According to The Racing Biz, the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission has voted to uphold a year-long suspension and $2,500 fine handed to Marcus Vitali after the controversial trainer fled security at Delaware Park.
Vitali's attorney Alan Pincus told writer Frank Vespe he did not know whether Vitali would appeal the ruling, which would mean going through the state court system.
Track officials and Vitali agree that the trainer came into an employee's living quarters while security was present, took something from the employee's fridge, and fled. Vitali claims the item was a baggie of marijuana the employee was holding for someone else, and he didn't want either party to lose their license. The employee and Delaware officials say it was a vial of clear liquid which Vitali allegedly had used to inject horses, possibly on race day.
Vitali claimed to have trashed the item, but security never searched his person or nearby trash cans.
At the nearly five-hour proceeding Wednesday, Vitali said Commission executive director John Wayne was out to get him. Wayne denied the trainer a stay of his suspension. Delaware officials countered, pointing out that Vitali's removal of evidence during an investigation was a felony under state law.
As reported by the Paulick Report in 2016, Vitali has numerous medication overages and had entries denied for a period of time at Florida racetracks after an investigation revealed he was using a program trainer while he was himself unlicensed.
Read more at The Racing Biz
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