03/22/2013 12:07PM

Charles Town stewards suspend trainer Shanyfelt for one year


West Virginia trainer Doug Shanyfelt has been suspended one year after the stewards at the Charles Town Races deemed him guilty this week of circumventing the state’s racing rules by serving as a “program trainer” for a fellow trainer who was under suspension.

Charles Town steward Danny Wright wrote Thursday in rulings filed with the West Virginia Racing Commission that Shanyfelt illegally assisted Scooter Davis by entering and running Davis’s horses under the guise of Shanyfelt having trained them. The violation was committed while Davis was under a six-month suspension that ended Feb. 21.

The ruling cited video evidence supplied by Penn National Gaming, the owner of Charles Town, that showed Davis transporting horses by van to a property in close proximity to the track. From there, Shanyfelt then took the horses to the track to run them.

The ruling read that Shanyfelt “knew or should have known a disqualified person was heavily involved in the day-to-day arrangements of his stable operation.”

The filing against Davis alleged he “is on video clearly showing his involvement in arrangement related to the care, custody, and control of horses under the trainership of Doug Shanyfelt” and that Davis showed “blatant disregard” for the rules of racing by doing so.

The stewards further ruled that Davis has been denied a reissuance of his trainer’s license for an indefinite period and that two other men implicated in the incidents, Billy Ray Davis (father of Scooter Davis) and Cliff Tuomisto, also have been suspended 45 days.

Last month, Scooter Davis and Shanyfelt were ruled off at Charles Town after Penn Gaming exercised its proprietary rights. Shanyfelt continued to run horses at Mountaineer during that period and entered this week as easily the leading trainer so far this year with 14 wins at the Chester track.

Shanyfelt has won 645 races since he began training in 1998. His suspension is scheduled to go into effect Monday, although he and the other men have the right to appeal to the racing commission.