09/22/2016 3:51PM

Gulfstream demands proof that Kirk Ziadie isn't tied to father's horses


Officials at Gulfstream Park have told trainer Ralph Ziadie that he must provide “clear evidence” that his son Kirk, who has been banned from the track, does not have any financial ties to the horses Ralph currently trains, the chief operating officer of the track’s parent company said Thursday.

Ralph Ziadie is second in the Gulfstream Park trainer standings, with 19 wins from 54 starts (35 percent).  Kirk Ziadie, perennially a leading trainer at Florida tracks, was banned by Gulfstream management shortly after he was granted a stay in April of a six-year suspension for multiple medication violations.

Tim Ritvo, the COO of The Stronach Group, which owns Gulfstream, said the elder Ziadie has been told that he must provide workers’ compensation reports, payroll documents, and bills from owners to verify that the horses are not connected to his son. In addition, Gulfstream’s director of racing, P.J. Campo, has been instructed to talk with the horses’ listed owners to verify that the younger Ziadie does not have indirect ownership, Ritvo said.

“We’re looking very seriously at all these issues surrounding paper trainers,” Ritvo said, using a term that refers to a trainer who is receiving instruction from another trainer who is unable to participate in racing.

The decision to focus on Ralph Ziadie came one day after Ritvo said that Gulfstream officials told another trainer, Allan Hunter, that he must move all of his horses off the grounds and would be banned from entering horses at Gulfstream because of suspicions that a suspended trainer, Marcus Vitali, was actually training the horses.

However, Ritvo said on Thursday that Hunter, like Ziadie, would be given the opportunity to provide evidence that Vitali is not connected to the horses in any way, and if the track deems the evidence credible, he will be allowed to continue to train those horses.

In an interview Wednesday, Vitali denied taking part in training the horses or owning the Hunter horses.

Vitali began transferring horses to Hunter this summer while in Maryland and working on a settlement with Florida regulators over a suspension for seven medication violations earlier this year. Last week, Vitali agreed to accept a 120-day suspension for the violations, which entailed positives for regulated medications under new rules that went into effect in Florida at the start of the year.

Jacqueline Fleck More than 1 year ago
Alfred McIntosh should be on the list also , he is Zaidies old assistant 
Frank More than 1 year ago
ban them both -- they are from the same mold -- you know the father cheats if the son does -- who do you think taught him how?

Deport them back to Cuba!
cherney19 More than 1 year ago
Its not enough, end drugs, they don't use them in Europe and the sport is doing fine. It's so obvious when these trainers are cheating. None of this proof and documents, get them off the grounds period.
MsTBredRacing More than 1 year ago
Financially connected? How about they have been seen training/saddling the horses?!! This is a smoke show. 
Jim More than 1 year ago
Problem is 2 of the biggest violators  Pletcher and asmussen never get fined suspended  or anything because they have the biggest owners in the game. The sport will never be fair or respected till officials stop the nonsense of what theses two  do . Thus the reasoning why we lose so many bettors every year and can not gain new interest in the sport.
Enzo Lentini More than 1 year ago
right Jim because there were never drugs in racing before.  I laugh at comments like yours......I think its more that you may be jealous of Asmussen and Pletcher .......pathetic
Frank More than 1 year ago
Yea and I never lied in my life either --- Enzo be real -- you are the pathetic one!
Sal Carcia More than 1 year ago
Plectcher does not have an usual high percentage of winners given the quality of his stable. He also tends to run his horses sparingly. I not sure why you would be so quick to accuse him of drugging horses. Asmussen these days also does not win at an unusual high percentage given the quality of his horses. 
Frank More than 1 year ago
I dont know about Pletcher -- but Assmussen is without a doubt human gutter garbage who is not only a cheater but mistreats/abuses horses.

Remember Nehro -- never forget him -- 
Carlo Vaccarezza More than 1 year ago
Congratulations to TIM RITVO and PJ for their efforts to protect the integrity of racing at GULFSTREAM park