How Santana Can Clear His Name

by | 03.27.2014 | 3:39pm

If jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. wants to clear his name and a reputation tarnished in the investigation and complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen and his now-former assistant, Scott Blasi, Santana should take a polygraph test. Santana was implicated by Blasi as being a good “machine rider,” alleging he may carry an electrical stimulating device, often called a buzzer, battery, or machine, when he rides horses trained by Asmussen. The devices are illegal and can result in long-term suspensions.

They aren't admissible as evidence in a court of law, but a polygraph (better known as a lie-detector test) could go a long toward helping the 21-year-old native of Panama put this ugly matter to rest.

Santana, leading rider at Oaklawn Park in 2013 and running away with the 2014 title, has not been charged by anyone with doing anything illegal. According to Stan Bowker, a steward for the Arkansas Racing Commission, the allegations by PETA have not prompted stewards to interview Santana about the comments made by Blasi.

David Longinotti, Oaklawn Park's assistant general manager of racing, said the Arkansas track “for years” has been vigilant in their efforts to catch jockeys carrying a buzzer. Oaklawn uses a metal detector “wand,” like those used to screen airplane passengers or, increasingly, fans attending major sporting events. Jockeys are screened, as are valets, outriders, pony riders, and others, according to Longinotti. No one has been caught yet, he said.

It isn't known how many other tracks employ this type of security procedure against jockeys and those who come into contact with them during the races, but I sure hope Churchill Downs does something similar for the Kentucky Derby. After all, tracks officials will be using metal detectors on all racing fans when they arrive at Churchill Downs.

Neither Blasi nor Asmussen has said anything in Santana's defense since the allegations were made public a week ago. Santana's agent, Ruben Munoz, declared the innocence of his jockey when the video and PETA complaint first surfaced in the New York Times last week. But what else is he expected to say?

Why not take it one step further and have an independent professional administer a polygraph to Mr. Santana?

I'll even foot the bill.

  • Why does someone have to clear his name when the accusation
    is reputably characterized as “hearsay” – and further more, denounced
    by the very person whose lewd mouth created the accusation (Blasi).

    Or are we invading the Ukraine in our rush to forget constitutional
    safeguards against not being able to face our accusers, who then in a court of
    law must repeat the charges and then produce evidence substantiating them?

    Sorry to sound like Maggie Moss, but THIS is ridiculous.

    • Ian Howard

      Unfortunately it is not ridiculous. Peta doesn’t need to try racing in court, they are already getting the verdict they seek in the court of public opinion.
      What most of this industry fails to comprehend is that Peta does not need to prove a single allegation, their victory will be won by making politicians who are already disinclined to look at racing favorably deny racing’s participation in gaming revenues.
      At this time racing cannot exist on take out from handle alone. Every politician who is convinced slot revenue would be better spent on education,roads,infrastructure, or any other government program is another nail in our coffin.
      We are like babes in the political jungle and unless we move to address our fatal flaws we will be marginalized, pushed to the side and forgotten.

      • If the casinos wanted to get serious about ousting the tracks from the premises (a power play, somewhat along the lines of V.P. kicking the Ukraine out of the Crimea), what cause do you suppose they would be interested in supporting?

        • Ian Howard

          The casino’s will eventually get rid of the racetracks because they contribute nothing or little to the bottom line. The sad truth is racing’s lobby is so far behind gamings that if racing doesn’t restore it’s brand it’s demise like Crimea’s annexation is a fait accompli.
          Racing must be clean,better marketed,customer oriented and a major creator of unskilled legitimate jobs or it is dead. It will be smaller, but it must be better or there will no seat at the gaming table.

          • The financial relationship between the casinos (obscenely profitable) and racing (must you ask?) mandates such a foregone conclusion, because Racing’s on the Wrong Side of History.

          • C Hogan

            All true.

  • Knowitall

    Blasi and Asmussen haven’t said anything, period. Doubt defending Santana is at the top of the list after reading Drape’s story that states that Asmussen regularly employs Roman Chapa who is notorious machina user? Be interesting to see if Asmussen leaves him on Tapiture for ARK Derby?

  • Larry Ensor

    Maybe the racetracks should put a “whistle blower” fund together. Don’t think the “reward” would have to be that large to get people on the backside to offer up what they know. They might want to located the “department” off site because the line might get quite long and attract attention.

    Having a feeling the HBPA may object because the fund may have to be quite large and take too much from the horsemen’s account.

