West Virginia Cracks Down on ‘Program’ Trainers

by | 03.21.2013 | 1:17pm
Aerial view of Charles Town

Douglas Shanyfelt, currently the leading trainer at Mountaineer Park, has been suspended for one year by West Virginia Racing Commission stewards at Charles Town for his alleged role as a “program” trainer for Scooter Davis while Davis was serving a six-month suspension for multiple clenbuterol violations.

After a March 19 hearing, the same stewards also upheld their earlier denial of reinstatement of Scooter Davis's permit, or trainer's license. In addition, they handed out 45-day suspensions to Scooter Davis's father, Billy Ray Davis, and to assistant trainer Cliff Tuomisto.

The suspensions of Billy Ray Davis and Tuomisto run from March 25-May 8. The owner-trainer license of Shanyfelt has been suspended from March 25, 2013-March 24, 2014. The suspended licensees have 20 days to appeal the rulings.

Last month, Penn National Gaming, the owner of Hollywood Casino and Charles Town Races, exercised its private property rights to exclude Shanyfelt and Scooter Davis from the premises and turned over evidence supporting their decision to the racing commission stewards. Shanyfelt continued to race at Mountaineer Park, where he racked up 14 wins in 51 starts since the Chester, W.Va.., track's meeting began March 1.

According to sources, Penn National staff provided videotape allegedly showing Scooter Davis, while still on suspension, bringing horses by van to a stable on private property located just to the north of Charles Town racetrack on East Fifth Avenue. Those horses were then allegedly led over to start in the name of Shanyfelt and others.

Stewards ruled the conduct by Shanyfelt, Billy Ray Davis, and Tuomisto violated the sections of West Virginia racing rules that state “a permit holder shall report to the Racing Commission or the stewards any knowledge he or she has that a violation of the Commission's rules has occurred or may occur…has engaged in any fraud or misrepresentation in connection with racing or breeding” and “has allowed another to use his or her occupational permit or other racing credential for the purpose of transferring any of the benefits pertaining to the permit or credential.”

A “program” trainer is a licensee who allows his or her name to be used as the trainer of record for a horse that is actually in someone else's care, especially when the latter individual is on a suspension or unable to obtain a license.

In upholding their decision to deny reinstatement of Scooter Davis's permit, stewards said he violated the racing rule stating “each trainer is responsible for notifying horse owners upon the revocation or suspension of his or her trainer's permit. Upon application by the owner, the stewards may approve the transfer of the owner's horses to the care of another trainer holding an occupational permit, and upon an approved transfer, the horses may be entered to race. Upon transfer of the horse(s), the inactive trainer shall not be involved in any arrangements related to the care, custody or control of the horse(s), and shall not benefit financially or in any way from the training of the horse(s).”

Scooter Davis was suspended by stewards from Aug. 26, 2012-Feb. 21, 2013. The alleged surveillance of horse transfers from Davis to Shanyfelt and others is believed to have occurred near the end of his suspension.

  • Tinky

    A shiver just went down Rick Dutrow’s spine.

    • Kim MacArthur (Anita Xanax)

      As it should. Now if they’ll stop letting vets in possession of cobra venom off the hook…

  • One of the honest trainers

    Thankyou from all the honest hard working horseman that the Paulick report has stayed on this and many others who like to think cheating is the way this sport operates. Because of news outlets like the Pauick Report, racing officials are in the spot light and now realize the decisions they make are under the microscope by the racing public. If the racing officials don’t clean up this mess, all the good people suffer. Thanks Ray for all you do. You obviously care about the racing industry alot.

  • Noelle

    LOVE IT!!!

    • birdy

      are you wild billys owner? if you are why are you happy ? wild billy ray has been tappin and blocking all scooter,s horse,s


    Well Mr. Shanyfelt, has felt the wrath of programing for the other bad guys. Now let see where he is going to get his horses programed at. Ya think?? Our sport needs cleaning up and let us continue this sweep and vacuum the bums out of the midst of our sport. Be careful So. Cal. it will soon be coming your way. Yes, we do owe Ray a thank you for getting the racing officials on the correct track. Or should I say the straight and narrow??

