Navarro’s Tampa Bay Drug Violations Up to 300 Times Over Permitted Level

by | 10.21.2013 | 8:32am
Trainer Jorge Navarro

Three of the six Tampa Bay Downs medication violations cited in an Oct. 4 Consent Order against Jorge Navarro – recently crowned leading trainer at New Jersey's Monmouth Park – were for overages of the anti-inflammatory drug flunixin at levels 200 times or more the allowed threshold. Scientific research suggests a typical dose of the analgesic medication, which is sold under the brand name Banamine, would have to be given within a few hours of a race to test at such an extreme level. Flunixin is not permitted on race-day.

Navarro received a 60-day suspension from the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, effective Oct. 7, the day after the Monmouth Park meeting ended. Tampa Bay Downs has since said it will not provide stables to or accept entries from Navarro during the entirety of its 2013-14 race meeting.

Details of the horses, dates and test levels were not included in the Consent Order signed by Navarro and Leon Biegalski, director of the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, the state's regulatory body. Response by the DPMW's communications staff to a public records request from the Paulick Report shows that the six overages occurred between Jan. 4-Feb. 8, 2012.

Navarro was notified the day a complaint was filed, on Feb. 16, 2012 – meaning all six overages occurred prior to him finding out about the first one. A search of Navarro's barn, conducted that same day by a DPMW investigator and a Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau agent, uncovered three un-prescribed medications: Doxycycline Hyclate and Metronidazole tablets (both antibiotics) and Methocarbamol tablets (muscle relaxant).

Three of the liquid chromatography mass spectrometry tests conducted at the University of Florida laboratory detected levels between 26 and 38 nanograms per milliliter – less than twice the legal threshold of 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood. A drug-testing expert told the Paulick Report those levels typically would indicate a higher than normal dose administered approximately 24 hours before a race or use of a flunixin paste product, which has a longer withdrawal time than intravenous administration.

Bradford Beilly, an attorney for Navarro, told Daily Racing Form his client was using a “compound paste” that was “not going through the (horses') systems fast enough.”

While use of a flunixin paste 24 hours out might explain the aforementioned minor overages, three other test samples – including two on the same horse – were extremely high, measuring between four and six micrograms per milliliter of blood. A microgram is equal to 1,000 nanograms. Four micrograms (4,000 nanograms) would be 200 times higher than the permitted level.

Woodruff Ridge, owned by Julian DeMora, won a $5,000 claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs by 1 1/4 lengths on Jan. 27, 2012, then tested at four micrograms of flunixin per milliliter. Twelve days later, Woodruff Ridge won at the same level by 2 1/4 lengths and again tested at four micrograms per milliliter.

Woodruff Ridge has had one race since then, finishing last in a $5,000 claimer on March 2, 2012.

Wildcat Formation also tested over the limit on two occasions. The first overage occurred after a 1 1/4-length win Jan. 4, 2012, in a $5,000 claiming race, when the Florida lab detected 31 nanograms of flunixin per milliliter. On Feb. 2, 2012, when he finished second for $5,000 claiming, Wildcat Formation was found to have six micrograms of the painkiller per milliliter – 300 times over the 20 nanogram threshold permitted.

Wildcat Formation was claimed from owner Blue Top Holdings Stable out of that Feb. 2 race by William and Marty Johnson and trainer Barbara McBride. After eight starts in Navarro's barn, where he won three races and had two seconds and two thirds, Wildcat Formation failed to hit the board in his next four starts, the most recent of which was on Feb. 21, 2013.

Navarro's other two flunixin positives were with Charles Justi's Alkazabito, second-place finisher on Jan. 15, 2012 (38 nanograms/milliliter) and Julian DeMora's Bobbiesqueen, Feb. 5, 2012, winner (26 nanograms/milliliter).

Flunixin is a Class 4 drug under Association of Racing Commissioners International guidelines, the least severe class of medications. Penalties for the lowest overages (20-100 nanograms) call for a warning and $500 fine for a first offense, but higher penalties for levels above 100 nanograms, including higher fines and suspensions.

Testing for flunixin by the Florida lab, according to sources, was flawed and unreliable until a change was made from urine screening via thin layer chromatography to liquid chromatography mass spectrometry testing of blood. The change is believed to have occurred sometime in 2011. Until then, trainers would have been able to administer flunixin on race-day and escape detection, an illegal practice sources said was occurring in some stables.

