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 DRF.com >>
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.