Jockey of Will Take Charge accused of using electronic device to win the Travers

Will Take Charge, left, with jockey Luis Saez aboard, pulls past Moreno, with jockey Jose L. Ortiz up, to win the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY. Photo by Hans Pennink / AP.
Will Take Charge, left, with jockey Luis Saez aboard, pulls past Moreno, with jockey Jose L. Ortiz up, to win the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY. Jockey Saez is accused of using an ‘electronic device’ to give the horse a surge to cross the wire in first.

Just when you think you have heard it all when it comes to cheating in American horse racing, now this.


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The connections of Travers second-place finisher Moreno filed a complaint Friday with the New York State Gaming Commission alleging that Luis Saez, the rider of Travers winner Will Take Charge, used an electronic device on his horse during the running of the race.

Will Take Charge got up in the final jump of the Travers to beat Moreno by a nose.

“We have received a complaint, and it is under review,” said Lee Park, spokesman for the Gaming Commission.

Saez, through his agent Richard DePass, denied the allegation.

“It’s absurd for someone to make an accusation like that,” DePass said by phone from Florida. “We deny it one million percent. We’re going to get an attorney and pursue this vigorously.”

The investigation is being conducted by the three track stewards as well as the Gaming Commission. Carmine Donofrio, the Gaming Commission steward, confirmed the stewards asked NBC for a tape of the race. Donofrio declined to comment further.

Eric Guillot, who trains Moreno for Michael Moreno’s Southern Equine Stable, was sent by his brother a slow-motion video of the NBC broadcast of the gallop out of the Travers, which Guillot alleges shows Saez moving an object from his right hand to his left and then tucking it underneath the saddle pad.

Guillot said the New York stewards told him “they would have to go through the proper procedures, which they’re doing right now.”

A source confirmed that the stewards met with Saez, but would not reveal details of that conversation. A source also confirmed that Saez’s locker was searched on Saturday. Read more at >>

As a sidenote the article mentions that “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.”

You can forward to the closing stages of the race. Wonder if they will interview the jockeys just behind these two.


11 thoughts on “Jockey of Will Take Charge accused of using electronic device to win the Travers”

  1. Any Jockey using this device should be barred from ever competing in a Race forever, this is illegal and has always been………………………..This is Racings problem and they need to address and solve it IMMEDIATELY !!!!! i say use it on the Jockey who had the unmitigated Gaul to think he could do this to a horse and get away with it !!!!!


    1. I suppose we have become so focused on the drugs we have forgotten about this common, long-time practice (I have been told by a former jockey), among other things. More to come on that later.

      And what about the accusing trainer (Guillot) said to have made a voodoo doll of Todd Pletcher? What’s up with that?!!? Must have made it for the KyD!

      I suppose it is expecting too much to have clean racing. We don’t really care except that the horses suffer. Not that it is all run that way. No doubt there are plenty of good people training and racing horses. But it doesn’t look like they will ever be among the top prize winners, so they go unnoticed and unsung.


      1. Most trainers remain silent about these things that they r well aware of due to the repercussions. Racing operates under a long time “accepted” code: keep your mouth shut while we cheat, and win all the money.


  2. I am sure that this is not true. This trainer is looking to add to his 15 minutes of fame. Having worked in low level tracks where there would be more frequent use of “plugging in” horses this rarely works more than a time or two because the horses get used to it. Also, if you watch the video, Moreno never flags his tail which is what occurs when a horse is plugged in (the electrical stimulus) or react in any other way that would indicate anything improper was done. If you ask me it looks like Saez is just switching his hold on the reins and his stick. I think this will be found to be unfounded and I hope that all of you that are so quick to judge will post comments here of apology to Luis Saez.


    1. No one here is attacking a person, just an issue. But if you have come here to defend American horse racing I am sorry you have come to the wrong place. Bring on the virtual horse race gambling and racinos. At least when the fix is in nothing is harmed but pocketbooks.


  3. I was an owner/trainer for many years and I can tell you that electronic devices in whips r a common occurrence! Just try to get into the heavily guarded highly secretive jockeys room – NO ADMITTANCE! What a great scam they got going. The “supervisor” of the jockeys room is internally hired – usually an ex-jockey who never leaves. The position is never advertised. They wouldn’t want an outsider finding out about what’s going on. Another thing, trainers like Baffert Pletcher or one of their agents are allowed in the jockeys room including their agents where allegedly exchange of devices take place. It is a highly guarded cesspool of corruption like the Wild West with no federal oversight whatsoever. Racetracks are like the 1940’s old Las Vegas. It is no coincidence that certain trainers are always in the stake races. Funny when there are thousands of trainers who never make a stake race? It has nothing to do with the talent of a horse anymore and everything to do with alleged cheating.


    1. Thank you for your insightful comments Gina. I didn’t realize “buzzing” horses still went on. I suppose there is so much drugging going on we lose sight of the other cheating tactics used. Whatever it is, it is clearly betting fraud, a serious violation of federal laws, with prison time attached. And these cases would not be hard to prove in a Court of law. By the way, do you think using buzzers are as bad as whipping or about the same? And nothing would surprise me about Hall of Fame cheater extraordinaire St. Baffy and those like him. And there are plenty of documented incidents to support that opinion.


  4. Horses at the track are routinely beaten, abused, medicated, tormented and then sent to slaughter. That’s a horse’s life. Now we can add electrocuted to that list also. Stop attending races until the industry improves the lives of its athletes.


    1. I agree… Sadly, everything thing that you have mentioned is a fact indeed!! But we have to do much more to help these innocent ones, than just stop attending the races…. we must be their voice!! And by verbalizing our thoughts on this website, we are truly making a difference… I just have to believe that this is a start…. (If we all stick together) with Vivian”s guidance!!


  5. As always, I hope this is not true and as always it certainly wouldn’t surprise me. It’s a sorry situation that one has to use unsavory or cruel means to an end. Fry the b’stard if he did.


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