Three Louisiana Jockeys Arrested In Evangeline Race Fixing Scheme

by | 07.23.2015 | 12:10pm
(left to right) Jockeys Billy Patin, Joseph Patin Jr., and LeSean Conyers were charged with attempting to fix a race at Evangeline Downs last month

Following an extensive investigation by the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division, three Louisiana horse jockeys have been arrested and charged for their roles in an alleged race fixing scheme.  As a result of the investigation, Troopers arrested 46 year old Joseph Patin Jr. of Opelousas, 51 year old Billy Patin of Opelousas, and 24 year old LeSean Conyers of Lafayette on charges of Willful Pulling of the Reins and Cheating and Swindling.

The arrests stem from an investigation into a complaint received from the Louisiana Racing Commission alleging that during a race at the Evangeline Downs Race Track and Casino on June 19th, 2015, the three suspects engaged in questionable riding tactics that affected the outcome of the race.  Through interviews and evidence obtained from track officials, Troopers determined the jockeys willfully schemed to hold back a horse picked as a favorite to win while utilizing an agent to place unusual bets in an attempt to maximize winnings.

Additionally, both Joseph Patin, Jr. and Billy Patin were arrested on warrants for the Unnatural Stimulation of Horses (possession of electronic shocking device).  Evidence in two separate races on July 4, 2015 revealed that the jockeys possessed hand held shocking devices while competing in races at the Evangeline Downs Race Track and Casino.

“Troopers from our Gaming Enforcement Division worked closely with racing officials to conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the allegations of race fixing at the Evangeline Downs Race Track,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. “Louisiana State Police remains committed to the regulation of gaming and the enforcement of criminal gambling laws to safeguard our citizens against corrupt and dishonest practices.”

Chairman Bob Wright of the Louisiana Racing Commission stated, “Horseracing in Louisiana has been a prominent aspect of the state's sports history.  The Louisiana State Racing Commission is dedicated to the maintenance of a high quality sport and a fair playing field for its many pari-mutuel fans and an important economic industry. Any deviations from honest and truly competitive horseracing cannot be condoned and the Commission remains vigilant in its efforts to assure the highest standards possible.”

Click here for an earlier report on the investigation and the previous history of Billy and Joseph Patin Jr.

Here is a head-on replay of the race in question (Race 7, 6-19-15). The colored arrows correspond to the horses' numbers: #2 (white) Powder Road, Joseph Patin Jr., #3 (blue) Georgia's Genie, LeSean Conyers, #4 (yellow) Ben's Juliette, Billy Patin. An incident involving Conyers and his whip is highlighted in the stretch run.

  • Ben van den Brink

    w,ll read the outcome. What happend in texas btw in regards to the buzzer case over there.

    • AngelaFromAbilene

      The next hearing, I believe is August 20. What’s going to happen? A fine and probation.

  • Racing Fan

    This would not have ever happened if La had never allowed buzzer jockeys to get a license after being caught the first time. There are some offenses that simply should be lifetime bans. Facing races is one of them.

    • Laura Woodside

      agree

    • KY RACE FAN

      TOTALLY AGREE! WHY DO THEY ALWAYS ALLOW THESE BUMS BACK ON THE TRACK??????

  • Richard C

    Memo the the jocks: Claiming that Photoshop is the culprit has already been checked off the shadowy list in another crooked case.

    • Michael Castellano

      Most digital cameras record the original time and date when a photo was taken, and also record if it has been edited. It is possible to introduce the original as evidence much like we did with negatives. Of course, you can always claim someone used special software on in that did not record the changes.

  • Peyton

    No mention of the agent being charged. Was it a jock agent or just someone they engaged to place the “unusual bets?”

  • Chuck Seddio

    back in the day at nyra,maple cordero,vasquez all got away with it,if i remember i think jacinto vasquez got suspended,and maple was the designated bag man.if anyone remembers would appreciate comment? i believe when caughr nyra was so embarassed they just wanted it to go away and cited statute of limitations

    • youcantmakeitup

      I don`t think Eddie Maple was involved in that deal. Jose Amy, Jacinto Vazquez, Eddie Belmonte etc. but I think Maple wanted nothing to do with it. I might be mistaken but I heard from good sources, he was the honest one.

    • Michael Castellano

      They were never prosecuted. No one would testify against them. If you do a search as follows you can find plenty of links: cordero maple vasquez racing scandal

      • Chuck Seddio

        thanks mike,back in the day,if you remember they also had the ringer case of lebon and cinzano,that was another beaut.ny racing has had its share,and the infamous buddy jacobson senior,stew zoo and he walked out of prison,his son buddy jr gave his own father up to the feds,and jr is now leading trainer in ny.if you have been around long enough we have almost seen it all,almost forgot,with the spa opening tomorrow how can anyone forget allemeuse,and a starter marshall cassidy sr opening hte gate too soon on consecutive days,now tht is an earful lol

        • Keyne

          How dare you impugn the reputation of David Jacbson.He is just as clean as dickey Dutrow,Oscar Barrera and many others…

          • Chuck Seddio

            lol,you left out ,peter ferriola,gasper moschera,but buddy jr is the absolute worst,he GAVE UP HIS DAD TO THE FEDS ,to have a drug rap against him dropped. it makes me sick to see him on top of ny trainers he is the lowest of the lowest

      • Chris Lowe

        Amy was gone a long time for that.

