Guillot Accuses Saez of Buzzer Use in Travers

by | 08.31.2013 | 1:54pm
Will Take Charge wins the Travers

Eric Guillot, trainer of Travers runner-up Moreno, has filed a complaint against Will Take Charge's jockey, Luis Saez, claiming that Saez used an electronic device on his mount during the Grade 1 contest. The complaint was filed with the New York State Gaming Commission, according to a report by Daily Racing Form.

Guillot was sent slow-motion video of the NBC broadcast of Will Take Charge's gallop out after the race, and believes it shows Saez moving something from his right to his left hand, and then slipping it under the horse's saddle towel.

This video has circulated through social media Saturday afternoon, and appears to be a slow-motion clip of Saez's hands while he was aboard Will Take Charge.

New York officials confirmed that they have received the complaint and are reviewing it, but would not disclose further details. Saez, a native of Panama, denied the accusations through agent Richard Depass.

The last major buzzer incident occurred in 1999, when Valhol was disqualified from his 30-1 upset win in the Arkansas Derby after officials ruled jockey Billy Patin carried an electronic device during the race and dropped it to the ground while pulling up on the clubhouse turn. Television coverage showed a black object appearing to fall from Patin's hand, and an Oaklawn Park tractor driver later found a device – batteries wrapped in electric tape with prongs on each end – on the ground in that area.

Patin was suspended for the remainder of 1999 by stewards, and the Arkansas Racing Commission extended his suspension to May 2004. He returned to riding that year and is currently at Evangeline Downs in Lousiana. Valhol ran 15th in his next start, the Kentucky Derby, but went on to win several stakes races during his career.

In 2003, jockey Jeffrey Faul received a six-year suspension for carrying a buzzer during a race at Great Lakes Downs in Michigan. Faul won the race aboard Run for You, but an investigation determined the rider was carrying a buzzer. Faul resumed his career in 2010 but died in a car accident last year.

Another battery incident led to the lifetime ban of Chicago-based Geary Louviere in 1988. A horse Louviere rode to victory at Balmoral Park had been bet down from 50-1 morning line odds to 7-1, but track security had gotten a tip that Louviere might be carrying a buzzer. A camera was focused on him during the race and he could be seen putting a hand inside his riding breeches after the finish. When confronted by track security and told to undo them, a buzzer tumbled to the ground. He never rode again.

Louviere also pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

There have been numerous battery incidents in Quarter horse racing, one of the most prominent being the one-year suspension in 1988 of Kip Didericksen, who was leading the nation in wins. Acting on a tip, security officials working the Hollywood Park Quarter horse meeting searched Didericksen just prior to an Aug. 2, 1987, race and found a battery in his possession.

Read more at Daily Racing Form

  • Knowitall

    Ah, the Crass Cajun is extending his 15 minutes. But I bet this clown is familiar with using a buzzer back home. Moreno needs to boot this guy and place his horses with guys who can win, not just whine.

    • CJP

      I hope his 15 minutes ends with a libel suit that puts the loser out of business.

      • Knowitall

        Me, too. At a minimum, I hope Mike Moreno will finally wake up after the embarrassment this will be for his Southern Equine Stable. Does a guy like that ever wonder why he hasn’t had more success with his well bred stock? #hirearealtrainer

  • Big Red

    I think he’s onto something here!
    I saw the exact same thing happen in the last episode of “Gator Boys”.

  • Sampan

    I watched the video during the race and I paid particular attention the horse’s head, tail, running action and path and stretch drive and there was no unusual behavior by Will Take Charge. Further, all the charts indicate this race was slower than the Jim Dandy and his class rating is one tick less in the Travers than in his previous race.

    In my opinion no buzzer even existed here.

  • Guy Fleegman1

    Ya know…this is disgusting and pathetic…horse racing continues to implode from within…from coast to coast….Guillot never had his 15 he is settling for 5 minutes to look like a clown…moron

  • Old Grey Mare

    Brings up memories of Wayne Lucas, Jorge Velasquez and “Marfa the Mugger” in the 1983 Santa Anita Derby! Let’s go back to that video tape.

    • we’re watching

      Lukas, not Lucas.

      • Old Grey Mare

        Well, I got Velasquez right. Didn’t I?

  • george

    Coincidentally, the stewards on Saturday fined Guillot $500 for using a mechanical massage blanket 24 hours out from a race, necessitating the scratch of Willyconker from Saturday’s Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap.

