West Virginia Officials Widen Program Trainer Probe

  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X


  • click above & share!
    X
  • click above & share!
    X

Racing officials in West Virginia have scheduled a hearing on Saturday to look into allegations that Scooter Davis was using program trainers – including his father Billy Ray Davis and Douglas Shanyfelt – while serving a six-month suspension for multiple clenbuterol violations last summer.

Stewards at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town races have ordered Shanyfelt, assistant trainer Cliff Tuomisto, and Billy Ray Davis to appear at the hearing. Those same stewards recently denied a request by Scooter Davis for reinstatement of his permit, or trainer’s license, when his suspension ended on Feb. 22. He is expected to appeal that ruling.


In a separate action, Penn National Gaming, which owns Charles Town, has exercised its private property rights to exclude Scooter Davis and Shanyfelt from the racetrack premises. Jon Amores, executive director of the West Virginia Racing Commission, said Charles Town officials have evidence alleging Shanyfelt was acting as a program trainer while Scooter Davis was under suspension. A program trainer is someone whose name is listed as the trainer of record for a horse, even though someone else is making decisions relating to the horse’s racing and training schedule. Amores did not elaborate on the nature of the evidence.

Shanyfelt moved his operation to West Virginia’s Mountaineer Casino and Racetrack, where he is currently leading trainer of a meeting that began last Friday, March 1. Shanyfelt won with four of 16 starters, with three seconds and a third, from the first four programs of the meet.

Scooter Davis

Scooter Davis

Rose Mary Williams, director of racing at Mountaineer, said track officials have not banned Shanyfelt from the Chester track because they have not seen the evidence the stewards at Charles Town were given by that track’s investigators. “We are waiting on the stewards’ hearings,” she said.

Amores said stewards at Charles Town and Mountaineer are working together on the case. Scooter Davis’ request for reinstatement was denied, Amores said, “based on information and evidence” that was gathered by Penn National officials at Charles Town.

Scooter Davis has a long list of rules violations, many of them for medication infractions, in Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Click here to see Scooter Davis’ record of infractions from the database of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry
  • James Staples

    Bout time “THE GAME” gets to the bottom of all this CHEATING/ANIMAL/JOCKEY ABUSE BS & runs all these CREEPS OFF & in some in some cases LOCKS their ***** UP…CLEAN IT UP & CLEAN IT UP NOW!!!…

    • James Staples

      ps…Please forgive me as I forgot the ABUSE of “THE GAMBLERS” as without THEM there would be NO GAME as we know it…ty…   

      • Bristling

        The gamblers are no better. I can not count the times I have heard a fan yell at the TV for a horse to break down or calling a horse a POS, a rat, dog food, etc. etc. the list can go on and on so don’t come on here saying how great the gamblers are.

        • James Staples

          First thing is don’t u be telling ME where I can come & go and I never used the word GREAT…But I did say with out the GAMBLERS there is NO GAME as we know it to-day…When anybody at any sporting event in AMERCIA pays their dime to get in the joint they can say ANYTHING they like…Do I think its cool???…Hell no but thats the way it is so get used to it…Guess u have never been to a NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL/ or College sporting event???…ty…

        • nu-fan

          Wow.  I’ve never heard anyone in the stands yell anything like that.  Maybe, I’m hard of hearing.  (Don’t think so.)  Or, perhaps, the fans at my track are more civilized.  But, shame on those that you referred to.  They, by the way, are called “losers” not necessarily “gamblers”.

    • canada forever

      Don’t hold your breath!

      • James Staples

        No I won’t hold it…As I would have to change my last name to BLUE cause thats the color I would be when it does change…But let me say one thing thats going to happen in the very near FUTURE as far as “THE GAME” goes…The FED is going to step IN if the powers that are suppose to be don’t get their **** together reel soon!!!…Book It!!!…ty…

  • Ace

    Three trainers in one week, these two and Chris Grove. Looks like Penn Gaming is trying to clean the game up !!!!!!