Navarro failed to respond to phone or text messages on his cell phone. Bradford Beilly, his attorney, also did not respond to emailed questions about the matter. Peter Berube, general manager of Tampa Bay Downs, declined to comment beyond saying it was a “business decision” to bar Navarro for the upcoming meeting.

  • Gene

    He should be banned for a year. A cheat is a cheat…bad for the sport

  • Joe Joe

    All tracks must ban this guy.

  • 14151617

    All money won by these horses should be returned.Until they hit the pocket books of the owners and give higher fines and longer bans it is not going to stop.People who claimed these horses should also be re imbursed the money they put up.

    • Leonard Willschick

      Don’t have as much sympathy for the people who claimed off Navarro as they should have known better.

      • Mimi Hunter

        Should have but probably didn’t. Quite sure Navarro can talk the talk with the best of them. He could probably tell them everything was ok and be believed. Blame the problems on jealousy, hard feelings, clerical error, wrong test, goofed-up paperwork….. Somebody should make a list of all med errors and keep it current, keep it public, and make sure everybody knows about it.

  • m l martin

    doesn’t say much for monmouth park’s testing. first jane c then jorge n as their leading trainers.

    • Don Reed

      Bush was forced to give his Heisman trophy back. The Cibelli and Navarro winning seasons at MP (2012-2013) will be allowed to stand, forever. Guaranteed.

  • Ohio Bred Girl

    Rule him off permanently, and all tracks should reciprocate. To take away a horse’s natural safeguard–pain–and push it past where pain would warn it to stop is to endanger not only that horse but also its rider and every other horse and rider in a race. To my mind that’s wanton endangerment and punishable by law, not just by a racing commission. Such disregard for the safety of others shows a serious character flaw. Such behavior also damages the sport generally.

    A true horsemen listens to the horse and acts in its best interest. A true horseman seeks the cause of a problem and tries to fix it, not mask it. And if it can’t be fixed, the horse should be retired. I also believe trainers should be required to earn continuing education credits to maintain their licenses, but that’s a topic for another day.

    • Roisin

      But these are not true horsemen ! They drug and run these claimers for the chance of some money, period. And Navarro is not the exception, unfortunately.

      • brooklyln

        no, because “TRUE” horseman would hide their savage deeds better.

    • Olebobbowers

      As a lifelong trainer (ret) I enjoyed reading your amazing. accurate post OBG! All you point out came natural to me, but sadly, not many owners would listen when I asked for more time for an individual. I would quit them, and I can honestly say not a one went on to win races. It did keep me limited to one or two horses most of the time, but being as I galloped them as well as trained them, I knew exactly where I was at with each horse and payday came as I cashed in at the mutual windows. Let’s see, there was a horse named ‘Onaloan’ paid $69, one named ‘Celery’ paid $97, and…’Franmari’ paid $148!!! Of course there were times a horse I bet on got beat, maybe had bad racing luck, etc., but I never once had one win that I didn’t love in that particular race. It’s sad that a guy with my background, Dad was a jockey, 3 older bro’s all rode, I worked for Hall of Famers Max Hirsch, Woody Stephens, Bob Wheeler, etc.,and yet, these dumb a** owners would rather employ a trainer that’s not a true horseman because he’s a ‘yes man’. I view horses as important as I view children, as they both are dependent on your care in protecting them, and sadly, in the horses case. most of their owners would just as soon see them butchered rather than give them the extra week or two between races that they might need. Sorry to ramble on, but finally, while my income was limited because I fought to protect the horses in my care, I sure do like myself while here in retirement. Thank you again OBG, I sure wish there were more like you around. You made my day.

    • vinceNYC

      A true horseman wins at an 8% rate and hasnt any clients

  • Barry Irwin

    Forget that 4-hour erection…we are talking permanent erection here.

  • mike

    Get this bum out of racing – enough is enough – they hung Dutrow for much less.