  • Please Get Some Perspective

    Ray Paulick, I am an animal lover and horse owner, and I have to say this is the dumbest thing you’ve said in a while. This is not journalism, this is the equine equivalent to TMZ, and the lowest form of muckraking. There is a reason why lie detectors are not admissible in court–b/c they are unreliable. Who would agree to that and possibly ruin their career and reputation?Why are you not reporting that PETA was infiltrated by the Ringling Bros. organization who spied on them in 2006, just as they did to Asmussen? As a result, PETA sued Ringling Bros. for illegal wiretapping, burglary and fraud etc. Why are you not reporting that federal law and most state law would hold PETA criminally accountable for these nefarious activities. I’m wondering when they will be prosecuted. Why are you not reporting on the exploitation of the young woman who was recruited to infiltrate Asmussen’s barn? Disgusting. Why are you not reporting on the ridiculous nature of the accusations in the video: 1) horses who have no pulse in the foot, is for instance, a good thing–having a pulse shows pain, 2) Nehro was not made to run injured–state Vet would have scratched him if unsound, 3) Nehro died from colic, not hoof pain or injury, or any type of abuse 4) no evidence that any of the horses shown with vets or farriers in the video had anything to do with Asmussen’s barn and what’s wrong with equine athletes seeing the vet anyway?, 5) Lasix and other medications being administered on track and/or in the video are LEGAL and considered therapeutic; 6) Lasix may be performance enhancing but so is water, hay, grain, and getting plenty of sleep the night before. Come on. There is absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing on anyone’s part in this cobbled together piece of propaganda. So, why are you not reporting on that? At least try to give the appearance of a fair and balanced report. As for your latest buzzer story, You as a “journalist”, should not be making wild unsupported accusations, that damage and destroy reputations as you did with Mr. Baffert. My heart goes out to Mr. Blasi who was targeted, and who’s life has been upended and reputation destroyed by PETA–an organization who has participated in domestic terrorism, and/or has ties to domestic terrorist organizations such as (ELF) and (ALF). Yeah, look that up. And by the way PETA, has about an 85-90% kill rate at its own animal shelters. So, I for one would appreciate it if you would stop stroking PETA and the rumor mill and start reporting the facts.

    • renee

      I have gleamed over these comments since this story broke last week. I have never seen more misinformed comments on any internet site, even political comments. That said, I have a few brief comments:
      1. Ray Paulick is no friend of racing!
      If he were, then he could have curtailed some of this nonsense, but instead he continues to fan the flames of misinformation. I guess the “hit totals” on the site will impress the sponsors?
      2. Ray Paulick is no friend of racing!
      If he were, he would have spent his time at Oaklawn doing stories on attendance and young people who are becoming new racing fans. BUT NO. Paulick Report does a bunch of lame videos about black cats and other nonsense!
      3. Ray Paulick is no friend of racing!
      If he were, he would have not paid lip service to the peta infiltrators who have made the Paulick Report their home base to attack racing and everything true horsemen and horsewomen know is hogwash. Lie Detector machine–REALLY??? What’s next Ray, Goose-steppin federal marshals and put poor Ricardo Santana in a washboard rack? Are you people even sure that Santana actually appeared in the video? Didn’t think so!
      I could go on and on, but I seriously doubt that this post will be published. That said, I say farewell to my years of viewing the Paulick Report for racing information. Its been a good ride, but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

      • betterthannothing

        “I have never seen more misinformed comments on any internet site, even political comments.”

        If someone is informed, it is Ray Paulick. People have been sending him tips and discussing problems with him for several decades! Abusers, cheaters, enablers and those who tolerate the bad and the ugly and want to censure toxic news by shooting the messenger are the true enemies of racing.

        If Santana has nothing to hide, he should jump on the occasion to clear his name and take a polygraph test.

        • Vudu

          Only the guilty are reluctant? That’s silly.

          There is no upside for Santana to take a polygraph – it would never be enough for people who can make him dance their tune, irrespective of guilt or innocence.

          It does seem rather possible though, that he might have been a participant in some of this behavior. However, Blasi’s allegation needs to be seen in context.

        • vinceNYC

          Guilty till proven innocent………..terrible

          • betterthannothing

            vinceNYC, I understand and respect what you are saying. Blasi helped falsifying work records for illegal aliens but although he could have said no to his boss, he was following orders.

            If Santana is innocent, it would be great for him and racing to voluntarily take a proper polygraph test, clear his name and put at least one ugly issue to rest before the Triple Crown, especially if Tapiture runs in TC races without trainer and jockey change.

            PETA and Joe Drape must have solid and damning material. Joe Drape is an excellent investigative reporter. We’ll have to wait for news and hope for the best.

        • vinceNYC

          I say you cheat on your taxes….so go take a polygraph now..
          Forgetting the inaccuracy and false reads…..the man accusing him ( Blasi) ADMITS to falsifying work records , buying social security numbers and having illegals work under fake names…so based on HIS accusation Santana should polygraph PLEASE

      • ExactaGirl

        I beg to differ. Ray Paulick IS a friend of racing. CLEAN racing. He wants to see badly-needed reforms in our sport! Without reforms, racing in the US is a lost cause.