    • rxdr2be

       or clean out so much trash that so few entries are made that races/programs get scrapped and then they have their out to get rid of racing and focus on their real moneymakers, the ca$inos……

      • Toad

        The West Virginia Casino referendum passed by the voters requires horse racing at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town. In all fairnes to PNGI, I think they run a pretty tight ship albeit most trainers are scared of them.

        • fairisfair

          really?!?! a tight ship-the HEAD of SECURITY danny fray is a CONVICTED SEXUAL OFFENDER. The head steward danny wright just got a two week suspension  for being employed by a trainer building barns as a conflict of interest. Talk about a slap on the wrist! They fired the racing secretary for the same thing, but danny wright not so much. they run a tight ship if you’re the new guy winning too many races and making the establishment uncomfortable, if you’re one of the good old boys anything goes.

    • fairisfair

      NOT EXACTLY CLEANING UP THE GAME. CHECK OUT HEAD OF SECURITY DANNY FREY-CONVICTED SEXUAL OFFENDER. HEAD STEWARD DANNY WRIGHT JUST GOT A TWO WEEK SUSPENSION FOR BEING EMPLOYED BY ANOTHER TRAINER BUILDING BARNS BUT THE RACING SECRETARY GOT FIRED FOR THE SAME OFFENSE. WHY THE SLAP ON THE WRIST FOR THE HEAD STEWARD? 

  • Okeydokey

    I don’t know that it flys…you can’t hardly prove it..how would they go about it?  If the rulled off trainer dosen’t come on the grounds, dosen’t handle the horses, that is the track’s right to keep him off…but off the grounds, anyone training horses can hire anyone who isn’t lisensed to  help them..look at all the illegals that work on training centers…and a trainer can hire anyone they want to do their books and collect the money..owners can pay whoever they want to train their horses…if a trainer gets a positive test, the track rules him off..takes away all his privileges..it’s kinda hard to prove..it will be very interesting how they go about it…

    • Okeydokey

      Jusst saying…

  • Jrdillon

    C’mon man! I read the list of violations and of the 30 or so listed only a handful are for drug violations.  The other 25 or so are for foal papers, late scratches, coggins tests and failure to have the right shoes on the horse!  Sounds like the guy needs a good bookeeper. I gues if they don’t like you your goose is cooked!

    • Thevoiceoftruth69

      “Only a handful”. How many is too many? 20?

    • James Staples

      Sounds like u damn sure ain’t BETTING any BREAD on “THE GAME”!!!…

      • Hawk222

        Not if Davis or any of his people are connected to a race in any way. That would be a bet that says I approve of his method of racing. Are their others in another race that might be doping? Maybe, but I don’t know that for sure. Davis has shown his hand on more than one occasion. Bad bet. 

    • Hawk222

      The paperwork is part of the process. Has anyone ever thought why someone would continually make the same mistake? Maybe it’s intentional. Is their a benefit for doing that? Is their a place to cheat in this part of the process? Just remember; how one does one thing is how they do all things. The fine is so minimal that it gives the impression that it’s not that important. Maybe Davis has not figured out a way to juice his bookkeeper. If all the horses under a trainers care were banned from racing for a certain period of time following doping violations, I’ll bet the owners would know what to do with the trainer. All I read about is how some trainer gets caught red handed, and then try’s to lawyer up and get things dismissed or postponed. My suggestion: Grow a set, and kick their ass out of the sport! Period. Show the public you are serious about cleaning up racing. Their are plenty of trainers. We would benefit from showing others that stupid should be painful.

    • fairisfair

      agreed!!! for being such a “juicer” he’s never had a single bad test for an illegal substance and only a couple overages of medication. Saying he’s had “45 violations” is stretching a bit and making things sound much more dyer than they are…

  • Thevoiceoftruth69

    Take the needle away from this guy and he’d be cleaning toilets at the Chester municipal building.

  • Johnsmith

    Everyone is aware of what is going on! Listen to Mark and Nancy at night they pretty much make it aware “Scooterfelt”! Before MTR closed for break look who shipped horses into MTR to run or work in the morning Davis’s truck and trailer parked in front of Shanyfelts barn. It’s just crazy how people can defend them when they just make a joke of racing.

