house rules imposed by Tampa Bay Downs that cover areas not included in state law.

Paraliticci was kicked off the premises of Tampa Bay Downs by management about one week after the Jan. 27 incident.

Neither Paralittici nor Cibelli has returned messages from the Paulick Report for comment.

Raven Train was scheduled to compete in a $16,000 claiming event on Jan. 27. When an examining veterinarian working for Tampa Bay Downs approached the horse's stall, Paraliticci allegedly was inside, with a vet assistant and a groom, injecting a knee, which is not permitted under Florida regulations for horses entered to race. A sign on the horse's stall indicated he was to race later that day.

The 5-year-old son of Silver Train is owned by Hannah Smith, who told a reporter from Daily Racing Form that Cibelli informed her Raven Train was mistakenly treated with an “antibiotic.” The Form, citing a source close to the investigation, reported the syringe was tested and did not contain an antibiotic as claimed.

At the time of the incident, Cibelli was winning at a 39% rate at Tampa Bay Downs (13 wins from 33 starts). Her win percentage dropped considerably thereafter through the balance of the meeting. She won eight of her next 56 starts.

Near the end of the Tampa Bay meeting, Cibelli moved her stable to Monmouth Park in New Jersey, where she was leading trainer during the summer of 2011 and 2012.

She is currently 0-for-16 at the 2013 Monmouth Park meeting and a combined 0- for-27 at Monmouth, Belmont Park, Parx, Penn National, and Pimlico since leaving Tampa Bay Downs.

Paraliticci's 90-day suspension began on May 20.


  • Bink

    Thanks for keeping the spotlight on this Ray.

  • jack

    Great job reporting…way ahead of DRF on this story.

    • we’re watching

      DRF has no interest in exposing trainers. They are on first name bases with most of them.

  • WT

    How is it that this cheat is exempt from the trainer responsibility rule? That vet would not have been there if she hadn’t called him.

    • hotcapper

      The trainer is very tight with management. In fact, per another poster she lives with M Flynn who in turn is extremely close to owner Thayer who in turn are very close to Mr Berube. Conflicts of interest so surround this case!

      • Don Reed

        There would actually be FEWER conflicts of interest if this were merely a case of racing nepotism (related by blood or marriage).

    • Anonymous

      She was injecting horses on race day and she had no positives or bad tests and was at 39%. Does that tell you the vets and trainers know exactly what the labs are not testing for, their chemistry is way ahead of the labs. The fact is this is a joke, 75 %of all trainers are cheating. The racing commissions are a farce. They know what’s going on because in Ky. Ward is a former trainer he knows how to cheat, and the members are owners and they know their trainers are cheating to. They just want the MONEY period…

      • Maureen Tierney

        Exactly. She was injecting horses on race day and winning and it never turned up in drug tests. This is the problem the cheaters are always ahead of the tests. And yes, commissions have to know.

      • Denise Steffanus

        If you’re going to accuse John Ward of knowing how to cheat, don’t hide behind “Anonymous.” If you have proof, let’s see it.

        • Don Reed

          I agree. I am that there are two famous wards in racing, John (KY Derby winning trainer) and Wes (trainer), and we should specify which one we’re talking about.

          I have no opinion about each, other than to say that I think there’s a better chance of peace in the Middle East than to ever see evidence that John Ward is a dishonest man.

          To eliminate the accusation-by-silent-implication, I know nothing about Wesley Ward, other than that he’s a trainer.

          • Denise Steffanus

            “Anonymous” is talking about racing commissions, so when s/he says, “They know what’s going on because in Ky. Ward is a former trainer he knows how to cheat,” it’s obvious the reference is to John Ward.

          • Don Reed

            What is obvious to people inside of the echo chamber is not obvious to those outside it. The aura of “you’re not one of us” emanating from the racing community is a major reason why the general public, and rightly so, concluded that they were unwelcome & took their dollars and euros to casinos.

            Good journalism also demands clarity, which is another reason why even if its “obvious” to some, given the context of the conversation, if both last name are identical, their full names should be stated. This is a
            guideline that has nothing to do with racing.


