Scott Blasi, the assistant trainer who was fired from Steve Asmussen's barn following an undercover PETA video, returned to work for Asmussen Tuesday, the Daily Racing Form's David Grening reported.
Blasi was let go in March after the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a nine-minute video compiled from footage shot by a PETA employee working undercover in the Asmussen stable for several months. In the video, Blasi was shown often using vulgarities, while describing the condition of horses, owner Ahmed Zayat, the use of shock-wave therapy as a painkiller, and the suggested use of a buzzer by jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., whose agent denied the rider had ever employed such a device.
Based on the video, which did not show any actual abuse, PETA filed both state and federal complaints, alleging animal abuse through the chronic misuse of therapeutic medications and the suggested implementation of electrical devices. The complaints, which prompted investigations by racing authorities in New York and Kentucky, also dealt with the hiring and pay of undocumented workers.
Blasi worked for Asmussen for 18 years until he was relieved of his duties in March. Asmussen told DRF “He makes us better,” with respect to Blasi being rehired and beginning work Tuesday at Saratoga, where some of the PETA footage was shot.
“It's great to be back doing what I love,” Blasi said. “There are obviously ways you can grow and get better as a person. Everybody's trying to do that all the time, especially myself. There are better ways to handle things, that's for sure.”
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