    • Stanley inman

      Program trainer?
      How was this term invented?
      Who can be a program trainer?
      Why do racing officials enable it’s existence?

      • Stanley inman

        Question:
        is the trainers name in the program the trainer of the horse?
        Answer: maybe, sometimes, not always, it depends…
        So the information the track puts in program is not always true?
        Answer: maybe sometimes usually …
        Wow, that’s a tough game to win.

      • Kris

        I heard of it back in the late 1980′s.  How far back it goes beyond that I don’t know.

    • canada forever

      Oh would that be like John Bassett’s (frog juicer) ruled off for 10 years (ha ha) trailer( with “Bassett Racing Stable” painted on the side, pulling in to Turf Paradise and schooling colts at the gate while Mr. Bassett or someone who looks exactly like him, watches from the other side of the chain link fence>

  • mtrisajoke

    Good !!!! what a disgrace these people are to the industry.  This is whats wrong with horse racing.  The sad thing is, Rosemary is letting them do the same thing at Mountaineer.  She has no control over that track at all.  She should be let go for what she is letting happen.  They get kicked out of all these tracks and always come back to the Mountain because the place is a joke.  Once the new track in Austintown opens, mountaineer will not be able to stay open.   Scooter and his dad should be banned for good and Shaynefelt should be suspended also.  

  • PG

    Was Davis caught on the grounds of Hollywood Casino at Charles Town training, saddling or entering horses?  If he was it seems like they have a case for using a program trainer since he was denied access to the grounds while under suspension.  From the article and the link to the ruling, it appears that Davis transferred the horses to another trainer of which the stewards approved, paid his fine and did the 180 days suspension for the clenbuterol overages.  What it looks like, is they found out that maybe he was working for another trainer at a different facility while suspended. 

    As far as Shanyfelt is concerned, it seems like he took over as trainer for some of the horses which was approved by the stewards prior to running them.

    • SoftballMVP

      Then why were they shipping in from Virginia where Scooter was while Dougie was playing softball in Columbus?

      • PG

         How would I know.  How do you know everyone’s exact whereabouts?  Seems a little creepy.

        • Duko

          Why would Shanyfelt even risk his lively hood for someone like Davis. Rumor has it there is a bad test in CT to. Half of Shanyfelts starts at MTR are all Davis’s

    • CC

      The rumor I’ve heard is they actually have videotapes of Scooter handling horses in Doug’s name while he’s suspended. If they do I think that’s pretty good evidence but who knows.

  • canada forever

    Duh, this is standard operating procedure for almost every ruled off trainer in the nation! Seriously, who thinks a trainer isn’t directing from the sidelines when he is ruled off?

  • Okeydokey

    What about your trainers who have hundreds of horses in training all over the US..sometimes, they are never at track and are listed as trainer, they have assistant trainers running them…shouldn’t that be program training also?  come on people, wake up, everyone makes a mistake and it’s pretty painful when you can’t run your horses, that should be proof enough..

  • PG

    According to thoroughbredrulings.com Penn National does have a prior history of dealing with program trainers.  Just last year a trainer was fined $250 dollars for acting as a program trainer for another individual for 5+ months.

    • Okeydokey

      Do you know how they proved it? Was it a court hearing?