  • Guest

    The surprise is not that it happened, the surprise is that they got caught; doubly so in Louisiana.

    • 4Bellwether666

      Good to see you get one through the ‘Paulick Police…

    • Gaye Goodwin

      Their brother-in-law is no longer one of the stewards.

  • rpdflyer

    Just another example of Racing refusing to clean up its own messes. How was ‘Buzzer Boy’ Patin allowed to race after his earlier major offense ? And the sport wonders why its popularity has eroded. Folks these day just aren’t going to tolerate conditions where they feel the competition may not on the level.. Witness the similar decline in boxing.

    Trainers and jockeys who cheat need to be flushed out of the sport without haste, and prosecuted as warranted. Don’t worry , there will be enough honest competitors to fill the void.

    • KY RACE FAN

      AGREE! HE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ALLOWED AFTER BEING CAUGHT THE FIRST TIME! THE SPORT TAKES ANOTHER MAJOR BLOW!!!!!

    • Raycing W

      Heck, Dallas Keen, who was as much behind this as Billy, got away with no penalty and some view him incorrectly as a good guy in racing. It is good to see that the Patin’s are finally being held responsible for their actions, but it would also be good to see the trainers of the buzzed horses also held accountable (I know, I know, they were innocent victims and knew nothing).

      • mike matern

        both keen and glen “the buzzer” murphy are at Canterbury park this summer

      • Gaye Goodwin

        Well, his wife does run a respectable OTTB rescue, and they certainly do follow up on the horses after they are adopted out. He claimed Matto Mondo and they placed him in a nice home, even though the rigors of racing had rendered him nothing more than a pasture ornament (sheesh!). So, maybe that episode made Keen a different person. I am not arguing with you, here – I think the trainer usually has knowledge of buzzer use.

  • Charles Smith

    Triple Crown winner or no Triple Crown winner, incidents like this serve to remind everyone why horse racing remains a lower tier sport in America.

    The press release portrays LA authorities as being vigilant in defending the integrity of horse racing, but if state racing regulators would have pulled the Patin brothers licenses after their earlier transgressions, the Patins never would have been in a position to defraud the wagering public again.

    • we’re watching

      Low tier sport because of this??? football: wife beating, murders, ped’s, bounty-gate, baseball PEDs, spitters, pine tar, head hunting, Cycling juicing, boxing dirty. Please do not put horse racing in a shelf of its own, every sport has big problems. At least perhaps we are starting to address them.

      • JerseyGirl

        NFL is horrible; every week another thug is arrested for felonies.

      • Charles Smith

        As far as the way the sport itself is conducted, horse racing is at the bottom of the pile when it comes to public perception of integrity.

        As a race horse owner since the late 80’s, I wish that were not the case but it is.

      • Vudu

        !!!! Absolutely !!!!

      • Keyne

        Yes,but racing is the only sport whoses sole livelihood depends on WAGERING(yes football has gambling,but many watch it without betting unlike horse racing).
        Racing will soon disappear into the dustbin of history because of EXACTLY this.Just go to any OTB in any state and look at the acreage age of the clientle:63.7….71.4?It sure isn’t below 50 that’s for sure…

        • Keyne

          “average” age not acreage.sorry typo.

        • Diane Knisley Hain

          Oh please! I’ve been hearing that since I was a teenager, and I’m now 52.

        • David Miller

          Racing is a complete Disaster right now the worst it has been in years. It is so easy to spot this type of behavior, lifetime bans would clean this up in a couple years. But nobody cares who cares about horseplayers.

      • Clyde Veltmann

        Almost every NFL game has a player go into the locker room with the Team Doctor to reappear and ready to go again. What do you think happened in there? Don’t kid yourself. The number 1 sport of football has the worst thugs.

      • Diane Knisley Hain

        I know I’m going to regret bringing this up…. under-inflated footballs.

      • mark combs

        and don’t forget football players that advocate dog fighting

  • Lea

    Louisiana is the most corrupt state as per FBI…but some others follow closely. Until real accountability and strict enforcement of rules exist it won’t stop. Stewards and whole racing office personal are in on this the jockeys are at the bottom of the pyramid

  • Tres Abagados Stupidos

    The wagering pools at Evangeline are so small how could this even be worth it to risk your lively hood? So they finagled a way to hit a trifecta that probably paid around $30?

    • Michael Castellano

      You just touched on their probable defense. “How could we be this stupid?”

      • Tres Abagados Stupidos

        But then again…..$30 will buy a lot of Boudin sausage and white rice.

    • Raycing W

      The pools aren’t that small. They easily handle over 100k on most races. If they are happy with making 10k- 40k (maybe more), then it is quite feasible. They have done this for years, and the possibility of being caught is extremely low, so they didn’t really see it as risking their careers. They clearly upset the wrong person, only reason they got caught this time.