      • Karen Tracy

        I could not imagine getting so angry over Ray’s opinion that I would refuse to visit this site again, but that’s just me. May I suggest you try the D R F Board? They’re always riled up about something over there and it’s likely no one would notice that you used the word gleamed instead of gleaned.

      • Greg J.

        At least Mr. Paulick reports both sides of racing, good and bad, cannot say that for others. BTW, see ya…

        • C Hogan

          Ain’t no Liberal Ever reported both sides of a story. They LOSE every time.

          • vinceNYC


      • Really?

        Thank you! Finally a dose of reality. There are a vocal few that constantly post on here that don’t have a clue, attack attack attack. The real horseman are out early tending to their horses, not behind a computer. But this has gone too far so I’m glad some people are mad enough to speak out. There is even a girl from France that bashes our sport and anytime I comment on that it gets deleted. This has become a feeding frenzy against racing.

      • Former Trainer

        Hey Renee its time for you to delete the Ray Paulick from your computer. Because he speaks out about abusers you condeem him. Go sick you head in the sand, Because thats what your thinking projects.

      • Ben van den Brink

        Clean, total clean horseracing should be the goal, and not the overkill from,
        thyro-l, lasix, glenbuterol keratofen and much and much more,

        Each time that this kind of things comes up, the buisiness will kill itself, but only thank to itself.

        I like to see horseracing and once and a while an part owner, but I hates to see them overkilled medicated animals also called racehorses from top to bottom.

        Better no horseracing than this.

    • Ian Howard

      I suspect that Mr Santana has been told by his attorney to say nothing and that is the best advice possible. He should not take a lie detector test and like any smart attorney knows you never ask a question without knowing the answer unless your case is already lost.The reason for staying mum is because until you know what is on the next seven hours of video you risk losing all credibility by talking.
      But we are long past the point of legal niceties. As Jeff Gural so rightly said, he would get rid of Asmussen if he was at his track. What racing needs is a benevolent dictator like Mr Gural to employ property rights to prevent those who are destroying racing’s image, using legal niceties to destroy what is left of racing.
      Horsemen have a sense of entitlement that leads them to believe they have a right to a degree of government subsidy that any other economic sector would envy. The pillar that racing is built upon like it or not is wagering. Our purses are funded mostly through takeout. Bettor’s have many more options than when racing ,boxing,and baseball were the largest spectator sports. Technology and legal wagering opportunities like lotteries are forcing us to compete. Horsemen don’t understand that every time stories like this becomes public we not only lose customers, we decrease the chances of acquiring new ones.
      I’ve been in racing forty years and frankly if horseman like Asmussen, Baffert,Lukas,and others who have consistently demonstrated a disregard for the horse lose the chance to continue making their earning in racing I will not lose one moment of sleep. If you want to support Bo Derek and her self indulgent moment of feel goodery feel free to do so, but racing is broke and bemoaning Peta’s tactics will not fix that.

    • Mike Podesta

      A typical example of why the industry is in the state that it is. Some people cannot get their heads out of the sand. Written reports and accusations are one thing but, when you see it for what it really is, on video, it gives a whole new dimension to the story. By all accounts there are may hours of video not just the nine minuets that were shown. Now, let me ask the writer some questions. “Federal law and state law would hold PETA criminally accountable”, then why have they not? “no evidence that any of the horses shown with vets or farriers in the video has anything to do with Asmussen’s barn.” I could have sworn that Steve was sitting in the chair as a vet worked on one of his horses. “Why are you not reporting on the exploiting of the young woman”. Did the young woman say that she was exploited? Ray, keep up the good work, you speak conservatively for many of us.

    • Larry Ensor

      While I don’t disagree with your comments by and large I do see some of your comments differently no only IMO but my experience also having spent my whole life in just about all aspects of things horse and the business of.

      Agree with point 1 as any horseman would. I spent a fair amount of my time explaining this in other forums.

      Don’t’ entirely agree with point 2. State vets are not “miracle workers” their time is very limited at best to ascertain a horses soundness. Unless the horse show obvious signs the chances of getting scratched are slim to none IMO and experience. I don’t believe I have ever seen one pick up a horse leg to check the condition of their feet without cause.
      NOT that I am suggesting anything nefarious was being done but shock wave will temporarily “take care if sore feet”.
      When I take a horse to a Jump race we have to be at the meet by a certain time for a vet check. Each horse is checked and looked at by several vets, jogged then “flexed” if warranted . Any thing suspect is given a good going over. This can take several minutes or a lot longer. The horse may be asked to be seen again before being allowed to run.

