11/10/2017 12:29PM

Four suspended Parx trainers denied stay

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The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission has denied a request for a stay for four trainers based at Parx near Philadelphia who were suspended this week for failing to comply with a subpoena, according to the attorney representing the trainers.

Alan Pincus, the attorney, said the commission denied the motion on Thursday while granting a request that the trainers receive a hearing on the matter, although a hearing date has not yet been scheduled. In the meantime, the trainers, two of whom are in the top 10 by wins at Parx this year, have been denied access to Parx and cannot enter any horses.

“It’s a particularly mean-spirited decision,” Pincus said on Friday morning. “They are forcing us to go to civil court to get the stay. It wouldn’t have hurt them in the least [to grant the request].”

Pincus said he would file the civil-court motion for a stay on Friday, asking for an expedited ruling on the grounds that the trainers are being prohibited from earning a living. Though it is not possible to predict which way a judge might rule on a stay, civil courts in the past generally have granted such motions except in cases in which a trainer’s participation in racing constitutes a threat to the integrity of the racing product.

Courts typically issue a ruling on an expedited motion for a stay within several business days of the motion being filed.

Pincus had advised his clients not to comply with a subpoena issued in October seeking three years of training, racing, and banking records from the trainers. He said the commission was seeking the records in an investigation into possible hidden ownership and the use of program trainers at Parx.

The four trainers were issued indefinite suspensions. Two of the four, Marcos Zulueta and Juan Carlos Guerrero, are currently third and fifth in the Parx trainer standings. The other two are Silvio Martin and Joseph Taylor, according to Pincus.