    Lets see if the American racing fans will be just as outraged about this as they were about Al-Zarooni, I find it funny that they were so outraged at him but yet America has more positive test/crooks than anywhere in the world. Great work Ray, keep it up.

    • salthebarber

      I was very vocal about the Zarooni case and the BHA in general. And I was very annoyed when Ray stirred the pot when he compared the Cibelli and Zarooni cases. The BHA handle the case with speed and force. The handling of the Cibelli is bordering on being a joke. Trainers are responsible for what happens in their barns. To think there will be no further penalties for infractions in this case is outrageuous. It just shows that Florida has no intentions of protecting the horses and horseracing’s fan base.

  • Fast Filly

    and yet with all those wins, no positive tests? could there be something wrong with the testing procidure or maybe it wasn’t something to enhance the race? Since the syringe did not have antibotics in it, what was in it? Did they just stop there, why not find out what was in the syringe?

    • Mr MOO

      It’s a matter of timing, takes some time to metabolize into the urine. test barn vet shows up to pull blood. trainers turn green and panic.

  • betterthannothing

    Racing needs to be sanitized. Great work, thank you.

    • willie

      for your protection

  • Tinky

    Excellent reporting, Ray.

    Those statistics tell you all you need to know about Cibelli’s previous high percentages. Under scrutiny, they can’t be reproduced. Any questions?

  • Kingturf

    The proof is in the pudding….or in this case the syringe. 0 for looks a little suspect. IJS

  • Rube

    Thanks for the info. Stay on it!

  • jttf

    why does it take so long to investigate a serious matter ? why do the racetracks protect the cheaters ? how many different subtances are being tested ? when i see numerous positives come out at the same time. it is usually for the same substance. if jane was training for you, wouldnt you switch trainers ? how can broberg win at 45 % with large evangeline fields ? it reminds me of the cole norman days at lone star.

    • hotcapper

      “why do the racetracks protect the cheaters”
      Because, trainer is VERY VERY tight with management.
      and to fill fields. There’s always another jurisdiction that doesn’t test.

    • betterthannothing

      “why do the racetracks protect the cheaters ? ”

      Racetracks protect cheaters because cheating trainers attract loads of horses from cheating owners especially at racinos which throw large purses at owners of cheap horses. As cheating stables win and grow, racetracks increasingly need them to fill races and boost profits. As long as cheaters are allowed to abuse and dope horses, they will control local racing and inhale honest horsemen.

      • guest

        ” As long as cheaters are allowed to abuse and dope horses, they will control local racing and inhale honest horsemen.”
        Speaking of cheaters, anybody know what’s going on with Baffert and all his dead horses?

    • blackcatlover

      See hotcapper’s above post.

  • Angela

    I agree that the trainer needs to be investigated, but the extremely serious issue is that this vet WORKED for the track as an examining vet!! There are so many levels of unethical, I would not even know where to begin with this.

  • Tod Adamson

    I am supprised this trainer was not arrested. Are there no laws against this type of fraud?

    • hotcapper

      I’ve heard from a prior poster that the trainer is VERY good friends with M Flynn (live together) who in turn is very good friends with owner of track Ms Thayer. All good friends with Berube. The circle is too tight.

  • How the Jockey Club can be opposed to a national racing and wagering commission is beyond comprehension. It is an insult to the public, to the other owners, to the wagerers, and to the fans to see a trainer simply pick up and go on to another state jurisdiction – apparently with no regard to the train wreck of crimes left behind. There should be a national suspension structure. Ditto the ARCI but then their aversion to a national commission makes sense: most of these guys will find themselves without a job. Regardless, the separate state oversight must come to an end. Racing is a purely interstate commerce business at every level and in every aspect. It is time to bring some sanity to our great game.

    • rachel

      As the official Breed Registry the JC could do more.
      Federal oversight is already there for gambling, probably could do more if drugs were deemed illegal under federal drug laws.
      Otherwise, race tracks are a business and run under state laws, like other businesses.
      Separation of powers.