      • Bill O’Gorman

        I cannot believe that performances like this – How Not To Do IT – are commonplace.

    • Keyne

      When TVG televises Evangeline,the pools can get big.If they spread out in a superfecta and “hold” the favorite,they could hit a big super.
      Read Johnny Martano’s biography.He was Whitey Bulger’s hitman.He says they ran this scam at Suffolk,Monmouth and Hialeah in the 70’s,hold the favorites and spread out the bets on everybody else.

      • youcantmakeitup

        I remember those days at Suffolk. One rider ( wont mention his name) rode a 3 to 5 shot and wasn’t supposed to hit the board but the horse was too tough to hold so he jumped off him around the eighth pole. He feared for his life if the horse won. He was ruled off for life shortly after race.

        • Keyne

          There was a hall of fame rider in New York(who since has moved to So Cal) who took 3 bridge-jump horses down in 1 month in NY in 1994.They looked at it,but there was no absolute proof.The Urban legend goes this is why he left NY…

  • Tinky

    My sources tell me that the Patin clan is considering a shift in focus, and will soon begin to groom the young’uns for careers on Wall Street, where no crooks are held accountable.

    • Content Generating Machine.

      Oh snap!

    • Bill O’Gorman

      They might have a future schooling sacrificial lambs, but not those who want to get away with it!

    • Vudu

      Possibly. Time to get them out of racing, at least.
      Catching these guys is a positive thing.

  • Michael Castellano

    Juicing your own horse to win is one thing to these officials, but when you conspire with other horses and riders in the same race, they are forced to act.

  • SHOCKING!….not

    • Bill O’Gorman

      These things are done with more finesse over here. I’ve often said that if the public think that they spotted something sinister then it was most likely just a bad ride – but this was like something from the Keystone Cops!

  • Judith Smith

    And what idiots are putting them on their horses? Any accountability there?

  • Charles Sieber

    Another sacrificial lamb(s) to show the public that our sport is now clean………while the big time thieves keep operating day to day…… this will really clean things up boy……

    • Robin le Riche

      small potatoes compared to the rest of the frying pan!

  • razorback715

    I assume this Billy Patin is the same jockey who buzzed Valhol to victory in the 1999 Arkansas Derby.

    • Gaye Goodwin

      You would be correct. From Breaux Bridge

  • Joeaveragefan

    Can we see the ‘evidence’ ?

    • LongTimeEconomist

      You will during the trial.

    • Tommy

      GO TO PREVIOUS STORY AND WATCH REPLAY. THEN WATCH THE SAME HORSE JOG IN HIS NEXT START WITH A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WORK ETHIC OF THE JOCK

  • vinceNYC

    Billy Patin was nailed years ago when Valhol won the ark. Derby for the same offense

  • I don’t know what happened with these three jockeys, but I do know this:
    .
    If the indictment — “Willful Pulling of the Reins and Cheating and Swindling” — is in template form (pre-written):
    .
    That means that a whole lot of this very same activity has been going on long before 2015.

  • Jay Romig

    la derby patin, what would one expect

  • Robin le Riche

    Penn National , Southern Division…. bed intruders!

  • Darren Gray

    Where is Jake “Buzzer Boy” Barton riding now, Prairie Meadows????

  • carate

    Please clarify your comments, you seem to know alot about wall street and “crooks”.
    Do tell us… Do know of a better way to trade secutities and make a market? Of course there are bad people in every profession, but why the negative outlook?

  • 4Bellwether666

    “The Three Pinheads”…

  • Racing Fan

    These riders are a disgrace to humanity. I hope they enjoy prison. I hear the inmates like 115 pound men.

    • Bill O’Gorman

      Steady on! In fact it was comical – up to 75% of runners in our maiden races are not intended to win, but no self respecting British jockey would give so inept a performance.

  • Luke

    It’s one thing if a jock is doing whatever to win, but when he makes sure he (and the public) cannot win, that’s much worse…

  • Wildflowers52

    Wow. This was so hard to watch.
    Ban them and all involved, from racing, all together.
    [email protected] crooks.
    Poor horses.
    Sick greediness.

  • Jack Frazier

    These shenanigans have been going on ever since I can remember. There are always riders who will pull a horse if the trainer wants them, although sometimes the rider(s) do work in concert to set up a gamble. Machines have been around for decades and most on the backside know who will pack and who won’t. If they truly wanted to eliminate the problem they could and would, but most of the punishments that are handed down are knee jerk reactions. I am not sure how much integrity or ethics stewards have but it would be very hard to come down on someone they were friends with. Rulings should be fair but are not; drug violators should be punished equally but they are not and it should be a given that racing secretaries or racing officials be required to not associate with trainers, owners or jockey’s other than in their positions in regard to their job. It won’t happen because some racing secretaries and racing officials mistakenly believe racing cannot survive without the big boys. Will anything significant happen? Not likely and we will hear of this type of behavior again. Racing is its own worst enemy.

  • Bob

    Race was july 2015.
    They called the investigation swift?

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