  • Janet delcastillo

    There is an attitude on the backside that banamine is sort of like an aspirin. I have been given horses claimed by owners, that couldn’t walk out of the spit box. In one case, I asked the previous groom in a major racing stable, how this horse could train since for me he was so sore he couldn’t even graze. He said that it never trained without banamine and bute and since the claim was on a drop, I think they got that race knowing he was on the way out. When x-rayed, the horse had no cartilage left in joints and was chronically sore. That owner held me responsible as a poor trainer since I couldnt get horse back to form.. If you saw his chart, you would see that he had been running in allowance company, then started dropping. Won each race on the way down and owner claimed him at bottom. Owner couldnt understand why “massage and good food” wouldnt help. That was early in my career and over the years I have been very wary of claiming any horses as one never knows what might have been given…sometimes it takes months to get rid of medication effects and then see if you still have a race horse. I do understand a “misstep ” in a race but reading vet bills of horses that break down can sometimes tell a set up for breakdown. Any of you owners should examine you vet bills….if its high, wonder why that horse should run!!!
    While banamine is allowed 24 hours out, it is a powerful anti-inflammatory and used too frequently, causes many other negative side effects. (its great for colic so dont think its not useful…just should be used judiciously.)

    • greg

      I firmly believe if a trainer was SUED by a subsequent owner like you and the trainers and owners vet bills were subpoenaed NO owner would allow the threat of public embarrassment AND liability to continue with a trainer who cheats. (deleted)

      • Janet delcastillo

        I once trained for four lawyers and the horse was sent to their local trainer. They would send me vet bills and ask about cause and effect…Since the filly was given IV bute every other day while training (and much more before races) as a two year old, I explained why that would catch up with her…if she needs that, she shouldn’t be trained so aggressively. This filly won impressively as a two year old and was broken down by three…she had talent…but was pushed too hard too soon. With judicious training, this filly could have run for years.
        These lawyers had a clear paper trail of misuse of legal medications…In those days it never occurred to them to take the trainer to task.

        • greg

          if they had do you agree with my assumption on no trainer wanting vet bill or their vets subpoenaed?

    • Hollywoodrider

      In the state of florida..Banimine is a 48 hour drug!..Just to clarifiy Janet.

      • Janet delcastillo

        Thankyou…its been so long since I had that horse…….

    • naprovniknaprovnik

      How sad. Are you listening to the reality, you alphabet soup of “regulatory authorities” in this sport? I want the cheaters out permanently!

  • Jay Stone

    The state is at fault as much as the trainer here. They obviously were lax in their testing. The system about to be implemented in the mid Atlantic states will prove to be helpful in weeding out the habitual offenders. For every positive no matter what grade of drug you are given points. The more points the more severe the penalty. Eventually as owners loose purses and the habitual offenders are permanently barred most of the problems will disappear. The image of the game would improve. With more out of competition testing the real offenders would ramp it down. The danger where we are right now is someone with a high win percentage gets a first time positive for a low level drug and everyone wants him barred for life. If a 5 per cent trainer got a minor positive for a Banamine positive no one would care. The only real answer is uniform medication rules, loss of purses, and a point system for positives that always stays on a trainer’s record.

    • fb0252

      good post, except why is the state at fault? they caught Navarro. I agree with your post. points, absolutely. perspective. general public thinks every violation is axe murder. giving a dose of banamine to keep a horse racing instead of facing the meat wagon is a violation, and yet, one can understand.

      • Jay Stone

        The state is at fault on many counts. Apparently there was very little testing going on for this drug and it was abused until their policy changed. That is why this particular trainer apparently was challenging the system. The state it totally incompetent in taking so long to adjudicate the case. New Jersey is taking heat for this case but did Florida every notify them of positives. Once again a reason to unify all of this with one group so every state knows record of each trainer even if its just an investigation and not a ruling There are many cases pending in the Florida system right now that should have been reported out with rulings by now

        • nu-fan

          You are so very right. Being negligent is no excuse. The state was being negligent and that makes them at fault as well.

        • fb0252

          In an ideal world, of course there’d be central authority administering everything in perfect ways. Rather, what we’d get is administration according to Fred Pope, Barry Irwin et. al.–u put in the name of any suspect. We have here an OP on administration of banamine that gives the tone of a bfd when in fact closer exam reveals each horse probably received a tube on race day. Cheating certainly. Cause for national headlines–doubtful. there’s Q as to how racing uses its very limited resources. My take is marketing first. The catching the cheater mechanisms are by and large in place. Put urself on backstretch and try to cheat and u’ll see it’s harder than many here think it is, and quite stupid as this trainer has discovered.

          • Jay Stone

            Unfortunately to the uninformed fan the perception of rampant cheating is becoming reality. The so called “super trainers ” are all using undectable designer drugs to make slow horses run fast. In reality 99 per cent of the trainers follow the rules and rarely get a positive. Once in a while they will get a slight overage in a harmless drug and take their punishment. The remaining few will skirt the law and try anything to win. We have to be able to differentiate between the two groups when giving out punishment. With some high percentage trainers the number is achieved through honest means and obviously there is the other group. That is why intelligent and timely enforcement is needed to regain the trust of the fan base.

