02/13/2018 5:57PM

Jockey Club denies stud book privileges to three trainers


The Jockey Club will deny stud-book privileges to three trainers who have had medication violations in the past two years, the organization announced on Tuesday, although two of the trainers have not started a horse since penalties for the violations were handed down.

In a release, the Jockey Club said it would deny the privileges to Jose S. Nunez for 10 years; Ricardo Murillo for five years; and Mario Serey Jr. for two years. Stud-book privileges include the ability to register foals with the organization along with other registration processes, and the denial of those privileges would have limited impact on a trainer operating solely in that role.

Nunez was suspended for nearly five years in 2016 after a horse he trained tested positive for nikethamide, a powerful stimulant that is not commercially available in the U.S., after running at Charles Town racetrack in West Virginia. Similarly, Murillo was suspended for 1 ½ years for a positive for the same drug, also at Charles Town in 2016. Both trainers have not started a horse since their suspensions, and they are not believed to be active in racing.

In contrast, Serey remains active on the Pennsylvania circuit, though his winning percentage and earnings have fallen off significantly since a string of horses he trained tested positive for the regulated bronchial dilator clenbuterol at Pennsylvania racetracks in 2016. As a result of the violations, Serey was suspended for 120 days in mid-2017, through a settlement reached between Serey and the state’s racing commission.

Alan Pincus, the lawyer who represented Serey, was critical of The Jockey Club decision, noting that the settlement was reached to reduce the suspension from nearly a year to 120 days.

“These people don’t know a darn thing about Mario Serey’s case, not a single thing,” Pincus said. “It’s easy to pontificate from high on the hill.”