    • Dave Smith

      Shanyfelt has been a pretty clean guy. Why would he put himself in this spot unless he was getting paid under the table. As for any trainer its hard to keep track of 30 head at one track let alone 100 over 3-4 different tracks. I think they should get the Agent also because they were making the calls and new what was going on. They got the assistant and the Dad why not the Agent…


        Dave I try and understand your question, but here is my answer. One: Mr. S (if getting paid under the table) then knows what he is doing is wrong. Unfortunately there is a rule called trainer responsibility. Tho I find it not the best rule being a trainer, however, we are responsible for all of our barns actions.As for the agent, you may have a very valid point. This has to be reviewed by the powers that be. Yes, would be my vote, but like trainers, we have good and bad. How the stewards and track officials read the situation is what matters. Wish I could be more help.

        • johnthomas

          The trainer is the absolute insurer of his stable! That’s part of trainer responsibility rule. what I can’t understand ? why charlestown and mountaineer can’t look at this problem and both of them take it before the commission! That’s the problem !Private property rules. All states need to have the same rules and should honor other jurisdictions and states ,when a ruling is laid out!!!!

      • No Room for “Pretty Clean”…Pretty Clean just won’t get it anymore…ty…

    • johnthomas

      This is the second time a program trainer,went down for davis. Gina Stratton took a fall for him a few years back! Mountaineer did nothing about it! mountaineer never steps up to the plate,because the director of racing doesn’t know the horse’s ear’s from it’s tail!

  • PG

    Ray…any chance you’ll be looking into hidden ownership at Gulfstream?

  • Horsesofcourse

    I liked the “alleged” role. Everyone knows Davis was still training on a private farm and just shipping the horses into shanyvelt the day of the race

  • anderson5999

    Now to implement rules like this at Parx!


    HA,HA Don’t mess with PENN NAT. they will have you on tape, and as we know a picture is worth 1,000 words. Scooter Scooter the racehorse juicer when will you learn ?

    • peewee

      if that’s the case then a certain pngi employee should be on camera as well

      • FIVE2_THREE

        what is their name ?

  • winning!

    if they cracked down on “program trainers” at Turf Paradise the state would see a boom in their license revenue! Oh course Mr.Espinoza and Ms. Leon would not have near as many starts!

  • sameoldstory

    So as long as we have “video” the powers that be within racing are willing to slap the hands of those who continue to drag racing down. This is less than a drop in the bucket, especially at a track such as Mountaineer. For decades, the track sang the praises of Dale Baird,even though he would proudly tell anyone who asked that he sent thousands of horses he trained to slaughter……and speaking of video, wasn’t it Mounatineer Park that was featured in the HBO documentary “Running for their lives”…the story that broke the TB slaughter issue wide open? Mountaineer Park represents not only some of the worse people in racing, it represents a management team that will deliberately look the other way in regard to all infractions. After all, it is casino dollars that must be saved at all costs. The obvious lack of concern for the horses that made the casino possible is evident in the disgusting stable area that these horses must subsist in year after year. The racing card is beyond pathetic, races for horses that have not won in years, and races for horses that can be claimed for not much more than the price they would bring at a slaughter auction. No one who says they support racing can ever justify supporting tracks such as Mountaineer Park, and the tragedy is, there are too many Mountaineer Parks in the United States.

    • This didn’t happen at Mountaineer…it was at Charles Town!

    • larryburndorf

      Such ignorance, you throw every trainer at a said place in the same boat. The bottom tag at Mountaineer is 5k and there are plenty of other track with the same or lower bottom tags. The longest condition is nonwinners of one in a year which is a pretty standard condition at most tracks across the country, lots of places have a nonwinners of one in 18 months.

      • Miracle Trainer

        Churchill runs nickel claimers as well. Obviously the poster must be looking at at MNR overnight from 1985

  • I hope Scooter, and everybody else involved, go down in flames! We don’t need these arrogant cheats in the sport. I hope they NEVER get licensed in any capacity in the racing industry ever again!