          • betterthannothing

            For starter:

            24/7 surveillance cams in all stalls, tracking, security, all treatments monitored, all feed, supplements and meds supplied by official channels and meds administered as needed in therapeutic doses only by officials, 100% transparent health, surgical, medical and chemical records.

          • Jay Stone

            Yes in a perfect world. In this perfect world costs for all this are payed for by who?. All employees go through an expensive background check and are legal citizens or have work papers. Great ideas but not feasible

          • Thurston Powell

            Come on Jay… “all employees go through expensive background check and are legal citizens…”. Wrong again. At best they get a quick check to see if they have a felony. I’ve known Mexicans on the backside who have had three different names since I met them. They get new papers, change their name, and get back to work.

            And how can you possibly say you stand behind your numbers? 99% of trainers are clean? So you are telling me there are 198 clean trainers at Tampa to offset Cibelli and Navarro? You lose all credibility when you say foolish things like that.

          • Jay Stone

            Read it. I said in a perfect world they would all go through these checks. They don’t in our imperfect world. I will stick by my numbers when it comes to percentages breaking the law back there.

          • fb0252

            why–when per Mr.
            Stone’s post 99% are clean. u have some info that this is untrue, possibly?

          • betterthannothing

            And do you and Mr. Stone have scientific stats showing that 99% of all horsemen from coast to coast are clean? My question to you is as ridiculous as your question to me.

            Nobody knows how many horsemen are clean and the industry does not want to know because it does not want to disrupt itself with needed reforms including security and transparency. I believe that 99% is wishful thinking by those who wear rose colored glasses or have skeletons in their closets.

            Between trainers that are hopelessly rotten to the core, those with short and long rap sheets, the slick ones that don’t get caught, the well connected, lawyered-up and/or too big too fail, those picking states with archaic sampling and testing protocols or are corrupted, those that straddle the clean/dirty fence and participate in the chemical warfare and cheat occasionally to keep a few horses, win a few and stay afloat, all owners that feed horses to abusive and cheating trainers, tragically for the innocent horses the percentage of dirty horsemen has to be substantially higher than 1%.

            Of course it is impossible to know because cheaters don’t advertise although owners know how to pick them and the industry does not want to know.

          • fb0252

            to me the key to your post is “nobody knows how many horsemen are clean”. Why therefore would you make any assumptions? Of course this is true. And, until the stats are known–then why is racing wasting resources chasing ghosts?

          • hammerman947

            A much better estimate is about 10% are really bad. Rotten to the core and ought to be in jail. Another 10% are good. Decent hard working and do things as they should. The other 80% really wish they could be good.

            Veterinary malpractice is a big factor that nobody is mentioning too. You’ll find most tracks have a go-to vet that all the top trainers use. Harthill in KY blazed that trail years ago.

            Owners need to be held more accountable as well. They bankroll the game so logic would say that things happen as owners want them to. Yes I estimated 10% are good. You’ll NEVER see any of them anywhere near the top of the trainer standings though. I don’t often use absolutist statements like that but in this case it’s true. As a result owners who just want to win go to people at the top of the standings while protecting themselves with a blanket of plausible deniability.

            Another rule change that would help level the playing field for everybody is a very simple one. Trainer of record must show up in paddock to personally saddle the horse. Period. No substitutions at any time for any reason ever. This would end the hundreds of horses in training culture of recent years and bring guys back down to what they can personally handle.

          • fb0252

            here’s what needs to be done imo–horse racing leaders and that includes the jockey club need to grow a pair and start defending the sport against these constant unwarranted accusations. fan perception is what it is because literally none speak up. this results in a lot of wasted words and resources better spent on marketing. If everybody on the backstretch is dirty, as most of these posts imply, how about a study to establish that before going half cocked with all these exotic expensive enforcements? We can allocate resources for additional enforcement–which is pretty tight already–AFTER we generate some revenue. And a rule change or two such as on the steroids.

          • Hamish

            They catch a guy with a drug 300 times the legal limit and TJC should intervene to change people’s minds or to otherwise make pretend nothings wrong? Our industry is producing a soiled product and all the marketing in the world won’t fool people, if what we are feeding them doesn’t taste good. Today’s consumers are sharper and more informed than ever. The pair that TJC grows should be utilized to stop all the nonsense, clean it up, then have something to talk about and sell.