      • Bnl67

        Billy Davis is the mastermind behind the outfit

  • http://judgebork.wordpress.com/ Lou Baranello

    An investigation of this fraudulent practice is one that should be a daily part of any Board Of Stewards’ activities.  This situation occurs frequently and is not difficult to detect.  Also, I believe that the practice of a Board Of Stewards allowing the horses trained by a recently suspended trainer to be transferred to the assistant trainer of the suspended trainer, is simply nothing but aiding and abbeting an attempt to circumvent the suspension.  Stewards approving such transfers should be called before their commission and asked what justification they have for such a stupid decision.  I certainly believe in uniformity of suspensions, but I want to know why after such a long period of slaps on the wrist, stewards are beginning  to impose suspensions that are appropriate for the charges brought.  I will answer my own question.  Commissions have rammed it down their throats in the form of rule.  Where were these forward thinking stewards when the lengths of suspensions were a decision of the three stewards.  They liked slapping the wrists better than imposing what they thought might be hardships on the guilty trainers.  I can hear them now, after deciding that the rule was violated, telling the trainer “Oh, we have to suspend you for whatever time period it says in the book for this offense.  We are not the bad guys.”  I listened to those apologies for years.  We also have people in government who apologize after doing what was right.  Maybe it is contagious.  Perhaps someone should investigate to see if there aren’t other circumstances where having a rule in the book would promote more effective decisions than some stewards can create.

    • john thomas

      The commissions is to blame for not putting a stop to this stuff!

  • Larryburndorf

    I see an Xylazine positive and am 18 year old Possession of a Prohibited Drug and Syringe, the rest is yawn worthy….

    • Bnl67

      Beware mountaineer bird is out

      • Bnl67

        Bob lee said the birds out of the cage

        • Larryburndorf

          How is this relevant to what i stated?

  • Horserider

    Rosemary Williams get off your fat ass and come to the backside and you will see Billy Ray hauling the horse to Shanyfelts barn everyday.  Mountaineer is a joke.  Shanyfelt had a horse in the open allowance race on Friday.  Billy Ray hauls the horse in stops at the receiving barn and jogs the horse for the state vet.  I asked the State vet whos horse that was and she said Shanyfelt.  I said what the hell is Billy Davis hauling Shanyfelt horse for her response was I am neive.   I guess so

  • Tony

    SCOOTER JUICE!

  • harry doodel

    wild billy ray had a big nite last nite at the mountin

    • Larryburndorf

      He has two entered at Will Rogers Downs, this will be interesting…

  • Kris

    Using program trainers is as old as the hills.  Good luck catching everyone that does this.

  • run4me

    it hasnt come up but has anyone look at wild bill davis,s bad tests sence he was reinstated

  • FIVE2_THREE

    Scooter Scooter the racehorse juicer

  • run4me

    i will not bet a race that wild bill davis has a horse in we know he,s hoppin an blocking

  • Bob Lunny

    Looks like this guy is a bad bookeeper with all his missing foal records.

  • The Whiz

    Rose Mary Williams has ben a detriment to racing ever since the puppet masters at MTG put her in a position of responsibility – she had never seen the backside of a race track until she was elevayes to the “Director of Racing” post at MTG – she was and continues to be severly under qualified. The late Dale Baird was able to keep her in line but after his untimely death
    Old Rosie started to dictate and the horsemen, for some reason, buckled under and the more rope they gave he the more she took until she had the horsemen by the short hairs. Why is the embezzlement of millions of dollars by the then horsemen’s bookkeeper, under Rosemary’s watch, been swept under the carpet. What kind of audit procedures are in place to insure the inegrity of that office and the monies it handles. Why didn’t the WVRC bring up rosemary on charges of mis-management for not findind out about this situation before it was well down the road. The day Rosie was put in charge was a dark day for racing at
    Mountianeer and her inexperience ad ineptitude has been passed on to her friend and “Director Of Racing” at Presque Isle Downs Debbie Howells who had even less experience in racing than Rosie but was given the title and job based on her ability to be controlled and manipulated by MTG and to lie whenever it suited her needs. Racing could do without this
    this pair of crones. 

    • Bob Lunny

      Sounds like Ray could look into this with his contacts. These are serious charges and should be dealt with by a horseman like Ray

    • Bob Lunny

      These are serious charges. Maybe Ray should look into this and with his contacts find out what the truth is on these individuals?

  • Twister

    I have seen stewarts that have turned their heads to situations similar to this.  When they are banned or suspended from one track, they should be from all tracks until the investigation is over.  They need to make rules the same for all tracks just as they do for other sports like baseball, football, etc.