      Don’t entirely disagree with point 3. What causes colic in general is not completely understood. But it is known that there are a number of things that can “trigger” an episode. The severity of which is not completely understood. I don’t begin to think that I know all things “horse” but I do know enough to say the “cause and effect” is not what we think it is a lot of the times. Any horseman knows or should know that a horse feet tell a lot and IMO have a direct correlation to their over all wellbeing. The same as pressure points on the human body.
      I am not accusing nor defending, the horse was not in my care. I am just saying that no one can say one way or another whether what was going on with the horse’s feet had a direct bearing or not on his demise. Considering what was said on the video who can blame people for pointing fingers. Yes, maybe it was taken out of context due to editing but it didn’t sound like that to me.

      Point 4, I agree with. As I and others have said in the various threads there was nothing that I saw that is not “legal” under the existing rules of racing. That does not make it RIGHT just legal. It is the mind set that is disturbing. Asmussen nor his assistant were doing anything nefarious under the current rules of racing.
      I have said this in other threads and I will say it again. The last horse I sent to NY a horse that I bred, raised, broke, trained and set to the track fit, happy and ready to roll. With in the first month I was getting vet bills of around $900 per month! From the same vet in the video. The only vet bill I ever had with this horse was a post foaling check! I maybe a “no name” but I promise you I know what I am doing and I know horses. Not only from on the ground but on their back also.

      Point 5, yes Lasix is legal as to it “therapeutic” value that is your opinion as that of many others. But there are just as many who feel differently and I am one. Won’t get into the debate.

      Point 6, no disrespect but that analogy IMO is just plain silly and self serving. Again I won’t get into the “Lasix debate.”

      As to the rest of your comments as I said before, yes, there was nothing illegal going on. But obliviously the general public feeling differently. And IMO that carries a lot of weight.
      There was nothing in the video that I could see that warrants Asmussen or Blasi being kicked out and or suspended. But IMO a person in Blasi’s high profile position should have known better and conducted himself in a professional and dignified manner. On or off video. I would not be surprised if a lot of swear words came about because of the frustration horses can give us. It was more in the callous way they were used.
      Yes, I feel bad for Blasi but he brought in on himself. So did Asmussen for not hiring not only a good horsemen from what I understand but also one of character. It’s not like he is short of money to attract the all around best.

      IMO the PR report was long over due. Like Bill O’Reilly I don’t always agree, sometimes I want to punch him. But more times then not he does present a lot of things that people don’t want to be talked about and in the end hopefully the facts will come out. One things for sure they never would have with out social media. When O’Reilly has been wrong or reported things using incorrect or not fair and balance facts he has apologized. I expect the PR report to do the same. Other wise I won’t waste my time.

      • Jordan Lay

        Would anyone shockwave feet when they could just block them?

        • Larry Ensor

          It doesn’t “test” and very easy to use for nefarious purposes. Does not require a vet to use.

          • Jord

            I’m suggesting that it would be simpler and more common to block the feet with a vet. Not legal but done.

      • Tim Gagas

        You are kidding right. He is not guilty until proven so and just because a complaint filed by an organization with an agenda says he is means nothing. He doesn’t have to prove he is innocent the investigation has to prove him guilty.

    • Charles Smith

      Your heart goes out to Mr. Blasi……my heart goes out to the formerly great sport of horse racing that is in a public and agonizing way going down the tubes. All your wagon circling aside, you do realize that Steve Asmussen and Scott Blasi are staring down the barrel of federal felony charges related to the social security scheme referenced in the video, right? People convicted of similar charges in the past have served federal prison time. You do realize that the non horse racing media is having a field day bashing horse racing because of the activities depicted in the PETA video, right? You do realize that more revelations could very well be forthcoming prior to derby day, right? Bashing any one who supports accountability in racing may make you feel better, but it won’t help the sport a bit. I’ll be looking for your post after the Feds arrest Steve Asmussen and Scott Blasi.

      • Sandi York

        I don’t know of one trainer who doesn’t have illegals working for them. A good percentage of them work all illegal aliens. And while we’re at it check their taxing status too.

        • Sandi York

          I’m sorry I do know one trainer who doesn’t employ illegals, Kelly Breen.

          • Black Helen

            Not at the Phipp’s Barn either.

          • Sandi York

            Hey Black Helen,
            You notice we haven’t gotten any comments about US citizens not willing to do the work? Yeah, you won’t either it’s one of the biggest lies told in the backside. Why should trainers hire US citizens and have to go with all the invasive tax rig-a-ma-mo when they can hire more than willing illegals and not pay a dime (contract labor you know) in taxes.I think the powers that be on the racetrack deserve all the unwanted, unflattering attention coming there way. I just pray that this latest public outcry isn’t swept under the rug like all the others in the past.