          • betterthannothing

            Before being able to defend “the sport against these constant unwarranted accusations” the JC would have to know the truth and nothing but the truth… Right?

          • Jay Stone

            Unfortunately the Jockey Club is the farthest thing from being a good example of representing the business. They are miles and light years away from knowing anything about most races run at most tracks in America.

          • betterthannothing

            I only mentioned the JC because fb mentioned it. I agree with you that the JC is not the right organization to change racing into a clean, efficient, much safer, fair and respectable sport otherwise it would be pushing for the formation of a central authority to police racing along with the USADA, to protect horses and thus their riders (the jockey’s guild fails to push for reforms that what would obviously best protect the limbs and lives of its riders by protecting their mounts, including with transparency of equine med records).

          • Thurston Powell

            Don’t be silly Jay… if you really believe 99% of trainers follow the rules you obviously haven’t spent much time on the backside. I used to be naive until I started spending more time watching the activities in my extremely well respected trainer’s barn this summer. I saw multiple horses receiving illegal treatment including ‘blockers’ on race day. When I mentioned Cibelli he said ‘the only difference between Jane and the rest of us is she got caught.’ He closed the conversation with ‘Ray Paulick talking about this stuff all the time is bad for the game.”

            He’s probably right, I enjoyed the game a lot more when I had my head buried in the sand like you Jay. Now I’m searching for a trainer who’s not a cheater to train the horses that I currently have, until they and I retire from this crooked game. Any suggestions?

          • Jay Stone

            Thurston, totally disagree with you. I stand behind my statement that 99 percent of trainers do not break the rules. As far as not being in the backside that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Since the late 80’s I have spent most of my time in the backstretch either buying horses or managing large stables. I have seen the best and worst of these operations. I can tell you with firsthand knowledge the basics of who does what and who doesn’t. As far as Paulick is concerned he serves a valuable place by helping to police an industry that has become unable to do it itself

          • Countfleet1943

            Jay; Sorry, but after 50 years in the game with 8 or 9 Trainers, I would say that 50-60% try to be very honest & follow the rules. At least 40-50% do everything possible to win, and that includes any drug that will give their horse an edge on race day.
            I will not be going to TBD this year, nor will I bet at other Florida Tracks.

          • Jay Stone

            It looks like we disagree on numbers but some of it is semantics. The number of positive tests found in this country is very, very small. Doing what is permissible in your jurisdiction doesn’t make one a dishonest trainer. When does a therapeutic medication become a performance enhancing drug? The time the drug is given determines its designation. Each state is unfortunately different in when these drugs can be used if at all. In today’s expensive economy a large percentage of trainers can’t afford to treat the horse aggressively. Then you have the small percentage that run up very large vet bills. I will stick by my numbers if by not cheating means they didn’t break the law.

          • Hamish

            When does a therapeutic become performance enhancing; when there is 300 times the limit found in a horse’s system! What about drugs and compounded sustances that pass the testing labs because it is an unknown drug/substance to the lab testing protocols? Is this just shrewd horsemanship, or flat out cheating with total disregard for the horse and fair minded competition?

          • Jay Stone

            U answered the question. That Banamine usage made the transition from therapeutic to performance enhancing and that person is paying the penalty. As far as the other examples in our system somebody has to be caught.

          • Hamish

            “Somebody has to be caught.” So it sounds like your position is “Hey, if it doesn’t TEST it must me legal.” Wow, the kind of acceptable behavior you support needs to go away, and it will, soon. This racetrack mentality is the undoing of the sport. That person should be banned from ever racing again and the owners that supported him investigated and punished in kind.

          • Jay Stone

            You want to ban a guy for the rest of his life for this offense? I totally agree with punishment for multiple offenders but that is a little harsh. If somebody is caught they should be dealt with but “somebody has to be caught” is not going to work. When testing procedures catch up to perceived multiple cheaters they will be caught.

          • Hamish

            If somebody is using drugs, supplements, copunded substances, inventions,tactics,etc that are meant to increase or enhance performance, that are unnatural to the horse and against many state racing rules, these folks should be punished in the harshest of fashions. If the “test beaters” think they are above the law because they are smarter than the labs, these kind should go down the hardest.

          • Jay Stone

            I never disagreed with you but you have to catch them first.

          • Hollywoodrider

            Caught yes..The thing that is real bad is these guys are cheating and keeping the purse money…Something wrong with the State!!

