04/02/2015 1:29PM

NYRA official, two jockeys' agents barred from NYRA tracks


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – An official at the New York Racing Association and two jockey agents were escorted off the Aqueduct grounds by track security officials and are being investigated by the Queens District Attorney’s office for multiple alleged violations – including possibly tampering with a sports event, according to sources.

Stephen Foster, the head clocker and a placing/patrol judge at NYRA’s three tracks, as well as jockey agents Mike Gonzalez and Jose Morales Jr. were escorted off the Aqueduct premises Wednesday and are barred from NYRA’s tracks while the investigation continues. As of Thursday, no formal charges had been filed.

A spokesman for the Queens County DA’s office would neither confirm nor deny that an investigation was ongoing.

Martin Panza, NYRA’s senior vice president of racing operations, said: “It’s an ongoing police investigation. We’ll await something from the Queens DA’s office.”

NYRA steward Braulio Baeza also would not comment. However, the stewards did interview several other clockers Thursday at Aqueduct.

According to sources, part of the investigation centers on whether Foster shared with the agents his password to the InCompass computer system that has access to all kinds of pertinent information such as entries, veterinarian lists, and workouts. Having access to that information could be deemed a competitive advantage for a jockey agent seeking mounts for his client.

One of Foster’s jobs is inputting the morning workouts into the database. He often does that from a computer in the racing office.

Morales is a former NYRA employee who worked as an entry clerk in the racing office, a job he left following last summer’s Saratoga meet. Morales represents jockeys Angel Arroyo, who finished sixth at the winter meet with 31 victories, and Israel Rodriguez, who finished ninth in the standings with 21 wins.

“I have a hearing with the stewards next week, and hopefully everything works out,” Morales said. “I made a mistake, I got to live with it, and hopefully everything will work out.”

Gonzalez represents jockey Manuel Franco, who was the third-leading rider at Aqueduct’s inner-track meet with 58 wins.

Phone calls to Foster and Gonzalez were not returned.