          • disgusted racefan

            Sandi you don’t have a clue what goes on on the backside because most trainers don’t knowingly hire illegals and it is a fact that the hispanics will work rings around 90% of the Americans no the track.

          • Sandi York

            So you think think I don’t have clue huh? I guess the last 34 years of my life working on the racetrack doesn’t qualify me to know much huh? You need to keep your trap shut as to who knows what. You’ve shown me exactly what you know, nothing………..

      • maggie zimmer

        Nah, it’ll be fine because our President is going to grant amnesty to everyone here.

    • McGov

      Safe to say that this one didn’t go over all that well Mr Paulick. Oh well, can’t hit the nail on the head every time… pinkie will attest to that lol
      Keep up the good work Mr Paulick…you are making a big difference in our sport.

    • vinceNYC

      The ONLY wrong doing is falsifying work documents

      • betterthannothing

        Now, vince I have zero respect for that!

        What all of them, from top to bottom, did to Nehro was not only wrong, it was appalling. I am among those who believe that his fatal colic was caused by pain and/or drugs, in other words, all of them.

        • vinceNYC

          What should they have done with Nehro?? The horse had terrible feet.
          We saw a 1 minute snippet of a 4 month “investigation” Do you really think the goal was to kill this valuable animal……..We saw snippets of horses being injected ( which happens hundreds of times a day across the country) We saw Rudy Rodriguez make a bad claim , we saw Blasi being frustrated with all the injuires and speaking to them inartfully……Asmussen has strings all over the country and has to put some trust in his assistants…..To think he knew EVERYTHING that went on , the thought that any trainer or on a different level a franchisee of 10 Wendy’s knows everything that goes on simply isn’t reality……..the ONLY wrong doing ( law breaking) is the falsifying work documents……For me a 9 minute video after a 4 month investigation cobbled together by an organization with a clear bias and agenda isn’t “proof of anything”

          • betterthannothing

            “What should they have done with Nehro??”

            Per Blasi, Nehro had on-going problems with his feet. If true, then owner and trainer should have given Nehro proper time off drugs, training and racing to let his feet heal and grown strong. If they still didn’t, then Nehro should have been safely and humanely retired from racing.

            “Do you really think the goal was to kill this valuable animal…”

            No comment except that lately some people have exposed Zayat for what he probably is.

            “To think he knew EVERYTHING that went on,”

            Either he did not know everything that went on with horses his owners hired him to manage properly, in particular the chronic problems such a top, valuable colt was suffering from or he knew everything and behaved terribly.

          • vinceNYC

            1) The horse was repeatedly rested
            2) You have NO IDEA what treatment had been given
            3) To base your judgment on a 1 minute snippet from a clearly biased organization after 4 months of investigating is silly……

            So to some things up from your perspective
            A) Yes I just need a one minute edited view from a 4 month investigation from an organization with an agenda to say GUILTY
            with no other information
            B) If someone accuses you of bad behavior you should take a polygraph .
            You would make a great judge….no evidence needed ….
            I stand by what I said the only wrongdoing was admitting falsifying workers records…………..
            Also , I donate to PETA , they do a lot of good but not here

          • Tromper

            Vince, to suggest that posts here are all based on “the video” and without inside information is simply ignorant. You may be an attorney or a ditch digger — it matters not — you are obviously not a horseman

          • vinceNYC

            Sorry you feel that way……..Here is inside information , every trainer at 20 plus percent cuts corners we all know that……now what I do NOT do is throw someone under the bus based on what is CLEARLY an extremely biased video by an extremely biased group

        • Tromper

          Any EXPERIENCED horseperson will absolutely agree w/you BTN. Nehro suffered a hideous death — his barn & handlers know it and know they did him in.

    • Former Trainer

      If you are a horse owner god forbid. Apparently not racetrack. Don’t speak of things you know nothing about. Severe pain causes stress and stress causes colic. I know farriers who would not even work on Nehro. Until you get your facts straight better to hush.

    • Ben van den Brink

      Thanks to the hbpa and the toc lasix is still legal, but together with the use of thyro-l, clenbuterol, bute. Horses are ruined, they are not able to withstand those amounts of medications. Iam suggesting you: take anportion from all of them, use them for a couple off yrs, and I will arange an funeral.

    • disgusted racefan

      You are the one that needs some perspective, this is the most ridiculous dribble I have ever read. I have trained horses for 40 years and find this report and the video I have seen from it to be compelling enough to get Assmusen and Blasi banned for life for their treatment of horses. As for Santana’s use of a machine I have known many riders that have said they used them to get crooked trainers to put them on horses but never actually used them.