  • BH

    Tampa- Good venue, bad purses. Good horses, bad ethics. Big cheaters, no ramifications.
    After the way this incident has been treated it looks like It’s time for a house cleaning on BOTH sides of the track.

  • WTF

    It is an absolute disgrace that the trainer has not been held accountable for any of this. thank you Ray Paulick for keeping us informed and for keeping the spotlight on the undesireable. This is the only way we can hopefully be helpful in trying to keep horse racing honest and safe

  • JD

    Way to go Ray. Cibelli is a cheat and a fraud. No real surprise she packed up and left Tampa. The 0-27 is what she deserves. She will get whats coming to her folks, just be patient. Would think the vet will tell all.

  • Thegospeltruth

    “Carbocaine Jane” OOHHH for 27 since she left the toothless Sunshine State! Now she continues to hide behind that dark cloud produced by Margo and Peter and the rest of the gang at TBD.

    • Don Reed

      She’s one step away from training the greyhounds in Pompano.

  • Wps

    Nail on the head. It’s sad that there are so many different rules and fiefdoms.

  • Ida Lee

    Whatever happened to “first do no harm”? Or doesn’t this apply to helpless animals? These people make me sick…

  • Calls ’em as I see’s ’em.

    The vet is going to cover for Cibelli…. he has to… if he “sings” he will be unemployable on the racetrack… nobody will touch him if he informs. Business as ususal. Margo n Thayer n Berube have the wagons circled. Betting on Tampa is a bold, bold, move.

  • blackcatlover

    The woman can’t train but she sure can inject.

  • chargingruby

    It will be interesting to see if Paralittici indicates if he was medicating based on advance knowledge of what Tampa Bay would be testing for on each particular day. It’s hard to imagine that what was in the seized syringe was legal, so how would the vet and/or trainer know that it wouldn’t test positive? The only way is to know what’s being tested for on that particular day. If Paralittici truly opens up, there may be implications beyond Cibelli.

  • Sue M. Chapman

    Why would Any racing jurisdiction grant Cibelli stalls?

  • ElliotB

    I’m confident that the vet will cooperate…he’s done otherwise and hopefully some people will be ruled off for life. The real problem here is that this is happening every day at every racetrack (by huge names too) and the sophisticated horseplayer knows it and isn’t willing play along. Handicapping is difficult enough without adding in the “juice” factor. The industry is doomed to follow in the footsteps of the standard-breds, another sport where bettor confidence disappeared as did the sports relevance.

  • Jersey Josh

    She has 1 in today and 3 tomorrow…4 different owners Racing office will take em at MP beacuse there is a horse shortage…300 stalls are empty! Welcome to New Jersey where the fraud starts at the Top! Kulina can’t get out of his own way and has no balls to do anything about it. Bruce Levine had a crazy run a few years ago…Lil Bobby had every horse in the barn tested…Not one positive! Will he do anything here? Na need the entry. Robert Kulina is a failure at racetrack management!

  • HappyHarriet

    How about a NINETY YEAR suspension for the Vet, the Trainer, and everyone else who works for either party. THAT should make people wake up and act right. If you see wrong, and do nothing, you have done wrong yourself.

    There is NO WAY – NO WAY IN HELL – that the people around that barn didn’t know what was going on, or at lease have some well-founded suspicions.

    Owners – remove your horses from such establishments. Citing the trainer’s losing stats only tells me one thing – the owners who place their horses with her need to get the injections, not the hapless horses who run their guts out because they love to work and to please their people.


    • the biscuit

      Not one of you people have a clue what your talking about! Ray, you should be ashamed at yourself for your coverage of this. Why no mention that the horse tested negative? Certainly that would be part of the story! Lets speculate what happened here. Say the vet was supposed to inject the knee ( with a legal wash and lubricant, to HELP the horse ) a couple of days prior to race. and he screwed up and forgot. But told Jane he had done it realized his mistake and tried to “squeek’ it by and did it race day. Thinking nobody would be the wiser, and got caught. End of story. Also why no mention that he told in real time, the state vet, the stewards,and the equivalent of a racing board that Jane knew nothing about his actions. I have known Jane for many years she has a MUCH MUCH better than average history at every track she runs at as far as violations go and is a dedicated trainer who has not deserved ANY of this SLANDER!!!