          • Jay Stone

            As I’ve repeated many times if you take away purses it will alleviate a lot of the problem. This state has no governing board willing to deal with any racing problems

          • Thurston Powell

            It costs the trainer nothing to treat the horse aggressively. Last time I checked, owners pay vet bills, not trainers.

            If a trainer blocks an ankle on race day and tests don’t identify the blocker, is that cheating, Jay?

          • Jay Stone

            Owner’s pay vet bills but you would be surprised how limited some trainers are because of owner’s financial status. Most vets can tell of many uncollected bllls. Of course that action is illegal but if nothing is detected we go back to stepped up testing procedures.

          • Janet delcastillo

            Its very hard to pick up some of the forms of blocking that may be used on the backside. I find the “shock wave therapy” particularly dangerous…especially in the hands of non vets…even when used within track guidelines….ten days out at some tracks…

          • Thurston Powell

            Or maybe they are limited because the owners don’t want their horses full of drugs and supplements. In my opinion, most of these things are useless and don’t help the horse anyway. They are great for padding the vets wallets though.

          • betterthannothing

            That sounds about right at better tracks based on my observations, probably way too low at flea-beaten tracks. Clean desperados might be forced to enter the chemical warfare to keep a few horses in their barns. Should we call them clean or dirty? Since abusers and cheaters tend to get more horses than the clean, caring, low-chemical guys that only win a few, the percentage of clean horses is probably very low.

          • jack

            name em and shame em….otherwise it sounds like a pretty preposterous story…..a top trainer admitting to you (an owner) that he is cheating??….openly injecting “multiple” horses right in front of you (and apparently mentioning that the syringes were filled with illegal substances)??….and toss in “that damn Ray Paulick is bad for business” for good measure.

          • betterthannothing

            You can’t name names here for obvious reasons. There is a need for a whistle blower grand-central where witnesses of cruelty to horses including abuse of drugs and treatments, human endangerment, doping and gambling fraud could anonymously report what they know and share photos and videos. For that a central authority would need to be created, one that would prioritize the welfare and safety of horses and their riders, transparency, integrity, quality racing and breeding.

          • pete

            The problem is that some of the racing commission regulatory veterinarians are the problem permitting lame horses to race (which to me is cruelty, defrauding the betting public, putting jockeys lives at risk..), looking the other way while practitioners run around race day with pockets deep with “pre-race” medications. NJ is a prime example, NY was exposed and now perhaps PA.

          • jack

            if the story Thurston told is true, he has an obligation to go to the racing authorities. Not doing so is putting the lives of the horses and jockeys at risk. If the stable is openly giving their horses illegal substances on race day without any concern of concealing the act, it should be quite simple to catch the crook.

          • Thurston Powell

            You don’t have to believe me Jack. There’s plenty of sand on Jay’s beach for you to bury your head too. No, my trainer didn’t say “hey look, my vet is going into that stall with an illegal substance to inject the ankle of that horse that is running this afternoon! ” A person of basic intelligence can observe things and figure out what is going on. I too was surprised about how open he and and his people were when I asked questions. I honestly think there is such an ‘everybody is doing it’ attitude that they really don’t think of it as cheating. And yes, they really do think Ray is squawking about something that is no big deal.

          • Roisin

            I had a trainer say the ankle of one of our horses would be “injected” before she raced. I could hardly believe my ears because I naively believed this was a sincere good trainer who was doing it right. Evidently this is how it is done in the business .
            The horse did not race because the “problem” turned out to be a large bone chip below the knee.

          • Countfleet1943

            Joan Scott is an honest trainer IMHO. I was part owner of a nice gelding who ended his career with over 100K in earnings. Talk to her.

          • hammerman947

            If you’re serious about that I can recommend someone very good for you.
            e-mail me at my screen name over on hotmail if you’re interested

      • Roisin

        Keeping the horse running on banamine is about money, period. The horse will eventually be loaded on to the “meat wagon” sore and in pain. It would be better for the horse to be euthanized on the track except for the danger breakdowns pose for all riders and other horses. To keep these horses running on drugs is a form of reckless endangerment and that is not too strong a statement. And no I can’t understand.

        • fb0252

          “it’s about money” misstates relationship on backstretch of many with their horses. cynical and naive point of view imo. need practical experience possibly before making judgments. It’s untrue that every treated pain will put anyone in danger of breakdown.

