Some of the biggest names in thoroughbred horse racing formed an evil conspiracy to secretly dope world class animal athletes with “illegal performance-enhancing drugs.” Jason Servis “doped virtually all horses under his control.” That includes last year’s disqualified Kentucky Derby winner, Maximum Security. His associate Jorge Navarro, trainer of XY Jet, had some amazingly disgusting things to say on his wiretapped phone. Now the whole group of 27 conspirators are looking at a long time in maximum security prison.
Maximum Security was on dope at the Kentucky Derby
The front-running horse at last year’s Kentucky Derby was acting so aggressive that he was disqualified. The reason why turned out to be a case of “‘roid rage.” It’s unknown how many horses were dosed with a cocktail of drugs designed to “increase their performance beyond their natural abilities” but many have died.
According to the indictment, the drugs “could increase red blood cell count, increase stamina and endurance, relieve pain and reduce joint inflammation.” It was horrific abuse to the animals. “They experienced cardiac issues, overexertion leading to leg fractures, increased risk of injury and, in some cases, death.”
As part of several related federal indictments unsealed on Monday, the public learned that Maximum Security was high as a kite on performance enhancing dope. Another turbocharged thoroughbred, XY Jet, died this past January of an apparent heart attack. Last year he brought home $1.5 million from the Golden Shaheen race in Dubai.
The wiretap evidence is shocking. Jorge Navarro is XY Jet’s trainer. The feds tapped the phone of the man who Navarro hired to “quietly dispose of the bodies of dead horses” so the deaths wouldn’t need to be reported. “You know how many f**king horses he (Navarro) f**king killed and broke down that I made disappear… You know how much trouble he could get in… if they found out… [about] the six horses we killed?”
Navarro himself was caught on tape talking about doping XY Jet with “blood building” drugs. He was relieved that co-conspirator Jason Servis, trainer of Maximum Security, gave him a heads up that racing officials were getting nosy. “[The track official] would’ve caught our asses f**king pumping and pumping and fuming every f**king horse [that] runs today.”
A wide ranging conspiracy
A total of 27 well known horse trainers, veterinarians and drug distributors were just indicted on federal charges. A probe has been going on for the past two years into the “systematic and covert administration of illegal performance-enhancing drugs to racehorses competing across the United States and abroad.”
In order to hide the dope scheme from the government agency that regulates the veterinary care, they had an elaborate scheme to change labels on bottles along with layers of helpful suppliers and facilitators to carefully disguise their efforts.
Veterinarian Louis Grasso, and his out of state partner Donato Poliseno, made up the mislabeled bottles and “distributed adulterated and misbranded PEDs for use on racehorses.” Grasso also provided snake venom as a “pain blocking substance.” Thomas Guido III and Conor Flynn were charged with smuggling the shipments and administering some of the drugs. When one horse that Guido doped fell over dead, Grasso remarked, “I’ve seen that happen 20 times.”
Millions at stake
There was an awful lot of money to be made. “These men allegedly saw the $100 billion dollar global horse racing industry as their way to get rich at the expense of the animals that were doing all the hard work,” explains William Sweeney Jr. with the FBI. “Our investigation reveals the cruelty and inhumane treatment these horses suffered all to win a race.”
“These defendants engaged in this conduct not for the love of the sport, and certainly not out of concern for the horses, but for money,” scolds U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
Trainer Jason Servis “doped virtually all horses under his control,” prosecutors assert. That includes Maximum Security. Even though the colt didn’t get a dime for the Derby, he won a $10 million Saudi Cup prize.