  • Zapper

    ’95 Derby

  • Knowitall

    NYRA should investigate and fine the Crass Cajun for submitting false pre race vet reports for Moreno. And please, NYRA, deny him stalls next year.

  • Sandra warren

    During the Woodward broadcast, Jerry Bailey showed the pull-up video, and it surely looks like Luis had one hand open and moments later, the other hand open. I assume this video was from before the “tucking in” near the saddle pad. As someone else said, this seems a sad spoiler similar to the Funny Cide incident, which was clearly show by photographers to be untrue. But before those pictures showed up, poor Jose Santos had the worst week of his life. That complaint should have been kept confidential until it was investigated…what am I saying? Confidential at the racetrack? This certainly has been a Saratoga to remember, and not in a good way.

    • Jord

      Santos was cleared on the machine, but I believe he was caught riding overweight at one point. That might have been a worse week. I remember a report about a Hastings Park jock jumping off behind the gate and fleeing when questioned by an outrider about a machine. Jo

      • Barry Irwin

        Ah, the famous “Q Ring,” my all time favorite. The guy that wrote that story was irresponsible.

    • Roisin

      I watched the video a couple of times. There was a lot of hand activity and it sure looked like he had something in his right hand. But let the experts decide.

  • Bobf

    How stupid this is. I don’t know this trainer but he is a moron.

  • Richard C

    How about the bogus claim in The Miami Herald when Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby (the “Grassy Knoll” shadow in the photo of Santos), which triggered a $48 million libel lawsuit and confidential settlement. One question for Eric Guillot — how do you know so much about buzzers and how to conceal them?

  • south florida tom

    Will Take a Charge? I don’t think so!!!

    • Olebobbowers

      or…did take a charge;)

  • Tinky

    This is a shocking accusation!

    • Olebobbowers


  • Bobf83

    So why can a trainers accusation cause an investigation based on watching NBC but if I showed up and made the same accusation because I had $100 on the second place horse they would kick me out of the racing office?? It’s the exact same thing.

    • Barry Irwin

      They would kick you out of the racing office because you should have gone to the stewards’ office.

  • Jay Stone

    I have dealt with this rider since he came to Calder a few years ago and he is a rider of great ability, a future star, and a really good kid. The trainer who made this accusation has to be a buffoon. If this is proven to be the farce that it probably is he shod be fined by NYRA, sued by the rider, and fired by his owner. A day after the tragic death of a beloved racehorse during a race the last thing this sport needs is this kind of bad publicity. I hope the new hierarchy in NY racing handle this public relations nightmare with the seriousness it needs to be dealt with.

  • George Serrano

    What about jockeys who wear gloves? And why are they wearing them?

    • jetto

      Probably the same reason some riders on show horses wear gloves and some don’t. I never did, but I had friends who preferred riding with gloves on. It changes the feel of the reins in your hand.

    • Barry Irwin

      To protect their hands so that they don’t ruin their golf game silly!

  • Eddie Donnally

    Not true. Saez did not use a machine on Will Take Charge. This is another Q-Ring Jose Santos Preakness debacle. I rode for 19 years and admit in my book, “Ride the White Horse: A Checkered Jockey’s Story of Racing, Rage and Redemption,” to using a machine on at least 50 horses. It is not something I am proud of and apologize to racing fans and bettors. However, I know a lot about machines and while writing for the Dallas Morning New wrote an article, “Electric Jockeys and their Juice Machines,” than ran in many national papers. I know what I am talking about. Saez switched his whip from his right to his left hand at the top of the stretch and is seen hitting Will Take Charge with his lelt hand in early stretch. It is IMPOSSIBLE to carry a whip and a machine in the same hand. It it also impossible to switch a stick to a hand carrying a machine. It simply cannot be done. No machine rider I knew and I knew quite a few, as well as myself, ever switched sticks while carrying a machne. I did see a machine once built into the base of a whip. The rider carried two tiny pins in his mouth in the post parade and then inserted them into the stick to conduct the shock. But the pins were not that secure and to switch sticks with that kind of whip would be to risk losing the needed pins. Beside, shocking a horse on the left side is no different than shocking a horse on his right side and nothing is to be gained. Thus I can say with a high degree of certainty that Saez did not use a machine. There are other reasons I believe this that I will not discuss here. .

    Eddie Donnally: Ride the White Horse: A Checkered Jockey’s Story of Racing, Rage and Redemption.

