01/25/2016 6:42PM

Ex-jockey agent faces computer trespassing, tampering charges


Mike Gonzalez, a former jockey agent who until last spring was working on the New York Racing Association circuit, was arrested Monday and faces two criminal charges punishable by as many as five years in prison, according to the Queens County (N.Y.) district attorney’s office.

Gonzalez, who represented jockey Manny Franco for parts of 2014-15, was charged with criminal computer trespassing, a Class E felony punishable by as many as four years in prison, and tampering with a sports contest in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by as much as one year in prison, according to Kevin Ryan, spokesman for Richard Brown, the Queens district attorney.

As of late Monday, Gonzalez was pending arraignment in Queens County District Court, Ryan said.

The Queens district attorney is alleging that Gonzalez was illegally granted access to NYRA’s InCompass computer system by paying a NYRA employee $100 a month from January 2014 to April 2015. The InCompass system would give an agent access to pertinent information such as a list of entries before they were finalized, horses placed on a vet’s list, and workouts. Having access to that information could be deemed a competitive advantage for a jockey agent seeking mounts for his client.

Though not named by the district attorney, the employee is believed to be Stephen Foster, NYRA’s head clocker during that time and a placing/patrol judge. Foster, Gonzalez, and another jockey agent, Jose Morales Jr., were escorted off the NYRA grounds by NYRA officials on April 1 and have since been denied access to Aqueduct, Belmont, or Saratoga. Though Gonzalez and Morales were permitted to do their jobs by phone until such time as their clients dropped them, Foster was fired by NYRA on June 1.

Neither Foster nor Morales were arrested or charged with any wrongdoing Monday, though Ryan did say “there will be more information” Tuesday.

John More than 1 year ago
I've known Mike and his family for many years. I can unequivocally say that this man is not capable of hurting anybody. Whatever he did I'm sure is common practice amongst all jockey agents. As a horse owner, and a friend of Mikes I can only say that for whatever reason Mike is being pushed out of racing-John Naja
George Grennan More than 1 year ago
Wow. May this DA can go after something serious like using a personal server to send classified emails.
Peter Madigan More than 1 year ago
Yeah. $100 a month, crime of the century
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
or finding the 22 million emails deleted under W
Bruce Alexander More than 1 year ago
Remember ,innocent until proven guilty not charged. The alleged dollar amount for the info is ludicrous and the information reported only slightly important. It only sounds bad for the readers that don't understand the process of taking entries at race tracks daily. Remember when Spitzer was Governor and he had investigators make trumped up charges against the clerk of scales concerning over weights , this sounds like the same. Racing needs to make improvements in rule breaking penalties but this at worse is a exaggeration as far as damage or advantage Hopefully if he has indeed been charged Mike can satisfy the discrepencies take a fair penalty and get back to work.. Racing does not need the bad publicity these trumped up charges bring. . .
Rhonda Graziano More than 1 year ago
are you the bruce alexander that trains @ monmouth park?
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
this article has no truth to it. Mike was in count yesterday but as of now has not been changed with anything nor was he arrested. Dave Grening should get his facts correct before writing this garbage.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Just more of the usuall makes you wonder what else is for sale at Nyra tracks. And shows you what kind of people are there. To me this is just the tip of a colossal iceberg . Another thing that is also par is the apologists who come out to defend these people .as if bribing a NYRA employee is nothing. According to this article said employee was also a clocker and a placing patrol judge. So if he would stoop to accepting a $ 100.00 a month bribe what would he do for real money. Calls into question all other more important positions. Can we trust that testing samples collected in an honest way.etc.
Lafe Bassett More than 1 year ago
how about gaining inside information by being able to match teams that work together? If the clockers provide their notes, as they progress throughout the morning, to someone else, they will be able to obtain age differences for the sets! To have inside info that a 2 yo worked with a 4 yr old, etc. Can really be abused, and a disadvantage to the racing public!
Jim Hooper More than 1 year ago
Another terrible black eye for NYRA. Mike is one of the nicest and well respected agents in the game. These computer programs are all over out there - they are really just databases streaming information as it comes in. I think it's quite possible that Mike was targeted by another jockey agent and/or racing official because of his success with Franco. Mike is a man of faith and he will pull through this.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
as long as he's a man of faith..lol
Pk Eldridge More than 1 year ago
Seriously this is all the DA has to investigate? An overzealous Jockey agent try to get good mounts for his rider? I wish I had Mike as an agent back in the day
VICTOR More than 1 year ago
es a le, la todo pachukos
yagodaaron More than 1 year ago
I have known Mike for years. He is a great family man, a hard worker, and a friend. As for getting an edge into which horses are going into most races all you need to do is ask the three or four agents who represent the top jocks on their circuit and they will know since they are usually pre booked on these mounts in advance anyway. The first thing trainers do when the new condition book comes out is to point certain horses for specific races and then secure the top riders or riders of their choice. Most racing offices will even tell how many horses are in a race as well prior to the closing of entries. This has been the way racing has been for centuries. Most agents know most of the horses that are eligible in each type of condition on their circuit even without a trainer contacting them. Still even if you knew every horse that is going to be entered before entries close, if you don't have a rider that people want then it wouldn't help anyway. I'm not sure how this is tampering with a sports event since this info is before post positions are even drawn which is at least 48-72 hours before wagering could even begin. On a funny side note it is pretty sad, if the allegations are true, that horse racing "inside" info is only worth $100. I promise anyone out there that Mike Gonzalez is a great guy and he is probably too upstanding of a guy to name others in this matter which is probably the only reason why he is the only one arrested to this point. He's the scapegoat. My heart bleeds for his wife and young children. I do understand having someone's password is a problem but if that's the issue in this day and age of computers than our prison system would be overflowing with kids and adults from age 3 and up.
Tommy Massis More than 1 year ago
Kenneth R. Wiener More than 1 year ago
The issue is your friend bribed a racing official for access to information and the official was willing to accept the bribe. Both men were of course aware that was improper. Now Mr. Gonzalez and his innocent family members will likely have to suffer the consequences of his misguided actions.