          • Roisin

            While some trainers and others on the backstretch may indeed care about the horses and have a good relationship with them the bottom line is still money. It is a business and the horse is the commodity. Claiming races attest to a lot and especially the downward spiral. While I may come across as cynical to some, I’m far from naïve.
            Further, I never intimated ” every treated” horse breaks down but a horse requiring anti-inflammatories / analgesics in order to be competitive certainly has a problem and will keep running when he would stop if his warning symptoms were not masked by drugs. That fact certainly increases the chances of a breakdown or further injury.
            Also, two of my horses are former claimers and I can say, unequivocally, they should have not been anywhere near a racetrack. After more than a year, they are finally looking like they may be fit for light trail riding. And got the horses a day or two following their last start.

      • SteveG

        The “general public” has little to no interest in horse racing. I’d be more concerned with the systematic flight from the game by both serious bettors and the casual fan base. (look at handle since 2000) While the reasons for flight are complex, the perception that some horses are mistreated, some trainers cheat, etc. have played into this phenomenon. If peoples’ impressions are exaggerated in the negative sense, that’s on the industry for allowing those impressions to arise & arise again and again.

        If the sport chose to bite the bullet & embraced transparency most of the unsupported speculation would evaporate. However, there is a sense that the industry itself fears what it would find if ALL the rocks were turned over to see what was underneath. Fear of bettor flight on a grand scale? Perhaps that’s why there’s a history in this sport of minimizing miscreant behavior, sweeping it under the carpet over the years & behaving (against reality) as though everything is copasetic.

        I’ll also add, as an aside, that to use the specter of slaughter to rationalize med violations simply doesn’t fly.

        • Hamish

          Just finished reading this thread and found the above comment to be “spot on.” Our horse industry has been “outted” once again for failures by both participants and regulators, so where are the true leaders insisting on and promising true reform? Where are they hiding? Most of them are intelligent, articulate, so why so afraid? Now is the time.

          • naprovniknaprovnik

            They obviously have some other incentive to stay silent…. hmmm… what could that be?

        • Jay Stone

          Right on the money. Deal with the problems timely and aggressively and they will not be blown out of proportion. The very small number of positives if brought to light quickly and aggressively would stop most of the people trying to beat the system. The last point should never be part of the conversation

        • nu-fan

          You clearly stated the thoughts that I have had as well. Thank you. The racing industry has donned an ostrich suit and has buried their heads deep in the sand. (Why do I keep hearing nails being driven into a coffin?)

    • FastBernieB

      In the case of Woodruff Ridge, his first positive was yet to be confirmed when he won again 12 days later. The fact that the testing took more than a week is part of the problem that the state needs to fix. The fact that the trainer had 6 positives before being informed just isn’t timely enough. In the case of Navarro, based on what I’m reading, it may not have been a simple honest mistake but it is still imperative that he be informed of his positives in a timely manner.
      Going back to Woodruff Ridge, my records show that I played this horse on both Jan 27 and Feb 8 of 2012 and cashed a couple of decent tickets. My notes indicate that my play was based on 2 angles: horses for courses and hot trainer. Now, nearly 2 years after the fact, I feel stupid for thinking Navarro’s success was based on hard work and good horsemanship (I read that in a story about him at the time). As much as I’ve always loved spending afternoons at the track as well as wagering online, I think I’ve pretty much lost my appetite for the time being.

  • Nayrod

    One of many that needs to be caught and punished. Too many horse’s are being lost, due to these crocked trainers.

    • Hollywoodrider

      You are so correct..Its not about the horse anymore..On the backside now..The only time a horse runs well is when he wins!!..

  • Ben van den Brink

    money, money, rules

    • betterthannothing

      HUGE mistake made by an industry that uses drugged animals who carry humans who don’t want to know what’s really underneath and around them.

  • Richard C

    These walking, talking, excuse-laden slugs will always find another jurisdiction to welcome them — also, any updates on Sipp in Ohio?

  • Follow the money trail

    Okay folks here is the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about…what about the wagers on these horses and how they manipulate the ALL of the exotic pools? If you knew a horse was going over to win why would you not key on that horse and potentially save and win big money far exceeding the purse money. Hmmmmm

    This is where the drug cheats will ultimately come unstuck by the wagers put on these doped up horses. This now makes the case a real life felony which some state attorney general need to get involved with RIGHT NOW!

    • Hamish

      My guess is this is where the Feds come down on the horse world. Illicit activity that contributes to race fixing, and the subsequent benefactor, both part an parcel to the illegal wager.