  • Bnl67

    Okay so everyone is wondering when the hammer will drop on trainers who seemingly get away with much more than others in this business. Like Davis, shaneyfelt, cibelli, and beatie. Just take dutrow into consideration here. He was handed 15 years for far less than what beatie and cibelli are caused of. Meanwhile both cibelli and beatie are still training Dailey as though nothing has happened. Yet grooms and vets were immediately suspended from racing. Shows all trainers that sign the trainer responsibility rule that the rule applies only to individuals who are not tied in with racetrack owners ,commission,Stuart’s and officials. Nick ziti just excepted responsibility for a Clem positive and is taking his punishment. Amazing! My question is…why is the media sitting back waiting for something to happen..this should be front Paige Dailey..on all trainers in question. Maybe then track owners,commission,Stuart’s,officials ect; will be embarrassed into action.

    • Bob Lunny

      Put this question to Ray

    • Bob Lunny

      Put this question to RAY

    • Larryburndorf

      First, you spell terribly. Second, Zito took his punishment a year after the fact…

    • Marty

      I, too, wish the Stuarts (and Stewarts) would act on this. Like Kristen Stewart, Jon Stuart, Martha Stewart, Rod Stewart, and Jimmy Stewart, along with Stuart Little and Stuart Smalley (see: www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D-DIETlxquzY ). Are we missing anybody? 

  • Harry

    Mountaineer and Rosemary Williams could say”you can’t run any horses or enter any horses at Mountaineer until investigation at Charles Town is compete.” Letting him run with lame excuse we have not seen Charles Town evidence is ridiculous.

    • fairisfair

      guilty until proven innocent? seems fair…or not…

      • harry doodle

        everybodys talking about scooter what about wild billy ray davis he cant get a license anywere

  • Richard C

     The “allegation” is one of the oldest tricks in the book. On that mug shot – alone – would you hire the guy to muck stalls??

  • harry doodle

    scooter’s and knoell’s new trainer ? my guess is danny bird

    • Bnl67

      Noelle is messing with a dangerous crowd!

  • Bnl67

    Well hell….how’s bird gonna be th next scooterville trainer..is he still in moundsville? Did noelle get him out? What about poor wild bill?

    • amycowdery

      why are you so worried about what Danny bird is doing?

  • Jcalvert1966

    I don’t understand why people have so much venom towards people they apparently don’t know.davis racing is fanatic about the care of their horses. They rehome the retirees, they feed thehighest quality feeds, its the meticulous attention and dedication that win not some mythological needle.

    • PG

      As long as the hearing before the stewards is fair in dealing with all the particulars.  If they do find that a program trainer was in place, the penalty should end up being the same as was handed out at Penn National…another PNGI track for the same infraction.   All steward rulings should be fair and balanced when dealing with infractions regardless of who the person is.  

      As far as the other infractions for clenbuterol, it seems like he took the days and paid the corresponding fine which the stewards issued.

      • Jcalvert1966

        amen

    • Harry

       JC,
      Its not the care of horses that is wrong. It is the  drugs they put in horses blood stream. It is called illegal drugs which started all this in the first place.

      • Jcalvert1966

        Oh Harry, i wasn’t commenting on drugs legal or illegal, i was referring to the personal attacks and inferences of “Scooter Juice” anyway,fines have been paid time has been served as of February 22 so again i don’t understand the venomous comments from people insinuating that the Davis’s air guilty of cheating doping blocking etc. Count catastrophic breakdowns, not many, and the volume of horses the have been supposedly blocked and hoped would have resulted in a very high number if that were true. That’s what i was talking about.

      • Jcalvert1966

        Also if clenbuterol not “clem”buterol is so illegal then90% of the trainers are as evil as Scooter Davis. Bute, lasix,banamine, and even xylazine are not illegal btw.

        • Larryburndorf

          It is illegal to run on Xylazine…

          • Jcalvert1966

            Bit it is not illegal to use and the withdrawal time id different in WV than in PA sooo can you not recognize it as an error as opposed to a crime? Where are all the cases of CHEATING DOPING and BLOCKING that are ILLEGAL?

          • Larryburndorf

            Being sloppy is why Dutrow is on a long vacation, and looking at Scooters list of offenses he seems to be in the same sloppy boat. Stop trying to push withdrawal times, it is obviously not going to be tolerated any longer and get a racing manager to make sure your paper work is in order.

          • Jcalvert1966

            I’m not arguing. Bookkeeping should be imp
            roved but i don’t believe anyone should be villianized s for it. Things are being said about a man by other than you that are unfounded bordering on slanderous and i believe that’s wrong.

          • Jcalvert1966

            I respect your input and thankfully you seem to be maintaining an objective as opposed to subjective line of comments. All of the witch-hunters should go to facebook to gossip it undermines the whole discussion.

    • harry doodle

      in 10 years scooter only got suspented for 330 days. wild billy ray was ruled off for 10 years isnt that enuff .let the boys play

      • ccmtr

        What about the trainers who have trained for 20 or 30 years and not ever been ruled off…..fine, let them play, but play by the same rules…

    • Beatit

      Really? This must have happened recently because I was at the same farm he was at and their horses were treated like disposable diapers.  Can’t imagine many of them were sound enough to rehome.  Sad but true.

      • Jcalvert1966

        They keep the same horses for years. Do you keep disposable diapers that long? Www!

  • Bnl67

    Don’t spell terrible this new I phone changes your words if you don’t pay attention. N zitotook his days for a simple Clem positive…not for blocking a horse and risking the lives of jockeys n horses..

  • Bnl67

    Oh Larry… The story was not about nick zito…but I thank u however for pointing out my spelling.. You are very aware of the point I was making..his Clem positive was no risk for horse n jockey..but thank you for taking the time to let me know that I need to check before I post.

  • Moorestables

    Do you actually think this man is the only one who pulls off these kinds of “CHEATING?” Believe me it happens everywhere. Just because he trains alot of horses and has several wins, do you think the racing authorities are going to pursue to much action? If there’s a will there’s a way!

  • Bnl67

    Was Gina Stratton a program trainer for the Davis clan?

    • Jcalvert1966

      Are you for real or are you just instigating more inane discussion? People with class could come up with a more pertinent question. Discussion of the program trainer phenomenon seems appropriate but seriously who may or may not have been years ago seems beside the point unless you just are looking to gossip.

      • Mary1977

        Ya she was! She worked for scooter and then signed for the horses. After a month he got her 60 days for ketophen test! He didn’t even give her money for being ruled off. Let’s not get started with all the Hidden ownership! These people come out of the woodwork!

        • Jcalvert1966

          And here comes the aforementioned gossip! Get a life! Relevance? Ugh!

          • harry doodle

            who cares its the mountin . wild billy ray davis . scooter . knoell . let them have some fun.

  • PG

    Ray…what has been the penalty for the above allegations in your article?   What have other tracks and jurisdictions levied for the above offense?  Seems like it is something that has been going on in racing for decades, was wondering what you have come across in the past for the use of program trainers. 

    • Jcalvert1966

      That is something i would also like to know.

  • YOVANKAJOJO

    really if you look at it all trainers are program trainers because most owners tell the trainers what to do anyway,there few owners that let the trainer do what he/she is suppose to do

  • harry doodle

    wild billy ray davis is still racing

  • new horse trainer

    what if you a young guy or girl wanting to train race horse`s and you ask scooter or wild bill about the rule`s would thay say dont worry about rule`s just win

  • Absolute Insurer

    I just noticed that Chris Grove’s horses are starting to appear as trained by Carlos Mancilla and previously trained by Chris Grove – at LRL and PEN – is that a program trainer ?

  • amycowdery

    Why is danny birds name being brought up in this conversation he has nothing to do with any of it! And as for scooter his horses are some of the best looking and well taken care of horses that run at mountainer

  • john thomas

    Well at mountaineer,how can a steward gallop horse’s all winter in hot springs ,then return to the steward stand ,when they started back up for the 2013 season. Bottom line the west virginia racing commission needs to put a stop to all this garbage. program trainers, multiple drug violations. stewards galloping at other racetrack for the winter. I blame the commission!!!!!

Twitter