  • Needles

    Is Oaklawn using the wand in the morning on exercise riders and jocks? I’ll be the answer is “no”.

  • Southwest Dude

    This would be a lose -lose situation for Santana.If he is found innocent by passing the test it makes all those owners/trainers mad who gave a little extra bonus to use a machine on their horses.If he fails the test it proves he is using and is guilty.

    • SickandTiredOldFan

      Sorry, no performance guarantees, no money back for the owners/trainers.
      Then again, the jock may not ever get their horses to ride again.
      It’s always best, to give the “little extra bonus” as a win ticket……..
      Then for a win, buzz or no buzz, would not matter……..whatever.

  • David S.

    Agree with most other posters on here- this is a ridiculous idea and it is absolutely embarrassing that you would even suggest such nonsense. By using your logic, I could accuse you of having some insider’s self-interest that is motivating you to keep this PETA story alive (maybe even say that you had a hand in putting the video together). You would then have to submit to a polygraph to prove yourself innocent.

    This is exactly what is wrong with the media in this country and why we have due process instead of trial by public opinion. Why on earth should Ricardo Santana even acknowledge these “allegations” that could have easily been taken out of context? Why should proving himself innocent in your eyes even matter to Santana in the first place? Does he ride horses for you? No.

    Your opinion means nothing in this matter and you should keep it to yourself.

  • Dee P.

    Ricardo Santana is on the video and clearly states he has the “moquito” (moquina whatever) when asked by Blasi. He answers clearly Yes, Boss, I have the “electrical device”. What exactly has to be proven. It’s stated in HIS own words on the video, and he’s laughing when he says it. He’s guilty as hell, by his own words. Just watch the video once again.

    • Tres Abagados Stupidos

      YOU should watch the video again. Blasi is saying he asked him if he had the maquina and then BLASI is replying as if he is Santana saying yes I have the maquina. Blasi is telling someone a story about an alleged conversation with Santana. That is not Santana he is talking to. (probably telling the PETA chick a quick bedtime story)

    • Really?

      Oh my god, are you freakin kidding me? You watch the video again, that was Blasi not Santana. Santana is not in the video and his name doesn’t even come up. The captioning an narrator are the only ones who meantion his name.

    • Fast Filly

      Od course he is gonna say he had it…why say no when they want him to carry hs says yes and doesn’t carry it..can’t be proved either way unless he is caught with’s like everything else, a with hunt for sure

  • Jamie Coughlin

    I would not advise him to do that, simply because they are unreliable. He could be innocent and still fail. That would look worse. I would say the burden would have to be on the racetracks to be sure nobody can get out on the track or paddock area with a buzzer. That may mean restricting access somehow.

  • Ron Micetic

    PETA is about as credible as the Indian Charlie sheet that recently made several accusations about Mr. Paulick. Until Mr. Paulick steps up and follows his own advice I don’t think Ricardo Santana should give this nonsense a second thought.

  • Rachel

    Here in the USA we don’t have to prove our innocence, you have to prove our guilt…oh, and there’s this caveat about us not having to incriminate ourselves…darn bill of rights…

    Just when I start to respect you, Ray, for your great “Inquiring” mindset, you go back into “Enquirer” mode….

  • Kris

    If someone accused you of a crime – let’s say bank robbery – but had no evidence for that crime, should you be compelled to take a lie detector test to prove your lack of guilt? I know very little about Mr. Santana, however, I do believe that he is innocent until proven guilty. Anyone can make baseless accusations.

    • jttf

      maybe there is some more evidence on santana. maybe they found some evidence in a race replay. you are basing your opinion on assumptions. they have only shown a small portion of the video. this little video that was shown was likely to keep asmussen out of the hall of fame. some these people who are attacking ray’s opinion. say that their heart goes out to blasi. he might be getting jail time for the mistreatment of his workers. these workers could really use the money. hopefully they are not illegal. blasi knows better than to give thyroid meds to horses that dont need it. then he blames it on alcohol and women. these peta haters act like he is a good guy. asmussen is known for his drug violations. did he give curlin steroids ? didnt kieth asmussen get caught selling a bunch of horses to some slaughter house buyers last year ? did cash asmussen go to court for not paying on his $3 million loan ? what a nice family. how does anyone assume that the woman investigator agrees with peta’s past history ? you dont even know her name. you dont know how she is associated with peta. shame shame

      • FastBernieB

        If they had evidence of Santana with a buzzer it would have been the center piece of the video. There is zero concrete evidence against this guy. No way he should be expected to prove his innocence.