    • fairisfair

      Ray please explain why any comments myself and others have left about the rampant corruption at Charles Town among the stewards (case in point head steward Danny Wright being employed building barns for a trainer who runs at CTRC) among several other facts that are easily accessible to anyone who might take a second look into matters they get deleted, yet ridiculous comments like “scooter scooter racehorse juicer” and “down in flames” by the silly and jealous david rose listed above are kept up? and allegations against stewards at mountaineer and comments about rosemary having no control and needing to be fired because she didn’t immediately exclude shanyfelt and billy davis and cliff tuomisto from mountaineer before seeing and of the evidence against said parties? I cry foul, where is the fait and balanced approach? And before you delete this PLEASE look into the corruption at Charles Town-they are not cleaning up racing, they are just letting the heads roll of the parties they don’t like. Namely, the ones who are relatively new there and win way too much, apparently. Also, Chris Groves’ new program trainer running and Penn Nat (same owners at CTRC)-thought this was all about cracking down on program trainers?!? Like I said, just for those who take too many purses from the established CT trainers

      • Just so everyone is aware, this person who posts under the name “fairisfair”, is actually trainer and girlfriend of Scooter Davis! She’s also a licensed pharmacist. Seems to me that a licensed pharmacist, who is also a licenses trainer, would be a conflict of interest in our beloved sport!

        • Her name is JAMIE STOKES!

          • PG

            Regardless of who it is, what has he/she stated in his/her comments that isn’t true? Why would it matter who it is? Looking at thoroughbredrulings.com , it seems like you have your fair share of rulings.

          • Yeah I’ve had a bute positive and a robaxin positive….I’m not gonna dispute that….but 23 positives in a year is ridiculous Jamie!

          • PG

            How about the horse Legolas? What was it that he was DQ’d for? Or the ruling for possession of injectable meds and injectable paraphernalia which were confiscated from your vehicle and stable facilities? The rulings are all there on thoroughbredrulings.com. Yet you are calling other people cheaters? Doesn’t seem right.

          • Well Legolas was dq’d for a robaxin positive….and tge injectible found in my car was rhino/flu vaccinations for my babies at the farm. That was a mistake on my part, so I didn’t dispute it and served my time. It wasn’t anything for cheating.

          • PG

            You still haven’t answered my prior question, what exactly has fairisfair stated that isn’t true?

          • PG is the same person as fairisfair….and Jamie, u don’t have the guts to just post ur own name…instead u use an alias! So im finidhed conversing with u….CIAO!!!

          • PG

            Uh no……it isn’t Sherlock.

          • fairisfair

            I’ve never had a single positive! Look me up on thoroughbredrulings, never a single med violation ever. 23 positives? You mean 23 times I didn’t have my papers on file. Which, I honestly never realized was a problem, I thought it was a rule at MNR that you could not have your papers and pay a fine and that you could scratch after entering of paying the $100 fine. Never realized it would end up being considered a “ruling.” Yes, I’m Jamie Stokes, nope I’ve never had a single medication violation, yes I’m a part-time pharmacist-which I’m only part-time so I have plenty of time to be involved in the sport I love! My parents were both jockeys and are now trainers, I’ve poined, galloped, groomed, trained, and owned as soon as of legal age. I would love to see the rule that says no pharmacists should be involved in horse racing. What’s next-no doctors? No lawyers either? No one of any other profession-wait, that would exclude you from your side business of driving a shuttle bus!! I’m clean as a whistle unlike you. I don’t even know how to inject crap into a horse, let alone own a bunch of needles that I would carry onto the backside!!! Haha, love your humor more every time we interact. And thank you PG (not me, I swear on my pharmacy AND trainer’s license!)

          • But ur boyfriend Scooter has! If u were paying attention, u would’ve realized that’s who I was referring to

          • PG

            If you concentrated on your training activities as much as you do message boards and other people’s business at this time of day, you might get the same results as the ones you call cheaters. Just sayin…

          • Jamie I have absolutely no interest in continuing our back and forth bantering! It obviously escalated even worse when u decided to get our children involved with this mess. I will be adult enough to call a truce with u and stop engaging in this juvenile behavior. Whether or not ur agreeable to this truce, u will see no more comments from me and apologize that it went to this degree.

          • Fairisfair

            Check thoroughbredrulings Scooter Davis has never had 23 positives his entire life! Let alone in a year, once again all but a couple are papers not on file. Whoop-dee. Is clenbuterol that much more enhancing than to bacon or bute?!? All his positives since 2011 were clenbuterol-completely legal btw

          • johnthomas

            If it was a legal dose,then why a positive test?