    • brussellky

      That maybe could be done at Tampa on a nickel claimer but there is no way you can “win big money far exceeding the purse money” at most of the places he races. At Parx it would be impossible at any level due to the pool size in relation to the slot inflated purses.

  • Roger

    The sad reality is that far too many trainers in the last 20 years have NO RESPECT for the sport – the game…..just like A-Rod,etc.

    • LongTimeEconomist

      I think Arod may have given him that cap and shirt.

      • Roger

        ha…..nice catch :)

  • betterthannothing

    Ignoring the plight of race horses and failing to severely punish and prevent animal cruelty (and human endangerment) are the biggest mistakes this numbed-out industry has made. Most of its problems come from allowing abuse and protecting abusers instead of their victims.

  • equine avenger

    Many of these cheat types like Navarro have no care in the world for the horses, period! To these lowlifes, they see them as nothing more but inanimate objects whose sole purpose is to make as much money as possible before they are crippled, at which point, they are dumped off for some fool to claim or shipped off to the killers.

  • Don Reed

    Save on feed costs. Saddle the syringe needle and put it in the starting gate.

  • sinking ship

    Navarro will probably set up shop in Pennsylvania and live happily ever after.

  • brooklyn

    yet and still, when i scream at the jockeys to get into 3rd place so i can hit the trifecta, the idiots around me and TVG say, “they are looking out for the best interest of the horses.
    right right.
    but drug after drug is pumped into these animals.
    where is PETA?

  • portia

    I was working the receiving barn at Penn last year a few stalls down from Navarro, on paper his horse was clearly ready to end his racing career, but I liked the horse and thought I could bring him home and turn him out with my rescues. Navarro told me he needed a “little bit more money” from the horse and that the horses had a “tendon”.

    The horse raced back in 14 days and I was there too, hoping Navarro would quit. Horse ran second for the nickle, tripped after the wire, returned riderless and on 3 legs. I’ll never forget the terrified look in that horses’ eye or the sleazy look on Navarro when it was claimed from him.

    It’s likely the horse was euthanized that night. Just another day in racing, but that horse may have been alive today were it not for greed and cheating.

    • Janet delcastillo

      heartbreaking…for both the horse and the industry…we are destroying ourselves from within…

      • portia

        Call The Ball/2008

    • Roisin

      The horse is nothing but a disposable commodity for too many in this business. Money and only money is the name of the game.

    • Marty P

      speak up, don’t wait after the fact. There are avenues, too many people turn the blind eye and just complain afterwards.

  • Tonto

    Now you know why Lasix is so popular= system flush (Tobin- Drugs and the Performance Horse)

  • Voice of Reason

    If the HBPAs stood firm, and demanded harsh punishments from the track, a lot of this would get cleaned up. If the majority of the horsemen are honest injuns, then they should vote in honest representatives. Those representatives can negotiate harsh punishments for those caught cheating. If the track won’t negotiate or refuses to hand out harsh punishment, withhold the consent to simulcast or stage boycotts across the country until the best interests are looked out ofr. Failure to do so, says the majority of the horsemen must be cheating, or are indifferent.

  • John Doe

    Indeed that the levels were high. However, the amounts administered does not help with just food and water. J.Navarro is an excellent trainer/horseman and he’ll continue to win races

  • Horse of Course

    I’m so fed up with Flordia, I’m suspending them from racing. I will not bet on any Flordia Track until they realize their income does not come from cheating trainers and owners, but those of us betting.

  • Michael Infurna

    After winning 35% at Monmouth and being the leading trainer, I wonder how many positives he had at Monmouth this year??

  • Frank

    I met Jorge Navarro at a restaurant after a day at Monmouth Park.

    To me he was a regular guy and very interesting to talk to.

    Its hard for me to believe he knowingly doped horses when he knows there
    going to be tested. and his step father being Julio Cani a welll
    respected trainer.

    Why would he leave some of these substance in the barn to be found??

    Being leading trainer at Monmouth Park for a is a terrific accomplishment

    for a man his age. And I hope this situation passes and he continues to bring
    home winners.

    I am wondering if there were any instance of illegal substances at M.P.

    I hope everything turns out ok for him.

  • LH

    I worked for a thoroughbred vet for over six years and ALL trainers do the same crap, competition is huge so they ALL do whatever it takes for a win….. The sport it’s been damage Ohio bred girl, little that you know!!! LOL

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