04/20/2009 11:00PM

Investigators search Ness barn


Investigators with the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau searched the barn of Tampa Bay Downs's leading trainer, Jamie Ness, on Tuesday morning, according to officials of the track and Ness.

Ness was not present at Tampa Bay Downs when investigators conducted the search, Ness said by phone from Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania. Ness said he discussed the search with his staff, but that he did not know what may have instigated it.

"They just said that they came and took some things," Ness said. "It's completely out of the blue. I don't know what's going on, but I don't know what they'd find."

Margo Flynn, a spokeswoman for Tampa Bay, said she could not comment except to confirm that the search took place.

The TRPB is a racetrack-funded security organization that has agents at many top tracks in the U.S. Tampa Bay employs one full-time TRPB agent during its live race meet.