        • fairisfair

          I would think it would be a conflict of interest being an employee of CTRC and having a wife who works in HR and posting a lot of stuff on the internet about other colleagues and coworkers, but you continue to do it despite previous warnings. Go back to driving your shuttle bus and leave the training to the real trainers

          • Do what u want Jamie! I quit working there 3 weeks ago tomorrow. Anyhow, i could say whatever I want about any trainer….just not about the company, or any of its employees. LOL

          • If u look above, u will see that I’ve called a truce with u, but apparently ive gotten under ur skin enough, that u just can’t let it go. I’M DONE…AND IM OUT! :-)

          • fairisfair

            oh, well, that explains why you can’t pay your vet bills :-)

          • Vet bills??? U simply are an idiot!

          • mtr-trainer

            Just shows how some people will never get the rules… Davis out, then Shanyfelt and now the NEW program trainer Cowan a rookie kid who has only a few starts to his name now running the show of 70 horses between the Two stables. Can’t you people ever learn!!!! YOU act like your so educated and better then everyone and the system doesn’t apply to you. Then people who actually do whats RIGHT and follows the rules gets beat by this freak show!!!!! Sad very Sad

          • Gottaraceride

            Looks like the stewards are finally figuring it out and scratched the Cowan entries. I wonder who the next trainer they will try ???

    • fairisfair

      David, perhaps you should try training horses rather than spending all your time on the internet bashing trainers that consistently out-train you. Jealousy is so ugly.

    • fairisfair

      And David, perhaps you should spend a little more time in your own barn than on facebook and the Paulick report bashing trainers who consistently kick your butt on the track. Jealousy is very ugly. Just a suggestion.

  • one of the honest trainers

    Lets hope the W.V. stewarts do the right thing and not let Shanyfelt transfer any horses to Valerie Haller’s file (his partner).

    • PG

      Maybe you’ll get them and win some races.

      • one of the honest trainers

        Only if he has nothing to do with the horses

  • DocHoliday

    I like how a responder brings up Dale Baird sending horses to the killers. Wasn’t it LEGAL at the time? And soon will be again now that slaughter plants are reopening in the US. I can see where someone wouldn’t have a problem with a trainer that consistently got bad tests, but I don’t remember Dale ever getting a bad test. He did what was legal, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean he should have gotten in trouble for it. Mountaineer trainers are no different than any other trainers nationwide. There are good ones and bad ones. Racing has been that way for years. Concentrate on cleaning it up, not bashing all trainers for the bad apples.

    • Denver Beckner

      Well said..

    • Upstarthere

      So if what Baird did was legal it doesn’t matter if it was ethical? Says a lot about a person and one who defends that person.

      • DocHoliday

        What is unethical about sending livestock to a slaughter house? Horses are considered livestock and he did own them.

      • mtrcc

        Yeah!!! It does say a lot about the person, and the one who defends them. Did you know him??? The man was the best that ever lived, in more ways then just one. And for the treehuggers to run him name down now when he can’t respond says a lot about them. Not ever horse can, nor should be saved…You take some rogue and give it to a lil kid as a pony, or give on to someone turn out in a field and starve…yeah thats more ethical.

  • Mountain eye

    So far they have only began to skim the surface at mountaineer, if they keep investigating and take down the henchmen working for Davis and Shanyfelt maybe people would think twice before offering themselves as paper trainers and what about the filling of races at mountaineer with horses that never intend to run only being entered to make the race go for the higher echelon trainers and then scratched leaving small uncompetitive fields. There’s a group at mountaineer that control everything, yes Davis and Shanyfelt are two of the major players but not the only ones.

    • WindHorse

      This going on in Nebraska. Frog Juice guy and his brother who is President of HPBA have a “program trainer”! I wish Ray would come here and do some investigative reporting.

  • Richard C

    Birds of a feather….you know the rest.

  • John Scheinman

    Shanyfelt has been showing up at Laurel Park, which really could use a quality bump. Infested – and unplayable – at the moment. Hopefully, new rules will help.

    • Absolute Insurer

      Doesn’t Laurel have its own program trainer in Carlos Mancilla , who is subbing for Chris Grove ? Tracks/states need to ensure that sub trainers , if they are “real”, are the individuals who are getting the owner checks in their name, paying the payroll from their account, and have workmens comp in their own name for all the stable employees. If not, then they are program trainers.

      • aceyes

        Check Carlos, there is no way he is paying the payroll, but they wont check .Chrisy or Phil are paying that !!!!!

    • Miracle Trainer

      Not surprised. If you take a look at Maryland’s past they’ve allowed some pretty unscrupulous characters.

