06/23/2009 11:00PM

NYRA's Mullins hearing concludes


The hearing is over, but it will likely be several more weeks before the New York Racing Association announces what, if any, sanctions it will take against trainer Jeff Mullins regarding his actions at Aqueduct's race-day security barn on April 4.

A seven-hour hearing was held Wednesday at Belmont Park by an enhanced version of NYRA's Barn Area Violations Panel but ended with no resolution in the matter. A six-hour hearing was held on May 14. Mullins attended that hearing but participated in Wednesday's hearing by phone for 10 minutes.

According to a NYRA official, a transcript of the two days of hearings is going to be circulated to the parties after they sign a confidentiality agreement. They will have a short time to make any clerical corrections to the transcript, then the three members of the panel will review the transcript and make a decision. The process will likely take a few weeks.

Mullins has already admitted to administering the medication Air Power, akin to cough syrup, via oral-dose syringe to the horse Gato Go Win in the race-day security barn shortly before that horse was to have run in the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct on April 4. The administration of anything other than Lasix in the security barn is considered a violation.

Race-day security staff - who watched Mullins administer the medication but did not try to stop him - alerted the stewards of Mullins's actions, and the stewards scratched the horse. The New York State Racing and Wagering Board suspended Mullins seven days and fined him $2,500. Mullins served the penalty from May 3-9.

NYRA, however, maintains that it has the right to penalize Mullins further by denying him stalls, barring entry of his horses in NYRA races, and/or fining him.

The hearing was overseen by Neil Getnick, a member of a law firm retained by NYRA to deal with integrity issues, and his business partner and wife, Margaret Finerty. Two reporters were denied access to sit in on the hearing "to maintain the integrity of the proceeding," according to Getnick.

"It's clear this is a complete show trial, a Kangaroo court," said Karen Murphy, the attorney representing Mullins. "They want to keep it a secret until it's a fait accompli. At the end of the day we're talking about something that's already been fully admitted to. There's nothing to learn, so why is it a secret?"