    • s/s

      I bet you are proud to be such an expert. Cheat. You can return to your cave now.

    • Olebobbowers

      You are admitting to being a machine rider? That could lead to serious consequences. It’s like Willie Sutton confessing to robbing banks. Shaking my head in disbelief.

      • Barry Irwin

        What is anybody going to do, say “Shame on you?” Get real.

      • Jay Stone

        Donnally knows what he is talking about. The joint usage and other transgressions are well documented. To use his name and Saez’s in the same sentence or context is disgraceful. Some of these postings are making a bad situation even more controversial.

  • elkton stable

    I beleive all comments and conclusions should be postponed until after the investigation is completed. It is unfortunate that this allegation was made public until more was learned about it.

    • Roisin

      Elkton Stable, this is the best post, so far.

  • staley

    If a horse was Ever Ready to win, it was Will Take Charge.

  • Chris

    I was on the rail at Oaklawn somewhere between the finish line and the 16th pole when Valhol won the Arky Derby in 1999. There had been a storm come through before the post of that race, about 45 minutes before if I remember correctly. I was with three other experienced gamblers, one being a local that lived at Oaklawn during the live meets. We were all dumbfounded at the way Valhol finished. I couldn’t believe how fast that horse finished and said it had to be something with the moisture that was in the track from the short squall. When we found out Patin had used a machine it explained things. Will Take Charge didn’t look anything like Valhol looked running down the lane. Valhol had a crazy look in his eyes as well. To me it looks like the device Eric Guillot claims to have seen was a shadow. Will Take Charge is a horse I’ve been following since before his first start and he was sitting on a big effort coming into that race.

  • Olebobbowers

    Wayne Lukas has far too great a background to partake in something that shady…oh wait, is he the same Wayne Lukas that trained Quarter Horses??? Hmmmm

  • 1fdoos

    i am not a professional, but it is the whip that is changing hands. very poor loser if you ask me.

  • Yo soy fiesta

    I’m pretty disgusted by this. I watched the replay 50 times on a 19 inch monitor and saw nothing. Eric and his buddies are a joke, I have no idea who keeps giving them money to buy 7 figure auction horses and turn them into claimers, but they should change the name to tax write off stables. Of the 8 or 9 figures they have spent at auction they only have salute the sarge as a viable stallion prospect. Sorry to who this offends but southern equine is a bad joke.

    • I agree I watched very closely. At times his hand opened and fingers spread don’t see how they could have been holding anything. He didn’t put his hand anywhere near where anything would have stayed under a saddle cloth. Talk about poor loser.

  • Jay Stone

    What this buffoon and his owners spend on race horses really has no bearing on this case. He should have kept his accusations confidential. Saez’s will probably own everything Guillot has by the time his lawyers are done with him. There is also the fact that a huge win for Lucas, a legend in the sport has been Tarnished.

  • bryane

    all these people leaving their hateful comments attacking Guillot make me think maybe there is something to his claim. none of you know the truth either. but to attack him and act like such immature low lifes gives me the impression that maybe there is something to the story. otherwise why not just let them investigate and see what the turn up? i doubt they will find anything even if Saez is guilty.
    i’m not normally a conspiracy theorist but i have a feeling most of these posts are from one or two people using different screennames and talking to themselves trying to make Guillot sound stupid and divert attention from his claims. people don’t usually get this rabid about something they know nothing about. unlessthey have an ulterior motive….maybe looking out for some gamblers and the jockeys and agents on their payrolls? just a passing thought….

    • Knowitall

      No need to make him SEEM stupid. They come from everywhere because outside of the “100” idiots the Crass Cajun showed his video to while he crowed (so much for the professionally addressed request for an “investigation”) the rest of the world can see 20/20 when they look at any video of the race. My only concern or angst is that a lowlife con man like Gee-yoh is allowed to try to recklessly ruin a young jock’s carreer and piss on the game in the highest profile week of the summer. Gee-yoh needs to GoGo.

  • voiceofreason

    With utmost concern for the gambler, horse owner and benefit of the sport: I expect the leadership of this industry to conduct a completely non-biased investigation, and in an environment of openness and honesty – decide if there was any wrong-doing, and then act upon it’s findings quickly and fairly either way.


    With thoroughbred racing, it’s not a question of “if he did”. It’s a question of “If we care”. Non-issue within 48 hours.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram