West Virginia Officials Widen Program Trainer Probe
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.
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.