  • Concerned

    The problem with Oaklawn’s and every other track’s efforts to catch somebody with buzzers is they are not looking in the right place. Very few riders will risk carrying one during a race, especially a big race, that doesn’t mean those horses weren’t lit up in the morning or even back in the barn. I’ve seen horses plugged in directly before they were lead over to the paddock and all the jock had to do his hit him in the neck with their thumb or end of the whip and get the same reaction. If you have an OTTB and want to know if he’s had a machine on him, go poke him in the neck with your thumb. The stewards, many of whom are ex jockeys and/or trainers know this and still don’t even bother trying to bust anybody.

    • Garrigan

      This is true, not talked about. Thanks

      • Southwest Dude

        Shake down every car belonging to the jocks and you can have a yard sale of machines.

  • Larry Ensor

    Ray, I’m afraid people are missing your point. At least the point I think you were trying to make.

    • Really?

      Nobody is missing his point. But you have to realize that lives are being ruined here just by people saying things on the internet . So you better make damn sure your right. Highly irresponsible.

  • iliveforsaturday

    I commend you on taking the industry to task.

    However, it’s pretty easy for the person undergoing the polygraph to falsify results. It just requires some muscle concentration.

  • Greg g

    That’s thought provoking. However I disagree about the polygraph. It’s 50/50 if someone is lying or telling the truth. FBI experts say that polygraphs are 80-85% accurate. That’s still a large % that the polygraph could be wrong. Bottom line iit should be zero tolerance everywhere. Get caught, get banned for life, and 1 year in jail for attempting to defraud the public.

  • SickandTiredOldFan

    Why only Richardo Santana ?……………..
    Why not challenge and pay for polygraph tests for…….Zayat, Asmussen, Blasi……
    and Baffert, Lukas, Stevens……..even Luis Saez, Jose Santos…….all suspects.
    Why just pick Mr Santana ?
    I think, the biggest liar here is Zayat. Certainly doing a lot of damage control, PR,
    and blowing a lot of smoke. Why wouldn’t he offer to do the poly test to clear his name ?

    • biggar

      Clear his name of what?

  • Lexington 4

    Why stop at Santana?

    How about giving a polygraph to the PETA Girl and Joe Drape, too? (There are some questions I’d like to ask them.)

    I hope you wrote this as a joke, Ray.

    • Garrigan

      Do you think the video was photoshopped? :+)

  • Lisa

    Innocent until proven guilty….not the other way around. Ray, I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time but I don’t look at your site often anymore for this very reason. I’m all for integrity in racing but not by condoning a witch hunt that you are personally egging on. Your forum is mostly a bully pulpit and has been for quit some time. It’s too bad because you’re an excellent journalist with a large audience. You are capable of affecting badly needed change in this industry if you’ll stop with the schoolyard bully act.

    • Garrigan

      Perhaps you are missing the point.
      The point is NOT that an activity is legal, or illegal. We all know all laws are not just.
      It’s the simple fact that horses are having things done to them in order to keep them racing, or making money for their connections.
      It doesn’t have to be this way. Witness the rest of the world.

    • Craig

      He is on camera admitting he had a buzzer… Listen to the tape, pretty clear to me

      • RayPaulick

        To be clear, Ricardo Santana was NOT captured on video and did NOT make incriminating comments on camera. The comments about the “maquina” or machine were made by Scott Blasi, and according to the PETA complaint it was in reference to Ricardo Santana.

        • kyle

          Just curious, why aren’t you calling for Zayat and Asmussen to take polygraphs?

          • RayPaulick

            Because carrying a buzzer is a very serious accusation, based on the penalties handed down in various states (some lifetime bans) by those who have been caught with one. The comments attributed to Scott Blasi about Ricardo Santana have resulted in at least one state where the jockey is licensed (New Mexico) to investigate. Wouldn’t you want your name and reputation cleared if an allegation like that about you was made by someone (the chief assistant at your No. 1 stable) and it was untrue?

            How else do you propose he does that?

            There are no such serious charges about Steve Asmussen. In fact, I’m not sure what specifically the Kentucky and New York racing commissions are investigating regarding Asmussen. And Ahmed Zayat is not a subject of this investigation.

          • kyle

            Ok. So buzzing a horse – and let’s be clear and completely true to the video, there is no allegation the machina was employed in a race – is more serious than leaving one to rot and die at the track (again, just taking the video at face value)? The latter of course is a Blasi “accusation” from the video. And certainly from that, one can easily assign culpability to Asmussen. I just have a guiding principle that those of greater power within a hierarchy assume the most responsibility. Just seems like you’re targeting the least powerful.

  • Danny alameda

    I must say, you do some very good work bringing the “real” side of racing to us folks not on the backside day in and day out – but this is pure crap. I realize you have to cater to seach engines to get hits and sell advertising but I can’t even begin to figure out why you pen this piece ?

    I couldn’t even come up with one nice thing to say about Asmussen if I searched 24 years of being around him and Blasi told you everything you need to know about him in the video.

