New York and New Jersey Suspend 18 Racing Licenses

Posted on March 12, 2020

The fallout from the indictments handed down on Monday has been swift and wide-ranging.

When federal prosecutors began this week by revealing 27 indictments in the racing world, the industry reeled. It all revolved around longtime speculation that became all too real regarding the administration, shipping, packaging, and supplying of illegal medications like Epogen to racehorses.

It didn’t take long for the state of New York to be the first to step up and suspend licenses. New Jersey wasn’t far behind.

New York Takes Immediate Action

With the indictments handed down on Monday from the Southern District of New York, it seemed natural that the New York State Racing Commission would follow up.

Later in the day on Monday, the Paulick Report obtained notices from the Commission confirming that licenses were suspended for 11 licensees named in the indictment.

  • Henry Argueta
  • Alexander Chan
  • Rick Dane Jr.
  • Conor Flynn
  • Scott Mangini
  • Jorge Navarro
  • Christopher Oakes
  • Kristian Rhein
  • Jason Servis
  • Nicholas Surick
  • Michael Tannuzzo

The Commission also notified all suspended licensees of a hearing in Schenectady on March 18. They all face potential revocation of their licenses and a fine of up to $25,000 per incident named in the indictment.

NYSGC spokesman Brad Maione called the allegations troubling and indicated cooperation with the New York State Police. “Racing has no room for those who seek to manipulate outcomes at the expense of the wagering public and the health of the equine athlete. We trust that any proven allegation will be dealt with severely.”

New Jersey Suspends a Day Later

The New Jersey Racing Commission and Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced on Tuesday that seven of the indicted persons had racing licenses in New Jersey. They were thusly suspended.

  • Rick Dane Jr.
  • Rebecca Linke
  • Scott Mangini
  • Christopher Marino
  • Scott Robinson
  • Jason Servis
  • Nicholas Surick

Grewal noted his state’s commitment to horse racing integrity and its ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of its participants. “There are sometimes unfortunate instances in which individuals choose to break the rules and try to game the system – in the racing industry generally and in New Jersey. Fortunately, these alleged unethical and deceitful practices did not go undetected, and the perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions.”

The Racing Commission, Grewal said, employs a specially-trained, drug-sniffing dog to detect PEDs at racetracks. Further, rules are under consideration to restrict the use of a riding crop, allow the Commission to cancel or postpone races due to dangerous conditions, and expand reporting requirements in instances of equine deaths.

Tracks Begin Horse Suspensions

The horses were obviously innocent bystanders and victims in the situation, no matter the result of the indictments.

This week, nearly all horses in the care of any indicted persons have been relocated and put under someone else’s care.

Tracks around the country must also take action to ensure that the horses receive the care they deserve but also that they not run in any races at the current time.

The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita Park and Pimlico Race Course, among several others, issued a statement this week. All horses entered by now-indicted individuals were immediately scratched from all races. The tracks will also “refusing any future entries with respect to the horses that have been under their care until stand down protocols are finalized.”

It is likely that other tracks will follow suit, whether or not they issue statements. Some want to get out ahead of the news and let racing fans know of their proactive decisions.

Nevertheless, it goes without saying that none of the horses associated with the indicted individuals will run any races for quite some time.

 

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Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell is a freelance writer living in her hometown of St. Louis after stints in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She has written about poker for more than 15 years but added other forms of gambling and horse racing to her repertoire in the last few years. She grew up with a love for horse racing from her now-late father, who loved to play the ponies. Jennifer can be found on Twitter at @writerjen.

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