      • your biscuit is stale


      • just sayin

        Great story but would you like to share your sources? Your speculation is nothing but that. If the horse was off the day before vet inspection, which would have been 24 hours after you speculate the injection should have been givin, don’t you think someone would have noticed? The story about no one was at the barn is very far fetched. I’ve been involved in racing as an owner for better than 60 years and have never walked into a barn and found no one there, never. That just doesn’t happen.

      • johnnyknj

        Nice that you took time off from helping O.J. search for the real killer to post.

      • Hopefieldstables

        “legal wash and lubricant” ? sounds like the “vet” got the track as well as the day wrong.

        Perhaps he was to go to Daytona?

      • WTF

        Hey biscuit you are the one that is clueless. You should be ashamed of yourself for your naivety, Lets speculate that Dr. O. was injecting a legal wash and lubricant. We aren’t talking about a car we are talking about an animal ok. He made a mistake no doubt an unethical immoral and stupid mistake treating a horse on the day it was to run. Jane being the trainer, and as you would like to believe had no idea of what her vet. was doing, highly unlikely. there is TRAINER RESPONSIBILITY Whatever happens to the horses in her barn, it is her responsibility. She is the one in charge of what happens to the horses in her care. It is not SLANDER it is a disgrace and very poor horsemanship on Jane’s part.

      • your biscuit is stale

        0-32 and counting, now that”s slanderous.

  • Ray’sghost

    Cibelli belongs in prison. Not that wouldn’t enjoy it there..

  • bluegoldstar

    I can’t wait to hear who else is named. If you must dope a horse then obviosly the so called trainer has no talent or respect for the horses or owner unless the owners knew about it. Comes doeewn to grred and ego!

  • Ben van den Brink

    If I were an competitor (a horse of mine) in any of that races, I would get to court. Because from an buisiness side of view, this is just blackmailing. Buisiness has to be about an equal playing level field.

  • just sayin

    Givin the “House Rules” at TBD, chances are you’ll never see Dr. “O” on the grounds again. Cibelli could be the tip of the iceberg as this vet was connected to quite a few trainers there. The good thing is this case in now in the hands of the DPMW. They are the ones who will levy fines and suspensions on the case. We’ll have to wait and see if the TBD “House Rules” help or punish Jane. After all, if the vet goes, shouldn’t the trainer follow?
    BTW, TBD stands for Tampa Bay Dump.

  • harry doodle

    what your saying biscuit is jane has no ideal whats happing in HER barn . i had heard that but found it hard to beleave

  • littleblackhorse

    Ray, This article makes it sound as if there’s an ongoing investigation. It sounds more like Dr. O got 90 days and it’s over. What else is being asked?

  • Bonnie

    Congratulations to Carbocaine. She finally won a race outside of the State of Florida today.
    Happened at Monmouth.

  • Don Reed

    Orlando, tell the truth. Help us rid the sport of this lowlife trainer.

    Only problem is, if that happens, Cibelli might end up as the Athletic Director at Rutgers!

  • Hotcapper

    I wonder how long it will take for the vet to co-operate? It’ll soon be a week since recent article came out?

  • Monica Horn

    Let’s not forget that running unsound horses jeopardizes the safety of that horse, its jockey and every other horse and jockey running in that race. Lives are at stake! Both human and equine! One would hope that at least the weight of THIS responsibility would stir the conscience of trainers/owners/vets!!! In the case of Jane C. and “Dr. O”, apparently it does not!

  • GoClean13

    Please keep the light on this subject. Trainers are pharmaceutical experts now….they know the windows on what tests and they know what doesn’t test. They are constantly trying to keep two steps ahead of the labs. Another thing that needs to be more stringently regulated is shock waving within the 10 days off the track as a pain/lameness mask. These shock wave machines should be for veterinary use only. Many trainers are purchasing them and using them without qualifications and doing so within the regulated times.

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