    Actually, the video was some of Blasi’s better qualities .
    But this is bottom of the barrel journalism

    • Jay

      You are not the same Danny Alameda who has been ruled off every race track in California, are you?

      • C Hogan

        If he has been ruled off all those tracks you claim, everything he say’s is still true.

    • Southwest Dude

      Danny, long time no see, since old days of Yakima.

  • biggar

    What’s the deal ? Just when I decide that this web site was set up so that everyone was required to reinforce Ray’s point, some posters are calling a silly idea silly. Go figure

  • Craig

    Why is this dumb, if you have nothing to hide then you at least come forward immediately and say “I’m not guilty of these claims and I will sue anyone who accuses me of these false claims”…it’s that simple people…if your guiltily then you keep quiet and/or lawyer up…seems like a lot of people in this video sure have been quiet, sounds to me like they are all hiding something and in this game that happens too often

    • Really?

      If you knew the guy you would understand. He spends almost 24 hours a day riding horses. That’s what he does. Period. He is not sitting at home after dinner browsing the internet.

      • Former Trainer

        He does not spend 24 hrs a day riding horses. Who are you kidding. Have you ever been to a racetrack. Morning track closes a ten and afternoon races are usually over by 6:30. Where else does he go. Go figure

        • Really?

          Um, guarantee he doesn’t sleep 8 hours. Probably 14 hour days plus flying all over the country to ride. Santana rode for me in the a.m., p.m. and night racing. I knew him when he rode in the midatlantic and he rode day racing and night racing at tracks 3 hours apart. When do you sleep when you have to drive home from Ctown after the last race and be on horses at 5:30? Plus with all the tracks running different days there was never a dark day. No days off. The guy is a serious worker.

      • Craig

        So your logic is A-Rod plays baseball 24 hours a day and????? Just because you do something all the time doesn’t mean you do it the right way or the legal way now does it?

        • Really?

          I meant that for him the show must go on, he has obligations and isn’t reading blogs about this situation. Also, his English isn’t great. Imagine your in a foreign country and you have to address something in your second language. It could easily become a train wreck, especially with drama hungry people looking for an opening to tear him apart.

  • Really?

    Ray, I did not hear Santana’s name in the video other than in what was added by PETA. I don’t know what is in the additional footage but until then. Leave it alone. Why hasn’t he responded? Because he’s busy WORKING. He probably doesn’t know half what is being said about him cause. I don’t even know when these guys have time to sleep. Plus although he speaks English it is his second language which complicates things.

    Ray, you’ve gone too far. Makes me wonder what you really want to happen to racing. Let the authorities do their job. The court of public opinion can be a dangerous thing. Remember the witches in Salem.

    • Garrigan

      Of all the things you can do to a racehorse to make him win, the absolute WORST is to hit him with a battery.
      Note that all the drugs used are legal (not condoning at all) but the battery is most definitely not.
      Batteries are used in the morning, and in races in the afternoon, especially at the smaller tracks.

      • Really?

        I’ve never seen one used, but my point was not to condone battery use. I agree it should is a serious offense. My point was to let the investigation continue as we don’t know if it’s true here.

    • Former Trainer

      You go Ray. Please stay on top of this mess and keep us informed. Your knowledge is a big help. People do not know half of the things that are going on but want to blast off about. Keep doing a great job.

  • Bandit’s Mom

    Meanwhile, back on the farm, who is minding the farm? Days go on and still no statement from the big roosters.
    I thought the roosters were to wake us up? Hey big ROOSTERS, wake up, there be dissension amongst the little peeps. Can’t you see, that ” group ” is taking delight in this, too?
    ROOSTERS, fly down off your rafters and crow! Us peeps are waiting.

  • Adrian Monk Monk

    Mr. Paulick, you probably think the NSA spying is OK too. Using your logic, if you have nothing to hide you shouldn’t care and acquiesce to anything.
    We live in America, we have rights guaranteed in our constitution, and we should never give up those rights. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.
    In America, at least for now, we are innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent as you subscribe to in your article; at least that’s how I took it.

  • Richard C

    Laughable. This is not some schlock Reality TV Show.

  • hammer817

    rudy rod …positives swept under rug…. nyra and rub a dub dub have 5-7 positives and nothing is being done.all confirmed too.. that in addition to the positives at philly park….what a great game.. why has nothing happened??? oh maybe cause his owner is a board member.. conspiracy?? maybe?? .. Fact, he gets to keep running A WInning.. 50%… chemicals are the greatest equalizer… forget the trainers name the vets in the program….

  • JerseyGirl

    Isn’t this the same jockey more recently seen with a buzzer in hand? Seems like he’s had no discipline: still riding, at CD today under the lights.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram