Horseracing indictments net 27 in illegal doping scheme

Federal prosecutors named 27 trainers, veterinarians and drug distributors in a series of indictments centered around a scheme to dope horses and take advantage of the betting public in New York on Monday.

Included in those indicted is the trainer for Maximum Security, which was disqualified in the 2019 Kentucky Derby but just claimed the $10 million share at the Saudi Cup. Jason Servis is not the only trainer identified in the sting but was accused in the indictment of using PEDs on “virtually all the racehorses under his control.” Maximum Security also had notable wins at the Florida Derby in 2019 and the Haskell Invitational.

Prosecutors tagged trainer Jorge Navarro as the ringleader of a “widespread scheme” that involves those connected with horses who ran at tracks in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and the United Arab Emirates, according to federal prosecutors based in New York City.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman wrote in charging documents against 19 of 27 defendants that “Over the course of the scheme, participants manufactured, purchased, sold, shipped, delivered, received and administered thousands of units” of performance-enhancing drugs for use on racehorses.

One of Navarro’s thoroughbreds, X Y Jet, had 12 career victories and $3 million in total earnings. The horse died earlier this year after receiving a significant amount of PEDs — 50 injections in one instance — according to the indictment made public Monday morning.

Among the drugs alleged administered are “blood builders” designed to stimulate endurance. The indictment charged that these PEDs have impacted the horseracing industry for more than a decade.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)