  • aceyes

    Lets see what Charles Town does when Carlos Mancilla ( Chris Groves program train ) runs a horse there ? See if they will challenge them, they won’t ! Maryland just turns there head , Phil has tooo much pull !!!!

  • harry doodle

    wild biily ray said thay lying

    • WELL BILLY RAY IS THE REAL LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Miracle Trainer

    Program Training?

    Juan Carlos Guerrero in 2011 before getting boot at Philadelphia Park

    145 / 476 – 30%

    J Guadalupe Guerrero (his brother) in 2011 with pretty decent stock

    3 / 84 – 3.5%

    J Guadalupe Guerrero in 2012 and 2013 combined

    96 / 350 – 27%

    Difference is the WVRC has nads, the folks in Pa obviously don’t

    • Just Watchin’ & Waitin’

      Here’s what I don’t understand: When Jayne Vaders got suspended, McCaslin was her “assistant”, the commission would not allow him to become the trainer. He picked a young girl that knew very little to be his program trainer. The racing secretary would not give the young girl a barn for his horses. So, enter Ed Auwarter, Ed is rarely at the track even more seldom at McCaslin’s barn unless it is to pick up his paycheck. Last summer McCaslin shipped horses out of Parx in Auwarter’s name to run at Delaware Park in McCaslin’s name as trainer then back to Parx in Auwarter’s. Talk about program trainers! On top of everything else, now Lisa Guerrero, Juan Carlos’ wife has been given stalls and is training there. It will be curious to see what her stats will be.

      • Joelle

        Program Trainers defined :A “program” trainer is a licensee who allows his or her name to be used
        as the trainer of record for a horse that is actually in someone else’s
        care, especially when the latter individual is on a suspension or unable
        to obtain a license.Now Juan Carlos Guerrero is still licensed and has not ever been suspended by any racing commission, his ban is just not being allowed to enter Parx Racing facility. His brother and his wife both are licensed trainers and run separate businesses. J. Carlos Guerrero is still allowed to train horses he has never been banned from racing – big difference in program trainers issues- more like corrupt racetracks and Horseman’s Associations controlling the competition to suit their own preferences to the ones who kick back to certain controlling forces.

  • Miracle Trainer

    If Scooter raced at a real track with real security, he would be a regular joe trainer. His angle has always been to have a lot of horses on the farm nearby where there is no surveillance. I’ll be Rosemary and Douggie are sobbing together since she is his biggest fan. She worships Doug and so does Mark the handicapper at Mountaineer. I think he has build a Doug Shanyfelt shrine in his office that he prays to every day.



    • Tom

      You could probably say the same for at least one owner, and that owner just happens to employ one of the trainers you are probably thinking of…..

  • Doug Shaneyfelt fostered both Cactus Cafe and Canuki for a few days back in August, 2012, at his farm close to Beulah Park. I had purchased both Cactus and Canuki from Mark Wedig but was unable to pick them up for several days due to work commitments. I did appreciate Doug’s offer to keep them temporarily and I thank him for being there to help.

  • The powers that had better be putting Integrity back in “The Game” are it really is DOOMED…Bout time they start getting rid of the Cheaters/Repeters/Animal Abusers…ty…

    • PG

      Hopefully they start getting rid of the English teachers in the schools you attended…ty…

  • John Thomas

    He can still race at mountaineer,they have a steward ,who galloped this past winter at oak lawn park! No justice! I would like to see mountaineer step up to the plate.Rosemary williams doesn’t know anything about horse racing. Tell me how she is the director of racing.How can the commission,let a state steward gallop all winter,then have those horseman ship into mountaineer and race. It’s a conflict of interest! I would like to see mr.amores step up to the plate and look into this matter!!!!

    • mtrcc

      Few years back she was dating/living with one of the owner/trainers.

  • Jpmanirishman

    The steward that galloped at oaklawn park was Mareen Andrews. It is a huge conflict of interest

  • pony girl

    if people would stop being nosey and worry about there own life,horses and what nots maybe they could win races instead of bad mouthing other trainers who do win races and are on top owner/trainer lists

    • thinkabout it

      yep that is the problem, nosey people…..

  • JustNeedToKnow

    Mountaineer park still letting those same horses run,just under 4 other trainers here..It’s not that hard to figure stuff out,but nothing get done about it..

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