Cross-posted from the Paulick Report
TAMPA BAY DOWNS — Association veterinarian Kristen Pastir and veterinary assistant Joelyn Rigione walked by Stall 46 in that same barn around 9:10 a.m. Jan. 27, 2013, just as Paraliticci and his assistant, Marcos Ortiz, were treating Raven Train, who was entered in the afternoon’s second race, a $16,000 claiming event.
Paraliticci had Raven Train’s right front leg flexed and was injecting the area near a large nerve by the accessory carpal bone with 3 milliliters of P Bloc – an anti-inflammatory and pain blocker whose principal agent was Sarapin, a natural substance produced by Sarraceniaceae, a pitcher plant.
Jorge Garibay, who worked as a groom for Cibelli, was holding Raven Train by the lead shank while Ortiz had a nose twitch on the horse. Paraliticci, who saw Pastir and Rigione come onto the scene, finished injecting the leg.
Then, switching to a larger syringe (30-to-50 cc’s, Pastir estimated), Paraliticci injected what he would later say was a mixture of the anti-bleeder medication furosemide and Solu-Delta-Cortef (a corticosteroid that is permitted on race-day in Florida) into the horse’s shoulder.
Knowing he’d been caught in the act doing something illegal, Paraliticci quickly left the stall, saying, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Pastir called Doug Murray, an agent with the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau and then notified the stewards what had happened. She then drew three vials of blood from Raven Train. Pastir was unable to retrieve the syringes Paraliticci had used to inject Raven Train’s shin and shoulder.
Cibelli was not in the barn when Paraliticci was treating Raven Train. After he explained to the trainer what had occurred, the native of England lit into Paraliticci, the veterinarian would later say to investigators with the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.
“You stupid mother——,” he quoted Cibelli as telling him. “Don’t you involve me. Don’t tell them I had anything to do with it. Keep me out of it. You better hope this stays in house.”
A report by the state investigator said Paraliticci later told him that he is “terrified of Cibelli.” When asked why, he responded that Cibelli and Tampa Bay Downs vice president of marketing Margo Flynn – the trainer’s partner – “have threatened many people with being thrown off the track and being excluded from TBD. They threatened to ruin his business . . . they have a lot of power.”
The same morning that Paraliticci said Cibelli threatened him, TRPB agent Murray interviewed the veterinarian and the trainer separately. Murray’s report said Paraliticci “injected high splint (bone) on his own. He wanted to be a hero; it was a mistake.” Read full report >>
“Twitching” is used to keep a horse still in stressful situations, such as receiving veterinary treatment.
Twitching is said to release endorphins that relaxes the horse, while others say that the pain keeps them still.
It is usually made up of a stick-like handle loop of chain or rope on the end, or a metal ring with a rope loop which is wrapped around the upper lip of the horse and tightened.
The aluminum screw twitch is yet another form of twitch.
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